Tagged lawyers

OBA AGM

Lawyers’ Technological Literacy, or Lawyers’ Literacy and Technology

In her September 30 column in Slaw.ca, Tackling Technology, Prof. Amy Salyzyn argues lawyers’ ability to use and manage information technology is now an element of professional competence. Technology is now a driver of client service, effective lawyering and access to justice.  The flip side of this argument is that screen-based technology is an inhibitor…

Lawyers as the public conscience of their clients

On October 16, as part of their joint professional development seminar, Current Topics in Ethics & Professionalism, the Toronto Lawyers Association and University of Toronto’s Centre for the Legal Profession will be staging “A Great Debate:  Should Lawyers Consider Themselves the Moral Conscience of their Clients?”  I will be debating in favour of the resolution. If you are attending and want to prep for the debate, or can’t make it, read my September, 2013, column in the Canadian Lawyer entitled “Lawyers and their demons.” (click on graphic, above right) ~  ~  ~ Le 16 octobre, l’Association des juristes de Toronto et le Centre…

What lawyers can learn from actors – Ce que les comédiens puissent nous enseigner

Chapter 7 of Uta Hagen’s 1973 technical manual for the professional actor, Respect for Acting, is devoted entirely to thinking.  As a theatre or cinéma fan, read this book and you may never put up with bad acting, ever again.  As a lawyer, we could only wish the equivalent were available to help us stay on top of our game. In my April, 2013, Canadian Lawyer column, Respect for Lawyering, I suggest that our profession, once respected for our prowess at thinking, might learn a thing or two from Hagen’s disciplined approach to the actor’s craft.  Whether it is resisting the movement…

Tackling Law’s Diversity Deficit in Multicultural Canada

Lack of diversity in law, in the world’s most multicultural city in the country the most welcoming of outsiders, continues to confound. In 2011, I met with the leaders of the American Bar Association during their annual conference in Toronto.  I was impressed with how more reflective of our general community the delegates were, compared to senior members of our bar.  They seemed to have got over the barrier from diversity as prototype to diversity as integral professional culture.  Even to the point that, it was pointed out to me, the seven members of the California Supreme Court included four…

Résautage, ça vaut la peine!

C’est de nouveau la saison des soirées hivernales.  Réseauter sérieusement?   Hélas, bavarder au minimum deux heures même s’il nous reste un tas de boulot au bureau.  Ça devrait valoir la peine, hein?  Dans ce très bon article sur le site web de l’ABC, Susan Van Dyke introduit les façon de prendre au sérieux le résautage.  Cliquez sur l’image à la droite, et découvrez le monde du réseautage tactique. Terms of use / Mentions légales

Axing Ideas: What Lawyers Can Learn from Writers

In this month’s Accidental Mentor column in Canadian Lawyer, learn to apply to your law practice what the best writers have been teaching for years: ‘kill your darlings.’ Dans l’article prochain de l’Accidental Mentor dans Canadian Lawyer, profitez de la leçon principale des écrivains professionnels: si vous faites naître une bonne idée, prenez la hache dans vos mains! Terms of use / Mentions légales

Lawyers and their telephones

You can distinguish generations of lawyers from their relationship with the telephone. (le sommaire français suit) I’m not talking about “recreational” use.  That phone-hugging lout, weaving back and forth in front of you through the breakfast cereals aisle at the supermarket, has shortened your life by the time you had to listen to him.  Sadly, public places have become mental extensions of people’s living rooms.  Compared to its omnipresence in the world outside, the decline of telephony in the law office is more subtle and more important to your career. The desktop telephone reached its apogee as professional tool  in…

Buttonholed by a family member?

“In times when access to justice is ever precious, isn’t it great to have a lawyer in the family?” In the May Canadian Lawyer, the Accidental Mentor helps you navigate dealing with the clients you can’t completely fire. ~   ~   ~ “Maintenant que l’accès à la justice soit si précieux, n’est-il pas terrible que notr’ cousin(e) est avocat(e)?” Dans ma colonne de mai dans Canadian Lawyer, vous trouverez des conseils au sujet de l’interaction avec les clients que vous ne pourriez vraiment pas virer. Terms of use / Mentions légales

Are lawyers sitting ducks for breach of privacy claims?

As a lawyer, you are also a spy.  The extent to which you may wish to look the part is up to you. (version française) As a law student in an intellectual property firm, I was often instructed to collect evidence out in the real world, not only to prosecute counterfeiters but also to help prove clients’ rights in administrative hearings.  Every day, commercial lawyers snoop on companies in merger deals, litigation lawyers perform credit and asset checks to advise clients before launching suits, and matrimonial lawyers chase after sources of alimony and child support.  Anyone with a PC can…

RIM’s Lesson for Law

The resignation of the CEO of an embattled public company, despite the predicted stock market bounce, is never good news.  When you have two, who share the post, and both resign simultaneously, you have double the trouble. (la version française suit.) By announcing their resignation on a Sunday, they followed the traditional wisdom of trying to bury bad news during the weekend news cycle.  Even in this, they got their own market wrong, and the recovery of RIM’s shares evaporated before Monday afternoon.  In the new media, news never sleeps.  Indeed, people absorb news better on weekends.  More than any…