Tagged law

Stop letting the TWU controversy make fools of the Canadian bar

It came to my notice that my last post on the British Columbia Law Society’s handling of the accreditation of Trinity Western Law School may have appeared at odds with a prior entry encouraging a negotiated solution.  In the September 26 post, “B.C. Law Society abdicates self-governance in favour of non-governance,” I stated that the decision to refer the decision to a referendum before the expiry of a statutory 12-month period was an abdication of the Law Society’s duty to govern the affairs of the legal profession.  Further, the referendum option can only be invoked by a petition from the membership, not the governing…

A Very Canadian “Mexican Standoff” of an American Contest between Executive and Judicial Power

Marbury v. Madison is the considered the seminal decision in judicial review of executive and legislative action.  At least, that is what the U.S. courts have subsequently repeated.  In fact, the 1803 decision of a fledgling American high court represented a Mexican standoff between executive and judicial power in which the limits of the U.S. Supreme Court were sharply defined.  Was Marbury a boundary wall it built to assert its jurisdiction, or one behind which it retreated? One criticism that can be leveled against the Marbury court was that it institutionalized a mechanical, semi-democratic vision of judicial action.  American governments now operate within a constitution…

Intellect, bad behaviour and the professional brain

Historically, being smart in competitive endeavours went hand in hand with ruthlessness.  So, too, the law has sometimes countenanced anti-social traits and even coveted possessors of the killer instinct.  As law becomes a more socially relevant, more collaborative pursuit, the aggressive lawyer needs to change, to remain smart.  This sea change is, in part, behind the upheaval in law over civility.  After the storm, there is hope. Read this month’s posting in the Accidental Mentor, for more about the future of bully-savants. Historiquement, être intelligent dans la compétition associait avec la cruauté. Donc, aussi, les avocats ont parfois toléré des traits…

Mentors sound off

Inter-generational communication is always challenging, but never wasted. Precedent’s Sandra Rosier provides feedback from law firm mentors in (follow link:) “Bar Code: The biggest challenges [of] working with juniors.”  Unfair and one-sided?  Most unattributed comments are, but there are some truths to be found, too.  Just remember, everyone, including the senior lawyer, needs constructive criticism but often does not recognize it as such. Terms of use / Mentions légales

Talking law with the men in the office

“The partners believed the women’s excuses. … Everyone took the women’s words at face value. ‘Leaving for family reasons’ had a familiar ring to it. As some of the partners told me themselves, ‘It goes with being a woman.’ It was predictable. None of them made the connection between the atmosphere they described to me and the women’s departures. Seven senior lawyers out of the door in one year, all women, and no one saw a trend!” From Barbara Annis, Same Words, Different Language, 2003, p. 10 (la version française suit) The thoughtfully written first book by my friend and…

Keynote Address to ABA YLD Conference

   Lee Akazaki delivered the Keynote Address to ABA YLD Conference, on August 5, 2011.  He talked about the “OF” and “FOR” dichotomy of being a lawyer and a representative professional.  Click ABA YLD Keynote  for the full text.   Terms of use / Mentions légales

OJEN Civil Law Confidential

In 2008, Lee Akazaki, Jeffrey Radnoff and Jennifer McAleer from the OBA Civil Litigation Section Executive presented Civil Law Confidential, an interactive programme of teaching resources for high school civics and law teachers, at the Summer Law Institute.  Click on the above link, for information and materials.  

A mentorship site for new lawyers?

Welcome to Canada’s first blog devoted to mentoring new lawyers. (la version française suit) It’s French label, « SQP jeunes avocats, » captures the reality for many lawyers starting out.  (Sauve qui peut! meaning ‘everyone for himself.’) The site intentionally plays the words ‘jeune’ and ‘new’ off each other, because a life in law has always been measured from one’s year of Call to the Bar.  Increasingly, ‘new’ can also mean ‘different.’  Men and women from different socioeconomic backgrounds, demographic origins, hopes and dreams wonder how they might fit in, or whether integration comes at too high a price. To the…