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Old 04-17-2014, 05:27 PM   #51
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A lawyer in Victoria has taken the initiative to try and force a special general meeting of the Law Society of BC. If 5% of the lawyers in BC make the request (about 550 people) then they will have to declare the meeting and the decision may be overturned.

Read more about it here: Trinity Western law school could face new law society vote - British Columbia - CBC News

I've signed the form and sent it over. If there are any other lawyers here, I invite you to do the same. Feel free to contact me if you need a copy.
Don't forget, the original decision was based on the idea that there is no LEGAL reason to deny their accreditation. Unless the law has changed in the last couple weeks, I don't see why the decision should change either.
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Old 04-17-2014, 06:20 PM   #52
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That original decision is based on a ruling that is over 10 years old. The laws can change. This issue needs to be revisited.

Even the benchers who voted to let TWU's application pass said that they believe the covenant is abhorrent and objectionable.

Shouldn't be hard to get 550 signatures. How I wish I could sign that form now.

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Michael Mulligan told The Times his email request to the society’s 11,000 members to convene a special general meeting went out yesterday and has already generated hundreds of "overwhelmingly positive" responses.

"The fax machine, email and phone went bananas," Mulligan said.

He expects by next week he will have the minimum five per cent of society members in good standing required to force the meeting at a future date.
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Old 04-17-2014, 10:14 PM   #53
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A lawyer in Victoria has taken the initiative to try and force a special general meeting of the Law Society of BC. If 5% of the lawyers in BC make the request (about 550 people) then they will have to declare the meeting and the decision may be overturned.

Read more about it here: Trinity Western law school could face new law society vote - British Columbia - CBC News

I've signed the form and sent it over. If there are any other lawyers here, I invite you to do the same. Feel free to contact me if you need a copy.
So this lawyer (Mulligan) thinks that "the vast majority of lawyers take issue with the university's covenant banning", which is why he believes he'll easily get his 550 votes to force a special meeting (and then get a majority vote at that special meeting to overturn).

Yet the law society ruled 20-6 in favor of TWU.

Why does he think most lawyers are against this when the benchers voted 20-6 in favor of TWU? Don't the benchers represent a cross-section of all lawyers in BC? Or is this group of benchers somehow skewed with an unusually high number of "religious" people who overlooked the law in order to make a decision that aligned with their personal beliefs?

I find it extremely arrogant to state that most lawyers think the way you do when a group of lawyers who actually thought long and hard about this decision voted against what you think.
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Old 04-17-2014, 10:33 PM   #54
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Many of the benchers voted that way because they felt their hands were tied by established precedent.

Indeed, doing something that goes against what you believe, in order to uphold the rule of law, is admirable. If the benchers had used their own beliefs then the outcome may have been different.

Edit:

Lets pretend TWU v BCCT did not exist.

On one hand we have TWU who wants freedom of religion and the freedom to discriminate against LGBT and other groups. On the other hand we need to think about the right to equality.

How do we balance these competing interests? Are we going to say that yes, TWU does have the right to discriminate and that right to discriminate takes priority over the right to equality? The answer should be no.

TWU and its administration can go ahead and believe that being a homosexual or have premarital sex is evil - if all they do is believe then their freedom of religion should be respected. But when that belief becomes conduct and that conduct results in harm and discrimination then the right to equality trumps freedom of religion.
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Old 04-18-2014, 12:13 AM   #55
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So this lawyer (Mulligan) thinks that "the vast majority of lawyers take issue with the university's covenant banning", which is why he believes he'll easily get his 550 votes to force a special meeting (and then get a majority vote at that special meeting to overturn).

Yet the law society ruled 20-6 in favor of TWU.

Why does he think most lawyers are against this when the benchers voted 20-6 in favor of TWU? Don't the benchers represent a cross-section of all lawyers in BC? Or is this group of benchers somehow skewed with an unusually high number of "religious" people who overlooked the law in order to make a decision that aligned with their personal beliefs?

I find it extremely arrogant to state that most lawyers think the way you do when a group of lawyers who actually thought long and hard about this decision voted against what you think.
He didn't state that most lawyers think that way. He "believes" it. What that is based on, I don't know. Probably just discussions with colleagues. The legal community isn't all that large, so it's not the hardest thing to get the pulse of the group at large if you're determined to do so.

The benchers aren't infallible. Their decisions should be (and are) subject to checks and balances. In the end, the benchers are also just a small group of people. They're not even necessarily the best or the brightest minds in the legal community. And if there's a sufficient number of lawyers who believe this decision is flawed, or at least that it should be scrutinized more, then the mechanism exists to compel a review.
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Old 04-18-2014, 12:35 AM   #56
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I hope the vote fails. This whole thing is retarded.

Roughly 5% of the population even has the mental acuity to get into law school. TWU wouldn't even be close to being one of my top choices either. So who exactly is being affected?
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Old 04-18-2014, 12:55 AM   #57
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The issue is discrimination. By allowing this to happen we are saying that it is ok for people to actively discriminate against others.

What kind of message does that send? That discrimination is permitted as long as the number of people harmed are little to none?
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Old 04-18-2014, 06:05 PM   #58
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Many of the benchers voted that way because they felt their hands were tied by established precedent.

..... If the benchers had used their own beliefs then the outcome may have been different.
Isn't that WHY the law exists? So you don't make decisions based on your personal beliefs?
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Old 04-18-2014, 06:44 PM   #59
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Arrogant maybe, but it is called due process. It is part of our legal framework. They can fight all the way to the supreme court if they want to, as long as they are paying for it, I am fine with it. Some people collect stamps, some people like to tilt windmills. It is democracy.

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I find it extremely arrogant to state that most lawyers think the way you do when a group of lawyers who actually thought long and hard about this decision voted against what you think.
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Old 04-18-2014, 07:18 PM   #60
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So this lawyer (Mulligan) thinks that "the vast majority of lawyers take issue with the university's covenant banning", which is why he believes he'll easily get his 550 votes to force a special meeting (and then get a majority vote at that special meeting to overturn).

Yet the law society ruled 20-6 in favor of TWU.

Why does he think most lawyers are against this when the benchers voted 20-6 in favor of TWU? Don't the benchers represent a cross-section of all lawyers in BC? Or is this group of benchers somehow skewed with an unusually high number of "religious" people who overlooked the law in order to make a decision that aligned with their personal beliefs?

I find it extremely arrogant to state that most lawyers think the way you do when a group of lawyers who actually thought long and hard about this decision voted against what you think.
Are you high?

The benchers could be skewed for all we know. If Mulligan is right, then he'll have his 550. If he is wrong, then he won't. It's called ensuring the benchers are answerable to the people they represent, if lawyers weren't allowed to step up and force reviews then the benchers could do things that are against the views of the majority of the people they represent.

Do you honestly think that they should be able to do what they want without answering to those they represent? Like a lawyer dictatorship?
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Old 04-18-2014, 07:49 PM   #61
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Arrogant maybe, but it is called due process. It is part of our legal framework. They can fight all the way to the supreme court if they want to, as long as they are paying for it, I am fine with it. Some people collect stamps, some people like to tilt windmills. It is democracy.
Where did I say it's arrogant for him to challenge a ruling? I clearly stated it's arrogant to assume most lawyers agree with his position.

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Are you high?

The benchers could be skewed for all we know. If Mulligan is right, then he'll have his 550. If he is wrong, then he won't. It's called ensuring the benchers are answerable to the people they represent, if lawyers weren't allowed to step up and force reviews then the benchers could do things that are against the views of the majority of the people they represent.

Do you honestly think that they should be able to do what they want without answering to those they represent? Like a lawyer dictatorship?
Am I high? Did you seriously ask such an asinine question?

Where did I say anything to imply that the benchers don't have to answer to anyone? Nowhere.

Mulligan could get his 550, but that's only 5% of the lawyers in BC. 5% doesn't make him "right" at all. All that does is force a special general meeting. At that meeting there will have to be a majority vote to overturn the TWU decision. If the "vast majority" (Mulligan's own words) of lawyers at that meeting rule against the TWU decision then, and only then, would he be considered right.

Or not. This also depends on how many lawyers actually show up for the meeting, and if they represent a normal cross section of all lawyers in BC. You stated "The benchers could be skewed for all we know". If they have a meeting and vote to uphold the TWU decision does that mean the lawyers who showed up for the meeting were also skewed in favor of TWU? What if they vote to overturn? Does it mean the lawyers were skewed against TWU? Or are they only "skewed" if they make a decision you don't like, and "reasonable" if they make a decision you agree with?
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:25 PM   #62
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Am I high? Did you seriously ask such an asinine question?

Where did I say anything to imply that the benchers don't have to answer to anyone? Nowhere.

Mulligan could get his 550, but that's only 5% of the lawyers in BC. 5% doesn't make him "right" at all. All that does is force a special general meeting. At that meeting there will have to be a majority vote to overturn the TWU decision. If the "vast majority" (Mulligan's own words) of lawyers at that meeting rule against the TWU decision then, and only then, would he be considered right.

Or not. This also depends on how many lawyers actually show up for the meeting, and if they represent a normal cross section of all lawyers in BC. You stated "The benchers could be skewed for all we know". If they have a meeting and vote to uphold the TWU decision does that mean the lawyers who showed up for the meeting were also skewed in favor of TWU? What if they vote to overturn? Does it mean the lawyers were skewed against TWU? Or are they only "skewed" if they make a decision you don't like, and "reasonable" if they make a decision you agree with?
Well you're sure getting your panties in a knot about the guy actually using the system designed to make them answerable. Since you're bitching about the guy using the system I'm taking that as an issue with the system, the alternative being what? How would you prefer things work should lawyers have an issue with the bench?

It's obviously not going to be perfect, and I'm not saying that they ARE skewed, but they COULD be. The meeting could end up skewed as well, but only if lawyers choose not to show interest in this.

Also the bit about the vast majority isn't a direct quote, so those aren't necessarily his own words, it could just be bad reporting. If you aren't high then maybe you need to brush up on your reading skills.
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:39 PM   #63
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Isn't that WHY the law exists? So you don't make decisions based on your personal beliefs?
Yes, but the law is not static and unchanging. It can change just like it did when we realized that women should be able to vote and that slavery and racism are wrong.

It takes a lot of courage to be able to follow a law that results in behaviour that you believe to be discriminatory, oppressive, and abhorrent and that is what the majority of benchers did.

However, it also takes courage to stand up for what you believe in and try to create change - which is what the dissenting benchers tried to do.

The benchers were elected to be leaders and not followers, the result of the vote was disappointing because the Law Society's mandate is to regulate lawyers in the public interest and it has been given discretion and jurisdiction to do that.

I do not think an appropriate balance was struck between freedom of religion and equality... their decision was skewed towards religion and that, I believe, is not in the public interest.
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:33 AM   #64
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Public interest should not matter. It's a private school. If UBC or SFU decided to have a covenant like this THEN I would completely disagree with it. But it's TWU. A long standing Christian University.
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Old 04-19-2014, 11:12 AM   #65
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Of course public interest matters. These lawyers, whether from TWU or SFU or UBC or wherever else, are supposed to serve the public. That's the whole point.
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Old 04-19-2014, 11:19 AM   #66
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Lawyers serve clients. Nothing more. Personally I think a school like TWU would do good for the area of law based on all the terrible and corrupt lawyers I've had the displeasure of meeting.
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Old 04-19-2014, 11:20 AM   #67
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Let me elaborate. This has nothing to do with TWU's covenant. That's their own business. You are right, they are a private institution and are free to be as discriminatory and anal as they wish with their moral code. But according to the legal profession act of BC

3 It is the object and duty of the society to uphold and protect the public interest in the administration of justice by
(a) preserving and protecting the rights and freedoms of all persons,
(b) ensuring the independence, integrity, honour and competence of lawyers,

The reason why there is a controversy is because, in a nutshell, it's difficult for some, including myself, to reconcile the fact that the supposed graduates of this school will be competent and able/willing to uphold the principles of the practice of law in BC when the very foundation of their knowledge, being their university education, is discriminatory.
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Old 04-19-2014, 11:21 AM   #68
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Lawyers serve clients. Nothing more. Personally I think a school like TWU would do good for the area of law based on all the terrible and corrupt lawyers I've had the displeasure of meeting.
Well, luckily your personal experiences aren't the proper basis for policy.

Edit: I also fail to see how TWU would be "good for the area of law". Are you saying that discrimination based on sexual orientation equates to a higher moral standard or intelligence?
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Old 04-19-2014, 07:39 PM   #69
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Well you're sure getting your panties in a knot about the guy actually using the system designed to make them answerable. Since you're bitching about the guy using the system I'm taking that as an issue with the system, the alternative being what? How would you prefer things work should lawyers have an issue with the bench?

It's obviously not going to be perfect, and I'm not saying that they ARE skewed, but they COULD be. The meeting could end up skewed as well, but only if lawyers choose not to show interest in this.

Also the bit about the vast majority isn't a direct quote, so those aren't necessarily his own words, it could just be bad reporting. If you aren't high then maybe you need to brush up on your reading skills.
Panties in a knot? Again with the 12 year old comments.

I haven't taken a position as to whether the TWU decision is right or wrong. Nor have I taken a position that the Law Society systems are right or wrong.

I think you're the one with reading comprehension skills. My posts on this matter seem straightforward to me, but I'll state them as clear as I possibly can:


Whenever there's a decision on a controversial topic (gay marriage, abortion, this TWU decision and so on) you ALWAYS have people like Mulligan or Trevor Loke come out of the woodwork. I already commented on Trevor Loke so there's no need to repeat it.

It could be bad reporting about Mulligan saying a "vast majority", but he did state "the policies of the university are viewed almost universally as discriminatory and inappropriate". Whenever someone states something as an absolute, I call that arrogant. It's a logical fallacy similar to saying "only an idiot would believe x".

What I see in this thread is a lot of people who disagree with the TWU decision, but can't seem to argue the case without getting pissed off about it or taking offence to anyone who makes any sort of critical comment about those involved. I don't really care about the TWU case and what happens to it. I'm just sick of people like Mulligan and Loke who appear to me have other motives and are using this case to further them (especially Loke, given his history).
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The issue is discrimination. By allowing this to happen we are saying that it is ok for people to actively discriminate against others.

What kind of message does that send? That discrimination is permitted as long as the number of people harmed are little to none?
Discrimination cuts both ways: by denying the accreditation, we'd be saying that because someone believes a certain way and wants to attend a school based on those beliefs, they aren't worthy of being lawyers - that, too, is active discrimination.

You could argue that they have the choice then to go to a secular law school... but then there's the counter argument that there are plenty of secular law schools that OTHERS can go to if they don't want to adhere to TWU's beliefs.
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Old 04-19-2014, 07:50 PM   #71
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Discrimination cuts both ways: by denying the accreditation, we'd be saying that because someone believes a certain way and wants to attend a school based on those beliefs, they aren't worthy of being lawyers - that, too, is active discrimination.

You could argue that they have the choice then to go to a secular law school... but then there's the counter argument that there are plenty of secular law schools that OTHERS can go to if they don't want to adhere to TWU's beliefs.
Okay just to be clear, you are talking about Christians who want to be lawyers being discriminated against if TWU doesn't get accredited?

No law school in Canada is making Christians sign a covenant forcing them to hide their beliefs or face sanctions that include expulsion. No law school is effectively putting up a sign that says "Christians are not welcome".

Again, there is a difference between belief and conduct. You are free to believe whatever you want as long as you do not turn those beliefs into harm (which in this case is discrimination).

edit: grammar
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Discrimination cuts both ways: by denying the accreditation, we'd be saying that because someone believes a certain way and wants to attend a school based on those beliefs, they aren't worthy of being lawyers - that, too, is active discrimination.

You could argue that they have the choice then to go to a secular law school... but then there's the counter argument that there are plenty of secular law schools that OTHERS can go to if they don't want to adhere to TWU's beliefs.
Wrong. If someone believes a certain way and wants to attend a school based on those beliefs... GO NUTS. But if you want to attend a school that preaches a discriminatory set of principles that are contrary to the legislated non-discriminatory foundation of the legal profession, then there's a problem.
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Okay just to be clear, you are talking about Christians who want to be lawyers being discriminated against if TWU doesn't get accredited?
I'm talking about Christians in general, and the school specifically, being discriminated against because of their beliefs. The general implication being stated HERE by some of you is that you think those identifying themselves as Christian will be incapable of performing duties as lawyers, simply because of their beliefs - how is that not discrimination and prejudice?
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Old 04-20-2014, 08:29 AM   #74
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That's the most backwards reasoning I've ever heard.

You're basically saying "you're discriminating against our right to be discriminatory". If TWU wants to force its students to adhere to its code, then that's perfectly fine. If Christian or non-Christian students want to attend law school, that's also perfectly fine. Our point is this:

The legal profession is supposed to accessible and equal to all, and I quote (again) -- preserving and protecting the rights and freedoms of all persons. How is it that a school can purport to teach its students the foundations of law that will guide them through their legal careers when they have to sign a form before even stepping through the door that is completely contrary to that very principle?
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:39 AM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Majestic12 View Post
Let me elaborate. This has nothing to do with TWU's covenant. That's their own business. You are right, they are a private institution and are free to be as discriminatory and anal as they wish with their moral code. But according to the legal profession act of BC

3 It is the object and duty of the society to uphold and protect the public interest in the administration of justice by
(a) preserving and protecting the rights and freedoms of all persons,
(b) ensuring the independence, integrity, honour and competence of lawyers,

The reason why there is a controversy is because, in a nutshell, it's difficult for some, including myself, to reconcile the fact that the supposed graduates of this school will be competent and able/willing to uphold the principles of the practice of law in BC when the very foundation of their knowledge, being their university education, is discriminatory.
Not necessarily replying to you specifically, just these types of posts in general.

A friend of mine is a pretty hardcore Christian, who just also happens to be a lawyer. Despite his personal beliefs about gays and whatnot, he still managed to successfully argue for a gay client who was discriminated against at work and won the case. All despite his own beliefs. Sure, it may be an isolated case of a religious person taking a case that goes against their own feelings, but I've a feeling it's not.

Also, keep in mind that just because you become a lawyer, it doesn't mean you'll only be in court fighting for LGBT rights; you can become a patents lawyer or notary or a thousand other specialists where your beliefs have absolutely no impact on your work life.
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