Mr. Duhaime, the lawyer/writer behind this website, sat down with us on Friday, September 14, 2007 to answer some questions.
Now, back to our regular programming.
What does FAQ mean?
It stands for fortuitous acrimonious query, pronounced "fortuitous acrimonious query".
Why do you have a FAQ page?
Because I was feeling good one mid-September morning in 2007 and had some spare time before I rushed off to the Vancouver Canucks training camp up in Colwood.
Are you a professional hockey player?
Although I am good enough to be a professional hockey player, if it wasn't for that aging thing, I have chosen instead to be a professional lawyer and professional legal information website writer.
Do you write your own stuff or does someone else do it for you?
Other lawyers do write articles for the website. For example, Darren Williams, LL.B. wrote most of the articles at the Maritime Law section.
Do I have to read this FAQ or can I clicked on the BACK or "Get The Heck Out Of Here" button?
All of those buttons have been turned off and will not work until you scroll to the bottom of this page.
Are there any FAQs that I should ask?
Are you a FAQing idiot?
Although it may been intended in jest, that word appears to me to be a direct reference to a popular but vulgar swear word and in order to not encourage such parlance on this respectable website where, from time to time, children gather, I elect to not respond ... although I should point out that in Dumb and Funny Things Said In Court: The Scotland Chronicles, the actual word used, in legal history, would be fecund idiot.
Why did you start Duhaime.org?
To be of service. To demystify the law! To be the Blackstone of my era! To boldly go where no lawyer has gone before!
Do other lawyers admire or respect you for your website?
Uh ... like ... yes!
Is the word "Duhaime" chosen from a book of Hard To Pronounce French Names or did you just make it up?
Duhaime is a real French name. My ancestors came from France to Quebec in 1635. My first ancestor was scalped. My original surname was Lemaître but it got changed to Duheme, later further changed to Duhaime. The "e" is silent and the surname sounds much different – some say better – when pronounced in French (and it rymes with the French word for "love"). See The Musket and the Cane.
Are you like a recluse spending all his time writing this website or do you have a real life?
I have a real life. Besides being a husband and a father and sleeping and meetings with clients and working on my files, I play ice hockey.
Do you actually like the "law"?
Yes. Call me crazy, but I love it. I love the history of it and especially how we have evolved from feisty, barbaric cave dwellers to modern society and how law is responsible for most of that. We spend so much time worshipping religion and yet I often think that some of that attention ought to be directed towards the worship of justice and the law. I believe the words of Rebecca West when she said;
"What’s good on this earth does not happen as a matter of course. It has to be created and maintained by the effort of love and by submission to the rule of law."
What would you tell a young person who is thinking of a career in law?
Run, child, run!
Just kidding. One of the fascinating things about the profession of law is that you can do so much with it. First of all, it empowers you with comprehensive knowledge of the rules and regulations which governs every aspect of society. That knowledge has been put to excellent use not only by lawyers - who meet with clients and advise them as to their legal rights, or go to Court to fight for those legal rights - but also by entrepreneurs, journalists, politicians, writers, mediators, realtors, business persons, bankers, teachers ... and the list goes on.
What was law school like?
I went to law school in the French language in Montréal, Université de Montréal. I loved it. What I enjoyed the most was reading cases. Every case sets up the drama of law as some real person is thrust into its grasp by way of some dispute. A case sets out the facts, the legal principles at play, and then matches the two in a judgment; a process that in my mind would be akin to the pleasure a cook gets from baking a cake or preparing a gourmet meal; or the kick a carpenter gets from building a house.
What was the highlight of your career?
Appearing before a three-judge panel of the Supreme Court of Canada. I won the case against the federal government and their battery of lawyers see Gagnon v Commission de l'Emploi et de l'Immigration du Canada, December 10, 1985). It actually happened on my first day of call to the Québec law society which, according to the Supreme Court Registrar, was and remains a first for the court, which should have got me a Rookie Of The Year award!
Why are you so vain?
Assuming that that is not a rhetorical question (was it?), self-confidence is essential in my profession.
The litigation process is still designed to be adversarial. Because of that, some lawyers revert to trying to undermine the other lawyer’s confidence. It is a very distasteful element of my profession which I sometimes deal with on a daily basis (depending on who is acting for the other sides in my active files). Although I understand it is "part of the game", and I try to never do it myself (it basically means trying to be a jerk or a bully), it has been my experience that the best bulwark against that type of nonsense is self-confidence. I deeply regret if it comes across as 'vanity'.
Where in the world are you based?
Cook Street Village area, Fairfield District, Victoria, Vancouver Island, Province of British Columbia, nation-state of Canada, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way, Universe, and I forget the postal code.
Do you, like, have any friends?
Yes. They know, like, who they are.
Thank you very much for your candid and honest answers to these questions.
That is not a question.
It was not intended as a question, dummy, but to indicate that this FAQ is faquing over!
[At this point, the audiotape was interrupted by loud shouting and grunts and the transcriber was unable to determine what was said or who said what. After about 30 seconds of such noise, the tape abruptly ended.]
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