Arizona Attorney October 2008, where we got courts and judges

Back in October 2008, Arizona Attorney covered the history of courts and judges.

Sometimes, a good image is all you need to get you through the day.

And on this Change of Venue Friday, I’m operating on that principle. Occasionally, an image is so gripping, so arresting, that its appearance can transform your day from *yawn* to Wow. Kind of like:

cat flip-flop tumblr_nrgrapQ4ZE1s2yegdo1_400

Thank you to Dianna Náñez and Kerry Lengel for the great pic.

But no, that’s not the image I want to share. Today’s legal blog post is connected to judges and the ways they dress. It’s related to a post I wrote a few weeks ago about a crackdown on judge-robe-variety by the Florida Supreme Court. The post allowed me to recall Chief Justice Rehnquist’s golden chevrons.

After that post, I heard from Nedra Brown, a former State Bar of Arizona colleague. An attorney herself, she is now the Registrar (regulator) for the Ontario Association of Architects. And she reminded me about the amazing sartorial choices of the Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Here they are, in all their glory:

Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada

Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada

Who’s in the picture? Nedra explains:

Top Row L-R: The Honourable Clément Gascon; The Honourable Andromache Karakatsanis; The Honourable Richard Wagner; The Honourable Suzanne Coté

Bottom Row L-R: The Honourable Thomas Albert Cromwell, The Honourable Rosalie Silberman Abella; The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C., Chief Justice of Canada; The Honourable Marshall Rothstein; and the Honourable Michael J. Moldaver.

Nedra also provided me a list of what you have to wear to be admitted, the “Required Court Apparel For Call.” She explained, “Every candidate for call to the bar must appear before Convocation in full court apparel, which consists of:

  • black shoes
  • black or dark grey socks or black, dark grey or natural hose
  • black, dark grey or dark grey striped trousers or skirt
  • black gown vest
  • black gown
  • white shirt with stiff wing collar and white tabs”

I’ve never argued before any Supreme Court (never say never!), but I think the Supreme Court of Canada is now in my Top Two.

More closeup detail about what barristers have to wear to court is here, via Imperial Robes.

And if you’re in need of legal garments, Harcourts may be your haberdasher.

Thank you, Nedra! And everyone, enjoy your weekend—bewigged or not.

Nedra Brown

I love it when great people wind up in great situations.

Nedra Brown is a friend to the State Bar of Arizona and its lawyers—and to me! And this month she was named the new Registrar for the Ontario (Can.) Association of Architects. Well done, Nedra!

I came to know Nedra over the years as a colleague, when she was the chief staff person in charge of the State Bar’s Sections and Committees and Young Lawyers Division. In an organization dedicated to the legal profession, she and I (and a few others) were an anomaly. We were lawyers, but not working as lawyers in our jobs. That lent us an outsider–insider view of the profession.

Nedra always distinguished herself as an excellent leader, but one just as committed to getting the details right as she was to ensuring the big picture made sense. I grew accustomed to hearing from lawyers and judges who were so pleased to have worked with Nedra. She put a very human and accomplished face on a member organization.

For those and many other reasons, I was torn when Nedra announced a few years ago that she was pulling up stakes and moving back to Canada. She is a Canadian lawyer, so the news wasn’t unexpected. But we were sad to see her go—and curious what she would end up doing. Always driven by service, Nedra spent time working for Legal Aid Ontario.

Now we see that Nedra has landed in another esteemed professional association.

As the OAA announcement begins:

“The Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) is pleased to introduce Nedra Brown as the new OAA Registrar.

“‘We are pleased to have Nedra on board and welcome her to the OAA,’ says OAA President Sheena Sharp. Nedra has been in the office since this summer and has been working with Hillel Roebuck and the staff of the Office of the Registrar.

“Nedra has extensive legal experience as a senior manager in a self-governing professional association. She was most recently Policy Counsel for Legal Aid Ontario. For seven years prior, she was Director of Sections & Committees at the State Bar of Arizona.”

Read the complete news release here.

In case you’re wondering what the OAA does, here is their own description:

“The Ontario Association of Architects is a self-regulating organization governed by the Architects Act, which is a statute of the Government of Ontario. The Association is dedicated to promoting and increasing the knowledge, skill and proficiency of its members, and administering the Architects Act, in order that the public interest may be served and protected.

“There are currently 2,993 architects, 1,294 Intern Architects and 724 associates for a total of more than 5,000 people. There are 1,377 architectural practices in Ontario.”

Here is a pie chart that illustrates their membership.

Nedra explained to me a little more about her own job as Registrar. She says that the OAA acts as a mandatory self-regulating professional association (there are also voluntary local societies, like the Toronto Society of Architects, that mirror county or city bars). The OAA is part of provincial and national associations of regulators for self-governing professions. Nedra is responsible for all things regulatory, including interns, licensing, complaints, discipline and continuing-education requirements (like our own MCLE).

When Nedra described architects to me, I immediately thought of lawyers:

“Architects are creative and detail oriented. While there are many visions and perspectives, they are all interested in the interaction between the existing or natural environments and what they design and build.”

Another profession with particular goals and a broad mission—Nedra’s done that already, and well. I am confident she’ll wow Ontario’s architects as she did Arizona’s lawyers.

Congratulations, Nedra.

Want to wish her well? I’m sure she’d love to hear from you, so send her a note at

Canada Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea got a pie in the face in Burlington, Ont. (CBC)

Officially I was back from vacation yesterday. But mentally, I’m expecting that to happen sometime around the middle of next week. But today being Change of Venue Day (Friday) and all, I thought I would share something from a far-flung venue.

So I’m sitting at my desk and whom do I hear from? A good friend, formerly of Phoenix, who moved last year to Toronto.

(Toronto in July sounds pretty good. She’s smilin’, we’re dyin’. But the worm will turn pretty soon, O (Snowy) Canada.)

Nedra Brown formerly was the Director of Sections & Committees at the State Bar of Arizona. But she headed back north to her ancestral home, where she now practices law. (And if I were her, I would wear a powdered wig every day.)

Nedra was a fantastic colleague, and I only miss her every single day. So I was pleased when I got this morning’s e-mail from her:

Since I don’t get to share American law with you, and it is Friday afternoon, I thought I would share a judgment from the Supreme Court of Canada that was released today.

The Supreme Court of Canada sets standards for deciding remedies for a Charter (think Bill of Rights, 4th Amendment) breach.

Also remember the Canadian Constitution is only 28 years old before you laugh too loudly.

Interesting that this comes out as G20 arrest cases will be moving up the pipeline.


When Nedra mentioned the Fourth Amendment and laughing loudly, she piqued my interest. And this opinion is one worth reading.

As my stuffy law professors would have intoned, the case “sounds in” constitutional and tort law.

Haven’t grabbed you yet? Then read this first line from the syllabus: “During a ceremony in Vancouver, the city police department received information that an unknown individual intended to throw a pie at the Prime Minister who was in attendance.”

Lawyer Cameron Ward being arrested on a pastry charge

It gets worse. There was a strip search (for, um, pie filling?).

And the misidentified suspect? A lawyer. All he originally asked for was an apology. Getting none, he pursued the case, all the way to Canada’s top bench—seven years of litigation.

I leave you with one other sentence from our understated magistrates from the icy north:

 In this case, the need for compensation bulks large.  Mr. Ward’s injury was serious.  He had a constitutional right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, which was violated in an egregious fashion. Strip searches are inherently humiliating and degrading regardless of the manner in which they are carried out and thus constitute significant injury to an individual’s intangible interests (P. 64)

Here is a CBC story on the messy pie matter.

And here is The Vancouver Sun, with its tasty “Political Pie Throwing: A Delicious History of Protest.”

Cameron Ward: Egg is now on the government's face

Enjoy your weekend.