And the winner is ....
The winner of the Duhaime.org 2012 Canadian Fun Lawyer of the Year Award is Ms Yasmin Nakhuda.
No offense to Ms Nakhuda, but when we first heard of her actions, we had to check with the Law Society of Upper Canada to confirm that she was a licensed lawyer. Indeed she is, listed at 309-1200 Markham Road, Toronto Ontario as "NLCI Your Real Estate Lawyer Professional Corporation".
We also had to refresh our common law monkey law knowledge.
Yasmin's episode of fun started in July of 2012, when she discreetly accepted the care of a rhesus macaque which, for anybody that has visited the local zoo, will recognize as the significantly ADHD-disordered species of small monkeys. The little guys are just wired. And, if the zoo in Rome was any indication, not with the best bathroom manners and even at that, using the word manners very generously.
Ms Nakhuda, lawyer, named him Darwin, as in Darwin, monkey, and later told the press that she was like a mother to it.
Like a mother to it. Apologies; those words just seemed worth repeating.
Still, with her heart in the right place, if not her ability to think ahead, she was breaking the law, Yasmin gave Darwin bizarre or excellent care, depending on your perspective, even, apparently, showering with it.
Showering with it. Again, and I won't do it again, my apologies; those words just seemed worth repeating as in voluntarily showring with a monkey ... in Canada .. she's a lawyer, not that the latter fact has anything to do with it. She could of been a plastic surgeon or a radiologiost, an accountant or a stock-broker.
Anyway, probably outside the shower, she wrote:
"He is more than a handful: needs to be baby-bottle-fed night time and needs at least three diaper changes a day. He has to be with me all the time which means he goes with me to the office, sleeps with me, eats with me, showers with me, goes shopping with me....
"He is more than a handful: needs to be baby bottle fed night time and needs at least 3 diaper change a day....
"Darwin is like a human being."
The real interesting part started in December 2012, when Yasmin left the monkey in her car as she went shopping in a Toronto-area IKEA.
Darwin had been left with the diaper on and a big made-to-measure winter coat.
But these little guys are not entirely stupid: Darwin open his cage and then opened the vehicle and hopped out into the parking lot. Passersby took pictures and videos of him and posted them on Facebook and YouTube. Yasmin, was oblivious to all this as she was shopping,
Darwin became an instant sensation, the IKEA Monkey.
It was cold outside and someone let the monkey inside of IKEA. That caught the attention of the IKEA staff who called the Toronto Animal Services who carted the monkey away to the Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary in Sunderland, Ontario.
Macaque monkeys can carry a variety of diseases which can spread to the general public such as Hepatitis B and a type of herpes dangerous to humans. They also can become quite aggressive and unpredictable as they grow older.
And, drawing exclusively on information and impressions taken from the Lion King, they belong in a jungle somewhere and ought not to be wearing diapers, showering and sleeping with a female human in Toronto, Canada in December.
Yasmin received a notice of a $240 fine for housing a prohibited animal within the city.
Yasmin (did we mention she's a lawyer?) does not appear to be done though. As of December 15, 2012, she announced on a local radio station that she is going to be making a custody application to retrieve Darwin. She actually said on the radio show that she's: "sure this is what Darwin would want...."
Apparently, as we write this to honor her as the 2012 Canadian Fun Lawyer of the Year, she has indeed filed that lawsuit against Story Book Farm, a money-starved animal care organization that now has to hire lawyers to defend itself.
But, according to Yasmin's pet law lawyer Ted Charney:
"My client has not had any access to see her pet."
And little Darwin can be worth money: book tours ... tv talk shows ...
But maybe Yasmin hasn't thought of that.
First Runner-up of the venerable Duhaime.org 2012 Canadian Fun Lawyer of the Year Award goes to Jim Vigmond of Barrie, Ontario.
Jim is a former president of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association and the Simcoe County Law Association. According to his law firm website (oatleyvigmond.com), Jim practice includes personal injury law and he even teaches at Queens University Law School.
The firm's website has an American feel to it with a scrolling banner with all the firms many successes laid out one after the other: a $12 million settlement ... $2.5 million settlement ... $24 million verdict.
So we know he had the money to do the peculiar thing he did to earn him runner-up of the Duhaime.org 2012 Canadian Fun Lawyer of the Year Award.
He spent $5,300 on a well-used white toilet with black seat.
Five thousand, three hundred dollars.
He's a lawyer.
Now while there's no excuse for this kind of behavior but to his credit, he would want us to point out that the toilet came from the Maple Leaf Gardens locker room of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Gardens housed the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1931 until 1999 and one can only suppose that the toilet did its job for many National Hockey League superstars over the year.
I mean, it must mean something to Jim to have, to touch, to share, to just own this toilet which has gently and lovingly caught the piss, turds and vomit of such historical figures including Tim Horton, King Clancy, Turk Broda, George Armstrong, Syl Apps, Johnny Bower, Terry Sawchuk, Frank Mahovolich, Dave Keon, Norm Ullman ... and the list goes on and on.
When asked about the purchase by the local press, Jim revealed that he had been told he has "shit for brains".
That is way too harsh and ought to be ignored by the Ontario Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee if ... when ....
- Browne, Cheryl, Ontario lawyer flush with glee over lease to purchase, Toronto Sun, November 20, 2012
- Green, Jeff,
- Moore, Oliver, Darwin the Monkey Lived on owner's back, The Globe and Mail, December 10, 2012
- Warmington, Joe, Ikea Monkey's Owner Plans Custody Battle, Ottawa Sun, December 11, 2012