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Archive for ‘Reading: Recommended’

[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

Potential Claims Related to Serving Indigenous Clients

Last week’s post about Providing High Quality Service to Indigenous Clients discussed the breadth and complexity of “Aboriginal law.” To follow that with some strategies to avoid claims in this area of law, here is advice gathered from LAWPRO claims prevention specialists.

To avoid claims, lawyers need to know how they develop. What are the key areas of risk when practising Aboriginal law?

Communication errors:
As noted by all of the lawyers we’ve consulted, Indigenous people often have a perspective on the law that is radically different from that of non-Aboriginals. This creates a “culture gap” that becomes an additional . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Providing High Quality Service to Indigenous Clients

The January 2016 issue of LAWPRO Magazine is devoted to serving Indigenous clients. It features a comprehensive article by LAWPRO’s Nora Rock that provides an overview of the needs, perspectives and expectations of these clients across different areas of law, and examines what is required of lawyers who wish to provide the best service possible.

In Providing high quality service to Indigenous clients Ms. Rock interviewed a number of lawyers of aboriginal background to learn about their experiences and what they recommend to lawyers planning to work in an area that is complex both legally and culturally. Her article provides . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Book Review: Fighting Fair – Legal Ethics for an Adversarial Age

Fighting Fair—Legal Ethics for an Adversarial Age, by Professor Allan C. Hutchinson, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto; publisher, Cambridge University Press, 2015, 125 pages + index.

On December 2, 2015, I attended Professor Hutchinson’s book launch at Osgoode Hall Law School’s downtown Toronto facility. The result is this book review of, Fighting Fair—Legal Ethics for an Adversarial Age.

Professor Hutchinson begins (page 2):

“… . Lawyers have acted in ways that either ignore the public aspect of their professional status or, more cleverly, interpreted that public dimension as being consonant with the business interests of the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Reading: Recommended