Tagged lawyers

Avoiding the public eye: How not to become the story, even if you are.

Celebrity lawyer rows with bad-boy aristo-client.” “Star securities litigation lawyer  besieged.” “Counsel sues judges.” “Firebrand pro bono lawyer of yesteryear still tangling with Law Society.” (la version française suit) Whatever your take on these professional controversies, one thing is certain: it is not the kind of notoriety you seek for any stage of your legal career.  Nevertheless, the fine line we tread between representation for and of the members of the public we serve remains one of our greatest challenges.  Where is the line between fearless advocacy end and the loss of objectivity?  When did the lawyer stop advising the failing…

‘Tis the Season to be Injunctive

(la version française suit) When 10 minutes to go, is late It was 6:50 p.m., and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a —— Drrrring!  “He’s not here yet.  He’s supposed to have my kids here by 7,” said the voice, to the lawyer.  “Can’t you phone the judge or something?”  The phone call in this true story was the lawyer’s reward for having a listed home phone number, a bad practice of many lawyers in smaller communities. If you are a family lawyer and this story “rings a bell,” just think what lies in…

Dealing with judgitis

Understand the job descriptions (la version française suit) As a lawyer appearing before the court, you are being paid to plead the case and present evidence. As in the BBC radio game, Just a minute, you must do so without “hesitation, deviation or repetition.” Provided you do this, the judge’s job is to listen. Or, in a jury trial, the judge’s job is to direct traffic, and the jury’s job is to listen. As with any occupational setting, conflicts are best resolved by clear lines between areas of responsibility. A courtroom is a place of work. It does not belong…

Should I get Excess Liability Insurance?

Excess insurance is relatively inexpensive, and well worth the peace of mind.  Lawyers tend to be born insomniacs – you don’t need anything else keeping you up at night! LawPro’s standard (mandatory) policy provides coverage with insurance limits of $1 million per claim and $2 million in the aggregate.  This means there is $1 million in coverage for each claim, but no matter how many claims there are against you, the maximum payable for claims made during any policy year is $2 million.

Becoming a Bar Leader in Three Easy Steps

Alas, paying your dues is still required, but the rewards of serving the profession are limitless. And, as with any political campaign, things either happen by accident, or they don’t.  If they don’t, there is no need to give up.  Here is a handy guide to making it in your law association, in three steps: “Get” the job description Read the bylaws of your organization Volunteer for anything

Law’s big secret: the more important the law, the less it is settled

Not long ago, I heard a speech by Justice Ian Binnie, addressing the Toronto Lawyers Association, in which he recounted his experience on being appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada.  Being used to working in a world of judicial precedents, it was a rather unsettling experience to gain the perspective of the country’s top court.  All of a sudden, nothing was settled in the law.  Every case required a fresh look. Prior to that evening, I had had the pleasure of dining with him at the Ontario Bar Association dinner where Tom Heintzman received his Award for Excellence in…

A mentorship site for new lawyers?

Welcome to Canada’s first blog devoted to mentoring new lawyers. (la version française suit) It’s French label, « SQP jeunes avocats, » captures the reality for many lawyers starting out.  (Sauve qui peut! meaning ‘everyone for himself.’) The site intentionally plays the words ‘jeune’ and ‘new’ off each other, because a life in law has always been measured from one’s year of Call to the Bar.  Increasingly, ‘new’ can also mean ‘different.’  Men and women from different socioeconomic backgrounds, demographic origins, hopes and dreams wonder how they might fit in, or whether integration comes at too high a price. To the…