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Wednesday, March 29, 2017 @ 9:13 AM

Law firms never talk about financial performance – here’s why they should | Julius Melnitzer

When it comes to revealing financial results, Canadian law firms continue to envelope themselves in the tightest cocoon possible.Unlike many American and British firms, our homegrown firms, the ones whom the global behemoths have not absorbed and who have most of their lawyers in Canada — including heavyweights like Blake, Cassels & Graydon; Borden Ladner Gervais; Goodmans; Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt; Stikeman Elliott; and Torys — are downright squeamish about anything to do with their financial performance, be it revenue, profits, or profits per equity partner (PEP) and associate salaries. ... [read more]

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 @ 12:13 PM

Speeding up criminal trials slows civil court system, but there are fixes | John McLeish and Stefanie Chimienti

Civil trial lawyers complain about increasing delays in the civil trial system. In Toronto, while short trials (those lasting 10 days or less), can be scheduled within a year, the same is not true for long trials. ... [read more]

Monday, March 27, 2017 @ 12:05 PM

Investment industry demands clarity on best interest standards | Nadia Campion

On Dec. 6, 2016, investment industry stakeholders from across Ontario participated in a roundtable discussion with the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) in respect of its proposed introduction of new regulatory standards aimed at enhancing the duties and obligations of investment advisers, firms and other registrants toward their clients. ... [read more]

Friday, March 24, 2017 @ 9:02 AM

Media relations isn't marketing, and that's just the first mistake lawyers make | Julius Melnitzer

When it comes to maximizing the benefits of good media relations, many Canadian law firms haven’t quite got it yet. For those of you who are thinking, “What are you talking about? The profession’s marketing savvy has come a very long way” — you’re making my point. What a lot of law firms still don’t seem to understand is that marketing and media relations are two distinct arts. Lumping them together is akin to shoving an admiralty lawyer and an entertainment lawyer into the same pigeonhole. ... [read more]

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 @ 9:11 AM

Bonkalo report: Questions about paralegals for family cases | Nicholas Bala

The recently released Family Legal Services Review, authored by retired chief justice Annemarie Bonkalo, offers some sound recommendations addressing concerns related to the growing number of unrepresented family litigants, but also makes controversial proposals for allowing representation by paralegals in family cases. These proposals raise fundamental questions about the different roles of lawyers and paralegals. ... [read more]

Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 7:57 AM

No one should be satisfied with Canada’s system of parole | Anthony Doob and Rosemary Gartner

Probably nobody – other than Parole Board of Canada members – is happy with Canada’s system of parole for those serving fixed prison sentences.Setting aside those with indeterminate or life sentences, parole now may constitute the worst of all possible worlds. ... [read more]

Thursday, March 16, 2017 @ 8:53 AM

Law Society should leave referral fees alone | Darryl Singer

You would think from all the media hype and law society pronouncements, that the concept of referral fees among lawyers was a bad thing that harmed innocent clients. In fact, the reverse is true. ... [read more]

Monday, March 13, 2017 @ 9:18 AM

In family law, jurisdiction where relationship ends more important than where it began | Sarah Boulby

One of the challenges that family lawyers face in advising clients is having to explain the many ways in which a client’s reasonable expectation about his or her rights when a marriage end differs from what the law provides.  This is true of many aspects of family law but can be most striking in multi-jurisdictional cases in which a family have moved during their relationship. Family law is location specific, not family specific. ... [read more]

Tuesday, March 07, 2017 @ 12:02 AM

Rethink the billable hour to give middle class access to justice | Julius Melnitzer

The best thing the legal profession’s regulators could do to ensure access to justice for the middle class is to ban hourly billing — or at least mandate some sense into its use. ... [read more]

Friday, March 03, 2017 @ 3:02 PM

Access to Justice: Thinking big about access to justice | Thomas Cromwell

Access to justice is the biggest challenge facing our legal system. And just about every lawyer I know cares deeply about the health of that system and many are trying to help. But do we understand the problem and are we making progress? Those questions will be the jumping off spot for my exclusive to The Lawyer’s Daily column dedicated to access to civil and family justice in the coming months. ... [read more]