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Archive for ‘Reading: Recommended’

More on New Lawyer Orientation

ILTA’s Peer to Peer magazine arrived yesterday – via Uberflip which I will happily explore in a future post.

Though the technology that Peer to Peer is available through is cool, this post is about its content, which is also cool. There are several articles in this issue about new hire orientation. Like Margaret McCaffery’s excellent post this week on new hire orientation and marketing, each article is from a different perspective.

  • Law firm 101 from mystery to mastery – deals with orientation from the CIO perspective
  • Law firm orientation know where you are to know where you are going
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Reading: Recommended

Tips for Litigators to Avoid Communications Claims

This article by Jordan Nichols, claims counsel at LAWPRO, appears in the December issue of LAWPRO Magazine. It can be found at

Claims against litigation lawyers often involve allegations of communication errors. In this article, we consider steps that lawyers can take to avoid such claims right out of the gate – at the outset of their retainers.

When we attribute a claim to a communication problem, what exactly do we mean? Here are some examples:

  • failure to warn clients that they were likely to lose a motion, trial or appeal;
  • failure to warn clients that they could
. . . [more]
Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Every Lawyer Needs a Guardian Angel

The Ottawa Citizen reported last week that a lawyer who posted confidential information about his own client online was caught in a police sting operation. The Ottawa criminal defence lawyer posted a PDF of disclosure that he received from the Crown in a criminal case against his client. The PDF contained blacked-out information and the lawyer used the web to seek someone to help him read the blacked out portions of the disclosure document. A man in Australia saw the post and contacted the Ottawa police who then caught the Ottawa lawyer in a sting operation. Read the Citizen . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Education & Training: Law Schools, Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Reading: Recommended

Late-Life Marriage and Will Amendments: Lawyers, Proceed With Caution

As medicine advances and we live longer lives, late-life marriage is more common today than it was when the law governing both marriage and wills first evolved. Where the lawyer learns that an older client has entered into a recent, late-life marriage, a degree of caution is recommended and issues of capacity and undue influence should be considered.

In the new Wills & Estates issue of the LAWPRO Webzine, Nora Rock (corporate and policy writer at LAWPRO) interviewed Kimberly Whaley of Whaley Estate Litigation and asked for her practical recommendations for lawyers working with wills clients who have married late . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Blaming Law Schools . . .

My Dean, Bruce Feldthusen, has written an article for Canadian Lawyer in response to criticisms in the legal profession about legal education and allegations that we are responsible for creating the perceived articling crisis in Ontario. The title of Dean Feldthusen’s article is pretty self-explanatory: “Legal Profession in Turmoil: Let’s Blame the Law Schools“. . . . [more]

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

Twitter Lawsuit Story From Britain Shows the Risks of Repeating Gossip on Social Media

This story out of the UK highlights the dangers of repeating libelous content on social media.

In the midst of an ongoing sexual abuse scandal revolving around senior figures in the media and accusations of coverups at the BBC, the news program Newsnight claimed a “senior Conservative politician” was involved in the abuse of children at an orphanage. Another program claimed to have a list of names. Soon those names leaked onto Twitter, and Lord McAlpine (a member of Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet) found himself wrongfully identified as one of the abusers. The accusation was retweeted over and over.

Lord McAlpine . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

When Preparing Wills, Don’t Dispense With Formalities: Execution Matters

The following article by Nora Rock (corporate writer and policy analyist at LAWPRO) appears in the October 31 edition of the LAWPRO Webzine, which focused on wills and estates matters.

Will-drafting is an area of legal practice that demands extremely careful attention to detail. Decisions in this area make it clear that even where a will is well-drafted and is consistent with the testator’s known intentions, failure to have the will executed in accordance with the applicable legal formalities will render it invalid.

When that happens, the lawyer responsible for arranging and supervising the execution of the will may . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

The Osgoode Society – Thirty Three Years, Eighty Eight Books, and Still Counting.

Four new titles were launched yesterday evening at the Osgoode Society’s 33rd annual book launch and reception for authors and supporters. As usual, the event was presided over by Roy McMurtry, the progenitor and President of the Osgoode Society, and the genial host of most if not all of these occasions. He proudly noted that the Osgoode Society had now published 88 titles, over the thirty three years of its existence, and has established itself as one of the leading historical societies in the world.

The Osgoode Society is well known and respected for its approach to legal history. As . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

What Keeps Family Law Lawyers Up at Night?

Like many areas of practice, family law is going through a period of change. Both clients and their lawyers are questioning traditional modes of practice. Economic woes both cause legal problems, and leave clients with limited resources with which to resolve them. Stress – for both families in crisis and for their lawyers – is a constant reality. Still, within this challenging climate, family lawyers are expected to work diligently and professionally in the service of their clients’ interests.

To understand how the bar is coping with the demands of modern family law practice, in the August 2012 issue of . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

The Altman Weil 2012 Chief Legal Officer Survey – a Must Read for Law Firms

For the thirteenth year in a row, Altman Weil, Inc. has surveyed Chief Legal Officers or CLOs on the issues of importance on the management and operation of their corporate law departments. These surveys capture current thinking of Chief Legal Officers and give lawyers in private practice a good indication of what corporate clients are think about and want from firms that do work for them.

Survey Findings

Corporate law departments report that they are re-negotiating outside counsel fees, shifting work to lower-priced law firms, increasing in-house capacity, opting for alternative service providers and using new technology — all to . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Growth Is Dead, the Must-Read Series

Adam Smith, Esq. is on a roll. Or at least, Bruce MacEwen, author of the Adam Smith, Esq. blog is. His blog posts, “Growth is Dead” have been an on-going series looking at the changes to “BigLaw” since the economic problems of 2008.

Revenues of firms have significantly dropped since that time. One pressure is coming from clients with respect to pricing. From Part 1 of the blog:

Simply put, clients are pushing back as never before. Among other things, they are:

  • serious, for the first time, about alternative fee arrangements, caps and blended rates, rate freezes, and so on
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Reading: Recommended

A Map to Help Navigate the Potential Hazards of Serving Clients on a Budget

In today’s difficult economic environment, it’s not unusual for lawyers to find themselves dealing with requests for representation from clients of limited means, or clients who want to keep their legal fees at a minimum. The economic issues these types of requests raise is but one consideration: Access to justice – which has become a prominent issue in Ontario lately – also figures in the equation.

Instead of turning away clients with limited budgets, lawyers often consider ways of providing limited scope or non-traditional legal services. From a malpractice exposure perspective, lawyers should appreciate that providing limited services can create . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended