Business of Law

Issues relating to the practice of law

BARE BONES BRIEFS: LSO panel splits on whether Black Lives Matter criticism is professional misconduct | Firm sues ‘underbilling’ associates | Remote lawyering: longer hours: CLIO survey | LSO suspends paralegal who cost clients $500,000 | CTA: compensation for passenger applies to all others on same flight

By Julius Melnitzer | March 8, 2023 IS AGGRESSIVE CRITICISM OF BLACK LIVES MATTER PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT? A Law Society Tribunal has split on whether social media posts criticizing Black Lives Matter, Pride Day and public health mask mandates amounted to professional misconduct. Lisa Simone, who was applying for a paralegal license, admitted the posts were […]

The difficult art of handling clients

By Julius Melnitzer | February 6, 2023 The art of managing one’s clients has befuddled many a lawyer. But Sean Dillman, an enterprising, tech-savvy, ex-general practitioner and co-manager of a law firm has come up with a novel approach: a client prepared for the lawyer experience, he says, will be much easier to manage. To […]

BARE BONES BRIEFS: Family lawyers make these professional misconduct mistakes | Clio offers escape from restrictive legaltech contracts | Wikipedia influences judges’ decisions: MIT study | Former CJO Strathy joins Arbitration Place | Medical device mass torts proliferating

By Julius Melnitzer | January 30, 2023 PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT MISTAKES FAMILY LAWYERS SHOULD AVOID In a Six Minute Family Lawyer Program, Bill Trudell, who defends lawyers before the Law Society of Ontario, outlined five Rules of Professional Conduct “that frequently are not followed and ones that may be of particular relevance to the family law […]

Law Society of Ontario accepts license surrender from lawyer Jerry Nesker who misused trust account

Bill Trudell says his client was trying to help a client and didn’t intend wrongdoing. By Julius Melnitzer | January 3, 2023 The Law Society Tribunal has allowed veteran Toronto lawyer Jerry Nesker to surrender his license after using his trust account to permit transfers of $150 million from abroad for purposes unrelated to the practice […]

Ottawa lawyer James Bowie, accused of sexual misconduct, suspended by LSO in unrelated proceedings

Ottawa lawyer James Bowie was suspended by the Law Society of Ontario indefinitely. By Julius Melnitzer | January 2, 2023 The Law Society of Ontario has suspended embattled Ottawa lawyer James Bowie indefinitely until he responds satisfactorily to investigators’ requests to produce books and records related to his practice. When and if he does so, the […]

Lawyers may ask courts to invalidate their retainer agreements: Ontario Court of Appeal

Gavin MacKenzie says the decision will not lead to lawyers bringing a “flood of applications.” By Julius Melnitzer | December 5, 2022 In a case of first impression, the Ontario Court of Appeal has been asked to strike a written retainer agreement because it was not “fair and reasonable” to the lawyer. But the court declined to […]

Veteran litigator calls for Ontario to reinstitute KC designation

John Campion says that the late AG, Ian Scott, abolished QCs but kept his grandfathered QC when he returned to practice. By Julius Melnitzer | December 2, 2022 A veteran litigator’s call for Ontario to reinstitute the King’s Counsel designation appears to be gaining significant professional support. John Campion, currently a partner at Toronto’s Gardiner […]

Cyber resilience, not just cybersecurity, is the key to managing cyberattacks

Michael Castro says it’s impossible to be totally secure against cyberattacks By Julius Melnitzer | November 28, 2022 Cybersecurity, it turns out, is passé. According to the World Economic Forum, cyber resilience is the new standard. What’s the difference? Cybersecurity is all about foundational security controls. Cyber resilience – which the WEF calls “the defining […]

Courthouse law libraries get funding boost at Law Society of Ontario Convocation vote

Douglas Judson says courthouse libraries are “mission critical” to lawyers in remote areas. By Julius Melnitzer | November 17, 2022 The Federation of Ontario Law Associations, which penned an open letter to benchers seeking support for courthouse law libraries in the current budget, has achieved its goal. In early November, Convocation passed the 2023 budget, which included […]

OCA confirms lawyers’ duty to communicate terms of retainer clearly

Gary Boyd says circumstances can’t change the plain meaning of a contract By Julius Melnitzer | October 31, 2022 In siding with two law firms’ interpretation of a retainer agreement, the Ontario Court of Appeal has confirmed lawyers’ duty to communicate the agreement’s terms to their clients clearly. “If there is any ambiguity in a […]

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