Law Times

Sept 30, 2013

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CONDO REFORM ADR MOTIONS Trio launches private alternative for delays Follow LAW TIMES on $4.00 • Vol. 24, No. 31 P4 Report proposes new bureaucracy FOCUS ON P7 L aw TIMes Litigation NO COST STORAGE Ask Us How. e: CO V E R I N G O N TA R I O ' S L E G A L S C E N E • W W W. L AW T I M E S N E W S . CO M ntitled-2 1 P9 September 30, 2013 13-05-22 10:16 A Lawyers told to get serious about cybercrime LawPRO puts $250,000 cap on coverage, encourages better security BY GLENN KAUTH Law Times G et serious about cybercrime or be ready to pay the cost, LawPRO is telling lawyers as it looks to limit coverage for practitioners who fall victim to such incidents. In its report to Convocation at the Law Society of Upper Canada last week, LawPRO announced it's freezing its insurance premium next year but is making changes to coverage, most notably for cybercrime. "There will be $250,000 in coverage under the policy, a limited amount that provides some protection but will need to be supplemented by a vigorous risk management program on the part of law firms," LawPRO chairwoman Susan McGrath and president and chief executive officer Kathleen Waters wrote in a letter to Convocation detailing the insurance changes for 2014. In announcing the $250,000 cap, LawPRO's report noted a number of high-profile cybercrime incidents affecting businesses in recent years. "Lawyers and law firms are no exception to this," the report stated. "In fact, given their access to confidential client information and client trust funds, as well as varying levels of technological security, it can be expected that lawyers and law firms represent appealing targets to cyber criminals." The new policy will "exclude coverage for claims relating to or arising out of cybercrime, except where claims arising out of liability for cybercrime results in the unauthorized disclosure of confidential data and/or misappropriation of client trust funds, that have been entrusted to the lawyer as a direct consequence of the performance of professional services, in which case coverage, funded While dealing with cybercrime is necessary, getting commercial insurance will be expensive for some lawyers, says Mark Hayes. Photo: Robin Kuniski by base rate premiums, shall be available subject to a sublimit of liability of $250,000 per claim and in the aggregate (inclusive of indemnity payments, claim expenses, and/or costs of repairs, as well as deductible) per lawyer and across the law firm, for single and related claims." According to McGrath, no other legal professional liability insurer in Canada offers protection for cybercrime. So in instituting the $250,000 cap, LawPRO is encouraging lawyers to "become serious about cyber security." They also have the option of getting additional coverage for cybercrime in the commercial market, McGrath notes. "The only protection is for client data or client money," she says, adding a big concern relates to security at small law firms as opposed to their larger counterparts that in some cases have invested heavily in the area following revelations of large data breaches in recent years. "I think the biggest concern is from the smaller firms or small practitioners," she says. "I think part of the problem is cybercrime and cyber security is not top of mind for all lawyers across Ontario." Lawyers do have questions, however. Technology lawyer Mark Hayes of Heydary Hayes Professional Corp. notes the exclusion should clearly define what cybercrime is given the wide range of things that can happen. "There's an extraordinarily wide range of activities that could fall under that rubric," he says. "It's one of those things that can mean almost anything." While he agrees with the need to address the issue, Hayes says affording commercial insurance for cybercrime will be a challenge for some lawyers. Instead, he'd rather see LawPRO take a "more granular" See High-profile, page 5 Civil litigation delays Smith's 'top priority' for coming year Law Times A When it comes to timely justice, Ontario can look to the Small Claims Court, says Chief Justice Heather Smith. Photo: Yamri Taddese s the annual opening of the courts ceremony marked the beginning of a new year for Ontario's justice system, Superior Court Chief Justice Heather Smith said curbing long wait times for civil motions and trials is her "top priority." Calling timely hearings "an essential deliverable" for access to justice, Smith assured members of the bar, the judiciary, and several dignitaries that her office is working to fix a time lag lawyers and judges have called "shameful." "This issue is already being addressed as our top priority for 201314 by me, by the associate chief justice, by the regional senior judges of the GTA regions most directly affected by this trend," said Smith. Smith's comments come as the Ontario Bar Association also unanimously passed a motion during its recent fall council meeting to take "immediate steps" to address the delays. "Whereas the civil litigation section executive finds that urgent corrective action is needed to address significant delays in obtaining motion dates and long trial dates, now be it resolved that the OBA take immediate steps to address these delays with necessary stakeholders," reads the motion brought forward by Guillermo Schible. According to the OBA's postmeeting notice, obtaining motion dates and long trials was the main focus of the gathering and many members of council stood up to speak about their own experiences with delays. Smith said the courts would need the bar's help in solving the issue. "Certainly, the bar has a very important role to play in supporting the court's effort to control overburdened civil motions and trials in the GTA," she said. "The bar's input and insight into these challenges will be most welcome and most helpful and its collaboration will be key in resolving this issue." One of the ways members of the bar can be useful is by only bringing PM #40762529 BY YAMRI TADDESE See Device, page 5 Get more online • Fresh Canadian legal news and analysis every day Canadian Lawyer | Law Times | 4Students | InHouse | Legal Feeds Visit Us Online 1-8-5X.indd 1 2/28/11 2:37:34 PM

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