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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_landmark_court_decisions#Landmark_decisions_in_Canada

 

Also, I don't think there's anything wrong with citing texts. Courts do it. Don't see what is wrong with students doing it too. Besides, if you use a text as a roadmap, you're inevitably going to read what the text says about the case, in which case if you don't cite the text you're actually plagiarizing (unless, of course, you come up with a different interpretation than what the text).

 

It's a fine line, and I guess depends on where you get the idea from.  Say you were citing something about punitive damages only being available for situations that are morally egregious to the courts.  Would you cite your torts text which states this, or would you cite Hill v Church of Scientology where the SCC clearly outlined the criteria?  On the other hand you might have a situation where a text has synthesized a large amount of cases and come to some conclusion or rule of thumb, at which point you would cite the author of the text.  In the end, it is all about whose idea you are using.

 

As for cases, I'm probably in a "don't read any" camp, but Meads is potentially an interesting read if only for the fact that I'd never heard of Freeman until law school.

 

For the SCC, I'd advise against anything by Iacobucci. I swear that man was paid by the word.

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DICKSON!!!!! I LOVE DICKSON!!!!!!!! OMG DO I EVER LOVE DICKSON!!!!!!!! And Abella, she's pretty alright as well.

 

Re cases that 1Ls should read, the easiest ones the come to mind are any timely criminal appeals to the SCC as well as anything contract related written by Denning. The timely criminal ones because they're interesting, the legal issues at play are somewhat relatable in that they have to do with state checks on human behaviour, and are far more interesting than something like an SCC decision on remedial constructive trusts. Denning in contract because he's easy to read, a lot of his decisions espouse principles that you'll encounter in 1L, and contract law is one of the easiest to understand. As well, I just really enjoy shouting at ticket dispensers.

 

A partial list off the top of my head:

 

R v Fearon, Carter v Canada (AG), R v Morgentaler [1988], Donoghue v Stevenson, Brown v Board of Education (brilliant legal writing), Thornton v Shoe Lane Parking

 

I don't know, I think some of the family law remedial constructive trust cases are accessible and interesting. For example, Pettkus v Becker is pretty easy to follow (I think? I may have lost perspective).

 

Some others that might be interesting:

 

Childs v Desormeaux (re whether social hosts are liable for their guests' drunk driving)

Norberg v Winryb (re consent to sex in doctor-patient relationtionship)

Crookes v Newton (re liability for posting internet links to defamatory content)

R v Gladue (re sentencing of Aboriginal offenders)

R v Latimer (re defence of necessity in a mercy killing)

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Just no Laskin judgments! I can never follow him haha.

 

I just want to give a caution - some of the cases cited will be the full decisions rather than the excerpts you normally read. I haven't read a lot of the full ones on Canlii but normally they are 30-60+ pages when in class we only read something like 5 pages. 

 

I support this fully though, I would have preferred to read a few shorter and simpler cases instead of stressing so much about it the first few weeks. 

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Just no Laskin judgments! I can never follow him haha.

 

I just want to give a caution - some of the cases cited will be the full decisions rather than the excerpts you normally read. I haven't read a lot of the full ones on Canlii but normally they are 30-60+ pages when in class we only read something like 5 pages. 

 

I support this fully though, I would have preferred to read a few shorter and simpler cases instead of stressing so much about it the first few weeks. 

 

Good point. 0Ls, when you read a case, you can usually feel free to skip to the good bits. When reading a case:

 

(1) Read the intro so that you know what question the case is trying to answer.

 

(2) Skim the facts with that question in mind. Skip over any details that you can abstract away from.* For example, suppose the question is this: "When does an intervening act break the chain of causation?" You'll want to read enough facts to glean that:

  • A company produced a batch of faulty medical widgets.
  • A surgeon inserted one of these faulty widgets into a patient who had specifically denied consent to its insertion.
  • The faulty widget exploded and the patient died.

You don't need to know specific technical details about:

  • What the medical widgets do;
  • What was wrong with the faulty widgets;
  • What process resulted in the widgets being faulty;
  • When and in what hospital these events occurred.

And so on. So when you see unimportant technical details, you skim over them until you find facts you care about.

 

*Feel free to make an exception if the facts are juicy and entertaining.

 

(3) If the case has a section setting out all the relevant statutory provisions, skip over it. The judge will probably explain what's important from those provisions. You can refer back to the provisions later as needed. It is a waste of time to read through long statutory provisions without any context explaining why they matter.

 

(4) If there's a section summarizing the lower court decisions, skip over that too. Again, you can refer back to it if you need to.

 

(5) When the judge is canvassing prior case law relating to a legal doctrine, just skim to get the general gist. But slow down and actually  read (a) any quotations the judge endorses and (b) the part where the judge sums up and draws conclusions.

 

(6) Skip over discussions of legal issues you don't care about. Just read the first and last paragraphs of those sections so that you know how the issue is resolved.

 

(7) Read the final conclusion to find out the result.

 

(8) If there's a dissent or a concurring decision, read it if (a) the majority decision pissed you off, (b) you feel like nerding out about a particular legal doctrine, or [c] it is written by a judge with an entertaining writing style.

Edited by omph
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Great tutorial. To #8, I would maybe add: if the court is really divided. Maybe.

 

Thanks, I should have mentioned that! That is probably the most important reason. 

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I don't know, I think some of the family law remedial constructive trust cases are accessible and interesting. For example, Pettkus v Becker is pretty easy to follow (I think? I may have lost perspective).

 

Some others that might be interesting:

 

Childs v Desormeaux (re whether social hosts are liable for their guests' drunk driving)

Norberg v Winryb (re consent to sex in doctor-patient relationtionship)

Crookes v Newton (re liability for posting internet links to defamatory content)

R v Gladue (re sentencing of Aboriginal offenders)

R v Latimer (re defence of necessity in a mercy killing)

You're right. The case isn't bad and that one in particular is somewhat important. I just hate property. HATE property

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Hi there.  Thank you very much for all the information thus far.

 

I was just curious if you could speak to the scholarship/bursary application process?

 

My understanding from what I found on the forum is that the application will be sent out with the acceptance package, which I was told would be sent out sometime in April (so soon I guess).  Is that what happened last year?  If so, can you recall the application deadline?  And then finally, at what point did you or your 1L classmates find out about the awards you received?

 

Thanks again.

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Hi there.  Thank you very much for all the information thus far.

 

I was just curious if you could speak to the scholarship/bursary application process?

 

My understanding from what I found on the forum is that the application will be sent out with the acceptance package, which I was told would be sent out sometime in April (so soon I guess).  Is that what happened last year?  If so, can you recall the application deadline?  And then finally, at what point did you or your 1L classmates find out about the awards you received?

 

Thanks again.

 

My recollection was initial forms were due mid June, but you had to forward your student loan assessment later on in the summer as well (usually not available till closer to September).  I can't remember when you find out about scholarships/bursaries, but I believe it is late in the first semester.

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Could anyone speak about the Aboriginal Law Students' Association (e.g., how active they are, how many members there are, what kinds of events or activities they hold etc.) and more generally about courses related to indigenous legal issues?

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Could anyone speak about the Aboriginal Law Students' Association (e.g., how active they are, how many members there are, what kinds of events or activities they hold etc.) and more generally about courses related to indigenous legal issues?

You could email the president of the club if you have specific questions. Just remember that exams are up and running until the end of next week so it might be good to wait till after then.

 

https://lawschool.ualberta.ca/student-resources/get-involved

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Hi there. Thank you very much for all the information thus far.

 

I was just curious if you could speak to the scholarship/bursary application process?

 

My understanding from what I found on the forum is that the application will be sent out with the acceptance package, which I was told would be sent out sometime in April (so soon I guess). Is that what happened last year? If so, can you recall the application deadline? And then finally, at what point did you or your 1L classmates find out about the awards you received?

 

Thanks again.

So I think if you got entrance scholarships awarded at the discretion of the faculty without your having applied to them, you find out soonish. For the awards you have to apply for, applications are due in May or June -- I forget because I categorize deadlines solely as "before exams" or "after exams."

 

Bursaries are separate. You don't apply for those until August (and you need to have applied for government loans first). They ignore you for months, then send you a surprise email in December about how many monies they are giving you.

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With that being said, I'd still love to here from anyone else who browses the forum and can provide some insight.

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Could anyone speak about the Aboriginal Law Students' Association (e.g., how active they are, how many members there are, what kinds of events or activities they hold etc.) and more generally about courses related to indigenous legal issues?

 

Aboriginal law isn't an area I'm particularly interested, so I can only offer an outsiders prospective on these topics. The club is fairly large I believe, and meetings are fairly well attended, even by non-executive. For the other clubs I'm in, we've typically had only one or two non-exec show up to meetings and really get involved. They did a speaker series this year and had a week where there was a different talk every day. Other than that, I can't tell you too much. 

 

For courses specifically on aboriginal topics we had Aboriginal Peoples and the Law, First Nations Negotiations, and this year we had a First Nations and Natural Resources course (it was mostly online, taught by a prof at U of S, so I'm not sure if it's going to continue).

 

Other classes like Environmental Law, Natural Resources Law, Negotiations, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Water Law are paper classes and would easily lend themselves to researching and writing on topics in that area.

 

There's also a section on Aboriginal law in Constitutional, Property, Foundations (possibly depending on the prof), Oil and Gas, and Constitutional Litigation, although those classes tend to just review the same handful of cases. Constitutional Litigation is a moot class, and I believe there's usually an Aboriginal topic available.

 

Aboriginal Peoples and the Law I heard was almost entirely class presentations. Personally I feel if I'm paying to take a class I want to get the prof's thoughts, rather than only hear from students, but maybe that works for some people?

Edited by zircorn

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From this forum and the Welcome day I've noticed that Rugby and Hockey seem like the most popular sports amongst the student (law) body. I like watching both but have limited desire to actually play either, that being said I don't want to pass up an opportunity to meet people especially upper years, and make connections etc. Would not joining either of these teams be a mistake? The golf tournament I am totally down for but Rugby is super physical and I cant skate... like at all.

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From this forum and the Welcome day I've noticed that Rugby and Hockey seem like the most popular sports amongst the student (law) body. I like watching both but have limited desire to actually play either, that being said I don't want to pass up an opportunity to meet people especially upper years, and make connections etc. Would not joining either of these teams be a mistake? The golf tournament I am totally down for but Rugby is super physical and I cant skate... like at all.

 

It won't be a mistake. There are other things you can do. Just be involved in a variety of things and you are fine. Also there are two hockey teams, the litigators are purposely designed for people with less experience so you could try it out. Also, rugby season goes for like 2 months anyways. But yea, you can easily do other things so don't worry about it.

 

I won't deny that these sports team do help a fair amount with connections but they are by no means essential. 

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From this forum and the Welcome day I've noticed that Rugby and Hockey seem like the most popular sports amongst the student (law) body. I like watching both but have limited desire to actually play either, that being said I don't want to pass up an opportunity to meet people especially upper years, and make connections etc. Would not joining either of these teams be a mistake? The golf tournament I am totally down for but Rugby is super physical and I cant skate... like at all.

This perfectly describes my sports interests/capabilities as well.

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Seems to me like there are many diverse clubs and activities. Hockey and rugby are sports and so the most visible, plus probably the most membership overall sports activity wise. I personally wouldn’t do either due to risk of injury since they are contact sports. Law show probably has more participants and people involved than both rugby and hockey combined. I was interested in about 3-6 different niche clubs and specific activities, but they’re not rugby, hockey, or law show. As for networking, industry specific clubs would be something like energy law club, business law club, environmental law club, etc. So I think there is something for everyone and you shouldn’t join something just because it seems like the most popular thing to do. Join and do something that truly interests you personally.

 

2014 Law Clubs & Teams Inventory

https://lawschool.ualberta.ca/student-resources/get-involved

Edited by StudentLife
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So hockey and rugby but no basketball or baseball... Guess my sports aren't represented !

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