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Archive for ‘Reading: Recommended’

Resolutions to Avoid Criminal Law Claims

  • I will take the time to ensure the client understands my recommendations: Failing to effectively communicate with the client is just as much a claims pitfall in criminal law as in other areas. This could be because of the rushed nature of many “courthouse steps” conversations, or the fact that the lawyer’s years of experience on cases may obscure the fact that the client doesn’t fully understand the course of action the lawyer recommends. There is a risk that clients may later regret their choices and make a claim against the lawyer. To guard against this, be sure to
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Reading: Recommended

Resolutions for Stress Relief, Wellness and Balance

The life of a lawyer, especially a solo or small firm practitioner, is often stressful. Stress itself is not necessarily a bad thing; our body’s reaction to stress actually helps us to meet the sudden demands that we face as busy lawyers. However, too much stress too often becomes chronic stress, and takes its toll on our physical, mental and emotional well-being. That, in turn, affects our personal lives and our ability to serve our clients. The trick is to eliminate some of the stressors in life, and build our resiliency for the stresses we cannot change. Try to incorporate . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthier Law Practice and a New You

The start of a new year is a time for self-reflection and self-improvement. Many of you will think about making changes in your personal and work lives. But while you all have good intentions, it can be difficult to break old habits, especially when you are running hard on the treadmill of a busy life and practice. So, to harness the good intentions you all have at this time of year we are going to post an excerpt every couple of days from our list of “New Year’s resolutions for a healthier practice and a new you” that . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Ontario Law Firm Victim of Large Fraud Due to Infection by Trojan Banker Virus

This is the text of an email fraud alert sent by LAWPRO to our insureds on December 21, 2012.

Just this week LAWPRO has dealt with two firms that were the victims of major frauds on their trust accounts. The time just before the holidays should not be a time for bad thoughts and frauds targeting lawyers, but unfortunately the fraudsters aren’t cooperating. We frequently see an increase in fraud attempts around the holidays as the crooks behind these frauds will actually use the distractions of the holidays to help them dupe lawyers and law office staff.

In one case . . . [more]

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

Top Ten Family Law Developments to Have on Your Radar.

In the past 18 months, we have seen significant developments in jurisprudence on a variety of family law issues. In addition, a number of cases have come out that, while not strictly related to family law, should be kept in mind. The following are the top ten noteworthy cases that every family law lawyer should know about. Several are Supreme Court cases that will be of interest to family lawyers across Canada. CanLII links are included where available.

  1. Kerr v. Baranow and Vanesse v. Seguin (2011, S.C.C.) – Joint family venture
  2. Schreyer v. Schreyer (2011, S.C.C.) – Effect of discharge
. . . [more]
Posted in: 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
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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