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Law is Cool: A proposal to resolve the articling crisis

There is an articling crisis in Ontario. Many students enticed to law schools by the prospect of being a lawyer, can’t overcome the final hurdle because they can’t find an articling job. Ten months of working for an experienced lawyer is a prerequisite to joining the legal profession, in addition to a law degree, the […] . . . → Read More: Law is Cool: A proposal to resolve the articling crisis

Law is Cool: Safe injection facilities and arbitrary government decisions

I often talk to friends or strangers about law. I remember a debate I had with someone once about the government. Can it make arbitrary decisions? I said yes, and he said, rather indignantly, no. His logic was that arbitrary means capricious with a tinge of tyranny. Doesn’t our democratic government respect the rule of […] . . . → Read More: Law is Cool: Safe injection facilities and arbitrary government decisions

Law is Cool: The death of Troy Davis

On September 21, 2011, at 11:08 pm Eastern Daylight Time, Troy Anthony Davis was declared dead. Cause of death: lethal injection. Administered by: employees of the state of Georgia. Legal justification of homicide: a court order. Grounds for the court order: Troy Anthony Davis’s murder conviction. Societies punish crimes for specific reasons. Section 718 of the Canadian Criminal […] . . . → Read More: Law is Cool: The death of Troy Davis

Law is Cool: Ethical walls and conflicts of interest

When I meet with clients for the first time, I tell them about confidentiality. The moment the client opens his mouth, I explain, I lose the right to act for his adversaries. And most likely, that moment occurs even earlier: when the client walks through the door of my office or even schedules an appointment […] . . . → Read More: Law is Cool: Ethical walls and conflicts of interest

Law is Cool: How not to sue Dragons’ Den

Every time I see the Dragons belittle a sweating contestant from their raised TV studio platform that reminds of Olympus I catch a breath. It’s not Jerry Springer but what if one of the scorned pitchers loses it and throws his heavy business idea right at a Dragon’s head? Thankfully, I’ve never seen such a […] . . . → Read More: Law is Cool: How not to sue Dragons’ Den

Law is Cool: On democratic legitimacy of the courts

My last post talked about how judges work with each other’s decisions. Today, I’d like to take a bird’s eye look at the relationship between the judiciary and Parliament. Unelected judges handle laws passed by elected legislatures such as Parliament of Canada or provincial parliaments. How they do it helps understand why it’s ok for […] . . . → Read More: Law is Cool: On democratic legitimacy of the courts

Law is Cool: What can judges really do?

Judges are powerful people. Sometimes, misconceptions about their power lead to calls for an elected judiciary or some other form of outside intervention in our courts. These are all bad ideas. Our judiciary must be independent from all potential litigants (including the state). It is also sufficiently self-regulated yet flexible. The most important principle of […] . . . → Read More: Law is Cool: What can judges really do?

Law is Cool: Constructive dismissal

Recently, I consulted a client who was in a conflict with a few co-workers. Let’s call him Jack. My client told me they did not like him. Jack received emails accusing him of poor communication skills and mistakes in the performance of his work duties. Jack convinced me that the accusations were groundless. He believed […] . . . → Read More: Law is Cool: Constructive dismissal

Law is Cool: Credit rating agencies as courts of international finance

As I am writing this, President Obama announced a deal to avoid default on US government debt. If lawyers think in terms of courts, then what would be the legal consequences of the US default? While the legal issues of government’s failure to pay its debt to domestic lenders are unique and complex, the default […] . . . → Read More: Law is Cool: Credit rating agencies as courts of international finance

Law is Cool: The purpose of blawgs

More than a year ago I wrote a post entitled “How lawyers think.” Its basic idea is that a lawyer’s job is to maximize legal protection of his client’s rights. Protecting rights means either of two things: one, letting the world know what your rights and their legal basis are, and, two, getting a court […] . . . → Read More: Law is Cool: The purpose of blawgs

Law is Cool: The law of telephone numbers

A few days ago, I was shopping around for a good fax service. Besides receiving faxes by email and a few other musts, I needed a stable fax number. Who can afford to lose a number after spending thousands on advertising? There is goodwill in your number. Sometimes it is catchy and easy to remember. […] . . . → Read More: Law is Cool: The law of telephone numbers

Law is Cool: The monarchy in Canada

The recent royal visit offers a good chance to talk about monarchy in Canada. Besides just being nice Canadians, the people who greeted the newly married royal couple were often ecstatic, filled with genuine love for the two people, one of which has done nothing of significance while the other has never been heard of […] . . . → Read More: Law is Cool: The monarchy in Canada