On this episode, we chat with civil/regulatory lawyer Brooke MacKenzie about the tricky issues of legal ethics and professional conduct.
Topics: duty of technological competence; conflict issues in multi-national law firms; lawyers’ duty of confidentiality re their spouses; and our Ask-Me-Anything Segment
⚫ What is the practical effect of a lawyer’s duty of technological competence? (5:46)
⚫ How have courts addressed whether branches of large law firms are “part” of the same firm? (25:56)
⚫ Are lawyers required to keep their client’s information from their own spouses? (15:14)
⚫ Our Ask-Me-Anything segment, featuring questions submitted by patrons of the Lawyered community (39:09)
🔵What do you think of the Law Society’s recent motion to implement a mandatory minimum wage for articling students? (39:30)
🔵How can lawyers ethically defend their clients in cases where they know that their client is “guilty” / liable for the thing that they are charged with? (42:56)
🔵Are there best “billing” practices to ensure that the client is being fairly charged while also ensuring that the lawyer’s actual work is reflected? (46:59)
🔵 What are some resources that lawyers (particularly lawyers in solo or boutique practices) can employ when faced with ethical dilemmas? (50:57)
1. A Legal Duty of Technological Competence (12:56) Download
– Interactive Model Code of Professional Conduct, Federation of Law Societies of Canada
2. Swiss Vereins & Dentons: Potential Client Conflicts in Multinational Law Firms (14:09) Download
– RevoLaze LLC v. Dentons US LLP, Court of Appeals of Ohio, No. 022-Ohio-1392
3. Duty of Confidentiality and Lawyers’ Spouses (12:05) Download
– Lessing (Re), 2022 LSBC 6
4. Ask-Me-Anything: Legal Ethics & Professional Conduct (18:51) Download
🔵What do you think of the Law Society’s recent motion to implement a mandatory minimum wage for articling students?
🔵How can lawyers ethically defend their clients in cases where they know that their client is “guilty” / liable for the thing that they are charged with?
🔵Are there best “billing” practices to ensure that the client is being fairly charged while also ensuring that the lawyer’s actual work is reflected?
🔵 What are some resources that lawyers (particularly lawyers in solo or boutique practices) can employ when faced with ethical dilemmas?
About the Guest:
Brooke MacKenzie is Counsel at St. Lawrence Barristers LLP. Called to the bar in 2013, she began her career at McCarthy Tétrault before co-founding a litigation boutique, MacKenzie Barristers, in 2016. For the past nine years, Brooke has maintained a civil and regulatory litigation practice concentrating on professional responsibility and liability issues, health law, and appellate advocacy.
Brooke has significant appeal experience, having appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada, Court of Appeal for Ontario, Federal Court of Appeal, and Divisional Court numerous times. Brooke regularly represents lawyers, paralegals, and health professionals when regulatory or disciplinary issues arise. In addition to her advocacy practice, Brooke frequently provides legal opinions and practical advice to law firms and lawyers on their professional obligations, including duties to clients when lawyers transfer firms; confidentiality and privilege issues; and regulations regarding law practice management and ownership.
Brooke has acted on numerous motions for the disqualification of counsel and has conducted comprehensive research on Canadian courts’ treatment of conflicts of interest allegations, culminating in the publication of her paper “Explaining Disqualification: An Empirical Review of Motions for the Removal of Counsel” in the Queen’s Law Journal. She was awarded the OBA Foundation Chief Justice of Ontario Fellowship in Legal Ethics and Professionalism for this work.
Brooke has served as an Adjunct Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, and her writing on professional responsibility, tort law, and civil procedure is widely published, including in the Supreme Court Law Review, Annual Review of Civil Litigation, and Canadian Bar Review.