Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Another Interesting Tidbit for Papers


This one is something I've been thinking about for awhile ... I have the Lisa spin already going in my mind ... hmmmmm ...

Maclean's Response

Maclean's on the CBA Rebuttal:

Philip Slayton (original interviewee that sparked the controversy) Rebuttal:

Six String Nation

A co-worker of mine came back today after being off to volunteer for the Calgary Folk Fest that just wrapped up here in Calgary.

He told me about the coolest thing EVER.

THIS amazing guitar made an appearance at the folk fest, and you can read all about it here.


An amazing construction of Canadian landmarks and history, this guitar includes pieces such as a log from Jack London's cabin, a piece of L.M. Montgomery's house in PEI, a sliver of gold from Maurice Richard's Stanley cup ring ... it's a spectacular read, I HIGHLY suggest you check it out!!!

Interesting Article

I found this article at Law Times:

Men, women judges vote differently; Study shows party that appoints jurist also affects way criminal cases can go by Helen Burnett

Hardly surprising, but with the fact that I'll be writing papers this year at the forefront of my mind, could be an interesting tidbit to keep in mind.

CBA's Rebuttal Continues and Saskatoon Real Estate

The Canadian Bar Association's rebuttal to the Maclean's August 6th cover story about lawyers continues.

Page A11 of the National Post (July 30th) featured an article by James Morton (President of the OBA and member of the CBA Board of Directors) called "An inexcusable smear on lawyers". James Morton also got to be on the Charles Adler radio show (I friggin' love Charles Adler ... I know he's a bit of a nut, but he's such a lovable nut).

Here's some of the article (click the link above to read the rest):

In my years as a lawyer, I have seen many things. These include a (very) few lawyers who intentionally lied about their billing, slept with a client or defrauded someone. Where discovered, those lawyers have been disbarred and, in some cases, sent to jail. That's how our system works: If a lawyer breaks the law or the professional code of conduct, he or she is punished just like everyone else.

The distorted, one-sided cover story in Maclean's this week is an insult to the country's legal profession. One can only hope it isn't a trend. Bankers, architects, engineers, dentists, accountants - who will be targeted by the next smear campaign? I suppose we should keep our eyes on the cover of coming issues of Maclean's to find

While I understand that Maclean's magazine is in the business of making money, I find it just hilarious that, as per an e-mail send out to CBA members by J. Parker MacCarthy:

Despite our request for space to refute the article, Maclean’s has only agreed to publish a short letter to the editor from the CBA in the next edition. I am sending the letter today. I am also speaking to The Lawyers Weekly today and will continue to schedule media interviews to refute the outrageous accusations contained in the original article.

So ... obviously Maclean's is loving every minute of this. Should be interesting to follow this story, and see where it all ends up.

As for my weekend, Jason and I drove to Saskatoon Friday night after work. MAN is that a long drive. We got into Saskatoon at about 11:30 PM or so, and crashed hard (into our bed). We had an appointment with a Realtor on Saturday, and spent the day looking at different properties.

I am FLABBERGASTED when it comes to the real estate market in Saskatoon. I am absolutely floored. The houses that we looked at were SOOOOO expensive, and were older homes that really need to be gutted and redone. I kept wondering how the heck Saskatoon could possibly sustain this real estate market, when the city itself (in terms of industry) doesn't seem to be going through a proportional boom. Salaries are nowhere near comparable to Calgary salaries, and while people are starting to move back to Saskatoon, my impression is that it's more young families and older retirees that are making the trek back ... hardly people in their prime earning years (or earning years at all in the case of the latter).

I found this blog (an excellent resource) by Saskatoon Real Estate agent Norm Fisher while doing some searching last night, and it shows that my shock is well placed:

Saskatoon Real Estate Resource Centre Blog

These articles in particular sum it up:

The other side of the boom: collateral effects of a changed Saskatoon real estate market
Housing affordability deteriorates nationally, but most sharply in Saskatoon

Another thing that was surprising is that many of the homes that are for sale accept bids only through a presentation of offers (usually via your real estate agent) on a particular night. This seems to create an atmosphere much like bidding for tenders, as you don't know what anyone else (if anyone at all) is going to bid. When Calgary was going through the CRAZY upswing over the last two years in their real estate market, I had heard of this kind of thing going on, but more commonly I heard about auction-style bidding, where buyers were present and could see what other people/bids were in contention.

On the blog mentioned above, there's a whole article addressing some issues that arise for agents from scenarios as described:

The ethics of "bidding" for Saskatoon real estate

Last weekend, we were told that a house we looked at, that was listed for X$, had a market value of X+10K or X+15K, as most places in Saskatoon were being overbid and purchased for above listed price (i.e. it was suggested that if we were to place a bid, that it be from $10K-$15K over list).

Needless to say, from an investment perspective, this is not the direction that we took.

If you peruse the Norm Fisher's blog, you can see that while there is still some overbidding going on, there are certainly still properties that sell for both under and at listing price. This is the category that Jason and I will belong to, if we buy anything at all in Saskatoon.

In a market that I'm not sure can sustain itself, why would I pay over list price when I'm only interested in a 2 year plan? If I was looking at investing over the long haul, I could see myself thinking differently. But ... there are neighbourhoods in Saskatoon, like East College Park (as per the Saskatoon Real Estate Resource Centre), where the average selling price of the homes takes hiccups from year to year. YIKES (for those of us wishing to invest for only two years).

Anyway, that's my rant for the day.

We still aren't sure where we're going to live this fall, or when we'll be able to move our household to Saskatoon, so we'll be making another trip to Saskatoon in the near future to scout out some more potential homes.

As for the rest of the weekend, we met some of my law buddies at O'Shea's, on the rooftop patio where there was a heavenly mister making our sweltering stay a little more bearable. It was so awesome to catch up with some of my classmates, and hear about the exciting things that they've been doing this summer. We hit Whiskey Jack's afterwards for some stellar karaoke performances (none by yours truly, though, since I was driving ... and it requires a little more than diet Pepsi to get this girl up and singing).

Sunday, we basically drove home. Yup. Long drive, no A/C and 34 degrees Celsius. Needless to say, it made us a little grumpy. We crashed when we got home (again, into bed).

Friday, July 27, 2007

I Always Knew It

I never could stand the taste of Aquafina, and here's an interesting article that clears it all up for me:

Pepsi Says Aquafina is Tap Water, CNNMoney.com

CBA Strikes Back

I don't know why the world seems to LOVE to characterize lawyers as bad people ... well ... actually ... I probably do know why. But to me, it's the same with all professions. There are dirt-bags everywhere, and unfortunately those that are the biggest wind-bags usually end up being the loudest ones that are mistakenly taken as a representation for all.

There are certainly some pretty amazing people in my class at U of S law, and I know that they're going to be amazing lawyers, community leaders, principled professionals, and people who genuinely care and give back to the community.

I guess that MacLeans magazine was looking to stir something up with their August 6th edition, when they interviewed Philip Slayton, author of Lawyers Gone Bad.

Nice to see that the CBA fires back with the July 26, 2007 press release below:

CBA condemns unfair characterization of lawyers in Maclean’s magazine

OTTAWA – The Canadian Bar Association has condemned in the strongest possible way the cover story in the Aug. 6 edition of Maclean’s magazine that paints a distorted, one-sided and sensationalized picture of the legal profession.

“By cherry-picking the worst cases of lawyer misconduct, the article has tarnished the reputation of thousands of professionals who are honest, hard-working, and community-minded people,” says CBA President J. Parker MacCarthy, Q.C. of Duncan, B.C. “Lawyers defend their clients’ interests on a daily basis, and there are countless examples of lawyers who provide pro bono legal services in their communities.”

The Maclean’s article is a broadside against the legal profession that doesn’t tell the whole story. In Canada, provincial law societies are vigilantly maintaining standards of professional conduct and disciplining lawyers who fail to meet them. Law societies look out for the interests of the public, by investigating complaints and taking necessary disciplinary action.

In those isolated cases when lawyers break the law, they are treated no differently than anyone else in society. “If they break the law, they are subject to the law and all its penalties,” says Parker MacCarthy.

Lawyers’ conduct is governed by strict and enforceable Codes of Conduct in each province and territory. The CBA’s model Code of Professional Conduct, updated in 2006, guides lawyers on many areas of their professional work including integrity, legal skill, discriminatory behaviour, conflict of interest, and confidentiality.

The CBA is a strong proponent of access to justice, or making the justice system more “user-friendly” to the average person. The association has lobbied for increased funding for civil legal aid for more than two decades. Its legal aid test case on the need for a constitutional right to civil legal aid for poor people is currently before the courts.

The Canadian Bar Association is dedicated to improvement in the law and the administration of justice. Some 37,000 lawyers, law teachers, and law students from across Canada are members.

I have to say, when there's a real story there, I have no problem with characterizing the bad guy as such. BUT ... there is real damage done when these kinds of broad, generally destructive, generalizations are allowed to propagate among the public ... for any profession.

I finished reading the 13th Stephanie Plum novel, Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich. Must say, I was sorely disappointed. Seems like Janet Evanovich had to crank this book out in a hurry, because there were no real plot developments beyond a formulaic adventure like all the other Plum novels. Too bad, I really like this series ... hopefully the next one will be better, since I'm not so turned off that I won't read that one too.

I would love to pick up a copy of Chambermaid: A Novel by Saira Rao, which I saw featured on the Precedent site. Seems that Rao clerked for a Judge down in the US, and this novel is "loosely" based on that experience. LOVE it. Can't wait to read it. This will probably be a Saskatoon read for the fall.

Also, my B-Day was this week, and I must say that I was rather spoiled. Thank you to all of my family and friends for making me feel SPESH on my day, when I've been feeling rather blue about having to move to Saskatoon (AGAIN, not that it'll be terrible, it's just that I miss being home with my family and friends ... ya know, and I'm finally at an age where b-days seem to be depressing ... the big 3 - 0 seems a little too close for my comfort now ... AND ... I find moving really stressful in general).

The folk fest is going on right now, here in Calgary, and my sisters both got to check it out last night. I'm a little jealous, I must admit.

Found this article, and found a new appreciation for Queen. Looks like Queen guitarist, Brian May, is finishing up his Ph.D. in Astrophysics. Must look up more on this guy. Looks like he co-wrote a book: Bang! The Complete History of the Universe, will have to look into it (before I switched into Computer Science, I majored in Astrophysics and I still have a passion for reading about it).

AND ... last, but not least, today is 2-for-1 Starbucks day at the hospital, and I got my venti vanilla latte for $2.00. YAY! Makes Fridays so much more bearable!

PS. I HATE using the blogger quotes feature. It always effs up my formatting. AURGH. May have to write their support. Puts in DIV tags all over the rest of my text. GERRR.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ahh HTML, We Meet Again

I've been creating a wedding website for a friend of mine, and I'm really excited about it. I'm doing some of it in Flash (I'm still learning about Flash, so it's pretty basic), some in plain ol' HTML ... but I ran into some problems. The page was displaying just fine in Mozilla's Firefox, but in Internet Explorer (version 6.0 in particular, it seemed), the frames were all hooped.

I scratched my head forever on this one, and couldn't figure it out. I was even looking through techie forums to try and figure out why this could be. I tried re-publishing my Flash source files and reloading them to my webserver, all to no avail.

Finally, last night I decided to go through my HTML code line by line, since I was DETERMINED to make this work. What did I find? I was missing an ">" character at the end of a line in one of my files. Yeah. Wow, hey? I had flashbacks to being in school during my undergrad, and let me tell you, it wasn't pretty.

So ... now it should be fixed, and I'm so happy. Now I can concentrate on getting the content up on it, since it should work for everyone.

If you want to check it out, it's right here:



PS. Lisa W - if you're reading this, I officially volunteer to do one for you too! Think about what you want, and we'll get going this fall (if you want, no pressure).


I always think about this word ... "irregardless". I sometimes hear it being used, I remember one high school physics teacher in particular that always used it, and it's always bothered me.

I read wikipedia's article on it today, and I still can't get it out of my head.

Be careful ... it's like the song that doesn't end if you're not careful ... the more you say it, the more it seems wrong ... irregardless ... irregardless ... irregardless.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Wow ... And ... I'm Ready For a Post

So ... I had a pretty good weekend, got to have dinner with friends in various B-Day celebrations, read Harry Potter, which my Mom pre-ordered for me and had delivered to my house early Saturday morning, and got to spend some QT with the fambily.

And ... now the chaos ensues.

We've begun to get ready for the move to Saskatoon, and my stress levels are already rising.

We've looked into some accommodation possibilities, I've made trips to the bank, and I'm trying to secure some moving boxes so that we can start packing up this entire house. I'm dreading all of it.

Also, I want to make sure that I'm able to spend some time with all my friends that I'll be (more or less) leaving behind for 2 years.

So much to do, so little time.

I'm going to have to make a list. I have clothes that I want tailored, shoes I need fixed, stuff I need recycled/given away/thrown out, a moving truck to book (which is hard to do without knowing where we'll be living, so this is causing me some stress).

AND ... I skipped soccer tonight because I'm feeling drained. I know. Soccer would make me feel better, I hear all of you, but I'm just drained. I'm going to have to call and offer some apologies tomorrow.

I got to go to the spa on Friday with my Mom, had a facial and a massage, and the facial has given me a friggin rash on my face. I'm still a little too upset to write about it.

I've been trying to figure out the balloting process, as well. I've picked all my classes, but there are some finer details regarding the balloting process that I need to have clarified for me by the College of Law. Hopefully tomorrow at work won't be quite so busy, and I'll be able to place the call to SK (actually, I don't even know if I'm allowed to make long distance calls - I'll have to ask about that one).

I also want to get my resume ready for the October summer job postings that will inevitably come up far too fast once school starts.


Been doing a lot of sighing lately. I can't wait for September when the sighing can take a break.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Read It, Loved It, Want to Read It Again

Yeah ... Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Loved. It.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Transfer Watch 2007 Has Ended

Lisa and Jason are moving to Saskatoon.

Yup ... did NOT get the transfer to the U of C. I'm not as upset as I thought I would be. I'm definitely disappointed, since I really love my home, I have truly valued being close to my family over the summer, since they are such a huge support system for me, and we have strong financial and community ties here ... but ... what can you do?

My decision to apply to transfer had nothing to do with U of S as a school or institution, so I am excited to return in the fall to a school that I love. Having Jason there with me should make for an easier time over the next few years, and we're looking at it as a two year adventure.

Especially appealing is the prospect of getting to enjoy the renovated version of the U of S law school that should be ready for the fall. I can't wait to get into the new building that I didn't know I'd get to see.

The thought of leaving Calgary for two years is the part I'm struggling with. Last year, I knew I was temporarily in Saskatoon, and I had a lot of weekend trips home. With a two year commitment to be in SK, I'm going to need a period of adjustment.

And now ... to organize a move. Double groan. How traumatic is moving? At least last year I only had to pack up one bedroomsworth (yes, it's a word, because I said so) of stuff. Now ... I have a whole entire house to pack up. Yuck!

Ah well. Such is life. Even though I'm not upset (which trust me, I wasn't expecting), I still feel like I may need some cheering up. Well ... not exactly cheering up ... more ... encouragement. Yeah ... I need people to encourage me that living in Saskatoon for 2 years will be fun, fabulous and exciting.

One thing that is for sure is that I can try and live a bit more of a normal life while I'm there, this time around. I had so many of my weekends occupied with trips home that my weekdays were beyond hectic. For the next two years I should be able to spread out some of the work I was doing during the week, and even sign up for a sports team or two (something I REALLY missed last year). I'm thinking curling ... or indoor soccer. AND ... yoga. I'd love to joining a yoga studio again, and actually get my moneysworth out of the membership fee.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Another Interesting Read

I stumbled across this article from the Globe and Mail while reading the Precedent today.

Fear not, I have no inclination to be a super-mom either ... although I don't know about the night nurse route ... it is interesting to see our generation of women doing what they have to do to make their lives work for them - and doing it guilt free!

Saw This, Had to Share

Was just reading the The Nibble (see sidebar), and saw this:


How hilarious/awesome is that? Joey - I'm so getting you one when you move out!

Am I an Emotional Wreck?

Sometimes, I suppose, but as a law student in Somewhere, USA, I would much more likely be an emotional wreck.

The Wall Street Journal Online's Law Blog from June 8, 2007 (by Peter Lattman) is below:


I read through a few of the comments, and they seem to cover a broad spectrum of perspectives ... some of them overlapping with my own. Interesting!

This is the study that spurned the Wall Street blog topic:


Gotta say, I like this Wall Street Journal's Law Blog. I scanned through it a little bit and found this article too, made me laugh out loud:


Found these blogs today, gonna take a spin through them and see if they're lucky enough to deserve spots on my illustrious sidebar:



Still no news. Still waiting patiently (heh heh heh), and ... really mad at Julie for going to Harry Potter without me. Mad.

Also, worried that I won't remember anything next fall. I feel like everything I've learned is slipping through my fingers. Yikes.

Tied our soccer game last night. It was crazy playing in the wicked humidity. While it didn't feel HOT HOT HOT out, it felt absolutely oppressive. We all sweat through our shirts, and then some. I don't mind humidity, but I must admit that I don't know how to cope with the copious sweating.

Did I mention that I love Dilly Bars?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Still Waiting for News

Transfer Watch 2007 is still in effect. Still haven't heard what my fate will be; Calgary (home) or Saskatoon (pack up and move). Sigh.

The weather in Calgary has been hot and humid, which is quite different for this area. I don't LOVE it (due to the uncontrollable sheen of sweat that seems to coat your body, and the unruly and misbehaving hair that results), but it's kind of neat stepping outside at night and feeling (almost) like you're in Cuba ... or at least near an ocean (as per my Lil' Sis).

Had a great weekend. Jason's brother and his girlfriend came up and hit the Stampede, and we got to meet up with them on the patio of the Ship & Anchor. Brought back memories of sitting there with a friend of ours who has since moved back to Newfoundland. Awww .... memories.

Also, I can't believe how much I the Calgary Public Library. Last night Julie and I dropped in to drop off some almost overdue books, pickup some of my holds, AND ... I grabbed this:

The Food Lover's Trail Guide to Alberta Volume 2

I've only had time to do some casual flipping so far, but there are all sorts of neat places in here that I can't wait to try. Makes me want to pick up Volume 1 as well.

Also, I'm starting to get Harry Potter fever. Bad. I get all breathless when I see ads etc. for the book. 4 more days. My B-Day is shortly after the release date, and I'm hoping that I'm lucky enough to receive the BOOK OF THE FREAKIN' YEAR!!!! I can't wait. The chest pain. The anticipation. I can't explain. I can't take it. You'll notice that there are no hyperlinks that are Harry related - I can't do any Harry googling, because I can't chance coming across a spoiler ... I really can't. It's far too meaningful, too personal ... it must remain pure and unknown. Sigh.

Last night I watched the first Harry Potter movie with Julie, Joe, and Jason. Just to get in the mood. I told friends that I'd wait a few weeks and go see the new Harry Potter movie with them then ... but I don't know if I can wait.

Also ... did you catch the Victoria Beckham Coming to America Special? Ahahahaha. Loved it. You can watch it all online if you missed it. I don't know why I love it SOOO much ... but I do. Maybe it's because we have a special U of S bond (as I posted about last December). Also - I want her hair. So bad. I covet it. Not so much her heels ... but her hair. MAJOR.

Why do I have to love Dairy Queen so much? It seems to be my Achilles' heel.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Dear Out-Of-Town Drivers

I see you driving around Calgary, with either your exotic license plates or with your freshly washed rental cars, and I know why you're here ... Stampede is a pretty cool time of year with a lot going on. I'm happy that you're visiting my fair city, in fact, I welcome you.

BUT ...

... when you notice the locals slowing down to the speed limit at what seems to be a random time on a long stretch of road, trust us that it's for a reason.

There are known spots where the Police will do radar, or where by-law officers will park their photo-radar vans, and we know where they are.

Over the last week, I've seen TONS of out-of-towners get busted for speeding, and it just doesn't have to be that way.

I don't have anything against speeding, but speed smart! Watch the locals ... and do as the Romans do. Trust us. It'll save you money, time, effort, and grief!!

Today, on Memorial Drive heading West, across from the river, I saw about 3 people get caught by a photo-radar van that I knew had to be there and had slowed down for. When the obvious out-of-towners whipped around me at about 70 km/h (I had slowed to the speed limit of 50 km/h), it pained me ... it hurt, especially when I saw the photo-radar van parked exactly where I knew it would be.

So visitors to Calgary, enjoy the Stampede, party it up, see what we have to offer, but PLAY SMART for goodness sakes ... help us ... help you.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Is Today Your Birthday?

If so, then head down to Krispy Kreme donuts for your free box of a dozen glazed hot ones, in celebration of their 70th Birthday today.

WOW and My Sore and Tired Arms

I've mentioned on this blog before that I play WOW (I know, it is a little computer nerdy ... but hey ... it is SOOOOOOOO fun, and I am a bit of a computer nerd). Well, this morning, my WOW world and my law school world collided in a spicy and delicious way.

In my inbox this morning was the Addendum (newsletter from the CBA). Among other interesting articles was this one:

Contracts in the MMO world by Chris Bennett and Andreas Lober


If I go back to Saskatchewan, one of the requirements for the law degree is that a minor paper and a major paper have to be completed. This article opened my eyes to the fact that my papers could be on a creative and interesting topics (on a personal level). Now ... I'm on the lookout for ideas that I could write my papers on!!!

As for the sore arms ... played beach volleyball last night, and I loved it. My arms are so sore, since I'm such a rookie that I only hit it correctly 1/8 times or so, but it was so much fun. Very party-ish kind of atmosphere, and all the teams that were playing had great attitudes, highly recommend this one!

Played ultimate Frisbee on Wednesday ... pretty exciting. The game was a LOT more running than I was expecting (more than soccer even, in my opinion), so I'm excited about the prospect at upping my endurance. I'm really excited about the team that we've put together, too. I think we'll have a lot of fun over the next few months ... but as newbies, I'm afraid that we may have some problems with winning games (we were trounced ... 0-8 in both of our games on Wednesday). Oh well, I think if we practice our Frisbee tossing a bit then we'll at least be able to put some points on the board next time.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Happy Birthday 7-11!

Make sure you hit a 7-11 store today (July 11th) to get your FREE SLURPEE!!!

Big News in Alberta

So, I haven't written about this at all yet, I was kind of waiting until I had shaped up some comments, and I think I'm ready now.

The April 2006 Medicine Hat slaying of a Mom, Dad, and Son has been especially horrific for Albertans to hear about due to the fact that the 12 year old (at the time) Daughter was charged with their three murders.

A bit of the back story is that the girl was dating 23 year old Jeremy Allan Steinke (also charged with the three murders), and that her parents had grounded her from dating him. The girl was also said to be a frequenter of the vampirefreaks.com website (the same has been said of Steinke), the same site that was frequented by Kimveer Gill (the Dawson College shooter in Montreal). The girl admitted in court (as per CBC reporting) that she and Steinke had talked about killing her parents, but they were just joking. When charges for the murder had been laid, Steinke proposed to the girl, and she accepted.

The neat thing about hearing these things on the news, now as a law student, is that I can piece together some of the concepts and look at the whole picture in a more meaningful way (for me ... I mean ... being a nerd and thrilling at being able to observe the law theory that I learned in "real life"). For example ....

From what I gathered from listening to the radio etc. during the time that the trial was going on, her defence seemed to be based on the fact that Steinke was the real perpetrator, and that the girl was confused/traumatized (from what the media was reporting ... so as for the real story ... we'll see).

I'm guessing that defence was trying to attack both the mens rea and the actus reus (as would be expected)... but it's hard to know for sure until a transcription of the trial is read ... it sure didn't seem like they were putting forward anything like mental illness, but it looks like hints at an automaton defense.

In this CBC article about the murders it says that

"During the trial, the girl testified she was in a "zombie" state at the time of the killings and was unable to stop her boyfriend, or go for help.

She admitted in court that she and her boyfriend used to talk about killing her parents prior to the slayings, but she insisted she was only joking at the time.

The Crown countered that the girl was an active participant in the killings, which she plotted with her boyfriend because her parents disapproved of their relationship.

The Crown told the court the girl had plenty of opportunities during and after the killings to call 911 or go for help, but she never did."

This would seem to support my idea that mens rea was being attacked by the defense.

In the same CBC article about the murders it says that

"Before the jury began its deliberations, Judge Scott Brooker reminded jurors that even if Steinke physically stabbed the girl's mother, her father and brother, under Canadian law, an accused can be found guilty if they intentionally help, encourage or persuade another person to commit a crime."

So ... it looks like the Judge was instructing the jury on the Section 21 of the Criminal Code, Parties to Offences, which would back up my thought that the defence was attacking the actus reus.

The jury deliberated for less than three hours and then returned a verdict of guilty on all three counts of murder.

This is interesting for a few reasons.

First, it would seem that the girl is the youngest person in Canada to have ever been convicted of multiple murders.

Not exactly the claim to fame that I would want for myself.

Second, it has brought forward much controversy with regards to the sentencing that will take place in August.

On the Global TV news here in Calgary, they did a piece (click here, then click on Tuesday's Sentancing (sic) link) with MP Art Hanger talking about the maximum penalties under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA). There seems to be much discussion over whether or not maximum penalties should be raised for young offenders OR be assigned consecutively (i.e. in this murder case, since the girl killed three people, she would be assigned three penalties to take place one after the other, as opposed to concurrently which means that sentences are carried out at the same time).

Section 42(2)(q) of the YCJA (as quoted from CANLII) outlines the sentencing for first degree murder for youths:

(q) order the young person to serve a sentence not to exceed
(i) in the case of first degree murder, ten years comprised of
(A) a committal to custody, to be served continuously, for a period that must not, subject to subsection 104(1) (continuation of custody), exceed six years from the date of committal,
(B) a placement under conditional supervision to be served in the
community in accordance with section 105

The whole REASON that we have a YCJA is outlined in section 3 of the legislation itself, where Canada's policy with respect to young persons is laid out. Focus is put on rehabilitation, reintegration, and making sure that children are accountable only in proportion to their maturity.

While I can definitely see both sides of the issue (i.e. those that advocate FOR the YCJA as it is, and those that are advocating for reform), and I totally agree that children should have a different sentencing focus and structure than adults, I think that this case will truly bring forward some debate over how appropriate the legislation really is. Section 38(1) (The Purpose of Sentencing Section) of the YCJA reads (as quoted from CANLII):

38. (1) The purpose of sentencing under section 42 (youth sentences) is to hold a young person accountable for an offence through the imposition of just sanctions that have meaningful consequences for the young person and that promote his or her rehabilitation and reintegration into society, thereby contributing to the long-term protection of the public.
I emphasized the word meaningful. The issue of whether sentencing a girl who has been found guilty of killing the three members of her immediate family with 6 years in custody and 4 years of conditional supervision is meaningful is a compelling issue indeed.

Sentencing alone seems to be a delicate dance of balance ... sentencing of children possibly even more so.

I'm interested to see ... what do you all think? I added a poll to my sidebar - take a look and let me know what you think about Youth Criminal Justice Act reform!!!

Spiders Kinda Freak Me Out ... But ...

... a co-worker forwarded this article to me, and it's too funny to keep to myself!


Makes me think of a new VERSION of Spider-Man ... heh heh heh ... and the kinds of world saving activities that he'd get up to.

Played soccer last night and a fight almost broke out ... pretty dramatic. We won the game, but the other team was a little intense at times. They definitely calmed down a little after the almost-fight, but it sorta takes the "social" aspect out of the Calgary Sports and Social Club, which is too bad (since that's why we choose to play in that league).

I definitely need to learn to drink more water. All the time. I'm getting killer headaches the days after soccer, even though the day of I try to drink monstrous amounts of H2O. So ... that's my goal for the week. Copious amounts of water ... all the time!

Summary of 1L: Part 2

I've been working on this for awhile.

Here's a link to the Summary of 1L: Part 1.

As for part 2, I wanted to answer a few more questions that I had before I started my adventure last September.

3. Is There Anything I Should Do Before I Start?

In a word. No. But ... if you're like me and you feel a lot more comfortable with doing SOMETHING to prepare yourself for the great unknown, then I have a few suggestions.

a. Read The Law School Book: Succeeding at Law School by Allan C. Hutchinson.
This book is great. I even kept reading it throughout my first year for tips on assignments, exams, etc. There are more books like this ... I'm sure that they're all helpful, but I only read this one.

b. Read the How To Brief a Case link on my sidebar. This link was given to us 1L's from our Property Professor near the beginning of the year. It helps, even though it's from an American site, it's got a solid explanation of the case briefing process.

c. Don't worry about getting your textbooks early. A lot of ours weren't even IN until the first week of school, and at U of S the LSA puts on their own used book sale in our law lounge, so I'd wait for that (if you're like me and really hate spending more money than you have to). Yes, older books are OK, if you're missing a case, you can always get it from Westlaw or Quicklaw or something (you'll find out about these later on in the first semester), or let your prof know and they'll frequently help you out by making copies of it available for you.

d. Think about what extra-curricular activities you're interested in participating in. Most extra-curricular stuff starts up pretty quick in September. Whether it's Campus Legal Services, Pro Bono or any of those clubs, your student government, or even the sports .. think about how many things you want to do, and what they are, because this will sneak up on you before you know it!

4. What's the Deal With Study Groups?

Before I got to law school, I read a lot about the study group. I read many things that touted how useful they are, and emphasized the need to get into one right away. My take? Study groups are great, but I found that I got the benefit of group studying without the formalized weekly (or more) meeting of an official study group. You certainly won't need one for awhile ... they really do EASE you into law school off the start. By the time you find that you want study partners, just ask some peeps to meet at a coffee shop or something. Our class really did have a "we're all in it together" attitude (even though there were a few that weren't into sharing, for the most part, people wanted to help each other out). The BEST thing I did relating to the study group was to meet a group of my classmates 4 hours before each final exam to go over practice problems. We all (mostly) knew our stuff by then, and by the time we sat to write our exams, we had all been in the right mindset for awhile. At that point, it feels good to have your classmates affirm your exam strategy ... boosts the ol' confidence.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I Had a Dream Last Night

And it wasn't good.

I dreamt that I got a letter from U of C telling me that I didn't get a transfer. But ... the weird thing was that the letter had such poor grammar and spelling that I could barley read it. I wonder what this represents? I don't even know where to begin.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Last PS of the Day ... Maybe

This weekend our Sister-in-Law Jackie was commenting that she heard something about new 7 Wonders of the World being announced ... which made us all wonder, since most of us thought that the 7 Wonders of the World are pretty much a static categorization of man-made achievements.

So ... of course, I've looked it up.

According to Wikipedia, there are many "7 Wonders of the World" type lists including Ancient Wonders, Medieval Wonders, Underwater Wonders, Man-Made and Natural Wonders etc. I guess what happened was that on July 7, 2007 (i.e. 07-07-07) this announcement was made:

New 7 Wonders of the World

Looks like a definitive list as globally voted upon to decide what wonders should stand as a testament to "global heritage throughout history".

There were 21 finalists, but the 7 wonders that made the cut are:

Avril PS

Here's Avril Lavigne's myspace reaction to all the allegations that have been buzzing about:


Interesting ... I wonder how this will all shake out. Having read her side ... does this change my mind about her? She still comes off a little bratty ... hmmmm ... so tough to say.

Will be a neat thing to follow, in any case. I'm sure it'll all be settled, but it would be interesting to see if it isn't.

The Weekend to End Breast Cancer

While I've never participated in this event, I think it would be an amazing experience. I was talking about this event with someone, and about how it is the largest breast cancer fundraiser in Alberta (bringing in $19 Million dollars in 2005 and 2006), and the woman I was talking to expressed dismay at how unfortunate it is that that money doesn't necessarily go towards breast cancer itself. Her impression was that it just went into a cancer research pool. Her comments got me wondering.

When you go to the Weekend to End Breast Cancer website, there is a section called "Your Dollars at Work" that talks about where some of the money has gone, but these are pretty general types of descriptions.

There are better descriptions on the Alberta Breast Cancer Research Initiative website, where the research stories link gives a brief overview (again pretty general), but if you click on each researchers name, you can see much more detailed research initiative descriptions.

So ... while ALL the money raised doesn't appear to go DIRECTLY to breast cancer research, it appears that most of it does, and that some pretty important projects and clinical trials are directly funded by the money raised by the brave weekend walkers.

As for transfer news, still nothing. I'm supposed to get an e-mail sometime this week (maybe) with the official YAY or NAY ... so I'll keep this site posted.

Jason and I got to spend a wonderful weekend at Buck lake with his family. It was a gorgeous, sunny, cloudless weekend, and we were really able to unwind and relax (well ... me as much as I can, the transfer stuff has me wound up a little, I'm not gonna lie). We got to go wakeboarding (and Jason got to go tubing - Jackie actually drove the tube for Jason and Clay, and DUMPED JASON OUT ... yup ... Jackie is officially a bad a$$ boat driver).

I sunburned my knees (of all places ... speaks as to why cancer is on the brain too ... I suppose).

No pics, since I lost track of my camera out at the lake. I'm going to have to ask if anybody found it ... yikes. It's either in the boat, or in the trailer. Hmmm.

I'm excited because the outside of our townhome is getting power washed today. It's needed it for quite awhile, so when I get home tonight, it should be sparkling and brand new looking.

Wearing jeans to work rocks (I <3 Stampede week for this reason).

Also - with the three weekends in a row away from home, our place is a disaster. Looks like we're getting company for the weekend, so I'm going to have to sort our place out. This week all of my Calgary Sports and Social Club sports start, as well, so on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I'm playing soccer, ultimate Frisbee, and volleyball.

Also - MUST pick out my U of S courses so that I can ballot for them.

So much to do, so little time.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Tinkering Is So Fun

I'm having fun tinkering with the colours and layout of my blog. This probably won't be the final version, so get used to a revolving design over the next few weeks.

Still no news.

I <3 Strawberry Milk (with spicy salmon rolls).

Stampede officially starts in Calgary today. Parade was this morning. I was @ work, so I'll probably catch the highlights on the news tonight.

Not much to report today, but as a side note, I sure think that all this Avril Lavigne stuff is pretty funny. First of all, I read on Lainey's site that Chantal Kreviazuk, in an interview with Performing Songwriter, describes how Avril Lavigne "stole" a song from her. Seems pretty serious to be putting OUT THERE in a public interview. Then, in the next few days, I hear about a copyright lawsuit naming Avril (among others) for her song Girlfriend.

I find this especially hilarious, because Avril was featured in Jane Magazine (love, love, love Jane Magazine) in April 2007. When I read the article, back in April, I thought Avril sounded like a pretentious little girl trying to sound like a worldly woman. I think she came off fake, defensive, and generally brat-ish. And now ... all of these scandalous accusations ... yikes. Avril is probably going to a serious publicity makeover (at the very least)!

Too bad ... Canadian girls definitely need some female role models.

Random and not so coherent thoughts, I know. But it's Friday, and it is GORGEOUS outside. HELP! Get me out in the sun ... STAT!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

I'm Doing It - As Promised

Updating the look of my blog, a little. I've changed a few things around, and I'm going to play around with the colours for awhile. I need something a little less generic, something a little more modern ... but I'm also lazy and don't want to recode the whole page ... so ... we'll see how far I get.

Checked in with the U of C today, and it sounds like the successful (and unsuccessful) transfer candidate(s) to the U of C will be getting an e-mail sometime next week. I'm literally going a little nuts.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

As Promised ... Here are Some Pics From the Long Weekend

Our Camping Spot
Camping Spot

Fireworks on Canada Day
Light Show

Jason Enjoying the Awesome Campfire

The weather here has been awesome, so what do I decide to do tonight? Bake, of course. May as well heat up the house a bit with an oven. Oh well, I don't get the urge very often, so when I do I indulge it.

I tried a variation of the Strawberries and Cream Tart as posted about on Leslie's Blog, http://definitelynotmartha.blogspot.com (located on my sidebar, Leslie also did a guest post on the food networks website, here).

Feels Like Summer, Did Some Baking

I couldn't find a vanilla bean at Safeway, so I had to resort to plain old vanilla extract, and I'm not exactly a DIY pastry kind of girl, so I bought pre-made tart shells. I'm thrilled with how my tarts turned out, though, and I'm going to try and save them for this weekend so I can share them.

But now, I'm tired, and my bed is calling my name.

Will post more tomorrow. G'night.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

New Dean

At the U of C's Faculty of Law:

Happy Belated Canada Day!

Had a great long weekend, although my legs look stricken by some kind of skin disease due to all my mosquito bites. Seriously, I've NEVER seen mosquitoes like that before. They were literally in a thick FOG for about two hours when we wanted to sit around the camp fire, those little vampires.

We went camping near Rocky Mountain House, took the ol' MH which lovingly (read: labourously and wheezingly) hauled a trailer with our quad and one of Jason's dirtbikes. At camp, we ate like kings, got to piddle around a BIT with the ATV's, and I (along with the ladies we were camping with) got to watch Jason partake in a marathon and cross-country bocce game with the three other men we were camping with. They literally played for about 5 hours, and we watched them tramping through bush, crossing gravel roads, and whooping and hollering ... it was hilarious.

Two couples we were camping with bought $400 worth of fireworks for the Canada Day celebration weekend, and we got our own private spectacle.

I have some pics, which I'll add once I get them uploaded (my batteries died before I could get them off the camera).

And ... thank goodness it's a short work week. Finally, it's summer, and I want my weekends to come as quickly as possible. Next week all the sports start up, so this will be my last "quiet" week until August. Of course, August may be hellish if I'm moving to Saskatoon, but ... we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Also, have to go to the dentist today (yikes). For once, I've actually been flossing sporadically, though, so hopefully I won't have to be fully chastised!