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ForumNonConveniens

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  1. I'm a junior associate at a small firm in Western Canada. I'm planning on leaving my firm this summer and moving to a different province with my spouse to be closer to family. I've been with this firm since my articles (4 years). One of my main practice areas is civil litigation and I'm basically the only lawyer doing civil lit files at my firm these days. What would be the proper etiquette for giving sufficient notice of my departure, and smoothly transitioning my files? I don't want to sour any relationships. I was thinking of giving my firm three months' notice. This would give them time to find a litigation associate to replace me, take on the litigation files themselves, or refer the litigation matters out to another firm. Though I imagine providing this much notice could make my remaining months there quite awkward. As a junior associate, am I primarily responsible for ensuring all my matters are properly referred out if necessary, or is the partnership as my employer responsible? My firm pays my annual insurance and law society fees. Is it expected that an associate will reimburse these expenses to the firm on a pro-rated basis if they leave? Bonus question: my spouse and I are planning on taking this opportunity to do some travelling while we are between employment. We'll be taking 3-4 months to travel internationally before starting new jobs. Will such a gap in legal employment be a black mark against me? Should I try to line up new legal employment, or at least put out feelers in the city we're moving to, before I leave my current firm? Bonus bonus question: any advice when it comes to transitioning to practice in a new province? Is there a steep learning curve, or are legal skills and knowledge generally transferable? I'm hoping to get hired on with another small firm doing "main street" type law. Interested in hearing from anyone who has made the jump to another province before. Thank you for any insight you have!
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