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Archive for ‘Reading’

Protecting Yourself From Cybercrime Dangers: Avoid the Dangers of Email

Cybercrime is a real and present danger for law firms. All firms should work to understand the cybercrime risks they are exposed to and take steps to reduce the likelihood they will experience a data breach at the hands of cyber criminals. The following checklist is taken from the article “Cybercrime and Law Firms: The Risks are Real” from the December 2013 issue of LAWPRO Magazine.

To assess your cybercrime preparedness, see if you can answer the following questions:

  • Are your passwords secure enough?
  • Would you or your staff be duped by a phishing message?
  • How would your
. . . [more]
Posted in: Reading: Recommended, Technology

Draw Clients a Roadmap to Avoid Communication Claims

This article by Nora Rock, corporate writer & policy anylist at LAWPRO, appeared in the December 2013 edition of the LAWPRO Magazine. All Magazine articles can be found at www.lawpro.ca/magazinearchives

Our readers should now be well aware that problems with lawyer-client communication are the number one cause of malpractice claims. Managing communication takes patience and effort: at one extreme of the spectrum, responding to calls and messages from clients who want constant contact can be frustrating; while at the other end, trying to get absentee clients to update instructions or produce necessary documents can be time-consuming. How can you get . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

A Checklist for Avoiding Conflicts on Lateral Lawyer Transfers

Lateral hiring of partners or associates occurs at firms of every size, and is becoming far more common. In addition to reviewing the transferring lawyer’s credentials and suitability, the transferring lawyer and firm will need to identify and deal with potential conflicts of interest that may arise with respect to clients at the transferring lawyer’s previous firm, and in particular, clients for whom the transferring lawyer worked.

This critical task is not as easy as it might seem on first thought. The hiring firm must have sufficient information to complete an internal conflicts check, while at the same time making . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Reading: Recommended

A U.S. Court Decision on a Bank’s Duties to a Firm in a Bad Cheque Scam

Lawyer Ethics Alert Blogs has a post describing an Illinois appeals court case in which the court ruled that a law firm had no recourse against its financial institution in a counterfeit cheque matter.

While the laws dealing with financial institutions in the U.S. are different than here, the takeaway for lawyers is to make sure they’ve read the fine print of the contract with their banks (and of course, learn how to recognize the red flags of these scams). The LAWPRO counterfeit cheque coverage may offer a measure of protection if a lawyer is victimized (lawyers outside Ontario should . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Four Choice Titles From the Osgoode Society

…and a love-in for Roy McMurtry

The Osgoode Society held its annual book launch last Wednesday at Osgoode Hall. The event was a stellar occasion, with many celebrity authors and guests in attendance and four choice titles to applaud. Authors Charlotte Gray and Roy McMurtry in particular helped draw a record crowd that included among many notable jurists, Aharon Barak, a former chief justice of Israel, and Rosalie Abella, a justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and the leading cheerleader for legal research and writing in Canada.

McMurtry himself was the object of a virtual “love-in” as long time . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Reading

Eight Practical Precautions to Avoid Rule 48 Claims

This is taken from Know How Administrative Dismissal Claims Happen, and Take Eight Steps To Immunize Yourself Against Them which appears in the September 2013 issue of LAWPRO Magazine. The article also contains the Dimissal Motions: What is the Test? chart by Debra Rolph, LAWPRO’s director of resarch.

Rule 48 [of the Ontario Rules of Professional Conduct] claims arise when it is alleged that the dismissal of a claim was due to the lawyer’s negligence with respect to either a defended (Rule 48.14) or an undefended (48.15) action. Many of these claims have been very costly for LAWPRO. While . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

On Ronald Coase

the (proclaimed by others) progenitor of the law and economics movement.

http://www.worldeconomicsassociation.org/newsletterarticles/ronald-coase-1910-2013-by-david-westbrook

The appeal of the Coase theorem, and to lesser extent the “Theory of the Firm,” to legal scholars is somewhat puzzling. While many law professors resisted the impulse to explain the world in terms of implicit contracts and around alleged costs (the even more speculative reliance on alternative uses of factors of production has been, to my knowledge, ignored), more subscribed. This is odd. One might have thought that lawyers would viscerally sense the importance of history, of power, of institutional arrangements — of lots of things besides

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Reading

Steer Clear of Real Estate Claims by Asking These Five Questions on Every Deal

The real estate lawyer’s job is more than just conveying title, and not every matter will be straightforward. Communication errors and inadequate investigation are the biggest causes of real estate claims at LAWPRO, respectively 41 per cent and 26 per cent of claims reported between 2001 and 2011. Busy, high-volume practices often lead to situations where the lawyer is not taking the time to communicate with the clients properly.

Lawyers need to take the time to speak to clients to ensure they’ve gathered all the relevant information.

Here are five questions lawyers should be asking their clients or themselves on . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

15 Tips for Preventing Identity Theft and Online Fraud

Cyber criminals and identity thieves want to steal your personal information to commit fraud. They may try to get a credit card in your name or to access funds in your bank account. On top of directly losing money, your credit status can be damaged and it can take a great deal of time and expense to restore your good name.

And this goes beyond being an issue of personal concern. LAWPRO has seen situations where law firm bank accounts were hacked and where law firm bank account information was used on counterfeit cheques.

There are many different ways to . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Law v. Literature

One of the pleasures of dabbling in the law and literature field is finding an overlooked treasure. The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald is one such gem.

The Bookshop is the slow, graceful telling of Florence Green’s attempt to establish a bookshop in a quiet English town. Green is described as “small, wispy and wiry, somewhat insignificant from the front view, and totally so from the back.” She is a character to be ignored and bypassed by the social structure and politics of the town until she purchases a derelict, abandoned property to start her shop. Undeterred by the shop’s active . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading

Of Law and Happiness

“Are we happy being lawyers?” That’s the question Nancy Levit and Douglas O. Linder tackle in The Happy Lawyer: Making a Good Life in the Law (Oxford University Press, 2010). Lawyers themselves, they have anticipated your next question:

What do you mean by “happy”? On a scale that runs from having root canals to a night of fine wines and sex on a tropical island, where does “unhappiness” turn into “happiness”? Do you mean “happy” right now as I write footnote 17 on this brief for Acme Investments or “happy” during the course of my ten-year legal career? … Also, . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law, Reading: Recommended

Practice Pitfalls: Wills & Estates

In the September 2010 issue of LAWPRO Magazine, we asked our claims counsel about what they feel are the biggest malpractice hazards in each area of law based on the claims files they work on every day. Here is an excerpt from that article that discusses the risks that can arise when dealing with elderly clients. Click here to read the full article “Practice Pitfalls”.

Changing demographics are leaving their mark on trends that concern LAWPRO counsel: We are seeing increased potential for claims surrounding issues of the capacity of elderly clients and undue influence. The increased number of elderly . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended