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Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Practice Management’

Website 101

Here on Slaw we pretty much take for granted some of the basics of IT, prime among which might be the value of a website to practicing lawyers. But, of course, it’s just not the case that all lawyers have—and make good use of—websites. So for those of you who fall into that category (or who have a friend who does) here’s a little something.

As it happens, I’m at the ABA Techschow in Chicago listening to Slaw’s Steve Matthews explain the basics with respect to the necessary infrastructure, Website 101: Build and Rebuild.

Domain names
Use short, memorable . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Significant Increase in Bad Cheque Frauds Targeting North American Lawyers

LAWPRO has seen a significant increase in bad cheque frauds targeting lawyers all over North American over the last two months, and over the last week several new names are being used on the ongoing collaborative agreement frauds. We are also seeing more activity in the last few weeks on frauds involving a real estate purchase deposit and a settlement of an employment related personal injury claim. Over the last few months several hundred lawyers from across North American have reported to us that they received various versions of these messages attempting these frauds. See below for more details on . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology: Internet

AODA Era Part IV: Employment Standard

The employment standard under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is found under part III in the Proposed Integrated Accessibility Regulation (PIAR), which is slated to become law around July 2011 (not confirmed). This standard requires an organization that is an employer to engage in the proactive identification, removal and prevention of barriers hindering the full participation in employment of persons with disabilities. It also requires that organization to have policies and procedures for establishing individual accommodation plans where barriers cannot be removed proactively, shifting the onus from the individual who needs the accommodation to the person who . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Client Screening Form Can Help Avoid Tactical Conflicts

On occasion, a party will intentionally contact or attempt to meet with one or more lawyers for the sole purpose of creating a conflict that will prevent the lawyer(s) from acting for another party on a pending matter.

Despite the bad intentions of the individual making these contacts, the lawyer(s) contacted may not be able to act for the other party, especially if confidential information was disclosed.

This behaviour occurs quite frequently in the family law area and in specialized areas of the law where there are a limited number of experts. In smaller communities this can be very frustrating . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

The 2/3 Rule Will Make You a Happy and Successful Lawyer

With a bit of effort, the simple and profound 2/3 Rule can transform you and your practice. I have mentioned this rule in dozens of presentations over the last several years and it always gets great feedback so thought it was worthy of a SLAW posting.

This simple rule says the goal of being a happy lawyer with a successful practice can be achieved provided all your clients/matters meet at least 2/3 of the following requirements:
1. You are working on interesting and challenging legal problems.
2. You are working with people you enjoy.
3. You are getting paid for . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

The Cost of Doing Business

Rachel Rodgers makes a great point in her post today at SPU — the idea that in business, everything has a cost. She illustrates:

“Using an old laptop that gives you trouble every now and then has a cost. The cost is lost time that could have been spent working and the ensuing frustration that prevents you from being creative.”

or,

“Not purchasing software that makes work flow and management efficient has a cost. Not having staff that can handle certain time consuming tasks has a cost.”

She also correctly notes that even for a new business, sweat equity . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

A Systematic Approach to Law Firm Management

This is an article by Malcolm Mercer, partner and general counsel at McCarthy Tetrault in Toronto. It originally appeared in the September 2010 edition of LawPRO Magazine.

Risk is an inevitable reality of law practice. The only way to eliminate risk is to stop practising law – an option most readers of this article are not yet contemplating. A more realistic option is to actively mitigate risk through structured, systematic risk management. This approach is particularly helpful at the law firm level, where risk management can sometimes be seen to be contrary to the perceived self-interest of individual lawyers . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Safeguarding Client Information

I attended a webinar today by the CBA entitled Safeguarding your Client’s Confidential Information – Tips and Traps. Presented by David Fraser and Dominic Jaar.

 Here are some of the highlights.

Quote from security expert Bruce Schneier:

“Hardware is easy to protect: lock it in a room, chain it to a desk, or buy a spare. Information poses more of a problem. It can exist in more than one place; be transported halfway across the planet in seconds; and be stolen without your knowledge.”

This is primarily a people issue – requires training and understanding. It’s not just about technology. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology

The Jaime Laskis Discrimination Suit

The Toronto Star is running a front-page story today about Jaime Laskis, a former associate at the New York offices of Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt, alleging discrimination. The Statement of Claim, filed in the District Court of New York by Liddle & Robinson LLP, can be viewed here.

Laskis complained about the allegedly discriminatory behaviour, and the individual responsible was eventually removed from the position of Legal Professional Committee (LPC) representative, and internal review committee within the firm. However, Laskis claims that she continued to be underpaid and treated unfairly even after this removal.

She was eventually . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Communication-Related Errors Are the Most Common Cause of Real Estate Claims

Real estate law accounts for the second highest number of legal malpractice claims in Ontario, after civil litigation. But real estate law is responsible for a higher percentage of claims costs than litigation – and the trends are up for both the count and cost of real estate claims.

For the years 1999-2009, real estate-related claims averaged 29 per cent of LAWPRO ’s claims count (612 claims per year), and 30 per cent of our claims costs ($19.7 million per year). On average, resolving a real estate claim cost LAWPRO $43,325 over that period.

And the big surprise to most . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Litigation Outside of the Bun

Taco Bell has been the target of class-action false advertising lawsuit over the beef content of their tacos, summarized here in this video from the Associated Press. The Statement of Claim by California law firms Blood, Hurst & O’Reardon LLP, and Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles is available here.

Ashby Jones of the Wall Street Journal points out that most corporate lawsuits result in this approach to crisis management:

1) Say as little as possible; but . . .

2) Deny the allegations; and . . .

3) If anyone presses further, say “it’s corporate policy

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Cloud Computing Standards…

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has issued two new draft documents on cloud computing for public comment, including the first set of guidelines for managing security and privacy issues in cloud computing. The agency also has set up a new NIST Cloud Computing Collaboration site on the Web to enable two-way communication among the cloud community and NIST cloud research working groups. Ethics regulators, lawyers and cloud providers may wish to become involved in the dialogue to ensure the development of the cloud to serve the public interest as well as the needs of lawyers, clients and cloud developers.
Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management