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ISBN: 9781552212233

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Why Good Lawyers Matter

Lawyers occupy a unique place in society. They are loved by some, distrusted or hated by others. More often than not, our perception of lawyers is shaped by the way the profession is portrayed in popular literature, on television, and in film. Many people think that lawyers only serve to help the wealthy, while others view them either as protectors of the innocent or as amoral defenders of the guilty. But do we really know the many roles that lawyers may play, the aims and goals of the profession, and whether lawyers meet those goals?

Why Good Lawyers Matter endeavours to provide an accessible look at lawyers in modern society. With contributions by leading commentators, this informative, thought-provoking collection contends with the questions of what is a lawyer, and what role lawyers do — and should — play in society.


David L Blaikie

David L. Blaikie is Assistant Professor in the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University where he teaches Torts, Civil Procedure, Professional Responsibility, and Alternative Dispute Resolution. He has a cross appointment with the Dalhousie University Faculty of Engineering where he lectures on tort law. He has also developed and taught courses in law at the University of Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Hue University, Hue City, Vietnam and the Atlantic School of Theology, Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has undergraduate degrees in philosophy and law from Gordon College, Wenham, Massachusetts (B.A.) and Dalhousie Law School (LL.B.), and graduate degrees in theology and law from Harvard Divinity School (M.T.S.) and Harvard Law School (LL.M.) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he was a Fulbright Scholar. He was called to the Nova Scotia Bar in 1993 and practised mainly insurance defence litigation. While in practice, he appeared before various administrative tribunals and courts in Nova Scotia, and wrote briefs for the Supreme Court of Canada.

Thomas A Cromwell

The Honourable Thomas Cromwell was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada on December 22, 2008. He had previously been appointed to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal in 1997. He obtained a B. Mus. in 1973 and an LL.B. in 1976 from Queen's University. He also obtained an A.R.C.T. diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music in 1974 and attended Oxford University, where he earned a B.C.L. in 1977. He holds honorary doctorates in law from Dalhousie University, Queen's University, and the Law Society of Upper Canada. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Justice Cromwell practised law in Kingston and Toronto and taught in the Faculty of Law of Dalhousie University. He also served as Executive Legal Officer to Chief Justice Antonio Lamer from 1992 to 1995. He has held many other offices including Secretary, Board of Governors, National Judicial Institute, 1992-95; Vice-chair, Nova Scotia Labour Relations Board and Construction Industry Panel, 1991-92; President, Continuing Legal Education Society of Nova Scotia; President, Canadian Association of Law Teachers, 1988-89; President, Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, 1999-2001; Chair, Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, 2007-8; Research Director, C.B.A. Court Reform Task Force, 1989-91; Chair, C.B.A. Interim Organizational Committee for the National Organization on Civil Justice Reform, 1996-97; and Commissioner, Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia, 2002-7.

Darrel Pink

Darrel Pink LLM (LSE, 1979), LLB (Dalhousie, 1978), BA (Acadia, 1975) is Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society (NSBS). Prior to his appointment as Executive Director, Mr. Pink was a partner in Patterson Kitz in Halifax where he practiced civil and criminal litigation and administrative law. He was a member of the NSBS Bar Council before his appointment as Executive Director. Mr. Pink has lectured for many years at Dalhousie Law School in the professional responsibility course. He is Past President of the Continuing Legal Education Society of Nova Scotia and has been a frequent presenter on issues of regulation of the profession to other law societies in Canada and abroad. From 2005 to 2007, Mr. Pink participated in four workshops on governance of the legal profession in Eastern Africa organized by the CBA along with its partners the Ethiopian Bar Association, the Uganda Law Society, the Law Society of Kenya, the Tanganyika Law Society and the Zanzibar Law Society.

Chapter Title Abstract Contributors Pages Year Price


Introduction to articles regarding the public perception, social status, and advocacy role of lawyers. 5 $0.50


Discussion of whether or not the lawyer-client relationship has improved in the past half century. 25 $2.50


Examination of why resort to the settlement process occurs more often toward the end of litigation rather than at the beginning. 13 $1.30


Exploration of some of the leading sources of the public perception that lawyers are liars and how to improve the situation. 13 $1.30


Exploration of the different ways in which lawyers exercise power in society. 25 $2.50


Examination of why lawyers have an image problem. 11 $1.10


Presentation of three samples of routine situations involving guilty pleas to illustrate the challenges and responsibilities involved in all aspects of legal practice. 7 $0.70


Description of the lawyer’s public and private roles in the context of justifying the regulation of lawyer conduct. 14 $1.40


Discussion of public interest litigation and test cases. 16 $1.60


Discussion of the issue of access to justice. 12 $1.20


Examination of academic and popular legal literature and bioethics literature to propose a profile for a great Canadian lawyer. ; 17 $1.70


Examination of the effect of 9/11 on issues of legal advocacy, specifically the balancing of security and freedom, and the role of the lawyer in a diverse society guided by notions of public … 27 $2.70


Description of the fundamental ideals of lawyers and how they may be advanced. 15 $1.50