THE ADVOCATE 677
VOL. 78 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2020
By Bruce Harper
hank you all for coming here today. First, a few introductions.
To my left are Associate and Student, and to my right are Paralegal
and my Assistant. I am, as you probably know, Partner.”1
Partner looked around the heavy boardroom table and was
satisfied with the feigned interest shown by the others in the room.
“The purpose of this meeting is to formulate our position with regard to
the recent lawsuit Plaintiff v. Defendant.”2 Partner looked appropriately concerned.
“Perhaps Associate can bring us up to date.”
Associate, who had done, or passed on, almost all the work on the file,
began to intone.
“The lawsuit, as set out in the memorandum at Tab 3 in the materials in
front of you…”—Associate paused to wait for the sound of binders being
opened, pages being turned and pens being poised—“…is a claim by Plaintiff
for infliction of nervous shock, emotional distress, nocturnal phantasms,
loss of conjugal capabilities and general mental anguish. The claims
relate to the short story competition being held by the Advocate, our provincial
Associate paused, mainly for effect.
“In addition, the plaintiff alleges breach of implied contract, denial of
entitlement and multiple human rights and Charter violations, especially
Nothing in what had been said by Associate should have been new to anyone
in the room, but there was no way of telling whether that was actually
the case or not.
Partner weighed in.3
“On the face of it, it’s difficult to see how this action can have any merit
at all. May I play devil’s advocate, approaching the issues as though for the
Associate winced inside. Partner was, of course, approaching the case as
though for the first time, because Associate knew that Partner had no clue
what the case was about until about one minute ago.
* This story came second in the Advocate’s 2019 Short Fiction Competition. The author obviously overcame the tortious rules.