Crown prosecutor John Ramsay offered the court his rhymes. (QMI Agency file photo)
OTTAWA – A prosecutor’s poetry convicted a drunk driver Thursday.
Joey Anderson, 25, was found guilty of impaired driving after he rolled his car on the highway early July 16, 2010.
Anderson blew about twice the legal limit in breath samples taken at hospital later.
In the courtroom, evidence was heard, applications were seen.
But the highlight was Crown prosecutor John Ramsay’s closing submission:
On July 16, 2010
Crashed his car, did Mr. Anderson
Without second thought, two citizens did stop
And called 911 for fire and cops
At 0220 Blanchette did arrive
To see if the lone occupant did survive
And peeking his head through (the) windshield did hear
Mr. Anderson’s claim of “only drinking 15 beer”
From beginning to end no can say
That police sat idle or created delay
As medics did work, the police withdrew
In consideration this was not just a flu
Beers at a cottage, 15 did he drink
And proceed to drive, rather than think
A marked departure from the reasonable driver
Mr. Anderson is fortunate he’s a survivor
Reasonableness of their acts does exude
The samples of breath, You ought not exclude
His rights were respected by all those involved
This poem’s near over, this crime is solved
And all that is based on a finding of Breach
The existence of which the Crown doth impeach
After 2 days of trial Your Honour will see
The only verdict is one of guilty
The prosecutor later apologized for the rhymed closing. Is there anything unethical about the way he chose to sum up his case?
As you know, prospective lawyers are required to go through a “good character” evaluation before being admitted to the bar. Not to say that every lawyer therefore has “good character,” but the bar does try to do a little weeding. There is no bright-line rule excluding applicants just because they once stabbed a guy 33 times, but still some are questioning whether the University of British Columbia should have given one of its spaces to Sasan Ansari.
At the very least, maybe it should reconsider the scholarship.
Last week we discussed the effect of criminal convictions in bar admissions and the role of the Character and Fitness Committee of the Alabama State Bar. It would appear that Canadian standards for the practice of law may differ somewhat from those in Alabama.
Yesterday in class, we ran out of time to watch several advertisements for attorneys. As you watch these, remember the requirements of the Alabama Rules of Professional conduct:
- Do not make material misrepresentations of fact or law
- Do not create unjustified expectations about the result the lawyer can achieve
- Do not imply that the lawyer can achieve results by means that the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law
- Do not compare the quality of services with other lawyers
If the ad violates any of those rules, it is false and misleading, and a violation of the rules of professional conduct. For each ad, ask yourself the following:
- Is it ethical?
- What image does it portray?
- Would you want to be associated with this firm? (What would you think if friends of family saw the ad and knew you worked for the firm?)
(Surprisingly, there are a whole bunch of ads on youtube for dog bite attorneys. Who knew it was a specialty?)