THE ADVOCATE 295
VOL. 78 PART 2 MARCH 2020
By D. Michael Bain
REFLECTIONS ON CHAOS
IN THE COURTS—THE SOLUTIONS*
* Reprinted from (1984) 42 Advocate 15.
By Mary F. Southin, Q.C.
When I say “solutions” I do not mean solutions that will
work for all time. Every system ultimately decays.
One can illustrate this truism by considering the proposal
made by Bouck J. for a trial brief. When I was a
young lawyer I was taught that the issues were elucidated for the parties
and the court by pleadings, the openings of counsel and their arguments.
There were no such things as books of authorities. Counsel read from the
reports and the judge was expected to grasp by listening to what had been
decided in other cases if he did not know the law on the point. Not only does
every additional requirement for a piece or pieces of paper add to the cost
of litigation but also, although I rarely hear this point discussed, it contributes
to denuding our forests. How many millions of pieces of paper have
been used, for instance, to make up books of authorities that have ended in
the rubbish bins of the profession in British Columbia?
The sections of the Judicature Act of 1873 relating to pleadings intended
them to simplify and elucidate the issues. Unfortunately, in this jurisdiction