Why I Learned Law and Stopped Hiring Lawyers

Anecdotes to date:

#1.  The 25-minutes-late lawyer
#2.  The lawyer caught with his hand in my bag
#3.  How one law professor keeps his tenure
#4.  Serving one side, billing the other
#5.  The Lawyer in Good Standing… Notwithstanding
#6.  Another Lawyer Does “the Opposite”
#7.  “The meter is running”
#8.  “Slow down or get out!”

People choose to represent themselves without a lawyer for many reasons. Fees of lawyers are excessive. Confidentiality is dubious. Competency is unpredictable. Respectability, debatable.

These angels of the legal system, as they are implied to be in contrast to the so-called lunatics who only howl and moan about them in unwanted ethics complaints, are a very special breed. They are mortals with a license: the right to be deemed to be better than we are. Thanks to the private club (the Bar) which they all must join, they have built-in protection: their own legal mafia will preserve that illusion from a challenge by reality.

A few quick anecdotes will suffice to see why I got fed up with lawyers, and decided to represent myself.

#1.  The 25-minutes-late lawyer

I had a hearing before an administrative tribunal. I had hired a young male lawyer who happened to have a genuine spastic illness. He had difficulty speaking under stress. But he had graduated law school, had come to the Bar, and I felt sympathetic. I thought maybe he’s qualified, give the man a chance. So I did. And this was not legal aid, he was being paid by me.

To my chagrin, such is the legal system in Quebec, that the commissioner presiding in my file repeatedly openly ridiculed this poor spastic lawyer, who had speech problems. The commissioner sneered, belittled and mimicked the lawyer, waving his hand dismissively toward the man, urging him to “hurry up and spit it out”, which only worsened the poor man’s plight.

The lawyer was so upset, he couldn’t talk. I had two choices. Recuse the commissioner and keep the lawyer; or keep the commissioner and hire someone new. I decided to hire a new lawyer, so as not to enter into a contest with the tribunal seized of my case. I signed a contract and paid a retainer to a law firm, who informed me that a junior lawyer of the firm would attend my next hearing at the commission. I was given her business card. I had just agreed — some twenty years ago — to pay $75 an hour, only to learn I was getting a junior lawyer. The junior wasn’t on the premises at the time of hiring. The senior lawyer gave me her business card in duplicate, one for me, one for the tribunal.

Hearing day arrived. I arrived early. My poor spastic lawyer had also arrived early, God bless him. But, just in case something might go wrong with the new lawyer, I didn’t fire him. In fact, the new lawyer did not show up. The hearing was called, we were summoned to the courtroom, my spastic lawyer and I. This hearing progressed in the same manner as the first, the commissioner abusing my lawyer by ridiculing his physical disability. Meanwhile, the clock over the door was ticking. The new lawyer’s business card was in my pocket. Suddenly, 25 minutes late, a set of knuckle raps drew all eyes to the glass window in the courtroom door, where “Pssst! Pssst!” could be heard from outside it, in the hallway. The commissioner having looked up, my spastic lawyer having also looked up, I politely excused myself, knowing very well who it had to be.

It was indeed my new junior lawyer, who wanted to know how the trial was going! I said, “You’re 25 minutes late, and you want to know how it’s going?” To which my new young attorney smartly replied, oozing her contempt for me:

“I don’t really have time for a Legal Aid case!”

To which I replied, “I’m not a Legal Aid case, I’m paying you $75 an hour!”

Obviously, had I been a “Legal Aid case”, it would have been no less wretched for a lawyer to spew her contempt for me to excuse her own breach of professional conduct. In her mind, it was merely reasonable that a “Legal Aid” client had no right either to service or respect.

There was no remote chance of an apology to me, or to the court, or the other lawyer, for her lateness and interrupting a hearing.

That pretty much gives you a picture of two lawyers not to hire. And guess what, I did not file an ethics complaint. But, I should have. I also did not file a complaint about the rude commissioner. But I should have. Today, however, such an “attack” upon the “legal system” and its pious members, would earn me a shot of haloperidol from Quebec Court of Appeal Judge Yves-Marie Morissette.

I did eventually trade viewpoints with the female lawyer’s boss, a senior partner with his firm who sent me his invoice for the alleged “services” of his junior lawyer.

I don’t know what happened to my spastic lawyer, but a few years later, the “I’m too good for Legal Aid!” female lawyer ran for office and was elected. Her amazing platitudes quoted in the press on the matter of justice for her constituents were jaw-dropping in contrast with her real-life attitude as a lawyer.

I guess when there are no law jobs, or perhaps when they show up too late too often, and blow off too many clients, they have no choice but to seek “political welfare” from the taxpayers. Which may explain the state of our municipal, provincial, and federal governments.


#2. The lawyer caught with
his hand in my bag

One summer twenty years ago, I had a contract replacing a legal secretary at a university law faculty during her maternity leave. The job came with an office. My office was on the first floor of the faculty beside the office of a lawyer who was a professor there. Further down the hall was the photocopy room.

One day, I left my office and headed to the copy room with papers in my hands. As always, I had to pass the office of the lawyer next door. On this particular day, I realized half-way to the copy room that I had left something on my desk, so I returned the way I had come. Only to surprise both myself and the male lawyer from the adjacent office who was now standing inside my office. He was leaning over my multi-pocketed black leather shoulder bag that was on my credenza, from which he was pulling out my new lease for my new apartment.

I froze in shock. He looked up, paused, then let drop the lease back into my purse, and without a word, or any reaction, he exited my office, brushing past me on the way back to his own office.


#3. How one law professor
keeps his tenure

I have another little anecdote from that law faculty. One of the senior lawyers walked into my office with a blank diskette and an issue of an American law review. The professor required me to type up an article from the review, put the typed version on diskette, and return the journal, the diskette, and a printout of the retyped item to him.

I did as he asked, although, of course, I knew what he was up to.

Later, the lawyer returned with the printout and the diskette. He had edited the printout in his own handwriting. I was now to revise the article on diskette with the law professor’s edits from the printout, print it out again, and return it to him.

He then later gave me the revised and printed article, which was now under a new title, but signed by him as its sole author, for submission to a Canadian law magazine. It was my job to prepare the envelope and put a stamp on it.

This fellow’s work, or at least work with his name on it, shows up everywhere, even to this day. And even to this day, whenever I see his name on anything, I don’t bother to read it.


#4. Serving one side, billing the other

Twice in my life in Montreal, I have been cheated by landladies whose duplex heating systems were intertwined with mine to siphon their tenant’s heat.

First, there was the retired professor from the Gaspé whose nephew the engineer crossed the electrical metering system and tagged the hot water pipes. That put what was really her own bill for power to most of her triplex, including her own living quarters, her basement playroom, several huge appliances, the common areas, and her car plugged into a heating outlet while parked outdoors all winter, under my name. Of course, my bill, which was nothing at all, was under her name. I had a stove, a manual exercycle, a 12″ black & white tv, and an electric typewriter. (I never did manage to get a fridge that would fit the tiny kitchen.)

Then there was landlady number two, the languid divorcee who always answered her door nude under her terrycloth bathrobe, and whose 3-bedroom duplex the floor below mine had been secretly hooked up to my own gas heating system.

In that latter case, my research disclosed that Madam was supposed to be using oil from Ultramar. I got a letter from Ultramar confirming that her annual heating bill from them came to a mere one hundred dollars ($100.00), a feat the oil company could not explain, given Montreal’s cold winters. This, of course, laid suspicion on my own outrageous gas-heat bill. Finally, a detail emerged that Madam had dual energy installed with controls in her place, and the second form of energy was gas.

Ultramar concluded that Madam was using my gas heat, the bill for which, sent to me by Gaz Metropolitain, came to slightly over $2,100.00 for a single winter, which I had spent mostly out at the office, coming home late to cook supper and turn the heat back on for an hour before going to bed.

I went to see lawyers with respect to both criminal landladies, and I eventually caught lawyer number one arm-in-arm with my Madam Professor from the Gaspé, on a day when he had told me he wasn’t going to be at court. Turns out they were conspiring together, with the court, behind my back, and he had phoned me to say it was cancelled, and that I should not show up. He would give me a new date when he had one. I showed up nonetheless, and caught them.

The next lawyer had been a prison parole officer. He had a Scottish name. I presented him with a research file including the letter from Ultramar, proving that little miss Bathrobe was guzzling my gas heat while I was out. The lawyer sent Madam a demand letter. Madam replied wishing to settle. I then authorized my lawyer to negotiate a deal involving cancellation of the lease, her payment of the gas bill, and my moving expenses.

In the course of the so-called negotiations, my lawyer and I had a little falling out motivated by the fact that he appeared to be defending her, not me, but I was paying his bill. Instructing the man was to no avail. His contrary behaviour continued, so that finally, in person, I fired him.

After having been fired to his face, the jurist with the Scottish name convened little Miss Bathrobe to his office to SIGN A SETTLEMENT in my name!

In that completely illegal “settlement”, he let her off the hook, and promised her that I’d move out, which I was doing anyway. As a result of the criminal behavior of this lawyer in deference to the gas-guzzling Bathrobe, I never saw a penny of compensation for the gas bill or my moving expenses. My one alternative was to hire another lawyer to come after him. I did not.

In both cases, the lawyers were one-man operations, not law firms. In both cases, these lawyers who swear an oath to come to the Bar, preferred to serve the interests of the party with the most property and the biggest bank account, to the very obvious detriment of their own client.

Moreover, the Scot had another file from me, and he had fouled that one up as well, to the benefit of a wealthy restaurant owner. The restaurateur had failed to pay me three-quarters of my modest invoice for managing his print and radio publicity, including writing it all, and doing graphics and supervising the launch in person, as well as handling his product marketing for the start of his new location.

The Scot got me to drop that one by lying through his teeth in front of a courtroom door one minute before the trial. He said that a fundamental piece of evidence was missing from the file, and was probably “lost” beyond recovery. Without it, he said, I didn’t stand a chance. Nice of him to have figured that out a minute before the hearing. Sadly, I took his advice, and dropped the case on the spot.

Later, when I fired the man over the Bathrobe lady, and picked my files back up from his office, there was the “missing” evidence sitting right in the marketing file: the very letter needed to win my case and collect my money.

I kept track of the career of the first one until he disappeared from the radar. Then I called the Bar to find out what had happened to two-timing lawyer number one. A female at the Bar informed me the Bar had given him an ultimatum: resign or be disbarred.

I pretty much knew that he had been involved in dirty business for a decade at the expense of tenants, in particular senior citizens whom he rooked. I had written letters tipping off the Bar with details of some of his exploits, which came to me through an articling law student in one of his tenant clinics. I tipped off Legal Aid that he was double billing, taking money from them and cash from his clients, whom he also tricked into paying fees that by law he was responsible to pay. (By the way, I call Legal Aid “lawyer welfare”.)

So, for a decade, the Bar and Legal Aid both had known, with letters copied to each other, that this guy was betraying his clients. Which made the Bar, by the way, jointly and severally liable for the damages arising from his exploits. Because their job was to stop this man. But, instead, they let him run wild cheating the young, the old and the lame, and then to conceal their liability, they let him off: “resign!”.

How had he cheated his clients on Legal Aid? He held weekly “free tenant clinics” at the YMCA in different neighborhoods. You’d bring your complaint to him, he’d tell you to write and file your own lawsuit at first instance, and then, if it didn’t work, he’d do the Appeal. Fact is, Legal Aid pays poorly at first-instance; and well for Appeals. But Appeals will fail if the case at first instance is not well prepared. This guy didn’t care if the case was well prepared. He’d just tell them, scribble anything on the Rental Board’s form. When the case inevitably flopped, he’d step in and collect Legal Aid to “appeal”. He also had a trick with old people of splitting up a single file so he could bill them for three appeals instead of one.

As for lawyer number two, the former parole officer, I was too busy at the time to file an ethics complaint. And then it got lost in the everyday business of life. Until one day, I was notified at work that my salary had been seized by you-know-who, to cover his “professional fees” for doing the very opposite of what in both cases he had been instructed to do before I had fired him.

#5  The Lawyer in Good Standing… Notwithstanding

In the early 1990s, I rented a small office on Côte-des-Neiges boulevard at the bottom of Forest Hill to set up a public secretarial service. The office was in the basement of a mini-mall, surrounded by parking, a restaurant upstairs, a florist, a couple of other businesses, and two apartment blocks.

The son of the owner of the mini-mall was running the show. His interest in renting to me was that my presence would attract more renters to the mall, the basement of which he had already subdivided into small offices.

Shortly after I moved in and set up shop, he rented an office at the far end, through another entrance, to a young woman lawyer. She was a civil lawyer, who specialized in immigration. Although she had one or two assistants running errands for her, she had no basic office equipment, and would send her people to my office to get a little typing done, or make photocopies.

I had leased a high quality photocopier on a stand, at a good monthly maintenance price; and I had calculated my photocopy rates accordingly, giving discounts for volume. After a few months, the female lawyer was doing sufficient regular business in my office at 10c a copy, and paying cash, and paying for typing, that I calculated her overall usage and I offered her a discount on her total volume. That brought her price down to 6c a copy. Best in town. Goodwill to keep the typing coming in, and to get referrals, as she was beginning to send her immigration clients to my office to type their papers and make their photocopies, too.

The young woman lawyer then ran up her copy bill to something a little over $200 at 6c a copy. In reply to my bill she issued a cheque. Which bounced. Quite to my surprise.

I then went to talk to the owner of the mall, who had sent her to me in the first place, hoping he might put a word in, and save the two of us from a paper war. The mall owner informed me that she owed him back rent. Several months, in fact; and he had just too late done his homework to discover she had skipped all over town, leaving unpaid rent and bills behind.

It was then apparent that I was going to have to collect my photocopy money. I sent her a formal written notice by registered mail with another copy of the invoice attached, and a copy of her bounced cheque. No reply. I then wrote to the Bar to point out that their member was acting disgracefully, and perhaps they would give her a phone call, otherwise I was going to have to take her to Small Claims court, which in fact I had to do. I paid for a court stamp. In those days, Small Claims court itself served the procedure by mail on the delinquent.

I waited for my hearing notice to arrive, and I attended. The young female lawyer did not.

I had to plead before a young female judge, who received copies of the photocopy register, the invoice, the bounced cheque, the demand letter, and the other pre-war initiatives. The judge heard my plea, and granted my application, awarding me photocopy fees, plus court costs. In her judgment, moreover, the judge noted in writing that she had seen the proof of service of the Small Claims demand upon the young lawyer. So, the judge obviously knew the lawyer had been served, and should have attended. The lawyer lost, though not only by default.

Once I had my judgment in hand, which had also then been served on the young female lawyer, and the period for payment of the judgment had expired, I hired bailiffs to collect it. I had to pay in advance for the bailiff to open a file. However, magically, the young lawyer having apparently been tipped off by the bailiff that he was coming to collect my money, she suddenly filed a revocation of judgment at the Small Claims counter, in which she claimed she had not received service of the action, nor a hearing notice. The very service upon her which had been noted in writing by the judge herself, in the judgement, as having been seen by the judge. Therefore, the allegation by the young female lawyer that she hadn’t been served was a lie.

Realizing that my bailiff had tipped her off after filling his own pockets with my money, after she had filled hers with my photocopies, I went down to the Small Claims division and called up the file. Sure enough, there was the delinquent lawyer’s revocation sitting in it. However, the proof of service, which in those days had been a pink card sent to her by the court itself (the court used to take care of service), was gone. The file had been laundered!

(Which is why I recommend to all pro-se litigants: PHOTOGRAPH THE FILE! Inside and out, including the inside and the outside of the file folder itself.)

The young female lawyer was therefore impudent enough not only to rob me, not only to ignore an appeal from the Bar to pay my bill, not only to make me tread water at Small Claims and go through a hearing which I won, but she had the kahoonas to in fact challenge the clear word of a judge in a judgment, stating that the judge herself had seen the proof of service sent by the court, and received by the court, in the court file.

Not only did I never see a penny of the $200+ for photocopies at 6c a piece, not only did I lose my money on a Small Claims court stamp, and on a bailiff to collect my judgment, but the file on the revocation was magically “frozen” and never came up for a hearing, although I returned to the counter several times to check. After a year or two more of waiting, I gave up.

You have to have a lot of friends at court, and in the system, to pull off a trick like that. And what level of ethics to simply rob a self-employed secretary of the cost of copies used in your immigration business that she has to pay for to the rental company?

Let’s say, to top it off: she was also smuggling illegals over the US-Canada border. Her trick was that she confiscated the ID cards and papers of her immigration clients, to keep them under lock and key in her office. Then, on weekends, once a week, she drove to Burlington, Vermont, with all the identification papers in her trunk. She would there meet a slew of illegal immigrants from South America, and hand each of them a set of ID papers (belonging to someone else), then drive the illegals back across the border in her BMW.

At one point, prior to her stiffing me on the photocopy payment, she had the moxie to send her assistant to my office with something for me to type. The young female lawyer had somehow come up with blank identification papers, containing neither name, nor date of birth, but fully formally stamped in original rubber-stamped ink and signed in ink, apparently by South American authorities. Her assistant languidly handed me a photocopy of the “blanks” which she had filled out in pencil with the desired name and birth date of the person to whom these identification papers would be attributed. I let the girl leave the office and called the Immigration Department, for whose benefit I had photocopied the fake ID papers. On their instructions, I gave the originals back to her, after notifying her assistant to her face that I did not wish to be involved in her outside activities. So the girl took the papers back, and they had to rent a typewriter.

Perhaps that is one reason I never got my photocopies paid for, but I kind of doubt it. I think she would have taken me to the cleaners, nonetheless. In fact, she took a pair of pliers to the antique blue amethyst necklace I had leant her to wear to a wedding, and broke it to fit her fat neck. Didn’t bother to go to a jeweler to have it properly expanded. She gave it back to me, broken.

The lawyer was not poor by any means, and could afford to pay her bills. She had, for one thing, seized possession of her mother’s apartment building, while having her mother committed for mental incompetency. The young lawyer proceeded to fill the building with immigrants from her immigration practice, and then would confiscate their refugee welfare payments, which she would cash for the rent, give them an allowance out of the change, and sell them groceries with what remained of the money. Now, that’s entrepreneurship.

Her annual income tax statement that I had typed up for her had indicated that she was making more than $50,000 a year, back in 1992.

She had an expensive car, a little red BMW. But she was clever enough to put it in the name of her immigrant boyfriend of the moment, who interpreted Kurdish for a local Kurdish crime lord who was at court all the time.

For several years after, whenever her name came to mind, I would check online at the Bar to see if she was still listed as a Member in good standing. And, she was.


They are paragons, aren’t they?

The very same paragons who all gang up to demand that we who file inconvenient ethics complaints ought to be called “crazy” by the courts, and doped to shut us up.


#6.  Another Lawyer Does “the Opposite”

I had lived for about three years at an address in Montreal West. The apartment was a compact 3-1/2. A 5-1/2 came up for rent with the same landlord in the adjoining block. I applied for it and was accepted.

The 5-1/2 was being renovated by a workman who seemed to be hitting on me. I did not respond. In the meantime, I packed up all my belongings in my 3-1/2 expecting to move into the 5-1/2 shortly.

However, each time I took the keys and checked, the workman had done nothing. This went on for three months. Requests to the landlord, who owned the entire street, were of no avail.

At the time, I was working freelance for a law firm, where I hired one of the lawyers to serve my current landlord with a letter cancelling the lease for the 5-1/2 because I had given up and rented something else.

Perversely, the lawyer, who understood English perfectly well, used a bailiff to serve the landlord with a notice to immediately renovate the 5-1/2! And he did this, knowing that I had already signed a new lease somewhere else. I then had to personally serve the landlord with a correction and a repudiation of the contrary act of my so-called lawyer.


#7.  “The meter is running”

Once upon a time, I worked for a labor lawyer who one day called me into his office with the usual, “Bring in your pad” (i.e., my steno pad) and he began to dictate an appeal in a client’s file in which the judgment had just come in against the client. I knew the file, I’d prepared it with the lawyer, so a few minutes into this dictation, I interrupted, “Why are we doing this, there are no grounds for appeal?” My lawyer-boss replied, “Shut up. As long as the meter is running, it pays your rent.”

The same lawyer wanted to train me as a labor negotiator and therefore one day he piled us into a taxi and headed for the liquor bar at the Queen E hotel on Dorchester/René Lévesque Boulevard to meet the lawyer for the opposition in a case he was working on. My job was to sit quietly, and to listen and learn.

The lawyer for the union (the adverse party) explained to my lawyer-boss that he had a list of people whom the company in question (my boss’s client) ought to hire immediately, all of whom were ready to vote “No” at the next ballot called on whether or not to unionize that company’s employees. In other words, I personally witnessed the lawyer for the union screwing his client, the union, by helping the corporate client of my lawyer-boss to beat the bid to unionize the firm’s employees.


#8. “Slow down or get out!”

I have a little anecdote. This is the peripheral view of the McGill Law Faculty under Dean Yves-Marie Morissette.

Once upon a time I was hired by the Building Plant department at McGill as a temporary secretary. The department knew that during lunch hours, I was reading law. I got along really well with the “girls” over there (the other secretaries), and with my boss.

When my temporary contract was up, my boss announced that he had found something else for me in the University. He had been so pleased with my work that he didn’t want to leave me without a job, so he had found me one. And he was happy to say it was at the Law Faculty, because he knew I was reading law.

There was a maternity leave underway. The replacement would have her own office and control of a faculty building up the hill on Parc Avenue, meaning the keys to the doors. My boss informed me that an interview with the secretary to the Dean was a mere formality; the job was mine.

I did, indeed, meet with the secretary of the Dean, who supervised the other secretarial staff in the various Law departments. I received the keys and installed myself up the hill with something like eight or ten professors to serve.

Three or four weeks into my contract, the secretary of Dean Morissette, who had hired me, phoned me up and convened me to her office, where she gravely disclosed that she had been “receiving phone calls from the professors” in my Faculty. I was taken aback. What was wrong? Am I not doing a good job?

Well, that’s exactly the problem, replied the secretary of Dean Morissette. “You’re raising the bar too high,” she declared. The girl who usually holds that job won’t want to work that hard when she gets back from maternity leave.  (Yes, yes, yes, believe your ears!)

She had called me on the carpet for doing a good job.

The secretary of the Dean told me to “slow down”, don’t type so fast. (How do I type less fast than my normal speed, which was about 120 words a minute, eyes closed?)

Well, then, reasoned the Dean’s clerical right arm, if you can’t slow down, hide your finished work in a drawer somewhere for a couple of days, and don’t let the professors have it right away.

Moreover, said she, no more “special” services. One professor had praised the fact that despite a major downtown traffic jam during a bus strike on a Friday afternoon, I had found a non-listed delivery service (Speedo Messenger) who specialize in law firms, and whom I knew from previous contracts, and they knew me. These guys jumped on a bicycle, picked up the Professor’s manuscript and got it to its destination before close of business. “No more special services!”, warned the secretary of Dean Morissette.

Ergo, I was now supposed to turn into a slow, lousy, unhelpful secretary for a group of professors who had been calling up the Dean one after another to pay me compliments! (Little did they know their calls would backfire. They had no clue what was going on in this meeting, and I was told not to dare to tell them!)

Moreover, if I refused to take notice and implement the polite “advice” from the secretary of the Dean, there would be consequences (i.e., I would be fired!).

Imagine being fired for doing a good job.

Well, I informed the Dean’s secretary to her face that I was not going to “slow down” or do a lousy job, i.e., do my job less well than my full capacity. I deem it fraud to accept a wage in exchange for lolling around. I moreover deem it my personal right to always do my best, for my own wellbeing.

Obviously, the Dean’s secretary could not fire me for doing a good job. But a couple of weeks later, I came in to work to find my computer dead. Instantly, I smelled a rat, i.e., in the form of the Dean’s secretary, who was in charge of computer repairs for the Faculties. I also knew there was a shortage of computer stations at that time, and if my terminal was dead, madam would simply “un-hire” me and transfer my work to someone else who had a functioning terminal. And of course, once I was out of the way, my machine would magically work again, and I would be replaced with someone less quick or more willing to “play ball”.

I therefore short-circuited the “repair” procedure by not telling the Dean’s secretary my machine was dead. (Which, obviously, she already knew.) Instead, I phoned up the computer department directly, and a tech was soon in my office, scratching his head. The tech fixed the dead unit in seconds, claiming he’d never seen this happen before. I thanked him, and I smugly went about my work… only to have the Dean’s secretary pay an unaccustomed visit to my office later that day on some other pretext. (She must have been wondering what I was doing with my time, without a functioning computer.) I deeply enjoyed the look of surprise on her face to find me busily engaged in carrying out my contract, transcribing my professors’ dictaphone tapes.

That was a fun day, but the prospect of my daily involvement in counterespionage to maintain my job in defiance of the Dean’s secretary led me to call up my old boss at the Building Plant department. I told him what was going on at the Law Faculty. Don’t be surprised if I leave of my own volition, but thank you for having given me the opportunity. He was astonished, but very sympathetic.

I thus did not finish the maternity replacement contract. The harassment and sabotage from madam and her friends in the typing pool, who specialized in mass inertia, was intolerable.

I “released” myself from the job in winter on the very good pretext of the icy hill down Parc. The nearest bus home at 5:00 was down a steep slope which the City rarely cleaned between the Faculty and the flat ground on Sherbrooke Street. I had broken my back and legs as a front-seat passenger in a car accident in 1970, and I didn’t want to risk the hill.

And so, to end it all, Merry Christmas to you, Dean Morissette, and a Happy New Year to your lovely secretary.

This old anecdote came to mind because I am currently translating for Judicial Madness, Dean Morissette’s detailed curriculum vitae of 2002 (found online as an apparent court exhibit).

Random Quote

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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“In public regulation of this sort there is no such thing as absolute and untrammelled ‘discretion’, that is that action can be taken on any ground or for any reason that can be suggested to the mind of the administrator; no legislative Act can, without express language, be taken to contemplate an unlimited arbitrary power exercisable for any purpose, however capricious or irrelevant, regardless of the nature or purpose of the statute. Fraud and cor­ruption in the Commission may not be mentioned in such statutes but they are always implied as exceptions. ‘Discretion’ necessarily implies good faith in discharging public duty; there is always a perspective within which a statute is intended to operate; and any clear departure from its lines or objects is just as objectionable as fraud or corruption.”

— 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.
Random Quote
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
"If we were lawyers, this would be billable time."
A Word on Caricature
“Humor is essential to a successful tactician, for the most potent weapons known to mankind are satire and ridicule.”

— “The Education of an Organizer”, p. 75, Rules for Radicals, A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals by Saul Alinsky, Random House, New York, 1971.

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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