March 22, 2010
See You Next Year Osgoode
OBITERdicta So Much Gratitude It Will Make You Sick “The definitive source for Osgoode news” Osgoode Hall Law School, 011 York University 4700 Keele Street Toronto, ON M3J 1P3
Tel. 416.736.2100 x77527 Fax. 416.736.5736 E-mail. ObiterDicta@osgoode.yorku.ca Website. www.obiter-dicta.ca When I was a kid I use to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then i realized that the Lord didn’t work like that so I sold one and asked him to forgive me.
Editors-in-Chief: Neil Wilson, Luke Field Business Managers: Dorothy Charach, Jennifer Butcher Features Editor: Tamara Maurer, Katie DeBlock Associate Editors: Jeremy Barretto, Tanya Nayler Layout Editors: Marc Ducharme, Tim Hudek, Cassie Burt-Gerrans Staff Writers: Marie Sydney, Jonathan Mackenzie, Michael Rennie, Kykle Rees, Andrew Monkhouse Contributors: Bronwyn Roe Articles are due at 2 p.m. on the Wednesday before date of publication. The appropriate maximum length for articles is 800 words. Please submit articles in Microsoft Word format via email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. ca. Please attach photographs separately; do not include them in your Word document. The Obiter Dicta is the official student newspaper of Osgoode Hall Law School. The opinions expressed in the articles contained herein are not necessarily those of the Obiter staff. The Obiter reserves the right to refuse any submission that is judged to be libelous or defamatory, contains personal attacks, or is discriminatory on the basis of sex, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Submissions may be edited for length and/or content. The Obiter Dicta is published weekly during the school year, and is printed by Weller Publishing Co. Ltd.
monday- march 22 - 2010
Well, it’s the end of the year for the Obiter. For the rest of Oz, there’s still a lot left to go: papers, exams, end of year parties etc. But us, we’re done. Its time for us to kick back on that well used couch in our office, pull out the cheap alcohol we always keep in the fridge and have a good ol’ newspapery time. This year seems like it has gone by insanely fast. It still feels like yesterday when (last year’s editor in chief) Spong asked me and Neil if we wanted to run the paper together. I’m going to be honest, we had no idea what we were doing. Neither of us had any experience doing layout, publishing the paper or running the business side of things. Neil had done some editing before, but all I had done was make sort of funny jokes in way too long articles that I thought were brilliant. The fact that a paper came out at all this year, let alone every week, is kind of a miracle. Actually miracle isn’t the right word. Because the truth is, as unbelievably fun as it was to work on the Obiter this year, a lot of hard work went into delivering the paper to all of you. Since I’m not graduating yet and most of you will be stuck with my columns again next year, I’m not going to use this last article to try and reflect on my time at Osgoode. Instead I would like to take a minute to thank the people who worked on the Obiter. Our Staff Writers: The biggest worry every paper that runs based on submissions has is content. Will we get enough content to fill the paper this week? Are the articles going to be good enough? Will the topics be interesting or just the usual law school bullshit? This year, with very few exceptions, that wasn’t a concern at all. You guys easily wrote enough to fill our column spaces, and occasionally forced our layout people to go to extreme lengths just to fit it all in. Not only that, but the articles were well-written, topical, controversial and thought provoking, all things a newspaper needs. You did all that even though there is little prestige that comes from writing in the Obiter, and despite the brutal schedules all of us law school students are forced to endure. Thank you. Katie, Jeremy and Tamara: Katie DeBlock, Jeremy Baretto and Tamara Maurer were our associate and features editors this year. Katie, you were the author of the Obiter’s most popular column this year, a sex advice article that
(as I saw for myself) was the subject of much discussion not only at Osgoode, but at all the firms we send our paper to. You also ran our love and sex issue, and oversaw the always popular Osgoode sex survey. Tamara, your editorials are always some of my favourite articles to read, because your perspective is so unique and, as mock trial showed, you have a wonderfully perverse sense of humour. Jeremy, I should be angry at you for never busting out that Aaron Dhir impression during our web design meetings, gut given that you helped set up and run our amazing new website and wrote a great weekly column, Ill try to forgive you. Thank you all. Marc, Tim and Cassie: The people who actually work in the office while Neil and I sit around making bad jokes and discussing how big the limo we take to Dean’s Formal should be (we settled on really fucking big). You guys put the paper together each week, taking dozens of columns sent in and edited only minutes before, and somehow made the Obiter always look professional and readable. As someone who is completely useless at layout, I don’t even want to think where we would be without all of you. I look forward to continuing our Obiter office conversations next year. Thanks. Jenn and Dorothy: As the Obiter business managers you had to deal with an economy in recession, firms who didn’t have the money to advertise as much anymore, insane demands from clients about advertising changes at the last minute, and your own busy schedules at Parkdale and CLASP respectively. In the midst of all of that, everything was handled on time, the Obiter stayed in the black this year, and Neil and I never had to worry about the business side of things. That was an amazingly well done job. Thank you. Neil: Not much to say except it was one hell of a great time working with you partner. Try to stop back in and check up on us next year as you scale the judicial ladder. All of Osgoode: you were pretty good this year. Well, average. Solid B. Try to do better next year though. I expect hundreds of hits on the Osgoode web site for all our stories and for our hard copies to fly off the shelves if I’m going to bump you up to an A.
L.F. the OBITERdicta
Everything I Needed to Learn About Law I Learned at Mock Trial Tamara Maurer Feature Editor
Four long years at Oz. Afraid to article. Can’t wait to graduate. I have spent the last four years living what has felt like a dual life. Half-small town bartender, half accomplished law student, Osgoode has never been a place where I felt like I fit in. I thought I had neatly avoided that teenage phenomena in highschool, but alas, Osgoode certainly proved me wrong. Flying back and forth between Baden, Ontario to see my family, hang with my pooch and slamming Colt 45 with old friends has certainly “kept it real” during law school, but I have to thank Oz for a few eye-openers that Barn Bashes never would have provided. Oz has thankfully notso-gently informed me of political opinions I abhor, attitudes I detest, and a few types of people I wish to altogether avoid in life. That being said, law school has also handed me some of the best friends I could hope to find, the most brilliant minds I have ever encountered, and the reminder that there are still educated people who are more than willing to stand up for what they believe in. I am more than aware that my “legacy” at Osgoode is Mock Trial. Most Ozzies rarely feel comfortable chatting with me about much else, and I must admit, it has been my school-year lifeline for some time. MT has changed a lot in my time at Osgoode, and I am very proud of my contribution to it. Few people will ever understand how much work goes into producing it well. I know that the show’s quality and content will remain astounding in future years because of the dedication of future producers who will love the show as much as I have. This year, some one (quite rudely) asked my why I bother throwing so much of myself into some school charity show? Because I love theatre, I always have, and I will never tire of such projects. I wish I could say the same for law. the OBITERdicta
I may not know as much as I thought I would after law school, but there are a few things that I do know. I know that I will never regret a single day I bagged off to hit the hill on my snowboard, or handle some Mock Trial prop related catastrophe. I will always be thankful for friends, graduated or not, who were ready with summaries, concept synopses, and advice. I will never regret the mistakes I made here – because they were truly born of a lack of understanding of my surroundings, and because I learned from them. I will always be thankful that I found Mock Trial, and all the
people who are rad enough to get involved in (and appreciate) a non-academic pursuit that eats up so much precious time. I’ve changed a lot over the last four years. I’m happy. I guess, in the end, that says a lot for the education and experiences I have received from Osgoode (and says even more for all the great stuff I did while I was avoiding Osgoode). In signing off, I sincerely hope that the Obiter will thrive in the future, even if every last article is about sex, movie reviews and funny surveys rather than all that real legal stuff. In looking to the future of Osgoode and all the people that I leave behind, my final thought is: Good luck with the legacy Tim Hudek. Look for me in the front row.
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monday - march 22 - 2010
Kids in Oz Hall: Sex, Photographs and Osgoode Jeremy Barretto Associate Editor
parties. Instead, my camera is filled with photos of good times at Osgoode.
I’m writing this article to say goodbye. I put sex in the title because this increases readership by 400%. I’m very sorry this is not about sex. But it is about photos and Osgoode.
My photos of Mock Trial are evidence of one of the best experiences that you can have at Osgoode. Every year around a hundred singers, dancers, actors and artists come out of the woodwork and put on
I also had a photo of my Parkdale friends drinking in front of my framed Charter. Yes I have a framed Charter and I got it for free thanks to the Government of Canada. If you want one call 1-800O-Canada. My semester at Parkdale Community Legal Services was a formative and defining experience of law school. For the first time, I looked into clients’ eyes and realized that we can use our skills to help them keep their housing, social assistance, job or immigration status. I was inspired by my clients’ resiliency in the face of the multitude of legal and non-legal challenges related to poverty. After completing the Poverty Law Intensive at Parkdale, I will never again see the world in the same way. I encourage all Osgoode students to complete intensive programs.
When I started law school, I purchased a new memory card for my camera. I have documented, often drunkenly, the past three years in 863 photos. The Class of 2010 is now weeks from our last exams (OMFG) and graduation (FTW). In this my last ever column for the Obiter, I would like to reflect on my time at law school based on the photo album on my camera.
There are of course photos of the end of term parties, club events (shout out to ELS, Spinlaw, and ILP) and law games. My photos from the Dean’s Formal are filled with my peeps from the Obiter. Not only because they arranged for a totally gangsta Hummer limo, but because they are great people. I’m an engineer and when I arrived at law school I could only write in point form. Now, thanks it part to my years with the Obiter and TheCourt.ca, I can write in full sentences. Progress!
Photos are generally from happy and memorable times. You don’t typically take photos while cleaning, mourning or mad. You do take photos at weddings, birthdays and while on vacation with friends and family. Photos are evidence of what Crack Open a Cold One With the Charter you love. a hilarious -- and sometimes provocative -- show. Mock Trial is a rare opportunity for law students to I’ll start by describing what is not on my camera. be honest about our hopes, dreams and fears. This is There are no photos of exams, studying or OCIs an opportunity that we don’t have during our life of (maybe because I didn’t do them and somehow I fact patterns, ratios or 17-minute interviews (tip: tell turned out fine). There are no photos of money, law every firm they are your top choice). firms, law firm swag or fancy recruitment dinner
There were also many photos from niece and nephew’s birthday’s. This reminded me of a senior litigation partner I met at a cocktail party after a moot at a law firm. He joked that he was missing his granddaughter’s fourth birthday but had a file that was “too important for him to leave the office to play pin the tail on the donkey”. He slammed his beer and headed back to his office.
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I don’t want to be him. I don’t want to have files that are more important than my friends and family. I don’t want to hate my life. I don’t want to drink – correction - I want to drink responsibly. I want to pin tails on donkeys.
“If you want to be a success downtown, then go to U of T, take all the corporate law courses, work your ass off, go to Oslers, work your ass off again, and 20 years from now you can look around and say, ‘I have more money than God.’ But let me ask you something: what’s in your photo album?” ACCT. MGMT.
These sentiments were echoed by a Partner Alec Scott interviewed for his seminal 2007 Toronto Life article Exile on Bay Street:
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I will you all the very best of luck. You will be missed. DISKED:
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We all got the first step right by not going to U of T. I am very happy with my photo album of my three years at Osgoode Hall. If everything works out, my photos from life as a lawyer will be just as good. This is not a critique about working on Bay Street, or in corporate law. This is an appeal to do what you love, what you came to law school to do and to never stop. I guarantee that your photo album will be full.
LIVE AREA: –
DATE STARTED: Jan8
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Harper’s Mental Health Plan: An Empty Promise Bronwyn Roe Contributor I’ll admit it: I’ve become apathetic. Sure, I’ve voted in every election in which I’ve been eligible; I once campaigned door-to-door on behalf of an MPP candidate in whom I strongly believed; I am a cardcarrying member of a political party. But, in general, I tend to fall victim to the same political apathy that strikes so many Canadians. I’ve sat silently by while the Conservative government cut funding from women’s programs. I did nothing more than join a Facebook group to express my displeasure at Harper’s second proroguing of Parliament in as many years. I can’t always be bothered to get too up in arms over things the Conservative government does with which I don’t agree. After all, I’m a busy woman. Who has time to keep their government in check? Plus, I found Harper’s love of The Beatles somewhat endearing -- maybe it softened me towards him. But I’ve reached my breaking point. Congratulations, Stephen Harper. You’ve finally done it; I’m furious. When I read several weeks ago that our Prime Minister wanted to make maternal health Canada’s signature initiative at the G8 summit we’ll be hosting this June, I was thrilled. I would have been proud to have Canada’s platform centred on ensuring the safety, health and rights of women worldwide. Improving maternal health is one of the eight Millennium Goals established by the United Nations in 2000. UN countries (including, needless to say, Canada) have committed to a goal of reducing the maternal mortality rate by 75% by 2015. So far, progress has been slow: by 2005, the maternal mortality rate had declined by only 5%. The World Health Organization noted that every day, 1500 women die from pregnancy- or childbirth-related complications, adding, “Most of these deaths occurred in developing countries, and most were avoidable.” The WHO has called for an acceleration of progress on the maternal health goal, and so I was pleased to see Harper make that goal Canada’s G8 signature initiative. But on March 17, it became apparent that Harper’s promise to focus on maternal health is an empty one. Harper’s initiative bafflingly excludes any provision for family planning, including access to contraception. The WHO, echoing the conclusions of all major health and maternal health organizations, has explicitly stated, “The first step for avoiding maternal deaths is to ensure that women have access to family planning and safe abortion. This will reduce unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions.” For Harper and his party to imply that family
planning does not save women’s lives brings new meaning to the term “wilful blindness.” For a country like Canada to propose a maternal health plan that doesn’t include family planning is nothing short of a national embarrassment. An article in March 17’s Globe and Mail quotes Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon, vaguely explaining the government’s stance: Cannon says the platform “does not deal in any way, shape or form with family planning. Indeed, the purpose of this is to be able to save lives.”
Stephen Harper’s daughter (who, at the age of 11 is approaching the age at which many girls worldwide are married and become pregnant) will be able to choose from a variety of contraceptive methods. She will be able to choose whether or not to have children, when to have children, and how many children to have. But her father does not want women in poor countries to share this choice. And with his wilful ignorance, he has finally cracked through my shell of apathy.
Saving the lives of women in poor countries is an important goal, but the Conservatives’ assertion that this can be done in the absence of family planning defies reality. The backlash against the Conservatives’ resounding ignorance on this issue has been swift. Liberal health critic Dr. Carolyn Bennett pointed out that the UN says a “lack of adequate contraceptive services is responsible for 1.5 million deaths in developing countries each year.” WHO research reveals that in 2005, over half a million maternal deaths occurred worldwide. NDP leader Jack Layton asked the question anyone with even a limited knowledge of maternal health issues was thinking: “How can a program aimed at reducing maternal mortality not allow for any contraception as part of the program?” It’s a good question -- but one that the Conservatives made a point of refusing to answer. Pundits speculate that the exclusion of family planning has to do with the Conservatives’ resistance to endorsing abortion. But a reluctance to alienate anti-abortion Canadian voters can’t account for the plan’s total exclusion of family planning -not when the goal is to improve maternal health in poor countries. MADRE, a human rights organization geared towards women’s rights, points out that 95% of deaths from unsafe abortions occur in poor countries. If Harper has a plan to reduce the deaths resulting from unsafe abortions, that doesn’t include either providing access to safe abortions or providing family planning to avoid unwanted pregnancies in the first place, I’d love to hear it. In the meantime, I’ll puzzle over how he managed to father only two children during his lifetime in the absence of any “family planning.”
Your Career Development Doesn’t End with the Academic Year! As the 2009/2010 academic year winds up, the Career Services Office wants to remind you that we will remain open, and active, all summer! Whether you are a 3rd year student still available to article; a 2nd year student gearing up for articling interviews; or a 1st year student getting ready for OCI’s and/or other types of summer positions that recruit next fall – be sure to regularly check the Announcements, Calendar and Job Postings sections on the Osgoode LegaleEase (OLE) website. And don’t forget about all of the important resources available in the Document Library! You can link to OLE from MyOsgoode or at https://law-osgoode-csm.symplicity.com/students Over the summer, we’ll be holding information sessions, particularly for the articling and OCI recruitment processes. And we’ll be available for counselling sessions, resume and cover letter review and mock interviews. Be on the lookout for more details later in the spring. We’ll also be sending out our Graduation Survey to the Class of 2010 – we encourage all of you to take a few moments to complete the survey. It provides invaluable information to your fellow students and helps us in keeping track of all of your successes. We hope all of you have an enjoyable summer! The Career Services Team Mya, Nicola and Nadine
Stephen Harper is fortunate enough to live in a country that acknowledges the importance of women’s health. He is fortunate that his daughter, as a woman in a developed country, will have a lifetime risk of maternal death of only 1 in 7300, as opposed to the 1 in 75 risk for women in developing countries. To compare some more figures, Canada’s maternal mortality rate in 2000 was 5 per 100,000 live births. In Niger, that figure is 1600 per 100 000 live births.
monday - march 22 - 2010
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monday- march 22 - 2010
monday - march 22 - 2010
2010 Summer Movie Preview Michael Rennie Staff Writer
In consideration of this being the last issue of the Obiter for the year, and the degree to which so many of you have doubtlessly come to rely on my movie recommendations, rather than review a specific film this week I have decided to outline a few of the films coming out over the next few months and the likelihood of their being worth your time.
Hurt) is excellent. Scott hasn’t exactly been on his game lately, however, so hopefully this represents a return to form of his work from the early-2000s. Flip a coin; this could easily be either amazing or total crap. My fingers are crossed for the former.
ing will ensure this is a critical hit, and millions of parents who will justifiably take their offspring to ANYTHING aimed at kids just to shut them up for 85 minutes will ensure comparable box office success. July 2nd Twilight: Eclipse – What can I say about Twilight? Not much, because there seems to be more than enough people (or, more specifically, 13-17 year olds) willing to throw mommy and daddy’s money after these movies regardless of the fact that they are churned out as fast as possible in an effort to maximize revenue before the fan base hits puberty and realizes just how poorly written, acted, and directed these films are. Seriously, didn’t the last one JUST come out like four months ago??? (ed: Hey, that’s a whole 4 months I wasn’t able to stare at Robert Pattinson’s hair or Taylor Lautner’s pecs-N.W.)
May 28th Prince of Persia: Sands of Time – Movies based on video games usually leave much to be desired, and although this boasts an above average cast (Jake Gyllenhaal, Alfred Molina, and Ben KingsApril 30th ley headline) and A Nightmare on a director with a Elm Street – This half-decent resume remake of the 1984 (Mike Newell), this July 16th Wes Craven classic will likely be more of Inception – Christopher Nolan’s follow-up looks slightly better the same. Might be to The Dark Knight stars Leonardo DiCaprio in than your average decent, or at least a a film about...well, nobody is really sure. After horror remake. Robert Downey Jr. would like to sell you a suit... bit better than your a couple of confusing, albeit intriguing, trailers The problem is that average video game and Leo admitting that even during filming he this isn’t saying much. The trailers look subtly creepy, and the casting of the Oscar-nominated film, and perform well at the box office, but in wasn’t entirely sure what the hell this was all Jackie Earle Haley as Freddie Krueger seems to my opinion the best you can hope for here is about, Inception seems to be gearing up to be more like Nolan’s be a genius move. Hopefully this film goes the something comparable earlier Memento darker, more serious route and avoids campy to The Mummy (which than The Dark horror movie clichés and ‘witty’ one-liners. is not a positive thing, Knight. The star Either way, this is the kind of movie that will in my opinion). power combined likely succeed at the box office regardless. Sex and the City with general curi2 – Mark this day on osity is enough to May 7th your calendar, men. If turn out a decent Iron Man 2 – Another sure-fire box office box office return, success, this one has a chance to be the high- you are in any kind of but this is a nonest-grossing film of the summer. Robert romantic relationship commercial film Downey Jr. is enjoying a popularity surge with a woman whatsoever, for your own sake at heart and will recently, and the first Iron Man was an excellikely be a mindlent mix of humour, character development, be proactive and make bending gem. and the action that summer blockbusters are pertinent plans for May 28th so you don’t get known for. Trailers make this look like more August 20th – of the same. My only concern is the typical dragged to this “movie”. The Expendables – problem that plagues superhero film sequels: Despite the likelihood Sylvester Stallone too many characters being added. With Sam that the sequel will be just as long and embardirects and stars, Rockwell, Mickey Rourke, Scarlett Johansson, assembles Don Cheadle, and Samuel L. Jackson co-star- rassingly terrible as the ...and these women would like to sell you shoes. and an all-star action ring, I hope director Jon Favreau can juggle all original, it will make a the big names without losing coherency. I’m shitload at the box office, because the quality cast including Jet Li, Jason Statham, Mickey is irrelevant; this is the Sex and the City sequel, Rourke, Dolph Lundgren, Bruce Willis, and cautiously optimistic that he can. and in the eyes of the fairer sex it can do no even Arnold Schwarzenegger. Nobody gives a wrong. shit about the plot here; this is all about blowMay 14th ing stuff up in what is sure to be a great throwRobin Hood – Director Ridley Scott and star June 18th back to ’80s action flicks and a nice way to end Russell Crowe team up for the fifth (I think) Toy Story 3 – look for Pixar to continue its off your summer. time for what basically looks like Gladiator Part II. Not that I’m complaining; the trailers seemingly unstoppable run of critical and box look great and the supporting cast (includ- office successes with this long-awaited sequel. ing Cate Blanchett, Mark Strong, and William Great voice talent combined with sharp writmonday- march 22 - 2010 the OBITERdicta
Israel Conference 2009: Osgoode Can Do Better Jonathan Mackenzie Staff Writer
Last June, Osgoode and Queen’s Law School co-sponsored a conference about the Israel-Palestinian dispute. The conference, entitled “Israel/ Palestine: Mapping Models of Statehood and Paths to Peace”, was controversial from the start. As predicted, the event garnered lots of attention and was the subject of debate in both the Canadian media and throughout the blogosphere. As I stated in my previous article about Israel Apartheid Week, let me emphasize that I am not writing to say that Israeli policies regarding the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza Strip should be immune to criticism. In fact, I personally believe that the latest announcement of new Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem is the wrong move by the Israeli government. When the conference was first announced, I couldn’t help but worry that the conference would turn into a platform for demonizing Israel’s very existence. However, I decided to be fair and see what actually unfolded. I did not attend the conference as I was working at my summer job, but I followed the event very closely in the media. I also drove by Glendon while pro-Israeli protesters stationed themselves at the campus gates. On June 30, 2009, the Toronto Star published an article about the conference written by Professor Na’ama Carmi of the Haifa University Faculty of Law (available at http://www.thestar. com/article/658717). As a law professor in Haifa (a city that has a substantial Arab Israeli population), she has first-hand knowledge of the major issues shaping the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Professor Carmi was one of the speakers at the conference and wrote a scathing account of what happened. As an Osgoode student, I was disturbed that that our school had sponsored an event that was so sharply critiqued by a conference speaker in one of Canada’s largest daily newspapers. I hoped that the conference would have had some semblance of academic balance. However, Professor Carmi wrote in the Star that she was deeply troubled by the tone of the debate at the conference. Incredibly, according to Carmi, the existence of Hamas (currently in government in the Gaza strip) was virtually ignored by most speakers, and Israel was largely portrayed as a pariah state. What stunned me the most was the following excerpt from her June 30 article, which is easily accessible through the aforementioned website link:
“One interlocutor, rather than debating the substantive arguments I presented, questioned my psychological state. And all of this without any apparent attempt by the organizers to stop it. Never before in my whole academic career have I encountered the rudeness that I experienced at this conference.”
Essentially, because Professor Carmi tried to present the point of view of an Israeli, she was demonized by certain audience members and humiliated. Professor Carmi presumably went back to Israel with very negative memories of her experience the Queens-Osgoode conference last June. She likely told her colleagues about the experience and I doubt that it reflects well on our school. As an Osgoode student, a future lawyer, and someone who loves to debate the major issues of the day, I am deeply troubled that this is what happened at an event co-sponsored by our law school. At law school, we all study some of the most heated legal topics of the day, such as abortion and same-sex marriage, and the Obiter Dicta is full of thought-provoking articles on a weekly basis. I strongly believe that students and faculty should debate the most intensely controversial legal topics in a respectful environment. I hope that when I become a lawyer, I will one day return to Osgoode to speak at conferences and
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seminars, and that the environment will be one that entertains a wide variety of viewpoints. On a different note, I think that the resources used to host this conference would have been better spent discussing the world’s most pressing human rights catastrophes. A genocide in Darfur has unfolded at the hands of the Sudanese government, while most of the world has stood idly by. In North Korea, millions are estimated to have died since the 1990’s in famines and in forced labour camps. I’ll finish with some food for thought. If the Palestinians were a priority for the conference organizers last year, then the organizers should have expanded the debate well beyond Israel. In Lebanon, Palestinians are banned from dozens of professions under Lebanese law, and Palestinians are often legally prohibited from becoming Lebanese citizens. The Kuwaiti government expelled literally hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from Kuwait after the first Gulf War because Yasser Arafat supported Saddam Hussein’s invasion. That expulsion was wide scale collective punishment. Shouldn’t Lebanon and Kuwait have been thoroughly discussed at the conference? Let’s hope that any future Osgoode conference on the Palestinian issue will have a more far-reaching debate.
Tilly Gray: Putting the finishing touches on my compensation memo (it was a busy year despite the economy) and wondering what great things 2010 will have in store for me. January 4, 10:20 am
Susan Marsh: Working on closing a share sale transaction by
tomorrow (New Year’s Eve!) and struggling to hunt down a vacationing accountant for advice on a new class of shares being created for a mutual client! December 30, 2:54 pm
Sarah Sytsma: Reviewing the vendor’s final revisions on an IT agreement and hoping that it will finally get signed today. December 22, 2:00 pm
Michael Platt: On the phone with my ‘new best friend’ at the Canadian Revenue Agency for the 5th time today. December 22, 4:30 pm
Nancy Choi: Closed a $110 million deal this morning and getting ready to close another deal tomorrow morning. December 16, 2:44 pm
David Goldstein: Preparing for a closing, and trying to get out early to go to a hockey game! December 16, 4:30 pm
Peter Henein: Sitting down to work on a class action certification factum after having lunch with a friend. December 14, 1:30 pm
Philip Long: Nursing a hockey injury from last night and reviewing disclosure for a preliminary prospectus. Being too hurt to walk around is really making it difficult to procrastinate. December 14, 1:40 pm
Chris Bartlett: Finalizing three demand letters in three separate
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files; each letter is more demanding than the last. Also drafting a response to a demand letter received in another matter in which I explain how opposing counsel was unreasonably demanding. The nerve of some people. December 10, 3:38 pm
monday - march 22 - 2010
Farewell to Sex at Oz...for Me at Least! Katie DeBlock Associate Editor
Writing about sex for the Obiter this year has been an interesting experience. I have had lots of feedback. Many people have taken the time to share their opinions on my columns and suggest potential topics for future weeks. They have also shared stories and experiences (some of which I really wish I didn’t know about...), and they have asked questions. I don’t know what it is about writing a sex column that suddenly turns you into somewhat of a sexual guru in people’s eyes, but for whatever reason people I barely know have started to treat me as a go-to for their sexual inquiries and problems. I cannot tell you how many drunken conversations I ended up having at Osgoode events with people who upon recognizing my name pulled me away from the crowd to discuss their deepest sexual secrets. This phenomena followed me back home as well, where people who started reading my column online began attempting to use me as a sexual resource. Sometimes its been weird, other times shocking, and other times downright hilarious. As a farewell, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite questions and anecdotes this column inspired people to share with me. 1. “Its Just Too Big” Context: Sunday morning hangover gathering. Me: semi sober. Questioner: utterly hammered. Questioner’s opening line: “It’s just too big. What do you do if it’s just too big, and she says it hurts,
and no matter how gentle you try to be, she ends up telling you to stop because it’s just too big?” My internal reaction: Your circus midget sized hands clearly indicate that it is in no way too big- but nice try buddy. My external reaction: “Umm...do it in cold weather? I have to go now.” 2. “What’s your favorite sexual position?”
This was a popular one. People wanting to know how I like to have sex. Sometimes it seemed like people were asking for sexual education reasons, other times I got the sense that there was some sort of perversion involved. Most times I just laughed this one off, but occasionally I’d tell people this – it’s not the position that matters for me, I like variety. What makes it or breaks it is how it’s done once you’re in position. I’m kind of like Goldilocks - I like it not too hard, not to soft, but jjjjuuuusssstttt right. How’s that for vague? ;) 3. “This one time...” I never did end up hearing a story that started with “This one time, at band camp...” but I might as well have. I heard about sexcapades in hot tubs, on public beaches, in parent’s RVs, and in the old Oz library. People told me about getting caught at work, while babysitting, and by the neighbours’ kids. Looking back, I think that all of the “this one time” tales I became privy to this past year have slightly desensitized me. You know somewhere in your head a shock value barrier has been permanently broken once you get to the point where your not really phased by the story of someone
The Ogilvy Renault Difference. You.
monday- march 22 - 2010
having sex with a friend’s mom behind a pub while the friend waited for them inside. 4. “How many times do you have to have sex before you can become pregnant?” This question was only asked once. Thank. God. And I do not repeat it to patronize the person who asked it. It is not their fault that our sex education system failed them...or that their parents refused to allow them to watch any television with sexual content before the age of 18. My reason for repeating this question in print is because it serves as a useful reminder that just because someone is an adult and sexually active does not mean that they have the necessary information to keep themselves and their sexual partners safe from STIs and pregnancy. Know your shit people, and don’t rely solely on the person you’re sleeping with to keep sex safe. No matter what precautions they say they have taken i.e. are on the pill, have been tested, etc. take all the precautions you can anyway. Because when she tells you “Don’t worry, there’s no risk of pregnancy”, she might not be trying to tell you that she’s on the pill. Rather, she might mean that this is only the third time she’s had sex, and you can’t get pregnant until the 10th, so forge ahead! 5. “Do you think some of your columns are anti-feminist?” This question wasn’t always fun to answer, but was very important for me to think about. As a selfproclaimed feminist, it has been difficult at times to respond to some of the criticism of readers and friends who have queried where exactly feminism has come into play in all this talk about sex. The root of most of this criticism and questioning has come from looking at the ways traditional heterosexual norms have influenced my writing. My response: for sure they have. My perspective on sex is deeply embedded in the culture I was raised in as a heterosexual, Caucasian, Christian, middle class woman. At times I have joked about and made light of subjects that are deeply problematic, and at other times glossed over issues that need to be tackled head on in the movement towards sexual gender equality. However, I maintain that this column has been a product of my feminism in that at its simplest level it’s a girl talking about sex. And without blowing it into anything bigger than what it has been, for me as an individual I have thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated having the opportunity to publically discuss some of the issues and thoughts I have had about sex and related topics on a weekly (occasionally monthly depending on my life schedule...) basis. My grandmother didn’t have the opportunity to do it, but I did. And I could publically talk about sex without becoming a social outcast, being labeled somehow deviant, or losing the prospect of securing a good husband (heaven forbid). So, problematic at times, yes. But antifeminist? No. Thanks for the sex talk Oz. Good luck with exams (masturbate while studying...it’ll help pass the time)! the OBITERdicta
Called to the Bar: Conclusions and Andrew Monkhouse and Kyle Rees Staff Writers
Majority Decision by Andrew Monkhouse It is my lamentable duty to conclude the review of the bars that we have visited this year. Having had the opportunity to read the decision of Rees below in describing his review of the ‘social side’ of the reviews and respect of law students; I respectfully disagree that this is an appropriate way to end the year. Therefore I, again respectfully, would like to conclude the year with a more objective review of what we have done and where we have went. That being said since there are only two of us and since I’m not giving Kyle a chance to review this before it goes to print this counts as the ‘majority’ decision. Suck it Kyle (I think that most SCC judges wish they could say that in their judgements). At the beginning of this year I figured that I would never leave campus. In fact to demonstrate this to my friends in undergrad I in-fact made a map that depicted a fictional wall and ‘pirates’ where undergrads lurked on the other side of the wall. Hopefully the Obiter people put that picture somewhere close by. In fact Kyle and I crossed that wall many, many times during our adventures, and were better for it! There should be another map that shows the locations that we visited near campus around as well. Feel free to use this map to try and somehow retrace our steps if you’d like to drink at all the bars on campus also! This year we reviewed 11 pubs total. We visited Absinthe, the Orange Snail, Tuckners, the Underground, the Grad Lounge, Hoops, Blueberry Hill, Sakura, Mangia-Mangia-Mangia, the Fox and Fiddle, and the C-Lounge downtown. So let’s get to the review. Also following the principle of “omnia dicta fortiora si dicta Latina” or “Everything sounds more impressive in Latin” I will throw random Latin words into this. That being said like most in the legal profession I know absolutely no Latin and merely got these phrases from Wikipedia. The first award that we (and I mean I) will be giving out is that of the most conveniently open Pub. That is the pub that has the best hours because we all know that Osgoode students don’t keep normal hours. This award goes to Absinthe, and hands down. Absinthe is a pub that you can rely on to be open until 2:00am, and to be serving food. Although this is taken away from by the unfortunate line-up on Thursday nights on all other nights it is a great place to go after the rest of the tea-toddling pubs on campus close waaaay too early. The next award comes from the Latin phrase “ubi mel ibi apes” or something about honey and bees which translates into treating people nicely and having them treat you well in return. In this case the
award is also easy enough, going to the Orange Snail. Not only is it close by to Osgoode but also the staff are very friendly and nice, with a great menu and a decent location. Although the hours are lacking it is a perfect place for lunch, dinner, or early drinking! For our ‘musical’ award those who are looking for Karaoke we have two options come up! Both Hoops and Sakura have Karaoke on thursdays where anyone can attend to sing and/or listen to other sing. Sakura has a slightly rigged/random ‘score’ it assigns to singing scores as well. Watch out if you think that you are a great singer however because as they say in Rome “In vino veritas” or “in wine [there is] truth” or... “drunk people will tell you how bad of a singer you are”. For best places for law students to hang out the award most certainly has to go to the Grad lounge in this instance! Kyle loves that it’s run by a student union and I love that it’s close, convenient, relatively cheap, and has a good atmosphere. Although it closes early (and thus trips to Absinthe or the Owl’s nest are required) it is still a great place to meet law students for a pint or two after, between, or heck... before... class. Runners up in places to hang out are the Underground, and Blueberry Hill. Two great places while a bit further and not as law/grad student focused are perfect places to sit with a pint and friends. What do we have left? If you have a car the Fox and Fiddle is great, otherwise a bit of a hike. Nobody remembers that MangiaMangia-Mangia is like because we tried to do the review of 3 bars in one night... but it needs more space/seats. Tuckners kinda sucked when we went, go if you’d like though (and don’t sue me for defamation). The C-lounge is downtown and I’m not sure why I let Kyle write about it anyway... other than references to our fine L&L president without pants, or a shirt, or... whatever. Hopefully RJ next year will subscribe to the latin maxum of “semper ubi sub ubi”, a nonsensical phrase that translated directly means “always where under where”. A good maxim for life. Anyway, this concludes the majority judgement, I merely have one thing left to say... “invictus maneo” or... “I remain unvanquished”. Until another year.
Dissent by Kyle Rees Our weekly column, ‘Called To The Bar’, began as a joke. A few of us were on our way to the Underground, and I made some joke about finally being called to the bar. It was lame. No one laughed. There was an awkward silence. During that silence, a light
bulb appeared above Andrew’s head (I believe it was an eco-friendly fluorescent bulb, actually). It was actually a pretty simple idea. We were used to being critical of things and telling everyone how to think, so why not write an article where we did both? After all, most of the articles in Obiter were essentially pages from people’s diary’s, where they wrote about what they did during their summer vacation, or what the author’s girlfriends had to say about penis length, so it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to write about what bar we went to on a Thursday night. Plus it would give us an excuse to visit the bars on campus, instead of hiding in the corner of the library reading room quietly doing shots of cough syrup. We’ve all been there, right guys? In any event, we quickly learned that no one really gave a damn that we were law students, which is why most bars scored low on the Law Students Appreciation Index (patent pending). Every time we went to a new pub, I would inform the bartender/ waiter that we were law students reviewing the place for an article, and some free food or drink would certainly go a long way to influencing our review. Every time the person would simply shrug their shoulders and quote us the price of local beer, which we should have expected. It’s easy to feel pompous and important when you go to one of the towersof-glass-and-steel law firms downtown, or when we walk around campus carrying stacks of textbooks, but in the real world, we aren’t the academic ubermenschen that the recruiting law firms and the youare-all-so-special Osgoode admission letters would like us to think. So on that note, Andrew and I will continue our Quest To Get Free Stuff next year with a plan that takes into account how much lawyers love to impress other lawyer-types. Instead of reviewing bars around campus, we will be reviewing law firms downtown Toronto. The big ones. And no, we won’t be reviewing them based on salary, or fields of practice, or client base, we will be rating them based on the important stuff. Like the tastiness and availability of food in the lunch room. The quality of the furniture. The free gym memberships or company clothing. The aesthetic appeal of the office. Maybe even the aesthetic appeal of the legal assistants (I guess we will have to evaluate both male and female to avoid allegations of sexism…I call dibs on rating the female ones, Andrew!). So for those of you who will enter a state of despair over the summer without our articles to guide you, take heart! We will be back in September. To those of you who actually read our articles, thank you for doing so, but maybe consider getting a hobby, you know…or like, a friend or two… (or come with us, it’s fun! - Monkhouse) Thanks for the great year, cheers -Kyle Rees and Andrew Monkhouse
monday - march 22 - 2010
ALL ABOARD! Get on the OBITER DICTA Gravy Train! Many of us are leaving for careers as lawyers and a lifetime of misery so the OBITER needs new blood. Working for the Obiter has its fair share of perks, so get involved while you can! There’s tons of free stuff, not to mention the ability to have the smug sense of satisfaction of being part of the Osgoode media. To paraphrase Thomas the Tank Engine, toot toot...work for the Obiter Dicta! Love law? And the promise of challenge, mentoring and opportunity? Consider a firm that defines itself by solving the most complex legal problems of the day. One that believes every member of the team – from the most junior to the most senior – has the potential to make a difference. Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. Our students know.
Staff Writers! Business Managers! Layout Geeks! Editors! We need you all! Drop by the office (Room 011) or email us at: obiter.dicta.oz@ gmail.com if you’re interested!
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monday- march 22 - 2010
See You Next Year Osgoode March 22, 2010