THE LAWYER’S DAILY – Wellness: Three ways to be happier and drug-free

In 2009, I took a leave from my law practice to make recovery from narcotic addiction my full-time job. During the process of recovery, I learned a lot about what had brought me to this precipice in the first place.

There are several hundred pieces of advice, daily reflections, and aphorisms that I have written down over the years. That said, all of the lessons come down to three things. By trying to do these things every day I have found a model that, if you follow, will make you a happier and healthier lawyer.

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THE LAWYER’S DAILY – Wellness: End of civil dialogue bad for legal profession and your health

Lately, I find it absolutely necessary for my mental health to give myself a “news free” day. No Canadian or American news. No social media. I’m finding the polarization of political and social viewpoints to be energy depleting and soul sucking. Some commentators have even speculated that it may be a hybrid form of PTSD.

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CANADIAN LAWYER – LSO allows lawyer to surrender licence in review that considered his mental health

A Law Society of Ontario tribunal has decided to move forward with the termination of a lawyer’s licence, in a decision that included a lengthy analysis of the lawyer’s mental health issues.

Darryl Singer, head of the commercial and civil litigation practice group at Diamond & Diamond Lawyers, represented Darwin Anthony Yantha of Barry’s Bay, Ont., and he says he was torn about the decision. He says that although he was disappointed that his client will have his licence terminated, he was “very, very” happy with the tribunal’s consideration of its duty to accommodate alcoholism and depression under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

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IT WORLD CANADA – Toronto man sues Facebook $500,000 for ‘anxiety’ related to Cambridge Analytica breach

In a release from Diamond and Diamond, the law firm retained by Mettucci, he claims to have received two notifications from Facebook in April, notifying him that on a couple occasions his “personal information had been improperly accessed and shared with Cambridge Analytica without his consent or knowledge.”

This is an unprecedented lawsuit that seeks to answer the question, how much is our private data worth.

Singer told IT World Canada that this has caused his client significant pain and grief as well as a loss of quality of life. Mattucci is receiving psychological treatment and has had to increase his medications since the whole experience began.

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THE LAWYER’S DAILY – Wellness: Envy is the enemy of mental health for lawyers

The heart of envy is this: we desire what someone else has. Here’s the problem: we don’t really know what others have. We have the outward signs and external trappings of what others have, which is not a reliable indicator of what they want, either. They are probably envying what someone else has. In essence, we’re envying what someone else appears to have.

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THE FINANCIAL POST – Kathleen Wynne once promised to lower car insurance rates. Guess what happened next?

While car insurers say the reason for high rates is so much fraud, Lazar has another phrase for it: he calls it “excessive profitability.” The Financial Services Commission of Ontario — the regulator — is clearly not holding Ontario’s car insurers to account. What’s the point of a regulator that does not regulate? It’s superfluous. A fifth wheel.

In 2013, Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals promised to deliver Ontarians a 15-per-cent reduction in car insurance premiums. Wynne later said that it was a “stretch goal” — and instead of the promised reduction, we have had about a 2.5-per-cent premium increase. The Insurance Bureau says auto premiums in Ontario are now 45-per-cent higher than Alberta’s and about twice as high as those in the Maritimes.

Lazar estimates that cumulative premium overpayments might have been as high as $9.2 billion since 2001 or approximately 6.5 per cent of premiums, based on assumptions of lower operating costs and a more reasonable profitability benchmark. In the last five years alone, overpayments might have totaled $5 billion — 9.5 per cent of the total premiums paid during this past five years. This translates to an additional $143 per year for each policyholder.

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“The Nighside,” NEWSTALK 1010 – Darryl Singer talks about over-billing, excessive profits by Ontario Auto Insurers (MP3 file)

In an updated report dated April 26, 2018, by Dr. Fred Lazar, of the Schulich School of Business, a number of things have come to light about car insurance rates and lack of accident benefit payouts for Ontario drivers:

– Auto insurance companies are making record profits.
– Premier Wynne promised a 15% reduction in auto insurance premiums. Instead, we have a 2.5% increase.
– Claims are actually down by 27%.
– And yet, we get the Big Insurance party line: “There’s sooooo much fraud out there, that’s why premiums are so high to offset fraud….”
– The starting point for all car insurance claims, especially accident benefits and rehab, is always: “Denied!”
– The regulator, Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), that is supposed to regulate profitability, is allowing TRIPLE profit margins by Big Insurance companies.
– Where is the accountability? Neither the regulator nor the Ontario Provincial Government is taking action on this.

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THE LAWYER’S DAILY – Wellness: Five ways to reduce stress and boost practice profits

Let’s talk workflow (or work-in-process, WIP), money and your stress. Guess what? The three are linked. So, if you are a new lawyer starting out on your own, or a more senior lawyer leaving the comforts (and protection) of a larger firm to test the solo or small partnership model, here are five tips learned from 24 years of experience:

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