THE LAWYERS WEEKLY
March 11, 2011 | 23
Participants often complain — loudly — that meetings are
a waste of time. How do you know when this is what’s
happening in your room? Office Team, an international
staffing firm with headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., has
identified five signs that your meeting is not productive.
1. Everything but the kitchen sink is being covered. An
agenda is essential, but it needs to be reasonable. Fifty-two
items simply can't be covered in one hour.
2. It’ll take more than 60 minutes. Attention tends to
wane as meetings drag on. An hour is the optimal time.
Any longer and you’ll need to throw in refreshments or a
3. The attendee list goes on and on. More is not merrier.
Invite only those who need to come; list people as
“optional” if their presence isn’t required.
4. There’s a large PowerPoint deck involved. ‘Nuf said.
5. It’s a habit. Routine meetings can become, well, routine.
Think about whether regular gatherings are really necessary
or could be held less frequently.
us most in
Engaging in side conversations / 69%
Checking personal email / 64%
Zoning out / 54%
Checking sports scores / 51%
Leaving the room / 41%
Fidgeting or spinning in seats / 32%
Eating / 31%
Doodling / 21%
State the objective
at the start of
Keep the meeting
Don’t just sit
there — say
When the objective
accomplished — stop!
BOARD, CHAIRS, AND CLOCK BY DREAMSTIME.COM
Taking on an inquiry big challenge for lawyers
Being asked to be a lead commission counsel is a great honour, but it also a great challenge. The job is stressful and
returning to one’s legal day job
after has its challenges.
When the Saskatchewan gov-
ernment appointed a judicial
commission of inquiry in 2004 to
investigate the death 14 years ear-
lier of an aboriginal teenager
named Neil Stonechild, the judge
named to head the inquiry phoned
Joel Hesje, a litigator with McKer-
cher McKercher & Whitmore LLP
in Saskatoon, Sask., and asked
him to be lead commission coun-
sel. Hesje had come to the judge’s
attention by having tried several
cases before him.