Areas of

Tips for dealing with Justice Sudoku during COVID-19 | Marcel Strigberger

Friday, April 17, 2020 @ 9:05 AM | By Marcel Strigberger

Marcel Strigberger %>
Marcel Strigberger
As I was sitting in my study this morning, I saw that lady pass by again in front of my house. She comes around now and then walking her black and white Scottish terriers. They look like poster dogs for that Black & White scotch whisky. Unfortunately for some reason these dogs find it convenient to dump their calling cards as they pass. And for some reason this lady does not always scoop up.

In the past I placed these incidents high on my things that I despise list (I’d like to describe that list more accurately), right along with unbearable voicemail messages, waiting in long queues and inconsiderate people who while sitting in a restaurant near me ask servers to douse their pasta with Parmesan cheese. Which all brings me, in these times, to social distancing.

Have you noticed that some things matter less these days? I was thinking about my days in practice where little matters used to upset me. One antagonist was any judge who on a motion didn’t read the materials. You just knew from the puzzled look on his face that the judge likely spent his pre-motion reading prep time working on a Sudoku puzzle. It was just that Sudoku look. Unmistakable.

Now that we have an unprecedented court closure, wouldn’t we just want to get back to the courtroom, even if it means putting up with Justice Sudoku? “Your Honour, I ask that you grant us that injunction. And by the way, you can move that 7 under the 4.”

As well I found judges who were habitually late entering the courtroom annoying. And there were a handful of those. I’m sure our feelings will be different once we return to normalcy. After the court registrar announces, “His Honour is running late,” many of us will say, “No problem. Anyway, I wanted to whip out my iPhone and play some engaging rounds of solitaire.”

I also fondly recall attending examinations for discovery at several offices where they provided a lavish luncheon buffet, on the house. One such place included scrumptious, heavenly macadamia nut and white chocolate cookies. Suddenly those cookies disappeared and, in their stead, came bland oatmeal raisin cookies. I pleaded with the staff a number of times to restore those delectable macadamia nut white chocolate cookies, but my pleas fell on deaf ears. I would utter a loud, “Hrumph.” The place just would not get a life. It was like talking to the wall. Unfortunately, these days the only walls we can talk to are the ones in our homes.  

We have learned a few lessons, including how to view problems and irritants in perspective.

As for that lady with the dogs, in the past I’d bang on my window when I saw her dogs fertilizing my sidewalk. I would frantically bring her assault in front of my castle to her attention. This morning I decided it didn’t really matter. I resolved to let it pass. It did pass in any event, as the doggies likely found another dumping ground. I even got inspired to maybe, once the crisis passes, try a shot of that Black & White scotch.

Finally, as for that Parmesan cheese, the aroma is devastating. Sorry, but eating that substance near me is not small stuff.

Marcel Strigberger retired from his Greater Toronto Area litigation practice and continues the more serious business of humorous author and speaker. Visit

Interested in writing for us? To learn more about how you can add your voice to The Lawyer’s Dailycontact Analysis Editor Peter Carter at or call 647-776-6740.