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Archive for ‘Reading: Recommended’

The Most Important Book on Statutory Interpretation Since 2000 – Yes But…

On June 15, our friends at Eagan published a brilliant and in some ways strange book that should be in every law library, since it is (as my headline says) the most important book on statutes this millennium: Reading Law, The Interpretation of Legal Texts. Its strangeness is due to the identity of its authors – the fiercely intelligent and challenging Justice Antonin Scalia the senior justice of the US Supreme Court , and the leading legal lexicographer of our time, Bryan Garner of LawProse in Texas. . . . [more]

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

ABA Ethics 20/20 Commission Seeking Comments on Lawyers Having Virtual Presence in Another Jurisdiction

The ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 is seeking comments on a newly released Issues Paper entitled “Issues Paper Concerning Model Rule of Professional Conduct 5.5 and the Limits on Virtual Presence in a Jurisdiction.” They are seeking comments to assist their consideration of the issues that come up when lawyers establish a presence and practice virtually in a jurisdiction that is away from their physical location. Responses are requested by July 31, 2012. See the above link for instructions on where to send them.

Remote virtual practices raise all sorts of interesting questions:

  • How do you ensure the
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Reading: Recommended, Technology: Internet

LAWPRO 2011 Annual Review: Claim Numbers & Costs Reach New Highs

At the end of this week Ontario lawyers will be receiving our third annual review of LAWPRO operations.

The big story in 2011 is claims. The number of claims reported is up 11 per cent to 2,468. And based on actuaries’ projections, claims costs in the E&O program could top the $90 million mark for 2011.

What’s driving the increase in claims?

As is more fully explained in the article, no matter how we slice and dice the numbers, the trend is up:

  • It’s a more complex business environment in which you’re handling more complex files that seem to
. . . [more]
Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Discovering the Library and Archives Canada Blog

I’m cheered to share a happy note about Library and Archives Canada. Over the past few weeks I’ve enjoyed browsing posts on a pilot service from LAC:, the Library and Archives Canada Blog. Subject areas vary, as they should, though a few recent posts stand out to me in opening up the world of Canadian government and legal information and research.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Reading: Recommended, Substantive Law: Legislation

Real Estate Lawyers: The Buck Stops With You

The following article appears in the May/June 2012 edition of LAWPRO Magazine. It is available at

LAWPRO is seeing far too many real estate claims where the lawyers handling the deals are making or not catching fairly basic errors. Often these mistakes result from errors made by clerks – all or most of which the lawyer could’ve and should’ve caught.

Common mistakes include:

  • Not catching errors in legal descriptions
  • Missing executions
  • Not doing searches
  • Not bringing rights or way or easements to the attention of the client

We also see claims involving ILA. Sometimes there was no recognition . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Reading: Recommended

Days of Action for Federal Libraries and Archives

Earlier this month I posted a bit on that week’s news of funding cuts to the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and the National Archival Development Program (NADP). This week brings further developments on that issue.

On Monday this week, Canadian archivists led the Archivists’ On to Ottawa Trek Day of Action:

On April 30, 2012, the National Archival Development Program (NADP) was eliminated. Surplus notices were sent to Library and Archives Canada (LAC) to ultimately reduce its staff by 20%. Libraries and archives in the Transport, Immigration, and Public Works departments were unilaterally shut down.

On May 28,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Reading: Recommended

Making the Most of Meetings

Meetings are a fact of life for all lawyers as they are a necessary part of dealing with clients and operating a law firm. Unfortunately, meetings are often an unproductive use of time, as too often nothing of substance happens or gets decided. People go to meetings solely because they feel obliged to go, not because they get anything from attending.

Before you call a meeting, ask yourself: Is there really merit in getting all these people together? If the meeting is only for informational purposes – as are many regularly scheduled management or departmental meetings – ask yourself if . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Crime and Cultural Property

Since it’s not sponsored by the regular legal conference outfits, a conference in Toronto next month may have flown under the radar for the Slaw community. The first Symposium on Criminality in the Art and Cultural Property World will be held at Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen Street West, Toronto, on June 15-16, 2012. Next month, Toronto will be the centre of the art-legal world.

The conference is co-chaired by Bonnie Czegledi and Mr. Justice Patrick Healy, Court of Quebec, Criminal and Penal Division, Montréal, formerly Professor Healy from McGill, and the speakers are quite literally, the world’s experts: Lawrence . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Reading: Recommended, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

The Case That Keeps on Giving

While significant in clarifying the defence of necessity in criminal law, Regina v. Dudley and Stephens has had an even larger cultural influence.

That’s the case of the Mignonette, which capsized on its way to Australia and whose shipwrecked crew faced tough choices in an under-provisioned lifeboat.

The latest NYT Best Seller list features a new book The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan – the author tells that her inspiration came from her husband’s criminal law text.

What hooked me was stumbling on my husband’s old criminal law texts and reading about the cases of sailors who survived shipwrecks and then

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous, Reading: Recommended, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Suggestions on Implementing Appropriate Internal Financial Controls in Your Office

Ideally, your office should have clearly established internal controls for handling and documenting all types of financial transactions. These internal controls are really just policies and procedures that direct what steps should be taken when various financial transactions occur. Although a lack of internal controls does not necessarily constitute a breach of the Rules of Professional Conduct or By-laws, you may consider implementing internal controls to assist your efforts to comply.

The following are some suggested internal controls you may consider implementing
at your office:

Cheque requisitions

When dealing with cheque requisitions for both your general and trust accounts, consider . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

A Systematic Approach to Law Firm Risk Management

Risk is an inevitable reality of law practice. The only way to eliminate risk is to stop practising law – an option most readers of this article are not yet contemplating. A more realistic option is to actively mitigate risk through structured, systematic risk management. This approach is particularly helpful at the law firm level, where risk management can sometimes be seen to be contrary to the perceived self-interest of individual lawyers in the firm. A systematic approach – that begins with a risk analysis and includes strategies to mitigate identified sources of risk – not only helps overcome this . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Post-Matter Client Service Survey

The following is adapted from practicePRO’s Managing a Better Professional Services Firm, and it and the other Managing booklets are available here.

A post-matter client survey is one of the best ways to collect information about what clients thought about the services you provided to them. Make sure your survey is structured to help you identify specific areas for improvement. Ideally, it should include some open-ended questions.

For major or top-billing clients, consider sending a managing partner or other senior person to meet with clients on an annual basis to review and assess how the relationship is going, . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended