Practice of Law: Practice Management Archives – Slaw
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Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Practice Management’

Furlong: It’s Not the End of Lawyers

Issue 12 of the News & Views on Civil Justice Reform, from the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, released a few days ago, has a piece by Jordan Furlong, “This is Not the End of Lawyers …but this is the End of the Traditional Legal Business Model” [PDF], responding to an excerpt from Richard Susskind’s book, The End of Laywers?, in the same issue.

Furlong wisely would have lawyers construe their coming (already here?) loss of control of the marketplace for their services as an opportunity to transform the practice of law. As always, he writes . . . [more]

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

Twittering Your Corporate Securities Information

The desire of publicly-listed corporations to use current communications in fulfilling their duty to disclose material information about their activities can run into the technical limits of (some of) the new media.

There’s an article [PDF] by an American law firm on the topic – 8 pages in all.

An amusing example from the article: a corporate blogger was tweeting from a corporate phone conference, and was recalled to order about the limits to discussions of corporate earnings etc. So the next time it happened, he sent out FOUR separate tweets with disclaimers applicable to the same message! (One asks . . . [more]

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

Kennedy on Tech Trends for 2009

Take the opportunity to read Dennis Kennedy’s May piece in the ABA’s Law Practice Today, Legal Technology Trends for 2009, this year’s version of his annual predictions and advice. I’m stealing none of his thunder if I tell you that his eight trends are:

  1. Technology budgets get decimated
  2. Making do with what you have or doing more with less
  3. The mobile phone as platform
  4. Looking to the cloud
  5. Using tech to get the word out and the money in
  6. Focus on client-focused technology
  7. E-Discovery in still waters
  8. The perfect storm for collaboration

For one thing you’re going to want . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology

Recession Coping Guide

I just came across the CBA PracticeLink article A Recession Coping Guide for Canadian Law Firms by Janice Mucalov (April 2009). I like the thoughtful, careful, but yet strategic approach taken in this guide. The focus is on the client relationship, keeping up morale within the firm, and thinking long-term. Here is item #4 on keeping up morale:

Feeling uncertain is inevitable. But rumours, job anxiety and money worries can impair productivity. Reassure your lawyers that you are doing everything prudently possible to lead the firm through this recession.

Remind people how your firm weathered the last downturn – provide

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

Calling (Again) All Innovative Lawyers! Now’s Your Chance to Get the Recognition You Deserve

I have posted on SLAW before about this, but as the June 1 deadline is approaching I thought another post was warranted. Also posted on LawyerSuccessTips.com.

Is your law practice or firm one of the profession’s leading lights of innovation? Have you or someone within your firm with vision and courage led a groundbreaking effort to practice law differently? Have you developed a new and better way of serving clients, a breakthrough way to find new business, a truly innovative way to value and sell your services? If so, then you deserve the recognition of lawyers and clients . . . [more]

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

Recession and the Criminal Law Practice

The first question always posed to me seconds after learning that I am a criminal defence lawyer is “How can you defend those people?” or some variation of that classic accusatory inquiry. Recently however, this query is finding tight competition at the edges of inquiring lips with the question, “How’s the recession treating your criminal law practice, Ed?”

The answer to the first question, while nuanced and important, is one I would hope readers of a mature legal blog such as this one, would already know and respect. The answer to the second question is somewhat more difficult to articulate . . . [more]

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

The Death of the Billable Hour and the ACC Value Challenge – Essential Reading for Lawyers and Clients Alike

The death of the billable hour has been (allegedly) imminent for at about two decades now. But by most accounts, at least until recently, the billable hour has remained as healthy as Mark Twain was when he responded with his famous quote to the rather incorrect rumours of his passing. (He actually did this twice with two slight different quotes – read more here)

I included the at least until recently above because I am seeing evidence that things are finally changing, at least in the corporate and larger firm worlds (and no doubt it will trickle down to . . . [more]

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

Beware the Dangers of Departing Employees

Most of us tend to look outside our offices for threats or dangers. However, you should also be aware of potential inside dangers. Statistics show that the majority of incidents involving the destruction or loss of data were perpetrated by current, soon-to-be dismissed or recently dismissed employees. Few, if any, know more about your firm’s systems than your employees, and few, if any, are in a better position to cause major damage.

In particular, your IT staff, employees with advanced technology knowledge, and outside technology support people are potentially the greatest threat because they have the greatest knowledge about your . . . [more]

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

Is It OK for Regulators to Make a Mirror Copy of Files?

Lawyers’ Weekly reports that the Law Society of BC is considering whether it should be able to insist on doing a complete copy of a member’s computer in the course of an investigation. Pros and cons are discussed in the article, along with the proposed policy.

Concerns raised have included the lawyer/member’s privacy, and solicitor-client privilege.

Could not however the Law Society have sent in an investigator who would have had physical access to all the same files? Is the concern that once the mirror image is made, it is accessible to more people, with unknown controls?

In Ontario, the . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Calling All Innovative Lawyers! Now’s Your Chance to Get the Recognition You Deserve

Necessity breeds invention. From Procter & Gamble to IBM to Federal Express, from nylon to photocopiers to the electron microscope — some of the world’s most well-known companies and products were born in past recessions and depressions. The current economic crisis will be no exception — when times are tough, forward-thinking people will find ways to do things better. That applies especially to the practice of law.

Is your law practice or firm one of the profession’s leading lights of innovation? Have you or someone within your firm with vision and courage led a groundbreaking effort to practice law differently? . . . [more]

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

Law Society of Upper Canada Guidelines on Powers of Attorney in Real Estate Transactions

Working with the Working Group on Lawyers and Real Estate, the Law Society of Upper Canada has prepared guidelines to help lawyers avoid becoming the tool or dupe of unscrupulous persons when dealing with real estate transactions involving powers of attorney. These guidelines are available here.

With the prevalence of real estate fraud, it is important that real estate lawyers implement practices and procedures in their firms to recognize and fight fraud. In recent years, powers of attorney have been used in real estate transactions to perpetrate fraud. Forged powers of attorney have been used to fraudulently mortgage properties . . . [more]

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

This Morning the Earth Stood Still

If you were an early bird like me and on your computer circa 5:30-5:45 a.m. EST this morning, or on the other side of the world when this would be a reasonable time of the day, you too may have participated in the “Great Gmail outage of February 2009.”

Yes, Gmail was down, and mass panic ensued it what became commonly known as Gfail.

The hysteria could probably best be observed first hand on Twitter, where thousands of users, myself included, screamed in protest and paranoia.

@sandersonjones probably said it best,

Google, I know you’re listening.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology, Technology: Internet