Focus On

First, let’s vaccinate all the lawyers | Marcel Strigberger

Friday, December 18, 2020 @ 1:46 PM | By Marcel Strigberger


Marcel Strigberger %>
Marcel Strigberger
This is a good a time as any to quote Shakespeare. The bard’s famous comment during one of England’s bubonic plagues was, “First thing we do, let’s vaccinate all the lawyers.”

OK, he didn’t quite put it this way. However given that the governments are arranging a priority list for the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine, had he been around today, he may have made this suggestion. As a lawyer, it makes complete sense to me for a number of reasons.

Firstly the smooth operation of the justice system is vital. To ensure this happens, public confidence in lawyers must be raised beyond a reasonable doubt. You don’t want clients and others having to worry about approaching their lawyers. If some members of the public like us, they should have no problem letting us get to the front of the queue. For those who don’t like us, they can take comfort in that lawyers would be amongst the first to get injected with a strange new vaccine with yet unknown side effects. Win win?

I ask, why should medical people get ahead of the lawyers? After all, the iconic symbol for justice is Lady Justice. She symbolizes fair and equal administration of the law, without corruption, favour, greed or prejudice. We have to keep the lady healthy and vibrant.

On the other hand, what is the symbol for medicine? A serpent! What does that tell you? And in addition to poking, prodding and making you say “ouch,” doctors also keep you waiting for ages. Now which profession is more sympathetic? It’s not that I at all minimize the importance of first responders such as ambulance attendants, bless them. It’s just that to maintain a balance, we should also appreciate and respect the ambulance chasers.

And when I talk of lawyers, I mean to include other vital players in the justice system, namely court staff, judges and jurors. And where do you find the jurors? It is said that jurors typically consist of 12 people standing in line at Tim Hortons. There we go. Public Health can partner with Tim Hortons to set up a vaccination booth in the back of the shop outlets. After getting the shot, each potential juror gets a dozen Timbits free. That’s more than they earn for showing up in court. Win win?

As for other logistics, we hear that the Pfizer vaccine must be preserved at an extremely low temperature until ready for use. No problem. The government can make it happen. Just pass a law mandating the vaccine’s temperature. Call it something like the, “Hey Vaccine You Stay Very Frozen Act.” That should work. And to ensure it does, as the government has designated different parts of the province into coloured zones, on the advice of its chief medical health officers, it can ensure the vaccine remains frozen, by declaring Tim Hortons to be a “blue zone.” Bob’s your uncle.

Actually other authors also prophetically and cryptically suggested lawyers should get certain priorities in hard times. Just examine the works of Charles Dickens. Dickens opens in A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.” Do the times sound familiar? He ends off with lawyer Sidney Carton taking the place of his identical double Charles Darnay, on a date with Madame Guillotine. His final eloquent words are, “It is a far better thing I do now than I ever did before.” Both Dickens and Carton were lawyers. Altruism at its highest!

Dickens leaves little doubt about the benefit of prioritizing the vaccination of lawyers up front, when you pair the above comments with those of Mr. Bumble, in David Copperfield, where Mr. Bumble says, “The law is an ass.”

Well maybe not up front. More likely Bumble was alluding to where the dose should be injected.

Can we now roll up those sleeves; or rather perhaps lift up those robes?

Marcel Strigberger retired from his Greater Toronto Area litigation practice and continues the more serious business of humorous author and speaker. Visit www.marcelshumour.com. Follow him @MarcelsHumour.

Interested in writing for us? To learn more about how you can add your voice to The Lawyer’s Daily, contact Analysis Editor Peter Carter at peter.carter@lexisnexis.ca or call 647-776-6740.