Sample Lecture Audio Clips
Professor: Lorne Wolfson
Content: This brief clip from the Family Law lecture during the Barrister week focuses on Support Principles. Both the Divorce Act and the Family Law Act have broad principles determining support, such as the length of the relationship, financial circumstances and roles that were adopted during the relationship. However, the case law has really developed this further and changed the way support provisions are calculated.
Spousal support is now about compensation — compensation for the roles they adopted during the marriage. New case law suggests that we look at each family and the effect on each family member's ability to get back to the workforce, not just a "but for" compensation as in other areas of law. For example, family law now takes into account the much more complicated situation where either party to the relationship had to make serious sacrifices to their own career path, in support of the other's career path.
The courts now wrestle with how this new form of compensation should be calculated and there are generally two models for doing so:
- Model 1: Looks at the two incomes, current lifestyles, and considers how much compensation is required for either to maintain the lifestyle enjoyed during the relationship.
- Model 2: Focuses on compensation: who were the winners and losers in terms of the roles? This model tries to compensate the "losers" by levying appropriate payments from the "winners".
Spousal support is also subject to variation if there is a change in circumstances. Either party can reopen the issue to negotiate a variation. Other times, they can negotiate to give up the right to any variation in support payments.
Professor: Trevor Farrow
Content: This clip from the Civil Procedure lecture during the Barrister week focuses on Trial Preparation. We consider what steps must be taken after one has planned their pleadings, found evidence on discovery, found out all the players involved, found all the documents needed, etc.
Once we've done the discovery, we need to start proving the elements of the case. You need witnesses, and they need to be prepared. You can't tell the witnesses what to say, but you can help them with the process, and you can tell them what needs to be proved. Professor Farrow tackles crossing the intricate line of Rule 4 of the Rules of Professional Conduct on witness preparation.
The clip rounds out with a discussion about the Evidence Act and the rules surrounding collecting and gathering witnesses and evidence, when certain copies of documents need to be provided to the other side, and some tricky situations where witnesses are unable to make it to trial.