I am dismayed by being included in your October issue’s cover story by Bruce Livesey, entitled, “Hoodwinked!” about dishonest private investigators who mislead Canadian lawyers. Your reporter cited the courtroom remarks of the well-known criminal defence lawyer Edward Greenspan as he defended Conrad Black in a widely-publicized criminal case of fraud and other charges. The reported part of the case was the 2007 hearing in Chicago about Black’s potential interim return to Canada before sentencing. In this hearing, the prosecution apparently cited evidence that we had previously provided to the law firm of Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, which had acted for Hollinger Inc. in a related civil case against Conrad Black.
In early December, Warren Winkler retired as the chief justice of Ontario. The man and his career were feted in a variety of ways including an Advocates’ Society 1,000-plus person farewell dinner that included dignitaries such as fellow Pincher Creek, Alta., denizen Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin. In advance of this splashy send-off, the society held a day-long symposium on the future of advocacy. While it didn’t address the future, so much, it was inspirational and a fitting tribute to “Wink,” who is well known for his skills of negotiation and conciliation.
|Illustration: Sara Tyson|
As this issue was about to go to press, the Supreme Court of Canada announced it would hear on Jan. 15 the reference filed by the federal government regarding the Supreme Court Act and the appointment of a Federal Court judge as one of the mandatory three members from Quebec. Just days after Justice Marc Nadon’s appointment was announced and he was sworn in as the newest member of the Supreme Court, Toronto lawyer Rocco Galati, later joined by the Quebec government, filed a challenge to this appointment.
|Illustration: Marco Cibola|
There is so much that is annoying, and simply not enough time to complain about it all. That does not mean I don’t make a good faith effort to complain about as many of those annoyances as time, and the patience of others, permit. I think of it as a service, where the complaints become “insights.” E-mail etiquette is a metaphorical gold mine for annoyances. For example, it is difficult to understand why a group of 40-odd recipients on an e-mail trail needs to know one individual “will respond soon.” Context also affects annoyances. For example, words mispronounced once are bothersome, but repetition of the mispronunciation ranges from annoying to hilarious.