Legal Humour Blog


March 2014

No Parking, No Papers, No Position

Mar 23, 2014 12:32 PM
Marcel Strigberger

    The foreign minister of Russia announced the other day that the legal papers necessary to annex the Crimea should be completed by the end of this week.  This is really incredibly efficient given the novelty of the task.  I might just consider hiring this guy as a junior in my office. I can’t get a simple separation agreement done by the end of this week. And it’s not as if you’ll find a  sample document, to annex the Crimea in textbooks, like O’brien’s Legal Precedents .  I checked.

    And what kind of legal papers is he talking about in any event?  This is like drafting legal documents okaying the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood devouring Granny.

    Meanwhile in Laval, Quebec, the City wanted to build an arena.  The cost now will go up by an extra 50 million dollars as the architects forgot to include in their plans the parking lot.

    That is an oops I’d say. Who was the architect in chief?  Rob Ford?

    This past week also saw The Supreme Court of Canada reject the nomination of P.M. Harper of Marc Nadon to the S.C.C.   What bothers me is the futility of this case.  It tied up 7 justices for several months while other cases waited in the queue.  And it resulted in a 48 page decision talking about the meaning of the word, “among”.  
    As a practicing lawyer, we often look to decisions of the highest court in the land to find answers on pressing legal issues, like admissibility of confessions, the rights of unmarried parties to share in one another’s property or the right of a person under arrest to legal counsel without delay.  

    How is this case going to be practical? Although I am an optimist, somehow I do not see a potential client calling me in the near future and saying, “Hey, guess what. The Prime Minister wants to appoint me to the Supreme Court of Canada but a couple of members of the public are objecting...something about me not being “among”.  Can I see you? I’m free Tuesday afternoon.”

    There is a greater chance of Russia returning the Crimea.

    Please visit my office website,  www.striglaw.com . I practice primarily personal injury/insurance and family law. But should you get nominated to the Supreme Court of Canada and you experience interference, I'll be happy to hear about it.


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Justice for Justin

Mar 16, 2014 4:35 PM
Marcel Strigberger

    This week did not pass without Justin Bieber’s ongoing legal problems being paraded in the media.  A trial date for the singer’s assault charge regarding his limo chauffeur  was set at Toronto’s Old City Hall Court.  Of note was the lawyer Bieber retained to represent him, namely prominent criminal counsel, Brian Greenspan.  Of further note is that Brian Greenspan himself attended the set date hearing. This is incredible.

    The simplest and usual way of setting a trial date is for the accused to attend with a letter from the lawyer suggesting trial dates. If the accused cannot attend, then usually a student or at most a junior will attend and advise the court of suitable trial dates. Using  Brian Greenspan to attend court to set a trial date is like using a forklift truck to pick up a pillow.

    What will his legal tab be for this case?  I do not for one moment minimize Brian’s proficiency.  I can only imagine that a simple assault trial which might generally last a half a day will likely last days.  I can just see the daily media reports:

    September 13th

          The Justin Bieber trial started today.  Defence counsel Brian Greenspan argued that the case should be tossed by reason of Section 2 of the Charter.  The presiding judge dismissed the argument, saying that though compelling, the fundamental freedom of expression does not include the right to beat up a chauffeur.

    September 16th

          The Crown completed its case today after a full day cross examination by Mr Greenspan, wherein he suggested to the limo driver that he was a former senior member of the Ku Klux Klan, wanted for arson in Mississippi. The driver denied the allegations, admitting however that he nearly caused a fire once while he tried to ignite a gas barbecue at Bruce’s Mill Conservation Area.

    September 17

    The defence called a surprise expert witness, one Professor Doctor Manfred Zemmel, of the University of Dusseldorf. Dr Zemmel is a professor of psychiatry, specializing in the neurosis of limousine drivers complaining of being assaulted.  Professor Zemmel told a packed courtroom that he had studied hundreds of chauffeurs and most have a condition called, paranoia neurotica cantoria, whereby they have this inexplicable need to claim that they have been beaten up by a singer.  

    After the court session, Justin Bieber offered to give the professor a ride back to his hotel in his limo but the professor declined, choosing instead to take the Bay Street bus. Justin Bieber asked, What’s a bus?

    September 20th

    After a lengthy trial, the judge acquitted Mr Bieber, finding a reasonable doubt.  His lawyer Brian Greenspan told reporters this verdict was no surprise to him.  When asked what his next high profile case would be, he replied that he had just been retained by Professor Zemmel who was charged with assaulting a TTC bus driver.


Please visit www.striglaw.com .  I practice family and personal injury law. I no longer practice criminal law; nor do I listen to Justin Bieber.


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Lookalike Zero Tolerance

Mar 9, 2014 1:24 PM
Marcel Strigberger

    In Columbus, Ohio a school suspended a 10 year old for pointing his fingers like a gun.  The school noted that the kid turned his fingers into a “level 2 lookalike firearm”.

    I actually agree with the school.  Zero tolerance violence means just that.  Ignorance of the rules is no excuse.

    Any duffer by now should know that extending your forefinger and folding in your next three fingers turns your hand into a lookalike lethal weapon.  With a gesture like this one, the kid could easily hold up a level 2 lookalike bank.

    To date, we have seen similar instances of schools religiously pursuing efforts to eradicate violence.  One school in Alabama suspended a kid for pointing a chicken finger in class and saying “bang bang”.  Actually, it is a known fact that a chicken finger in the wrong hands can be lethal.  Israel in fact is reputedly planning to bomb a secretly located KFC plant in Iran.

    And right here in Toronto one school does not allow the students to refer to the term “bullets” when describing the form of listing of lines of short phrases. The children must call them “cupcakes”.

    I sure hope none of these kids ever decide to become police officers.  What will they carry on their belts should they need defend themselves in a shoot out? A lunchbox?

    It is comforting to know that these schools play such an important role in preventing violence.  

    Question: How successful these days are schools in controlling bullying...the non lookalike version?


Please visit my family law and personal injury practice site www.striglaw.com . I provide non lookalike service.

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Pizza Pizza....and More Pizza

Mar 2, 2014 10:08 PM
Marcel Strigberger

    Pizza stories are making the news this week.

    Think you've heard everything?  In England some guy complained to Domino's that their pizza burnt his penis. He twittered saying this injury happened while he tried to have sex with the pie.  The funny thing is Domino's actually apologized for the misfortune.  The victim then responded saying Domino's should have posted a warning saying that having sex with a pizza can be dangerous

    Even funnier is Domino's cool response that they would look into the matter further to see what they could do to prevent the problem from happening again.

    I generally order from Mamas  Pizza but I am tempted now to order my next medium veggy from Domino's just to see if it will post some type of warning:

                    CAUTION- Pizza is very hot. Please wait 15 minutes for it to cool down before engaging it in sexual activity .

    Meanwhile in Fergus Falls, Minnesota some dude prank ordered 20 pizzas from Domino's, asking that they be delivered to his ex-girlfriend.  The tab was about $300 and police are charging him with theft.  He should have sent them to that guy in England.  For this guy twenty pizzas would have constituted a brothel.

    Next pizza event is in Kermit, West Virginia.  The district manager of a Pizza Hut got fired for peeing into the kitchen sink.  I actually patronize Pizza Hut occasionally.  If I do have problems in the future, I'll think twice about asking to speak to the manager. Or about asking where the washroom is. I don't want to know.

    For that matter I think from now on I'm switching to sushi.

    Please visit my personal injury and family law practice site, www.striglaw.com .  If I do not deliver an answer to my client's queries within 30 minutes, it's free.


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February 2014

Law Firm Down

Feb 9, 2014 12:26 PM
Marcel Strigberger

The big legal news this week is the disintegration of mega law firm, Heenan Blaikie.  Dozens of their partners jumped ship and now the good ship has sunk.

This should make us smaller firms feel somewhat grateful for our lot.  I did a check on my firm’s status and found out that not a single partner has bolted.  This week I have as many partners as I had last week.  Nor have any of them threatened to leave if I do not give them a raise.

I also did a comparison check between Heenan Blaikie and Marcel Strigberger- Lawyer/Avocat to see how we matched up.  We have a fair bit in common:



            Heenan Blaikie                                                          Marcel Strigberger


            In business 40 years                                                      In business 40 years (come March)


            Had offices in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal                I grew up in Montreal


            Extended business overseas, opening                         I once had a delicious chocolate

            branch in Paris in 2011                                                croissant at a café on the Left



            Alumni partners included former Quebec                      Alumni partners include

            Premier Pierre-Marc Johnson and former                      Marcel Strigberger

            Prime Ministers Pierre Trudeau and                            - I once voted for Pierre Trudeau.

            Jean Chrétien

I do feel for my colleagues and wish them all the best in the future. Times are tough for law firms. This has been a learning experience. For now I am holding off opening my new offices in London, New York and Sydney. You just never know.

I would add that as a gesture of good faith, I am prepared to take in any Heenan Blaikie lawyer refugees.  I am standing by my phone and watching my email. Please contact the office manager, Marcel Strigberger.  So far no one from Heenan Blaikie has approached me seeking a job.


Please also visit my practice site  www.striglaw.com for more info about my personal injury/insurance and family law practice. You never know whom you might meet in the waiting area.



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