@omarharedeye

March 30th, 2011

Omar Ha-Redeye

Student-at-Law

Ontario Bar Association Articling Student Ambassador

Blogger at OmarHa-Redeye.com

Contributor to Slaw and The Lawyers Weekly

Today we’re tweeting w/ Articling Student Ambassador, HazMat respondent, and author of the Blawg Review of the Year @omarharedeye

  1. @omarharedeye, thank you for joining us on Twitter. Tell us, who is @omarharedeye?
    Remember the Shaft theme song? I’m a complicated man, and finally resigned myself to this fact. Just trying to have my type of fun.
  2. Well, your bio reads a little like a spy novel, making it hard to know where to start…. What are you currently doing?
    I’m in the last stage of becoming a lawyer in Ontario, Canada. We work under another lawyer in a process called “articling.”
  3. You finish your articles soon, don’t you? What’s next for you? Part of a firm or your own practice?
    No plans for my own practice any time soon. Litigation is highly leveraged, and cost consequences here make group practice prudent.
  4. Where do you see yourself in five years? What type of practice, what type of firm, etc.?
    That really depends on the opportunities. The legal profession here is still hesitant with social media, and I’m extremely visible.
  5. Indeed. You are the Ontario Bar’s “Articling Student Ambassador” for the Toronto Region. What does that role entail?
    Mostly meetings with exec. Advocating student interests. Encouraging participation in the OBA. Meeting lots of interesting people.
  6. You’ve seen how others do it. How well does the CA system stack up in preparing students for “the real world” of law?
    We balance strengths of US and UK systems; previous education, and practical experience. But only practice prepares for practice.
  7. You have a very storied past: nuclear medicine, health admin, corporate comms and PR. Why did you become a lawyer?
    I still do all of those careers in some capacity, even today. Law is just the newest layer in the skills and interests I’m pursuing.
  8. And how will your passions of the past shape your practice of the future?
    It’s the reason I engage in social media, I’m involved in the bar and teach. Life experience taught me to give back and value input.
  9. Nice philosophy. What lessons did you learn doing communications for a provincial cabinet minister?
    Politics and law are intricately related, there’s no escaping it. Any lawyer interested in reform or advocacy must become political.
  10. Tell us about going to South-East Asia after the 2004 tsunami. What did you do there? Where?
    We set up a medical clinic in a small rural area called Panton Labu. Only possible because of diplomatic relationships we developed.
  11. Must have been very satisfying to help that way. How do you describe yourself to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    Just Omar. Then find commonalities with them; there’s almost always something. Everyone ends up knowing a slightly different Omar.
  12. You blog, for your site http://bit.ly/f9zjmk and these http://bit.ly/em4ZpG http://bit.ly/8sA3xP. Why do you do it?
    I have a lot to say. It’s fun, and I meet people. And dozens Google my name every day. I have to give them something to talk about.
  13. :-) Congrats on winning Blawg Review of the Year for BR #278 http://bit.ly/g2wput. Will it be your last BR?
    Unlikely. We all need to engage in more online projects that refer to other sites, across jurisdictions. Builds stronger community.
  14. What’s the role of social media for lawyers today? Mktg tool? Relationship tool? Info tool? All of the above? None?
    All of the above. Few lawyers thrive in isolation/obscurity. People, including clients, are online. Let’s join them in a classy way.
  15. But you were “social” before social media (eg, Pres of 3 student clubs). Is online different or just diff channels?
    Exactly. Online activity should continue in person. Continuity is important, & I’ve always been pretty sociable before social media.
  16. Indeed. Let’s switch gears. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    How effectively can a service-based industry efficiently adapt to a rapidly changing economy without compromising client quality?
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Similar to today, given our resistance to change. But technology is a game changer, allowing firm growth we haven’t seen in decades.
  18. The answer to this one is probably pretty easy, but what would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    Probably work on my other half dozen careers. Surprisingly not much different than now, i.e. writing, teaching, pro bono, comm work.
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    The guy who figured out how to clone himself. Or work without sleep. The story isn’t over yet, and many memories to come, I hope.
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Seems I’m always working these days. Family, friends, like everyone. A few eccentric reading hobbies. Lots of movies for down time.
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    No job doesn’t mean you can’t work. Write a book, build a blog, volunteer in community. Stay busy, jobs will come if you’re positive
  22. And our final question for you: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Play the long game, starting today. Don’t succumb to negative behaviour. Nice guys do finish first, so keep giving to your peers.

That’s useful advice. Thank you for an interesting interview today; I enjoyed getting to know you better

Thank you, Lance. It was my pleasure.

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@Prutschi

April 13th, 2010

Edward Prutschi

Toronto Criminal Lawyer

Partner, Adler Bytensky Prutschi

Author of “The Crime Traveller,” Precedent Magazine

Blawger on Slaw.ca

Today we’re tweeting w/ Toronto crim lawyer, occasional blawger at Slaw.ca & author of “The Crime Traveller” for Precedent @Prutschi

  1. @Prutschi thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @Prutschi?
    Criminal defence lawyer. Amateur travel writer (@CrimeTraveller). Tech geek. Father. The order depends on the day.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    We have 3 partners, 3 associates and a student. Together, we defend shoplifting to murder and everything in between.
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    My “typical” client is hard-working, middle class, and has never been in trouble with police before.
  4. And what is the single most important legal issue affecting that “typical” client?
    Combination of access to justice (legal fees are expensive) and bail conditions (which are often worse than the potential sentence).
    That was cheating. I chose two. Sorry. :)
  5. Happy to let it slide… Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    I acted for a mortgage broker in a multi-million $ mortgage fraud. His career was obviously on the line. Acquitted.
  6. Congrats to both of you. Why do your clients hire you?
    Clients take comfort from our combination of experience, professionalism, tenacity and compassion.
  7. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    Clients must trust my professionalism while still being a partner in the litigation. I need honesty & realism in order to help them.
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Domestic assaults and impaired driving (#DUI). These are common, vigorously prosecuted, and form a big chunk of our work.
  9. What led you to start your own firm with your current partners?
    We all hail from big commercial firms. We were looking to help clients when the stakes were highest – criminal law.
  10. Well it sounds like it was the right move. How do you market your practice?
    Mostly by referral from non-criminal lawyers. Word of mouth from satisfied clients. And our website – www.CrimLawCanada.com.
  11. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    I keep the system honest so that if you’re ever caught up in it (& don’t assume you won’t be), u can count on a fair trial.
  12. You blog occasionally at Slaw.ca (http://bit.ly/d5IoHs). Who do you write for? Why should they read it?
    Slaw is mostly lawyers but I consider my audience anyone interested in mature discussions on difficult criminal law issues…
    …I challenge people to think critically about how our system works and what “fairness” means in the broadest sense.
  13. Are there others in your firm as plugged in to Web 2.0 as you are? Was that a conscious decision?
    As the youngest partner, I’m a natural fit for Web 2.0. The others ignore it but our incoming student (@JoelWelch) is on board.
  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements, if any, have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    Impact has been indirect. Web 2.0 has helped garner media attention which in turn has led to name recognition and client calls.
  15. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    I think about my brand constantly but it only takes 10min/day to tweet something meaningful or 2hrs/mth to develop a good blog post.
  16. Good points. Let’s switch gears: What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    In criminal law it’s the government’s misguided “get tough on crime” policies. They make great sound bites but terrible law.
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Lawyers will catch up to where the rest of the world is today technologically. Of course that will still leave us 10yrs behind. ;)
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    Be a travel journalist/photographer and call myself The Crime Traveller. Oh wait. I already do that. @CrimeTraveller.
  19. I thought that sounded familiar…. How do you want to be remembered?
    As someone passionate about justice and committed to fairness who was respected equally by crown prosecutors, judges and clients.
  20. What do you do when you’re not working (or traveling or taking travel photos or writing about travel…)?
    Play with my daughters or blow off steam through my love of video games (my home office sports an #XBox, #PS3 and #Wii).
  21. Sounds like fun…. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Network constantly. Understand your brand. Leverage new technology/media. Treat every person you meet as a future referral source.
  22. And our final question for you: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Take every practicum/clinical opportunity you can. Seek out courses taught by practitioners. Volunteer in the field.

That’s good advice. Thank you very much for tweeting with me today; I enjoyed learning about you and your practice.

Thank you for the interview. It was great sharing the twitterverse with your followers today.

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@thetrialwarrior

November 19th, 2009

antonin-pribetic-toronto-life-photoAntonin Pribetic

Canadian and International commercial litigation and arbitration lawyer at Steinberg Morton Hope & Israel

Professor, University of Toronto at Mississauga–Rotman School of Management

Author of The Trial Warrior Blog

Today we’re tweeting with Toronto-based lawyer @thetrialwarrior, who specializes in commercial litigation and arbitration

  1. @thetrialwarrior thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @thetrialwarrior?
    Thanks for having me. I appreciate the opportunity to pontificate, er, I mean, speak with you today.
    The Trial Warrior is my alter-ego: he’s an Archetype; Cautious Optimist; Taoist Alchemist and Finder of Delusion.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    I practice domestic & Int’l commercial litig’n and arbitr’n, civil litig’n, class actions, admin law and reputation mgmt law
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    I act for both plaintiffs and defendants. My clients range from multi-national corporations to individuals.
  4. What is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Damages, Damages, Damages: Getting or avoiding judgment. Few cases are taken on or won on principle.
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    1.“How much justice can you afford?” 2.“Don’t lie to me” 3.“Only one thing guarantees our failure, and that’s if we quit”
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    Significance is subjective: $4 M judgment obtained for a US client or landlord/tenant appeal prompting legislative amendment
  7. I’d say both of those qualify…. Why do your clients hire you?
    I wish I could say it was my charm, but they usually hire me knowing that they will get what they pay for and nothing less.
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Jurisdictional challenges/foreign judgment enforcement and reputation management law (mostly internet defamation)
    It’s atypical, but most commercial litigation for the most part varies in form and content
  9. You’ve adopted Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” as your professional and personal guide. Should others do the same? Why?
    Master Sun said:“He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious.” We each must choose our own path.
  10. In addition to practicing, you teach at the U of Toronto. Does teaching make you a better lawyer? How?
    What paint is to an artist; teaching is to a lawyer. Knowledge shared without, leads to wisdom within.
  11. Indeed. How do you market your practice?
    Mostly print/online media. I’m active in a few prof. assoc’s (ABA, OBA, ILA, IBA) and rely on client/lawyer recommendations
  12. You blog at The Trial Warrior Blog (http://bit.ly/5a23d). Who do you write for? Why should they read it?
    I write the blog for anyone interested in trial advocacy & international law who’s also committed to the pursuit of justice.
  13. Besides Twitter and your blog, what Web 2.0 tools do you regularly use to market your practice?
    Blawging and Tweeting is personal; I use online pub’s (SSRN/BePress) 2 promote my legal writing > client/lawyer referrals.
  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    Combo of my firm’s website, online directories, & Google SEO all have increased referrals/client engagements significantly.
  15. Sounds like real ROI. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    I spend about 2 hrs/day. TTW spends more, although most of it is taken up philosophizing, strategizing and plotting ;-\
  16. A man and his alter ego at work…. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Maintaining one’s personal and professional ethics in the face of client demands and info/tech overload is the exigent issue
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    The lamentable trend of the “vanishing trial” means trial lawyers are a “dying breed” turning us into knowledge technocrats.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I’d be a guitarist in a heavy metal band, or a philosopher, or a ghost writer, writing about ghosts, or, all of the above.
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    Niiezsche said: “Some are made modest by great praise, others insolent.” Neither famous, nor infamous, a fighter for justice
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    I read/write poetry, I play guitar, I procrastinate, I vent at injustices in the world, I watch Toronto teams get pummelled
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Master Sun said:“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.”Stay sharp, have a strategy: listen, learn, read, write, speak.
    …and remember that Nietzsche said: “To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.”
  22. Thoughtful guidance. And finally, what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Never lose your sense of wonder or thirst for knowledge after you finish law school and always be an advocate for justice.

Great advice. Thank you [both] for tweeting w/me today; I really enjoyed learning more about you & your practice.

Thanks again for the opportunity. I/we enjoyed talking with you today.

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