Podcasts – Law is Cool http://lawiscool.com The law school blog and podcast from Canada Wed, 30 Sep 2015 13:10:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.6 1338880 Podcast: Chris Bredt and BLG Climbing a Mountain (Episode 25) http://lawiscool.com/2010/06/17/podcast-chris-bredt-and-blg-climbing-a-mountain/ Thu, 17 Jun 2010 21:02:04 +0000 http://lawiscool.com/?p=2702 In this podcast Omar Ha-Redeye speaks to Christopher Bredt of Borden, Ladner, Gervais LLP about his plans to clime Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa.

Bredt will be accompanied by partners in his firm, Sean Weir, Shelley Munro, William Carter and Michael Smith.

The climb is a fundraiser for the Canadian Organization for Development through Education (CODE). You can donate to the climbers directly through the CODE climbers page.

For more on CODE, see the video below.

Devin Johnston, who has been running the podcasts here recently, is now articling. Current and incoming students interested in taking over these responsibilities can contact us directly.

Podcast: UWO Arrest and Campus Police Use of Force (Episode 24) http://lawiscool.com/2009/12/05/podcast-uwo-arrest-and-campus-police-use-of-force/ Sat, 05 Dec 2009 23:08:48 +0000 http://lawiscool.com/?p=2307 [display_podcast]

In October of this year, Irnes Zeljkovic was arrested at the University of Western Ontario by the UWO Campus Police. The arrest was caught on tape by at least two bystanders, who posted videos of the arrest to YouTube. In the videos, the six officers appear to strike Zeljkovic repeatedly with fists, knees, and a metal baton. The incident has raised questions about whether the Campus Police used excessive force in the arrest. The University has now hired a former Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner to review the incident.

On today’s show, Omar Ha-Redeye discusses the Zeljkovic arrest with Phillip Millar and Ryan Venables. Millar is an associate with Cohen Highley LLP in London and is counsel to Irnes Zeljkovic. He is also a former Crown prosecutor and served in the Canadian Forces. Venables is a former police constable and currently a first-year law student at the University of Western Ontario.

Law is Cool Nominated in the Canadian Blog Awards

Law is Cool has once again been nominated in the Canadian Blog Awards. This year, we have been nominated in five categories including Best Blog Overall, Best Blog Post, Best Group Blog, Best Podcast, and Best Professional Life Blog. The preliminary round of voting concludes on December 12th, and the final round of voting takes place from December 13th to 19th. If you enjoy the podcast, please take a moment to vote for Law is Cool.

Podcast: Corporate Social Responsibility Blog (Episode 23) http://lawiscool.com/2009/06/27/podcast-corporate-social-responsibility-blog/ Sat, 27 Jun 2009 16:21:14 +0000 http://lawiscool.com/?p=1709 [display_podcast]

On last week’s podcast, we brought you Part 1 of Omar Ha-Redeye’s interview with Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP Associate Jason MacLean. MacLean is one of the contributors to Corporate Social Responsibility – A Legal Analysis. In Part 1 of the interview, MacLean talked about the precautionary principle and how it can create a competitive advantage for the corporations that embrace it. He also discussed how securities law may lead to investors demanding more complete disclosure of the environmental impacts of a corporation’s activities.

This week, we feature Part 2 of Omar’s interview with Jason MacLean. In this episode, MacLean discusses the Supreme Court’s decision in the BCE case, as well as the transition from writing a book to publishing a blog about corporate social responsibility. The blog enables MacLean and his co-authors to chronicle the latest developments in corporate social responsibility and the law without being frozen in time.

Podcast: Corporate Social Responsibility & Rural BC Law Jobs (Episode 22) http://lawiscool.com/2009/06/20/podcast-corporate-social-responsibility-rural-bc-law-jobs/ Sat, 20 Jun 2009 21:32:08 +0000 http://lawiscool.com/?p=1679 [display_podcast]

Today’s podcast features two interviews. First, part 1 of 2 with Jason MacLean on corporate social responsibility (CSR)

Jason MacLean on Corporate Social Responsibility

Jason MacLean is an Associate in the Litigation Group at the Toronto office of Osler, Hoskin & Harcout LLP. He is one of the contributors to the new book Corporate Social Responsibility – A Legal Analysis. He also writes for CSR Law, a new blog covering developments in corporate social responsibility law.

Today’s show features Part One of Omar Ha-Redeye’s two-part interview with MacLean. He discusses the precautionary principle, environmental stewardship, and some of the arguments against CSR. MacLean argues that embracing the precautionary principle can create a competitive advantage for corporations. In the long run, he believes that corporations that embrace environmental stewardship will succeed in the market, whereas companies that fail to disclose environmental risks to employees, shareholders, and customers will run into business and legal challenges.

Next week, we will feature Part Two of the interview, in which MacLean discusses the evolution from book to blog as well as impact of the Supreme Court’s decision in BCE Inc. v. 1976 Debentureholders, 2008 SCC 69.

Michael Litchfield on Access to Lawyers in Rural British Columbia

Also on today’s show, we speak with Michael Litchfield from the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch about the Rural Education and Access to Lawyers (REAL) Initiative. This initiative is taking a multi-faceted approach to promoting access to legal services in rural communities using techniques including:

  1. funding summer student placements in rural BC;
  2. providing financial and promotional support for marketing of regions to law students and lawyers;
  3. providing support for students interested in practicing in small communities; and
  4. providing support for law firms and practitioners with recruitment, hiring, and retention.

So far, the REAL Initiative has helped to create and fill 11 summer student positions in rural BC.

Podcast: Guatemala, Polygamy, and Free Legal Information (Episode 21) http://lawiscool.com/2009/05/24/podcast-guatemala-polygamy-and-free-legal-information/ http://lawiscool.com/2009/05/24/podcast-guatemala-polygamy-and-free-legal-information/#comments Sun, 24 May 2009 20:02:10 +0000 http://lawiscool.com/?p=1601 For Sunday 24 May 2009, this is the Law Is Cool Podcast. On today’s show, Omar Ha-Redeye’s feature interview with Nancy Kinney, creator of AdviceScene.com.

The Suspicious Case of Rodrigo Rosenberg Marzano

We begin in Guatemala with a story that combines a political intrigue, a slain lawyer, and Twitter. The story begins with Guatemalan lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg Marzano, who was shot dead while bicycling on May 10th. The next day, a remarkable video (see below) was released to the Guatemalan press. The video features Rosenberg predicting his own assassination, saying “If you are watching this video, it’s because I was murdered by President Alvaro Colom.”

Rosenberg had been representing a client who was approached by the government to sit on the Board of the state-owned Banrural Bank. Rosenberg claimed that there was corruption within the government related to the bank and alleges that his client was murdered by the government before he could go public with details of the corruption.

Following Rosenberg’s death, activists mobilized an anti-corruption campaign. One blogger posted a message on the social networking site Twitter encouraging Banrural customers to withdraw their funds. As a result of this message, he was arrested on charges of inciting financial panic. He has since been bailed out of prison after an online fund raising campaign.

Update on BC’s Polygamy Trials

From Guatemala to British Columbia where we continue to follow the trial of Winston Blackmore and James Oler who have been charged with the criminal offence of polygamy. The Mormon leaders of the BC community of Bountiful have both pleaded not guilty and elected a trial by judge and jury. The case is now facing an roadblock. Blackmore has applied to the British Columbia Supreme Court to order the government to pay his legal costs. Blackmore already applied for legal aid and was turned down. However, his lawyer Joe Avray will argue that no defendant should bear the costs of a constitutional test case. If Madame Justice Stromberg-Stein grants the application, it could have far-reaching implications for criminal defendants.

Update: Below is a copy of Mr. Blackmore’s Notice of Application, for those of you interested in learning more about the legal argument being presented to the court.

Notice of Application – R. v. Blackmore

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Madame Arbour Returns to Canada (Episode 20) http://lawiscool.com/2009/04/28/madame-arbour-returns-to-canada/ http://lawiscool.com/2009/04/28/madame-arbour-returns-to-canada/#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2009 23:12:21 +0000 http://lawiscool.com/?p=1576 Former Osgoode Hall law professor and Supreme Court justice, Madame Louise Arbour, recently completed a four-year term as the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights.

She will take on the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of the International Crisis Group in July 2009, but before that she’s making a brief return to the Canadian human rights scene.

Earlier today I heard her speak at the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) convention on the National Day of Mourning, an annual event recognized by the Federal government since 1991 to remember workers who lost their lives or were injured on the job.

Madame Arbour is perhaps best known in constitutional circles for her dissent in Gosselin v. Quebec, which would have given social and economic rights to Canadians.

Despite the court’s decision to the contrary, Madame Arbour is still making the case for social and economic rights in the future of Canada.

She characterized a dichotomy between the West and the East, with the former claiming to champion liberty, the latter championing social and economic rights, and neither side really hearing each other in the process.

Her talk was premised on the Roosevelt’s fundemental freedoms that gave way to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, specifically the freedom from fear and the freedom from want.  She related the former fear to legal abuses by Western governments in the so-called “war on terrorism.”  The second fear is increasingly relevant in our tough economic times, the true test of which will be our treatment of migrant workers.

The key to our true security lies in addressing social and economic problems by dealing with them as fundamental rights, and the sooner we can realize this the safer and more prosperous we will all be.

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Social Media in Canadian Politics, and Defamation and Copyright (Episode 19) http://lawiscool.com/2009/04/21/social-media-in-canadian-politics-and-defamation-and-copyright/ http://lawiscool.com/2009/04/21/social-media-in-canadian-politics-and-defamation-and-copyright/#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2009 16:50:25 +0000 http://lawiscool.com/?p=1560 Omar Ha-Redeye gave a talk on the use of social media in politics, focusing on the Canadian scene, at the Miles S. Nadal Management Centre in the Ernst & Young Tower of the Toronto Dominion Centre.

Issues of copyright, including the use of YouTube, are discussed, as well as social media alternatives to defamation actions.

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Law is Cool Podcast: Polygamy and the Law (Episode 18) http://lawiscool.com/2009/02/07/law-is-cool-podcast-polygamy-and-the-law/ http://lawiscool.com/2009/02/07/law-is-cool-podcast-polygamy-and-the-law/#comments Sun, 08 Feb 2009 02:55:22 +0000 http://lawiscool.com/?p=1325 Polygamist leader Winston Blackmore and James Oler are facing criminal charges of polygamy in British Columbia. Polygamy refers to a practice in which a person is simultaneously married to more than one spouse. The most common form of polygamy is polygyny; this is the practice of one man having multiple wives. Social attitudes toward polygamy vary widely across cultures and religions. Polygyny has often been associated with the Mormon and Islamic faiths, although attitudes toward the practice vary enormously within those religious communities.

In Canada, polygamy is not recognized as a valid form of marriage. In fact, section 293 of the Criminal Code states:

293. (1) Every one who

(a) practises or enters into or in any manner agrees or consents to practise or enter into

(i) any form of polygamy, or

(ii) any kind of conjugal union with more than one person at the same time, whether or not it is by law recognized as a binding form of marriage, or

(b) celebrates, assists or is a party to a rite, ceremony, contract or consent that purports to sanction a relationship mentioned in subparagraph (a)(i) or (ii),

is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

In the context of polygyny, s. 293 of the Criminal Code makes all spouses (including the wives) liable to a maximum prison term of five years. Mr. Blackmore has indicated that he plans to challenge the Criminal Code sanction by claiming, among other things, that it is a violation of freedom of conscience and religion as guaranteed in the Charter s. 2(a).

At least one legal scholar believes that a Charter challenge might succeed. Beverley Baines is a Professor of Law and Head of Women’s Studies at Queen’s University. In 2005, she co-authored one of a series of four policy papers regarding polygamy funded by Status of Women Canada’s Policy Research Fund. That paper argues, inter alia, that the criminalization of polygamy may be vulnerable to Charter scrutiny.

The polygamy issue has also promted responses from a very different perspective. Some opponents of same-sex marriage have argued that re-defining marriage could open the door to further revisions including polygamy. Dr. Margaret Somerville is one of Canada’s most well-known bioethicists. She is Samuel Gale Professor of Law at McGill University and the Founding Director of the McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law. She argues that marriage as a social institution has its basis in the biology of natural procreation. In her view, the same-sex marriage debate marked a fundamental shift in our concept of marriage from one that is based on biology to one that is based on personal preference. She argues that this has opened the door for legal reconition of marriage rights in polygamous marriages, possibly to the detriment of the children of those marriages.

On today’s podcast, I interview both Professors in order to explore some of the legal and social challenges raised by polygamy. As we follow the Blackmore case through the court system, it will be interesting to see how these challenges will be addressed.

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Law is Cool Podcast: Human Rights Commissions (Episode 17) http://lawiscool.com/2008/11/19/law-is-cool-podcast-human-rights-commissions/ http://lawiscool.com/2008/11/19/law-is-cool-podcast-human-rights-commissions/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2008 04:14:03 +0000 http://lawiscool.com/?p=1062 If you have been following magazines and blogs for the past year, you are probably aware of the human rights and free speech controversy involving Mark Steyn and Maclean’s. Starting in 2005, Maclean’s ran a series of articles by Steyn and Barbara Amiel which, according to a group of Osgoode Hall law students, cast Muslims in a dangerously negative light. Frustrated, the students asked the magazine to provide space for them to write a 5,000-word rebuttal article. After the Editor-in-Chief refused, the students filed a human rights complaint against the magazine with the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

What came next can only be described as a firestorm of controversy in the media. A number of journalists and media outlets cried foul, arguing that Human Rights Commissions were being used to impose political correctness on the media creating a chilling effect on free speech. Former Western Standard publisher Ezra Levant took up the cause, as did a number of editorial boards across the country. The intense media criticism of Human Rights Commissions soon caught the attention of federal politicians, with Liberal MP Keith Martin calling for the repeal of hate speech provisions from federal human rights law. A vicious war has erupted on the blogosphere; several prominent figures in the controversy have received death threats via email and in blog comments. Neo-Nazi websites have openly advocated for the execution Richard Warman and other human rights lawyers.

In this episode of the Law is Cool Podcast, Omar Ha-Redeye attempts to cut through the media spin to find out what Human Rights Commissions really are and how they work. Omar interviewed two experienced human rights lawyers to get their views on the current controversy.

The first is Montreal-based international human rights lawyer Pearl Eliadis. She argues that the media coverage of the Human Rights Commission controversy has been unbalanced. She claims that Canadians are being “lied to” about the role of Human Rights Commissions and the character of freedom of speech in Canadian law. She recently wrote an article in Montreal’s Maisonneuve magazine called “The Controversy Entrepreneurs”. In that article, she seeks to dispel seven “myths” surrounding the controversy, including:

  1. Free speech is an absolute right.
  2. Human rights laws were not made to restrict speech.
  3. Human rights laws only apply to discriminatory conduct, not discriminatory speech.
  4. Human rights laws do not apply to the media.
  5. Human Rights Commissions dispense “parallel justice,” “prosecuting” and “convicting” people outside of normal legal channels.
  6. Human Rights Tribunals are rabid, out-of-control bastions of political correctness with 100% conviction rates.
  7. Free speech is under attack by frivolous, expensive, time-consuming complaints.

Eliadis deconstructs each of these myths and argues that Human Rights Commissions play a valuable role in the protection of all human rights, including freedom of speech. In her interview with Omar, she notes that it is unfortunate that many involved in this controversy have sought to paint the law students who brought the original complaint with the same brush as radical Islamists. In this sense, she says, an equality-seeking group has become further marginalized by bringing forward its complaint. She notes that the Commissions have characterized Mark Steyn’s writing as inaccurate, fear-mongering, and lacking in objectivity.

Ultimately, Eliadis believes that journalists such as Steyn and Levant who attack Human Rights Commissions are doomed to fail. Since some of the people who support the abolition of these Commissions have links to white supremacy groups, Eliadis believes that any such project will likely fail.

Next, Omar interviewed Donna Seale, former Co-Counsel for the Manitoba Human Rights Commission. Seale currently runs a consulting business in Winnipeg that provides educational seminars for employers on human rights issues relating to employment and the workplace. Her blog, generally updated on weekly basis, is clearinghouse of workplace human rights information.

Seale notes that Human Rights Commissions serve in a “gatekeeper” capacity to try to resolve complaints before they proceed to an expensive and time-consuming tribunal process. She believes that the Commissions are valuable because they are less adversarial than tribunals and their goal is to resolve conflicts quickly and amicably between the parties.

Seale also argues that it is a mischaracterization to portray the Commissions as guardians of political correctness that have a chilling effect on speech. Indeed, she claims that hate speech-related cases are extremely exceptional. She says that most of the cases heard by Provincial Human Rights Commissions relate to discrimination in employment, services, and housing. She rejects the argument that Human Rights Commissions should be abolished because they “do no good.”

In Seale’s consulting business, she seeks to help both employers and employees understand their roles and responsibilities in terms of meeting their human rights law obligations in the workplace. She believes that litigation can be avoided if both parties work together to understand their respective roles in terms of human rights.

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Law is Cool Podcast – Episode #16 http://lawiscool.com/2008/10/26/law-is-cool-podcast-episode-16/ Mon, 27 Oct 2008 01:57:59 +0000 http://lawiscool.com/?p=999 Alternative Lawyer Jobs

On today’s show Omar Ha-Redeye interviews Stephen Fine, creator of Alternative Lawyer Jobs. They discussed how many law school graduates and practising lawyers are looking for careers that are slightly off the beaten  path. The site, which is North American is scope, seeks to connect employers with legal professionals for in-house counsel positions, business and entrepreneurial opportunities, or other possibilities. Fine says that Alternative Lawyer Jobs fills a void in the market that is not covered by other job sites.

Fine noted that the job listings on the site are drawn from a variety of sources, including other job sites such as Monster and Law Jobs in order to collect as many resources as possible in a single location. Jobs postings can also be submitted directly to the site and are screened before being published. Fine says that the site’s philosophy is to be as open as possible. The site also features a career blog that serves as a resource in terms of news related to alternative jobs for lawyers.

Fine claims that many law school graduates are not sure what direction they want to go in with after obtaining a law degree, and they should consider alternative careers that fit well with their interests and skills. He notes that lawyers develop many skills that are transferable to other areas such as writing, negotiating, and analytical thinking.

Finally, Fine acknowledges that users should exercise common sense when disclosing personal information to prospective employers because of privacy concerns.

Podcaster Meetup: Law is Cool meets Stuttering is Cool

Omar Ha-Redeye also attended a meetup for podcasters where he had a conversation with Daniele “Danny” Rossi from Stuttering is Cool, a show that describes itself as an “open-mic podcast for stutterers.” Omar and Danny discussed public speaking and techniques for overcoming “butterflies” by channeling nervousness into something positive.

Omar mentioned that one of his sources of inspiration to improve his public speaking is a quote from martial arts master Bruce Lee: “Someone who doesn’t feel butterflies in his stomach before a fight is probably going to lose.” The trick, according to Lee, is to channel the butterflies in the right direction. Omar has tried to apply that same principle to public speaking.

Omar also pointed out that stuttering as well as “ums” and “ahs” are completely natural. In fact, in many scripted interviews for professional radio, “ums” and “ahs” will be added in afterward in order to make the speech sound more natural. He claims that the key to public speaking is to listen to recordings of oneself, practice, and to keep things in perspective.