♫ Yeah yeah yeah yeah
I feel so alive
Now is the time
Yeah yeah yeah yeah
Let’s shout it out…♫
Music and lyrics by Wally Lopez, recorded by Jasmin Villegas.
Now is the time to nominate deserving blogs for the 2013 Clawbie Awards! There were so many to consider that, as usual, I had a very hard time just picking three. I am going to confine my nominations to BC Blogs, thinking that there are so many others back east that can nominate blogs in their jurisdictions that together we can help unearth the best in Canada. So with no further ado:
1. BC Law Watch Blog: Dye & Durham is BC’s full-service legal registry expert. “Founded in 1874, Dye & Durham Corporation (D&D) has been a reliable provider of timely and accurate information for well over a century. With 150 employees and 5 locations, we are also the largest, most comprehensive provider of legal support services in British Columbia and across Canada.” They have just done a great job in keeping the legal profession up to date on the developments within the legal profession in British Columbia with their BC Law Watch Blog. They also tweet at @bclawwatch. A ‘must read’ if you practice law in BC and they are a fine example for other similar legal service blogs in other jurisdictions.
2. J.P. Boyd on Family Law Blog: John-Paul Boyd is the executive director of the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, a non-profit society affiliated with the University of Calgary. Before joining the institute, John-Paul practiced for thirteen years as an arbitrator, parenting coordinator, collaborative practitioner, mediator and litigator in Vancouver, BC.
John-Paul is the founding author of the public legal education wikibook JP Boyd on Family Law (originally published as JP Boyd’s BC Family Law Resource) and its syndicated companion blog, J.P. Boyd 0n Family Law. A wonderful resource on all matters involved with family law.
3. Eric Magraken’s BC Injury Law Blog: Again this year Eric has continued his wonderful blog on BC Injury Law and its developments. I constantly refer young lawyers who are interested in setting up a blog to visit Eric’s site and learn from his fine example.
Honourable Mentions: I can’t just leave it here. Here are the ones that fully deserve a mention, if I could only nominate more (and these are not limited to BC Blogs):
1. Stanley Rule’s Rule of Law Blog: I love the clever name but there is much much more to Stanley’s blog than just a clever name. As Stanley says: “I am a lawyer at the law firm of Sabey Rule LLP who works with people, assisting them with estate planning, probate and estate administration. I also assist people in resolving disputes about wills and estates. In this blog, I write about some of the legal topics that I deal with in my law practice, and about other legal issues that interest me. In doing so, I hope that I help others learn more about law, and that I encourage discussion about law and law reform. I hope that, in some small way, I help nurture the rule of law.”
2. Samantha Collier’s Social Media for Law Firms Blog: Samantha’s blog is clever, eye-appealing and full of great content. Not surprisingly: “Samantha Collier assists lawyers, law firms and legal industry consultants in their social media marketing efforts. The author of Social Media for Law Firms, winner of the 2011 Canadian Law Blog Awards in the Best Practice Management Category, Samantha is also recognized in ”The 24: Canada’s Top Legal Social Media Influencers” from The Counsel Network.”
3. Jordan Furlong’s Law21 Blog: Jordan is one of the judges and as such his blog is ineligible for an award. But he doesn’t need one. His blog is simply excellent in terms of setting forth his views in looking forward to where the legal profession is heading…even if others do not agree with him. In Jordan’s own words: “I’m a lawyer, speaker, industry analyst, and consultant based in Ottawa, Canada. I’m a principal with the global consulting firm Edge International and a senior consultant with legal web development company Stem Legal Web Enterprises. I specialize in delivering dynamic and thought-provoking presentations to law firms, practice groups, and legal organizations at a time of unprecedented marketplace change.”
4. Dan Pinnington’s Avoid a Claim Blog: Dan’s work on attempted frauds against lawyers and law firms is just the tip of the iceberg on this blog. This is a wonderful blog and just worth anyone’s time, particularly if they suspect that they have received an email or other fraud solicitation.
5. Slaw.ca: Simon Fodden’s brainchild is the leading legal blog in Canada, hands down. Another ‘must read’ by all lawyers of every practice area in Canada.
Those are my nominations for 2013. Yeah Yeah Yeah let’s shout it out!~
Posted in Business Development, Change Management, Issues facing Law Firms, Law Firm Strategy, Leadership and Strategic Planning, personal focus and renewal, Technology, Tips, Trends | Permalink | 2 Comments »
♫ Silent night, Holy night
All is calm, all is bright..♫
Music by Franz Xaver Gruber, lyrics by Joseph Mohr, recorded by the Argyle Alumni Choir.
As in seasons past, I would like to pause from the hustle and bustle of our busy lives we all lead and warmly wish each and everyone the Best of the Holiday Season, Merry Christmas and a Wonderful and Happy New Year. With each passing year I feel it is even more important to reach out to friends and all those dear to us and remind them that they are the ones who truly bring meaning to our lives.
To all I wish for Peace, Hope and Happiness. For now and always, may your dreams become hopes, your hopes become plans and your plans become realities in the New Year.
My gift to you again this year is a few minutes of music and images, a time of joy and reflection in looking back at the year’s past events. This musical slide show combines two of my loves: photography and music. With some exceptions, most images have all been taken during the last 12 months with a Panasonic DMS-G3 camera with the 14-42mm Lumix G VARIO f/3.5-5.6 lens or an Olympus TOUGH with an Olympus 4.5-15 mm f/2.0-4.9 lens.
I hope this slide show and music (please turn your speakers on) brings to you a time of calm, joy and peace. The music is of course perhaps the most well-known Christmas hymn: “Silent Night”; from Wikipedia: “(German: Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht) is a popular Christmas carol, composed in 1818 by Franz Xaver Gruber to lyrics by Joseph Mohr in the small town of Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria. It was declared an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in March 2011.” It is performed by the Argyle Alumni Choir, Argyle Senior Secondary School, North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, copyright Frances Roberts, Director. Used with permission.
I hope you enjoy the combination of the music and the images. Please be patient – they do take a bit of time to load. The time between slides has been extended just a wee bit since last year some people said there wasn’t enough time per slide to really see the image. I hope this works better!
Best wishes for a safe holiday!
(For those interested, the slide show was created originally in PowerPoint, converted to Keynote and converted into a Quicktime file on a MacBook, then uploaded to ScreenCast.com).
Prior Seasons Greetings slide shows can be viewed here:
Posted in Adding Value, Change Management, Firm Governance, humour, Law Firm Strategy, Leadership and Strategic Planning, Make it Work!, personal focus and renewal, Technology, Tips, Trends | Permalink | 2 Comments »
♫ ‘Cause In These Times, These Changing Times
A Transition Is Occuring And I Am Not Blind
As The Pendlum Swings A New Age We Enter…♫
Music, lyrics and recorded by The Beastie Boys.
This is a guest post from the British Columbia Land Title & Survey Authority. I am publishing it here as it raises important issues for all those who file documents in the Land Title System in British Columbia.
LTSA Updates System Requirements for its Electronic Services
Support to end for Internet Explorer 7 and 8, and Windows XP
December 5, 2013
The Land Title and Survey Authority (LTSA) has updated the system requirements for its Electronic Services in anticipation of the myLTSA portal which will be in full operation on May 1, 2014.
The new system requirements recommend customers use Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) versions 9 or 10. Customers should apply all software updates to their browser, have compatibility mode disabled, and set their browser’s encryption level to at least 256-bit.
As of January 2014, the LTSA will discontinue support of IE 7, and one year later in January 2015 will discontinue support of IE 8. The LTSA will also end support of Windows XP operating system in April 2014 which is when Microsoft will terminate its support of this operating system. Support by Microsoft of IE 7 and IE 8 will end in January 2015. For more information, see www.microsoft.com
To comply with the LTSA’s updated system requirements, these important changes may be required:
- Internet Explorer 7, Internet Explorer 8 and Windows XP users should upgrade to a higher version within the time period specified. To upgrade, visit www.microsoft.com
- Compatibility mode settings should be disabled in all versions of IE (this is the default setting)
- Minimum encryption level should be 256-bit in all versions of IE (this is the default setting in IE 8 and higher)
The LTSA’s Electronic Services can be used on any computer with an Internet connection and support the following versions of Internet Explorer and Windows operating system:
Internet Explorer version 7
- Apply all Microsoft software updates.
- Support for Internet Explorer 7 will end in January 2014.
Internet Explorer version 8
- Apply all Microsoft software updates.
- Support for Internet Explorer 8 will end in January 2015.
Internet Explorer versions 9 and 10
- Recommended. Apply all Microsoft software updates applied.
Microsoft Windows XP
- Apply Service Pack 3. Support will end in April 2014.
Microsoft Windows Vista
- Apply Service Pack 2.
Microsoft Windows 7
- Recommended. Apply Service Pack 1. Read the rest of this entry »
♫ If you reach for the heavens
You get the stars thrown in
Anthing can happen
… go and chase your dreams
you won’t regret it
Anything can happen
Anything can happen…♫
Music and Lyrics by Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman.
Mary Poppins! Now just what does she have to do with law practice management? The Broadway Musical version is currently playing at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage in Vancouver and if you are looking for an absolutely charming show this holiday season that will sweep you and everyone that you bring along into its magic that is practically perfect in every way, this is it. The acting is simply superb – the challenge for the actors on in taking such a well-known production to the stage is for them to place their own stamp on the characters and make them distinct enough from the 1964 movie which starred Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews to make it come alive and take you along with them. This production excels in that regard and the story unfolds before your eyes, assisted by clever sets, imaginative moving backdrops and some incredible special effects. The Stanley doesn’t have an orchestra pit yet the musical director has managed to fit the musicians somewhere backstage and have the story flow to their wonderful score.
So how does all this relate to law practice management? Managing a law practice is all about leadership, vision and change. As Bill Millerd, the Artistic Managing Director of the Arts Club says in his message about the production:
“Theatre can effect change …..and although we often go to the theatre for its ability to entertain us, the incredible history of theatrical writing has given us works that transform the way we look at life. Great works of art do that, and theatre, because of the special nature of the live medium, can transform us in more provocative ways.”
The message is a strong one – reach for the heavens and go and chase your dreams. Anything can happen!
Just remember to look for the Hidden Mickey!Posted in Change Management, humour, personal focus and renewal, Tips | Permalink | No Comments »
♫ Let’s tell the future
Let’s see how it’s been done
By numbers, by mirrors, by water
By dots made at random on paper…♫
Lyrics, Music and recorded by Susan Vega.
(images: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fire_craker.jpg and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:San_Diego_Fireworks.jpg – creative commons licence)
“The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Create it” has been variously attributed to many authors, particularly Dennis Gabor.
Accordingly this is a call for all gentle readers to contribute their tips and predictions for 2014! Last year we heard from Stephanie Kimbro, Nate Russell, Tom Spraggs, Richard Granat, Jean Francois De Rico, Mitch Kowalski, John Zeleznikow, Andrew Clark, Colin Rule, Robert Denney, Ross Fishman, Noric Dilanchian, Steve Matthews and of course, Jordan Furlong.
I think that this is the most interested series of posts in the year and so I invite everyone to submit a post and we all can see what everyone thinks the future of law and legal practice will be like!
Let’s tell the future!Posted in Adding Value, Budgeting, Business Development, Change Management, Firm Governance, Fraud and theft, humour, I'm a Mac, Issues facing Law Firms, Law Firm Strategy, Leadership and Strategic Planning, Make it Work!, personal focus and renewal, Technology, Tips, Trends | Permalink | 4 Comments »
Will you fight for your name? ♫
I have to say that I was quite taken by this book. In keeping with the “One Hour” theme, it packs a lot of thoughtful ideas into its 98 pages. It starts out with the expected question: “What is Personal Branding?” and takes you thru an exploration of “Why Does Your Personal Brand Matter?” I particularly liked the chapter on “Is Your Personal Brand Happy?” with such sub-topics as: “Step into your Creative Brain” and “Who Cares about Joy?”. Now you may ask what does “Joy” have to do with branding or even the practice of law? As it turns out, quite a bit, apparently! SO many lawyers I have talked to do not find much joy in what they do. Yet Goshtasbi states that “People buy the products and services that ultimately bring them joy.” If you don’t project joy in your daily life, in your career and in what you do, then how do you make your clients happy?
Goshtasbi states: “What if you went on a campaign to make sure every legal client and prospect felt utter joy and happiness anytime they ran across you, your name, your firm name, or any mention of you and your legal services? Your business would boom, and your ability to produce quality legal product would increase as well.”
Once you have grasped the fundamental point that communicating joy is key, then Goshtasbi advises you to find your natural talent and make it your intention to make sure you perform it daily to bring joy to your work as you have brought it to your life. With that as your foundation, she then takes you on the process to establish your unique selling proposition (what sets you apart from other lawyers), visual branding, marketing materials, networking and communicating your personal brand.
This is one book that I would highly recommend that every lawyer and in particular, young lawyers, read. It is available online from the ABA for $49.95 (USD) or $39.95 if you are an ABA Law Practice Division member. Now, what would you do after you are branded?
Posted in Adding Value, Business Development, Change Management, Firm Governance, Issues facing Law Firms, Law Firm Strategy, Leadership and Strategic Planning, personal focus and renewal, Tips, Trends | Permalink | No Comments »
♫ Silver whistle and an old clipboard
A polo shirt and a pair of gray shorts
In that summer haze, remember those two a days
Tougher than a 10 pound sack of nails
He’d throw down his hat and start to yell
At the top of his lungs, front and center, son
What were you thinkin’ on that play?
Take a lap and when you come back
Maybe you’ll do things my way
Let me tell you why I don’t let things slide
If you can live through me, boy, you can get through life
‘Round here what I say goes ‘cause I’m the coach..♫
This is another guest post from Beth Flynn at the The Ohio State University Leadership Center. I know that sports metaphors sometimes are a bit overdone in the context of business leadership and coaching, but this post struck a nerve with me and I felt it went beyond the typical stuff that is written in this regard.
Accordingly here is Beth’s post on what we can learn from sports coaches:
- To ask ourselves if we have communicated the goal for the team we lead.
- In order to communicate the goal, we have to know and believe in the result we want to achieve.
- It doesn’t matter what the goal for the year is if the people on your team don’t trust your motives.
- You have to possess personal values that the people on your team respect. Or put a different way, they need to see a level of personal integrity on your part that gives them the confidence to follow your leadership.
- You have to know it to lead it.
- You have to know your business (know the sport) and be dedicated to constantly improving your knowledge of it.
- You have to lead each individual.
- The coach knows that his or her efforts can’t be directed at the group exclusively. He or she will have to teach the fundamentals individually to each player.
- Create a team to be a leader.
- The coach also knows that after the individuals know their fundamentals, it’s up to him or her to create a winning team. The coach knows that she/he has to take individuals and determine how to put them together for maximum benefit (Monastero, 2010, p. 60-63).
From: Monastero, S. (2010). Winning at leadership: how to become an effective leader. Bloomington, IN: IUNIVERSE, Inc.
Winning at Leadership is available from the OSU Leadership Center. Click here to borrow this resource or any other resource. Once you are on their website, click on the Spectrum icon.
Learn how the Ohio State University Leadership Center is inspiring others to take a leadership role that empowers the world at http://leadershipcenter.osu.edu
To begin receiving Leadership Moments, or to update your information, please click on OSU’s Join Our Mailing List button on their website.
Thanks Beth for keeping us up on leadership moments and not letting things slide!Posted in Business Development, Change Management, Firm Governance, Issues facing Law Firms, Law Firm Strategy, Leadership and Strategic Planning, personal focus and renewal, Tips, Trends | Permalink | 1 Comment »
♫ Digital, criminals you’ll make meals in cyber-crime
Let’s all plan ahead, 2 times, I keep the chimes to a great mind… ♫
Lyrics and music by GZA, Inspectah Deck, Killah Priest.
LawPro, the Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Company (LAWPRO) has announced that they will be providing a $250,000 submit coverage for eligible cybercrime losses in the 2014 policy year.
LawPro is a wholly Canadian owned insurance company that provides professional liability insurance to lawyers in Ontario and TitlePLUS title insurance coast-to-coast. LAWPRO is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The cybercrime coverage appears to have been prompted by cyber attacks in 2012. According to LawPro’s newsletter:
In late 2012, LAWPRO learned of a high-value cyber attack on an Ontario firm. The attack was highly sophisticated and complex, and was designed to permit the fraudster to gain direct access to a firm’s trust account using online banking privileges. For details about this attack and how to avoid being the victim of a similar fraud, see our December 21, 2012, post on the AvoidAClaim blog:
avoidaclaim.com/2012/ontario-law-firm-victim-of-large-frauddue- to-infection-by-trojan-banker-virus/. This is in addition to instances reported in the media involving cyber attacks against several law firms to access confidential client information.
According to LawPro:
At LAW PRO, we believe that preventing breaches in confidentiality and financial losses due to these cyber attacks is a responsibility we all share. Law firms and individual staff members and lawyers who work in them must educate themselves about cyber risks and take all reasonable steps to ensure that data and funds are securely protected. Insurance against resulting losses should be viewed as a worst-case remedy, and not a replacement for preventive and protective steps.
The particulars of the coverage are to be found in the 2014 policy. LawPro states:
Lawyers should also understand that the sublimit provided, like all areas of the policy, applies to losses arising from lawyers providing professional services as lawyers. Losses that a firm might experience that go beyond this type of insurance coverage include reputational loss, physical damage or business interruption.
While this coverage is innovative in Canada, it does not alleviate the necessity for law firms to be vigilant and take every precaution to avoid being taken in by digital criminals.Firm Governance, Fraud and theft, Issues facing Law Firms, Law Firm Strategy, Leadership and Strategic Planning, Tips, Trends | Permalink | No Comments »
♫ Password, please use the password
It opens the door to my heart…♫
Password, recorded by Kitty Wells.
The writer spoke yesterday at the Privacy and Access 20/20: A New Vision for Information Rights‘ workshop on Legal Ethics dealing with issues of privacy, security and technology for lawyers and their clients. The writer spoke along with Dr. Benjamin Goold, Associate Professor of Law and Associate Dean Academic Affairs, University of British Columbia and Tamara Hunter, Associate Counsel and Head of the Davis LLP Privacy Law Compliance Group.
This workshop was part of the pre-conference sessions and was a two-hour practice management and ethics seminar from a privacy law perspective. We addressed such issues as the use of technologies such as cloud computing by lawyers, and information security considerations including encryption, adequate passwords and mobile devices.
We dealt with a whole range of matters including the Law Society of British Columbia’s Cloud Computing Checklist and other other issues such as maintaining strong passwords.
I thought I would post on how lawyers can maintain strong passwords and not cause themselves grief in trying to remember complex series of upper, lowercase and symbols to craft strong passwords.
First, how do you create strong passwords? I use the Perfect Password generator on Steve Gibson’s website www.grc.com. Steve states that “Every time this page is displayed, our server generates a unique set of custom, high quality, cryptographic-strength password strings which are safe for you to use.” You can read the techy details of how the passwords are generated and why Steve states that they are safe on his password web page. Suffice it to say that Steve has a long history of protecting client information and system security.
OK so you have a 63 character random password that is highly secure. How can you possibly remember this? For one, *don’t* put it into an Excel spreadsheet or Word document on your computer. Malware will scan for these and then you will have lost all your passwords if your computer is compromised.
Much better to use a proper password manager such as LastPass. It works on practically every platform:
It is easy to use and has received praise from C|Net, PCMagazine, LifeHacker and many others. Best of all you only need to remember one password – the one to open LastPass. You can then enter your long secure passwords into web forms with just one click.
There is a free version or a premium version for $12/year.
With so many lawyers entering data on the cloud (not to mention using banking and e-commerce sites and such) it is comforting to know that you are secure by using complex passwords and protecting them in a proper way.
So to ensure maximum privacy and security, please use strong passwords and a good password manager – and use them to open all sorts of electronic doors…
Cross-posted to slawtips.caPosted in Fraud and theft, Issues facing Law Firms, Law Firm Strategy, Make it Work!, Technology, Tips, Trends | Permalink | No Comments »
On Friday Oct 4, 2013 a unique event will occur in Canada’s legal community. For the first time there will be a Canadian Legal Technology conference that will be accessible right across the country, courtesy of the ability to webcast all tracks and sessions concurrently (except for the noon keynote that will be recorded and put up for viewing later due to technical restraints).
The Pacific Legal Technology Conference is accessible from 8:45 Pacific to 5:30 Pacific – in person or on the web. This conference has grown and grown due to one important factor: its foundation is the result of an on-line survey of all past attendees. That on-line survey, designed by the planning board, contains all the possible topics that they can think of – then it is the survey respondents’ turn to tell us what topics are most important to them. This conference is not just about legal technology – it incorporates technology right down to its core. Its focus is that of the practising lawyer who is battling with all types of problems – and who is looking for concrete and practical solutions to help her practice better, faster and not the least of all, cheaper (such as the session “Tech applied to Dull Ordinary Things that MUST get Done”).
The theme this year is “Lawyers, Leadership and Technology” and focuses on leadership and change management. These are themes that are coming to bear on the practice of law as we move forward, underscored by the increasing rate of change in technology with which all of us have to cope. The session: “Implementation: The Hardest Technology to Change is the Human Brain” deals with the challenge of incorporating change into our environments.
Dan Pinnington in his post on Slaw on the conference stated that: “I think this is the best legal technology conference in the country.” As a past American Bar Association TECHSHOW Chair he should know. Dan also said:
I am disappointed that I can’t attend or speak this year because of conflict. As a past attendee and speaker, I can say you will get the same high quality content, speakers and materials that you would get at ABA Techshow.
While we will miss Dan this year, there will be experts from right across North America – from Florida to Alaska and of course, across Canada. Simon Chester (a past ABA TECHSHOW chair), Richard Ferguson (an ABA TECHSHOW speaker), Debbie Foster (an ABA Techshow Chair), Joe Kashi (an ABA TECHSHOW speaker), David Paul QC (long standing CBA author and presenter) and others round out the rich roster of speakers.
Sessions include a heavy emphasis of ethics: “Backups, Security, Privacy and Ethics in a Mobile World” and “Ethically Growing your Practice with Social Media”. The conference qualifies for 6.25 PD credits in Ontario and 6 in Saskatchewan and BC.
Litigators have their own track that includes “What Technology should you Take to Court or a Mediation (iPads to Electronic Courtrooms)” The closing session “All the Gadgets, Sites and More we can Squeeze into 60 minutes” focuses on providing as many useful tips as the speakers can fit into an hour.
The next Pacific Legal Technology Conference won’t be until 2015. Just imagine how much the legal technology landscape will have changed by then! I can hardly wait!
(cross posted to SlawTips)Posted in Adding Value, Business Development, Change Management, Firm Governance, I'm a Mac, Issues facing Law Firms, Law Firm Strategy, Leadership and Strategic Planning, Make it Work!, Technology, Tips, Trends | Permalink | No Comments »