Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Police and Taser International

The various doctors' associations across Canada have announced new rules concerning drug companies' sponsorship of medical events. Wining and dining of doctors is of course a marketing tool for the sponsors. The fear is the influence this sponsorship may have on doctors' decisions as to which drugs they prescribe to their patients.

A spokesperson for one of the organizations said that the new rules will unite the professional bodies on how to manage their relationships with the drug companies. Some U.S. organizations have issued outright bans on  industry involvement with medical education out of concern it is biasing the doctors and leading to poorer prescribing.

What about other professional organizations? The Canadian Association  of Police Chiefs (CAPC), for example?  At a recent annual meeting, the CAPC accepted $100,000 as conference sponsor from Taser International Inc. The police also accepted stock options from Taser.

Medical professionals are concerned about industry influence on their decisions.  The public is left to wonder how great an influence Taser marketing tools exert on the purchase and use of its equipment by our police forces. May we expect similar rules from CAPC  in the near future?

Justice vs. Law

In late March, former media celebrity Jian Ghomeshi was found not guilty of various sex offences, to the chagrin of many.  The decision provoked protests.  If the trial trial produced any good it was to emphasize once again the difference between law and justice.

Law is a process whose application may or may not produce justice.  We do not have courts of justice, but courts of law, supported and occasionally restricted by arcane rules of procedure.  A practitioner of law should not be styled as Justice Judge Smith, rather Law Judge Smith.  A Minister of Justice in the government is a Minister of Law.

Justice by definition is never flawed, only denied at times in a court of law.  These objective descriptions would help the protesting public to understand the sometimes bizarre judgements rendered by a court.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Police and Death

On Feb 3, 2012, mentally troubled Michael Eligon, scissors in each hand, was confronted by eight to ten Toronto police officers. They shot and killed him. 

On Mar 20, 2015, a knife-wielding man faced three Peel Region police officers. They shot and killed him. 

On Mar 6, 2016, twelve Toronto police officers surrounded mentally troubled Devon LaFleur. They shot and killed him. 

On March 14, 2016, a man carrying a knife attacked two members of the Canadian Armed Forces. Several other unarmed military personnel subdued the attacker who was unharmed. 

Did no one die because the police were not present?

Monday, March 7, 2016

Justice delayed is justice denied

A March 4, 2016 report relates the good news that 1,600 Scotiabank employees will receive the overtime pay due to them. The bad news is that the $20.5-million settlement required nine years of legal wrangling. The $12.5-million in legal fees must also be borne by the bank.

In a similar class-action suit, 31,000 CIBC staff are currently engaged in a on-going suit against the bank also for unpaid overtime. The lawsuit was filed in June 2007.

A friend's stock brokerage firm was bought out by a bank. The bank attempted to modify my friend's pension to his detriment.  He sued. Four years later he won. The bank appealed.

In a lawsuit against the Law Society of Upper Canada, I was offered a settlement six years after the writ was issued. I did not recover my legal fees which amounted to half of the settlement.

The modus operandi on the part of corporations is the hope the plaintiff will lose interest, run out of money to continue the suit, or better still, die. In the latter case, the deceased's estate could be held liable for all costs.