Lawyers and Court Representation of Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Argument [OPCA] Litigants in Canada
(2018) 51:2 UBC Law Review 419
70 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2018
Date Written: August 23, 2018
Litigants who advance unorthodox law-like concepts, “pseudolaw”, have appeared in Canadian courts for several decades. Courts reject pseudolaw as vexatious and an abuse of court. The motivations and characteristics of pseudolaw litigants differ. Some are principally results-oriented, seeking to use pseudolaw for personal advantage. Others ground their use of pseudolaw on conspiratorial, paranoid, and ideological beliefs.
While most litigants who employ pseudolaw are unrepresented, a significant fraction retained lawyers for some or all of their proceedings. The lawyer’s functions also vary. Some are retained to conduct ‘damage control’ after pseudolaw was used but then abandoned. Other lawyers explored dubious but arguable pseudolaw, or were temporarily retained for a specific objective, such as to obtain bail. A small number of rogue lawyers have entirely rejected legal orthodoxy and fully embraced pseudolaw, arguing these concepts for their clients and even themselves. Some pseudolaw litigants for tactical advantage use a flexible litigation strategy, and alternate between representation by a ‘conventional’ lawyer, a rogue lawyer, and self-representation. This poses a unique challenge to court function and litigation management.
Keywords: OPCA, Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Argument, pseudolaw, Freeman on the Land, Freemen on the Land, Sovereign Citizen, Detaxer
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