October 25, 2011- CLE-TV: Clients with Disabilities that Affect Communication

I am delighted to be speaking to the profession about overcoming barriers to client communication and best practices for dealing with clients facing communication issues on CLE-TV this October 25, 2011. 

Why this Course Is Essential

The leading complaint about lawyers received by the Law Society of British Columbia relates to poor client communication. Aside from failure to contact clients at all there are other problems with lawyer-client communication that raise professional and ethical issues for lawyers. It should be reasonably obvious to practitioners that clear and effective communication is critical to the success of the lawyer-client relationship.  However, more clients than ever are  dealing with aging, disabilities and ESL issues, which increase barriers to clear communication and to a lawyer’s ability to provide accurate advice and representation. The aging baby-boomer population and the increased flow of immigrants in recent years has created a large population of people with special communication needs. Unless preventative measures are taken, this could lead to an increase in human rights complaints against lawyers on the grounds of discrimination. It could also lead to more complaints about lawyers on grounds that the lawyer has not maintained a professional standard of communication. The course is designed to help lawyers and legal support staff recognize and address potential concerns before they become actual liabilities and result in costly legal actions, negative publicity and embarrassment.

Add to your Client Communication Toolbox

The course describes common problem areas and provides tips on improving communication with clients who have special communication needs. Learn how to better identify communication barriers and how to remove those barriers by ensuring the client has the proper communication accommodations. Lawyers who improve their client communication toolbox will be better able to represent more clients with diverse communication needs.

Online Course by Two Lawyers with Expertise

In addition to my work at GILSIG Divorce & Family Law Mediation, I have worked with many clients with special communication needs and coached professionals on communicating with clients with aging or disability issues. As a result, I’ve built up expertise on client communication and best practices for the legal profession that I’m excited to share.

I am co-presenting this course with Dianne Wintermute, a Staff Lawyer with ARCH Disability Law Centre, Toronto. Ms. Wintermute has extensive litigation experience representing individuals and disability organizations at various tribunals and all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada.

Continuing Professional Development Credit Available in British Columbia and Ontario

The course is worth 1 hour toward the professional responsibility and ethics, client care and relations, and/or practice management component of CPD requirements for BC Lawyers and has also been accredited by the Law Society of Upper Canada for 1 New Member CPD Hour. Please also note that The Law Society of Upper Canada (Ontario) has accredited this course

How to Register

For more info, please visit the CLE BC website. To register, add session one (October 25, 2011) or add session two (March 30, 2012) to your CLE BC shopping cart.



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