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Archive for ‘Reading’

The Day-to-Day Stresses and Challenges of Being a Lawyer

This article is by Ian Hu, claims prevention and practicePRO counsel at LAWPRO.

A sole practitioner and single mom is locked in a room in her house. Her young autistic son, outside the room, has put a chair up against the door to prevent it from opening. There is a lot of yelling and screaming. She calls 911 and the police arrive. One of the constables happens to be her client – adding to her embarrassment. He talks to her through the window from outside and, eventually, the dust settles. But like any other day, she still has to go . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Acting on the Ridiculous

An eBook published by the American Society for Quality in 2010 and written by Matthew Maio came my way recently. It has the engaging title Quality Improvement Made Simple…and Fast!”. The book is all of 46 pdf pages and is a fast read. It is also an engaging primer of the Plan – Do – Study – Act model for understanding what customers (clients – internal or external) want and need and making simple and quick improvements that align with those needs.

Wondering if you should read this book? The answer is captured in the first paragraph of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Informed, Documented Plea Instructions Protect You From Claims

Though the rate of malpractice claims flowing from criminal cases is lower than in other areas of law, the number of claims in this area is on the rise of late, and for many of the same reasons we see in other areas. The most important cause? Issues with lawyer-client communication.

An area of particular vulnerability to error is the plea conversation. Consider the lawyer’s and the client’s different perspectives on the client’s account of the facts: . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Communications Breakdown: When a Lawyer Uses Jargon

“We’re [McLeish , Orlando LLP] in the process of retaining an ad agency for some of our marketing,” says Dale Orlando. “And it’s really frustrating when they use acronyms we don’t understand. You don’t want to ask because it seems like everybody else in the room knows what that means, so maybe I should.

“One agency came in to talk about a service agreement, and they were trying to explain to us the services they were going to provide. After listening for 30 minutes I still had no clue what they were going to be doing.” . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Communications Breakdown: When a Lawyer Has No Sense of Time

A few years ago, Judith Huddart, collaborative family lawyer at Dranoff and Huddart, Barristers and Solicitors had to visit the doctor.

She checked in, provided her health card and settled in with a book. Patients who came in after her came and went.

“I suddenly realized there was no one left in the waiting room. An hour had gone by and I was still sitting there. When I got up and looked around – which I probably should have done earlier – I realized there was no one around at all,” she says. The doctor had left and when she . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading

Chatting in Secret

The Intercept has an article entitled Chatting in Secret While We’re All Being Watched that’s a good read for anyone interested in how to keep communications private. It was written by Micah Lee, who works with Glenn Greenwald to ensure their communications with Edward Snowden are private.

Even if you don’t want to read the detailed technical instructions on how to go about it, at least read the first part of the article that explains at a high level how communications can be intercepted, and the steps needed to stop that risk.

Communicating in secret is not easy. It takes . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading, Technology

What Do Title Insurers Expect From Lawyers?

This article first appeared in LAWPRO’s July 2015 real estate webzine “Bringing critical thinking to real estate deals.”

Still relatively new in Canada, title insurance is not fully understood by many consumers. Even certain less-sophisticated lenders lack detailed knowledge of the product. The responsibility for explaining title insurance to those who purchase it – and for supporting insureds in obtaining coverage that suits their needs – falls squarely on lawyers’ shoulders.

Lawyers are also responsible for communicating accurately with the proposed insurer about the details of a real estate transaction, the property to be purchased, and the expectations and needs . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Communications Breakdown: When a Lawyer Doesn’t Share

After getting some work done on his cottage, Dale Orlando, partner at McLeish, Orlando LLP in Toronto, had a dispute with the contractor over fees.

“He was doing work that needed to be done but without clearing it with me first,” Orlando says. As a result the project went over budget. “I should have been communicated with before the work was done, not afterwards.”

Imagine going for surgery without the doctor telling you where they will be cutting. That would be unthinkable. Similarly, why should the client allow the lawyer to proceed without knowing what was being done?

Clients need . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Digital Currency – the Senate Reports

Are you keeping track of the law on digital currency such as Bitcoin? Are your clients using it, or wanting to? Are you?

The Senate of Canada has issued a report supporting its use. Here’s a story on the report (in case you don’t subscribe to Crypto Coin News…).

Objects in the future are closer than they appear (sometimes). . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Communications Breakdown: When a Lawyer Doesn’t Listen

A study for the Law Society of England and Wales by Hilary Sommerlad, quoted in “What Clients Want” by Clark Cunningham, found that 50% of clients polled had worked with lawyers they did not like. The study concluded it was, more often than not, the way lawyers interacted with clients that was the issue. Indeed, the paper describes a true situation “where a specialist lawyer with a ‘big reputation’ had interrupted the client because she believed she had heard enough to ‘get the picture.’”

This had the unintended consequence of leaving the client too frightened to speak up in future . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Communications Breakdowns: When a Lawyer Doesn’t Care

Why, if lawyers are supposed to be good communicators, are the majority of LAWPRO claims related to communication issues? In 2014, for example, the broad category of communications accounted for about almost a third of claims reported and claims costs. In the article “Let’s Get Talking: A Look at Communications Breakdowns“, from LAWPRO Magazine we asked some lawyers to give their opinions on how lawyer-client communications can break down. This excerpt deals with lawyers giving clients the impression they don’t really care:

How can lawyers understand what clients truly want if they don’t listen? And how can lawyers . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

New LAWPRO Resource for Wills & Estates Lawyers: A 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 to help lawyers in their day-to-day practice and as well as CPD providers, who could use them developing their program material or as handouts. The latest in our series of “malpractice claims fact sheets” covers wills & estates law.

The sheets includes 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.

We are also developing . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended