Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for ‘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 (fraudinfo@lawpro.ca) 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 AvoidaClaim.com 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

Lawyer Confusion

I was recently prepping for a podcast with twitterite, @CharonQC, who unfortunately had to postpone it due to family reasons. So, why let some good thinking go to waste?

One of the matters we were going to discuss was that the legal profession has lost its way. Not in the sense that lawyers are struggling with the conundrum of whether they are a business or a profession. Rather, it is my view that one of the reasons that lawyers have not adapted to better and more efficient styles of legal service delivery is because by using these new styles, they . . . [more]

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

Seeing the Light Through Cloud Computing

The resistance by lawyers over the adoption of cloud computing is a particular grievance for technology evangelists. Not that concerns over confidentiality and security are unwarranted, it’s just that most they often just stem from fear of the unknown.

For those lawyers who still believe the most secure place to store their client information is in their heads, there’s an inexpensive technological device being developed through the University of California and the University of Oxford in Geneva which allows users to hack directly into someone’s brain.

Of course lawyers are far more ready to embrace emerging technology when the risk . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Longing for a New Age in KM

I missed the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) conference, which wraps up today in Washington D.C. So my thoughts are turning not only to envy, but also to some of my own KM thoughts mixed with those emanating from conference tweets.

Too often Canadian law firms see KM as nothing more than a repository of documents and clauses: Matthew Parson’s so-called “information landfill.” And because KM is seen as nothing more than a landfill site, firms see KM as nothing more than a software solution to assist lawyers sift through the debris.

What a terrible waste!

But, what if . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology

Risks and Benefits of Legal Technology – Recognized…

♬ It’s been a long time comin’, my dear
It’s been a long time comin’, but now it’s here
And now it’s here..♬

Lyrics, music and recorded by Bruce Springsteen.

My friend Bob Ambrogi noted it first. The American Bar Association amended the commentary to Model Rule 1.1 dealing with competence:

Rule 1.1 Competence

A lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client. Competent representation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.

The amended commentary is as follows:

Maintaining Competence

To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should keep abreast of

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

Almost $80,000 Removed From Toronto Lawyer’s Trust Account by Fake Cheques

A Toronto lawyer has reported to LAWPRO that almost $80,000 was removed from his trust account over the last four days by a series of 10 fake cheques. The fraud was discovered when a bank reconciliation was done this morning (Wednesday). All was fine when a bank reconciliation was done last Friday. The cheques were obvious copies of the firm’s trust cheques (cheque numbers were not in sequence and different). The cheques were used to pay off credit cards and 2 were payable to a specific individual. It is not known how the fraudster obtained information about the lawyer’s trust . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management