Canada

Ed. note: This is the latest installment of The ATL Interrogatories, brought to you by Lateral Link. This recurring feature will give notable law firm partners an opportunity to share insights and experiences about the legal profession and careers in law, as well as about their firms and themselves.

Gary Luftspring, managing partner at Ricketts, Harris LLP, enjoys a high-level litigation practice. He’s successfully represented clients in a significant and growing number of major cases and was named by Lexpert as a litigator who is “consistently recommended.” Read his full bio here.

1. What is the greatest challenge to the legal industry over the next 5 years?

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If a private school wants to bar its students “from sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman,” it is an awful school to party at, but nonetheless probably within its rights. As expected, this new school has drawn protests of its obviously pretextual commitment to chastity in order to bar homosexual students.

Or to “not bar” homosexual students, I guess. How about “ban” homosexual students? That works better.

Putting aside the prevailing law, the question facing the powers-that-be is whether or not a school with such a bias should be certified to teach the next generation of lawyers and jurists. And amid the controversy over that proposition, the new bugaboo in the media is whether or not it’s actually just as bigoted to assume that a school with this policy cannot produce competent lawyers and jurists….

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Is it me or have there been a lot of food stories coming out of law schools this semester? I take it as a sign that the economy is improving. If people can worry themselves about eating, maybe they are not worrying about jobs?

You might remember that last month a law student had a conniption about people eating in class. The student had a long list of foods that she considered off limits for in-class consumption. But she seemed to not understand the sounds certain foods make. She wrote: “Apples, pineapples and other crunchy fruit: your helpless classmates are here to study. We want to hear the professor, not the gnashing of your teeth and the crunch crunch crunch.”

Her fellow students seized on this clear distinguishing failure, and defended the noble, quiet, and delicious pineapple.

Now we’ve got a fun update. Apparently the pineapples noticed….

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Pineapple, or deadly weapon against learning? You be the judge.

In early returns from the 2013-2014 academic year, the leading theme seems to be the revenge of the stuck-up law student. Usually we work with stories where law students engage in some kind of bad behavior that is humorous to the rest of us. But this year it feels like the good stories are about the law students getting their panties in a bunch over the (not so) bad behavior of others.

We’ve already had the NYU guy being a whiny little bitch about people hanging out late in his building. Note to that guy: things might get a little loud after the ATL/Kaplan Bar Crawl tonight. Buy some earplugs.

Yesterday we got a slew of tips from Osgoode Hall Law students in Toronto. One of the classmates sent around a nasty school-wide email, complaining about people eating in class. I’m telling you, these are the kinds of kids who have a nervous breakdown when the air conditioning comes on during the bar exam.

On the positive side, the Osgoode Hall students have taken collective action to defend one our most important and delicious fruits…

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* Johnny Football failed to defeat Alabama on Saturday (though he was gentlemanly enough to keep Bama from covering the spread), but now he has a tougher foe in the IRS. [TaxProf Blog]

* Don’t be that guy who takes naked pictures of your girlfriend. And definitely don’t be that guy who takes naked pictures of his 16-year-old girlfriend while married to the girl’s older sister. In other words, don’t be this lawyer. [Legal Profession Blog]

* Are you an attorney on LinkedIn? Have people been endorsing your legal skills? Congratulations, you’re probably violating an ethical obligation! [IT-Lex]

* Another round-up of people with law degrees who decided to be famous for something other than lawyering. When the list kicks off with Geraldo Rivera and Jerry Springer, you know you’re in for a classy list. [Millington Star]

* One year later, a look at how the Steubenville rape case has affected the town. [Jezebel]

* The world of litigation finance suffers some setbacks as it turns out lawsuits might be the only investment less stable than the Twitter IPO. [Wall Street Journal]

* Time for some more legally themed poetry! This time, let’s get all Edgar Allan Poe up in here. [Poetic Justice]

* Following up on our event in Toronto last week, Bruce MacEwen recapped the evening’s discussion here. [Adam Smith, Esq.]

Back in July, we told you about Howard Levitt, a Canadian lawyer who was so eager to zealously advocate for his client that he abandoned his Ferrari in quickly rising floodwaters to get to a hearing on time. Levitt ultimately won the motion hearing, but wondered if he would lose his car. According to Levitt, prior to being filled to the brim with raw sewage in the flood, the car was valued somewhere “north of $200,000.”

In the end, Levitt’s luxury Italian sports car was deemed a total loss, but his insurance company was kind enough to cover the whole thing. But what of the poor lawyer who gave up a dream car to assist a client in need? Sure, he got some additional clients and new-found fame out of his press coverage — but would he be able to buy a new Ferrari, or would be be relegated to driving his “back up car,” a Dodge Viper?

Our readers will be able to take some joy in today’s news update, because the good people at Ferrari were able to turn this crappy situation into a car enthusiast’s wet dream…

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We are pleased to invite you to a panel and cocktail networking reception in Toronto on September 10th from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Join Bruce MacEwen for a discussion of the future of the large law firm business model. Bruce’s trenchant analysis of the challenges facing Biglaw, Growth is Dead: Now What? (affiliate link), is “an extraordinary body of work that reflects enormous insight and ought be required reading by managing partners of law firms,” in the words of Paul Weiss chair Brad Karp. The event promises to take an insightful look at the differences — and similarities — in how U.S. and Canadian law firms are meeting the challenges of the “New Normal.”

Joining Bruce will be R. Scott Jolliffe, chair and chief executive officer of Gowlings and Gary Luftspring, managing partner of Ricketts Harris. The Canadian Bar Association is in the midst of a first-of-its-kind comprehensive study of the future of the legal profession in Canada and beyond, their “Futures Initiative.” Gary, a leader of the Steering Committee for the Futures Initiative, will present a very brief overview of the Initiative and its analysis to date of the fast-changing legal environment.

The discussion will be followed by a cocktail networking reception. There is no charge for this event. Thanks to our friends at Recommind for sponsoring.

Please RSVP below. We look forward to seeing you in Toronto!

Even if I had had an AK-47 in my tent, I never would have had time to use it. I was saved by a lot of good luck and brave companions.

Matthew Dyer of Pine Tree Legal Assistance, the lawyer who was mauled by a polar bear during a camping trip in Canada, noting that nothing would have stopped the animal’s wild attack. Dyer is still in recovery.

We are pleased to invite you to a panel and cocktail networking reception in Toronto on September 10th from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Join Bruce MacEwen and select local legal leaders for a discussion of the future of the large law firm business model. Bruce’s trenchant analysis of the challenges facing Biglaw, Growth is Dead: Now What? (affiliate link), is “an extraordinary body of work that reflects enormous insight and ought be required reading by managing partners of law firms,” in the words of Paul Weiss chair Brad Karp. The event promises to take an insightful look at the differences — and similarities — in how U.S. and Canadian law firms are meeting the challenges of the “New Normal.”

The discussion will be followed by a cocktail networking reception. There is no charge for this event. Thanks to our friends at Recommind for sponsoring.

Please RSVP below. We look forward to seeing you in Toronto!

So you’re having a baby. There’s so much to do: things like preparing the nursery, shopping for a stroller, and acclimating yourself to Dinosaur Train.

There’s also the little matter of deciding upon a name. Too common of a name will leave a child identified in school as “Emma Number 4.” Go too far out there, and the kid can be teased mercilessly. It’s a tough job, but families generally figure it out and hit the sweet spot in between the two extremes. Or at least split the difference, like naming your first kid James, and your second Jacquizz.

But if you’re a corporate lawyer, you could also issue ballots to a defined class of stakeholders to vote on the name. Like this guy…

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