The Law Society of Ontario (LSO), the province’s governing body for lawyers, has imposed a requirement for its lawyers to annually affirm adoption of a statement of principles (“SOP”), wherein lawyers agree to confirm and be in line with the doctrine and ethics of equity, diversion and inclusion (“EDI”). Although the lawyers are virtually unanimous in agreeing that in principle EDI is a good thing, they resent the LSO compelling them to say amen to the SOP, on pain of losing their right to practice. The driving force behind these regs are the group of elected “benchers”, as they are called, being lawyers primarily, who set the policies related to governance of the province’s lawyers and paralegals. All of this is not sitting well with the lawyers who are quite vocal about this apparent coercive hit.
The question is what can the frustrated and disgruntled lawyers do about it? I thought about the matter and the American Revolution came to mind. I especially was impressed with the Boston Tea Party. In short on December 16, 1773 a group of colonists not too happy with a British tea tax, dressed up as Mohawks and boarded 3 British ships in the Boston harbour and dumped over three hundred cases of tea into the water.
This act of defiance did not sit well with the Brits who proceeded to huff and puff and close down the Boston harbour. (or as they say in Boston, “habuh “).
But the event must have been effective as 16 months later the revolution formally started and as they say, the rest is history.
I suggest the lawyers come up with something similar. They can organize a commando group to seize the fine wines the benchers reputedly enjoy in their downtown Toronto iconic Osgoode Hall 18th century bastion. The team can dress up accordingly. As this mandatory SOP regulation adoption is more appropriate for another planet, given my fondness of Star Trek, I suggest they go disguised as Vulcans. And since Vulcans aim to live by logic and reason, rather than emotion, the party can readily talk their way into the wine cellar. They can say something to security like, “We come to relieve the benchers of their wine stash. Let us pass. Live long and prosper.”
What to do with the wine? Dumping it into Lake Ontario would be wasteful and not environmentally sound. Instead they could deliver it to a place where future generations of lawyers as well as the general public can view the wine as a reminder of strange and bizarre but true legislation, a place best suited to display the nonsensical, goofy and off the wall serving for the lawyers, by their own governing body. I would be perfectly willing myself to drive the wine to Niagara Falls and drop it off at the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum.
I say to the lawyers, more action, less talk.
And of course, cheers!