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Archive for ‘Reading’

Silence From the Court

Recently, I had occasion to look at the speeches and presentations made by members of ultimate courts of appeal – the Supreme Court and its equivalents. And Canada ranks somewhat disgracefully last in terms of making the speeches publicly available.

Eugene Meehan has monitored the court too for speeches and presentations, but his pickings are similarly slim in recent years. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Publishing, Reading: Recommended, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

The Claims Consequences of Lawyer Incivility

The following article by Nora Rock appears in the Fall 2011 issue of LAWPRO Magazine.

At LAWPRO, we’ve seen a growing proportion of incivility allegations cropping up in claims. For example, lawyers may find themselves personally liable to pay a party’s costs under Rule 57.07 (Rules of Civil Procedure) where the court has found that the lawyer’s actions contributed to running up the bill.

Incivility can also lead to other consequences. The client’s case may be prejudiced because the lawyer is unfavourably viewed by a jury; or a prospect of settlement may evaporate in the face of a lawyer’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Avoiding a Communications Breakdown With Your Client

The Fall 20011 issue of LAWPRO Magazine features an article called Let’s Get Talking, in which LAWPRO canvassed a number of people inside and outside the legal profession on the topic of client engagement and communication. What we learned is that there is often a problem with the way lawyers communicate with their clients. Communication is integral to the client experience, and a bad customer experience often defaults into an allegation of communication failure (the source of almost half of LAWPRO claims costs).

The end of the article features a summary of tips from the experts we spoke to . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Law, Science & Truth

All of the papers from the 2007 Brooklyn Law School symposium on law, science and truth “Symposium: A Cross-Disciplinary Look At Scientific Truth: What’s The Law To Do?” as published in (2008) 73 Brooklyn Law Review are are available for downloading in one pdf here.

I recommend them (for whatever that’s worth).

Any Canadian lawyer-type reading any of those pieces should also read Mr. Justice Binnie’s “Science in the courtroom: the mouse that roared” (2007) 56 UNB LJ 307. The article is available on Carswell/Westlaw and can be found here and here.

He has more to say about science . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Reading: Recommended, Substantive Law

One in Six Own an eBook Reader in the US

At least according to this poll, conducted by private US research firm Harris Interactive. The poll includes some interesting numbers on the current (general) geographical distribution of e-readers, plans of consumers to purchase e-readers, and some broad numbers on the effects of e-readers on reading habits.

This report does not state how many people were polled, does not reveal standard measures of significance, and notes that the respondents were selected from “among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys” so your mileage may vary. Still, the results don’t seem unexpected to me.

The mixed results on . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Reading, Technology

Is Anyone Listening? a Look at How Communications Errors Are Resulting in More (And More Costly) LAWPRO Claims

The following article by Tim Lemieux is from the latest Fall 2011 issue of LAWPRO Magazine. It looks at communications-related claims at LAWPRO in different areas of law and asks claims counsel how these mistakes can be prevented.

No matter what the area of practice, the number one source of claims at LAWPRO is a breakdown in communication between the lawyer and client. And those numbers are increasing.

Between 2005 and 2010, more than 4,200 communications claims — an average of 711 a year – have been reported to LAWPRO. The total cost of these claims to date is about . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Real Looking Scams Require Lawyers to Be Warier Than Ever

The following article appeared in the new Fall 2011 issue of LAWPRO Magazine.

Don’t be a dupe: That’s the advice from those who were fooled.

In the months of July and August alone, hundreds of lawyers (from across Canada, the U.S., and even elsewhere in the world) have provided LAWPRO with emails seeking to retain them on bad cheque frauds. The most common scenarios are loan or debt collections and spousal support payments. (If you get obviously fraudulent emails, please forward them to fraudinfo@lawpro.ca) Dozens of Ontario lawyers have called looking for help in determining whether a matter they . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Reading

Journal Article Proposes Two Tracks in Canadian Defamation Law

If you’re interested in defamation law you’d do well to read the recently published piece by Bob Tarantino, “Chasing Reputation: The Argument for Differential Treatment of “Public Figures” in Canadian Defamation Law,” (2010) 48 Osgoode Hall Law Journal 595 [PDF]. The author, a partner at Heenan Blaikie and a blogger at their Entertainment and Media Law Signal argues for the:

recasting the tort of defamation into two different tracks: one for public figures, who pose the highest risk of abusing the tort, and one for private plaintiffs, whose reputational interest is akin to traditional notions of reputation.

This . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended, Substantive Law

Privacy Commissioner Launches Handbook to Help Lawyers Apply Privacy Law to Their Practices

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has announced the release of a handbook called PIPEDA and Your Practice — A Privacy Handbook for Lawyers.

According to the release, the handbook “describes best practices in managing the collection, use and disclosure of personal information, responding to requests for access to personal information, and the potential application of PIPEDA. The Handbook covers practical privacy issues that arise in the course of managing a law firm and conducting litigation”. . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Condo Buyers Get a Checklist

TitlePLUS’s Ray Leclair has provided prospective condo buyers with a checklist of things they should know about before deciding to purchase. This list was made available to the public in several real estate publications.

  1. Status Certificate: This document should be a condition in any agreement to purchase. It includes important information such as monthly expenses, pending legal actions and other matters, including how much the condo has in reserve funds, which could affect future fees. It also includes the documents governing the condominium: the declaration, by-laws and rules & regulations. These documents govern many aspects of condo life. You
. . . [more]
Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Stuff You Can Use – the Ethical Use of Cloud Computing and a Google Tip Sheet

First to BC where a committee of the Law Society of British Columbia, under the chairmanship of Gavin Hume, has produced the best and most thoughtful piece on how to practice ethically and effectively using cloud computing. We’ve referred in the past to helpful work done by the Bar Association in North Carolina and the ABA’s 20/20 Commission – see Jack Newton’s posts from May and July, as well as Connie’s and Omar’s take on last week’s ABA discussion.

At the Canadian Lawyer, David Paul has a good tip sheet of practical advice on the intelligent use . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Reading: Recommended, Technology: Office Technology

Arrest Made in U.S. Bad-Cheque Fraud Scam Against Law Firms


At practicePRO we’ve seen a huge increase in the amount of fraud attempts against lawyers involving bad cheques. Mainly these are done by email (though sometimes its a phone call, letter, or even a visit in person) and no doubt all lawyers reading this will be familiar by now with the scenarios: an attempt to collect on a collaborative family law settlement, a commercial debt owing, or an employee injury settlement. The aim is always the same: to get a lawyer to run a counterfeit cheque through their trust account.

It sometimes seems like a hopeless task to put a . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading, Technology: Internet