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Reliance on cultural norms leads lawyer to act without full instructions

September 23, 2014 By: TimLemieux Category: Risk management strategies

In his article “Manage Malpractice Risk by Recognizing Cultural Diversity“, Lorne Shelson (Litigation Director & Counsel in the Specialty Claims Department at LAWPRO) gives five ‘culturally-based’ claims scenarios loosely based on real LAWPRO claims.

Here is one scenario:

A man retained a lawyer to commence a medical malpractice lawsuit. The man believed that his wife had died because she had been not properly diagnosed with a heart condition. The lawyer commenced an action on behalf of the man and his daughter against the doctor and hospital.

Unable to secure helpful expert reports to support his claim, the lawyer recommended to the man that the action be settled on the basis of a dismissal without costs. The lawyer took instructions from the father only, who was a member of a patriarchal community where fathers commonly spoke on behalf of female family members. In consideration of the clients’ cultural background, the lawyer had not confirmed with the daughter that her father had her authority to provide instructions on her behalf. The daughter, who had not been consulted about the settlement, later refused to execute the settlement documentation. The doctor and hospital obtained an order enforcing the settlement.

The daughter made a claim against the lawyer for acting without her instructions.

This article appeared in the September 2014 “The Changing Face of the Profession” issue of LAWPRO Magazine. All past LAWPRO Magazine articles can be found at
www.lawpro.ca/magazinearchives

Commercial debt collection scam using the name Anthony Kawasaki

September 23, 2014 By: FraudInfo Category: Confirmed frauds

Firms in Ontario and California have notified us that they received an email from the purported Anthony Kawasaki looking to retain them with regards to a commercial debt collection.

This is a classic bad cheque scam that presents as legal matter requiring the assistance of a lawyer. In this scam lawyers will be duped into wiring real funds from their trust accounts after depositing a fake cheque received as payment from the debtor (who is part of the fraud). See our Confirmed Fraud Page for more of an explanation of how these frauds work and to see other names associated with it. Our Fraud Fact Sheet lists the red flags of a bogus legal matter that is really a fraud.

Here is the initial contact via LinkedIn sent by the fraudster to the lawyer:

From: Anthony Kawasaki
Sent: Monday, September 22, 2014 8:04 AM
To:
Subject: Breach Of Contract

I wish to request for your legal services and possible representation on a legal matter involving failure to fulfill his contractual obligations. Please do let me know if your office is currently accepting new clients.

Regards,
Anthony Kawasaki

How to handle a real or suspected fraud Read the rest of this entry →

New in the practicePRO Lending Library: Internet Branding for Lawyers

September 22, 2014 By: TimLemieux Category: Legal technology

Internet Branding

An effective law firm brand and a compelling website are two of the most critical aspects of law firm marketing, as they can have a tremendous impact on new client development and revenue. How can lawyers create an effective brand and website that will deliver new clients? What works well, and what aspects of the “traditional” website approach used by most firms should be avoided? Internet Branding for Lawyers: Building the Client-Centered Website provides step-by-step direction on how to develop a solid brand and website that will attract the clients your firm desires. You’ll learn how to:

  • Create a unique brand that identifies and addresses client needs.
  • Differentiate from competitors so that your firm will be seen as the right firm by prospective clients for their legal needs.
  • Develop a compelling client-centered website with messages that resonate and lead to new clients.
  • Create powerful lawyer profiles and practice area pages that convey the information that prospective clients are seeking.

The practicePRO Lending Library is a free resource for Ontario lawyers of more than 100 books on a wide variety of law practice management related topics. You can see a full listing of our books here. You may borrow a book in person or via e-mail.

The practicePRO Library is located in our office at 250 Yonge Street, Suite 3101 in Toronto and can be visited during our regular business hours (Mon to Fri, 8:30 to 5:00). We invite you to come by anytime (please email in advance)to peruse our selection. All titles in the practicePRO Lending Library can be shipped to Ontario lawyers at our expense, and returned at yours after three weeks.

If you would like to borrow this or any other book please email us. Most of our titles are also available from the American Bar Association Web Store or the major booksellers here in Canada.

Commercial debt collection scam using the names Li Chung and Xiawulee Chemicals

September 22, 2014 By: FraudInfo Category: Confirmed frauds

Firms in Texas and Florida notified us that they received an email from the purported Li Chung of Xiawulee Chemicals looking to retain them with regards to a commercial debt collection.

This is a classic bad cheque scam that presents as legal matter requiring the assistance of a lawyer. In this scam lawyers will be duped into wiring real funds from their trust accounts after depositing a fake cheque received as payment from the debtor (who is part of the fraud). See our Confirmed Fraud Page for more of an explanation of how these frauds work and to see other names associated with it. Our Fraud Fact Sheet lists the red flags of a bogus legal matter that is really a fraud.

Here is the initial contact via LinkedIn sent by the fraudster to the lawyer:

On 09/09/14 12:42 PM, Li Chung wrote:
——————–
Do you handle Business Litigation / breach of contract ? If you do let me know please .

Best Regards,
Li Chung

Replying to the LinkedIn message brought this email response:

Thanks for the response to my email. We were contacted by a regional sales agent of SAFT-T-PAK INC who currently resides in your city and we were given a list of goods they wanted . We responded letting them know we had what they wanted and gave them our selling price. We agreed to deal with them and signed a contract. The terms of the contract required we pay a 50% down payment before we deliver the goods to them and also the balance to be paid after delivery .

However , after delivery , we have not received the balance payment . We tried to resolve this issue without getting any external party involved. Yet they have refused to see things our way and do business as we agreed . We contacted the head office of SAFT-T-PAK INC and we were told to deal directly with the regional agent we have been in contact with .

Find below details of the regional sales agent for your conflict check.

William Smith
Houston, Texas Area Sales/Procurement Agent
SAFT-T-PAK INC .

We have come to understand that the regional sales agent and the company will not take us seriously and that is why we have chosen to fight this matter legally. We are sick and tired of writing emails that are taken for granted . We are running a business here and do countless transactions all over the world which involves money . We have to pay our staff, maintain the stability of our company and also meet up with demands of other clients. How are we supposed to do that with setbacks like this. We have to make profit to keep our business running. This is really heart breaking. What we require from you is this:

A: Review the documents attached to this email and let us know our weaknesses and how much chance we stand against Andrew Smith/SAFT-T-PAK INC .?

B: Let us know how long you think this case will take to be resolved.?

C: When it comes to court hearing , will i need to appear in person.?

D: We are ready to fight to get this money back even if it means involving litigation. So please let us know your fees and terms of your representation.

E: What would be your strategy

I know there is a lawyer-client retainer fee that may be paid in the process of the exercise, pending your conditions. Kindly, send me an engagement letter so that we can proceed with this issue . I want to also let you know that I am open to either an hourly or contingency fee basis. Please advice which works better for you.

If you decide not to take this case let us know if you have referral .

We appreciate your time and effort and will be expecting a response from you soonest.

Sincerely,

Li Chung
XIAWULEE CHEMICALS
2-56-8 Sumiyoshi-Minamimachi. Higashinada-ku, Kobe, 6580041 JAPAN
Phone : 0-78-802-2607 / Fax : 0-78-802-2607

How to handle a real or suspected fraud Read the rest of this entry →

Past 40 years marked by a changing mix of lawyers

September 19, 2014 By: TimLemieux Category: Law Practice Management

Capture

Ontario’s legal profession has experienced significant changes over the last 40 years. In the mid-1970s a critical mass of women began joining the profession in record numbers. Then, in the 1980s, lawyers from Aboriginal, Francophone and equality-seeking communities began entering the profession. Today, the province’s legal profession continues to grow and evolve at a rapid rate.

As part of its commitment to promote equality and diversity in the legal profession, and to ensure that the Ontario community is served by a representative profession, the Law Society of Upper Canada conducts research and collects data on the composition of the profession.

Click here or on the image above to read the full article.

This article appeared in the September 2014 “The Changing Face of the Profession” issue of LAWPRO Magazine. All past LAWPRO Magazine articles can be found at
www.lawpro.ca/magazinearchives

Commercial debt collection scam using the names Fumio Okazaki and Leejing Chemicals

September 19, 2014 By: FraudInfo Category: Confirmed frauds

A New York firm notified us that they received an email from the purported Fumio Okazaki of Leejing Chemicals looking to retain them with regards to a commercial debt collection.

This is a classic bad cheque scam that presents as legal matter requiring the assistance of a lawyer. In this scam lawyers will be duped into wiring real funds from their trust accounts after depositing a fake cheque received as payment from the debtor (who is part of the fraud). See our Confirmed Fraud Page for more of an explanation of how these frauds work and to see other names associated with it. Our Fraud Fact Sheet lists the red flags of a bogus legal matter that is really a fraud.

Here is the initial contact via LinkedIn sent by the fraudster to the lawyer:

On Wed September 3 2014, Fumio O. wrote:

Do you handle Business Litigation / breach of contract ? If you do let me know please .

Best Regards

Replying to the LinkdedIn contact brought this response by email:

Thanks for the response to my email. We were contacted by a regional sales agent of SAFT-T-PAK INC who currently resides in your city and we were given a list of goods they wanted . We responded letting them know we had what they wanted and gave them our selling price. We agreed to deal with them and signed a contract. The terms of the contract required we pay a 50% down payment before we deliver the goods to them and also the balance to be paid after delivery .

However , after delivery , we have not received the balance payment . We tried to resolve this issue without getting any external party involved. Yet they have refused to see things our way and do business as we agreed . We contacted the head office of SAFT-T-PAK INC and we were told to deal directly with the regional agent we have been in contact with .

Find below details of the regional sales agent for your conflict check.

William Smith
New York, New York Area Sales/Procurement Agent
SAFT-T-PAK INC .

We have come to understand that the regional sales agent and the company will not take us seriously and that is why we have chosen to fight this matter legally. We are sick and tired of writing emails that are taken for granted . We are running a business here and do countless transactions all over the world which involves money . We have to pay our staff, maintain the stability of our company and also meet up with demands of other clients. How are we supposed to do that with setbacks like this. We have to make profit to keep our business running. This is really heart breaking. What we require from you is this:

A: Review the documents attached to this email and let us know our weaknesses and how much chance we stand against Andrew Smith/SAFT-T-PAK INC .?

B: Let us know how long you think this case will take to be resolved.?

C: When it comes to court hearing , will i need to appear in person.?

D: We are ready to fight to get this money back even if it means involving litigation. So please let us know your fees and terms of your representation.

E: What would be your strategy

I know there is a lawyer-client retainer fee that may be paid in the process of the exercise, pending your conditions. Kindly, send me an engagement letter so that we can proceed with this issue . I want to also let you know that I am open to either an hourly or contingency fee basis. Please advice which works better for you.

If you decide not to take this case let us know if you have referral .

We appreciate your time and effort and will be expecting a response from you soonest.

Sincerely,

Fumio Okazaki
LEEJING CHEMICALS.
2-56-8 Sumiyoshi-Minamimachi. Higashinada-ku, Kobe, 6580041 JAPAN
Phone : 0-78-802-2607 / Fax : 0-78-802-2607

How to handle a real or suspected fraud Read the rest of this entry →

When waiving a search comes back to haunt you

September 18, 2014 By: Nora Rock Category: Real estate

Capture

How a client perceives a lawyer’s role in a transaction often depends on the client’s experience. At one end of the spectrum, a new homebuyer may believe that the lawyer will not only navigate the process, but will also personally shield the client from all risks. At the other extreme, a sophisticated businessperson may urge a lawyer to “rubber stamp” a deal the client has brokered. The wise lawyer will, however, refuse to be either insurer or pawn.

When it comes to doing due diligence − and specifically, making decisions about searches − the safest approach is follow the client’s ultimate instructions, but only after having invested the time to ensure that those instructions are fully informed and documented.

Click here or on the image above for the full article.

This article appeared in the September 2014 “The Changing Face of the Profession” issue of LAWPRO Magazine. All past LAWPRO Magazine articles can be found at
www.lawpro.ca/magazinearchives

Commercial debt collection scam using the names Hitoshi Tanimura and Japan Aerospace Corporation

September 16, 2014 By: FraudInfo Category: Confirmed frauds

A New York firm notified us that they received an email from the purported Hitoshi Tanimura and Japan Aerospace Corporation looking to looking to retain them with regards to a commercial debt collection.

This is a classic bad cheque scam that presents as legal matter requiring the assistance of a lawyer. In this scam lawyers will be duped into wiring real funds from their trust accounts after depositing a fake cheque received as payment from the debtor (who is part of the fraud). See our Confirmed Fraud Page for more of an explanation of how these frauds work and to see other names associated with it. Our Fraud Fact Sheet lists the red flags of a bogus legal matter that is really a fraud.

This email also appears to use the name of a real law firm, though the email address has been changed.

Here is the initial contact email sent by the fraudster to the lawyer:

From: Borstein & Sheinbaum [mailto:js@borsteinshenbaum.com]
Sent: 16 September 2014 09:40
Subject: Legal Advice

Dear Counsel,

Good Morning, I am sending this email as a referral

Mr. Hitoshi Tanimura is a director of Japan Aerospace Corporation,
Japan/South Korea. The company seeking advice and possible
representation in litigation against non-paying company in your country.

I am unable to handle this matter at this time. I have represented this
company in the past. You can contact Mr. Tanimura for more details if
you are interested in representing.

Below is his contact information:

Mr. Hitoshi Tanimura
Japan Aerospace Corporation
hitoshitanimura@j-aero.co

I encourage you to contact one another to see if this is a situation
where you can work together.

Sincerely,

Borstein & Sheinbaum
420 Lexington Avenue, Suite 2920
New York, NY 10170
Attorney At Law
js@borsteinshenbaum.com

strong>Replying to the email brought this response:

Thanks for your reply. I would like your firm to represent us with regards to a contract case, and i believe you will have to run a conflict check before you can decide to represent us. Below is the debtors information for a conflict check.

Auer Steel & Heating Supply Company
3050 Progress Rd, Madison, WI 53716, United States

Please get back to me so that i can furnish you with more information about this matter.

How to handle a real or suspected fraud Read the rest of this entry →

Commercial debt collection scam using the names Tatsuo Higuchi and Otsuka Holdings

September 15, 2014 By: FraudInfo Category: Confirmed frauds

An Ontario firm notified us that they received an email from the purported Tatsuo Higuchi and Otsuka Holdings looking to looking to retain them with regards to a commercial debt collection.

This is a classic bad cheque scam that presents as legal matter requiring the assistance of a lawyer. In this scam lawyers will be duped into wiring real funds from their trust accounts after depositing a fake cheque received as payment from the debtor (who is part of the fraud). See our Confirmed Fraud Page for more of an explanation of how these frauds work and to see other names associated with it. Our Fraud Fact Sheet lists the red flags of a bogus legal matter that is really a fraud.

Here is the initial contact email sent by the fraudster to the lawyer:

From: Magdalene Beglau (mbeglau) [mailto:mbeglau@mail.umw.edu] On Behalf Of Tatsuo Higuchi
Sent: September-15-14 5:25 AM
Subject: Otsuka Holdings Co. Ltd

Hello,

We wish to contract you or your esteemed company to act as our company’s representative (intermediary between Otsuka Holdings Co., Limited and its customers in Canada and United States). If you agree to this affiliation, we will be very glad and compensations will be given as well as other benefits. Please advise if you are interested in partnering with us. No prior experience needed

Regards,

Tatsuo Higuchi
President and Representative Director, CEO
Otsuka Holdings Co. Ltd
www.otsuka.com/jp

Replying to the email brought this response:

Thanks for your reply. I would like your firm to represent us with regards to a contract case, and i believe you will have to run a conflict check before you can decide to represent us. Below is the debtors information for a conflict check.

Auer Steel & Heating Supply Company
3050 Progress Rd, Madison, WI 53716, United States

Please get back to me so that i can furnish you with more information about this matter.

How to handle a real or suspected fraud Read the rest of this entry →

New in the practicePRO Library: Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers

September 15, 2014 By: TimLemieux Category: Law Practice Management, Legal technology

Last year LAWPRO launched its own Facebook page, and some lawyers may be wondering how they can create a similar Facebook presence for themselves. To help with that we now have Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers in our lending library.

This book is written for both novice and advanced Facebook users, and covers every step you’ll take: from creating a page, to ajusting the all-important privacy settings to reaching out to others on Facebook. Other topics covered include:

  • Managing your Timeline
  • Using Facebook search and navigation
  • Joining groups and subscribing to feeds
  • Establishing a business page
  • Developing a Facebook strategy to grow your legal network

The practicePRO Lending Library is a free resource for Ontario lawyers of more than 100 books on a wide variety of law practice management related topics. You can see a full listing of our books here. You may borrow a book in person or via e-mail.

The practicePRO Library is located in our office at 250 Yonge Street, Suite 3101 in Toronto and can be visited during our regular business hours (Mon to Fri, 8:30 to 5:00). We invite you to come by anytime (please email in advance)to peruse our selection. All titles in the practicePRO Lending Library can be shipped to Ontario lawyers at our expense, and returned at yours after three weeks.

If you would like to borrow this or any other book please email us. Most of our titles are also available from the American Bar Association Web Store or the major booksellers here in Canada.