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KingLouis last won the day on April 15 2019

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  1. Interesting to return to this thread 3+ years later and see this comment (which rings truer each day).
  2. Do you ever have families and victims lose it on you following an acquittal? Like, "Why didn't you say this? Why'd you let that other lawyer say that?" Also--just thinking over your story: if there was no head stomping, how did the guy die? I know it's a race-based acquittal, but you'd think the judge would connect the medical evidence outlining the cause of death with the witnesses' evidence.
  3. I've been really down this week after a miserable trouncing on an OW Fraud. Migawd, these workers are militant in the way they go after people. Losing is never fun, but sometimes you lose ugly. Like the client's yelling at you, the clerks are laughing, the Crown's gloating--that kind of thing. And then you get in the car or on the subway to go home. And the wheels start spinning. Should I have called the client? Is there a case I could've submitted that would have won it for me? And you gotta wait patiently for that darkness to lift. It sucks. I'm wondering...what's the worst case my fellow litigators here have ever lost? And how far down did you fall? It doesn't have to be a case where the client was acquitted on appeal. Or you asked that 1 wrong question that lost the damn thing. What's that most-terrible moment where you've been shot through the heart while stuck at the counsel table listening to the judge convict with the first word out of his mouth? And you feel like Schindler--you could have done more. I'm curious about everyone's stories.
  4. My grandparents had no difficulty at all getting drunk throughout 1969. I don't need "the golden age of TV" or artisanal food. I'd be perfectly happy with Philip Roth, Johnnie Walker, a brisket from Kensington Market, and getting high at a Hendrix concert. The 2019ers here can keep their Piano Piano, GOT, and small-batch craft alcohol.
  5. Yes (to '89). Yes (to '79). Fuck, yeah (to 1969). I was talking to a colleague last week who was telling me how great it was to be a lawyer-adult in the '60s and '70s. Even in Toronto. He said you woke up and made money. Everyone screwed each other. No incurable STIs. No draft. Cheap houses in the best parts of the city. Cheap trips to Europe and Vegas. The coolest goddamn muscle cars. All the best jazz, blues, soul, and rock artists still alive and in their prime. If you'd trade that for smart phones, email, and internet pornography...
  6. You did the right thing by coming here and asking for help. It's been 17 years since my first depressive episode at the end of HS. The only thing that ever works is connecting with other people. Even if it's online, we're still a community. Keep posting. Or send direct messages. This is a subject I have all the time in the world for. Your career will be fine. I was at the CLA conference (Criminal Lawyers' Association) two weeks ago, and a member gave a presentation on his lifelong battle with depression. So many of the people I work with are obviously depressed. I am. My closest friend in the defence bar is. It's a reality for anyone facing the difficult circumstances of life, debt, practice, and general insanity.
  7. I think it ends there. This board's had some really great threads on the meaning of LS grades. And we can generate lots of great anecdotes. Some people just have the acuity immediately to spot the issues and order their thoughts perfectly. Remember that an LS exam is testing your ability to solve a math problem as efficiently as possible. I mastered Evidence and read hundreds of trial-level decisions just to make sure I understood how to apply the principles. I used and cited these cases on the exam. I got an A+. I didn't win the course prize. Someone else won it whose exam was 1/2 the length of mine. That person won the Gold Medal. That person is just a genius. I've met lots of medalists now that I'm in practice. I like very few of them as people, but I acknowledge that they're better at whatever it is that LS grading rewards. Basically, it's this simple: you can't be perfect all of the time unless you're profoundly intelligent.
  8. I'm with you, man. The starter home my brother (new teaching grad) bought 6 years ago for $400,000 was just flipped for $900,000. Not a starter home anymore. The woman who owned it before him was a retired clerk at a local corner grocery. I think about the knock-on effects because where and how you live has a big impact on your physical and mental health. (And I have enough fucking problems with that shit practicing crim defence.) Issues I can identify just sitting here and typing this: 1) The cost of owning/renting and the stress that causes (I'd lump in with that saving for a down payment and delaying marriage/a family), 2) Commute times and the life you lose (time with friends and family) if you're kicked from midtown to the Kitchener GO platform, 3) The ability to accrue equity and leverage it in retirement (which is how my grandparents and uncle retired)...Those are real things. And I say that FULLY acknowledging the degree to which people earning substantially less than Bay St. lawyers are fucked. You can kinda dismiss this stuff if you want. But last I checked the housing chart is still moving up and to the right. Won't be long now 'til that's devouring upper-tier incomes. So, yeah, if someone dropped 50k in my lap and houses didn't exist, I'd buy a bunch of original Factory and Hacienda promo posters and display them in my rental. And soak in that bourgeois trash.
  9. Might as well shut this down, 'cause two completely different arguments are taking place. Some are arguing that the rising cost of living no longer permits someone earning a "Bay Street" salary to live a certain lifestyle. Which isn't a moral judgment or a political statement. It's more or less the same thing as saying "You'll have trouble doing X, Y, and Z anymore." People are imbuing X, Y, and Z with some kind of class distinction as if this is about being "better than." It's not. If someone won $1 million in the lottery and tried to buy John Lennon's guitar, that guy's not saying "Fuck you," to everyone else when he says, "Damn, $1 million would've taken it 10 years ago. But now it's selling for 1.5." I'll end it here. This wasn't a stupid conversation at all. It was about income and expectations and the COL. It could've applied to butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers--we're living in the same communities.
  10. This kinda ties in with my argument. If we can't observe or lament the demise of generational advantages (e.g. lower rent, lower tuition, an accessible supply of housing), then we allow these problems to grow wildly out of control. Because the argument always seems to be that the person stretching to pay X for something should keep their mouth shut because many others can't afford to pay X. So even observing an unsustainable shift is wrong or emblematic of a loss of perspective because being relatively better positioned to weather that shift means that the person is callous or out-of-touch. Earning a six-figure salary today gets you far less than it did 10 years ago. And it will get you far less 10 years from now. That's a reality, not a politicized statement. There's a lot to be said for the need to maintain perspective. All I'm saying is that perspective doesn't mute history. I can be an asshole for saying that I think I should be able to own a home. But at the same time someone can admit that it would be better were I (and others similarly situated) able to own one. I guess the notion of entitlement needs to be fleshed out in a lot greater detail. But I don't want to do that here. Because my argument was never that someone who makes $100,000 is entitled to anything. (Remember that this thread was about spending a Bay Street salary.)
  11. The "privilege" argument loses steam when you compare things like the pace of real-estate appreciation with the pace of salary growth in law--specifically. I could point to something concrete like Legal Aid tariffs as an example. This is a thread about Bay St. salaries because we're lawyers on a law board. But this could just as easily be a discussion about how to spend your earnings as a plumber or accountant or family doctor. Is a doctor engaging the notion of privilege by just playing around with the idea that she can't afford a home that, 2 generations ago, an elementary school teacher owned? How about a home that, 3 generations ago, a milkman owned? You have to acknowledge historical trends in compensation and not just dismiss everything above the median as "privilege." I think the fault in the "privilege" tag is that you're saying that we're now attaching privilege to things that were devoid of privilege up until very, very recently. Like the last 15 years. If you look at the rates of home ownership in Canada, some people who decidedly lacked privilege owned properties that now would be completely inaccessible to them. They can't at once have and not have privilege. And rent/mortgage payments are now the dividing line between prosperity (privilege, I guess) and whatever tier falls below prosperity. I just felt I'd talk about money because I'm a practicing lawyer and I can see how things are going for me and my friends.
  12. Yeah, it's sad but true. I'm speaking from experience as a guy who knows many lawyers circa 5-10 years out in the GTA. If you asked me to name 1 person who bought a property on their own and is living anything approaching a baller life, I could give you 0 names. Yet I can name a bunch of people whose parents and grandparents gave them enormous gifts. And they're the ones living well. That's the new "6-figure income" now--the cash gifts from family. And I'm not even talking about wealthy families. I'm talking about downsizing grandparents who suddenly have cash they can use to transform someone's life. Some are generous, others aren't. That's the new divide. It's not really income anymore. Yeah, at $125k gross ($90k or so net) you're going to have a roof over your head and food on the table. But consider that in the hypothetical where the lawyer graduates with $0 debt and $0 savings, you have to build a life from scratch. Furniture, clothes, a car, retirement savings, maybe saving for a downpayment, etc. Just the latter two things could eat $40k a year if you really wanted on the property ladder. Add rent to that and you'll see the cushion isn't that big.
  13. I'm happy to take some heat for this answer. If you work on Bay Street and you're living in or around Toronto and you're the sole earner in your household...that money's not going that far. Before rates dropped and everyone over 55 with some hovel west of Dufferin became a real estate millionaire (an exaggeration, yes, I know) a mid-6-figure salary would've freed you up to live the dream. Now it's basically a fairly vanilla existence. I know some people will think that's tone-deaf, but I'm telling you--it's ridiculous out there. The biggest What If in the OP's scenario is that you're debt-free (other than a mortgage). I know 30-something lawyers with families and six-figure salaries moving back in with their parents because living is expensive as hell and being debt-free is very difficult. Real freedom in this city is now some wealthy relative giving you a house (or a substantial chunk of money toward a house) so you can save your rent or mortgage payments.
  14. Yes, it does exactly that. Clients will often fight with duty counsel, trying to force DC to plead them guilty even though the client is advancing a defence. Sure, that can be some kind of odd posturing and/or an attempt to manipulate the Court into doing something. But that story changes immediately when you offer to set a trial and do the work without needing a certificate or asking the client for money--no more demands to plead. I used to be tough on duty counsel, but now I see the impossible situation they're in. I defer to Crowns who've run self-rep trials. I guess not every single one ends in a plea. But every single one I've seen has ended that way.
  15. In my experience, 100% of self-reps plead guilty. And I'm including the self-reps who've insisted to Duty Counsel that they're innocent and won't ever plead guilty. They all plead on the morning of their self-rep trial. The easiest way to up the conviction rate to 100% (minus the percentage of clients who can afford private counsel) is to kill a province's duty counsel/certificate program.
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