All posts tagged Law

Review: To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

 

This review, surprisingly, was started before I had finished the novel. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of those all-American classics, which is loved by all. As such, it comes as quite a shock (and a bit of shaming) that I can admit that this is my first read of the novel. I also haven’t seen the movie, as I wanted to read the novel first (even though reviews for both say they are equally stunning).  I truly do not know how I made it so long without reading it. I can say though, that I am glad that I waited this long; classics didn’t fare very well with me in my younger years, and I fear that this novel would have been disliked for some strange reason. Reading it now, when my reading tastes have matured, I can say that this first read is definitely more appreciated now than it would have been years ago. Read more…

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Quick Thought Review: A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion

A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion by Ron Hansen

This novel is simply disconcerting, for a couple of reasons. Read more…

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Adventures in Authordom 4: A Profound Sense of Accomplishment

You’ve put in the time and the effort; the research, the blood, sweat and tears. You’ve written your heart out, putting a lot of work into something that you believe in. Writing a novel is not an easy feat; it takes dedication. The sense of accomplishment, though, is something that cannot be replicated. Not only finishing a piece, but having it published is something to be proud of.

In 2009, I was in my final year of completing my Undergraduate degree in Law and Justice and Political Science. As such, I had to complete two theses, one for each subject. It was definitely something that I was not looking forward to. Just the thought of writing two major papers while completing eight other classes with their own papers, would send me into a panic. By the end of that year, I was pulling my hair out, stressing out and snapping at people. It was not pretty, but I did it. My law thesis, titled Why We Do Not Kill: A Discovery of the Influences on the Abolishment of Capital Punishment in Canada was thirty-five pages. It attempted to analyze all the reasons given for abolishing the death penalty from theoretical, to social, to the deterrence factor and conclusively give the most logical of those reasons as the true cause. While doing that, I also included a discussion on Canada’s attitude towards the death penalty and whether or not the abolishment was a permanent decision. I finished the paper, did the presentation and never really thought of it again. I did enjoy writing it and I learned a couple of new things when researching, but it was a paper like any other I’ve done and so I filed it away.

In March of 2010 I received an email from my professor for my law thesis. He had worked out a deal with a publishing company to create a work of University Law theses. There wasn’t much chance of any sort of profit, but he wanted to include my thesis on capital punishment. I jumped at the chance and immediately made the appropriate changes to my paper, sending it off. I got caught up in work and writing my novel, that I completely forgot about it. Until now.

I fired an email off to my thesis professor wondering if he could fill me in on any news regarding the book. I couldn’t have imagined the news he gave to me. With a release date of September 2010, it was already announced on Amazon.ca at the following link:

http://www.amazon.ca/Essays-Comparative-International-Julian-Hermida/dp/3639242122/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1280802750&sr=1-2

It’s not my big break, it probably won’t even get me into the business, but my happiness on seeing the cover of the book was so profound, words could not even describe it. I couldn’t stop smiling. My name was on Amazon! It didn’t matter if anyone was going to read it; my name was on Amazon! And this is why writing is such a worthwhile endeavour. That sense of accomplishment that one receives upon seeing the completed cover of their work is a worthy ending to the blood, sweat and tears shed during the writing process. Your work is made immortal in the truest sense of the word and the feeling that comes with that is priceless. I stared at that screen for a long time baring my teeth in a Cheshire cat-like grin. No matter how small the work’s impact will be, at that moment, I felt like the tallest woman on the planet.

So keep writing, keep researching and keep shedding that blood, sweat and tears. At times you may feel like no one is going to care about the manuscript you’re creating. But you care, and that’s enough to get the process started. If you believe that your manuscript is worth publishing, then you can convince others of that. And who knows? In the near future, you might be wearing a Cheshire cat-like grin as well. I hope so.

Cheers,

Review: Disorder in the Court

Disorder in the Court: Great Fractured Moments in Courtroom History

Watching television shows such as Law and Order and movies like A Few Good Men and A Time To Kill lead many to believe that the courtroom is a place of seriousness; a place where justice is fought for and delivered. A place where great lines like ‘I want the truth!’ are said on a regular basis. Charles M. Sevilla destroys that illusion in his compendium of court records titled, Disorder in the Court: Great Fractured Moments in Courtroom History.

When my dream job was to become a lawyer, I was under the impression that lawyers always had to be on top of their game, always had to provide scathing cross-examinations, and one little screw up would destroy a case. Well after reading Sevilla’s compilation, the illusion is completely overturned.


Splitting the work into chapters which focus on Judges; Lawyers; Witnesses; Juries; Police Officers and general misuse of words, these transcripts of actual proceedings will make you shake your head in awe and disbelief, make you burst out in laughter and even shake your head in disgust. When reading this work, it was actually disconcerting at times the things that people would say under oath, or the line of questioning that lawyers and even judges, would sometimes find to be appropriate.

A lot of reviews said that this book was hilarious, sidesplitting funny even. I didn’t find it to be such. Of course there were parts that made me laugh out loud, and there were parts of it that I just had to share with my family and friends. Overall, the transcripts were more odd and unusual instead of hilarious. The title says it well. These transcripts created a picture of disorder and definitely more than a few of those moments were fractured.

Review: Lawyers Gone Bad

Lawyers Gone Bad: Money, Sex and Madness in Canada’s Legal Profession

Growing up I had two dream jobs: first, I wanted to become a Journalist; when that dream faded, it turned into becoming a Lawyer. I wanted to fight the injustices of the world and put the bad guys behind bars. It was during my University career that I saw this book in the school bookstore and I couldn’t resist picking it up. It seemed like the perfect introduction into how quickly things can go wrong in the legal field and, as such, learn how to avoid what these lawyers could not.

Philip Slayton creates a successful book for two reasons:

  1. He has worked within the legal system for most of his career, first as a professor and secondly as a practicing lawyer;
  2. He doesn’t condemn. He passes no judgment on the men and women that he is writing about, if anything, he feels some pity and understanding towards a few of them.

From sleeping with your client, stealing money, committing fraud, to beating up clients who caused a little bit of frustration, Lawyers Gone Bad covers it all. We all remember the conundrum that Paul Bernardo’s lawyer found himself in, with very little distinction as to what to do. Many of the lawyers in this work face a similar problem: sometimes, as the law society states, sleeping with a client is okay, sometimes it isn’t; it is a common practice to overcharge on fees, but it shouldn’t be done. Sometimes lawyers will be disbarred for committing such actions, and sometimes they will simply be suspended for a short period of time.

Slayton is not simply providing an overview regarding a couple of lawyers that crossed the line; he is also critiquing and analyzing a legal system that creates avenues for lawyers, such as the ones in the work, to cross the line. With very little distinction as to what is proper and what is not (sleeping with clients); governed by a body made up of the very people they are governing (lawyers); and where cynicism and greed is easily bred instead of a sense of justice and right, the legal system, according to Slayton, requires a number of changes. Of course, as he states, lawyers that break the law because of behavioural problems are always going to be found within the system. But, lawyers that break the law because the system allows and even encourages them, is the true issue.

If you have an interest in the law, then this is a book for you. If you feel disdain towards the legal profession and lawyers in general, then this is a book for you. It is an interesting and educational read. Slayton doesn’t simply bash the legal system; he tries to explain why the legal system can breed dangerous behaviours and why, past and present, lawyers have gone bad.