Another slew of drug pleas. The first accused can't afford a lawyer and has been denied legal aid. He has attended CLASP for legal assistance from Osgoode students -- but he's charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking, a straight indictable offence, so unlicenced students aren't allowed to represent him. So another guy with criminal charges gets to "wing it" in court. Why bother with criminal lawyers at all?1
The court recesses for twenty minutes after HALF AN HOUR, while counsel get their s**t together. I'm starting to recognize the regular OCH lawyers, just from sitting in hallways. In the foyer, I recognized defence lawyer Kim Schofield from her well-earned Toronto Star style write-up. Plus Mister Mayor; he's always here.
I think I should get some cards printed and put them in the lawyers' lounge. "NEED AN ARTICLING STUDENT FOR CHEAP?"
I bailed on plea court in favour of a high-profile bail hearing relating to the death of a cab driver two weeks ago. In that courtroom I had difficulty hearing: I had a chattering radiator on one side and an interpreter on the other. He (the interpreter, not the radiator) was addressing the parents of the accused. They weren't thrilled I was there. Evidently they didn't think that their son's travails should be treated as a learning opportunity for nosy law students.
Counsel thought I might be the press, which in a way I am. He called for a publication ban and was obliged. Thereafter I didn't record what I heard -- but it was juicy.
Remarks to an accused person (in another courtroom), made in my head
- You knew when you got up this morning that you were going to court, so you put on your finest court apparel: black jeans, paired with an oversize black hoodie with silver pattern of interlocking American dollar bills in large denominations. I salute you.
Some ridiculous Criminal Code provisions
- CC s. 163(1)(b) makes it illegal to possess crime comics.
- CC s. 167 makes it illegal to produce or appear in an immoral theatrical performance.
1 Maybe because it's in the Charter?