Wednesday 29 January 2020

'Twas the Motion before Christmas

I received an assignment to prepare materials for an Undertakings motion and set the oral argument for before the new year. I was in contact with the scheduling office for the first week of December trying to set a date. The court was closed from December 25th until the new year, which made the beginning of December even busier for the scheduling office.

"Just my luck... December 24th was the only free date available
for oral argument before the new year."

Tip 1: During the holiday season, book your motion date early.

It was a 10-minute walk from our office to the Toronto Civil Motions Court, where the Toronto Superior Court motions take place. The streets were almost empty as if the city had been evacuated and I didn’t get the memo. I arrived at the court 20 minutes early and verified that our matter was on the list. I entered the courtroom, signed in, and sat in the back row to review the written motion.

Tip 2: Arrive early in case your matter is not on the list.

At exactly 10:00 AM, we heard a knock on the door. The clerk opened the door and everyone in the room stood up. The Master entered the courtroom. Everyone bowed to the Master. The Master sat down. Then, everyone else in the courtroom sat down. The clerk said, “court is now session”. I suddenly felt butterflies in my stomach… I guess you could call it motion sickness.

Our matter was 6th on the list, which meant that I had the opportunity to observe other matters being heard before mine and learn what the Master’s “style” was. The first matter was argued by an articling student. The Master asked him what Rule he was relying on from the Rules of Civil Procedure. The articling student had it memorized, which gave the Master a big smile, and he chuckled. The Master said he was testing him because he’s an articling student.

Tip 3: Know your Rules of Civil Procedure.

Knowing that the Master could test me on my Rules, I quickly double-checked the Rules that I was relying on for the motion that I was arguing.

Tip 4: Watch the matters before you to see the types of questions the Master may ask.

The Master called for our matter. I stood up and went up to the podium. There was something thrilling about standing behind the podium, prepared to defend my case and be challenged about it. It also felt familiar and comfortable. Perhaps my law school mooting experiences actually help me in real life. Shocker. I stood waiting for the Master to finish writing from the prior matter. Then, he looked up at me. It was my turn.

During my motion preparation, I drafted a script that outlined my argument, making sure I brought up the relevant facts. However, I ended up making my submissions without looking at my script because I was asked questions by the Master. Since I had reviewed the written motion a number of times, I was able to quickly come up with a counter-argument.

Tip 4: Know your material.

After I requested costs, the Master took about one minute to write the endorsement. That one minute felt like twenty! Then, he signed our Order. We got what we needed. A Christmas miracle, indeed.

Arguing your first motion may seem daunting at first, but it can be an exciting and enjoyable experience. The key is preparation. Since my first motion, I’ve argued four more motions and have felt more comfortable and excited to attend every time. The motion records have become quicker to draft, it’s almost second nature. Having argued a motion, I appreciate the significance of what I’m including. I look forward to the motions that the future will bring for me… but hopefully not on Christmas Eve.
by Anisha B.

Thursday 9 January 2020

Meal Prep Tips for Lunches at Work

One of the biggest adjustments from law school to articling for me was not having long breaks to go home and make lunch. On many occasions during the first few of weeks of articling, I bought lunch in the path. It was nice; there was an endless number of options to choose from, and it was a great opportunity to explore the world outside the office. There are, however, two major drawbacks to buying lunch – especially in the financial district: it’s expensive, and it’s not the healthiest choice.

The concept of meal prep (preparing multiple meals at one time for later consumption throughout the week) has become increasingly popular for busy people who do not have time to cook something fresh each day. Preparing lunches for the work week helps you cut down on the time you spend preparing lunches for work (and dinners for when you get home).

"Preparing food at home is healthier and less expensive than eating out."

You don’t have to go crazy preparing every single meal in advance, but adding some meal prep to your weekly routine could free up some of your precious time, and save some of your hard-earned money.

Here are a couple of easy recipes that (in my opinion) taste delicious, are relatively healthy, and are pretty easy to make:

Toasted Sesame Honey Teriyaki Ginger Salmon

Picture by Wow_Pho on pixabay


  • 750 grams raw salmon (skin removed)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil*
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar*
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (add extra soy sauce if desired)
  • 2 tablespoons honey (add extra honey if desired)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped ginger
  • 1 large red Thai chili pepper (remove seeds for less heat)
  • 1-2 tablespoons toasted or raw sesame seeds
  • 4 green onions, sliced (2 for recipe, 2 for garnish)
*Can substitute 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce if desired

  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Slice salmon into preferred portions.
  • In a large bowl or baking dish, combine olive oil, sesame oil and rice vinegar (or teriyaki sauce), brown sugar, soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, chili pepper, sesame seeds and whisk well until combined.
  • Add salmon to the dish and coat well with sauce or place everything in a Ziploc bag, then refrigerate and marinate for 30 minutes.
  • Set your oven rack to the second-highest position in your oven and preheat the broiler in your oven.
  • Remove salmon with kitchen tongs and place directly on the baking sheet. 
  • Reserve the remaining marinade. 
  • Place directly under the broiler. Cook for 5-6 minutes, depending on the salmon’s thickness, then remove and coat with reserved marinade (you can flip the salmon before coating if desired). Return salmon to the oven for an additional 5-6 minutes until opaque and flakes easily with a fork.
  • Remember to keep an eye on your salmon and remove it if it looks like it is overcooking.
  • Remove from the baking sheet with a spatula and serve immediately, with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds and green onions as desired.
Fragrant Turkey Burgers


  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 bunches fresh thyme sprigs (equal amount as rosemary)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sumac (can substitute fresh lemon zest if desired)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 6 to 8 hamburger buns*
  • Pick leaves off of rosemary and thyme sprigs. Chop rosemary leaves until about the size of the thyme leaves.
  • In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, chopped rosemary, thyme, garlic powder, sumac (or lemon zest), salt, pepper, egg, and mix to combine evenly.
  • Form eight 1/4 lb patties or six 1/3 lb patties.*
  • Heat vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. When oil is shimmering or sufficiently hot, add patties to the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes. Flip patties and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes, or until cooked throughout.
  • Serve patties on buns with desired toppings and condiments. These burgers go great with a little sriracha sauce and Gouda cheese!
Happy cooking (and eating)!
by Ryan S