The Law Society of Alberta Practice Guide - Sample

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					Sample forms
Contents

Employment application form for support staff ......................... 11-1
Guide for interviewing potential employees .............................. 11-3
Template for a calendar notepad .............................................. 11-8
Template for a mail-forwarding memo ...................................... 11-8
Outline of a law office manual .................................................. 11-9
Initial intake form ..................................................................... 11-16
Initial intake form for matrimonial ............................................ 11-18
Client screening sheet ............................................................ 11-23
Independent legal advice checklist ......................................... 11-24
Daily plan ................................................................................ 11-26
Conference memo ................................................................. 11-27
Client satisfaction survey ....................................................... 11-28
File closing form ..................................................................... 11-29
Sample list of law office contacts ........................................... 11-30
Employment application form for support staff
Please attach a complete resume, giving information about your education, employment for the past five
years, and any other particulars you feel would be of interest.
Date _________________________________________________________________________
Name in full ___________________________________________________________________
Address ______________________________________________________________________
Telephone _____________________________________________________________________


Position you are seeking with our firm ________________________________________________
Are you looking for full-time, part-time, temporary, or casual work? _________________________
When are you available to start work? ________________________________________________
Are you able to work overtime if necessary? How often? _________________________________
Typing speed ________________________
Are you experienced on:
Dictating machines ______________________________________________________________
Calculators ____________________________________________________________________
Computer software (please list) ____________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
Areas of law you have experience in _________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
List any other skills which would be an advantage to us. ___________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________


Personal references: (name, affiliation, daytime phone number)
1. ___________________________________________________________________________
2. ___________________________________________________________________________
3. ___________________________________________________________________________
I give [name of firm] permission to investigate the information included in my application and in my
attached resume.


Signature of applicant ____________________________________________________________

                                                                                             11– 1
For office use only
Interviewed on _______________________        by ____________________________________
Second interview on ___________________       by ____________________________________
Starting position ________________________________________________________________
Starting date ___________________________________________________________________
Starting salary (per month) ________________________________________________________
Six month review agreed on _______________________________________________________
Other arrangements _____________________________________________________________
Hired by ____________________________         Employee number ________________________


If hired through an agency
Name of agency ________________________________________________________________
Guarantee period _______________________________________________________________
Placement fee __________________________________________________________________


Following information to be obtained upon hiring
Social insurance number __________________________________________________________
Date of birth ___________________________________________________________________
Place of birth __________________________________________________________________
Marital status ________________________       Dependants _____________________________
Emergency contact ____________________


Adapted with permission from Managing Your Law Firm, Jonathan Vogt, ed., The Continuing Legal
Education Society of British Columbia, May 1996




   11– 2
Guide for interviewing potential employees
For __________________________________________________________________________
Salary requirements _____________________________________________________________
Date available to start ____________________________________________________________
[Read the employment application and other materials before the applicant arrives at the interview. Circle
incomplete, questionable, or confusing information you want to ask the applicant first.]


1. Explain how the interview will be conducted
    Explain that you will:
            a) talk about the position, job requirements, expectations
           b) go over the application
            c) ask a series of questions
           d) answer applicant’s questions



2. Talk about the position

   • Explain the position being interviewed for.
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________

   • Cover any overtime and other requirements of the position.
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________

   • Explain a bit about the firm, vacations, standard hours, wages, benefits, etc.
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________

   • Are any other languages or special attributes valuable for the position?
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________


                                                                                               11– 3
3. Conduct the interview

   1. Tell me the different areas of law in which you have worked.
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________

   2. Please describe a typical day at your present or last job.
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________

   3. What is your procedure for keeping track of items requiring your attention?
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________

   4. Tell me about the computer software you’ve used.
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________

   5. What did you enjoy most at your present or last job?
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
   6. What did you enjoy least at your present or last job?
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________

   7. What is your reason for leaving or wanting to leave?
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________




   11– 4
  8. If there were any times that you were not entirely pleased with your performance, what did you
     do to correct the situation?
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________

  9. Describe a high pressure or stressful situation that you have recently encountered and explain
     how you coped with it.
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________

 10. How do you deal with interruptions when you are working on a project with a deadline?
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________

 11. What do you consider are your three best qualities? What do you consider are your worst
     qualities?
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________

 12. Can you think of a work situation where you came close to losing your temper? Why? What
     was the result?
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________

 13. What specific problems have people from other departments brought to you recently? How did
     you handle them?
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________

 14. When I talk to your references, what will they say about you?
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________



                                                                                       11– 5
 15. How would your previous supervisor describe your work habits, detailed work, strengths,
     weaknesses, areas which need improvement?
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________

 16. Outline for me the skills and attributes you have to offer which make you the best choice for this
     position.
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________

 17. Describe what makes for a good supervisor, in your estimation.
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________

 18. Describe any areas about your work skills and abilities which you would like to improve or
     develop. (Examples: interpersonal skills, technical skills, professional development, etc.)
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________

 19. What are your future goals—where would you like to see yourself five years from now in terms
     of your work?
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________

 20. How does your present or last job relate to your career goals?
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________

 21. Are there any limitations to your ability to meet the essential skills and job requirements of this
     position?
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________



  11– 6
  22. Do you need any kind of accommodation to meet these essential skills and job requirements?
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________

  23. What questions do you have about this position?
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________

Some alternative questions:
   1. Which courses did you enjoy the most at college and which courses didn’t you like?
   2. What courses have you taken since leaving school that have helped prepare you for the
      positions you have held?
   3. What courses do you feel you would benefit from in the future to increase you ability to do your
      job more effectively?
   4. Here’s a situation I’d like you to think about. It’s Monday morning and when you get to your
      desk you find a lawyer has worked all weekend. There are six tapes of dictation on your desk
      and he tells you three are urgently needed within the next hour and the rest of the work has to
      be out that day. You know you can’t possibly get the three tapes done in the next hour. What
      do you do?
   5. Tell me about a special project you’ve been given to do at work that involved working with
      others. How did you go about getting it done?
   6. A co-worker who has less to do than you stops at your desk to talk. You’re busy and must get
      back to what you’re doing. What do you do?
   7. A lawyer is continually on the telephone with her door closed. You’ve got messages for her and
      letters to get signed. It’s the end of the day and you’d like to leave. What do you do?
   8. A lawyer says, “Please fax this to Harry immediately and the number is in the file.” You can’t
      find the file. What do you do?
   9. A lawyer says she needs a project done today and you know it’s impossible. What do you do?
  10. Think about a situation you’ve been in where you have had to deal with a very unreasonable
      person. Tell me about the situation you were in and how you handled it.
  11. If a lawyer asked you to do something a specific way and you knew there was a faster or better
      way, what would you do?
  12. A lawyer asked you to do something a specific way and then he left the office for the day. You
      knew there was a faster or better way. What would you do?
  Based on a form in Managing Your Law Firm, Jonathan Vogt, ed., with permission from The Continuing Legal
  Education Society of British Columbia, May 1996.

                                                                                               11– 7
Template for a calendar notepad
You can reproduce pads of this calendar note, and keep them handy to jot reminders of any date that
needs adding to your calendar.


                                    Calendar note
      Date      ____________________           Time       ___________________
      Name      ____________________           Time needed _______________
      Phone     ____________________
      Notes _______________________________                   ! phone call
              _______________________________                 ! court appearance
              _______________________________                 ! appointment
              _______________________________                 ! at office
              _______________________________                 ! at ____________




Template for a mail-forwarding memo
If this memo is printed on a sticky notepad, it can replace a covering letter.


                         For your information
      To keep you informed, here’s a copy of a document I’ve sent or received.
      You don’t need to reply, but if this document raises any concerns, please call
      me.
      [name of lawyer]
      [name of firm]
      [phone number]




    11– 8
Outline of a law office manual

I.        Preliminaries
       A. Introduction to the firm
           1. History of the firm
            2. Mission/vision/value statement
            3. Organization of the firm: list of partners, associates, and support staff; organizational chart;
               committees
       B. Law as a profession and a business
          1. Commitment to quality
            2. Importance of clients to our success
            3. Importance of support staff to our success
       C. This manual
          1. How to use this manual
            2. Exceptions
            3. Distribution of changes

II.       Emergency procedures
       A. Emergency contacts
       B. Accidents
       C. First aid
       D. Safety
          1. Calling building security
            2. Calling police in

III.      Employee relations
       A. Importance of employees to our firm
       B. Sexual harassment and discrimination
          1. Refer to Code of Professional Conduct, Chapter 1, Individual Rights Protection Act,
             Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
       C. What we expect of employees
          1. Loyalty; conduct outside working hours (being a good ambassador for our firm)
            2. Hard work; productivity; quality; timeliness
            3. Support of co-workers
            4. Professionalism: confidentiality; ethicality; good judgement; honesty; trustworthiness; tact;
               courtesy; respect for clients, co-workers and anyone else you deal with on our behalf;
               personal appearance, grooming and dress

                                                                                                  11– 9
    5. Personal problems, phone calls, use   E. Delegation to and supervision of
       of office facilities and resources       support staff; teamwork
    6. Performance evaluation                    1. Who may delegate to whom
                                                 2. Who reports to whom
D. Employment & workplace policies
   1. Office hours                               3. Asking for help
    2. Work hours; breaks                        4. Offering help
    3. Overtime                                  5. Taking responsibility for team
                                                    leadership
    4. Time and attendance records
                                                 6. Supporting leaders as a team member
    5. Absences for illness; sick leave;
       medical notes                             7. Prioritizing work; emergencies
    6. Absences for personal reasons             8. What to do if you feel you are being
                                                    taken advantage of
    7. Leaves of absence
                                                 9. Suggestions welcomed
    8. Parental leave
    9. Statutory holidays                    F. Salaries, wages, benefits
                                                1. Definitions of full-time, part-time,
   10. Vacations: entitlement, scheduling          temporary, casual
   11. Lateness                                  2. Overtime
   12. Job descriptions                          3. Bonuses
   13. Orientation                               4. Profit-sharing
   14. Training                                  5. Salary reviews
   15. Evaluation                                6. Job-related courses
   16. Probationary period                       7. Community college and university
   17. Promotions and demotions                     courses
   18. Grievances and dispute resolution         8. Medical, dental, pension plans
   19. Discipline                                9. Life, LTD insurance
   20. Layoff for economic reasons              10. Employee assistance plan
   21. Termination for cause                    11. Discounts on legal services
   22. Parking                                  12. Memberships in job-related
   23. Keys to premises                             organizations
   24. Smoking                                  13. Staff social functions: Christmas
                                                    party; summer picnic
   25. Employment of relatives
   26. Solicitations and distribution of     G. Payroll
       literature                               1. Pay days
   27. Outside employment and other              2. Pay slips
       activities                                3. Deductions: IT, EI, CPP, AHCIP;
                                                    benefits; other
                                                 4. Advances



11– 10
IV.      Client relations
      A. Importance of clients to our firm                    4. Home phone numbers
      B. Support staff dealings with clients                  5. Overnight confidentiality
         1. Level of formality or familiarity                 6. Phone, fax, and e-mail security
          2. Confidentiality                                  7. Security procedures
          3. Helpfulness
      C. Receiving clients                             VI.   The telephone
         1. Comfort                                      A. Importance of the telephone to our
          2. Reading material                               business
          3. Coffee                                      B. Phone answering: receptionist
                                                            1. Switchboard hours
          4. Smoking
                                                              2. Answering machine
          5. Greeting clients: level of formality or
             familiarity                                      3. Voice mail —who has codes, function
                                                                 instructions
          6. Housekeeping
                                                              4. Greeting callers: tone of voice; level
          7. Announcing clients; escorting clients
                                                                 of formality or familiarity; grammar
             to lawyers’ offices
                                                                 and diction; asking name; asking
          8. Clients without appointments                        business
          9. Non-clients without appointments                 5. Urgent calls
         10. Troubled members of the public                   6. Troubled callers
         11. Troublesome members of the public                7. Home phone numbers
         12. Long waits                                       8. Complaints
         13. Client confidentiality: overheard                9. Announcing callers
             phone messages; indiscreet
                                                             10. Keeping track of lawyers’, staff’s
             conversations; exposed documents
                                                                 whereabouts
     D. Client satisfaction feedback                         11. Keeping reception informed of
        1. Why it is important                                   whereabouts
          2. Procedures for obtaining                        12. Keeping reception informed that
          3. Procedures for reviewing                            holding calls
      E. Non-engagement letters;                             13. Locating lawyers and staff
         disengagement letters                               14. What to say when: lawyer with client;
                                                                 on the phone; holding calls; in a
                                                                 meeting; out of the office; in court; out
                                                                 of town
V.       Confidentiality
                                                             15. Alternate call-takers
      A. Importance of confidentiality in a law
         firm                                                16. Taking messages: time; date; name of
                                                                 caller; get it spelled; return phone
      B. Confidentiality policies
                                                                 number; taking notes
         1. Client information
                                                             17. Do not lie
          2. Firm information
          3. Personnel records
                                                                                         11– 11
  C. Phone answering: other than                   D. Outgoing mail
     receptionist                                     1. Envelopes to be appropriate size
      1. Greeting (give your name)                      2. Return address
      2. Transferring calls                             3. Postage
      3. After-hours greeting                           4. Postal codes
      4. After-hours messages                           5. Getting mail signed
  D. Telephone manners                                  6. Enclosing cheques
     1. How to announce yourself on behalf              7. Enclosing documents
         of the firm
                                                        8. Enclosing documents that need a
      2. How to leave a message without                    signature
         disclosing confidential information
                                                        9. Revisions
      3. Tone of voice
                                                      10. Copies to file
  E. Long-distance charges                            11. Registered mail
     1. Tracking long distance charges
      2. Firm credit card                          E. E-mail
                                                      1. If you invite it, check it
      3. Accepting reversed charges calls
                                                   F. Serving documents
                                                      1. Process servers we use
VII. Mail, deliveries, faxes, etc.
                                                        2. Instructions to process servers
  A. Importance of this system to our firm
                                                        3. Capturing disbursements
  B. Courier deliveries and faxes
     1. In-coming: receiving; distributing
      2. Out-going: who we use; capturing
                                                 VIII. Files
         disbursements                             A. Importance of filing to our firm
      3. Court runner                              B. Opening new files
      4. Process server                               1. New file information form

      5. Admission of service on court                  2. Limitations
         documents                                      3. Conflict of interest check

  C. Incoming mail                                      4. File folder: colours; information on
      1. Who picks it up; who is the alternate             tabs; information inside files; brads

      2. Opening; date-stamping; sending                5. File index; file number
         copies to clients                              6. Client index; client number
      3. Cheques                                        7. Accounting information
      4. Noting dates in diaries and flagging           8. Engagement letter
         for lawyers’ attention                         9. Contingency agreement filing
      5. Distribution to lawyer                       10. Assigning files to a lawyer;
      6. New matters received by mail                     transferring files to a different lawyer




  11– 12
     C. Files and filing                                 D. File diarization
        1. Filing: routines and deadlines to                1. Entering new files in the system
            ensure filing done; order in which               2. Assigning diarization dates
            items are to be filed; filed material to
            be nailed down                                   3. Pulling files; bring forward list

          2. Retention of draft materials; disks             4. Rediarization

          3. Copies of drafts on correspondence              5. Periodic (monthly?) review of all files
             brad                                               in system

          4. Organizing complex files: subfiles;             6. Periodic (weekly?) cleaning of
             binders                                            lawyer’s and secretary’s desk

          5. ‘Out’ cards
                                                       XI.   Timekeeping & accounting
          6. Removal of files from the office
                                                         A. Timekeeping
          7. Responsibility for condition and
                                                            1. Lawyers’ timesheets
             location of files
                                                             2. Staff timesheets
          8. File closing; re-opening
                                                             3. Posting time
          9. Retention
                                                         B. Accounting
IX.      Conflicts of interest                              1. Description of accounting system and
          1. Importance of conflict of interest                where ledgers and records are kept
             system to our firm                              2. Trust accounting: receiving trust
          2. Definition of conflict of interest                 money; depositing; issuing trust
                                                                cheques; certification of trust
          3. Description of conflict system                     cheques; trust ledgers; trust
          4. Entering client and other information              statements for clients; trust
             into conflict system                               reconciliations
          5. Conflict checking                               3. Disbursements: capturing; posting;
                                                                billing policy
X.       Deadlines                                           4. Other charges: amounts; capturing;
                                                                posting
     A. Importance of managing deadlines to
        our firm                                             5. Preparing accounts to clients
     B. Limitations diary                                    6. Collections procedures: aged A/R
        1. Rules re new files                                   lists; reminders; cessation of work
          2. Rules re existing files                         7. General accounting: receiving cash;
                                                                receiving cheques; issuing cheques;
     C. Appointments and appearances                            posting the general ledger; general
        diarization                                             account reconciliation
        1. Duplicate diary system (lawyer and
                                                             8. GST
            secretary)
                                                             9. Petty cash
          2. Picking up dates from incoming
             correspondence




                                                                                         11– 13
     10. Reimbursement of out-of-pocket and             5. Diction; spelling (spelling check);
         travel expenses                                   appearance
     11. Bank address and account numbers;              6. Tone; contractions
         location of safety deposit box                 7. Opinion letter review
                                                    C. Documents
XII. Supplies                                          1. Appearance
  A. Stationery, supplies, and forms
                                                        2. Format
     1. Location
                                                        3. Cover
      2. When to order and how to purchase
                                                        4. Proof-reading; spelling (spelling
      3. Personal appropriation
                                                           check)
  B. Paper sizes and types                              5. Using precedents
     1. Letterhead; 2nd sheets
                                                    D. Memos
      2. Documents
                                                       1. Format of legal memos, interoffice
      3. Copies                                           memos, memos-to-file
      4. Wills                                          2. Distribution
      5. Corporate records                              3. Preservation
  C. Envelope sizes and types                           4. Memos to file re phone calls;
                                                           instructions received by telephone
XIII. Taking dictation
      1. Where and when to pick dictation up      XV. Conference and signing
      2. Transcribing dictation                       rooms
      3. Where and when to deliver                      1. Booking
         transcribed dictation to lawyer                2. Housekeeping
      4. Composing letters based on minimal
         instructions; form bank                  XVI. Equipment
                                                    A. Computers
XIV. Paper production                                  1. Logging on and logging off
  A. Importance of the paper we produce                 2. Computers to be left on and
      1. Quality of appearance; content                    computers to be turned off overnight
      2. Proofreading                                   3. System administration: who assigns
      3. Revisions                                         and keeps passwords
      4. Prior drafts                                   4. Servicing
                                                        5. Training
  B. Correspondence
     1. Letter format                                   6. Software allowed
      2. Fonts                                          7. Printer supplies and service
      3. Copies to clients; file; other parties         8. Organization of hard drives
      4. Return envelopes                               9. Security of client and firm information



  11– 14
     10. Precedent retention                   XVIII. Our lease
     11. Executed document retention                1. Access during normal office hours
     12. Personal use                               2. After-hours access
     13. No outside disks (risk of viruses)         3. Landlord’s rules and regulations
     14. Backup procedures: frequency;
         where to store; testing restoration   XIX. Miscellaneous
                                                    1. Temporary secretarial assistance
  B. Photocopying & faxing
     1. Procedures                                  2. Outside copying services
      2. Charges to clients                         3. Library
      3. Quality of photocopies                     4. Reporting error and omission claims
      4. Key operator                               5. Security of property: client; firm;
                                                       personal
      5. Servicing photocopier and fax
      6. Ink or toner supplies
      7. Personal use

XVII. Client documents &
      property
  A. Corporate records
     1. Corporate files
      2. Minute books and seals
  B. Real estate
     1. DCT’s
      2. Real property reports
  C. Wills
     1. Original wills storage
      2. Wills index
      3. Releasing original wills
  D. Other client property
     1. Receiving
      2. Recording
      3. Safeguarding
      4. Returning




                                                                               11– 15
Initial intake form
Date of initial visit _____________________
Full name _____________________________________________________________________
            (Please include other names you’ve used, and underline the name you’d like us to use.)
Home address _________________________________________________________________
 __________________________________              Postal Code _____________________________
Home phone _________________________             Home fax _______________________________
Home e-mail _________________________            Work e-mail _____________________________
Name of your workplace _________________________________________________________
Your position __________________________________________________________________
Work address __________________________________________________________________
Work phone number ___________________            Work fax _______________________________




Please tell us what brings you to our office today. How can we help you?
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
                                                                                  [please turn over]

   11– 16
Initial intake form (continued)

Please list names and contact information for other people or organizations we may need to contact.
(Examples: your spouse, other family members, other lawyers, driver of another vehicle, insurers, your
company)
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________


Where would you prefer to be contacted normally?      ____________________________________
Where would you prefer that we send documents that may be confidential? ____________________


How did you find us?
      ! Phone book
       ! Firm advertisement or brochure
       ! Referred by someone. Name ____________________________________________
       ! Other (please explain) _________________________________________________



Why did your select our firm?
      ! Convenient location
        ! Firm or lawyer reputation
        ! Previous relationship with someone in the firm (who) _________________________
        ! Other (please explain) ________________________________________________


Optional: A consultation fee of $xx is due at the time of your initial visit. We accept VISA and
MasterCard for your convenience.
Signature ___________________________              Date __________________________________



                                                                                        11– 17
Initial intake form for matrimonial
Date of initial visit _____________________
Your full name __________________________________________________________________
             (Please include other names you’ve used, and underline the name you’d like us to use.)
Your marital status ____________________
Home address _________________________________________________________________
 __________________________________             Postal Code _____________________________
Home phone _________________________            Home fax _______________________________
Home e-mail _________________________           Work e-mail _____________________________
Name of your workplace _________________________________________________________
Your position __________________________________________________________________
Supervisor’s name and phone number ________________________________________________
Work address __________________________________________________________________
Work phone number ___________________           Work fax _______________________________
Cellular _____________________________
Your birth date _______________________         Birthplace ______________________________



About your spouse
Spouse’s full name ______________________________________________________________
Spouse’s marital status before your marriage ___________________________________________
Address ______________________________________________________________________
 __________________________________             Postal code _____________________________
Home phone _________________________            Home fax _______________________________
Home e-mail _________________________           Work e-mail _____________________________
Name of spouse’s workplace ______________________________________________________
Spouse’s position _______________________________________________________________
Spouse’s supervisor’s name and phone number
Spouse’s work address ___________________________________________________________
Work phone number ___________________           Work fax _______________________________
Cellular _____________________________
Spouse’s birth date ____________________        Birthplace ______________________________
Service at spouse’s home or office? __________________________________________________
Best time for service? ____________________________________________________________



   11– 18
Spouse’s lawyer ______________________            Telephone ______________________________
Fax _______________________________

About your marriage
1. Had you lived together before marriage? ___________________________________________
2. Date of marriage _____________________________________________________________
3. Place of marriage _____________________________________________________________
4. Date of separation ____________________________________________________________
5. Did you have a prenuptial or marriage contract? ______________________________________
6. Describe any attempts at reconciliation _____________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________

7. Is reconciliation possible? _____________


About your children
8. name                                  birth date                    age                grade
 ___________________________              _________________            ________           ___________
 ___________________________              _________________            ________           ___________
 ___________________________              _________________            ________           ___________
 ___________________________              _________________            ________           ___________


9. If you and your spouse are separated, what are the existing child care arrangements?
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________

10. Child care expenses __________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________

11. Medical or dental insurance premiums ____________________________________________
12. Health expenses that exceed insurance
     (orthodontics, counselling, prescriptions, optometric, etc.) ____________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________




                                                                                          11– 19
13. Primary, secondary, or special education expenses ___________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________

14. Post secondary education expenses ____
 ____________________________________________________________________________
15. Extracurricular activities _______________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________

16. Is child working and contributing to his or her expenses? _______________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________

17. Child care subsidies, credits, or tax deductions
 ____________________________________________________________________________

18. Bursaries, trust funds, or scholarships? ____________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________

About your education and employment
19. Your education ____________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________

20. Your employment history
    (include jobs you’ve held for the last 3 years and periods of unemployment)
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________

21. Resumé available? _________________
22. Total income declared on your last tax return
23. Net taxable income declared on your last tax return __________________________________
24. Base salary ______________________
25. Bonuses ________________________
26. Benefits _________________________
    • life insurance ______________________________________________________________
    • disability insurance __________________________________________________________
    • Alberta Health Care premiums _________________________________________________
    • extended health care ________________________________________________________


    11– 20
   • dental insurance ____________________________________________________________
   • pension plan ______________________________________________________________
   • savings plan _______________________________________________________________
   • stock options _____________________________________________________________
   • car allowance or company car _________________________________________________
   • other benefits _____________________________________________________________
27. What sources of income do you have other than employment? __________________________
28. Were you employed outside of the home throughout this marriage? _______________________
29. If you were a homemaker, was this by agreement with your spouse? ______________________
30. Future education or employment intentions
    (If unemployed, what jobs have you applied for?) ___________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________

About your spouse’s education and employment
31. Spouse’s education __________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________

32. Spouse’s employment history
    (include jobs your spouse held for the last 3 years and periods of unemployment)
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________

33. Resume available? _________________
34. Total income declared on spouse’s last tax return ____________________________________
35. Net taxable income declared on spouse’s last tax return _______________________________
36. Do you have your spouse’s tax returns for the last 3 years? _____________________________
37. Spouse’s base salary _______________
38. Bonuses ________________________
39. Benefits
   • life insurance ______________________________________________________________
   • disability insurance __________________________________________________________
   • Alberta Health Care premiums _________________________________________________
   • extended health care ________________________________________________________


                                                                                       11– 21
   • dental insurance ____________________________________________________________
   • pension plan ______________________________________________________________
   • savings plan _______________________________________________________________
   • stock options _____________________________________________________________
   • car allowance or company car _________________________________________________
   • other benefits _____________________________________________________________
40. What sources of income does your spouse have other than employment? __________________
41. Was your spouse employed throughout this marriage outside of the home? _________________
42. If your spouse was a homemaker, was this by agreement with you? _______________________
43. Spouse’s future education or employment intentions
    (If unemployed what jobs has he or she applied for?) _________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________

About your family finances
44. Credit cards _______________________________________________________________
45. Lines of credit ______________________________________________________________
46. Bank loans ________________________________________________________________
47. Loans from 3rd party _________________________________________________________
48. Personal guarantees __________________________________________________________
49. Income taxes _______________________________________________________________
50. Debts acquired since separation _________________________________________________
51. Other debts ________________________________________________________________




   11– 22
Client screening sheet
Should I take on this matter for this client at this time?
Initial interview by ___________________               Office file number _______________________
Today’s date ________________________
Prospective client’s name ________________________________________________________
For other contact details, use initial information form.

Have I dealt with this client on other matters? Other file name or number: _________________
Nature of the problem (case type) _________________________________________________
Referred by ___________________________________________________________________
! Do I know exactly who my client will be? Is this clear to all involved?
! Should I verify this person’s identity?
! Are the person’s objectives unlawful?
! Does the client expect me to act unethically?
! Has the person consulted with other lawyers about this problem? If so, was he or she dissatisfied
  with previous legal work?
! Is there a conflict of interest?
! Do I have the needed time?
! Am I competent or can I become competent?
! Do the person and I agree on time needed, likely cost, and realistic results to expect?
! Does this person’s matter fit with my marketing plan and my overall practice vision?
! Potential client rejected
      Reason __________________________________________________________________
       ________________________________________________________________________
! Non-engagement letter sent
! Client accepted
! Engagement letter sent
! Have pertinent dates been calendared?
! What fees and billing arrangements have we agreed on?
      Hourly rate of $ _________________
      Flat fee of $ ____________________
      Contingent fee of _________________              % of amount: recovered | saved | other ______
      Retainer of $ ____________________               received
      Bills to be rendered: Monthly | Quarterly | On completion | Other _______________
! Person interviewed added to conflicts database
    File review frequency _______________
                                                                                       11– 23
Independent legal advice checklist
Client’s name _______________________                Date __________________________________
Start time __________________________               Finish time _____________________________
Client’s address ______________________             Telephone ______________________________
Family status ________________________               Age ___________________________________
Referred by ___________________________________________________________________
Reason for independent legal advice _______________________________________________
Where appropriate, e.g., family matters
Client’s net worth _____________________            Spouse’s net worth ________________________
Security requested by lending institution _______________________________________________
The client has limited facility with English, so I obtained an interpreter whose name was
 ____________________________________________________________________________
Also present during our meeting was _________________________________________________
I reviewed the following documents __________________________________________________

Part A — I explained the following to the client
        ! The nature and consequences of a mortgage.
        ! The nature and consequences of a guarantee.
        ! The effect of foreclosure.
        ! The effect of an action on the covenant and the potential liability for any insufficiency.
        ! The consequences of his or her spouse’s default.
        ! The possible consequences of failure to honour the financial obligations (loss of her or his
          house, business and all other property).
        ! The possibility of obtaining other security for the financial obligations.
        ! That an indemnity will be worthless if the spouse declares bankruptcy or absconds.
        ! The risks to the client it there is a breakdown of the marriage.

Part B — The client
        ! I reviewed the current state of the client’s marriage.
        ! I reviewed the current state of the client’s health.
        ! I asked about domestic violence and was told __________________________________
            _____________________________________________________________________

Independent legal advice checklist continued on next page.

    11– 24
       ! The client said that the reason for his or her consent to this transaction or agreement was
         ___________________________________________________________________
       ! I satisfied myself that the client was not subject to duress or undue influence and that the
         client was signing relevant documents freely and voluntarily, without pressure from anyone.
       ! I accepted payment from the client only, and not from anyone adverse in interest to the
         client.

Part C — If the independent legal advice relates to a domestic contract
       ! I obtained complete financial disclosure from both my client and the other side.
       ! I determined that the document was sufficiently well-drafted to accomplish my client’s
         objectives.
       ! I ensured that the terms of the agreement were both certain and enforceable.
       ! I ensured that, if the agreement is to be filed against property or as an order of the court, the
         statutory requirements for filing have been met.
       ! I explained the final nature of the agreement.
       ! I reviewed the risks and consequences of signing the agreement.
       ! I discussed the effect of the agreement upon the client if his or her spouse dies first.
       ! I carefully explained all the clauses of the agreement, and the client indicated that he or she
         understood them.

Part D — When client signs contrary to advice
       ! I advised the client against signing the documents, but the client wished to proceed contrary
         to my advice, so I explained my advice in the presence of a witness, whose name was
         _________________________________________________________________
       ! The client signed an acknowledgment, in the presence of this witness, that she or he was
         signing the documents against my advice.

Part E — File management
       ! I opened a file.
       ! I placed this form, a copy of the document, and my notes in the general independent legal
         advice file.
       ! I took notes of my meeting(s) with the client and retained these.
       ! I recorded the time I spent advising the client.
       ! I sent a reporting letter outlining the terms of the agreement or obligation assumed, together
         with my account.
       ! My advice was oral only, and I sent no reporting letter.

                                                                                           11– 25
Daily plan

Date __________________


        Must do priorities                 Must call priorities
    ! _____________________________      ! _________________________________
    ! _____________________________      ! _________________________________
    ! _____________________________      ! _________________________________
    ! _____________________________      ! _________________________________
    ! _____________________________      ! _________________________________
    ! _____________________________      ! _________________________________


  Files to deal with
        Name of file                        To do
    ! _____________________________      ! _________________________________
    ! _____________________________      ! _________________________________
    ! _____________________________      ! _________________________________
    ! _____________________________      ! _________________________________
    ! _____________________________      ! _________________________________
    ! _____________________________      ! _________________________________


  Scheduled events
        AM                                   PM
    7   _____________________________    12 _________________________________
    8   _____________________________    1 _________________________________
    9   _____________________________    2 _________________________________
    10 _____________________________     3 _________________________________
    11 _____________________________     4 _________________________________
                                         5 _________________________________
    Evening __________________________




  11– 26
Conference memo

Note: If you print this form on colored paper, it will be
easy to locate and distinguish on the file.

File name ___________________________         File number ___________________________
Date _______________________________          Time ________________________________
! Telephone        ! Office                   Conference with _______________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
Subject _______________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________


Discussion (facts, questions, advice given)                  Follow up
 ________________________________________________             ______________________
 ________________________________________________             ______________________
 ________________________________________________             ______________________
 ________________________________________________             ______________________
 ________________________________________________             ______________________
 ________________________________________________             ______________________
 ________________________________________________             ______________________
 ________________________________________________             ______________________
 ________________________________________________             ______________________
 ________________________________________________             ______________________
 ________________________________________________             ______________________


Deadlines or limitations ________________________________________________________


! Fax information
! Mail information
! Courier information
! Calendar next contact



                                                                         11– 27
Client satisfaction survey

We strive to provide high quality legal services for our clients. We would appreciate your help to
measure our success. Please take a moment to complete this short form and add any comments you
may have.
1. Did you feel welcome in our office?                         Yes !                         No !
   If not, can you say why not? ______________________________
2   Did the lawyer:
    Take time to listen to everything you wanted to say?                      Yes   !        No   !
    Ask what goals you wanted to achieve?                                     Yes   !        No   !
    Tell you how the lawyer would achieve your goals?                         Yes   !        No   !
    Obtain your input and approval on the course of action?                   Yes   !        No   !
    Tell you how long the process would take?                                 Yes   !        No   !
    Tell you how fees were charged?                                           Yes   !        No   !
    Explain that you would be making decisions about your case?               Yes   !        No   !
3. Did we meet your expectations?
                                                       Very      Somewhat     Somewhat           Very
                                                     satisfied    satisfied   dissatisfied   dissatisfied
     Prompt replies to your letters or phone calls      !           !               !             !
     Ease of understanding those replies                !           !               !             !
     How lawyer explained things                        !           !               !             !
     How lawyer kept you informed                       !           !               !             !
     Lawyer’s availability to see you                   !           !               !             !
     Lawyer’s belief in your case                       !           !               !             !
     Amount of settlement                               !           !               !             !
     Amount of legal fees                               !           !               !             !
     Overall satisfaction with our service              !           !               !             !

4. Would you ask our firm to handle another case for you?                     Yes !          No !
5. Would you refer a friend to our firm?                                      Yes !          No !
Comments: ____________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________


Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. We will review your answers and make
appropriate changes to serve you and our other clients better.

    11– 28
File closing form

Client name _________________________               File number _____________________________
Case type (domestic, personal injury, criminal) __________________________________________
Date file closed _______________________            Closed file number ________________________
Date client notified in writing of file closing _____________________________________________
Client’s last known address and telephone number
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________


Financial
Outstanding fees?                                                        Yes !      No !
Outstanding costs?                                                       Yes !      No !
Funds remaining in trust account?                                        Yes !      No !


Client property
Property returned to client (attach inventory if needed):                Yes !      No !
How delivered? ______________________
What address?
 ____________________________________________________________________________
 ____________________________________________________________________________
Date of receipt and acknowledgment from client ________________________________________
Property retained by lawyer _______________________________________________________
Other locations of records (e.g., Clerk of Court) ________________________________________
Property destroyed (list) __________________________________________________________


File recall information
File review date ______________________             Lawyer’s initials __________________________
Date file to be transferred to long-term storage _________________________________________
Where? ______________________________________________________________________
Date file to be destroyed ________________          Lawyer’s initials __________________________
Date file was destroyed _________________           Destroyed by ____________________________



                                                                                    11– 29
Sample list of law office contacts
Keep this list in a safe place where it will be easy to locate in an emergency. (See Planning for
business interruptions on page 1-31.)

   Lawyer’s name                                   Bookkeeper
   Social insurance number                         Name
   Alberta bar number                              Address
   Date of birth                                   Phone
   Office address
   Office phone                                    Landlord
   Home address                                    Name
   Home phone or pager                             Address
                                                   Phone
   Also admitted to practice in
   Province                                        Personal representative
   Bar address                                     Name
   Bar phone                                       Address
   Bar ID number                                   Phone

   Spouse                                          Personal lawyer
   Name                                            Name
   Work phone                                      Address
   Employer                                        Phone

   Office sharers                                  Lawyers to help close the practice
   Name                                            First choice
   Address                                         Address
   Phone                                           Phone
                                                   Second choice
   Office manager
                                                   Address
   Name
                                                   Phone
   Address
   Home phone or pager                             Location of will
                                                   Access will by contacting
   Secretary
                                                   Address
   Name
                                                   Phone
   Address
   Phone                                           Computer passwords
                                                   Access computer passwords by contacting
   Accountant
                                                   Name
   Name
                                                   Address
   Address
                                                   Phone
   Phone




   11– 30
Professional corporation                   Safe deposit boxes
Corporate name                             Institution
Date incorporated                          Box number
Location of corporate minute book          Address
Location of corporate seal                 Phone
Location of corporate stock certificates   Obtain key from
Location of corporate tax returns          Items stored
Fiscal year-end date                       Other signatory
                                           Signatory address
Corporate lawyer                           Signatory phone
Address
Phone                                      Office property and liability insurance
                                           Insurer
Lawyer’s general trust accounts            Address
Institution                                Phone
Address                                    Policy number
Phone                                      Contact person
Account number
Other signatory                            General liability insurance
Address                                    Insurer
Phone                                      Address
                                           Phone
Individual trust account                   Policy number
Name of client                             Contact person
Institution
Address                                    Valuable papers coverage
Phone                                      Insurer
Account number                             Address
Other signatory                            Phone
Signatory address                          Policy number
Signatory phone                            Contact person

General operating account                  Office overhead and disability insurance
Institution                                Insurer
Address                                    Address
Phone                                      Phone
Account number                             Policy number
Other signatory                            Contact person
Signatory address
Signatory phone                            Health insurance
                                           Insurer name
Business credit cards                      Address
Institution                                Phone
Address                                    Policy number
Phone                                      Persons covered
Account number                             Contact person
Other signatory
Signatory address
Signatory phone
                                                                            11– 31
Disability insurance      Maintenance contracts
Insurer name              Item covered
Address                   Vendor name
Phone                     Address
Policy number             Phone
Contact person            Expiration

Life insurance            Other important contacts
Insurer name              Name
Address                   Address
Phone                     Phone
Policy number
Contact person

Workers’ compensation
Insurer name
Address
Phone
Policy number
Contact person

Storage locker location
Storage company
Address
Locker number
Phone
Obtain key from
Items stored

Process service company
Name
Address
Phone
Contact

Leases
Item leased
Lessor
Address
Phone
Expiration date




   11– 32