The Practice of Law and the Whitelash

Lawyers have a secret dictionary. We point to the secret-dictionary, and say “this is what we meant by this word”. It is on its tenth edition.

We are lying. We are encouraged to do this. We didn’t mean that word. That book only exists to fake it.

 

Pray We Don’t Alter it Any Further

The social contract has changed.

In short: with the advent of modern systems of medicine, exponential innovation in technologies, the advent of the internet (specifically social media), the globalization of hegemony, and the changing nature of violent crimes, that there has been a corresponding change in the material circumstances of private life.

To illustrate. In Canada, an indigenous teen sued the government. She requested braces. The braces cost $6,000 CAD and the Canadian Government spent over $110,000 CAD in legal costs ensuring that her teeth remained crooked.

The appeals court said they must “show deference” to lower courts. This is because saying “Fuck Josie She Sucks” is not an acceptable ruling.

This means that, when lower courts opine, upper courts respect the opinion. This is with the caveat that an unreasonable opinion is not an opinion; it is conjecture. A reasonable outcome must be a defensible outcome.

Therefore, decision-makers have considerable autonomy in decision-making. The question becomes: “Who decides my kid doesn’t get braces?”

The hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on lawyers did not make a difference in the end-result for anyone except the lawyers. The lawyers got paid, and got to post on LinkedIn that they advocated for Indigenous Rights in Federal Court.

The only problem is that they did not get Josie braces; they lost, and soon after, Josie got braces through other means.

Her lawyers pretended they got the braces.

They deserve no credit for their actions, as what they actually did amounts to speaking amongst themselves in a locked room whilst the real settlement is being made elsewhere.

This is because a real person does build braces. They are called an orthodontist. Had the lawyers successfully reached an agreement regarding payment for the orthodontist, they could say they facilitated the process.

But if they are unable to secure payment, then the lawyer has accomplished nothing. This is because installing braces means the person now has braces. Talking about braces does not fix crooked teeth.

This is because the Canadian Appellant court hears questions of law. If the Appellant Courts allow Josie to have braces, then they will have to pay for the braces of more indigenous teens.

There is nothing Canadian courts hate more than Indigenous Teens.

 

Meek Mill

The only question that remains is: “What Would Meek Do?”

Before the song, rapper Pusha T implied that a fellow rapper, Drake, was not good at rapping. Drake disagreed, affirming that he was very, very good at rapping.

In response, Pusha T released the song, “What Would Meek Do?”. The song refers to Meek Mill, the romantic rival of Drake; in the meta-context of the song, the query “What Would Meek Do?” is answered.

Meek Mill will succeed where Drake fails.

The meta-narrative of the song refers to a feud between Drake and Meek Mill. Both believed they should own a third rapper, Nicki Minaj. This year Minaj released an album about how both of them were losers, and she has decided to be single.

Nonetheless, the feud escalated. Meek Mill disagreed, claiming that Drake does not own Nicki Minaj.

In response, Drake released an album, where he claimed he was very rich and could use his money to buy Ms. Minaj. He named the album Views.

This was shortening of the full-title of the project, Views from the Six. The titular ‘Six’ is an area in Toronto; rich people live there; it is a shortening of area codes ‘416’ and ‘647’. In essence the 6 is an area of privilege; it’s meant to demarcate wealth, affluence, and influence. Drake invokes the 6 as a symbol of his soft power.

The question, “What Would Meek Do?” then becomes a powerful message of class privilege. The Meek will fight unearned privilege – like Drake.

As such, in support of his quest, Meek Mill is in a public feud with a Pennsylvania Circuit-Court Judge.

 

The Pennsylvania Circuit-Court Judge

The judge is named Genece Brinkley. She is likewise under FBI investigation for the malicious sentencing of Meek Mill. The sentencing is in response to Meek Mill’s refusal to record a cover of the Boyz II Men song, “On Bended Knee”.

The request is not as absurd as it first appears. The song describes a male protagonist that has lost his way and is begging for forgiveness. The male will behave exactly as prescribed. Brinkley’s sentence was that Meek Mill must obey. He must create a powerful, irrevocable symbol of his obedience. In other words, Meek Mill must show deference.

Brinkley sentenced Mill to prison. It didn’t stick, but it happened.

At first, it seems absurd that Brinkley sentenced a man to prison for refusing to compose a cover of a Boys II Men song. Unfortunately, this is what the legal profession is, and this is what we do. This is why we exist. This is what private regulation of the practice of law does.

This is an accurate representation of the reality of the practice of law:

 

Brett Kavanaugh

Ultimately, there is no disputing that Brett Kavanaugh is a weird loser. And, while I often make dumb jokes about my background, I am trained in the practice of law. I know how to assess the credibility of the witnesses.

I could be wrong. But my personal reading of the Kavanagh incident is that:

  1. Christine Blasey Ford is telling the truth when she says what happened.
  2. Brett Kavanaugh does not remember if it happened.

Now, (2) sounds absurd to every single person that has never attended law school. And sounds depressing and accurate to those that have. In both jurisdictions (US/Canada), law requires a prior baccalaureate degree. This is not because the degree is relevant: it is not.

This is how we keep poor people out.

 

Case Study: Groia

To illustrate: a man, Joseph Groia , was accused of “rhetorical excess and sarcasm” , and fined $200,000, given a one-month suspension, a permanent record of professional misconduct, and a public shaming.

Groia was a lawyer. Opposing counsel was engaging in an abuse of process, and Groia engaged in the cardinal sin of informing the judge of that material fact. The complaint occurred over a decade after the incident.

Essentially, Joseph Groia criticized another lawyer, in court. Lawyers are expected to respect a legal-equivalent to the “thin blue line”.

In other words, when you see an unnamed associate lawyer from Blakes, Cassels, and Graydon LLP putting a mirror on top of a client file, and then snorting cocaine off that mirror, and then going back to work, you are expected to pretend that that did not happen, and that all the work was done sober.

In case it is unclear, Blake’s means business. And business means cocaine.

Returning to the topic, Groia appealed to the Supreme Court, and they completely reversed the Law Society’s decree. This is because what the Law Society did was objectively stupid, and wrong.

That said, the Supreme Court did not pass up the opportunity to cyber-bully Groia. In a digression, they published for descriptions of Groia as petulant, among other insults.

But, that ruling disguises a simple fact. What the Supreme Court says does not matter. Joseph Groia lost six years of his life to a very dark place, fighting for his livelihood; that was his real sentence.

Perhaps, instead, the Law Society of Upper Canada (now Law Society of Ontario) could have simply requested that Mr. Groia sing “On Bended Knee”. After all, Drake and the LSO share an area code: 416.

 

Trinity Western

Recently, the Supreme Court of Canada ratified an administrative decision denying provincial accreditation to a Christian Law School. While, ultimately, this may be a good thing – fuck Trinity Western, and all their homophobic students – it was decided wrongly.

In the case, the court held that:

As the governing body of a self-regulating profession, the LSBC’s determination of the manner in which its broad public interest mandate will best be furthered is entitled to deference. The public interest is a broad concept and what it requires will depend on the particular context.

This mean that existing lawyers are permitted to control the licensing, suspension, and induction of future lawyers and the opinion of those lawyers will be affirmed provided such a decision is reasonable. This is justified by LSBC by allusion to an incorporeal public interest. They do not specify which public or who comprises the relevant body politic.

In case it is unclear: “Public Interest” means “White People”. This is why major firms in Canada get away with absurd names like “Whitelaw”.

In simple terms, ‘Lawyers make Lawyers in the public interest’; the public interest is explained by the Supreme Court of Canada as:

The meaning of “public interest” in the context of the Act is for the Law Society to determine.

As someone who has worked in Administrative Law, this is the judicial equivalent of:

Fuck it I don’t know ask someone else.

 

Provincial Law Societies in Canada

These are specialized administrative entities empowered by various pieces of legislation. The Law Society regulates the profession, controlling the induction, minimum competencies, maximum competencies, and like behaviors of lawyers and articling students.

The Supreme Court, in the above case, held that a law society is entitled to deference. Always.

This means that their decision should be affirmed, provided the decision is reasonable. A decision is reasonable if it can survive somewhat probing questioning.

This means that, rhetorically speaking, so long as a decision maker provides at least three reasons in a prescribed manner it shall be affirmed.

In case this sounds like a joke, it is not. This is the jurisprudence of Canada: three reasons, and then you are good. Baker.

 

Conclusion

At the start of this, I said the social contract has changed, but the regulation of the practice of law has not.

I never said the change was good.

Somewhere along the way, we scared the rich white people. We can blame whatever – 9/11, abortion, gay marriage, 9/11, nerds, the destruction of the twin towers – but they are frightened.

And they all have law degrees.

Run.

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