Friday, February 13, 2009

'Tis all about the math!

Legal Interpretation this morning. Got me thinking about math, for some reason.

here's the situation:
You have Law A and Law B that contradict each-other. Which one will take precedence?

1. The law that explicitly claims precedence prevails. (eg: "notwithstanding any other disposition..." etc)
2. The more recent law takes precedence over the older.
3. The more specific law takes precedence over the more general.

And with these, the judges found that if you have Law A which is Specific, Claims Precedence, and adopted earlier, and Law B, which is General, Claims Precedence, and adopted later, then Law B will prevail.

And it got me thinking about logical operations, which is weird since I know virtually nothing about it...

To the guy walking in front of me in Snowdon metro station:

I would like to inform you that when walking in a metro station during high-traffic hours, it is always good policy to KEEP WITH THE FLOW, and avoid sudden deceleration. Indeed, said deceleration is likely to unsettle certain human bodies that have elected to follow the rules of inertia, viz. that a body in movement tends to remain in movement.

I do not contest that this reckless suspension of momentum might not be entirely unjustified. However, I would like to point out that although it might be commendable to yield the right of way to the nice lady walking beside you, it would also be wise to mind the nice lady walking behind.

This time, collision was averted due to my mad ninja skills, but next time, you might not be so lucky.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Legal BURN of the Day

Larose c. Emanuel (1990)
La parole donnée, manifestation du sens de l'honneur, est une chose consacrée au Barreau. Malheureusement, il y a des gens qui observent les règles de l'honneur comme on observe les étoiles, de loin.

(The given word, a manifestation of the sense of honour, is a consecrated thing. Unfortunately, there are people who observe the rules of honour as we observe the stars, from afar.)

Legal FAIL of the Day

Betanzos v. Premium Sound N Pictures inc (2006)

Sometimes, a lawsuit can backfire...

On November 25, 2002, Plaintiff (Mr Betanzos) was dismissed by his employer, the Defendant (Premium). He had been working for Premium for eight years [...]. He claims $81,700.00 from Premium ($74,200.00 in lieu of notice, $2,500.00 for his share in the profits of 2002 and $5,000.00 for loss of coverage under the Benefit Plan he was entitled to).

[...] At the time of the cancellation of the contract, Premium paid $25,800.00 to Mr Betanzos to buy peace. [...] Since he did not inform Premium of his intention not to accept the settlement before cashing the cheques and since he sued immediately after having done so, Premium considers he has acted in bad faith and claims, in its Cross-Demand, the reimbursement of the sum of $25,800.00 and an additional amount of $15,000.00 for legal fees.

Judge's ruling:
In the Court's opinion, the evidence is overwhelming and Premium was justified to dismiss Mr Betanzos. His performance was not what was expected of him and notwithstanding his having been told so on a number of occasions, the situation did not improve. As a matter of fact it worsened. [...]

In view of the Court's answer to this question,[...] Mr Betanzos' claim will be dismissed.


The evidence is clear: a verbal contract had intervened between the parties. It was a transaction and it had the authority of a final judgment between Premium and Mr Betanzos.

Mr Betanzos cashed the cheques of $20,000.00 and $1,800.00 in January 2003 without indicating beforehand to Premium that he was no longer in agreement with the transaction. Furthermore, immediately after having cashed the cheques, he sent a letter of demand and, a month later, instituted the present proceedings.

This is not behaving in good faith and this is not respecting the contract which was the law of the parties. [...]

The Court cannot condone such a behaviour. Mr Betanzos knew what he was doing: he had consulted a lawyer. He also knew that, for Premium, this was a final settlement: a transaction.

Since Mr Betanzos has not respected the contract of transaction, the Court will order him to refund $25,800.00 to Premium since the contract of transaction is a whole and cannot be severed.


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Crash course on computer fonts

Please. This is a public service announcement to all teachers preparing course packs. Please.


At least have the decency of using Times! Here's my beef: Arial is a relatively large font. It is so large, in fact, that most teachers who know what they're talking about will request assignments to be printed either in Times 12, or Arial 10. A large font in course packs makes for a lot of pages. WAY too many pages. AND it's not very practical, because a given text will span many pages, whereas it could be squeezed into 2 or 3, thereby offering a more satisfactory experience to the reader who likes to have a more global view of the text.

Please. I do not want to be obliged to flip 2 pages to find the end of a sentence that began 2 pages earlier.

Plus, using Arial 12 is juvenile. Remember when, back in the days when the teacher gave an assignment, and you had nothing to write, and tried to find the largest possible font just to make it look like you wrote a lot, and fooling no one in the process?

Yeah. Exactly.

Moreover, it's a waste of paper. And a pain for the students who are lugging their stuff around.