Over the last week, several colleagues had outlined how they had felt disconnected from their law firms at various times. One lawyer described her difficulty in getting someone to explain billing practices at a new firm. In a nutshell, she didn’t feel she could ask someone to explain billing practices because they couldn’t bill for giving the explanation. Other lawyers described similar catch-22s and illogical situations which left them feeling disconnected and at arm’s length from their work environment.
Archive for ‘Reading’
First Peoples Law, a BC law firm that's just over a year old now, has launched a new blog that essentially forms the main page of their website.
According to the firm's principal, Bruce McIvor, they're aiming to inform First Nations readers directly, and not just other lawyers. Bruce is unusual, perhaps, among lawyers in that he has a doctorate in history, something particularly useful in his chosen field, where so much depends on understanding how to approach the past.
It's a well designed site, and if they can continue to post with some regularity — the big difficulty . . . [more]
The Brits have launched a new quarterly magazine, "Legal IT Today." From the editor, Joanna Goodman:
Our community is everyone interested and involved in legal IT: CIOs, IT managers and decision makers, vendors who develop IT products and services for the legal sector, strategic and technical consultants, educators, authors, speakers and bloggers and of course the end users – lawyers, managers and business support professionals in law firms and other legal services providers. We will feature contributions from across these groups in every issue as well as collaborating with relevant publications worldwide.
Here's the table of contents for . . . [more]
Clients with unrealistic expectations, complaints about legal costs and dissatisfaction with results achieved are just a few of the issues addressed in the recent report from the Legal Ombudsman of the United Kingdom, The Price of Separation: Divorce related legal complaints and their causes. While the concerns raised are not new to most lawyers in family practice, the Ombudsman takes a solution-focused approach that makes this report a valuable manual on client services in family law.
The report is based upon complaints received by the Legal Ombudsman's office in 2011-12, of which some 18% related to family law matters. It . . . [more]
Debate about lawyers’ incivility – whether it’s on the increase, whether it’s worthy of concern, how it should be handled – caught the attention of many of us in 2012. The subject continues to be discussed, and we can expect to hear more about it in the coming months and years.
But high-profile cases aside, when does a lawyer’s conduct cross the line into unprofessional conduct, and what are the costs and other implications?
These questions are answered in a paper by Daniel Naymark of Lax O'Sullivan Scott Lisus LLP and LAWPRO’s litigation unit director and counsel Jennifer Ip. It . . . [more]
Legal philosopher and public intellectual died yesterday: February 14, 2013. He was 81.
It's fitting that leading U.K. – the Guardian – and U.S. – the N.Y. Times – obituaries present different pictures of him, even to the extent of seemingly disagreeing on which of his books and other writing was the most important and on his significance in the world of legal and moral philosophy.
For example, the central paragraphs about his legal philosophy in the Guardian's obituary are:
His books were immensely influential, especially in US law schools. He published many articles both in technical law journals and
. . . [more]
Serving as a director of a charitable or not-for-profit corporation can be a rewarding but potentially risky experience. A director can be held personally liable for his or her own actions or failures to act, as well as jointly and severally liable with the other members of the board of directors. Directors with specialized knowledge and expertise, such as lawyers, are held to a higher standard of care.
Ontario lawyers should note that LAWPRO’s standard professional liability insurance policy provides coverage only for the “professional services” that a lawyer provides as a lawyer. It does not provide coverage for liability . . . [more]
I bought my copy of John Rawls A Theory of Justice for £5 in 1972. It would have been inconceivable then that I would be watching a YouTube video of a musical version of Rawls' Theory by Eylon Aslan-Levy. Geek heaven.
Actually, the fact that a musical itself could be produced would have been inconceivable. But it's more than a musical – it describes itself as an all-singing, all-dancing romp through 2,500 years of political philosophy, by Eylon Aslan-Levy, Ramin Sabi & Tommy Peto.
In order to draw inspiration for his magnum opus, John Rawls travels back through time
. . . [more]
Congratulations to Lexis-Nexis Canada and a squadron of Canadian legal authors for achieving what many of us doubted that we would ever see, a contemporary Canadian legal encyclopaedia. Halsbury's Laws of Canada has reached its seventy-seventh volume as a statement of common-law Canadian law in English.
Lexis took over the ground floor bar at Toronto's Trump Hotel and flew in from the sunny California campus of Pepperdine University, the grand old man of Canadian tort law, Allen Martin Linden. And of course a Butterworths author and latterly a Lexis-Nexis author.
While AML delivered the one-liners, Halsburys is testament to the . . . [more]
Effective file management provides the foundation for timely, valuable client service and appropriate management of client matters. Here are some resolutions to help you complete the critical steps in file management:
- I will complete a conflicts check before opening a file: Conflicts of interest can lead to ugly and expensive malpractice claims. The best time to catch and avoid a conflicts claim is during a thorough conflicts search before a file is opened. A thorough search looks for conflicts involving both the client(s) and others connected with a matter.
- I will open a file for every matter I handle
. . . [more]
Clients can be demanding and will sometimes have expectations that will be unreasonable. Unmet expectations, even if they are totally unreasonable, are a recipe for unhappy clients. Setting and controlling client expectations is one of the best things you can do to ensure that you have a happy and satisfied client at each stage and the conclusion of a matter. Follow these resolutions to better set and control your clients’ expectations:
- I will carefully explain how the matter will proceed: While you may have handled a particular type of matter hundreds of times before, remember that your client is
. . . [more]
- I will ensure I meet with my clients in person at least once: In most real estate practices the staff handle many aspects of the client’s matter. However, ultimate responsibility still lies with the supervising lawyer. Take the time to meet with the client in person to review the transaction and understand the client instructions, particularly with respect to the client’s intended uses of the property. Not every matter is straightforward, and you don’t want to have to be addressing a problem that was only noticed the day the deal is to be closed, or never noticed at all.
. . . [more]