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Archive for ‘Reading’

Corporate/commercial Malpractice Claims Fact Sheet

With such a large amount of claims prevention information available in LAWPRO Magazine articles and practicePRO resources, we had the idea to create simple fact sheets that CPD providers and others could use in developing their program material for specific areas of law. The latest in our series of “malpractice claims fact sheets” covers corporate/commercial law.

The fact sheets include quick claims facts, the main causes of claims against lawyers, hot topics in the particular areas of law, tips for avoiding claims and links to practicePRO resources. The sheets can also be used as program inserts in their own right. . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Book Review: The Future of the Professions by Richard Susskind

For more than 30 years Richard Susskind has been a thought leader on the future of the legal profession.

This is despite the Law Society of England and Wales saying he did not understand confidentiality and was bringing the legal profession into disrepute by suggesting that email would become the predominant way lawyers and their clients would communicate in his 1996 book, The Future of Law.

Susskind’s most recent book, The Future of the Professions: How technology will transform the work of human experts, is a must read for anyone who wants to gain insights into where . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

New Legal Trends Report Provides Data Insights for Small- to Medium-Sized Law Firms

In the 4,000-year history of the legal profession, unbiased information sharing has never been the norm. Instead, insights have remained siloed in large institutions—or traded anecdotally among groups at networking events.

That changes with today’s release of the Legal Trends Report. The Legal Trends Report is being published by Clio, the world’s most widely-used legal practice management platform (disclosure: I am the founder and CEO of Clio). By leveraging anonymized, aggregate data from 40,000 active Clio users and over $60 billion in billing volume, the Legal Trends Report provides new insights into topics including average billing rates by state, . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Reading: Recommended, Technology, Technology: Internet

[Book Review] Visualizing Law in the Age of the Digital Baroque: Arabesques and Entanglements

Visualizing Law in the Age of the Digital Baroque: Arabesques and Entanglements. By Richard K. Sherwin. New York, N.Y. : Routledge, 2011. 256 p. ISBN: 978-0-415-61293-7 (Paperback) $42.95.

“We love the image and we hate it. We crave its enhancement and fear its deceit.” (p. 31)

Everywhere we look these days we are confronted with a continuous cascade of images. These visual expressions are often trying to persuade us to purchase some product, support a cause, or alert us to an upcoming event. We regularly see actual and simulated representations and are prepared to accept what we see as . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Cross Border Selection of Lawyers – Issues to Consider

When you shop for a contractor for a home renovation, you are often reminded about the need to ensure your contractor has third party liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance – just in case.

Do you ask that same question when you shop for a lawyer outside of Canada? Do you remember to ask if the foreign lawyer carries professional liability insurance? And do you know what his/her coverage is? Imagine this. A 40-year-old client’s husband dies in a plane crash in the United States, the result of alleged negligence by air traffic controllers who fail to identify a storm . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Diversify Without Dabbling: Before Expanding Your Practice, Expand Your Competence

This article is by Nora Rock, corporate writer & policy analyst at LAWPRO.

Think you have the confidence to bluff your way through a file that’s outside your normal scope of practice? It might work if you were playing a lawyer on TV… but that’s only because your opponent (and the judge, if it’s a litigation file) would be actors, too. In the real world, trying to “fake it to make it” in an unfamiliar area of law is unfair to the client, dangerous to the lawyer’s reputation, and risks a potential legal malpractice claim.

In a challenging economy, many . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Reading: Recommended

Feeling Emotional? Don’t Hit Send!

This article is by Ian Hu, claims prevention & praticePRO counsel at LAWPRO.

It’s 11pm and your phone beeps. Against your better judgment you pick it up and see it’s a client email. Soon you’re sucked into a missive about the latest calamity in your client’s life, the client’s anxiety about the case, and what you will do about everything. You sense your own anger and frustration rise as you think about how to respond.

It is tempting and easy to hit the send button and fire off an emotional email in the heat of the moment. Taken over by . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

New Lawyer Cyber Dangers and How to Avoid Them

Like the local bank, your practice holds valuable information and money. Your computer systems may contain client information, trade secrets, and intellectual property. Your trust accounts have large sums of money. A cyber breach or trust account theft will harm your clients and potentially cripple your practice. Security guards, specialized safes, and sophisticated procedures protect the local bank. What safeguards have you put in place for your practice?

Perceived to be less sophisticated than banks and big companies, lawyers make easy targets for tech-savvy criminals. The payoff, which can include emptying trust accounts and taking advantage of confidential information, is . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended, Technology: Internet

Limited Scope Representation Resources

The information and resources on practicePRO’s Limited Scope Representation page are intended to help you understand some of the risks inherent in providing limited scope legal services, and how you can reduce your exposure to a claim when working for a client on an unbundled basis.

LAWPRO’s concern that unbundling could lead to more claims stems from the fact that the biggest causes of claims against lawyers – communication issues and inadequate investigation or discovery of facts – are at least equally, if not more likely, to occur during the provision of unbundled legal services. See this LAWPRO magazine article . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Reading: Recommended

Losing My Creed, or Lack Thereof

Diversity of faith in Canada did not start with the Charter.

The various First Nations who inhabited what is now Canada had a myriad of different spiritual traditions prior to European settlement. The Europeans who arrived were themselves of diverse backgrounds, including various denominations of Christianity.

Jewish immigration to Canada dates back to the 1700s, and Sikhs, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus were present in Canada even in the 1800s. In the 21st century, our understanding of spiritual traditions and their role in a pluralistic democracy has expanded even further.

When Ontario’s Human Rights Code was introduced in 1961, it included . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Reading: Recommended

2016 Law Student Issue of LAWPRO Magazine Is Out

The 2016 Student Edition of LAWPRO Magazine (“Moving Into Practice”) is now online and will be arriving in Ontario law schools next week. Its the fourth LAWPRO Magazine issue focused on providing students with resources to help them make the transition from student to lawyer. It also serves as an introduction to LAWPRO and our messages of claims prevention and better practice management. . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Dealing With a Self-Represented Litigant Who Really Needs Legal Advice

Self-represented litigants are a challenging reality in today’s legal landscape. In addition to the extra time and effort that can make dealing with a self-rep more expensive for your client and more frustrating for you, it seems there is a greater potential for a malpractice claim. This is highlighted by the number of claims LAWPRO is seeing where the opposing party was a self-rep. In 2014, there were 162 such claims, almost double the 86 we saw a decade earlier, in 2004.

As you work to resolve a matter, you may find yourself negotiating directly with a self-represented litigant. In . . . [more]

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