Sunday, April 03, 2005

"Far & Away" anyone?

First off, I understand the plight of modern day farmers, especially in these wintry economic times. However, at the risk of sounding heartless, I seriously do not appreciate the modification of standard time to suit Betsy the Cow, when Ryan the Law Student needs every precious hour he can get to study for his exams. What's wrong with it being dark outside? I prefer illumination of the mind, if you will.

That aside, I spent several hours of our newfound daylight (minus one) in a Starbucks. I devoted the time to Criminal Law, hands down the most interesting subject you take in first year. It is, at once, a vindication that the things you see on Law & Order are indeed based on reality, and also an impressive glimpse into the world of criminal jurisprudence that the media often generalizes. It also is home to the phrase "intoxication akin to automatism," a criminal defence that really rolls off the tongue. I just like saying it.

Anywho, during my time at the 'Bucks, I wrote a "practice" criminal exam, which is notable for its hilarity. It concerned ne'er-do-well Will Templeton, a "small time Vancouver crook." In a Rube Goldberg-like series of events, he was forced to take a hostage to pay off loan shark debts, but then ran into a police officer and, frightened by his past history of police abuse, ran to his apartment, downed a bottle of rum, attempted to burn his hostage-taking mask and bat (described by Will as being a "good idea" at the time) at which point the fire spread and forced an elderly woman to jump from her second story window, breaking her legs. Oh Will.

For the record, he gets off on the attempted hostage taking (lacking the actus reus proving that he went beyond mere preparation of the crime), but is guilty of arson causing bodily harm. Furthermore, at the risk of being disbarred, I would point out that, according to the fact pattern, the offence took place on April 1st, 2001, and thus the accused has the defence of "April Fools!" I haven't looked it up, but I'm sure there's some statutory provision that if an offence should fall before noon on this traditional holiday, the accused is excused and the victim will be forced to laugh in response.

Not to disappoint my musically savvy readers, background music for this caffeinated study session was provided by Broken Social Scene and their indispensable 2002 album, You Forgot it in People. It truly has a distinct Canadian sound. Check out the track "Cause = Time," which is eerily close to the finest Tragically Hip song ever committed to soundwaves, "Escape is at Hand for the Travellin' Man."

Focus turns to Property Law now, which no one in the history of legal study will ever construe as "fun" or even "mildly interesting." It is a detestable subject, made arcane by a litany of meaningless terms and archaic rules. Unlike Criminal Law, it produces gag-inducing phrases, like "bona fide purchaser for value without notice." There is so much red tape associated with acquiring any kind of property. Whatever happened to the days of racing on horseback across a plain, and planting a flag on property to show it's yours... then being shot in defence of that property, but miraculously being brought back to life in the arms of Nicole Kidman?


Anonymous said...

You are going to be an excellent lawyer! Look how you took boring law study stories and made them into a slightly less boring entry in your blog!

Anonymous said...

"intoxication akin to automatism"

Dude, you should have used this in your poem!

"Your honour, I can only plead I was intoxicated akin to automatism--intoxicated, that is, WITH LOVE!"