Obiter insiders dish on inner workings of secretive organization

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SAY HELLO TO THE TEAM THAT’S BEEN BRINGING YOU COVER STORIES A L L YEAR: (LEFT TO RIGHT) STAFF WRITER SAM MICHAELS, BUSINESS MANAGER ADAM CEPLER , LAYOUT EDITOR HEATHER PRINGLE, EDITORS- IN-CHIEF TRAVIS WEAGANT AND CASS DA RE, STAFF WRITER EVAN IVKOVIC , LAYOUT EDITOR MARIE PARK, NEWS EDITOR CITLALLY MACIEL, AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF KAROLINA WISNIEWSKI.

SAY HELLO TO THE TEAM THAT’S BEEN BRINGING YOU COVER STORIES A L L YEAR: (LEFT TO RIGHT)
STAFF WRITER SAM MICHAELS, BUSINESS MANAGER ADAM CEPLER , LAYOUT EDITOR HEATHER PRINGLE,
EDITORS- IN-CHIEF TRAVIS WEAGANT AND CASS DA RE, STAFF WRITER EVAN IVKOVIC , LAYOUT EDITOR MARIE PARK,
NEWS EDITOR CITLALLY MACIEL, AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF KAROLINA WISNIEWSKI.

The three of us sat in 0014G of the Ignat Kaneff building. As the sun set on one of the last Fridays of Cass and Travis’ law school careers, the mood in the Obiter office took a nostalgic turn. After unsuccessfully attempting to piece together the events of the Dean’s Formal that took place a week earlier, the last meeting of the 2013-2014 Obiter Dicta editorial board meandered towards decidedly more introspective territory. What follows are the sage words of your outgoing EICs, as they answered my (sometimes inane) questions and shared the wisdom they’ve amassed in their years as law students.

Karolina: So how do you guys feel about graduating? Are you excited, depressed, nervous? What’s the consensus on all the feels?

Travis: The feels haven’t really set in yet.

Cass: I don’t think I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ve never been out of school. I did JK to JD so I’ve never been an adult.  Continue reading

Knockout Blow: the NFL and NHL Concussion lawsuits

A group of former National Football League (NFL) players made headlines in April 2011, when they filed a federal lawsuit against the league alleging that the league’s negligence contributed to their suffering repeated concussions over the course of their careers.  Since then, over 4,800 former players have joined the suit, including former stars such as Jim McMahon and Bruce Smith.

JIM MCMAHON’S NFL CAREER SPANNED OVER A DECADE. HE SAW REGULAR SEASON P LAY FOR SIX PROFESSIONA L TEAMS. NOW, A FTER STRUGGLING WITH MENTAL ILLNESS, HE IS ONE OF THOUSANDS OF PLAINTIFFS IN A LAWSUIT AGAINST THE LEAGUE.

JIM MCMAHON’S NFL CAREER SPANNED OVER A
DECADE. HE SAW REGULAR SEASON P LAY FOR SIX
PROFESSIONA L TEAMS. NOW, A FTER STRUGGLING WITH
MENTAL ILLNESS, HE IS ONE OF THOUSANDS OF
PLAINTIFFS IN A LAWSUIT AGAINST THE LEAGUE.

The players’ Complaint alleges that the NFL “was aware of the evidence and the risks associated with repetitive traumatic brain injuries virtually at the inception, but deliberately ignored and actively concealed the information from the Plaintiffs and all others who participated in organized football at all levels.”    The NFL made an attempt to settle the suit in August of 2013, reaching a $765 million settlement, only to have the settlement rejected by U.S. District Judge Anita Brody as insufficient to satisfy the claims of all potentially qualifying plaintiffs.  The NFL will thus likely end up paying a larger settlement at some point in the future, although when is uncertain.  There is an obvious incentive for the NFL to allow litigation to drag on in an effort to force the hand of the plaintiffs’ lawyers, who are working on a contingency fee.

When the NFL’s concussion lawsuit was filed, many hockey fans knew it was only a matter of time before retired NHLers would follow suit (pun intended).  Sure enough, in November 2013, a group of 10 former NHL players filed a lawsuit with U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia making similar claims to those contained in the NFL lawsuit Complaint.  Specifically, the NHL players’ Complaint states that the league knew, or should have known, about the dangers posed by concussions and failed to do enough to reduce the risk of head injuries and educate players about the issue.  Continue reading

Lost in the advice maze: what happens when I can’t find the legal help I need?

Your landlord refuses to address your mold problem. You were wrongfully terminated from your job. You doctor neglected to follow standard procedure. All of a sudden, you find yourself faced with a legal problem. Who do you call? Where do you start looking for help? Seeking answers to your questions seems like an impossible task, and as frustration sets in, you soon feel like giving up. This cycle of conflicting, confusing, and inaccessible legal information and advice is called the “advice maze”.
Advice Maze

What we know from access to justice research is that legal problems gather and cluster with other problems such as mental health, relationship, or unemployment issues, forming a complex web of difficulties. Many individuals and families do not experience one isolated legal issue, but clusters of inter-related issues, which can sometimes stem from a single “trigger” problem. People with one or more of these complex problems are unable or unsure of where to turn for help. This is due to a lack of access to reliable legal advice, social exclusion, inability to enforce rights, and a lack of
awareness of rights and responsibilities.

Continue reading

Entertainment for all: a perspective on the 2014 Osgoode ESLA Conference

CHRIS TAYLOR OF TKO LLP AND DON MEEHAN OF NEWPORT SPORTS MANAGEMENT SPOKE ON THE TOPIC OF CELEBRITY REPRESENTATION AT THE ESLA CONFERENCE. PICTURED , LEFT TO RIGHT: TAYLOR, ESLA CO-PRESIDENTS JONATHAN SHERMAN AND DAN MOWAT-ROSE, MEEHAN.

CHRIS TAYLOR OF TKO LLP AND DON MEEHAN OF NEWPORT SPORTS
MANAGEMENT SPOKE ON THE TOPIC OF CELEBRITY REPRESENTATION
AT THE ESLA CONFERENCE.
PICTURED , LEFT TO RIGHT: TAYLOR, ESLA CO-PRESIDENTS
JONATHAN SHERMAN AND DAN MOWAT-ROSE, MEEHAN.

With television and movie producers increasingly turning to the Internet to reach audiences, and the music industry in a state of chaos as they lose hold of the proprietary value once held in their product, it is clear that major changes to the entertainment industry are underway. Significant shifts in the expectations of audiences, the makeup of that audience, and the availability of services, have meant that a fundamental rethinking of the value of entertainment is required. Within this context, entertainment lawyers are being forced to choose sides, holding on to the traditional values of the industry, or innovating to try and capture profitability within the changing landscape. Given that such substantial changes have already become engrained in our culture and expectations, I would argue that innovation has emerged as the only viable option.

At the 2014 Annual Osgoode Entertainment and Sports Law Association Conference, an interesting and well-run event held in early March, the growing divergence in the entertainment industry was on full display. While some speakers seemed to approach the changing marketplace with excitement and intrigue, others made clear they were perfectly comfortable in the confines of the status quo. Continue reading

Jurisfoodence: York University

 

Laugh now, cry later, Osgoode. This is our 3L swan song, our last dance. And we’ve saved this dance for you. After today, we’re handing off the column to our successor contributors, who we hope will continue in our stead by leaving a trail of steaming culinary justice across the GTA.

SOUP OPERAS AND ROT ARE JUST A SIX MINUTE WALK AWAY.  ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS FOLLOW THE DOTS LIKE PACMAN.

SOUP OPERAS AND ROTI ARE JUST A SIX MINUTE WALK AWAY. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS FOLLOW THE DOTS. LIKE PACMAN.

Goodman’s Bistro:

Dan: No analysis of campus food options would be complete without mentioning the Aramark-run abomination that is the bistro. I take umbrage with almost everything this place does. My only positive is interacting with the staff, who are all friendly and mostly free of responsibility for the bistro’s failures. A special shout-out to Alice the afternoon cashier, she’s a gem. Unfortunately Rodolfo et al. don’t serve alcohol but you can slake your thirst and fulfill your JCRticling requirement across Gowlings Hall on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. Continue reading

Blue Jays to not play anyone at second base

THE BLUE JAYS ARE ALSO RUMOURED TO BE CONSIDERING THIS GUY FOR SECOND BASE, THOUGH MOST EXPERTS DON’T EXPECT HIM TO BE HEALTHY UNTIL AFTER THE ALL-STA R BREAK .

THE BLUE JAYS ARE ALSO RUMOURED TO BE CONSIDERING THIS GUY FOR
SECOND BASE, THOUGH MOST EXPERTS DON’T EXPECT HIM TO BE HEALTHY
UNTIL AFTER THE ALL-STA R BREAK .

The Toronto Blue Jays, in a surprise twist, have just announced that they will not be playing a second baseman, despite initially confirming Ryan Goins as the opening day starter at the position.  In a press conference, General Manager Alex Anthopoulos said, “Out of desperation we named Ryan Goins the starting second baseman.  The previous year we signed Macier Izturis with the expectation that he would be our second baseman for the foreseeable future, but he turned out to be god-awful and has continued to be god-awful in spring training as well.  We thought that Ryan Goins would be the logical, in-house alternative, but after carefully reviewing our decision, we have decided that this team is honestly just better off without the shitbag options we have at second base disgracing the field with their incompetence, either defensively or at the plate.”

In response to criticism of his decision, Anthopoulos responded by saying, “Listen, it’s in the numbers.  Ryan Goins, according to our internal statistics team, projects to be a below replacement level player, so by not having him play it’s addition by subtraction.  Also, new hitting coach Kevin Seitzer says Ryan Goins is hopeless, and this is the same guy who didn’t even think Jeff Francoeur was hopeless enough to not bother.  As for Macier Izturis, we speculate that he was the cause of Melky Cabrera’s back tumour, so we’re just hoping he either retires or dies.  We have no interest in having him even give eye contact to the other players on the team, let alone actually play baseball in any capacity.”

What about free agency?  Continue reading

Thinner: The Gypsy Curse is the New South Beach Diet

I GOT THE BODY I WANTED IN JUST A FEW DAYS! ALL IT TOOK WAS VEHICULAR MANSLAUGHTER AND A FAVOUR FROM THE MOB!

I GOT THE BODY I WANTED IN JUST A FEW DAYS! ALL IT TOOK WAS VEHICULAR MANSLAUGHTER AND A FAVOUR FROM THE MOB!

In my mind, there were two possible options for the topic of my final Obiter Dicta article. I could write a sentimental, well-written article waxing poetic about my nine years of post-secondary education and the great memories associated with my time as a student at Osgoode Hall; alternatively, I could write a review for a 1996 movie that scores a paltry 5.6 out of 10 on IMDb.

Having chosen the latter, I spent the day watching Thinner, an adaptation of Stephen King’s 1984 novel of the same name. I do not regret this decision; despite it being one of the worst movies I can recall devoting almost one hour and a half to, Thinner provides its viewers with memorably bad line after memorably bad line at such a frenetic pace that I’m convinced it is one big joke (and a supremely funny one at that).

I should first note that nothing illustrates the power of the internet better than my ability to find Thinner online in a matter of seconds. The fact that someone (Stephen King, maybe?) took the time to upload this piece of shit to a variety of hosting websites so that I could illegally stream it is truly an act of humanitarianism; Bono and Bill Gates would be proud. Continue reading

Access to justice issues are pervasive

PEOPLE WAITING FOR JUSTICE.

PEOPLE WAITING FOR JUSTICE.

There has been substantial discussion about access to justice issues in the past several years. The inability of the most vulnerable in our society to utilize the legal system has been addressed through reforms to the legal system, the availability of pro bono services and clinics, and Legal Aid initiatives or programs. However, most of these discussions and reforms have been on the topics of family, civil, and criminal law matters… but what about the other areas of law? Are they so accessible that they need not be addressed?

The Canadian Bar Association (CBA) Access to Justice Committee’s mandate states their objective as:

“[to] improve and promote access to justice for the poor and middle class in Canada. Within the framework of policies adopted by Council, the Committee stresses government responsibility for a publicly funded legal aid system as the essential foundation, promotes pro bono service in the legal profession and supports innovative delivery options for legal services, as a supplement to (but not a substitute for) a publicly funded legal aid system [emphasis added].”

Continue reading

The Unreasonable Man gives you advice

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I don’t take advice well. I think I’m naturally mistrustful of the presumptuous, despite being very presumptuous myself. When people give me well-intentioned guidance, I usually disregard it.  Thus, I have no expectation that any of you will consider the following seriously. In fact, I’ve never expected anyone to agree with anything I wrote here (there’s a special circle of hell for those that do). But some of you read it, and that’s good enough for me. So, without further ado, I present to you the wisdom of decades (and I barely qualify for the plural) in 900 words. As far as the Unreasonable Man is concerned, here are the two things you should know about life.

The first is that no one can be extrapolated. I’ll explain what I mean. The world is awash in sloppy reasoning, mostly because it’s easier to take mental shortcuts than it is to come to terms with the staggering uncertainty inherent in human beings. I don’t blame folks for taking these shortcuts, but that doesn’t make them less troubling.

Continue reading

A Little Sheep Told Me: Trends of spring/summer 2014

CROP TOPS CAN HELP YOU BEAT THE HEAT

CROP TOPS CAN HELP YOU BEAT THE HEAT

It’s here: SPRING! After what seems to be an eternity of “Frozen”, we can finally do a revamp of our closets and unveil the good stuff. It’s (almost) time to ditch the winter bulkiness altogether and break out the satins. If you’re like me and stuck with dark colors all season, then you’ll probably be thrilled to see what’s in for Spring and Summer.  A lot of our old favorites have returned but there are still an abundance of new trends to try. So let me present to you: the styles of Spring/Summer 2014!

Crop your body

I have to confess that I don’t personally own a crop top. It’s not because I am against it; I just haven’t found the perfect one yet. But crop tops continue to be one of the most coveted items this year. Whether it’s on the runways, magazines or downtown Toronto streets, we just can’t seem to shake this little piece of fabric. It must be because the midriff-baring tops help combat the sweltering heat so well. For those of you who favor more conservative styles but still want to incorporate this great trend, pair the tops with high-waist trousers or skirts.

Please don’t stop the neon

Bright colors once again dominated Fashion Week this year. This is no surprise as they tend to be the hallmark of our summers. 2014, however, is different in that it’s making orange the centerpiece. Being a lover of orange, I am thrilled by this bold step. Furthermore, the trend has not been limited to clothing; lipsticks, accessories and footwear are not excepted. Because orange is such an attention-grabbing color, it is better to complement it with other subdued pieces to avoid looking like the fruit. Patterns that include patches of orange are also recommended. Continue reading