Post 210

A Little Bit About Your Lawyer

Jay Cameron got his Bachelor of Arts degree (in English) from Canadian University College, in Lacombe, Alberta.

In the spring of 2015, it officially renamed itself Burman University. It was founded by a Seventh-Day Adventist couple, Charles A. Burman and Leona Burman, and students are expected to comply with the expectations of this belief system. Wikipedia quotes from the school’s 2015-16 handbook, which says that “students should not engage in dancing/clubbing or other activities that may occur in the presence of alcohol, tobacco or drugs.” It also says, “Attendance is expected at all spiritual and academic programming,” which is an unfortunate choice of words. (Spiritual programming? Sounds robotic.)

Wikipedia says that Burman University has 479 students. That probably explains why I hadn’t heard of it until today, when I decided to learn more about Jay Cameron, the lawyer acting on behalf of Trinity Christian School Association and Wisdom Home Schooling. The University of Alberta has, by comparison, 31,648 undergraduates.

For some reason, Jay Cameron did not get his law degree from the University of Alberta. Perhaps the entrance requirements were too high, or maybe he just wanted a change. He went to the University of New Brunswick, which I guess is fine, especially if you like the Atlantic Ocean.

His LinkedIn profile says that he attended law school from 2006-2009 but that doesn’t make a lot of sense when you read elsewhere that he was called to the bar in 2008. So let’s say he got his law degree — his LL.B. — in 2007 or earlier.

The letters LL.B. stand for Legum Baccalaureus, which is Latin for Bachelor of Laws. There are two ‘L’s because law is plural. Those Latin folks like to do stuff like that. In the United States, the universities call the equivalent degree a J.D., which stands for Juris Doctor (Doctor of Jurisprudence). Nowadays, some Canadian law schools have switched over, and give out J.D.s instead of LL.B.s. Same thing.

But anyway, Jay Cameron’s LinkedIn profile says that he was an associate at the Calgary law firm of Miller Thompson from “2007 to 2007,” but I don’t think he was. I think he was an articling student when he was there, based on a bar admission date in 2008.

I find it strange that his LinkedIn profile says he was at Miller Thompson for less than a year. Articling is a one-year deal, so why would a person be at a firm for less than a year?

Upon being admitted to the bar (=becoming a lawyer), Jay switched provinces, finding work in British Columbia as a crown prosecutor. It doesn’t say which city, town, village or hamlet he did this in, but by the wide-ranging nature of the cases he said he had (“bail hearings, Charter Applications, and prosecuting dangerous driving offences, sexual assaults, and other violent crime”) I suspect it was a smaller centre. When you work in a large city, you typically work on less exciting cases for quite a while. When you work in a smaller place, however, there are fewer lawyers, so even inexperienced lawyers are asked to take on more serious cases. He writes on his LinkedIn profile that he did this for two years, from 2008 until 2010.

Going by his LinkedIn resume, there is then a gap of about two years.

In 2012, Jay Cameron is back in Alberta and begins working for or with a lawyer named Bradley Y. Minuk, whose office is in Calgary. Mr. Minuk started his firm in 2008 and has trademarked the following phrase: “Prevention is nine-tenths of the law,” which is a twist on the phrase, “Possession is nine-tenths of the law.”

Between you and me, I don’t think Mr. Minuk needed to trademark it. I don’t see a long line of people anxious to use that gem.

(These days, Mr. Minuk’s firm consists of Mr. Minuk and an articling student.)

So anyway, in July of 2014, Jay Cameron went out on his own. I took issue with the incorrect calculation of how long he’s been on his own, but Jean Duteau says that this is the fault of LinkedIn, and not the fault of Jay Cameron; I’ll take Jean’s word for it.

I find it interesting that Jay Cameron refers to himself as an “independent legal contractor,” as opposed to a lawyer, or a ‘sole practitioner.’ I wonder why.

It also indicates that he is self-employed.

However, he is listed as a staff lawyer on the website for a Calgary organization created in 2010 called the “Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.” That would mean that he’s employed, wouldn’t it?

At first I was confused and thought there were two different Jay Camerons who both graduated from New Brunswick University law school.

It says that he joined JCCF as a staff lawyer in 2015. If he’s a staff lawyer, I don’t know why that isn’t on his LinkedIn profile, when he lists the other places he’s worked.

Oh well. Maybe he has a good reason.

The address that he used for filing his Originating Notice is the same address that is used by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, so maybe he’s acting as a staff lawyer when he acts for Trinity and Wisdom.

It’s almost as if he works for himself and yet he works for the Justice Centre at the same time. I suppose some lawyers do that. It’s hard to tell what the relationship is — kind of like the relationship between Wisdom and Trinity, maybe?

Oh well. I just found the entire thing rather interesting (more interesting than I expected), and these days interesting things become blog posts.

I also found it really interesting that “litigatorjc@gmail” filed his originating notice in Grande Prairie, Alberta.

That part, I do not get.

Why Grande Prairie? Why that judicial district? Alberta is divided into 11 judicial districts, I think, and I can’t figure out why he chose that one. It’s really far away from the action of this case, from what I can tell. Cold Lake (home town of Trinity) and Derwent (home town of Wisdom) are on the very easterly edge of Alberta, putting them very far away from Grande Prairie, which is on the western side.

I don’t get it. Why not file in St. Paul, which is relatively nearby (121 km)?

To put it into perspective, the distance between Cold Lake and Grande Prairie (700 km) is like the distance between Warsaw and Kyiv (750 km), or the distance between Paris and Zurich (653 km).

That’s a lot of driving, if you’re the driving type. But maybe you’re not worried about it.

Maybe you have a $300 per month car allowance, snow tires and some good tunes to keep you company.

Ah yes — and speaking of tunes, I had better get back to work. I’m planning to do the 1990s too, and I don’t want to keep you waiting longer than necessary.

See you later.

Say hello to Grande Prairie for me.