Bench Press 38-6: Limits to “Mr. Big” Stings

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Police in Newfoundland suspected that Nelson Hart deliberately drowned his twin daughters but had no proof.  They began an elaborate hoax to recruit Mr. Hart into a fictitious crime ring. After about 15 months of activity, it culminated in a meeting with “Mr. Big” who was presented as the head of the crime ring.  Mr. […]

Bench Press 38-6: A Bride’s Worst Nightmare!

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Melanie Johnson arranged for a Calgary designer and tailor to make four bridesmaid dresses, a flower girl’s dress and a wedding veil for her October 2011 wedding, and to make alterations to her wedding dress.  As the wedding approached, the emails and text messages began to fly.  The bride received her wedding dress two days […]

Bench Press 38-6: Court Decision an “Earthquake”

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Both the land and the legal landscape underwent a transformation recently as a result of a Supreme Court of Canada decision.  The Court ruled for the first time that an Aboriginal nation has title to a remote piece of beautiful land in British Columbia.  The Court wrote: “The nature of Aboriginal Title is that it […]

Bench Press 38-5: Habeas Corpus in Modern Times

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The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled unanimously in favour of a federal penitentiary prisoner who challenged a prison warden’s decision to transfer him from medium to maximum security. Gurkipal Khela used the ancient writ of Habeas Corpus: the right to go before a court to challenge his or her detention.  The Supreme Court stated […]

Bench Press 38-5: Shakespeare in Court

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An Ottawa judge quoted Shakespeare when sentencing a 69-year-old sex offender recently.  The offender had assaulted his neighbour in her home after taking her out for a birthday dinner.  The Judge referenced Act 1 Scene VII of MacBeth: “He’s here in double trust. First, I am his kinsman and his subject, strong both against the […]

Bench Press 38-5: Some Bones to Pick

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Poor Richard III!  Shakespeare’s play portrays him as a villain and a murderer. Killed in battle 500 years ago, his remains were discovered in 2012 under a parking lot in Leister, England.  Another battle ensued about where to bury him. The Government had granted a burial license to the City of Leister, which planned to […]

Bench Press 38-5: Justice is Blind

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The Alberta Court of Appeal recently faced an interesting dilemma when pondering how to sentence a legally blind man.  The accused had been found guilty of sexual assault. He was legally blind and had used a guide dog since he was 17.  The trial judge feared for his safety in prison and worried that time […]

Bench Press 38-5: Balancing Work and Family

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Fiona Johnstone began a long odyssey through Canadian courts when she encountered difficulties in finding childcare for her two toddlers so that she could continue to work for Canada Border Services. A childcare expert testified that Ms Johnstone faced a very difficult work environment: different shifts at different times and different days including weekends, overtime, […]

Bench Press 38-4: Cabinet Ministers Breaking the Law

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Several environmental groups took the federal ministers of oceans and fisheries and the environment to Federal Court seeking a declaration that they must act to protect endangered species. Madame Justice Anne McTavish granted them the declaration they sought.  She noted that the Species at Risk Act requires the ministers to publish a proposed recovery strategy, […]

Calling all Contributors! Write for LawNow Magazine!

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LawNow is looking for volunteer contributors. If you share our enthusiasm and commitment to public legal education, consider writing on one of the topics in our Call for Contributors: Vol 39, or contact us with your own suggestions for themes, special reports, and columns. Topics outlined in the Call for Contributors include: Family Law Vulnerable Youth New […]