Category Archives: Law and Society

“You’re a Fixer, You Don’t Get Fixed:” McGill Law’s Mental Wellness Study Survey Calls for Greater Participation

 

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(Photo credit: http://www.justicehaque.org/mental-health-rights-in-india/)

Click here to download audio.

It is no secret that lawyers suffer from far greater rates of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse than non-lawyers. Law students are no exception. In 2014, a study led by the McGill Law Student Well-being Committee revealed that approximately 40% of Law student participants had experienced depression and that more than 7 out of 10 students felt overwhelmed, exhausted, and anxious during their last year of Law school.

In collaboration with a team of organizational psychologists, McGill Law’s Healthy Legal Minds (HLM)– a student-born initiative that aims to destigmatize mental health in the legal profession– has launched its own scientific survey this Winter 2017 term. All McGill Law students are invited to take the anonymous French/English survey, which ends on February 17, 2017. If it reaches at least a 60% participation rate, HLM, the LSA, and members of the McGill Law administration will have the necessary data to make decisions on how to invest in the overall mental health of its students.

Please find the English (https://fr.surveymonkey.com/r/XG2GZCB) and French versions (https://fr.surveymonkey.com/r/XGV5GRK) of the survey.

LegalEase’s Emma Noradounkian sat down with HLM co-directors Shannon Snow and Benjamin Brunot, who discussed the creative process of the survey, why law students and legal professionals disproportionately experience mental health challenges, and how students can support their peers in times of distress.

Thank you to Shannon and Benjamin for having granted LegalEase this interview and to all others involved for heading the way towards student wellness at our Faculty.

Episode November 2015 – Under Siege

Welcome to LegalEase, a broadcast about law cast broadly. We are your hosts, Lillian Boctor and Rachel Davidson, for this November 2015 edition of Legalease. LegalEase is a monthly show put together by a collective of law students and recently graduated law students at McGill that explores the law and its institutions with a critical lens and at the same time makes the jargon of the law more accessible.

 

Coming up in the show today: We hear from David Whit, the founder of the Canfield Watchmen and a community leader in the WeCopwatch movement based in the Ferguson, Missouri neighborhood where police killed Mike Brown. Legalease collective member interviewed him at the recent National Lawyer’s Guild conference in Oakland, California.

We have an in-studio guest from New York City, Richard Semegram, a tenant rights lawyer who will be speaking with us about a proposed U.S. country-wide ban on smoking in public housing and the implication on this ban for low-income housing tenants.

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But first we turn to Luis Solana, in studio with us today. He is an investigative journalist from Guatamela, on a Canadian tour, and the author of the report “Under Siege: Peaceful Resistance to Tahoe Resources and Militarization in Guatemala.” The report details the militarization and violent repression of farming communities in south-east Guatemala peacefully resisting Canadian-US mining company Tahoe Resource’s massive Escobal silver mine.

 

Copyright Law – Look What They’ve Done To My Song, Ma

Check out the Saturday, February  9, 2013, edition of the CBC Program “Under the Influence”. Great analysis of Court cases regarding the use of songs in commercials and for commercial purposes. Very fun episode.

Read on here:

http://www.cbc.ca/undertheinfluence/season-2/2013/02/09/look-what-theyve-done-to-my-song-ma/

Listen here:

http://www.cbc.ca/undertheinfluence/popupaudio.html?clipIds=2333357564

Funny Writing Styles – Bruni v Bruni, 2010 ONSC 6568 (CanLII)

Family TIme

Who says Canadian Courts are boring?

[1]     Paging Dr. Freud. Paging Dr. Freud.

[2]     This is yet another case that reveals the ineffectiveness of Family Court in a bitter custody/access dispute, where the parties require therapeutic intervention rather than legal attention. Here, a husband and wife have been marinating in a mutual hatred so intense as to surely amount to a personality disorder requiring treatment.

So begins the decision, Bruni v Bruni, 2010 ONSC 6568 (CanLII), penned by Justice Quinn of the Ontario Superior Court. It is worth going through this piece of juridical writing – despite the lurid details of a messy family dispute, the Justice makes the decision readable and, well, entertaining.

[18]    Larry gave evidence that, less than one month later, Catherine, “Tried to run me over with her van.”[6]

Footnote: [6]  This is always a telltale sign that a husband and wife are drifting apart.

[90]    On another occasion in July of 2009, L said to T: “You put shit in this hand and shit in this hand, smack it together, what do you get? T.”[30]

Footnote [30]   I gather that this is L’s version of the Big Bang Theory.

 [91]    L explained in his evidence that his comments to T were anaemic attempts at humour. They were not intended to be hurtful. I accept his evidence. Mr. L correctly characterized L as a passive man who was not adept at responding to situations involving his post-separation daughter. It is to be remembered that, following separation, L was confronted with an angry, hurt, confused and rebellious daughter who had been receiving advanced animosity-tutoring from C. This would be a difficult situation for even the most talented and perceptive of fathers to overcome. Given L’s near-empty parenting toolbox, it is not surprising that he handled the matter awkwardly. Had C fulfilled her dual parental duty to foster and encourage access between Land T and not to speak disparagingly of him in the presence of T, I am confident that this case would have unfolded differently.

[…]

9.       Spousal support

[158]  I come now to the issue of spousal support, historically the roulette of family law (blindfolds, darts and Ouija boards being optional).

Footnotes

[2]               At one point in the trial, I asked C: “If you could push a button and make L disappear from the face of the earth, would you push it?” Her I-just-won-a-lottery smile implied the answer that I expected.

[3]               I am prepared to certify a class action for the return of all wedding gifts.

[26]             The New Shorter Oxford EnglishDictionary defines “dickhead” as “a stupid person.” That would not have been my first guess.

Episode 35 – Rethinking Legal Structures

Welcome et bienvenue to LegalEase: a monthly Montreal-based and produced radio show on 90.3 FM CKUT – a broadcast about law, cast broadly. Le collectif LegalEase est un groupe d’étudiants et étudiantes en droit de la communauté montréalaise.This month the program is entitled, “Rethinking Legal Structures.”

“C’est pas extrêmement du fun.”

Listen to the Episode Here

Law?

Host Garret Zehr guides us through three main topics, all of which force a reconsideration of the present legal structure in place. In order: 1) the Quebec Student Movement and the legal struggles of CLASSE and other activists in the courts – J-P MacKay speaks with Me Sibel Ataogul; 2) Adelle Blackett offers an evaluation of the legal framework of labour law, especially as it applies to workers from the global south and in relation to domestic workers; and 3) Me Étienne Poitras sur la sujet des mouvements sociales et les droits de manifestants.

LegalEase on 90.3 FM is a radio program broadcast every second Friday of the month at 11am EST from Montreal, Quebec. Originally founded by the McGill Legal Information Clinic in 1989, LegalEase is now run by a collective of progressive of law students from McGill University. Our weekly radio show deals with legal topics of interest to the community, with the intention of making the law both accessible and engaging. Tune into our show, follow us on Twitter @LegalEaseCkut, email legalease[at]ckut.ca or check our podcast library for past programming.

Episode 34 – Methods of Suppression

Welcome et bienvenue to LegalEase: a monthly Montreal-based and produced radio show on 90.3 FM CKUT – a broadcast about law, cast broadly. Le collectif LegalEase est un groupe d’étudiants et étudiantes en droit de la communauté montréalaise.This month the program is entitled, “Methods of Suppression.”

Methods of Suppression – from popular assembly to personal information to gender identity. What are the tools of the state? LegalEase speaks with Irena Ceric of the Movement Defence Committee, Michael Vaughn of BCCLA, Dean Spade Assistant Professor at Seattle University.

Listen to the Episode Here

RCMP Truth Verification – Fewlings.

LegalEase on 90.3 FM is a radio program broadcast every second Friday of the month at 11am EST from Montreal, Quebec. Originally founded by the McGill Legal Information Clinic in 1989, LegalEase is now run by a collective of progressive of law students from McGill University. Our weekly radio show deals with legal topics of interest to the community, with the intention of making the law both accessible and engaging. Tune into our show, follow us on Twitter @LegalEaseCkut, email legalease[at]ckut.ca or check our podcast library for past programming.

Episode 33: Courage – Legal Decisions and Social Change

Welcome et bienvenue to LegalEase: a monthly Montreal-based and produced radio show on 90.3 FM CKUT – a broadcast about law, cast broadly. Le collectif LegalEase est un groupe d’étudiants et étudiantes en droit de la communauté montréalaise. This month the program is entitled, “Legal Decisions and Social Change.”

Listen to the Episode Here

“Sometimes law precipitates social change, sometimes its the other way around.” This month Garrett Zehr hosts a fine assortment of pieces: discrimination and the law, Insite and its impact across Canada, as well as an opening segment by Stephany Laperriere on law and social movements. What are the contradictions and strengths of legal decisions and social change? LegalEase investigates.

en greve!

LegalEase on 90.3 FM is a radio program broadcast every second Friday of the month at 11am EST from Montreal, Quebec. Originally founded by the McGill Legal Information Clinic in 1989, LegalEase is now run by a collective of progressive of law students from McGill University. Our weekly radio show deals with legal topics of interest to the community, with the intention of making the law both accessible and engaging. Tune into our show, follow us on Twitter @LegalEaseCkut, email legalease[at]ckut.ca or check our podcast library for past programming.