Quick Links

The Underside of Law Practice, Politics and Teaching

by Prof. W. Tetley

(This talk was given at the annual members dinner of the Company of Master Mariners of Canada at the Boccad’oro Restaurant , 1448 St Mathieu Street, Montreal, Saturday, October 15, 2005 at 18:30)

 

Ladies, Master Mariners, Dear Friends,

Cliff Parfett’s introduction was exceedingly generous, in fact it sounded more like an obituary, where one says only nice things about the deceased and nothing about his defects. Nevertheless, I am alive and well, but Cliff, I do appreciate your kindness and in particular your discretion.

Mes chers amis, je suis tout à fait bouleversé et très ému par votre invitation. Acceptez mes plus sincères remerciements.

Cliff asked me not to mention any of my books tonight, nor to try to sell them at the door (No mention was made of the parking lot outside, however. Rosslyn and I, in consequence, will see you there.) I was also asked not to talk about politics, although the current leader in the PQ leadership race, André Boisclair, his taking of cocaine only in Quebec Cabinet meetings, his degree from Harvard (after 2 weeks of study and the payment of only $36,000.00) could have given rise to some mirth. The loss of memory of witnesses at the Gomery enquiry or the expense accounts of Postmaster General André Ouellette could also have been amusing.

I have been asked, however, to not mention the above subjects but to look backwards at the three different careers I have had. The word “career”, does not appropriately describe them and in any event "career" is a rather grand euphemism for “job”. Nevertheless, they are jobs, that I have enjoyed - practice of law, politician and now law teacher.

My first job was as a lawyer straight out of law school with Martineau Walker which had seven lawyers at the time, now there are over 800 around the world.

Law firms, today, pride themselves on their training programmes for young lawyers who spend their first year in different departments of the firm. litigation, corporate, acquisitions, insurance, admiralty, commercial, copyright and trademark, etc.. It may be described as “practicing law with training wheels”.

58 years ago at Martineau Walker, however, it was on-the-job training. We were handed fyles and told to go immediately to court and to plead the case. My first fyle being a criminal case for indecent exposure. I was introduced to the accused, a truck driver, and off we went to court in a taxi, where I got him off on a technicality. The next week I did automobile collisions, bankruptcy and two more indecent exposure cases.

Only once did I ever get instructions at Martineau Walker. Early on, Frank Chauvin, Q.C., a senior partner, called me into his office and asked me to write a short note on a question of civil law. I wrote it, handed it to him and waited for his reaction. Ten minutes later I was called in again and Mr. Chauvin said: “Look here, in this law firm we spell file ‘fyle’”. I have spelled it that way ever since. If you look it up in the unabridged Oxford dictionary, you will find: “’fyle’: ancient Scottish usage.”

On another occasion, I received a fyle from Mr. Chauvin, and half an hour later I went back and asked if I should approach the problem this way or should I do it that way. He replied “Look here, if I knew the answer to that question, I wouldn’t have hired you.”

Mr. Chauvin was no doubt like Abraham Lincoln, who wished he could have a one-armed lawyer so that the lawyer couldn’t say: “On the one hand and on the other”.

When I became a partner my instructions were apparently just as laconic. Recenlty a Quebec City lawyer reminded me that when he had been a student at Martineau Walker, 50 years before, I had called him in, handed him a fyle and without further explanation had said “Sue the bastard”.

If Martineau Walker did not have time for training of its young lawyers, it did have camaraderie, fun and friendship and we seemed to become partners from the start.

In fact, the half-yearly statement came out on the day I joined in July 1952 and was immediately put on my desk. It explained exactly how much each partner had billed and had drawn as income. Nor did we purchase shares or make any investment to join the partnership. When I left the firm 18 years later in 1970 to go into politics, I received a substantial payment as my share.

Martineau Walker in 1952 had no partners’ agreement; everything was based on good faith. Holden Hutchison (now Borden Ladner) is Canada’s oldest continuous law partnership and had a one-page agreement at that time.

Things have changed considerably, apparently.

Political life

Although maritime law has been my main legal activity since starting the practice of law, I initially expected to be a tax lawyer. During my law studies, I took courses at night in accountancy with the Society of Chartered Accountants. After three painful years, I arrived at the intermediate level, but when I started practice at Martineau Walker, I never got a tax problem or a tax client – I am still waiting for the first one.

Years later, famed tax lawyer Heward Stikeman, Q.C., told me that a good tax lawyer did not have to know any accountancy; he could afford to hire the best accountants in the world. I wish I had spoken to Heward earlier.

Another tax expert, who shall be nameless, once told me that there was nothing to accounting. All you did was add it up three times and take the average.

Now the large accounting firms are, of course, buying very large law firms.

I got into maritime law under strange circumstances. I joined Martineau Walker in 1952 and during my second week, a New York marine cargo insurance manager appeared. He had been dissatisfied with the two large Montreal law firms doing maritime law, being Holden Hutchison (now Borden Ladner) and Beauregard Brisset (now Brisset Bishop). These two law firms were, and still are, acknowledged maritime law experts, but they looked after either shipowners or charterers first and foremost. Maritime cargo claimants (the third party to maritime contracts) got short shrift.

The American cargo insurance manager (his name was Larry Wagle - (a legendary figure) - had a very small claim for only $200.00 for shortage of flour shipped in cotton bags to Montreal. The partners told me that, because I looked old (although all of 25 years, my hair was already falling out), they were going to introduce him to me and he would never suspect my youth and lack of experience. I was mortified, but jobs were hard to get then and now, and so I took the fyle (my first marine fyle) and went to work. After two weeks of concentrated study, mostly at night, I wrote a very long opinion (as I was starting marine law from scratch) and he replied that I shouldn’t write such long opinions in the future. He, however, sent another claim for a number of thousands of dollars for a shipment on a vessel called the SUNWHIT owned by Saguenay Shipping. I studied it carefully and saw that it was a good claim and that we should be successful.

I spoke to Robert (Bob) Walker, Q.C., one of the senior partners, and suggested I should go to New York to see the claims manager who had sent the claim. Bob was of the old school who had been brought up in the Great Depression and said there was no money for such nonsense. I therefore hitch-hiked to New York, saw the claims manager, who phoned up claims managers from seven other marine insurance companies in New York and told each of them that he had a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed lawyer in his office from Montreal and did they have any claims on the SUNWHIT. I went around and saw them all and picked up fyles from each of them. In celebration, I bought a set of golf clubs, checked out of the YMCA, and then hitch-hiked back to Montreal along old Highway 2 (The Throughway had not yet been built.) As I stood on the side of the road, the truck drivers would shout “fore” out of the windows of their trucks. Eventually, one of them picked me up and took me all the way to Montreal.

In Montreal, I signed out fyles from the Registry of the Admiralty Court and studied how one sued in Admiralty (our firm had never acted in Admiralty). I gave notice to Saguenay Shipping, who declined all responsibility, but when I sued, they paid up after some pyrotechnics in court and I sent out one of the biggest bills in the firm since before the Great Depression.

More Claims followed from New York. I even went to London (despite protests of the partners) to visit the other main world centre of maritime law. The maritime law practice flourished.

At some point, for reasons perhaps of glory or of being burned out by private practice, I decided to try to get elected into the National Assembly at Quebec where I believed the "real" action was to be found, rather than Ottawa. In 1966, I tried to win the nomination in my home riding of what is now called Mount Royal, but Jean Lesage Leader of the Quebec Liberal Party chose Jérôme Choquette and I was frozen out. When two years later, Eric Kierans, who was the Member of the Legislative Assembly for NDG, decided to run for the leadership of the Federal Liberal Party, I decided to work from strength and bought a triplex in NDG. I installed an office in the basement and then started to woo the members of the NDG Quebec Liberal Association, and campaigned to get new members, which was standard practice in those days and still is today.

Kierans resigned as MNA for NDG and after months of canvassing, I won the nomination as the Liberal candidate in NDG. Lesage then supported me in the by-election, which I won.

Lesage was an interesting personality. He was a very, very competent lawyer and an inspiring leader, but very vain. He was a very hard worker, but had the reputation for also being a very heavy drinker. At the final giant rally before the by-election in NDG (the opposing Union National candidate incidentally was John Lynch-Staunton, now a Senator), Lesage introduced me and exaggerated my qualities as a fine fellow, a great lawyer and unfortunately added “I knew him at the Bar”, meaning the Quebec Bar Association. The audience started to smile, then titter and then broke out into unrestrained laughter, because they all knew he was a great drinker. Afterwards Jean said to me, “You know that did me good, because it was my pride which lost me the election in 1966.”

This was apparently the first time he had confessed (albeit privately) that it was his fault for calling the snap election of 1966, which Lesage had entered, never suspecting that he could lose to Daniel Johnson Sr. The day of the election, Lesage played golf instead of visiting the polling stations and a reporter asked if he had won on the golf course. Lesage replied: “I always win.” A few hours later, Daniel Johnson, although getting fewer votes than the Liberals, had won more seats, mostly in the country ridings. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

In 1970, the Quebec Liberals won the general election and I went into Bourassa’ s first Cabinet. In the Fall of 1970, the October Crisis took place when the British Trade Commissioner in Montreal, James Cross, was kidnapped and then a week later Pierre Laporte, a Quebec Cabinet minister, was kidnapped also by the FLQ (le Front de Libération du Québec).

We met as a full Cabinet solely on the question of the kidnapping, not as a committee as Trudeau did in Ottawa. We all lived for a number of days in the top floor of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, where we received messages from the FLQ found in garbage cans. Laporte’s family was living one floor below and at one point his young son wrote Bourassa a letter, which read “Cher monsieur Bourassa: Sauvez la vie de mon père.”

It was a very tense period and Bourassa consulted, as was his practice throughout his career, all sorts of people, including Lesage.

Lesage turned up at the hotel at the end of a Cabinet meeting, when only a few of us were sitting around. He barged in and said: “Now brief me.” No one said anything and finally I, with my usual regrettable outspokenness, said: “We can’ t of course say what was decided in Cabinet, Mr. Lesage, but Robert (meaning Bourassa) will no doubt brief you.” Lesage stormed out, saying he was going back to Quebec City and after he had left, everyone said: “You were quite right, Bill.” (An example of typical after-the-event support in politics and elsewhere). Lesage went down the elevator, then came right up again and all was forgotten.

The decision of our Cabinet was to say “No” to the FLQ and not to release convicted terrorist bombers. A few days later, Laporte was horribly murdered.

These were very, very difficult times. We were the first modern government in the world to say “No” to terrorist kidnappers. It was not even done at the Munich Olympics two years later and in various kidnappings and airplane hostage takings, all over the world. Years later, Henry Kissinger acknowledged that we had acted properly and added that he had advised us to do so. I doubt that he so advised us. There is no record of him having, having done so. Kissinger is and was notorious for his "after the event" opinions.

Throughout my career, I seemed to have constant clashes with Lesage, although I admired him so much. One classic was when, as Minister of Financial Institutions, I brought down an amendment to the Companies Act, to the effect that all companies must have a French name, but could also have an English name, and either name could be used.

Lesage was a member of the legislative committee named by Bourassa, which met every Tuesday night under the direction of the Minister of Justice Jérôme Choquette. Choquette could not abide Lesage’s overbearing attitude and therefore refused to act as chairman, despite the benefits of Lesage’s encyclopedic knowledge of the law. In consequence, Gérard D. Lévesque was Chairman.

Each Minister presented his bill in turn to the Committee, and each bill was gone over in detail. When Lesage saw the provision that all Quebec companies had to have a French name, but could also have an English name, he exploded. He was a director of Great Lakes Paper (a Quebec City company) and he saw no reason for Great Lakes Paper to have a bilingual name. “Vous croyez que Great Lakes Paper va changer de nom?” (This was the father of a "Quiet Revolution" opposing bilingualism. N’oubliez pas que c’était le père de la révolution tranquille qui parlait contre bilingualism!)

The father of the quiet revolution fumed and expostulated, but we went on anyway. Great Lakes Paper added a French name and no one was struck dead by a bolt of lightning from heaven.

The language provision was however adopted and was a good one. In fact it represented the protection of the French language, while at the same time, respecting the English language.

I used the same linguistic formula in the Consumer Protection Act, to the effect that all consumer contracts had to be in French but could also be in English, and if bilingual (which was the purpose of the provision), the text that favoured the consumer would prevail.

I believe that these were the two first successful language laws in Quebec. They were a great success, because they promoted bilingualism. The Parti Quebecois protested and fulminated but the provisions were put in their "celebrated" language law Bill 101, years later.

Robert Bourassa was another interesting personality. He was completely devoid of vanity, but completely dedicated to politics, with very few outside interests. He had a full-time barber because, while having his haircut one day at the Ritz Hotel, he had been criticized for the way his hair had looked on TV the night before. He hired the barber’s assistant on the spot. The assistant, who was a ju jitsu expert, also acted as a bodyguard and file clerk.

Bourassa had a chauffeur, as well, because he never learned to drive, and because he believed, in any event, that driving was a waste of time. He, however, lived in the old Imperial Hotel in Quebec City when first elected as an MNA in 1966 and continued on when he became Premier of Quebec. The rate was $8.00 per night and he only moved out during the October Crisis of 1970 when the Sûreté du Québec, who were guarding him, refused to live in the hotel, because it was far beneath their dignity and the scale granted them, under their collective agreement.

You will remember that Bourassa won the nomination for the leadership of the Quebec Liberal Party in 1970 against Pierre Laporte and Claude Wagner. Pierre Laporte came on to the stage after the vote, shook hands with Bourassa and promised his support, which he generously gave until his death. Wagner, who was extremely imperious, neither shook hands nor promised support, nor even came on the stage, but next week a private meeting was arranged at Bourassa's hotel room. Wagner had posed as the poor boy, the servant of the people, but he was thunderstruck when he was in Bourassa’s hotel room with a small bed, one chair, a sink and a small bathroom.

Wagner had the choice of the bed or the chair to sit on. There was no reconciliation of the two leaders and afterward Bourassa told me the story privately, but such stories never came out from him publicly. He was a private person and respected the privacy even of opponents like Wagner.

Trudeau once described Bourassa as “un mangeur de hot dogs”. It is true Bourassa would eat five hot dogs for lunch on the top of the bunker like a ravenous schoolboy, but in the evening he dined with staff colleagues and friends at about 11:00 p.m. in the Café d’Europe, which had one of the finest cuisines and wines in Quebec City. He was also a very generous host.

Bourassa had little wealth of his own and had actually been born in a small flat in his working class, Montreal East end riding. Under pressure from the Opposition and the press, we had decided to have all ministers declare their assets in detail and to put the assets of a certain value in trust, in order to avoid any conflict of interest. We were the first government in Canada, either provincial or federal, to adopt such a law and Peter Lougheed, the Premier of Alberta, telephoned me to complain. I had known Peter in the practice of law and he said, “Bill, can’t you get Bourassa to water it down?” But Bourassa went ahead anyway. One minister owned a shopping centre and others had large accumulations of stocks and bonds, but Bourassa was under the limit even to declare, to the amazement and dismay of the Parti Québécois.

Bourassa had great political sense, but he could be wrong like all of us. We brought down the language law – Bill 22 – in 1974 and it was intended to promote bilingualism, having adopted my formula for companies and consumer contracts in general terms, throughout the bill. At about 11:30 in the evening of the day we deposited the bill in the house, I met Bourassa walking in the garden of the National Assembly. I was troubled by the fact that we had put both language and education in the same bill. The 11:00 p.m. TV News had been terribly critical and both the anglophones and the Parti Québécois were against us, but Bourassa was ecstatic. He said: “Bill, vous voyez, nous avons les deux côtés contre nous. Nous allons passer entre les deux.” But we did not pass through the middle. We were squashed like ham in a ham sandwich in the next election and principally on this issue.

Bill 22 promoted bilingualism, but it was hated by the Parti Québécois because it was a rational compromise of the two confrontational language groups in Quebec, and it was also misunderstood by the Anglo Quebec population. Even the education provisions were more generous to allophones than the education provisions of Trudeau’s Charter of Rights of 1982. But to this day, it is difficult to convince the public of its appropriateness.

Despite the language debate, which divided the riding of NDG, my sticking to my position was appreciated, so that in three elections I never lost a poll and never got less than 80% of the vote. More than 80% of the electorate voted and on one occasion 89% voted and I got 87% of that vote. Mind you NDG at that time was solidly Liberal. The riding was lost in 1989 by the Liberals when the Liberal candidate vacillated. Vacillation is not appreciated in politics and was not appreciated by either side in NDG.

Politics was fun and I particularly liked meeting the public and voters at church bazaars, pee-wee hockey games and in their homes on anniversaries. It was here one really got the pulse of the public. One Saturday afternoon, I was visiting a couple (I’ll give them the name of Mr. and Mrs. Michael O’Reilly) who were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. I rang the doorbell and when Mrs. O’ Reilly saw me, she shouted down the hall, “It’s Alderman Tetley from Ottawa.” (You can appreciate my recognition coefficient from this.) Then she said to me, “Michael’s very difficult, he hasn’t got up yet. He’s always been difficult.” This on their 60th.

I was ushered into the bedroom, however, where Michael was sitting on the bed in his underwear, drinking from a bottle of rye whisky, which he offered me. He was pleased to see me, although he had some critical things to say about politics and politicians. We had a great talk, nevertheless, and as I was leaving, he said: “Before you leave, Father, will you bless me?”

Friends of mine have been going out to lunch on this story and they always add that I did bless Michael.

Eventually, eight years of politics burned me out, but I had no idea of what I might do, when in 1976, at the end of an Inter Provincial Conference in Toronto, I had two hours before the plane left, and I went into the law offices of McMillan Binch, who were old maritime law friends. I had kept up my reading of law reports at night during my eight years in politics, and one of the partners (Arthur Stone, recently retired from the Federal Court of Appeal) asked me to read a judgment of a case that the firm had lost. Should they go to appeal? I read it and said right away that they should appeal. (They did and won two years later).

I was introduced to the young lawyer who had lost the case, and he was pleased with my view, as the firm was doubtful about appealing. He added that next day he was going to start a career as a professor of law at the University of Toronto. (He was Robert Sharpe and years later he became Dean of Law and subsequently a judge of the High Court.) It struck me at the time that if he could teach, then I could teach. I phoned McGill Law Faculty the next day, asked the name of the Dean, was told it was Brierley, thought it was Jim Brierley, with whom I had practiced, learned it was his younger brother John, who invited me to lunch that day at the Faculty Club, where he offered me a job on the spot as professor of law.

Teaching at McGill has been exhilarating and much more difficult than I thought it would be.

I started my first year teaching with four different courses – including insurance law, and consumer law. Today, new professors start with only two courses – “teaching with training wheels”. I was in effect teaching the civil law of sale and admiralty and two laws that I had just adopted over a five-year period as minister – the consumer protection and insurance acts. But there is much more to a statute than is known to the minister. The minister appreciates the broad legal consequences, but not the nuances. For three years I worked painfully over those courses to bring them up to scratch.

My first day of teaching was auspicious. Before I could begin my lecture, a student who represented a faction in the student body got up and raised some point about the method of teaching which was being raised in every class in the Faculty. In fact a general rebellion was in progress in the Faculty. Another student then raised the other point of view and there were some shouts and murmurs, until one student asked me what I thought about the question, based on my "great experience as a teacher". I innocently explained that I had no opinion, as I had no experience as a law teacher, this being my first lecture. The whole class broke into laughter and howled and cried for three or four minutes. I was, of course, mortified and to redeem myself, when they quietened down, I added that I had taught Sunday school for eleven years. This caused another five minutes of laughter and mayhem and when it subsided, the whole matter had been forgotten and I proceeded with my lecture. The other professors suffered one or two weeks of contestation.

One of the astounding phenomena of academe is the desire to publish, which also leads students and even professors to copy parts of other people’s texts. Plagiarism is the word for it.

Plagiarism in universities can be rampant at times, which brings to mind the story of the professor who said to a student: “Your term paper is both good and original. Unfortunately the part that is good is not original and the part that is original is not good.”

And even the great William Cobbett was annoyed by literary theft. At one point, he was reported to have said that there were two sorts of people he could not endure: those who differed with him and those who agreed with him. And, it was the latter whom he disliked the most because they stole his ideas.

All the above as a preliminary to saying that I have found plagiarism annoying on the occasions it has happened to others and to myself, because original legal writing is so difficult and rare, and when one has an inspiration, it is upsetting to see someone use your thoughts without attribution.

An unfortunate London solicitor, named Alfred Silvertown, wrote a book entitled “The Law of Lien” two years after my book on "liens" appeared. He wrote in the preface that he was writing the book because there was no book on the subject. Nevertheless, he lifted sentences and even paragraphs verbatim from my text. My publisher was his publisher, and they withdrew the book and the matter was dropped. I had asked that they make a donation to the McGill and the Cambridge law libraries, as damages but they refused. Honour was one thing, but money another.

On another occasion a prize winning Masters thesis from a continental university I was visiting, seemed familiar when I was asked to read it, in the University 10th Anniversary book. Throughout the thesis had generously lifted sentences, paragraphs and major concepts from one of my books. I spoke to the Dean of law of the university, who replied that he thought it was best to do nothing as ten years had passed and the author was now a respected member of the Bar. I had at least hoped they would have allowed me to attach a copy of the University degree he had obtained to the wall of my office.

Plagiarism is increasing, apparently, because of the internet. There is, however, now a computer service which will take a student’s paper and scan it and then advise what parts have been lifted from where.

Publishing is an integral part of academe and the machinations of the publishers are sometimes beyond description. My first book was published by Sweet and Maxwell and as a first time author in 1963, I signed their contract without any option and in innocence. The royalties were to be 10% of sales, but the Canadian company sold most of the production for half price to its London head office, which then did the sales and distribution around the world, except for Canada. The Canadian company considered the bulk sale as a sale and in effect paid me 10% of the half price, thus in effect paying me 5%. I protested in vain.

On my next book, this time with Butterworths, I covered such matters in the contract, but they seemed to be paying a very low royalty, so I spoke to the Canadian president, who calculated that I was owed about $6500 over the past five years. We settled for that sum, subject to acceptance by the head office in London. The head office refused to pay anything and so a Toronto lawyer read the fyle and was so angry that he said he would take on the case for nothing. He sued just before the last day for suit and they filed an appearance and tendered $10,000 into court, in order to avoid court costs. The lawyer wanted me to settle, but I was interested in having an accountant go over their books, so I insisted that they file their defence. In due course, they filed their defence with a tender of $13,500.00. We took the offer and my lawyer charged me $3,500.00, which was well worth it.

On my fourth book, I went to Yvon Blais of Montreal, who is a superb law book publisher. I have been with him ever since. At that time, his sales were for the most part in Canada and he was concerned about the sales outside North America. We therefore planned to offer the non-North American publication to either Lloyd’s Press in London or to Butterworths in London. A letter was prepared for each of the firms and I added: “Don’t put the Lloyd’s letter in the Butterworths envelope and the Butterworths letter in the Lloyd’s envelope” .

Yvon Blais and I flew separately to London and when I arrived at my hotel, he telephoned to advise that he had "bad news" and "bad news". The first news was that Lloyd’s had already sent a fax to Montreal saying they weren’t interested in the book and had cancelled the interview. The other news was that the Lloyd’s letter had been put in the Butterworths’ envelope and they had decided not to see us. Actually, I was not disappointed. Friends from all around world, gave me the names and addresses of all the maritime lawyers in 50 countries in the world and Blais was easily able to sell the book. Later, Lloyd’s wanted to buy our list of addresses. (They had originally wanted to sell their list at $2.00 per name.)

A year later, Butterworths had a change of heart and bought 1500 copies of the book at a premium with a single payment, and Yvon Blais bought a condominium in the West Indies.

Jumping around from job to job has its merits, but it requires support, and the support I received throughout was unstinting from Martineau Walker and then from voters in NDG, from colleagues in the National Assembly, the Quebec Liberal Party, Bourassa, the civil service and Yvon Blais. The collegiality and encouragement of the maritime law community was an essential beginning to my other careers.

But the person I wish to thank the most is Rosslyn, who for 54 years has survived, much better than I have, with all the strains and erratic zigzags, that I have gone through. It was she, when I was in politics, who read the Gazette every morning and then telephoned me at Quebec, to say that it was “clean”, meaning I could read it, without having a heart attack.

Such partners as Rosslyn are not only essential to any successes any of us may have, but are necessary for support and comfort when one suffers the inevitable criticisms, defeats and setbacks that we all have along the way. She has been the one unchanging thing in my life. (I have also had wonderful support and inspiration from my four children and grandchildren.)

Appreciation of Rosslyn has not been limited to me – the testaments of admirers and friends are legion. Once in NDG, when knocking on doors during an election, a man said: “Tetley, I’ll never vote for you, but if your wife were to run, I would vote for her.”

Chers amis, il n’y a ni de thèmes immuables, ni de vérités philosophiques, discernables à travers mes trois carrières/emplois. Néanmoins, j’aimerais citer la devise de Paul Eluard comme la mienne. “Je ne regrette rien, j’avance.” I regret nothing, I go forward.

Thank you.

Prof. William Tetley QC, practised law with Fasken Martineau, DuMoulin from 1952 to 1970, was a minister and member of the Quebec National Assembly from 1970 to 1976 and since then has taught law at McGill University. He is also counsel to Langlois Kronström Desjardins at Montreal and Quebec.

William Tetley QC,
Professor, McGill University
Email: william [dot] tetley [at] mcgill [dot] ca (William Tetley)
Web: http://www.mcgill.ca/maritimelaw/