“Can anyone find a Bible? Does anyone know where the Bible is?”
My first minutes in the BC Supreme Court in Vancouver, and already there was a complication. No one in the house of secular law could find a holy text to use for the swearing in of one Richard Foot, a man I had never heard of until moments earlier. He was visible via television in the corner, being live-streamed from Halifax or St. John’s or some other mystical place in eastern Canada.
“Well I guess we better all go home,” said the defense attorney, eliciting a snort of laughter. The judge, or “milady” as she was referred to, hadn’t yet entered the chamber, and the lawyers were doing the legal equivalent of a warm up routine. Instead of stretching, they spread compilations of evidence across desks, and instead of shooting layups, they shuffled papers.
They were as relaxed as people can get while wearing voluminous black robes and standing in a court of law. Or maybe as relaxed as people can be when arguing for the reputation of several columnists and editors from one of the country’s largest remaining print newspapers, The National Post.