From Occupational Hazards and Tips

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…

Le Défi du droit dans un Canada multiculturel

La question de diversité dans le domaine de droit, à la métropole et au pays le plus multiculturelles au monde, ne cesse de confondre tous. En 2011, j’ai rencontré les leaders du barreau américain durant leur conférence annuel à Toronto.  Ce qui m’a vraiment frappé, c’est qu’aux É.-U., on a franchi le seuil entre la diversité comme prototype et la diversité comme processus intégral de la culture professionnelle.  Même au niveau que les sept membres de la Cour suprême de la Californie comprennent quatre femmes et quatre asiatiques. Aux É.-U., les batailles historiques à venir à ce point furent toutes…

Plain-Language Legal Resources in French Now Just a “Cliquement” Away

Did you know that every Ontario lawyer has an obligation to advise francophone clients of their linguistic rights in the justice system?  It will not be long, in my estimation, before a client brings a complaint or a professional liability suit against a lawyer after defeat in a civil, family or criminal matter because the client was not fully able to express himself or herself as witnesses at trial, or on the basis that a bilingual judge or jury would have decided a case differently.

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

Common Sense and the Practice of Law

When someone says, “It’s only common sense,” and you disagree, what does it mean?  What strategies are available for refuting the inalienable truth?  Click here or on the graphic to the right, to read the November 2012 installment of Canadian Lawyer’s Accidental Mentor. Vous hésitez de contradire vos aînés?  Hélas, il faut d’abord considérer la fondation de leur ‘sagesse’ en ce qui concerne les vérités inaliénables.  Cliquez ici, et lisez la suite dans l’article du mois dans Accidental Mentor de Canadian Lawyer.   Terms of use / Mentions légales

Van Gogh et le prochain juriste

Septembre marque le véritable début du calendrier de l’avocat. En Ontario, nous ouvrons nos tribunaux judiciaires au cours de ce mois.  Le cycle post-estival commence également pour les cabinets d’avocats et les services juridiques. Pour de nombreux nouveaux avocats après leur admission au barreau en juin, la fin de l’été signifie que les mentors et les mentorés travaillent côte à côte enfin. (For English version, click here or on artwork)

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

Winning at a meeting

Clients hire lawyers to fight their battles, but ultimately they want you to show them the peace, and to take them there. Unfortunately, we teach our lawyers to be technical wizards but leave it to chance whether they learn the law’s most basic skill: how to mobilize a gathering of people.  In 2012, winning does not mean getting your way but persuading people in an organized assembly to do what you envision they should be doing. Whether it’s an internal law firm committee, or a hearing in the law courts, this month’s Canadian Lawyer column, The Accidental Mentor, talks about three questions you…

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…