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Becoming a lawyer.....Wetcoaster?


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#151 literaphile

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 07:19 AM

Maybe to preserve INTEGRITY the lawyers should be smart enough to TELL the client that they are being silly or frivolous instead of taking the case and collecting their paycheck. Of course that would never be an option, considering the lack of integrity to start with.


Of course lawyers tell their clients. That's what I meant by "advise on the best course of action" - or did you not read that far?

As you've just displayed, knee-jerk reactions and poor comprehension of the issues are what drive a lot of client requests.
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#152 Scott Hartnell's Mane

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 07:21 AM

Of course lawyers tell their clients. That's what I meant by "advise on the best course of action" - or did you not read that far?

As you've just displayed, knee-jerk reactions and poor comprehension of the issues are what drive a lot of client requests.


Ok..so after you've advised your client that their lawsuit is stupid...if you accept the case if they continue to want to press the charges what does that say about YOUR integrity? Ok I'll admit some bias here. I had a run in with the law over LSD in Florida several years ago. I spent some time in jail because my public defender (as I had no money to afford a REAL lawyer) didn't even show up for two of my court dates. If clients don't have the money to afford COMPETENT legal counsel...I guess they're just screwed, right? So you really only provide a service for those who can afford it...and the people who REALLY need you...who REALLY have a problem...are stuck with some two bit Public Defender..Yeah..that's fair.

Edited by Scott Hartnell's Mane, 23 April 2013 - 07:29 AM.

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Well I tell you what Heretic..if Tim Tebow becomes Terry Bradshaw I will shave off all my hair, convert to Christianity, go into the ministry and become a preacher.


#153 literaphile

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 07:30 AM

Ok..so after you've advised your client that their lawsuit is stupid...if you accept the case if they continue to want to press the charges what does that say about YOUR integrity?


First, clients don't "press charges" in Canada. You're confusing criminal actions, in which the accused is charged with a crime, with civil actions, in which one party initiates an action (or "sues") another party.

Second, no, you'll find that very rarely does a truly frivolous case make it out of the lawyer's office. A lawyer should not proceed with a case that he knows has no merits, since it's a waste of everyone's time and money. But, of course, if you have specific examples to the contrary, please share them.

Finally, It seems that your view of the legal system is based primarily on the popular image of the American system and its portrayal in TV courtroom dramas. In order to gain a better understanding of the legal system in Canada, I'd suggest that: (1) you stop watching those shows, and (2) you do some research into our legal system.

Why don't you go down to your local courthouse and watch some trials? Then you'll truly see how lawyers carry themselves. You'll find that, unlike on American TV (and, indeed, many real American courtrooms), Canadian lawyers by and large act with the utmost civility and integrity, right down to what we call the opposing lawyer ("friend").
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#154 Scott Hartnell's Mane

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 07:32 AM

First, clients don't "press charges" in Canada. You're confusing criminal actions, in which the accused is charged with a crime, with civil actions, in which one party initiates an action (or "sues") another party.

Second, no, you'll find that very rarely does a truly frivolous case make it out of the lawyer's office. A lawyer should not proceed with a case that he knows has no merits, since it's a waste of everyone's time and money. But, of course, if you have specific examples to the contrary, please share them.

Finally, It seems that your view of the legal system is based primarily on the popular image of the American system and its portrayal in TV courtroom dramas. In order to gain a better understanding of the legal system in Canada, I'd suggest that: (1) you stop watching those shows, and (2) you do some research into our legal system.

Why don't you go down to your local courthouse and watch some trials? Then you'll truly see how lawyers carry themselves. You'll find that, unlike on American TV (and, indeed, many real American courtrooms), Canadian lawyers by and large act with the utmost civility and integrity, right down to what we call the opposing lawyer ("friend").


"Our" legal system? I'm American, dude. Canadian court proceedings are meaningless to me.
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Well I tell you what Heretic..if Tim Tebow becomes Terry Bradshaw I will shave off all my hair, convert to Christianity, go into the ministry and become a preacher.


#155 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 07:39 AM

It didn't go over his head - he simply didn't bother responding to your inane, futile arguments. Why I did is beyond me - maybe I wanted to give myself a headache?

If you want to know why many people have a negative opinion of lawyers, here's what I think: some lawyers in some areas of practice are unfairly prejudiced because people confuse clients with lawyers. Remember, lawyers are in the service industry: we carry out the requests of our customers. The lawyers may be the face of the battle, but the clients are the ones picking the fights, choosing the stances, and ultimately calling the shots. As lawyers, we can advise on the best course of action, but, at the end of the day, the client decides what we do.

So, I'd suggest that you instead focus on clients as "the problem", not lawyers. If we didn't have so many people wanting to sue over this or that, pursue silly or frivolous actions, etc., lawyers would attract far less attention and would have a far better reputation.


Mate , i am futile and inane and yet you still keep replying to me , i hope you feel better soon.
And your rationale blaming lawyers bad reputation on their clients is freakin hilarious , maybe if lawyers did not have Adds on TV encouraging people to sue for BS reasons ,then just maybe people might sue less for BS reasons
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The Real war is not between the east and the west. The real war is between intelligent and stupid people.

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That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.

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#156 literaphile

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 07:54 AM

"Our" legal system? I'm American, dude. Canadian court proceedings are meaningless to me.


This is a Canadian website. I'm a Canadian lawyer. Your legal proceedings are irrelevant to me.
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#157 Scott Hartnell's Mane

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 07:55 AM

This is a Canadian website. I'm a Canadian lawyer. Your legal proceedings are irrelevant to me.


Yeah...there's no unwritten rule that says "Only Canadians May Post On CDC"

Edited by debluvscanucks, 23 April 2013 - 08:38 AM.

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Well I tell you what Heretic..if Tim Tebow becomes Terry Bradshaw I will shave off all my hair, convert to Christianity, go into the ministry and become a preacher.


#158 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 08:03 AM

This is a Canadian website. I'm a Canadian lawyer. Your legal proceedings are irrelevant to me.


One thing that seems irrelvant to lawyers the world over is justice , all lawyers are interested in is the letter of the law and this often fails to provide justice.
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The Real war is not between the east and the west. The real war is between intelligent and stupid people.

Marjane Satrapi

tony-abbott-and-stephen-harper-custom-da

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.

Aldous Huxley.


#159 The Arrogant Worms

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 08:09 AM

What is it like to be so bitter anyways?
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#160 aeromotacanucks

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 08:11 AM

This is a Canadian website. I'm a Canadian lawyer. Your legal proceedings are irrelevant to me.


typical lawyer. always thinking he/she is better than anybody...
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Shup up and fly! you´re not payed to think, you´re payed to fly!

#161 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 08:22 AM

What is it like to be so bitter anyways?


I do not know , i live an incredibly good life , doing something i love most days , but this does not stop me from pointing out and providing evidence that lawyers are despised.
And if you had seen the person you love the most driven almost to despair by a corrupt lawyer , TWICE , i do not think you would be a happy camper.

Edited by The Ratiocinator, 23 April 2013 - 08:23 AM.

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The Real war is not between the east and the west. The real war is between intelligent and stupid people.

Marjane Satrapi

tony-abbott-and-stephen-harper-custom-da

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.

Aldous Huxley.


#162 debluvscanucks

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 08:38 AM

NOTE: this thread is NOT an excuse for a barrage of personal attacks so please, stick to the topic at hand (which was simply asking for positive feedback/advice). If you have nothing to offer in that respect then please don't bother.

Warnings will be issued from this point on...
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#163 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 08:55 AM

Let us be clear i never personally attacked anyone ,unless calling some one a drip constitutes a personal attack on this forum.
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The Real war is not between the east and the west. The real war is between intelligent and stupid people.

Marjane Satrapi

tony-abbott-and-stephen-harper-custom-da

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.

Aldous Huxley.


#164 literaphile

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 09:02 AM

I do not know , i live an incredibly good life , doing something i love most days , but this does not stop me from pointing out and providing evidence that lawyers are despised.
And if you had seen the person you love the most driven almost to despair by a corrupt lawyer , TWICE , i do not think you would be a happy camper.


So from the actions of "a" corrupt lawyer you conclude that they're all bad?

I was misdiagnosed by a doctor once. Hence, all doctors are idiots.
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#165 La Mauviette75

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 09:59 AM

well, as exemplified by this thread, before becoming a lawyer you should understand that many people will view your profession negatively. they will attack your integrity solely based on your job. you have to be able to brush these attacks off.

i think it's the price to pay for having such an adversarial legal system. i certainly witnessed much less animosity toward lawyers in several European countries.
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#166 Jägermeister

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 11:04 AM

I've had to deal with an sleaze-ball lawyer before (Good ol' ICBC), but that certainly doesn't mean that I think all lawyers are guilty by association. One bad apple does not spoil the bunch.

Same with cops, just because a few police officers go out and abuse their power, doesn't mean they all do.

Sadly it is just the ones who do abuse their power/screw people over who resonate in our minds more. Everybody remembers the big scandal that one lawyer/police officer was a part of, but only a select few remember the countless positive contributions that members of that same group have made.
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#167 taxi

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 11:20 AM

I've had to deal with an sleaze-ball lawyer before (Good ol' ICBC), but that certainly doesn't mean that I think all lawyers are guilty by association. One bad apple does not spoil the bunch.

Same with cops, just because a few police officers go out and abuse their power, doesn't mean they all do.

Sadly it is just the ones who do abuse their power/screw people over who resonate in our minds more. Everybody remembers the big scandal that one lawyer/police officer was a part of, but only a select few remember the countless positive contributions that members of that same group have made.


I deal with ICBC lawyers all day. Most are good people. They are, however, taking instructions from ICBC, which is very much a profit motivated company.
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#168 Jägermeister

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 11:38 AM

I deal with ICBC lawyers all day. Most are good people. They are, however, taking instructions from ICBC, which is very much a profit motivated company.


Definitely profit motivated. They were trying to rip me off no doubt about it.
2 days after I entered my case, they tell me it was 100% my fault and that I wouldn't be getting any money (I got run over in a hotel driveway, standing a foot off the curb with my back turned to the car... like what?).
Phoned the lawyer in charge of my case at least a dozen times over the next month for clarification and never got a response.
He was basically just ignoring me hoping that I would let it go.

Luckily I got a lawyer for myself, and she got a hold of him within just a few days (proving that he was just ignoring my calls).
She was actually able to get me more money than I had previously asked for, even after I paid the legal fees.

But like I said, the actions of that one lawyer for ICBC does not represent the profession as a whole.

Edited by Jägermeister, 23 April 2013 - 11:39 AM.

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#169 taxi

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 12:01 PM

Definitely profit motivated. They were trying to rip me off no doubt about it.
2 days after I entered my case, they tell me it was 100% my fault and that I wouldn't be getting any money (I got run over in a hotel driveway, standing a foot off the curb with my back turned to the car... like what?).
Phoned the lawyer in charge of my case at least a dozen times over the next month for clarification and never got a response.
He was basically just ignoring me hoping that I would let it go.

Luckily I got a lawyer for myself, and she got a hold of him within just a few days (proving that he was just ignoring my calls).
She was actually able to get me more money than I had previously asked for, even after I paid the legal fees.

But like I said, the actions of that one lawyer for ICBC does not represent the profession as a whole.


Lawyers have very little power at ICBC these days. They take instructions from adjusters who take instructions from their managers. The lawyer would not have been able to help you even if he had wanted to. The lawyer was probably avoiding you, because it would be a waste of both of your time. Once you hire a lawyer, your file will usually be shuffled into a different department and the lawyer will get new instructions.
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#170 Wetcoaster

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 01:20 PM

Maybe to preserve INTEGRITY the lawyers should be smart enough to TELL the client that they are being silly or frivolous instead of taking the case and collecting their paycheck. Of course that would never be an option, considering the lack of integrity to start with.

Again as literaphile notes - there is a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of lawyers in our system. Clients give the instructions - and lawyers carry them out. We are duty bound to do so unless the instructions are prohibited by law. Although you can counsel a client against what may be perceived as a frivolous action, that determination ultimately rests in the hands of a court.

As required by the Canons of Legal Ethics in respect of criminal matters:

It is a lawyer’s right to undertake the defence of a person accused of crime, regardless of the lawyer’s own personal opinion as to the guilt of the accused. Having undertaken such defence, the lawyer is bound to present, by all fair and honourable means and in a manner consistent with the client’s instructions, every defence that the law of the land permits, to the end that no person will be convicted except by due process of law.


Lawyers do not get to disclose such things because of the existence of solicitor-client privilege. Even if a client confesses to a crime, a lawyer is duty bound to ensure that the Crown proves every element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. In such a case what a lawyer cannot do is permit the client who has confessed to take the witness stand and deny the crime to which the client has previously confessed. If a client insists on taking the stand, then the lawyer must withdraw but he is still bound by solicitor-client privilege and cannot disclose the reason for his withdrawal.

In fact there is case law in BC that established the principle that even if a judge demands a reason for a lawyer's withdrawal during a trial, he cannot answer such a question if it goes to the merits of the case or would prejudice the client. To do so would be a breach of privilege.

And once a lawyer is retained he is not permitted to terminate the representation Although the client has the right to terminate the lawyer-client relationship at will, a lawyer does not enjoy the same freedom of action. Having undertaken the representation of a client, the lawyer should complete the task as ably as possible unless there is justifiable cause for terminating the relationship. It is inappropriate for a lawyer to withdraw on capricious or arbitrary grounds.

As literaphile noted much of the public perception is because the public simply is unaware of the various ethical and legal obligations upon counsel.
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To err is human - but to really screw up you need a computer.

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#171 Wetcoaster

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 01:28 PM

Definitely profit motivated. They were trying to rip me off no doubt about it.
2 days after I entered my case, they tell me it was 100% my fault and that I wouldn't be getting any money (I got run over in a hotel driveway, standing a foot off the curb with my back turned to the car... like what?).
Phoned the lawyer in charge of my case at least a dozen times over the next month for clarification and never got a response.
He was basically just ignoring me hoping that I would let it go.

Luckily I got a lawyer for myself, and she got a hold of him within just a few days (proving that he was just ignoring my calls).
She was actually able to get me more money than I had previously asked for, even after I paid the legal fees.

But like I said, the actions of that one lawyer for ICBC does not represent the profession as a whole.

ICBC's lawyer is not your lawyer - he represents ICBC. There is an obligation for ICBC's lawyer to return the calls of his/her own client or that of another lawyer but not you.

Basic rule of thumb - do not go up against ICBC without your own lawyer.

I know because when I articled for a large firm 25+ years back we often represented ICBC as outside counsel and I was always astounded why people would choose to not retain their own counsel. A lawyer representing ICBC has a duty to ICBC, not you.
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To err is human - but to really screw up you need a computer.

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

Illegitimi non carborundum.

Never try to teach a pig to sing - it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

#172 literaphile

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 01:42 PM

ICBC's lawyer is not your lawyer - he represents ICBC. There is an obligation for ICBC's lawyer to return the calls of his/her own client or that of another lawyer but not you.

Basic rule of thumb - do not go up against ICBC without your own lawyer.

I know because when I articled for a large firm 25+ years back we often represented ICBC as outside counsel and I was always astounded why people would choose to not retain their own counsel. A lawyer representing ICBC has a duty to ICBC, not you.


Yes - and the firms representing ICBC are usually intensely specialized and very, very good (I'm thinking of one in particular here in Victoria). They litigate ICBC claims all day every day, so if you don't have a lawyer to go against them, you're basically toast.
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#173 taxi

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 01:43 PM

ICBC's lawyer is not your lawyer - he represents ICBC. There is an obligation for ICBC's lawyer to return the calls of his/her own client or that of another lawyer but not you.

Basic rule of thumb - do not go up against ICBC without your own lawyer.

I know because when I articled for a large firm 25+ years back we often represented ICBC as outside counsel and I was always astounded why people would choose to not retain their own counsel. A lawyer representing ICBC has a duty to ICBC, not you.


Not entirely true.

There are various instances where a lawyer must communicate with an unrepresented litigant.

But yes, I'd always recommend getting a lawyer when going up against ICBC. ICBC does not do a very good job of informing people that they represent only the defendant once a claim is made.
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#174 Wetcoaster

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 01:45 PM

Yes - and the firms representing ICBC are usually intensely specialized and very, very good (I'm thinking of one in particular here in Victoria). They litigate ICBC claims all day every day, so if you don't have a lawyer to go against them, you're basically toast.

The old joke among personal injury lawyers in BC:

There are two great lies in the world.

The cheque is in the mail; and

Hi I am your ICBC adjuster - I am on your side.

:lol:
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To err is human - but to really screw up you need a computer.

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

Illegitimi non carborundum.

Never try to teach a pig to sing - it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

#175 taxi

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 01:47 PM

Also, to comment on the idea that "law is knowledge" that anyone can learn. That's simply not true. Law is also practice and experience, like any other profession. I can look up how to do my own electrical work online. I probably shouldn't do it myself though, due to total lack of experience and training.
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#176 Wetcoaster

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 01:47 PM

Not entirely true.

There are various instances where a lawyer must communicate with an unrepresented litigant.

But yes, I'd always recommend getting a lawyer when going up against ICBC. ICBC does not do a very good job of informing people that they represent only the defendant once a claim is made.

Once you have filed suit as a self-represented litigant then that would be the case but not in any prior negotiations as here.
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To err is human - but to really screw up you need a computer.

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

Illegitimi non carborundum.

Never try to teach a pig to sing - it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

#177 Wetcoaster

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 01:56 PM

Also, to comment on the idea that "law is knowledge" that anyone can learn. That's simply not true. Law is also practice and experience, like any other profession. I can look up how to do my own electrical work online. I probably shouldn't do it myself though, due to total lack of experience and training.

A fundamental error by many people. It is all about experience and expertise, not just knowledge.

Heck having a law degree (even from Harvard) and no litigation experience can lead to you getting run over by a real litigator as Brian Burke learned during the Krutov arbitration.

Burke is dumb (legally speaking) as he clearly demonstrated when tried to play at being a litigator during the Krutov arbitration in Stockholm, just having a law degree does not mean that you are a lawyer. He never should have fired the Canucks very able legal counsel (Owen, Bird) and took over the case. He was an unmitigated disaster. He did not have a clue about the most basic contract law principles.

Burke completely screwed up that case and missed a patently obvious defence as Dr. Julius Wetter, the arbitrator noted in his written decision... "since counsel for the Respondent did not argue this, I cannot consider it." :lol: Judge speak for "what a maroon".

Mind you Pat Quinn who also has a law degree was not much better and when he tried to play the poor country bumpkin taken in by those dastardly Soviets and forced to sign Krutov for more money than he was authorized ("they had a gun to my head" - yes he did say that :picard: ) and professed a complete lack of knowledge of contract law claiming these were the only two contracts (Larionov and Krutov) that he had ever negotiated. When it was put to him that he had in fact graduated with a law degree and he admitted that he had in fact taken contract law courses, the Arbitrator was somewhat taken aback... and then the whole Quinngate mess was rolled out when he proclaimed he was as honest as the day is long.

Check out the Vancouver Province newspaper archives as excerpts from the arbitration transcripts were published under the byline of Tony Gallagher. Much hilarity and leaves you wondering how Burke and Quinn can walk and chew gum at the same time.

Edited by Wetcoaster, 23 April 2013 - 01:57 PM.

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To err is human - but to really screw up you need a computer.

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

Illegitimi non carborundum.

Never try to teach a pig to sing - it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

#178 taxi

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 01:58 PM

Once you have filed suit as a self-represented litigant then that would be the case but not in any prior negotiations as here.


Debatable...You could argue that two potential litigants have a duty to at least attemp to negotiate prior to filing a suit. Anything less could be considered a frivolous law suit.
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#179 Wetcoaster

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 02:02 PM

Debatable...You could argue that two potential litigants have a duty to at least attemp to negotiate prior to filing a suit. Anything less could be considered a frivolous law suit.

You could argue it but as I read the BC Law Society Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia - I can find no such positive duty for an ICBC lawyer to take the calls of a claimant.
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#180 taxi

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 02:04 PM

You could argue it but as I read the BC Law Society Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia - I can find no such positive duty for an ICBC lawyer to take the calls of a claimant.


I'll review this. I don't think the law society encourages potential litigants to avoid all communication prior to a law suit though.
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