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cussed.” So informative. For many years it published notes of cases that
were considered to be of interest to the profession, and indeed these case
notes did keep the profession up to date on what the courts were up to.
Then the digital age rendered case notes an anachronism and they were
In 1943 the Advocate ran to 36 pages and remained that size until 1967.
Then it slowly grew as more articles began to be printed, until now it is consistently
164 pages in size.
Occasionally I used to be asked what the Advocate’s editorial policy was.
These enquiries came mostly from practitioners in Ontario, impressed by
our magazine. They were thinking of establishing a magazine of their own.
The truth was, and still is, that there isn’t an editorial policy. I used to tell
them that the Advocate ran on the principle that if an edition ever came out
that did not annoy someone, then it had failed. I could hear them shaking
their heads at the other end of the telephone. But really that was no more
than the principle espoused by the late, great, eccentric, American journalist
H.L. Mencken, who maintained that the function of journalism is to comfort
the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. (It gives me pleasure to note
that Michael Bain is following on in this tradition.)
The Advocate has also sought to entertain. It is intended to be read for
pleasure as well as for information and education. Perhaps this is why
Gerry Lecovin, Q.C., has always been allowed so much ink.
Lord Justice Birkett held that the first duty of an advocate is to be listened
to. If you lose the ear of your audience, judge, jury, tribunal or whoever,
then you have surely lost your case.
So I would like to leave this subject with the epitaph that Hilaire Belloc
wrote for himself:
When I am dead, I hope it may be said:
His sins were scarlet, but his books were read.