THE ADVOCATE V O L . 7 5 P A R T 4 J U L Y 2 0 1 7 625
With the zoom lens the judge can see the gist of an argument or the nub
of the case even before plaintiff’s counsel has been five minutes into his
opening. This feature is particularly discerning in motions for nonsuit
because without it you would never know whether there is a scintilla of evidence
to support the plaintiff’s case. Scintillas are such minute particles as
to be invisible to the naked eye. Litigible issues loom larger but can be hidden
in shadow and will often elude even the zoom lens when motions for
summary judgment are made under Rule 18.
The magnification of the zoom lens allows constant observation of the
thread of argument, and the golden thread that runs through the fabric of
every criminal trial is almost dazzling. The magnification is strong enough
to show the finer points of counsel’s argument and the inconsistencies in
the Crown’s case. If a civil case appears only as a tiny image, even under
magnification, then the glasses flash a de minimus non curat lex sign.
Without the magic helpers a judge would never recognize an estoppel;
with them an estoppel looms up like a stop sign festooned with flashing red
lights. Equally distinguishable are the plumages of a causa sine qua non and
a causa causans, the latter having much more prominent causal connections,
somewhat similar to the canals on the moon. Nonfeasances stand out
as white, malfeasances as black.
The colour enhancer shows arguments in their best light but filters out
purple prose and blocks arbitrary points of view. It clearly distinguishes
between red herrings and the edible kind.
The handy-dandy duration expander—also known as the hunch confirmer—
cuts in at the end of the first day to reveal that the two-day cases
will probably take a week. The expander also raises the $100,000 limit to
allow for inflation. Turn the knob the other way and it changes from an
expander to a minimizer to reduce mountains back into molehills, and to
contract the $100,000 limit to allow for contingencies.
For middle distance the glasses sometimes can confuse. For example, one
day in Division A Chambers Neil Fleishman walked in the door with his
green vest and I thought it was a walking pool table.
The Japanese have perfected a sensor for incorporation in the glasses
called Model BS 1000, which alters the lens colour as the level in counsel’s
argument increases. When the level reaches 1000, the peak of tolerability,
the lenses are bright red and might even start to melt at the edges. Powerful
advocates are lobbying the federal government to ban their importation. If
it goes to court the Pollution Control Board is coming in as amicus curiae.
While the glasses are capable of translating Latin into English, they flash
a REJECT sign at some lawyer’s Latin. A REPEAT sign follows and if it is still
incomprehensible it flashes SPELL IT and, finally, FORGET IT.