The Art of Practice

For lawyers with a higher calling, effective practice is an art. Check in for regular case summaries, practice points, client service tips and more.

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SPILL: What excites you about your area of practice?

  • June 13, 2024

With Call to the Bar ceremonies taking place across the province this month, and a new cohort of legal change-makers carving out career paths, what better time to pull back the curtain to expose the possibilities – the intrigue and enrichment – found in some of law’s most dynamic legal specialties and settings?

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Tackling the Problem of AI “Revenge Porn” in Canada: Existing Law and Upcoming Legislative Reform

  • June 13, 2024
  • Mavra Choudhry and Shalom Cumbo-Steinmetz, Torys LLP

The popularity of generative AI applications has skyrocketed, leading to an explosion of unique legal issues and potential harms that the law has been called upon to address. One of the most severe is the use of deepfake technology or AI image generation to create fake images depicting a real, identifiable person in an intimate, explicit, or pornographic manner – which has already become an all-too-common practice with a disproportionately harmful impact on women.

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The Test for Security for Costs, in Ontario, Clarified

  • June 12, 2024
  • Katherine L. Shadbolt

Litigation can be a long and expensive process. It’s important that a party who is owed costs by the opposing party has assurance they will be able to recoup the full amount owed before further steps are taken in a proceeding or appeal – especially when the other party won’t take reasonable steps to settle. Katherine Shadbolt outlines the rules and strategies for lawyers to consider in seeking security for costs and the options available to enforce payment of a cost order.

man seated at desk in front of laptop computer, interacting with generative AI on his phone

To Use or Not to Use: Navigating privacy risks associated with generative AI tools

  • March 14, 2024
  • James G. Kosa, Vipal Jain and Yatin Sidhu, Weirfoulds LLP

Generative AI tools like ChatGPT, Cohere, and DALL-E2 are popular tools that allow organizations to generate images, text, sounds and creative content based on a prompt. While these tools can provide practical benefits such as improved efficiency and productivity, they raise privacy risks which are important to mitigate.

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Family Dynamics: Five ways they come into play in practice

  • March 14, 2024
  • Gosha G.S. Sekhon

Whether it’s taking the time to get context around a client’s instructions, avoiding generic definitions, understanding that experiencing the death of a family member can be a form of trauma, or remembering to be alert to unconscious bias, lawyers who devote due consideration to family dynamics become better service providers.

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SPILL: Your most surprising answers from AI

  • March 14, 2024

Many lawyers contemplating making greater use of generative AI in their practices – a prospect entertained with equal parts curiosity and caution – are in the early stages of testing out just what the rewards and risks might be. So, we asked members who’ve used AI tools, what has been the most surprising result they’ve received from a request.

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Practice Motivation for Solo Practitioners

  • March 13, 2024
  • Rajen Akalu

Solo practitioners tend to be motivated self-starters; however, given the demands of working at personal capacity, they are often acutely aware of their limitations. By way of encouragement, Rajen Akalu offers sole practitioners a reminder of why they should be respected by the legal profession and selected by clients in the market for legal services.

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Enhancing Client Service and Lawyer Wellness through Trauma-Informed Lawyering

  • November 30, 2023
  • Jakob Wenzel

Understanding and addressing the impact of trauma on clients and practitioners is crucial for compassionate and effective representation. In a recent program jointly hosted by the OBA’s Elder Law Section and Family Law Section, experts in the fields of law, mental health and academia offered valuable insights and strategies to enrich legal services with a trauma-informed approach.

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Build as You Go – and Four Other things you Should Know Before Opening Your Firm

  • November 30, 2023
  • Emily Sinkins

No firm is the same, but there are common keys to establishing a successful enterprise uniquely yours while building a solid reputation and stepping up client service. Sparing would-be sole and small-firm practitioners potential missteps or missed opportunities, OBA members from a variety of practice areas share what they wish they'd known before setting out on their own.