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Malicious Prosecutor

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Malicious Prosecutor last won the day on August 31 2020

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  1. Oh sure - even true when you're not subject to the billable hour. In my experience in government work (which might only be true in Alberta as we're non-unionized), you're salaried, but you're a government employee technically subject to the same 8:15 to 4:30 work day as everyone else. Our managers don't have you punch a clock, but you still have to at least notionally work something close to your 37.5 hours per week in your office. (NB: this is all pre-Covid)
  2. I sort-of understand where you're coming from. My wife, despite being married to me for so many years, sometimes just doesn't "get" being a salaried employee. Either when I choose to go in a bit late, or when I have to work on a weekend, she feels it isn't fair or right. Not coincidentally she has always worked as an hourly employee. But perhaps this is the way to think of being a salaried employee - that you will get X amount of work, and you will be paid $Y per year. The amount of time it takes is not a factor. It doesn't matter if you get your work done in 30 hours per week or 80 hours per week. In a perfect world it just encourages efficiency. There's no such thing as just "putting in time" to make your hours, there's no perverse incentive to work slowly, that kind of thing. But yes in the worst case scenario that can mean completely outrageous workload that completely swamps any work-life balance. I like to tell this little anecdote: I was with the Feds around the time that AJC was negotiating our first contract. AJC wanted more money, the government didn't want to give it to us. For some reason (I think legislation) it went to arbitration, and the arbitrator was basically prohibited from giving us a raise. So, in a good-hearted move the arbitrator awarded us overtime instead. Both sides howled, as the Feds didn't want to pay money, and the government lawyers didn't want to be put on the clock like that.
  3. Just to give you some idea of the reality of the practice of law: the criminal law lawyers still duking it out in the trenches at 60+ years old may want to retire, but probably can't afford to. Just one anecdote about the intersection of supply and demand. When I was a junior lawyer I joined a firm that had a satellite office in a remote town that had a huge number of files per capita. I didn't live in that town but dutifully travelled up and stayed overnight every week to stay in that town in order to be there for criminal court days. We were the only lawyers with an actual office in town, and I was the only one in my firm doing crim law in that town. Despite that "on the ground" presence I only picked up the odd conflict file. The reason is there was a long-established lawyer who, despite not having an office, travelled up from the city to that town for at least a a couple of decades. Legal Aid was actually helpful - they they didn't want to rely on just one lawyer, but everyone asked for the other guy. Heck I would get a Duty Council certificate and twiddle my thumbs, only helping one or two people - the other guy just helped whomever would ask him for help knowing he'd pick up any certificate that might come of it.* But then I started picking up more steady files in towns that didn't have quite the same volume, but had no entrenched competition (even though I had no office). That's why it's absolutely impossible to make any generalizations about towns vs the amount of work. *I don't fault the clients for going to the other guy - he'd been serving the community very well for a long time, and was quite capable counsel.
  4. This is true. But it doesn't have to be (and likely probably shouldn't be) something "fun". I said something "interesting". Although I only now looked at @jbaks post and volunteering for 1 year in central america certainly sounds interesting. But it doesn't have to be foreign and exotic. Go get a job at a food bank, or a homeless shelter. Go tree planting. Work in a long-term care facility during Covid. Or OP, there's nothing wrong with just earning as much money as you can before going to law school too - it's pretty damn expensive.
  5. Said it before, will say it again - go do something "interesting" that you can talk about in job interviews after you start - something that makes you stand out from the crowd. "I backpacked around australia for 6 months" will beat out "I was a filing clerk for 6 months" every time.
  6. The other day defence comes in to a drunk driving trial relying on a trial-level out of jurisdiction oral decision. I mean it's not a strong authority, but yes it was on point with similar facts, and yes it did hold what defence said it did, and the judge did go on to exclude certain evidence that defence wanted excluded in my trial. I pointed out however that if you read further in the case you'd find that notwithstanding some evidence being excluded, the judge still convicted on another basis and the same was likely to happen in our case.* Defence didn't say anything directly to that but it did turn into a guilty plea. * Judge acquitted on the Over 80 charge, but found there was ample evidence for the Impaired charge.
  7. So I think it's been answered here: yes you can get by on just cans or summaries, but whether you should is a different story. So @lawwal, this is your only post so I don't know anything about you. I don't know what kind of stressed or time pressures you're under. Maybe you're working part time, even full time, trying to support your family while going to law school. Maybe you're suffering from some level of learning disability. Or whatever. My point is that if just reading the cans/summaries is all you can possibly manage to do, then for what little it's worth you have my blessing to do so. You gotta do what you gotta do. Almost nobody fails out of law school so I'm sure you'll do well enough to graduate. But if you have the time, you really should do the readings. There's almost invariably more nuance in a case than a summary will give you. Reading cases is a big part of being a lawyer, so try to learn that skill while you're in school, and not trying to learn on real cases when it really matters. You're also paying a staggeringly huge amount of money to go to law school - you really should do everything you can to maximize the value of that education. Plus, if you want to do more than just ok - if you want to excel in law school - doing the readings is a must.
  8. Not quite as bad, but when I'd received a death case I did some research and found a Court of Appeal decision that was fairly definitive on point. In between my research and the case going to trial SCC granted leave to appeal - which I completely missed. Trial judge going on gut instinct ignored my "definitive" case and acquitted. We appealed, SCC very decisively overturned my 'definitive' case, we withdrew our appeal.
  9. There certainly are government lawyers who appear before the courts and admin tribunals, and those government lawyers very much feel that they're acting in the public interest. But it's the public interest as decided by the elected politicians.
  10. It's not normal, but it's not abnormal? There are a lot of disorganized senior lawyers out there who are far too quick to blame others for their own mistakes.
  11. So... as an Alberta Crown I know pretty much all of the people mentioned in both links, and I really don't want to comment much. But I did want to say that the fate of Crown Prosecutors in Alberta is our own very much individual and specific thing, and can't be used to generalize about the whole profession.
  12. You've always wanted to be a lawyer. That's important. Your salary range is achievable, although hardly guaranteed. But short of being a doctor I can't think of any area where that salary range is guaranteed. So if that's what you think you'd like to do then go for it. It's not like you're telling us "I've always wanted to be a movie star so I'm going to move to Hollywood". Becoming a lawyer and making six figures is a fairly reasonable career objective.
  13. Wait until you get actual acceptances then pick from the schools that actually make you an offer. No point debating the finer points of UNB vs TRU if you don't actually get into either school.
  14. Okay, so going back to the original question, when I was first at a big firm I remember one of our well-respected junior associates in litigation had started out in criminal law. Now that person also had impeccable academic credentials, but their criminal law litigation experience was seen as an asset as you simply didn't get nearly as much courtroom time in the kind of civil litigation our firm did. But that being said... I didn't think bankruptcy and insolvency was really considered "litigation". Yes rarely these matters can be contested in court, but that's pretty unusual. I thought insolvency was more considered a form of solicitor's work. But this is far from my field - am I wrong?
  15. I can only speak for my own experience (Alberta). Much more court is done remotely. We do all docket court from our offices via WebEx. We've totally reorganized the assignment of trial courtrooms. We have to do a lot more witness hand-holding in advance in order to try and stagger out witnesses. Judges have been doing pre-trial conferences on every file via telephone. Tons more trials are still being adjourned for Covid reasons - a witness, or an accused, or a lawyer, can't come to court because they're isolating.
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