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Oscars Run-Up

Kaitlynd Hiller (1L)

If you’re anything like me, 2018 felt like one of the longest and most confusing years of my life. Think back to all the things that happened last year: the Tide Pod challenge was a thing, Kylie Jenner had a secret baby, there was an Olympics(!), Prince Harry got married, and people began smoking weed right out in the open. For some reason what didn’t happen in 2018 was a lot of movie watching. Out of the Best Picture noms for the Oscars this year, I have only seen one of them. So for everyone as lost as I am, here is a short review-of-the-reviews which might help you prioritize which Big One to watch before the winners are announced on the 24th.

Black Panther: The Marvel Universe took a big leap forward in representation and creativity with one of the year’s most-loved films, Black Panther. Set in the fictional African nation of Wakanda, the movie has been praised for its stunning visuals, exciting action, and heartfelt story. It’s a feel-good superhero extravaganza which is high up on my to-see list. Until then, I’ll keep the Kendrick Lamar-curated soundtrack on repeat.

The Favourite: Back in 2015, comedians Natasha Leggero and Riki Lindhome created one of my all-time favourite Comedy Central shows: Another Period. It was basically a mash-up of Downton Abbey and The Kardashians – very good stuff. From what I can tell, The Favourite takes that concept and hands it off to “The Lobster” director Yorgos Lanthimos. It’s like my favourite concepts keep getting mashed together and I’m so happy about it I won’t even gripe about Emma Stone being in it.

Bohemian Rhapsody: After hearing that Sacha Baron Cohen dropped out of the biopic over creative differences (Baron Cohen didn’t want to tone down Freddie Mercury’s unapologetically wilder moments), I was skeptical about how the film was going to deal with Mercury’s bisexuality. From what I’ve read, they framed his lifelong struggle as a reductive good-versus-evil, domesticity-against-debauchery tale of two Freddies. I’ll let you guess which is which.

Green Book: Is it a feel-good biopic(ish) about an unlikely friendship between black jazz pianist Don Shirley and his white bouncer in the 60’s deep south? Or is it Hollywood’s latest lazy white-saviour response to America’s lingering racism? (I don’t know! I haven’t seen it!)

A Star is Born: In the latest remake of this classic love story, Bradley Cooper directs and stars opposite Lady Gaga. Both of them sing and act their hearts out, and I haven’t heard a bad word about it. In fact, I have had the most unlikely of friends tell me that they loved this one, which makes me think it’s a safe bet. Just make sure you have tissues.

Vice: Another biopic here – this one about Dick Cheney (Vice-President to George W. Bush among other things). Christian Bale has received praise for being able to portray the main character throughout most of his life, from university days until death, but the film has been criticised for being too cartoonish in its depiction of the villain, and having a pace that leaves you exhausted.

BlacKkKlansman: Spike Lee pulls no punches with his portrayal of black cop Ron Stallworth infiltrating the KKK in the 70s. Although it is obviously meant to provide a reflection on the current state of politics, it has been criticized for characterizing white supremacists as being sort of silly and hapless rather than insidious and dangerous. Does that let the main villain off the hook? You tell me!

Roma: Roma, Roma, Roma. I am so thankful that I got to experience Alfonso Cuarón’s latest masterpiece in its full glory on the big screen. Filmed in 65mm, Roma is a striking and haunting ode to his childhood caretaker – an Indigenous woman portrayed by first-time actress Yalitza Aparicio. The storyline moves along at a generous pace, but my interest was never lost. If I had a nickel for every time I whispered in wonderment “how did they get that shot?!”, I would probably have enough for a muffin at Steve’s. Am I going to recommend the only one I’ve seen as the one that you definitely MUST see? Yes. And the best part? It’s on Netflix.

Practical Advice for Moot Preparation, Part 2

Taylor Maxston (2L)

We are a little over a madviceonth into the Winter semester and buzz about the LRW moot is pervasive throughout the Faculty of Law. With preparations underway for each 1L’s opportunity to don the gown and present oral arguments, the focus is beginning to move away from formulating what to argue and instead toward how the argument will be presented in the courtroom. Orating is a skill that is honed through practice and experience, but students who make these small changes can give themselves an edge while leaving a strong impression with the judges. As the first part of my moot preparation article focussed on research and formulating arguments, this iteration will provide useful tips on how to succeed in oral argument.

Outline – Don’t Script – Your Argument

You might have prepared an extremely persuasive and thought-provoking argument that will surely knock the judge’s socks off, but all will be for not if it is delivered in a robotic fashion. Articulating your position in the moot courtroom is less about lecturing and more about engaging in a dialogue with the bench. Further, mooters are regularly forced to ad lib and make departures from their original plans.

Drafting and editing a “script” covering the key points of your position can help in articulating what you want to say, but said script should develop into more of a skeleton of how you want to frame your arguments as the day of the moot approaches. An increasing familiarity with how your arguments are logically connected brings with it an enhanced comfort level in communicating them to the judges.

Don’t Let the Day of Your Moot be the First Time You Speak in Front of Others

Speaking of becoming increasingly familiar with your arguments, there are a multitude of ways to improve your speaking ability as you count down the days to your first appearance at the Supreme Moot Court of the University of Alberta. In particular, your moot mentors are a highly valuable resource for providing both reassurance about what to expect when you are in the moot courtroom, and valuable feedback to refine the details of your argument.

It can’t be understated how important it is to not have your first time presenting be in front of the judges. Rehearsing with your peers and/or a mentor is especially useful for a number of reasons. Of course, you will learn what points you can address in your allotted time and refine your argument accordingly. The goal is to get the pacing to the point where you aren’t rushing your points across, nor are you giving an incomplete picture of your position. Practicing in a group format with questions being thrown your way can also help in anticipating the weaknesses in your argument and responding to them on the fly. Much like riding a bicycle, developing a comfort level with responding to questions is all about repetition.

Listen Carefully to and Answer Questions from the Bench

Don’t take it personally when a judge stops you mid-sentence to inquire about one of your points. Questions don’t automatically require a mooter to mount a defensive stance. Rather, they are an opportunity for the judge to clarify something, provide an opinion, tweak the facts to see how your position would change, or critique a weakness.

 

The blunders come by rushing to give some form of explanation before the question has really had a chance to sink in. Listen carefully, take a moment to think about the answer, and deliver a coherent response that actually answers the question. Asking for clarification or for a judge to reformulate their question is a useful way of ensuring you actually understand what is being asked of you before diving straight into the answer.

 

Proper Posture and Eye Contact Provide an Air of Confidence

 

The devil is truly in the details with this tip. We have all heard the expression “fake it ‘til you make”, but it might ring the most true when nerves start to set in before speaking in front of a crowd. Keeping your chest out, shoulders back and making occasional eye contact as you speak (to emphasize that you are engaging the bench) will give yourself a more confident presence. Even though your knees might be shaking behind the podium as the words come out of your mouth, the judges will have a positive impression of your demeanor from their point of view.

Tortes and Torts: Burgers with Hailey Boutin

Robynne Thompson (1L)

This month, I had the pleasure of interviewing 3L student and burger connoisseur, Hailey Boutin. Hailey is the President of OUTLaw and a member of the LSA’s Graduation Committee. After graduation, Hailey will be completing her articles at Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP (Calgary) where she started as a summer student. After exchanging pictures of our pets (Hailey has two adorable hairless cats), we dove into some burgers and I got the lowdown on all things 1L recruit.

 Hailey and I were both first timers at The Burger’s Priest. Despite the odd possessive that makes the name slightly cumbersome to say, The Burger’s Priest menu is, not surprisingly, stocked with a plethora of burgers and fries. But they also serve chicken and hot dogs. For some reason, on the menu the word ‘Vatican’ signals the presence of a grilled cheese bun. For instance, the ‘Vatican of Ice’ is ice cream sandwiched between a grilled cheese bun, which sounds both revolting and enticing.

 Another fun twist is that The Burger’s Priest also has a secret menu (AKA an additional menu on their website). Hailey and I both had ‘The Heavvy’ from the secret menu. It’s a beef patty with bacon, panko-crusted jalapenos, secret sauce, and the usual burger fixings. I wanted a little spice, but I was too scared to try the ‘Fiery Furnace,’ a bacon cheeseburger with crushed hot peppers – next time I’d give it a shot.

 As far as The Heavvy goes, in Hailey’s rankings, it might crack the top ten but definitely needs more sauce. I’m inclined to agree. Although I genuinely enjoyed the burger (the panko-crusted jalapenos were pretty great), I’m always suspicious of a burger if I don’t feel like a messy fool while eating it. Sadly, the fries also left a little to be desired. All said, I would definitely go back for another burger. And maybe a chili cheese dog. And the ice cream-grilled cheese hybrid/monstrosity.

 Everyone has a technique for eating a burger. As Hailey says, “you learn a lot about somebody by the way they eat a burger.” Hailey’s approach: once you pick it up, you don’t put it down until you finish and forget about breathing. I suppose the opposite is true for the 1L recruitment process – definitely breathe. That tip is possibly the most important. I’m the type of person that flips a burger upside-down to eat it. I don’t know why but it seems easier that way. I wonder what that says about me … actually I don’t think I want to know.

 From awkwardly eating a burger, to awkwardly transitioning into writing about the awkward 1L recruit…the recruiting process is a strange one, and can seem a bit overwhelming. I was hoping to spruce up my resume and tackle some cover letters over the winter break; instead I watched an unhealthy amount of Netflix. So, I spent my January frantically trying to balance applying for jobs broadly and finding a firm that speaks to me. I’ll just say it – based solely on websites, it’s difficult to find anything that makes a firm unique.

 Luckily, Hailey has a few tips. It might seem counter-intuitive, but interviews are a great way to learn more about which firm suits you best. So be yourself. This advice always makes a me a bit nervous. My self isn’t always a professional or interesting person. But, Hailey is reassuring. She describes herself as a “big personality” (from our interactions, this just means she’s outgoing and funny) and Norton Rose Fulbright embraces her uniqueness. Though I’m not particularly outgoing or funny, maybe there is hope for me. Does anyone know which firm welcomes overthinking and socially awkward 1Ls?

 In reality, nobody wants to go to work every day having to drastically alter their personality. Hailey noticed during the interview process that she felt comfortable with members of Norton Rose Fulbright: “it wasn’t exhausting trying to put on this recruit façade.” During interviews, you can feel confident talking about your interests and be genuine: “they want to know you, they want people that fit with their vibe.” Ultimately, for Hailey, the goal should be to “find a firm that respects you as a person, that respects your personality, that respects your weaknesses and strengths and respects your time.” Sounds good to me.

 Hailey’s next tip is to think about the values you want in a firm. For Hailey, she knew Norton Rose Fulbright was the right place for her when she found out they were the first firm to march in the Calgary Pride Parade. They also followed the recruiting rules, and Hailey has seen the benefits of that integrity. The firm demonstrates a high level of respect, even for the lowly summer student. In Hailey’s experience, even the busiest partner made time for a student that wanted to learn.

 Connecting to the values that matter to you will make it a bit more bearable when you inevitably work a ridiculous amount during articling. As Hailey notes, “at the end of the day you’re going to have a good student experience at any firm that you’re at. You’re going to be doing good work, you’re going to learn so much, and then I think it’s so important to find a firm that makes it worth working like a dog.”

 Next, the dreaded question … what if you get a summer student position somewhere that, in the end, you dislike? It happens. Hailey recommends taking the experience as a learning opportunity, being respectful, and simply moving on.

 Under the impending doom of interviews, coffees, dinners, and receptions, stay armed with Hailey’s advice. Be yourself, be genuine, and stick to your values. And, regardless of the result, we can look forward to the fact that it will soon be over and the end of 1L is in sight. (Pro tip: if you get invited to a dinner during the recruitment period, definitely don’t order an awkward, messy, delicious burger.)

 Stop by one of The Burger’s Priest’s two locations in Edmonton at 109th Street and Jasper or 98th Street in South Edmonton Common.

Ski Trip 2019

Kaitlynd Hiller (1L)

Coming into law school I was told that there were certain extracurriculars NOT to be missed: SLS, Law Show, and Ski Trip. So when the time came, I signed up without a second thought. No deposit, just a full payment. I was excited. But then…I kind of forgot about it. All of a sudden it was the first week back and I realized that I had done absolutely no planning for the trip (I didn’t even know whose room I was in until I was on the bus!). But despite going into it blind and woefully unprepared, ski trip lived up to the hype. I was placed in a room with a handful of 2Ls who were immediately welcoming and warm (shout-out to Jenny, Bri, Emma-Lee and Mikayla for taking in this straggler and making her feel at home). It turned out that we were all around the same skill level, so we mostly skied as a group on Friday and Saturday. By the end of the trip we had elevated our shred level from “happy blues” to “black diamonds as long as they are wide and there’s not too many trees”. Our room was quiet and chill which was perfect for taking naps after a long day at the hill and going to bed whenever we wanted. However, there was one alarming (and still unsolved) incident wherein four Strongbow ciders went missing from our fridge without explanation—and a sandwich appeared in their place. Was it a drunken wanderer desperate for some additional alcohol? Was it a ghost? Was it magic? We may never know. But I do know that the true magic of ski trip is that you can make it whatever you want it to be. I happily explored every vibe. Relaxing in my room by the fire with a snack and a glass of wine, playing games and hot tubbing with a few friends, trying (sort of successfully) to do some school work, and of course cramming into one poor person’s unit for some excellent party time. I appreciated the opportunity to not only rest and recharge, but to spend quality time with classmates who I haven’t had the opportunity to hang out with outside of school. Although next year I will probably plan better, I wouldn’t want to change how any of it unfolded this time around. Thanks everyone for a great trip, and here’s to doing it all again next year.

Tortes and Torts: Takeout with Sarah McFadyen

Robynne Thompson (1L)

New year, same ol’ me. I’ve never been great at making (or sticking to) resolutions but this year I’m going to try to eat out a little less. In that spirit, this month is all about takeout. It doesn’t count as going out to eat if you bring your food home, right? Right. Plus, we’re all busy people, and takeout is sometimes a must when you just don’t have the time or energy to cook.

 Speaking of busy people, this month I had the pleasure of interviewing the new Executive Coordinator of SLS, Sarah McFadyen. Sarah started her SLS career last year as a 1L and worked under the Civil and Family Project during the summer. For Sarah, being involved in SLS is a reminder of why she (and so many of us) came to law school: to help people. It might be cheesy, but as I’ve said before, I love cheese! And Sarah brings up a great point, it’s important to remember why we’re all here. We all have different reasons and different goals but staying connected to those ideas can help get you through the busy and stressful times (like 1L midterms).

 When it comes to managing a busy schedule, organization is Sarah’s key: “I’ve found that there’s a lot of pressure as law students to go above and beyond in terms of academics, extracurriculars, and social life. All of these things, SLS included, keep us extremely busy. So I always keep my planner and my calendar up-to-date, otherwise I would certainly be missing meetings and deadlines. This also helps me plan out my weeks: when I know I have a paper due and two court appearances in one week, it helps me get things done ahead of time so I’m not pulling an all-nighter the weekend before.”

 Sarah also recognizes the importance of mental health, “while we are all really busy as law students, it is so important to set aside time for yourself each day to relax and do something that makes you happy, whether that’s going for a walk or reading your favourite book … and if anyone is ever struggling, please don’t hesitate to reach out.“ One of my favourite things? Cleary, it’s food. I mean, I write articles about food in this paper every month (and I’m still trying to figure out how I can incorporate it into my future legal career. Ideas appreciated.).

 When it comes to staying fed on busy days, Sarah relies on meal-prepping and packing lots of snacks. As far as take-out favourites go, Sarah says “I always look for a place that serves some sort of comfort food, which is cosy, warm and high-carb for me. I also look for places that have good coffee to keep me going.”  High-carb and coffee? I think Sarah and I just became best friends. For Sarah, Remedy on 109th is a favourite. Good coffee, good chai, and tasty food.

 With Sarah’s food-inspiration, I decided to create a smorgasbord of takeout comfort foods to taste-test a few places around campus (read: I ate an ungodly amount of takeout because it’s delicious). I do the hard work so you don’t have to. Beginning at Remedy, I grabbed two samosas ($4) and the coconut curry with rice ($14.95). Next, a kimichi hotdog ($8.40) from It’Dog (I know this is a lot for a hot dog…but it’s more than just a hotdog). Finishing it all up with an order of vegetarian spring rolls ($8.95) and grilled chicken salad rolls ($12.65) from Phobulous. The restaurants are all within about 30m of each other on 109 Street – for easy smorgasbord-ing.

 Take-out in tow, I headed home to eat said food while watching RuPaul’s Drag Race in my Hufflepuff pajamas because self care. For me, the spring rolls were the star. I may go so far as to say they were the Sasha Velour of the smorgasbord (#TeamSasha). Super crispy, they’re packed full of carrot, noodles, taro root, and tofu. But let’s be real, all the dishes were pretty tasty and will definitely pick up your spirits during busy days.

 Even though takeout is a delicious option for staying fed during busy days/weeks/months, it’s not always feasible. Paying restaurant and take-out food prices isn’t always an affordable luxury. As students, the reality is that money can be tight. Though there are resources to help us plan financially (see UAlberta Financial Support) sometimes you need to stretch your funds a little further than they’ll go. If you find yourself in this pickle, you can request a food hamper through the Campus Food Bank (located on the first floor of SUB). We should all be staying hungry for justice, not for food. And, if you have a little left over in your budget at the end of the month, consider donating some non-perishables, toiletries, or cash to help out the campus community. You can find out more at campusfoodbank.com.

The Hockey Arbitration Competition of Canada

Dylan Robertson (2L)

HACC logo

On November 11th, I had the pleasure of travelling to the University of Toronto to represent the Faculty of Law at the Hockey Arbitration Competition of Canada. The Faculty of Law sent two teams to the competition: Adam Kolowitz and Frank Carbonaro comprised one team, while Rajiv Bansal and I comprised the other. An unfortunate issue with university funding kept two rightful participants – Olivia Sutter and Jeffrey Troy – from participating, but hopefully we managed to make them proud with our showings.

What is the HACC, you ask? The competition – which brings together over thirty teams from law schools across Canada and the United States – simulates the arbitration proceedings that players undergo in the NHL. Using actual players who underwent arbitration last summer, teams of two compete against each other by arguing whether a player should be paid more or less than the “midpoint” (the salary they actually received). A key part of both sides’ arguments is finding players who are similar in performance, and whose salaries are similar to what they are seeking, and essentially comparing them to highlight similarities. Each round is judged by a practicing sports agent or lawyer with experience in sports arbitration who provides feedback that the teams can carry with them into the next round.

That attempt at an explanation should make it clear that I do not know hockey particularly well. While you might immediately think that would be an issue, I found that it was not as big of a requirement as I expected. While you can tell which teams understand the game better, the most significant part of the scoring for each round comes from the team’s advocacy and presentation, which is something Raj and I worked hard to prepare for knowing we were at a disadvantage in genuine hockey knowledge. It paid off immensely for us, and we received a lot of valuable feedback after each round which we then used to revamp our arguments for the next round. We ultimately had the opportunity to participate in five separate rounds of arguments, and the improvement that we showed by the end was incredible.

It is definitely hard to pick just a handful of highlights from the competition, but I will try. To me, the most valuable part of the experience was the feedback we received after each round. Not many moots provide teams with the opportunity to receive feedback and apply it immediately to a new competition later that day, but the ability to do so effectively is a requirement in the HACC; we would finish one round and have less than an hour to incorporate the feedback into our arguments before we had to compete again. Furthermore, most of the feedback we received focused on our advocacy skills rather than our hockey knowledge, which means it has universal application. The things that they emphasized – for example, the importance of a strong narrative – are important regardless of whether you’re arguing a criminal trial or a salary dispute.

Another highlight – and this is just for me – was that it gave me a unique experience: it taught me what it’s like to have to argue an area of law you might not be an expert in. Here, preparation and confidence went a long way. I may not have understood the importance of a shot percentage, but as the day went on, I definitely felt more comfortable discussing it. Part of that is no doubt due to the fact I spent a solid month learning all I could about hockey stats and comparable players, but another part came from the knowledge that our preparation paid off throughout the entire competition.

Lastly – and this is for the big sports fans – the competition takes place during the Primetime Sports Conference, which brings together executives from nearly every major league in North America to discuss issues facing professional sports. While I did not attend any seminars (I instead ate poutine and watched some filming of The Handmaid’s Tale), the insight into the profession and networking opportunities available are big for anyone who is interested in a career in sports & entertainment, or just interested in the Toronto market.

For anyone interested in participating next year, I highly recommend giving it a shot. Between the internal competition in February – which determines the teams that get to go to Toronto – and the competition, I feel my advocacy skills have improved by leaps and bounds. I also had the chance to receive some great practical advice that I will no doubt carry with me into practice if someone ever decides to hire me. Best of all for next year’s teams, however, is that you will have a group of past participants willing to coach you and provide feedback to ensure your success. Whether you have an interest in hockey, want an eye-catching experience to put on your resume, or just want to develop your mooting skills, I definitely recommend giving it a shot.

The Rise and Fall of Equity

Joe Sellman (3L)

Equity is often given lip service in our legal education as something that once mattered, was once problematic, and is now limited to a few specific instances where it is useful. That is, equity was once a problem, and that problem was solved long ago.

During my first year of law school, I was confused by equity. I did my best to learn the equitable doctrines, maxims, and remedies we are taught in class, but understood no more than I had been taught. At the end of 1L, I tried to think about what I had learned about equity. I tried to build my own method of understanding (a framework) that connected and explained the different parts of equity that arose in the different 1L classes. I failed.

Specifically, I could not understand or reconcile how:

  • On the one hand, we are taught that equity is a flexible doctrine that blunts the harshness of the law in favour of fairness; and,
  • On the other hand, the equitable doctrines that we studied were formulaic and dogmatic.

To illustrate my confusion, consider the two following examples: unconscionability and trusts. Unconscionability requires: 1) unequal bargaining position arising from ignorance, need, or distress of the weaker party; 2) the stronger party using their position of power to their advantage; and 3) that the agreement reached is substantially unfair[JS1]. My question is, why does the unequal bargaining power need to arise from ignorance, need, or distress? If the conduct is unfair, based on an unequal bargaining position, is that not sufficient for equity to need to redress the balance?

The doctrine of trusts is unquestionably a doctrine which arises from equity. However, it seems to me that trusts are used in society without being held to the maxims of equity. For example, if trusts are used to reduce tax owed, is there not an argument that the individual seeking the trust is not coming to equity with clean hands? Or more broadly, what wrong is equity remedying when a trust is used as a tax sheltering vehicle? Paying tax?

Since 1L, I have kept coming back to equity. In this article, I provide a brief overview of my personal journey in understanding the rise and fall of equity, and how it explains (but does not reconcile) the two seemingly contradictory natures of equity.

Origins of Equity

Equity is not a new concept. Aristotle considers what is just, and determines there is a need for equity. This need is for a form of justice that can be applied when the application of a just universal rule in a specific scenario results in an unjust result. As such, equity is a correction of the law to prevent such injustices. Aristotle argues that the need for equity does not arise from an error in law, i.e. the universal rule. Instead, the nature of the scenario is what gives rise to the need for equity[JS2].

Roman Equity

Yes, the Roman Empire had equity in their laws. Sir Henry Summer Maine tells us that the origin of Roman equity essentially arose from a conflict of laws problem[JS3]. The Roman system had 1) civil laws, which were laws enacted by the people; and 2) natural laws, which were laws that arose from natural reason and apply to “all of mankind.” In early Rome, civil law applied to Roman citizens, not foreigners. Instead of the Roman Court looking to the laws of where a foreigner came from to determine what laws applied to the foreigner, the Courts looked to the natural laws of reason, which were common to all (Italian) nations. Unlike the civil law, the natural law did not distinguish between groups or classes of people and, in that sense, equity was a levelling out of the law and was connected to the Greek theory of equity.

Common Law & Equity

To understand equity in the context of the common law system, we first must understand the common law. Roscoe Pound tells us that the common law originates in England as a formal declaration by the courts administering the customs of the land[JS4]. However, Pound tells us that the customs of the land are illusionary in the sense that customs were local rather than general. Therefore, the declaration by the courts of the common law was either: 1) determining common customs through examining customs throughout the realm (as a side note, this sounds very similar to Roman equity arising from the law of reason common to all nations); or 2) a declaration which superseded local customs. Maine argues, that for this reason, the common law is a fiction. The fiction is that courts claim to follow the common law, whereas the reality is that courts are tribunals that legislate the common law.

The attempts to find the common law of the land and the goal of uniformity of the common law created a rigid legal system in England. This created both the need and space for equity in our legal system. The justification for equity in England arose as the Monarch had the “[…] power to dispense with the operation of common-law rules in particular cases for special reasons of hardship or inadequacy of the law […]” (Pound). Maine points out that this means equity is based upon a rather unpalatable foundation: that the Monarch has moral superiority over all others at all times.

Over time, the Monarch’s equitable power was delegated and wielded by the chancellor, as the keeper of the King’s conscience. This in turn was delegated and wielded through the chancellors courts. Equity was originally a discretionary justice which could be criticized for being unprincipled, evidenced by the King’s (via the  Chancellor) conscience changing over time[JS5]. However, during the 17th and 18th centuries, the court of equity changed. The court started applying principles in similar cases (i.e. following precedents) and a system of rules was created.

This time period is where equity as fairness was replaced with equity as dogma.

Maine points out that this process turned equity into the same type of system that it was created to temper. That is, equity was no longer a flexible doctrine. In the 19th century, there were two parallel courts, the common law courts and the courts of equity. Often, neither could completely resolve an issue and there were concerns of the mischiefs that arose from the two parallel systems of equity and common law. The mischiefs included: litigants being moved between the two courts, high fees, and general inefficiencies[JS6].

Finally, in the late 19th century the courts were fused. In Alberta, the Judicature Act provides the Court of Queen’s Bench with all the powers that had previously been exercised by the court of equity. Generally, this fusion seems to have kept the two legal systems separate. For example, equitable remedies apply to equitable causes of action and common law remedies apply to common law actions. However, there is jurisprudence that argues that fusion means a complete fusion, rather than just one court wearing two hats.


[JS1] From Blackmore v Cablenet, and Snell’s Equity.

[JS2] Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics

[JS3] Maine, Ancient law: its connection with the early history of society and its relation to modern ideas

[JS4] The National Law Library 1939

[JS5] Fox in Snell’s Equity

[JS6] Fox in Snell’s Equity

The Burger King Drive-Inn: A Completely Unnecessary History

Dylan Robertson (2L)

In the one-and-a-half years that I have spent as a citizen of Edmonton, there have been a few things which have stuck out to me as strange about this city.

First, despite being the vacation destination of my childhood dreams, I never visit West Edmonton Mall. In fact, I kind of hate having to go there.

Second, this city thinks that hiring Ken Hitchcock as a head coach is something to celebrate in 2018.

Lastly, I have noticed that there is a strange lack of Burger Kings in this city. If you think that is a strange observation, you’re absolutely right: I am a weird person.

For a city of well over a million people, Edmonton only has five Burger Kings. In comparison, my fair city of Saskatoon – which is four times smaller than Edmonton, mind you – has five. Given that this city is also the host of more Burger Barons than Alberta Health Services regulations allows, it certainly isn’t because this is a health-conscious city.

As I sat in my parents’ basement over Christmas vacation with nothing to do, I decided to do some digging and see if I could uncover any explanation for why the city has so few Burger Kings. To my amazement, I actually did find something which might help explain it. Even better, that explanation is also slightly legal in nature. To put it simply, the reason Edmonton has so few Homes for the Whopper may be because of an intellectual property issue.

Burger King as we know it today first expanded to Canada in 1969, but prior to this Edmonton was already home to its own Burger King franchise of restaurants. Formally known as the Burger King Drive-Inn, the company – which was founded in 1956 by Bill Jarvis and Jim Rae – was well established by the time other international fast food restaurants – such as McDonald’s – began expanding into Edmonton in the mid-70s. Because the company predated the American Burger King’s expansion into Canada, Jarvis and Rae originally owned the nationwide rights to the name until they reached an agreement in 1973: Jarvis and Rae would sell the rights to the Burger King name to the American company, but would retain exclusive usage of the name in Northern Alberta. While the rest of the country gorged themselves on questionably cheap chicken nuggets and spent an unreasonable amount of the 80s trying to find a balding man named Herb, Northern Alberta was the only major market in North America not to have an American Burger King franchise.

The licencing deal lasted all the way from the Drive-Inn’s heyday in the mid-70s, where they had over a dozen locations, to 1995 when the Edmonton-based franchise consisted of two remaining restaurants. That year, Jarvis and Rae would finally relinquish the rights to the Burger King name in exchange for a tidy sum of one million dollars. While they immediately announced plans following the sale to open some restaurants in the area, their status as a latecomer to a city already saturated with McDonald’s, Wendy’s and A&W may help explain why there are still so few Burger Kings located in this city. They have simply been unable to gain a foothold in a competitive market: in Edmontonian terms, they’re the Oilers of the fast food world.

So what was the food like at the Burger King Drive-Inn? According to the sources that I have read, it was akin to the offerings you might find at a Burger Baron today: customizable burgers drowning in mushrooms, ice cream-based milkshakes, and for a brief period before they became their own franchise, Kentucky Fried Chicken. While those types of offerings may not fit in with the current fast food scene, the Drive-Inn remains a unique and obscure piece of Edmonton history. You can still see some original locations around the city, such as the now-Burger Baron on 9501 111 Avenue (which I’m pretty sure is closed, but you can never tell with them).

As a final piece of trivia, there is one case on CanLII in which the Burger King Drive-Inn was a party. The judge that heard the case was Justice McDonald.

Horoscopes: Remedying the Winter Blues

Jenna Chamberlain and Sonali Khurana (3Ls)

 

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22 – Jan. 20):

New year, new you. Welcome change by redesigning your living space. Be inspired by your new and improved surroundings and plan for some significant changes in the near future. Stay prepared for change at a moment’s notice.

Suggested Remedy: Pack your suitcases

 

AQUARIUS (Jan. 21 – Feb. 19):

You have had the same routines and rhythms for years, but it’s 2019 and it is time to accept that some of these are just not working for you. Don’t get hung up on the way things have always been or long-standing traditions, become a new you, the best version of you that you can be.

Suggested Remedy: Cute new 2019 agenda

PISCES (Feb. 20 – Mar. 20):

Develop a vision for the year. Clean your glasses, if you have to. This is the year of, like, realizing things. Don’t be afraid to just accept and realize. Dedicate a day every week to go stand somewhere that gives you a clear vision of life and just soak it all in.

Suggested Remedy: Funicular (closed for monthly maintenance)

ARIES (March 21 – April 20):

This month you are feeling very competitive. Another semester is starting and you are ready to face the elements. However, you have to remember this is law school, and you have to stay responsible. Your prospects aren’t that good.

Suggested Remedy: Alcohol-free beer

TAURUS (April 21 – May 21)

This is the month of being impulsive and free. In the past you were feeling trapped, but it is a brand-new year and a brand new you. You are ready to embrace all the changes. The times are a-changin’, and so are a-you.

Suggested Remedy: Sundial making

GEMINI (May 22 – June 21):

Seek inspiration from your friends. Look at their failures to remember who you don’t want to be. Channel the strength of your social support network to get through this miserable month.

Suggested Remedy: Make friendship bracelets

CANCER (June 22 – July 23):

It is one of the coldest months of the year, and wow you feel it. Don’t let the temperature get to you and bring you down. Embrace the chill. Look up “winter” on Pinterest.

 Suggested Remedy: Blanket forts and fairy lights

LEO (July 24 – Aug. 23):

Bring your passions into the new year. Focus on an uncompleted, past project and remind yourself of creative interests. Get musical. Read that book. Finish that painting. Please, accomplish something for once.

 Suggested Remedy: Revisit an old project

VIRGO (Aug. 24 – Sept. 23):

It is the start of awards season, the time when accomplishments are celebrated and people are thanked. Take a moment to think about the people, pets, and objects that helped you be who you are, and say thank you (or screw you, if necessary).

 Suggested Remedy: Old family videos

LIBRA (Sept. 24 – Oct. 23):

Lately everything you say is a jumbled mess, your thoughts are flying out faster than your mouth is moving and no one understands what you are saying. Slow down and get those ideas together before you speak, especially if you are speaking in class, no one likes a blubberer.

 Suggested Remedy: Notepad for your feelings

SCORPIO (Oct. 24 – Nov. 22):

It’s sale season, baby. Every real shopper knows the real deals come in the early New Year. Recover from the stress of the holidays by giving into capitalist temptations. Your horoscope suggests financial growth this month, so take advantage of new money and shop, shop, shop!

Suggested Remedy: Shopping spree

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 – Dec. 21):

This month you will be particularly persuasive. People will be compelled to listen to you and follow your suggestions. But be wary, you might start to buy into your own persuasion and do something you don’t want to do, like take five exam classes.

Suggested Remedy: Cookies

Practical Advice for Moot Preparation, Part #1

publicdomainq-business-man-advice_3Taylor Maxston (2L)

Congratulations to all 1Ls for completing fall semester midterms and reaching the home stretch! Hopefully Christmas break allowed everyone to step back and take a deep breath, as more challenges await in 2019. In particular, the LRW moot represents an opportunity to hop out of the doldrums of reading and studying to gain practical experience in what litigators do every day. Before standing at the podium in front of three Supreme Moot Court of the University of Alberta judges, the time leading up to oral arguments will largely determine how successful any mooter can be. Keep in mind these useful tips as you begin preparing for one of the most exciting parts of your first year in law school.

Start Small: Figure Out Where You Stand

Making sure you don’t waste time on irrelevant considerations means knowing exactly what the moot asks you to do. Read all assigned documents carefully with a mind to the scope of what you are expected to argue on appeal. A good place to start is recognizing who your client is, whether you are the appellant or respondent, the area of law your moot problem is focussed on, and what the pertinent legal issues are.

Become Well Versed in the Information That Will Help You Understand Your Case

Knowing the facts of your case is paramount not only for crafting an argument, but also for thinking about questions judges can pose during the mock trial. In rendering a judgment, they consider the ramifications of their decision beyond the situation at hand and often ask questions that tweak details in the case to see how your argument might change. Don’t be caught flat-footed in the event a judge poses a slight, but significant change to the facts.

In addition, any materials that are provided to guide you throughout the process are critical to review. For example, sample memorandums can assist in constructing your own court documents while the judgments from the lower courts concerning your impending trial will shine a spotlight on how the present appeal has come to be.

Finally, the relevant legal authorities relied on by your side and your opponent’s side will form the bulk of the arguments presented to the moot court. Legislation that governs your case should be reviewed, but noting up cases and understanding how the reasoning can be applied to your argument (or distinguished, if the result is not favorable) will put any mooter in a good position.

Actively Communicate with Your Partner and Divide the Work

You and your partner will be splitting up research on the issues, drafting a collective memo, and ultimately presenting oral arguments together. While you don’t need to resemble partners out of a buddy cop film, developing rapport early will ensure deadlines are met and your collective work isn’t fragmented.

As You Tune Your Argument, Anticipate Questions and Your Opponent’s Position

Crafting a compelling argument for a moot requires a coherent structure, ideas that flow smoothly, and the links in the chain being connected by logical reasoning. All of these are chiseled through research that anticipates the strengths and weaknesses of your own position while simultaneously considering what your opponent is likely to argue. Ask whether your position is favorable on the facts, on the law, or both. When it comes time for oral arguments, be prepared for judges to ask you about the flaws in your argument and the appealing parts of your opponent’s argument.

Strong Oral Arguments Start With a Strong Factum

It cannot be overstated that the success of the courtroom component of your moot largely hinges on the factum you draft in preparation for it. As you write your factum out, develop a theme through which to present your argument to the judges (e.g. it is in the public interest for the court to find in my favor) and ensure to cover each of the legal issues. Seeking guidance from upper years and professors for refining the structure of the factum and properly listing citations can also improve the final product.