Tag: Canadian Lawyer
Listen to Personal Liability
This week on Hull on Estate and Succession Planning, Ian Hull talks about the extensive personal liability of an estate trustee.
Also, in the March 2008 issue of Canadian Lawyer, the Toronto Estate Law Blog was ranked as one of Canada’s Top Ten Law-Related Blogs by Gerry Blackwell. The list also included Michael Geist’s blog, Law is Cool and the Rule of Law blog from Kelowna, BC. In the same issue of Canadian Lawyer, Suzana Popovic-Montag was featured as a leader in the world of law and social media. Kudos!
Access to justice in Ontario is a hot topic and a priority for Attorney General Michael Bryant. In fact, he is the force behind various changes we are seeing in the legal arena that according to Jim Middlemiss (in his article Smile, you’re on CA Camera published in the March 2007 edition of Canadian Lawyer) include the introduction of the Access to Justice Act, 2006 that reforms the justice of the peace system and regulates paralegals.
Another change being made affects the Ontario Court of Appeal where cameras are being allowed in the courtroom for some hearings as part of a pilot project. Now, more than ever, counsel will have to enter this court with robes ironed, hair styled and legal arguments ready. The pressure is on. Not only do counsel have to persuade appellate judges of the merit of their client’s case, counsel has to do it on national television!
While the objective is a worthy one – providing an unobstructed view of our justice system at work – I must admit I am more interested in the impact televised hearings will have on the form and presentation of legal argument. I expect that some lawyers may be unnerved by the watchful eye of the public, some may be eager to make a name for themselves and some may not be fazed at all.
My hope is that it will further add to the caliber of advocacy and professionalism and inspire the public to take an interest.
Over the past year, our firm has engaged in various renovations of our office space, including opening an office in Oakville for meeting with clients. It turns out that many law firms have caught the renovation bug, and are striving to modernize and smarten up their office space, and with that, their image in the marketplace.
A recent article in the November/December 2006 issue of Canadian Lawyer commented on this recent trend. The goal appears to be to redesign one’s office space so that it doesn’t look like a typical, conservative, traditional law office. Many law firms now want to project a look and image that is modern, flexible, efficient, and progressive. A way to do this is by redesigning office space. Flat panel television screens are replacing portraits (usually, of old sombre gentlemen) and dark wood panelling is giving way to soft colours and glass. Partners, say goodbye to those large corner offices – smaller offices that are all the same size are part of the redesign of law office space.
The Canadian Lawyer article makes the interesting point that changing one’s office space represents a huge opportunity for firms to re-brand themselves or reinforce their existing brand. A firm’s working environment reflects who they are and how they want to be perceived by clients. Redesigning one’s office space is also about taking advantage of the latest technology, facilitating work, cutting costs and improving client services. For example, standardizing the size of lawyers’ offices can cut overhead costs while improving efficiency. No more time wasted on office politics about who got the nicer office!
Have a great day!
Bianca La Neve