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Archive for ‘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

Wikipedia, Inspiration, and Secondary Sources

I enjoyed reading Philip Roth’s “Open Letter to Wikipedia,” published earlier this month in The New Yorker‘s Page Turner blog, from which flowed amendments to a Wikipedia entry.

In quick summary, as I understand events: Mr. Roth read a Wikipedia entry on his The Human Stain. He noticed “a serious misstatement” about the inspiration of the story. He petitioned Wikipedia for correction of the entry on his novel. Correction was not immediately granted. The New Yorker published Mr. Roth’s Open Letter. This letter recounted Wikipedia’s explanation that Mr. Roth, the author, “was not a credible source: . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Reading: Recommended, Technology: Internet

Top 10 Simple Things Every Computer User Should Know How to Do

A few weeks ago LifeHacker posted the “Top 10 Simple Things Every Computer User Should Know How to Do” to its LifeHacker Top 10 collection.

I had this post on my list to post personally and for LAWPRO and practicePRO’s follower’s today, but decided I would give it a mention on SLAW as I think that the advice in it is just so critical to every computer user.

This is a must read post. The steps mentioned are simple to do and they will save your bacon in the event you experience one of the more common computer . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Gardner: The Law as Ass

Slaw readers who enjoy a little legal philosophy might take a look at the OUP (Oxford University Press) Blog post by John Gardner, “When law is part of the problem“, in which he addresses one of the issues from his new book of essays, Law as a Leap of Faith. In the blog post Gardner, who is a Professor of Jurisprudence at Oxford, sketches his argument that we should adopt the “assymetrical interpretation of the rule of law,” which requires officialdom to observe the laws scrupulously while allowing citizens greater lattitutde in that respect. That is, the . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Robots at War: Scholars Debate the Ethical Issues

The dawn of the 21st century has been called the decade of the drone. Unmanned aerial vehicles, remotely operated by pilots in the United States, rain Hellfire missiles on suspected insurgents in South Asia and the Middle East.

Now a small group of scholars is grappling with what some believe could be the next generation of weaponry: lethal autonomous robots. …

From the website of the Chronicle of Higher Education . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Reading: Recommended, Technology

Real Estate Matters Top List of Legal Malpractice Claims in New ABA Survey

Real estate, personal injury-plaintiff and family law are the top three areas in the “Profile of Legal Malpractice Claims: 2008-2011,” released today by the ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability. It is the first time that insurers reported a higher percentage of claims involving real estate than any other area of law in this survey, first conducted in 1985. In all five previous versions of the survey dating to 1985, personal injury-plaintiff matters were No. 1 in generating lawyer malpractice claims.

Eleven member insurers of the National Association of Bar-Related Insurance Companies (link:NABRICO) from the United States and nine . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

LAWPRO’s Domestic Contract Matter Tooklit Helps Family Law Practitioners Reduce Claims

The following article from the August 2012 issue of LAWPRO Magazine introduces LAWPRO’s new domestic contract matter toolkit. The toolkit can be downloaded in full or in part at www.practicepro.ca/checklists

Between 2007 and 2011, 830 family law claims were reported to LAWPRO. These claims are costly. Resolving them will cost LAWPRO approximately $21 million. Some of these claims arose due to real (or alleged) problems with domestic contract matters. That is the bad news.

Domestic contracts are complex documents that deal with complicated issues involving emotional clients. The dangers are real and there are many places that errors can . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Reading: Recommended

Legal Research and Information Literacy

Via a post on the Legal Writing Prof blog, I’m reading an interesting paper, “Say Goodbye to the Books: Information Literacy as the New Legal Research Paradigm,” by Professors Ellie Margolis and Kristen Murray of Temple University. The paper is available for download in the SSRN Working Paper Series.

Purely coincidentally, a similar thought arose this morning in an internal planning meeting about our legal research and writing instruction this fall. It was expressed that to introduce online research resources by reference to or comparison with their print counterparts is likely no longer a suitable approach. The argument is not . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information, Reading: Recommended

Getting the Final Document Correct: A Checklist for Commercial Transactions

The following is the introductory article to LAWPRO’s new commercial transaction checklist that appeared in the August 2012 edition of LAWPRO Magazine. The full checklist can be downloaded from our Checklists page at www.practicepro.ca/checklists

Many commercial matters involve the preparation of one or more documents. These documents are drafted based on communications between the parties to the document and/or their respective lawyers, the specific circumstances of the matter and applicable substantive law.

While the majority of commercial deals in Ontario are concluded without difficulties, all too often LAWPRO sees claims arising due to various real – or alleged – problems . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Diversify Your Practice While Avoiding the Danger of a Malpractice Claim

The new issue of LAWPRO Magazine includes an article entitled Diversify without dabbling: before expanding your practice, expand your competence!. It looks at how how lawyers who are considering expanding the scope of their practice can do so safely and avoid a malpractice claim (dabbling outside one’s comfort zone is often a cause of claims). Watch for the full version of this article at www.lawpro.ca/magazine.

Here are five tips from the article on how to expand your practice skills safely.

1. Expand purposefully
If you decide to expand your scope of practice, make sure that the decision to . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Reading: Recommended