Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 18
- Grade: 12
In Less Painful Duties, C.D. Evans shares his reflections upon the revolutionary events in his Profession in the last fifty years: the Charter of Rights; the welcome female ascendancy; disclosure; Law Society governance; legal aid and pro bono; Alberta Courts and Judicial appointments; the impact of the computer, the cell phone, and social media; and the decline of advocacy.
About the author
C.D. Evans QC is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and held the Milvain Visiting Chair in Advocacy at the University of Calgary Faculty of Law. He is a Life Member of the National Criminal Law Program Faculty. Called in Alberta and Northwest Territories, he has argued in the Supreme Court of Canada and other jurisdictions. Mr. Evans authored two other legal memoirs, Milt Harradence: The Western Flair; and A Painful Duty: Forty Years at the Criminal Bar. He also co-wrote Durvile Publications’ 5000 Dead Ducks: Lust and Revolution in the Oilsands, and co-edited Tough Crimes: True Cases by Top Canadian Criminal Lawyers. He is known for his courtroom eloquence and as a man who runs to the beat of a different drummer.
Excerpt: Less Painful Duties: Reflections on the Revolution in the Legal Profession (by (author) C.D. Evans)
From the Chapter “NOSTALGIE DE LA BAR” “I have always said that the strength of this Profession is not found in the great sonorously omnipotent legal mills with their Persian rugs and overpriced artwork, but is found in every young lawyer who gets on her or his hind legs in a hostile courtroom before an incompetent or stupid judge, opposed by a sanctimonious puke of a prosecutor, defending a notoriously opprobrious client who has lied and prevaricated from day one, and says, in a calm and confident and clear voice, “I defend this prisoner!” The suggestion that a law firm, purporting to be made up of professionals who have qualified to practice our Profession, should be obsessed with the efficacy of its ‘brand’ at large is anathema to those of us who are practicing Barristers. One could well ask, what is to regret with the passing of those early years? Nostalgia is a powerful emotional sentiment that infects all of us at a certain age and perspective, when we find ourselves making comparisons and noting contrasts. Conclusion: one is at one with the moneyed old bag in Beyond the Fringe’s superb satire on The War: ”I said to my husband – as he then was – Squiffy, this is the end of an era.”
From the Chapter “IMPACT OF THE COMPUTER” “I should think if a criminal lawyer is addicted to his or her social media feed, he or she will need to consider everything he/she types, posts, shares and uploads. One must check, for example, the security of one’s profile to know what other people can see. What you once thought was private might have become public. In sum, I fail to see how any person can claim to have 3,752 ‘friends’ and never have met any of them. Some of them may not be friendly. That settles it. If I want a friend, I’ll buy a dog.”
“It’s a pleasure to hear somebody who knows what he’s talking about find fault with the aspects of the justice system that are generally treated with white-gloved piety.” - Alex Rettie, Alberta Views Magazine.