Monday, November 27, 2006

Attending the SFSS court hearing

From: Michael Letourneau <mletourn@cs.sfu.ca>

Hi folks.

As some of you already know, lawyers for the impeached SFSS directors and the people they've brought a lawsuit against (Titus Gregory, Jan Gunn, and Bryan Jones) met in court on Wednesday and agreed on a hearing date for late next week.

Many students have expressed an interest in attending the hearing. We're sending this email to give you some information on attending: when and where, how to find the hearing, what (not) to expect, what to (not) do.

When & where
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The hearing will occur on Thursday, November 30 and Friday, December 1 (if necessary). The hearing will be held in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, in one of the courtrooms in the Vancouver Law Courts building.

The Vancouver Law Courts building is located at:
800 Smithe St. (between Howe and Hornby) Vancouver, BC
http://maps.google.ca/maps?q=800+Smithe+St,+Vancouver,+BC&ie=UTF8&om=1&z=16&ll=49.28088,-123.12247&spn=0.009645,0.027122

Hearings normally run from 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM, and then from 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM. Please try to be at the courthouse at 9:45 AM for the morning session and 1:45 PM for the afternoon session.

How to find the hearing
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We likely won't know until the day of the trial which courtroom it will be in. We advise the following procedure:
  • Enter the courthouse via the entrance under the bridge that crosses Smithe St.
  • There should be someone in that lobby who'll direct you where to go.
  • If there isn't, then look for the bulletin boards at the far end -- there will be a list of courtrooms assigned to cases, and the hearing will be listed on there.
  • If you still have questions, ask the court commissioner (the nice person in the bulletproof vest sitting at the desk in the lobby)
Hopefully, we'll have someone waiting closer to the courtroom as well who can direct you there.

What to expect
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The particular type of court case that's being decided here is called a "petition". This is a type of streamlined court action that's designed for a quick response. Because of this, all of the evidence is usually submitted in advance, in the form of affidavits. Thus, you won't see people testifying as witnesses. Instead, the lawyers will be arguing the case based on the various laws, by-laws, and rules that relate to it, and referring to the evidence already filed.

If you're interested in seeing the evidence filed with the court, please see:
http://www.studentunion.ca/forum/lawsuit.html

What (not) to do
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If you come to the hearing, please:
  • come early
  • turn off cellphones before entering the courtroom
  • remain quiet during the hearing
  • dress neatly
  • be respectful at all times and to all parties
Please do not:
  • use any sort of recording device in the courtroom -- they are _strictly_ prohibited -- this includes cell-phone cameras
  • repeatedly leave and re-enter the courtroom
Finally, we should mention that the courtroom should be large enough to fit the _entire_ Forum, plus more. Many of you have expressed interest in supporting the opposition to this lawsuit: at this point, the best thing you could do would be to join us in court on Thursday and, if necessary, on Friday. If you can only attend one day, or even only a part of one day, that would be great as well.

If you have questions about attending the hearing, please contact us: Adam Lein (adam.lein@gmail.com) and/or Mike Letourneau (mletourn@cs.sfu.ca ) -- we are the liasons to the two lawyers opposing the petition.

We look forward to seeing you all there in court!

- Adam Lein & Mike Letourneau

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