Regulating Law Firms

As we say goodbye to 2016, it’s time to embrace 2017. For 2017, law societies should place an emphasis on regulating law firms. A law firm’s culture seeps into the very make-up of its constituent lawyers. An unethical culture breeds unethical lawyers. An ethical culture breeds ethical lawyers. In “Regulating Law Firms in Canada“, Professor Adam Dodek … Continue reading Regulating Law Firms

Is Justice Blind?

Justice is blind or so they say. It is supposed to pay “no heed to the social status or personal characteristics of the litigants”. But this simply is not true. Race, gender, religion, socio-economic background, sexuality, ethnicity, ability, education, family upbringing, all play a role in the way judges assess the cases before them. But … Continue reading Is Justice Blind?

No Damages For A Commitment Phob’s Worst Nightmare

It’s a tale as old as time. Man meets woman. Woman gets pregnant. Man feels trapped. Except this time, the man asks for money. “Money for what?” – you ask. Money to compensate him for the emotional trauma of the “unplanned pregnancy”. In PP v DD, 2016 ONSC 258, Justice Perell described their courtship. They … Continue reading No Damages For A Commitment Phob’s Worst Nightmare

Dressing for the Law

“Vain trifles as they seem, clothes have, they say, more important offices than to merely keep us warm. They change our view of the world and the world’s view of us.”- Virginia Woolf Clothing defines us. It marks us. It deceives us. In “January: A Woman Judge’s Season of Disillusion” by the Honourable Marie Corbett, she … Continue reading Dressing for the Law

Sumner Redstone: A Deposition Gone Awry

Media mogul Sumner Redstone’s, estimated to be worth about $5 billion, has been wrapped up in an ugly lawsuit. After he cut his ex-girlfriend out of his estate plan, she took him to court. She challenged his capacity to make decisions. In the transcript, the lawyer for his ex-girlfriend probes whether he is of sound mind … Continue reading Sumner Redstone: A Deposition Gone Awry

Speaking to Your Audience

Speaking persuasively is an asset. At the heart of all of it: the audience. Their desires, their needs, their interests. In “Powerful Speaking Skills for Lawyers“,  Bonnie Gross urges us to drop our pre-written prose. Instead, she encourages us to speak conversationally, using short, punchy sentences. Keep the message short and profound. No one cares about the inane details She adds … Continue reading Speaking to Your Audience

The Reality of Lean-In

In Lean-In, Sheryl Sandberg promised women that if they just leaned-in to their careers, they too could sit at the power table. Anne Marie Slaughter (legal scholar and former Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. State Department) breathes reality into Sandberg’s lean-in mantra. In Unfinished Business, Slaughter argues that the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune play major … Continue reading The Reality of Lean-In

The Rise of the Vexatious Self-Represented Litigant

Not all self-represented litigants are created equally. Some are victims of circumstance. Forced to defend or prosecute their own claims because of poverty. Others are vexatious litigants, unable to find a lawyer to bring their meritless claims to court. Vexatious self-represented litigants tend to behave in similar ways. They bring multiple proceedings when one would … Continue reading The Rise of the Vexatious Self-Represented Litigant

Vulnerability: Is it ever useful?

Vulnerability can be a helpful tool for building trust. Without trust, we are suspicious of others and even combative. In Friend & Foe, Adam Galinksy and Maurice Schweitzer explain that the keys to building trust are warmth and competency. We can project warmth through making ourselves appear vulnerable. However, to get the benefits of appearing vulnerable … Continue reading Vulnerability: Is it ever useful?