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Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Practice Management’

Law Firm Merger Mania – Part 2

It was a year ago that I wrote the post “Law Firm Merger Mania“, talking about the trend of law firms merging. Notably, we were seeing international firms merging to build a Canadian presence. It is interesting to check in again to see how/whether this trend is developing.

Canada’s Fasken Martineau expands into South Africa
Today we have news of a Canadian firm merging to build a larger international presence: I noticed the announcement on Twitter this morning that Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP has merged with 76 lawyer South African law firm Bell Dewar Inc. based in . . . [more]

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

Legal Research – Clients in the Driver’s Seat

Today’s Wall Street Journal has an intriguing story on legal fees and the changes that a client-driven marketplace has had on the way that firms bill not merely for their professional fees, but also for disbursements.

For example, the article comments on ways in which technology has transformed processes which would previously have resulted in charges to clients:

To be sure, technology has swept some items off law firm bills entirely. Before the advent of email, law firms spent small fortunes on couriers to hustle documents across town or out to the airport. Lawyers now upload digital briefs and memos

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology: Office Technology

London Calling – but Are We Listening?

On my recent trip to London, England, it was arranged for me to be part of a panel discussion at Middle Temple Hall, one of the oldest legal buildings in London. Indeed, the room in which I spoke (Parliament Chamber) hosted the very first performance of Twelfth Night in 1602. By way of background, Middle Temple is one of four Inns of Court in London that are able to call men and women to the Bar.

So there I was, at the beating old heart of the common law, criticizing the current model of legal services delivery; suggesting that it . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management

New E-Filing Practice Direction in Ontario

Close on the heels of the e-filing changes in B.C., Ontario has released a new Practice Direction effective November 2, 2012 for the filing of electronic documents in civil appeals and judicial reviews in Divisional Court.

The initial release of the Practice Direction is available through the Ontario Bar Association (OBA). Although signed on October 3, 2012, it is still not listed on the Practice Direction website.


  . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

B.C. Court of Appeal Launches E-Filing

The B.C. Court of Appeal formally launched its e-Filing program today. The Supreme Court of British Columbia and the Provincial Court of British Columbia have offered e-filing since June 2007, bringing today’s move up to all three levels of court in the province.

Chief Justice Lance Finch stated in the Press Release:

Court of Appeal e-filing expands access to the court for litigants outside B.C.’s major urban centres by allowing parties to file documents without attending at the court. When a document is e-filed, it also becomes instantaneously available to litigants and the public through the electronic registry, Court . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Ontario Court System at Risk of Losing Litigants to the Private-Sector Justice System

The Ontario civil justice system is struggling to provide timely, cost-effective and fair access to justice to civil litigants. According to Justice D.M. Brown, if the Judges of the Superior Court are unable to respond to the challenges and stresses confronting the civil litigation system, the public system risks losing litigants to the private-sector justice system in which an ever increasing number of private arbitration centres offer parties dispute-resolution services employing modern technological systems and well-trained arbitrators, who are often retired Superior Court Judges.

Justice Brown used the decision of George Weston Ltd. v. Domtar Inc. to once again sound . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Digital Saved the Legal Services Star

A few things struck me this week. First, Jordan Furlong’s great piece, “Back when we used lawyers.” Then the opening of Burberry’s new flagship store in London, England (thanks to my colleague Antony Smith at LawSync for pointing it out to me and suggesting a digital connection to law).

Jordan’s premise is, as the title suggests, that change is constant and that in the lifetime of our parents (and even some of us) how things were done and by whom, when theywere kids, has dramatically changed. What is “normal” for legal services now or in the past will . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Enter Stage Left: Feminist Lawyers Arrive to SLAW

We are delighted to join SLAW as your two feminist legal practitioners. We wear multiple hats with pride: we are small business owners, small practitioners, staunch feminists, young lawyers, and queer women. We stand in solidarity with sex workers, keen and questioning law students, community activists, brave women who survive trauma and are stronger for it, harm reductionists, transfolk, people of colour, contrarians, and people who speak frankly about the deficiencies in the composition and conventions of our legal system. We like all of these people’s voices to be heard, more so than what is traditionally allowed in the practice . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management

LAWPRO’s Map of Frauds Targetting Lawyers Continues to Grow

Back in April practicePRO released a map that showed where emails to our fraud reporting database ( were originating from. The aim was to show how widespread the problem of email scams was. Despite being an Ontario-based insurer, almost half of our emails had come from elsewhere in Canada, the US and overseas.

We recently updated the map, and it shows that the pace of email fraud attempts hasn’t slowed. In five months we’ve had nearly 1,000 more emails, posted 57 new warnings on and heard from lawyers in 29 additional countries.

Strangely, South Dakota continues to be the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Reading: You might like...

Saving on Law Firm Costs Not the Canadian Way

Just when I had given up on major law firms doing something that makes them more efficient and innovative, international law firm Bingham McCutchen LLP relocates 250 of its staff from around the globe (if they choose to move) to Lexington, Kentucky into a former IBM building on the University of Kentucky’s Coldstream Research Campus business park.

The firm decided to move its finance, accounting, human resources, information technology, knowledge services, marketing, operations and risk management staff into one location to save costs, improve coordination and become much more efficient.

Certainly the $6.5 million in tax incentives from state and . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Tenant Who Has Been Evicted From 6 Homes in 7 Years to Face Fraud Charges

Nina Willis has been evicted from 6 homes in the past 7 years. She is probably the perfect example of what Justice Matlow was thinking when he noted the:

growing practice by unscrupulous residential tenants to manipulate the law improperly, and often dishonestly, to enable them to remain in their rented premises for long periods of time without having to pay rent to their landlords.

Justice Matlow called for reform of Ontario’s residential tenancy laws. In the case of Nina Willis, Ontario’s residential tenancy laws were not able to protect the landlords she abused over the past 7 years. However, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management