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In the practicePRO Lending Library: The Busy Lawyer’s Guide to Success

March 30, 2015 By: TimLemieux Category: Law Practice Management

busy lawyer
This convenient pocketbook is loaded with over 700 practical, common-sense nuggets to help busy lawyers be more productive, profitable and happier. The authors offer tips on practice management topics, including client service, marketing, time management, technology, HR issues, ethics, professionalism, strategy and planning. Written in an easy-to-read format, you can quickly find tips that can be instantly implemented.

Written in an easy-to-read format, this handbook focuses on eight key topics of interest and importance to all legal professionals: Read the rest of this entry →

Four social media lessons for lawyers

March 27, 2015 By: TimLemieux Category: Technology

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Gabriel Chong at the Attorney At Work blog has four useful lessons for lawyers trying to incorporate social media into their practices. Lawyers are…well, lawyers, and not necessarily social media experts so these are some important things to keep in mind (here is the full blog entry)

1. Do only what you’re comfortable doing
2. Streamline the process (since you aren’t getting paid to manage your social media accounts)
3. Don’t forget, it’s about relationships. Show people you are human.
4. Be mindful of what you post.

The fourth point is especially important, and also covered in LAWPRO Magazine’s Social Media Pitfalls to Avoid

practicePRO Resource: Fee agreement checklist

March 27, 2015 By: TimLemieux Category: Law Practice Management

The questionnaire

A well-written fee agreement encompasses more than your hourly, flat or contingent fee; it should define the parameters of the work to be completed, and address your obligations to the client, and the client’s obligations to you. It should also address your rights (e.g., to seek withdrawal) and your client’s rights (e.g., to terminate representation). Be clear in the language you choose.

Avoid legalese. Use common language that is clear to your clients. Remember, because you are the person drafting this document, it is possible that any error or ambiguity may be resolved against you if Read the rest of this entry →

Commercial equipment purchase scam using the name Scott Williams

March 26, 2015 By: TimLemieux Category: Confirmed frauds

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Two Ontario firms notified us that they received an email from the purported Scott Williams looking to retain them with regards to making a large commercial purchase.

This is a 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 purchaser (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: Read the rest of this entry →

Time to say goodbye to an employee?

March 26, 2015 By: TimLemieux Category: Law Practice Management

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This article is by Nora Rock, corporate writer/policy analyst at LAWPRO.

You’ve tried clarification, reminders, warnings, patience and tolerance, maybe even retraining. But it isn’t working, and you both know it. Firing employees is not likely a task you took into consideration when you thought about becoming a lawyer; but here you are, an employer, in the position of having to fire an employee.

It will never be pleasant; but there’s a right way and a wrong way. The wrong way can lead to lawsuits, reputational damage, maybe even stolen clients or breaches of confidentiality. The right way can lead to the same things, of course; but the odds are lower. Here are a few tips: Read the rest of this entry →

LAWPRO Magazine archive: Title insurance – separating fact from fiction

March 25, 2015 By: TimLemieux Category: Real estate, Title insurance

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In just over a decade, title insurance has gone from a little-known development to a mainstay of real estate practice. In Ontario alone, title insurance is a $100 million a year industry: Between 1999 and 2009, the revenue of the major title insurers of Ontario grew 534 per cent. Not surprisingly it is estimated that upwards of 95 per cent of Ontario residential real estate transactions are title insured.

Despite its widespread use, title insurance appears to be somewhat of an enigma to many lawyers, say LAWPRO claims counsel. The misconceptions around coverage, claims filing, and the fine print in the different title insurers’ policies are many, they say. Read the rest of this entry →

Evaluating Online Lawyer Referral Services

March 24, 2015 By: TimLemieux Category: Career management

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Occasionally LAWPRO gets asked to give an opinion on the effectiveness or legitimacy of the various lawyer referral services that try to get people to sign up. All we can really say is we aren’t aware of any problems relating to them, and it’s up to individual lawyers to decide whether its a good use of their money to get new clients this way.

Now Beverly Michaelis of the Oregon Law Practice Management blog has provided some additional evaluation of these for-profit services (as opposed to those that are bar-operated). For anyone considering signing up, there is a lot to consider. Ms Michaelis looks at fees, confidentiality and Read the rest of this entry →

LAWPRO Magazine archive: Representing the snowbird client

March 24, 2015 By: TimLemieux Category: Insurance coverage

snowbird

You receive a voicemail message at your law office from a longtime client who is calling from his temporary home in Florida. He is one of many retired or semi-retired Canadians who prefer to spend extended periods of time in warmer climates over the winter months. This species of Canadians who migrate south for the winter is so common that they are given their own nickname: snowbirds.

Before returning the snowbird client’s call, you should be aware that the professional services you provide to this client may not be covered under your professional liability insurance policy with LAWPRO.

Generally, the Law Society program policy provides coverage to lawyers for the performance of professional services (as defined in the policy), anywhere in Canada, where such services are performed with respect to the laws of Canada, its provinces and territories. Read the rest of this entry →

Always Be Closing: Interview Skills

March 23, 2015 By: Ian Hu Category: Career management

This one is for students and young lawyers. Ivan Merrow’s recent article in Canadian Lawyer discusses how he failed at multiple interviews before finally landing a job. I experienced the same agony in law school after the first round of on-campus interviews. I ran down to the University of Toronto bookstore and bought every interview self-help book on the shelf. Shell-shocked and desperate to improve, I read what felt like everything under the sun. Eventually I found some good mentors (in and out of law) who took the time to run me through mock interviews and give me constructive criticism. Success came after much hard work and introspection.

Interviewing is a skill that can be trained. Read the rest of this entry →

Commercial debt collection scam using the names Tamotsu Sato and Daiso Co Ltd

March 23, 2015 By: TimLemieux Category: Confirmed frauds

A California firm notified us that they received an email from the purported Tamotsu Sato of Daiso Co Ltd 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 email from the fraudster to the lawyer: Read the rest of this entry →