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Monday, 21 November 2011 09:24

Business-like tools

Written by
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Columnists_stephen-mabey.jpgBusinesses seem to have a never-ending supply of “management tools” with which they manage their affairs. Many, if not most, are adaptable to the legal profession, however rarely do you hear of law firms using them to manage their businesses. So I thought I would identify five such tools that have application to the management of your firms and shed some light on their relevancy.
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Columnists_sonyanigam.jpgA few years ago I attended an event where science reporter Bob MacDonald, of CBC Quirks and Quarks fame, spoke passionately about the importance of science. He gave examples about how we thought the world was flat but science proved otherwise, and how ideas about how the body worked were proven wrong as we discovered more about biology. The value of science is to show us that what we believe is true is actually not true. It expands our understanding of our world.
Monday, 07 November 2011 10:20

Ruling punishes successful complainant

Written by
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Standard_photos_paul_groarke.jpgI think that I share the frustration of many of the previous members of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, after reading the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Canada (Canadian Human Rights Commission) v. Canada (Attorney General), where it held that the tribunal does not have the power to award costs under s. 53(2)(d) of the Canadian Human Rights Act. The ambiguous style of cause is unhelpful: the case arose out of a decision by the tribunal that awarded a successful complainant, Donna Mowat, with legal costs.
Monday, 07 November 2011 09:47

Building your personal brand and profile

Written by
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Columnists_margaret-waddell.jpgAre you are sitting at your desk, staring at the telephone, and hoping it will ring? Or checking your inbox repeatedly, looking for the subject line: “Counsel Needed — Urgent”? Do you dream of announcing that you have just been retained to handle the next “big case” at your firm — no wait, it’s the next big case that the whole city has been talking about. Well, odds are that if you are sitting at your desk daydreaming, that fabulous new retainer is never going to land in your in-tray. Herewith, I share a few suggestions and thoughts on how to increase your professional profile, and promote yourself in this highly competitive career we’ve chosen.
Monday, 07 November 2011 09:35

5 things you should know about . . . partnership

Written by
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Columnists_danyacohen.jpgYou would be hard pressed to convince the ambassadors of the 99 per cent currently occupying cities around the world that Bay Street lawyers are feeling their collective frustration and disenfranchisement. Maybe that’s a stretch. But many associates who hit their senior years just as the recession hit have also felt powerless and slighted at the hands of an elite. And it’s an elite that is becoming more exclusive each year. Partnership, even for some talented and well-regarded lawyers, has become an increasingly uncertain prospect in a market that has yet to make an encouraging comeback.
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2011_October_makingrain20.jpgIn this month’s session, the final episode in the Making Rain leadership series, executive coach Debra Forman focuses on building a successful brand.
Monday, 31 October 2011 09:49

All hyperlinking is not ‘fair game’

Written by
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Standard_photos_michael_smith.jpgGenerally, someone is prima facie liable for defamation when they publish, to a third party who understands them, words concerning the plaintiff that have a tendency to lower the reputation of the plaintiff in society. Then the onus shifts to the defendant to establish one of the defences, such as justification (truth), fair comment (opinion), responsible communication on matters of public interest, etc. From the perspective of defamation liability risk, the Internet and social media are very dangerous places.
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Standard_photos_just_eleanore_cronk.jpgLast week, Justice Cronk set out the starting points for writing a noteworthy appellate factum: know your audience, ‘own’ the factum, and present a good overview. This week, she continues with some of the nuts and bolts for putting your factum together (with a little help from Lewis Carroll).
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Columnists_tonywilson.jpgThe only game I was ever any good at in my 20s was Trivial Pursuit, and to this day I unconsciously collect trivial information from a wide variety of sources to either make sense of the world or to make use of in articles like this one. Of course, I can never remember where I put my keys, but I know my trivia.
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Standard_photos_just_eleanore_cronk.jpgSome months ago, when I was asked to prepare a short article on the art of advocacy, it seemed an easy task. It is a road well tread. How hard could it be? But as I put pen to paper, I was reminded of just how difficult it is to begin a discussion on excellence in written appellate advocacy. So much has already been said. Yet there remains so much to say!
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