Friday, January 30, 2009

come back coalition

three dozen police? now where will I sling my yay

So two guys take their beef to Osgoode subway station, one of them shoots the other, and now we need three dozen police officers patrolling the subway, in addition to the over 100 special constables already down there.

Don't call it panic or overreaction to an isolated incident: call it a stimulus package, intended to create law enforcement jobs.

Last night at dinner I overheard somebody say "yeah, I still take the subway, in spite of the shooting incidents."
  1. You're a hero. A subway hero. Like Jared.
  2. Incidents? Plural? Only one dude got shot, and he knew the suspect. Last year a woman got shot in the leg on a subway train entering Spadina station, but that was a year ago -- the TTC moves 1.5 million people a day. If you're not consorting with people such as Curt John (above, sporting a Blue Jays cap in the modern style and a coat that looks warm and capable of concealing a weapon and which I rather covet), you should breathe easy, or move to London, where assailants prefer knives to guns.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Potential Career Alternative: Web 2.Ohhh

Cross-posted from Law is Cool

At this time of year, as the legal community battens down the hatches against recession, and law students gaze over the desolate, frigid waste of their summer employment prospects, some might be tempted to give in to despair and seek alternative employment. Such people would be well advised to avoid any job containing the words “escort”, “Craigslist”, or “Airport Motor Inn room 232″.

On January 1st, a 22-year-old law student at the University of Michigan and a 44-year-old U-M professor pleaded no contest to charges of using a computer to commit a crime, reduced from charges of solicitation and prostitution. They received deferred sentences, conditional upon each seeking counseling and paying $1280 in fines and costs. The charges stemmed from the student’s report that the professor had assaulted her during a sexual encounter. Police indicated that the student had advertised sex acts on Craigslist, AdultFriendFinder and Eros, a “high class escort” site. She participated in as many as nine liaisons in a two-month period, at $250 apiece.

Last week a second University of Michigan student was charged with soliciting prostitution online, after she arranged to meet an undercover agent at an Ann Arbour Motel. She claimed that she advertised sex acts online “to help cover tuition costs”.

Police confirm that prostitutes are increasingly using the internet to ply their wares. Craigslist is doing its part to combat this burgeoning industry: the online giant forbids posting ads that promote prostitution, human trafficking, child exploitation and other illegal activities. Craigslist has filed 14 lawsuits against parties who violated their terms of service.

Friday, January 23, 2009

TO: Osgoode students whom I saw applying to the same jobs as me

Thank you for pretending not to see me on the street, thereby averting an awkward moment.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

crack caffeine

EyeWeekly filed this under "cheap living". I file it under "dirty skids", which is a tag I haven't been able to use in a while. I admire the filmmaker's advice to erstwhile coffee dealers: peddling "black magic" is fine as long as you bill it as such, rather than as really dirty black-tar heroin. And there's nothing the police can do! (Except, you know, keep you in jail while they take their time ascertaining that the substance is actually coffee.) His postscript that this was in the interest of "freedom of information in the public service" was also amusing.

Still, it beats making half a pot of coffee in a cracked coffee press, which is what I've been reduced to.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

point taken

If you leave your laptop unattended at the Osgoode Law Library, the library's phantom guardian has a message for you.

desperation applications

What's more depressing: that I'm considering applying for jobs in Whitehorse, or that the government of the Yukon hasn't posted a job opportunity in two years?

Suit up

If Plan A doesn't pan out, and it's looking increasingly likely that it won't, there's always in-house counsel. As long as I don't have to call anybody bro, I have no qualms with ignoring my Criminal Ethics prof and walking away from my duties to the court and to the proper administration of justice. And I was never gonna save the rainforests anyway.

Unfortunately, those who emerged from the OCI process with nothing to show for their efforts except wine-stained teeth are now horning in on the cushy in-house jobs too. They may not have been hired by Bay Street, but their grades and resumés are still better than mine. (And I've worked for the Federal Crown and for an ad-hoc war crimes tribunal.) Every time something appealing comes along, a crowd of desperate law students materializes from nowhere, CVs in hand, trampling all over each other to be first in line, not unlike the citizens of Springfield around a van full of placebos.

  • Better hours
  • More reliable client = consistent paycheck
  • Not dropping dead of a coronary, at the age of forty, in the middle of a courtroom, with only the dregs of humanity at my side (and also the clients! ZING), would be a definite plus
  • Striking parallels between Marshall Eriksen [above]'s life and my own continue
  • Imagine this conversation -- "So, what are you doing now?"
    "Oh, I work for Ergotron. ... They make those brackets that hold up your TV and stuff."
    "Oh yeah. ... Didn't you go to law school?"
    "Yeah, yeah I did."
    "So what are you doing at Ergotron?"
    "Well, sometimes they get sued. Like if the bracket falls on somebody or something."
    "But, like, you didn't want to work at a law firm? Like a real lawyer?"
    "Uh, you know, firms really aren't hiring these days, so ..."
    "Right. [awkward silence] ... So I guess you sold out, then, eh?"
    "I'm going to break that martini glass with your face and then use the shattered stem to perform a tracheotomy on you. Then I'm going to blow into the hole and make you into a singing puppet."
    "Jesus Christ! What's wrong with you!"
    "Sorry. Imaginary Will is a cauldron of thwarted aggression. This is unfathomably inappropriate for a law blog."
  • What if I had to work at some office park off the 401 between Etobicoke and Kitchener? Or worse, between Pickering and anywhere east of Pickering? Unacceptable.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

now I want to work for this guy

So I sent a message to the coordinator of a London firm tour for Windsor Law students, asking permission to join the tour. I found his response peculiarly familiar until I realized that I had misspelled "hello".

To: ***** | From: Will McNair | Subject: Windsor Law firm tour

Hell Mr. *****,

I'm a student at Osgoode. My brother, who goes to Windsor, tells me that he's attending a London firm tour organized by his school tomorrow. My school offers no such tour; would it be possible for me to tag along?


Will McNair
Mr. ***** to me
Hell yes. We don't care if the cops come.
I copied and pasted the same permission request to four other firms, but somehow his was the only one with the spelling error. Whatever, I don't think he was too put off by it, and now I'll stand out from the Windsor students. Does it matter that I'll stand out because of my sub-par spelling/self-editing/competence? I don't think so.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

exam post-mortem

Half-way done law school, bitches! And it only took a year and a half-and-then-another-couple-weeks. I had four exams, the latter three all in a row over the last three consecutive days. It was punishing. You know, for a student. If I were someone with a job, I suppose it would be par for the course.

There's a dirty little secret at Osgoode right now: the CUPE 3903 strike is the best thing that ever happened to us (me). I've never been more prepared for exams than I was this time, and it's all thanks to the lengthy impromptu holiday I received courtesy of the York University TAs and contract faculty walking off the job. My summaries were bound well in advance, I managed to get showered and dressed most days, and I never had to stay up past 2:30 a.m., let alone pull an all-nighter before an exam (which inexplicably produced my best mark last year). All that benefit, and I got to undermine an ongoing labour dispute just by showing up! Meanwhile, the strikers are still out there in the -15 degree weather, huddled around a barrel, fighting for a living wage

Now I'm going to sleep in, eat some sandwiches, read some of these books (I'm way behind), watch some movies and enjoy my four-day holiday. Merry Christmas!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Fun with QuickLaw: billable seven-and-a-half minutes

I have an exam in Crim II: Ethics of Criminal Law on Tuesday. (My girlfriend laughed when I told her I wasn't worried about it because "there isn't much material"--I hadn't considered the ramifications of the statement.) While reviewing my notes, I ran across a "hypothetical" breach of counsel's duty of confidentiality, next to which I had scrawled "tremendous example!" in red pen. It read:
Example: During the course of the representation, counsel learns that his client's marriage is in desperate straits, and that the couple is experiencing sexual problems. Without discussing this matter with anyone else, counsel uses the information to embark on a sexual relationship with the client's wife. He has thereby breached the duty of confidentiality.
I should've figured I wouldn't have written "tremendous example!" un-ironically.

As if that weren't "tremendous!" enough, the example concluded with a citation. If you have access to QuickLaw, I recommend you search "54 O.R. (2d) 663" and read the head-note.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

the incredible infinite sentence

Who let James Joyce draft the legislation?

Ontario Business Corporations Act, s. 114(3):

[Where] the chair of a meeting of shareholders declares to the meeting that, to the best of his or her belief, if a ballot is conducted, the total number of votes attached to the shares represented at the meeting by proxy required to be voted against what will be the decision of the meeting in relation to any matter or group of matters is less than 5 per cent of all the votes that might be cast at the meeting on such ballot, and where a shareholder, proxyholder or alternate proxyholder does not demand a ballot,
(a) the chair may conduct the vote in respect of that matter or group of matters by a show of hands; and
(b) a proxyholder or alternate proxyholder may vote in respect of that matter or group of matters by a show of hands.

Back in TO: "just like New York, without all the stuff" - Gavin Volure

I got more done on the two-hour train ride this morning than I did the entire two weeks prior.