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Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Practice Management’

The Once and Future Firm: The Changing Nature of Law Firms

These are notes are from a panel discussion session at the American Bar Association 2011 conference in Toronto last Friday. Panelists included Arthur G. Greene, Boyer Greene LLC, Bedford, NH; T. Andrew Brown, Brown & Hutchinson, Attorneys at Law, Rochester, NY; Thomas C. Grella, McGuire Wood & Bissette PA, Asheville, NC; Ken Young, Young Mayden LLC, Charlotte, NC; and Mark Robertson, Robertson & Williams, Oklahoma City, OK & co-author of Winning Alternatives to the Billable Hour. Moderator was Prof. Gary A. Munneke of Pace University School of Law, White Plains, NY. Note: these are . . . [more]

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

Knowledge Management Know-How

Luigi Benetton has published a nice article called “Knowledge Management Know-How” in the current edition of The Lawyers Weekly.

The article quotes me and fellow SLAW contributor Dominic Jaar, but what I like about the article are the viewpoints from others in the industry and the wide range of tips and advice on best practices.

What I find with knowledge management is that there is usually never a single approach or method and varies a fair bit depending on the type of organization, its culture and staffing.

In fact, there has been lots of discussion in the . . . [more]

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

Responses to ABA, North Carolina Proposals RE: Cloud Computing

Back in May I wrote about two sets of proposals that may impact the adoption of cloud computing technology among lawyers.

The first set of proposals comes from the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20, which has issued an initial set of draft proposals addressing lawyers’ confidentiality-related obligations when using technology. The second set of proposals comes from the North Carolina State Bar in the form of in Proposed 2011 Formal Ethics Opinion 6 – Subscribing to Software as a Service While Fulfilling the Duties of Confidentiality and Preservation of Client Property.

Last week the comment periods for both proposals . . . [more]

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

Five Activities Generally Not Covered by Your Malpractice Policy

On occasion, lawyers have engaged in activities that have made them front-page news, subject to embarrassment and possibly lawsuits or discipline complaints. Not only can this kind of attention be bad for a lawyer’s reputation, it can also damage or even destroy client relationships.

That’s reason enough to be aware of and avoid activities that could lead to these types of outcomes. But there is another – equally if not more compelling – reason to avoid them: In some instances, it may be the law firm, not LAWPRO (or your own malpractice carrier if you are outside Ontario), that foots . . . [more]

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

Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

I have recently returned to work after a maternity leave. Now I am struggling with how to get back up to speed on all things legal research-related. Despite my best intentions, I was unable to stay on top of Slaw posts or Supreme Court decisions while at home. Now I am constantly second-guessing my research, worried that I have missed some new resource or decision. On the plus side, I am pleasantly surprised when I discover ‘new’ features on my favourite websites and online databases; of course, I have no idea how long they’ve been there, or what other ones . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Email Charter

TED Curator Chris Anderson suggests that we help curb the proliferation of emails by subscribing to a Charter that he and fellow TEDer Jane Wulf have devised. He argues that in some sense we have all joined spammers in contributing to the modern “tragedy of the Commons” that our summed-up bad behaviours have produced. You’ll get a much better idea of what he means by reading the actual Charter, set out below. (It’s available as plain text and as a PDF, also, in case you want to pass it around the office — not by email.) . . . [more]

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

Are You Covered for Legal Work Involving Foreign Law or Lawyers?

Lawyers and their clients are more mobile than ever before. With the Internet, easy international travel and a global economy, relationships and business transactions – and legal matters and disputes – frequently cross international borders. Handling matters that involve foreign law can increase the risk that you will face a malpractice claim, and can have important malpractice insurance implications that you should keep in mind.

This article highlights activities and situations involving dealings with foreign lawyers and foreign law that can lead to situations that will likely not be covered under your E&O policy. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Back to the Future – Western’s Bold Leap

One of the saddest chapters of Bill Kaplan’s excellent biography Canadian Maverick – the Life and Times of Ivan C. Rand, is his account of Justice Rand’s post SCC appointment as the founding Dean of the University of Western Ontario’s Law School. Rand didn’t fit, was remote from students, and was ill at ease and isolated. {For further references see Omar’s post and Jamie Cameron’s review.]

A different challenge awaits the former chairman and chief executive officer of McCarthy Tétrault LLP., Iain Scott who will be moving to take over the deanship of Western in September. This . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management

The New Lawyer Resources Page: A practicePRO Resource for New (Or Soon to Be) Lawyers

practicePRO has worked hard over the years to make lawyers aware of the wealth of practice management and claims prevention information available on the practicePRO site. Those efforts have resulted in practicepro.ca becoming a regular destination for many lawyers, particularly solo and small firm lawyers who may not have access to all the resources of a larger firm.

Lately there is one segment of lawyers that LAWPRO and practicePRO have made an extra effort to reach out to: new lawyers and those about to be called to the bar. Its been our experience that when lawyers were students, they really . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Surviving Self-Represented Litigants

This article by Carole Cochrane originally appeared in the Winter 2006 issue of LAWPRO Magazine. The advice given is just as relevant today.

Why do we all shudder on learning that our client’s adversary is self-represented on a litigation file? So often we fail to appreciate opposing counsel – until we hear those dreaded words from our client: “You know, the other side won’t be getting a lawyer.” It is only then that we realize and appreciate the benefit of there being opposing counsel on a file.

On a litigation file, opposing counsel can serve a number of important . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

It’s the End of Judges, Not the Lawyers


At yesterday’s inaugeral Law Tech Camp in Toronto, Prof. Daniel Katz of Michigan State University College of Law spoke on “Computing and the Law.” The topic was covered in The Globe earlier this week,

The crucial question for anyone heading into a court battle – whether a mighty corporation or a mere slip-and-fall victim – is the same, every time: “What are my chances?”

Depending on the answer, a client will decide to settle, or to stand and fight. The answer generally comes from across the oak-panelled desk of a lawyer, who draws on wisdom gained from years of

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

Build Your Firm’s Succession Plan With the Help of Law Practice Magazine

Significant numbers of law firm partners are nearing retirement age. Many firms are facing the daunting question of how to smoothly transition their clients and practices to the next generation – and most firms have taken few if any steps to tackle the thorny issues this transition can raise.

Look to the May/June 2011 issue of Law Practice Magazine if you need help with building a succession plan for your firm. It has several articles that will help you with transitioning clients, practices and leadership.

Marcia Pennington Shannon’s A Short Course in Succession Planning article gives you a snapshot of . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management