The Fight Against the Attrition of Women Lawyers

“Within 5 years of being called to the bar, 57% of women and 49% of men will have left private practice. Many will move to in-house or government positions, but close to 30% (28% of women and 29% of men) will have left the practice of law entirely.” – Law Society of Alberta (2014): “Retention … Continue reading The Fight Against the Attrition of Women Lawyers

The Rise of the Vexatious Self-Represented Litigant

Not all self-represented litigants are created equally. Some are victims of circumstance. Forced to defend or prosecute their own claims because of poverty. Others are vexatious litigants, unable to find a lawyer to bring their meritless claims to court. Vexatious self-represented litigants tend to behave in similar ways. They bring multiple proceedings when one would … Continue reading The Rise of the Vexatious Self-Represented Litigant

Personal Plight Lawyers, Prestige, and Hierarchy

Noel Semple recently released a fantastic article about “Personal Plight Legal Practice and Tomorrow’s Lawyers.”  He writes: “Personal plight lawyers help people negotiate with and assert legal rights against other individuals, corporations, and state bodies.” Personal plight work may be the best option for Tomorrow’s Lawyers because many aspects cannot be off-shored or computerized. Individuals usually need … Continue reading Personal Plight Lawyers, Prestige, and Hierarchy

Judging the Judge: From Glory to Jail

Jacques Delisle is the first judge in Canadian history to be charged with murder. He was born in 1935. He sat on the Quebec Superior Court and then on the Quebec Court of Appeal, the highest court in Quebec. After his retirement in 2009, his wife tragically died of a gunshot to the head. Did … Continue reading Judging the Judge: From Glory to Jail

E-Filing: The Time is Now for Ontario Courts

  Technology allows us to move from paper filing to electronic filing. But, justice demands that we move from paper to electronic filing. In a democracy, people are entitled to have access to public records. Currently, the Supreme Court of Canada has electronic filing. I recently wrote about the assisted dying case Carter v Attorney General … Continue reading E-Filing: The Time is Now for Ontario Courts

Bad Writing Undermines the Rule of Law

Everyone is expected to know the law and be held to it. But what happens when ordinary people cannot possibly understand the law? Often times legislators draft convoluted statutes and judges write dense decisions. Although their bad writing keeps lawyers employed, lawyers (as officers of the court) should not celebrate poor prose. If people feel … Continue reading Bad Writing Undermines the Rule of Law

The Law is Reason Free From Passion

Ideally, the law would be “reason free from passion” (Aristotle). However, Douglas Linder and Nancy Levit paint a different picture in the Good Lawyer: Intuitions precede reasoning and, for the most part, play the larger role in our decision making, both in our lives and in our professional careers. We use effortful reasoning mostly to … Continue reading The Law is Reason Free From Passion

Dying with Dignity: Carter v Canada (AG)

Carter v Canada legal team. Image credit: Alistair Eagle, courtesy of Lawyers Weekly. To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them… In Carter v … Continue reading Dying with Dignity: Carter v Canada (AG)

Targeted Legal Services Event

Today I attended the Targeted Legal Services Event, hosted by the Law Society of Upper Canada. At the event, we discussed how unbundled legal services (legal services -usually for a flat fee- for a specific task) could be an affordable option for many people and would address the ever-growing barriers to access to justice. However, … Continue reading Targeted Legal Services Event

Pop Culture and Judgements

Professor Elizabeth Judge states in “Judges Judging Judgments” that the “judicial law canon is intricately linked to a judgement about the contemporary vision of justice.” Through authoring decisions, judges reproduce the legal canon in a way that reflects contemporary values. Judges’ contemporary vision of justice does not form in a vacuum. Judges live a full life- … Continue reading Pop Culture and Judgements