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Archive for ‘Reading: Recommended’

Don’t Accept Every File That Walks in the Door

This article from February 13, 2014 is by Nora Rock, corporate writer and policy analyst at LAWPRO.

At the risk of sounding like a self-help book designed to help you find Mr. or Ms. Right, we’d like to remind you (the day before Valentine’s Day, no less!) that being selective about the clients you represent is an important claims-prevention strategy.

Depending on your area of law and how established your practice, you may be tempted to dismiss this advice as being valid only for lawyers in the enviable position of having more referrals than time. But turning away clients that . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Frenemy Mine: Building Trust Between Colleagues

I’ve been feeling somewhat guilty about my post last week regarding the Edelman Trust Barometer and perceptions about the legal profession. Several lawyers have since asked if I have any advice on how to build trusting relationships within their own firms, never mind on behalf of the profession. I’ve heard laments bemoaning the loss of collegiality, too.

The real expert in this regard is Robert F. Hurley, a professor at Fordham University in New York. Hurley leads the Consortium for Trustworthy Organizations housed at Fordham’s School of Business and is the author of a bestselling book, “The Decision to . . . [more]

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

What Makes Lawyers Happy?

I came across a new research paper today via SSRN titled, “What Makes Lawyers Happy? Transcending the Anecdotes with Data from 6200 Lawyers“.

The legal profession has done a much better job of addressing (or at least discussing) the issue of lawyer well-being in recent years. And thank-goodness for that! We are all very aware of the unfavourable statistics regarding mental health, substance abuse, and the general unhappiness that can show on some faces. So the idea of quantifying these factors — both positive and negative — cited by practitioners seems like a practical piece of work. . . . [more]

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

New Student Edition of LAWPRO Magazine Hits Law Schools This Week

The 2014 Student Edition of LAWPRO Magazine {“Moving Into Practice”) will be arriving in Ontario law schools this week. Its the second LAWPRO Magazine issue focused on providing students with resources to make the transition from student to lawyer. It also serves as an introduction to LAWPRO and our messages of claims prevention and practice management.

Articles in the magazine include:

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

Protecting Yourself From Cybercrime Danger: Inside People Can Be the Most Dangerous

Cybercrime dangers are many, complex and ever-changing. Hardly a day goes by without another news report of a data breach or other cyber-related scam or theft. Cyber criminals have considerable resources and expertise, and can cause significant damage to their targets. Cyber criminals specifically target law firms as law firms regularly have funds in their trust accounts and client data that is often very valuable. This article, from the December 2013 issue of LAWPRO Magazine, reviews the specific cybercrime dangers law firms need to be concerned about, and how they can mitigate their risks.

People inside your office have . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended, Technology

Protecting Yourself From Cybercrime Dangers: Avoid the Dangers of Email

Cybercrime is a real and present danger for law firms. All firms should work to understand the cybercrime risks they are exposed to and take steps to reduce the likelihood they will experience a data breach at the hands of cyber criminals. The following checklist is taken from the article “Cybercrime and Law Firms: The Risks are Real” from the December 2013 issue of LAWPRO Magazine.

To assess your cybercrime preparedness, see if you can answer the following questions:

  • Are your passwords secure enough?
  • Would you or your staff be duped by a phishing message?
  • How would your
. . . [more]
Posted in: Reading: Recommended, Technology

Draw Clients a Roadmap to Avoid Communication Claims

This article by Nora Rock, corporate writer & policy anylist at LAWPRO, appeared in the December 2013 edition of the LAWPRO Magazine. All Magazine articles can be found at www.lawpro.ca/magazinearchives

Our readers should now be well aware that problems with lawyer-client communication are the number one cause of malpractice claims. Managing communication takes patience and effort: at one extreme of the spectrum, responding to calls and messages from clients who want constant contact can be frustrating; while at the other end, trying to get absentee clients to update instructions or produce necessary documents can be time-consuming. How can you get . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

A Checklist for Avoiding Conflicts on Lateral Lawyer Transfers

Lateral hiring of partners or associates occurs at firms of every size, and is becoming far more common. In addition to reviewing the transferring lawyer’s credentials and suitability, the transferring lawyer and firm will need to identify and deal with potential conflicts of interest that may arise with respect to clients at the transferring lawyer’s previous firm, and in particular, clients for whom the transferring lawyer worked.

This critical task is not as easy as it might seem on first thought. The hiring firm must have sufficient information to complete an internal conflicts check, while at the same time making . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Reading: Recommended

A U.S. Court Decision on a Bank’s Duties to a Firm in a Bad Cheque Scam

Lawyer Ethics Alert Blogs has a post describing an Illinois appeals court case in which the court ruled that a law firm had no recourse against its financial institution in a counterfeit cheque matter.

While the laws dealing with financial institutions in the U.S. are different than here, the takeaway for lawyers is to make sure they’ve read the fine print of the contract with their banks (and of course, learn how to recognize the red flags of these scams). The LAWPRO counterfeit cheque coverage may offer a measure of protection if a lawyer is victimized (lawyers outside Ontario should . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Eight Practical Precautions to Avoid Rule 48 Claims

This is taken from Know How Administrative Dismissal Claims Happen, and Take Eight Steps To Immunize Yourself Against Them which appears in the September 2013 issue of LAWPRO Magazine. The article also contains the Dimissal Motions: What is the Test? chart by Debra Rolph, LAWPRO’s director of resarch.

Rule 48 [of the Ontario Rules of Professional Conduct] claims arise when it is alleged that the dismissal of a claim was due to the lawyer’s negligence with respect to either a defended (Rule 48.14) or an undefended (48.15) action. Many of these claims have been very costly for LAWPRO. While . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Steer Clear of Real Estate Claims by Asking These Five Questions on Every Deal

The real estate lawyer’s job is more than just conveying title, and not every matter will be straightforward. Communication errors and inadequate investigation are the biggest causes of real estate claims at LAWPRO, respectively 41 per cent and 26 per cent of claims reported between 2001 and 2011. Busy, high-volume practices often lead to situations where the lawyer is not taking the time to communicate with the clients properly.

Lawyers need to take the time to speak to clients to ensure they’ve gathered all the relevant information.

Here are five questions lawyers should be asking their clients or themselves on . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

15 Tips for Preventing Identity Theft and Online Fraud

Cyber criminals and identity thieves want to steal your personal information to commit fraud. They may try to get a credit card in your name or to access funds in your bank account. On top of directly losing money, your credit status can be damaged and it can take a great deal of time and expense to restore your good name.

And this goes beyond being an issue of personal concern. LAWPRO has seen situations where law firm bank accounts were hacked and where law firm bank account information was used on counterfeit cheques.

There are many different ways to . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended