1998:  Cuts to Legal Aid Add 7000 Lawyerless Litigants to the Roles *

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Source: Journal du Barreau, Volume 30 – numéro 15
15 septembre 1998 //// add the link ////

Cuts to Legal Aid add 7000 Lawyerless Litigants to the Roles

On the 15th of September 1998, this short article commences with a rousing refrain of defamation of self-represented litigants. Apparently, the sentiment curried amongst the legal profession by Yves-Marie Morissette since circa 2001, has lawyers feeling it’s fine to insult non-lawyers publicly.

However, an interesting fact emerges in this piece, which helps to underscore the spite, if not the malevolence, directed by Yves-Marie Morissette against non-lawyers who represent themselves at court. In his xxxx entitled xxxxx, date xxxxx, Morissette states, “xxx if they represent themselves alone it is because they have no choice… their lawyers have dumped them.” Apparently, 7,000 lawyerless litigants were added to the 20xx roles in Quebec courts because of Legal Aid cuts. So, why is there such a self-serving, malignant, contemptuous, disdainful attitude, replete with the feeling that public abuse by lawyers, defamation by lawyers, is an appropriate form of expression when referring to people who have obviously applied for a lawyer and been refused… not because they are crazy, but because of Legal Aid cuts.

In my view, these attacks upon lawyerless litigants are another form, perhaps a new branch, the “legal” branch of poor-bashing. It’s quite alright to insult the guy who has no money, can’t afford a lawyer, can’t get Legal Aid. You can call him names, insult his intelligence, insult his personality, you can even now purport to declare him crazy. What I notice here is that the one thing that would cure the problem is the farthest from the mind of the legal community. Although this McCxxxx comes close to it: EDUCATION.

McCxxxx wants each lawyerless litigant to take an hour’s training course in the rules of procedure. That’s an excellent idea. It should be accompanied with a personalized tour of the Courthouse, led by someone familiar with the various departments, facilities, and the way they function. But, this is a drop in the bucket compared to what needs to be done… which no lawyer in sight of the bread line would ever suggest. A radical change of culture is needed in Canada. Law must not be a specialized subject reserved for the elites after graduation from secondary school or college.

Law must be a fundamental subject for every citizens of Canada, from grade one, if not kindergarten.

//// insert columns and translate the article ////

De drôles de clients

Maître Richard McConomy

Me Richard McConomy

Me Richard McConomy, reconnu pour son sens de l’humour et sa vaste expérience, s’est payé la tête de ceux qui ont de drôles de clients : les gens qui se représentent eux-mêmes. Il a constaté que le fait d’agir sans avocat prive d’offres de règlements que la présence d’un avocat aurait suscitées. Il a aussi constaté les réactions de ses clients qui le voient respecter des règles et une éthique que l’adversaire sans avocat viole impunément parce qu’il les ignore, du genre : « je suis capable d’en faire du pareil », « je paie pour ça », etc.

Les tribunaux assouplissent l’application des règles de preuves pour le commun des mortels et Me McConomy croit avoir l’obligation morale d’accommoder la partie adverse non représentée. Il souhaiterait par contre que les parties à un procès qui se représentent elles-mêmes aient l’obligation de recevoir une heure de formation sur les règles de preuve, de la même façon que les parties à un divorce doivent assister à une séance de médiation.

Il prévoit de plus en plus d’évocation et a fait part des plus récentes statistiques résultant des coupures à l’Aide juridique : 6 000 à 7 000 procès de plus sans avocat dans les cours municipales


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The social tyranny of extorting recantation, of ostracism and virtual outlawry as the new means of coercing the man out of line, is the negation of democracy.

— Justice Ivan Cleveland Rand of the Supreme Court of Canada, Canadian Bar Review (CBR)
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 — Mauro Cappelletti dans Louis Favoreu (dir.), Le pouvoir des juges, Paris, Economica, 1990, p. 115.
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— Mr. Justice Ivan Cleveland Rand writing in the most memorable passage in Roncarelli v. Duplessis, [1959] S.C.R. 121 at the Supreme Court of Canada, page 140.
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Fears are mounting that the psychiatrist Anatoly Koryagin is near to death in the notorious jail of Christopol in central Russia. Letters that have reached the West from his wife and a friend indicate that he is so weak that unless he is given expert medical care he could die at any time. Dr. Koryagin has been in prison for the last four years for actively opposing the political abuse of psychiatry. The abuse takes the form of labeling dissidents as mad and forcibly treating them with drugs in mental hospitals.   ― Peter B. Reddaway, "The Case of Dr. Koryagin", October 10, 1985 issue of The New York Times Review of Books
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I am no fan of Saul Alinsky's whose methods are antidemocratic and unparliamentary. But since we are fighting a silent war against the subversive Left, I say, if it works for them, it will work for us. Bring on the ridicule!  And in this case, it is richly deserved by the congeries of judicial forces wearing the Tweedle suits, and by those who are accurately conducting our befuddled usurpers towards the Red Dawn.

— Admin, Judicial Madness, 22 March 2016.
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