Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Native judge named to lead healing forum

See the news story at the National Post.

Justice Harry LaForme, a Mississauga Indian from Ontario, was appointed yesterday to head a federal truth and reconciliation commission exploring the legacy of abuse in Indian residential schools. A former commissioner of the Indian Commission of Ontario, he is a member of the Ontario Court of Appeal and was the first aboriginal to be appointed to an appellate court in the history of Canada.

I am so pleased to see this appointment and this commission. It is wonderful to have an aboriginal heading this, and one so well respected and well educated. I hope that it will give some of the survivors a sense of comfort and safety.

I am currently working on some residential school files, specifically with the Independent Assessment Process. It is proving to be extremely interesting. My grandmother went to a residential school, so I have a real empathy for these people.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Law firms do the math - outsourcing

I just read an interesting article at Financial Post published today. It was the 2nd part of a series, and is about the concept of outsourcing legal work to offshore companies (i.e. India). My eyes are opened so often in this career. Who would have thought that an Indian lawyer just outside of Mumbai could take on a legal task that me or my colleague here in Canada might be in charge of. If there is any truth to this article, I think that the lawyers in North America, the U.K. and Australia ought to make sure that they are doing their homework and that they are prepared to provide some added-value legal services, if they want to retain the kind of work that they so readily enjoy.

An interesting read.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Running low on lawyers?; Attracting attorneys to Peterborough a tough sell

Here's an interesting article on a subject dear to me: staying away from Big Law:


Peterborough Examiner - April 19, 2008

Coming out of law school, local lawyer David O'Neill could have done what most law grads do - move to Toronto.

The big money, the big firms, the big city is attracting a mass exodus of young lawyers from across the province at increasing rates.

Instead, the Peterborough native came home and joined a small firm. "Most of my classmates moved to Toronto," O'Neill said. "There are a lot more opportunities there and higher pays."

At 32, O'Neill is bucking the trend. He represents a minority of young lawyers who have chosen a smaller locale.

With the average age of Ontario's lawyers reaching 50 and most law school graduates heading to the Greater Toronto Area, communities such as Peterborough could be heading toward a lawyer crunch.

It's a tough sell telling people they need more lawyers.

Read the whole article here.

Law society should still teach ethics, say critics

By Nora Rock
The Lawyers Weekly
April 18 2008

A Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) Bencher has said she is appalled by a proposed retreat by the LSUC from ethics teaching in the Bar Admissions program. “I think it is a retrograde step... We are doing the wrong thing. We are betraying the profession,” said Bencher Heather Ross at a recent conference on legal ethics.

An interesting article...read it here.

Revised proposal for LU law school being reviewed

From Thunder Bay's The Source:

Lakehead University's latest proposal for a new law school is now in the hands of officials in southern Ontario and they may have their final answer by the end of April.

Read the whole article here.

Results of the Yellow Pages Ads

Sorry for not posting lately. It's been over a month. But, here's some good news:

Last year, I had a small sized ad in the yellow pages. I only remember getting one telephone call from that ad. This year, we did the ads in my last posting. The Estates one was a 1/2 page and the divorce one was a small business card sized ad. We have received numerous telephone calls from both. We have been keeping track, and everybody we talk to seems to like the simplicity of the messages in the ads. We have gotten about 5 new clients from the estates ad, and about 4 new clients from the divorce ad. So far, the increased ad costs have been paid for and then some! I am very pleased about this. And, it has only been a month since the pages were released, so I hope for more in the future. I have also had a number of people call about separate legal issues (i.e. not estates or divorces), which I find really interesting.