In this article written for The Advocates’ Society Advocacy Matters, Tamara Ramsey pays homage to satirical articles from the Honourable Marvin Catzman and comments on the importance of hyperlinking court materials in the electronic era.
October 11, 2022
In the August 2000 Summer Issue of The Advocates’ Society Journal, the Honourable Marvin Catzman wrote an entertaining and insightful feature titled: “The Wrong Stuff: How to Lose in the Court of Appeal.” Although Justice Catzman promised that he would never write on the subject again, he followed his own advice to break promises by providing popular losing tips for several years to follow. With the transition to online hearings and electronic materials, we thought it was a good time to revisit “The Wrong Stuff” to see what holds true and share the many new ways you can lose in the electronic era.
Justice Catzman recommends an incomprehensible factum to “let the court know right off the bat that you have a rotten case by filing a lengthy factum filled with gobs of conflicting evidence and lengthy quotes from irrelevant cases.” This hold true, but with advances of technology there are so many more ways to create an unfriendly factum.
1 See for example, Federal Courts Rules, SOR/98-106, Rule 70(2.1) requiring that “relevant extracts [be] clearly marked”
2 This is an important rite of passage that has been lost in this modern era. Nothing says teamwork like an assembly line of young lawyers with bright yellow (and the odd orange) marker in hand.
3 To ignore this advice, and use hyperlinks, see this page from Microsoft about how to add hyperlinks to a word document:
4 See: Blake v. Blake, 2019 ONSC 4062, varied by 2021 ONSC 7189 (Div. Ct.) (CanLII)
5 For example, do not use RJR-MacDonald Inc. v. Canada (Attorney General), 1994 CanLII 117 (SCC),  1 SCR 311 that cites and links to both CanLII and Supreme Court Judgments. For inconvenience, use RJR-MacDonald Inc. v. Canada (Attorney General),111 DRL (4th) 385 —  ACS no 17 —  SCJ No 17 (QL) —  CarswellQue 120 — EYB 1994-28671 — JE 94-423 — 54 CPR (3d) 114 — 60 QAC 241 — AZ-94111025 — 46 ACWS (3d) 40 — 111 DLR (4th) 385 — 164 NR 1
6 To ignore this advice, see the helpful guide published by the SCC here: https://www.scc-csc.ca/parties/linking-guide-liens-guide-eng.pdf
7 Deep links are not some dirty secret. They are a hyperlink directly to a specific numbered paragraph within a CanLII decision, simply by adding “#par” followed by the paragraph’s number, after the basic URL. For instance, a hyperlink to paragraph 69 of the Oakes Supreme Court of Canada decision should be formatted as follows: http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/scc/doc/1986/1986canlii46/1986canlii46.html#par69. See:https://blog.canlii.org/2011/02/04/224/