Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Lawyers: What do lawyers do anyways?

Lots of prospective and current law students have been asking me what the daily life of a lawyer is like. Well, I can't speak for every lawyer out there, but I can tell you what my life is like, and what my colleague's lives are like. I'll probably post a few entries on this topic, and will add it to the second edition of my book.

Yesterday, the biggest thing that I did was to help one of our clients settle a claim for a substantial amount of debt. We did it through a 4 way negotiation, whereby the lawyer for the debtor (other side) put forward some information and an offer to settle the debt. We asked a bunch of questions, then caucused for quite a while. In the end, we ended up agreeing to the offer, as we felt the risk of trying to pursue the remainder was too high. Our client would end up with about $0.70 on the dollar, and I guess they were willing to take that. It probably would have ended up costing them a lot more to try to pursue the remainder, and the interest. One of the biggest parts of the practice of law is advising clients on risk. That was my main job in this matter. There was a chance that all could have been lost. All parties ended up fairly happy, and the matter was finalized very quickly. Had it gone to trial, everyone would have been very unhappy.

Today, I completed a quantum assessment for a personal injury file. Basically, what I had to do was an exhaustive search of case law that typified the type of injury and the circumstances of the accident. I gathered this information and analyzed it, coming up with a range of potential general damages that might be awarded to our client. We will then bring that analysis to the other side and see if they would like to negotiate a settlement. The reason for doing this quantum is to show the other side that indeed the courts have awarded $ for similar incidents.

Today I also completed an application for a new non-profit society, and am in the process of completing two applications for trade-marks. Other stuff I have on my plate right now include a huge donation to a church, which includes just a ton of paperwork; an application for registry of a federal corporation; a sale agreement for some agricultural equipment; a residential tenancies issue; an ongoing debtor-creditor litigation matter which involves some tricky arguing about Limitation periods; drafting of a contract for an online publisher; and a breach of contract matter. Lots of variety. Lots of challenges.

Tomorrow I have to go and make an application in Masters Chambers at the courthouse for an order to release some property. It's not all fancy courthouse stuff in my practice, as I tend to do a lot more solicitor's work, and most of my litigation matters never reach trial.

More later...back to work.

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