People I Met Practicing Law

Hammers and Nails

I am not the handiest person in the world. In fact, my toolbox only has three tools in it, being a phone, a pen, and a cheque book. For this reason, I may not be the best person to be writing about hammers and nails. But I will anyway because I really want to use one of my favourite quotes.

Abraham Maslow wrote, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, it is tempting to treat everything as if it were a nail.”

The Mentality and Attitudes of Lawyers

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

I have observed that it is not only Mary who was quite contrary, but rather that the character flaw of contrariness is innate to all of us.

Law Students and Young Lawyers Uncategorized

My One and Only Karate Lesson

I know absolutely nothing at all about Karate. I am about to prove that.

I had only one Karate lesson in my life. Actually, it was my young son who had the Karate lesson. I was along as part of one of those “Dad and Son” programs.


How Much is Enough?

I accumulated some money practicing law. Not as much as I may have put away if I had practiced on Bay Street. Less than I would have held onto if I had not had a domestic reorganization. Not quite as much as I would have had if I had not made a few stupid financial decisions along the way. But, all in all, a tidy sum which should see me through my retirement in fairly good style if do not do anything stupid, get sick in an expensive way that is not covered by government health insurance or make any more dumb investments.

I have friends who have a lot more. They have bigger houses, fancier cars and more toys, and they travel more frequently and to more expensive destinations. Does this make them happier?

Yes, it does.

I really should have worked harder. And you should stop reading this nonsense and put in a few more billable hours.

Law Firm Management

Empowering Law Clerks

During my career, I was fortunate to work with three phenomenal law clerks. I trained two of them. The third was trained on Bay Street. Each of them was exceptional because they were intelligent, capable, motivated, well-trained, and empowered.

Rarely accused of being overly immodest, I will take credit for empowering them.

How good were they?

The Mentality and Attitudes of Lawyers

Lessons Learned from Boston Legal

For those of you who never watched Boston Legal, my all-time favourite television show about lawyers, Denny Crane was the senior partner of Crane Poole & Schmidt.

The Mentality and Attitudes of Lawyers

Why I Hate the Law Society

Obviously, it would be utterly impossible to comprehensively address the topic of ‘Why I Hate the Law Society’ in the depth that it so richly deserves while complying with the LinkedIn limit on the length of a post. So, I will try to just hit the high points.

So, what exactly do I hate about the Law Society? Primarily its arrogance, and the high-handed nature of its decision making.

Client Development

How To Be a Great Law Firm Client

I suppose that the initial reaction of a law firm client to the question of how they can be a great client may be, “Why should I care?”  I certainly met my fair share of clients who could not possibly have cared less about whether their lawyer thought that they were a great client.

Law Firm Management

Lawyers Know Everything

Since lawyers tend to think that they know a great deal more than they do about just about everything, they often choose to do things themselves rather than pay money to experts to do them.

One of the things that lawyers typically do poorly is performance reviews.

Substantive Legal Content

Murray’s Rant About Rights of First Refusal

Bob, Ted, Carol, and Alice own a company. They have a shareholder’s agreement. The only divorce mechanism is a right of first refusal (“ROFR”).

Bob wants out. He goes to Ted, Carol and Alice and asks them to buy his shares. They refuse. They tell him to use the ROFR.