Day: April 10, 2014

Law on Film!

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By Ken Fox

We took an informal poll of our library staff, and the overwhelming favourite law-themed movie was Robert Mulligan’s 1962 To Kill A Mockingbird, with five votes in a staff of eight. movieOther films to receive nominations were 12 Angry Men (1 vote for each of the 1957 and 1997 versions), Anatomy of a Murder, The People vs. Larry Flynt, Cape Fear (1991 version), and legal comedies War of the Roses, Liar Liar, My Cousin Vinny, Trial and Error, and A Fish Called Wanda.

On his website, Ted Tjaden provides an index of 132 law-related movies. As well, the U of T law student newspaper Ultra Vires, produced its own Top 10 Cinematic Retrospective in 2012.

Do you have a favourite law-related movie?

How a Saskatchewan Farmer Scratched His Way into Legal History (Throwback Thursday)

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By Melanie Hodges Neufeld

“In case I die in this mess I leave all to the wife.” Cecil Geo. Harris

Any law student who has toiled in the College of Law Library since 1997 will be familiar with the tractor fender and pocket knife encased under glass amongst the stacks.HolographicWill The story of the Saskatchewan farmer who scratched his will into that tractor fender while trapped underneath is well known. However, an article recently published in the Saskatchewan Law Review, “An Analysis of Canada’s Most Famous HolographicWill3Holograph Will: How a Saskatchewan Farmer Scratched His Way into Legal History” by Geoff Ellwand (v.77), explores, as never before, the facts of the case and the legal work which led to the granting of letters administrations. This is a fascinating article that highlights the importance of this case:

This case is an example of not only Prairie practicality in extreme circumstances and the utility of holograph wills but also an instructive demonstration of the skilful, though at times idiosyncratic, handling of a rare legal circumstance by a hard-working country lawyer who appears to have realized immediately that he was dealing with something special.