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Archive for January, 2014

Social Law Firm Index Released

Last week consulting firms Above the Law and Good2BSocial released their joint Social Law Firm Index ranking the Am Law 50 law firms’ social media presence. Ranking was compiled in terms of:

  • Reach – “total number of unique people who had an opportunity to see the firm’s content.”
  • Engagement – “actual interaction with the firm’s content via social media.”
  • Owned media – “An assessment of the firm’s own site (including microsites) based on, among other things, the proportion of non-promotional content, frequency of updates, and shareability of content.”

Access to the Index is free, but you will need to . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing, Technology: Internet

Stunting the Common Law

Always nice to see comments from blog readers. They are the voice at the other end of the telephone line, the question from the Bench. They reassure you that you are not talking to yourself.

Even if the comment you elicit is only that you are being “tiresome”, as my post did last week, at least someone has gone to the trouble of putting fingers to key board.

My posts are not really “rants against mediation” but rants in support of the preservation of affordable judicial ajudication, as an option.

I stress the word “option”. I am not calling for . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Electronic Evidence: Need for Expertise?

The Manitoba Court of Appeal recently held, in Ducharme v. Borden, 2014 MBCA 5, that electronic evidence did not require expert support for a judge to deal with its admissibility.

We do not endorse the judge’s view that electronic media evidence is of no value unless supported by expert evidence. Expert evidence is limited to information which is likely outside the experience and knowledge of a judge or jury.(para 15)

On the other hand, the issues with such evidence did not make it a matter for judicial notice, either.

While the burden of authenticating evidence for admission was . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology

Looking for Lawyers: Recruitment Marketing

In a previous column, I mentioned that law firm marketing activities should help enhance at least one of the four Rs: Revenue, Reputation, Referrals, and Retention. 

I missed a big one: Recruitment.

Is recruitment a marketing initiative? Depending on your involvement in the process, your answer might range from “Of course it is!” to “Who cares?” Law firm marketing departments generally like working on recruitment programs, because they use someone else’s budget and they often get the chance to do something different to help their firm stand out in its quest for the best students. That’s the plus side. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Hryniak v. Mauldin Promotes Access to Justice Through Summary Judgments

The Supreme Court of Canada released a decision this week in Hryniak v. Mauldin which revamps the judicial approach towards summary judgments in Ontario. The decision replaces the previous decision by the Ontario Court of Appeal in Combined Air Mechanical Services Inc. v. Flesch, a special five-judge panel to hear five appeals over Rule 20 which then created a “full appreciation test” for summary judgment motions.

The reason for the detailed analysis of summary judgment motions in Ontario largely stems from changes to the Rules of Civil Procedure in 2010 which were intended to make civil litigation more affordable . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Summaries Sunday: OnPoint Legal Research

Areas of Law: Motor Vehicles; Insurance Sick bank credits accruing to employee under contract of employment not constituting “insured benefit” under Motor Vehicle (Insurance) Regulation—Insurer not entitled to deduct sick bank credits from loss of income award in personal injury action
Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ

Pénal : Il n'y a pas eu atteinte à la vie privée dans le cas du défendeur, arrêté pour possession de drogue en vue d'en faire le trafic, sur la foi de messages texte découverts dans le téléphone cellulaire d'un tiers; le défendeur ne pouvait non plus soutenir avoir une expectative de vie privée particulière quant aux messages qu'il avait envoyés, et ce, sans égard à la propriété du téléphone lui-même.
Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Protecting Yourself From Cybercrime Dangers: Be Careful About Putting Your Firm Data in the Cloud

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.

Almost everyone has data in . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Law Society of BC Recommendations May Have Significant Implications

On December 6, 2013, the Benchers of the Law Society of British Columbia unanimously approved in principle, three recommendations that, if implemented, have the potential to significantly alter the future legal services landscape in the province.

The recommendations were contained in the final report of the Legal Service Providers Task Force, a group formed by the Law Society in the fall of 2012. The mandate of the task force was to examine issues relating to the question of whether the Law Society of BC should regulate only lawyers, or whether they should regulate all legal service providers in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Let TWU Have Its Law School

When Trinity Western University (TWU), a Christian-focused post-secondary institution, announced plans to pursue accreditation for a new law school, a tide of opposition swelled from within the Canadian legal establishment and academy.

A near unanimous chorus of professors, Law Deans, and student groups urged the Federation of Law Societies to reject TWU’s application on account of its homophobic “Community Covenant”. After the Federation and the provincial government approved the program last month, a prominent civil rights lawyer threatened to sue.

Personally, I was not bothered by TWU’s application for accreditation. The human rights opposition has insisted that a “one-size-fits-all” approach . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Justice Issues