Ultra Vires


Supreme Court establishes landmark doctrine of ‘CBS’*

Amir Eftekharpour (1L)

OTTAWA – In the much-anticipated release of their decision in Kras-Mingay Inc. v. Gehlen, the Supreme Court established, in an 8-1 majority, a new doctrine that updates the legal standard for assessing and assigning damages or sentences in civil and criminal cases, respectively.

Chief Justice McLachlin, writing for the majority, ruled that defendants in criminal or civil cases can be exonerated from any legal sanction so long as their actions may be constituted as ‘CBS’, or “clearly bitchin’ shit.”

The doctrine, which Justice Rothstein described as “like, pretty self-evident,” arose after the defendant was sued in a negligence claim for fleeing the plaintiff’s company premises after a major gas explosion, instead of discharging his duty as a security guard. While the finding of fault was not contested, counsel for the defendant argued that he should be kept from any legal sanction, since the manner in which he fled the scene met the major legal condition of being “totally wicked.”

The members of the court agreed, expressing their delight as they viewed security footage of the defendant’s super slick escape, which showed the defendant jumping onto a “friggin’ sweet” motorcycle with “seriously cool handlebars – like the kind with skulls and shit on the front” before speeding off the premises. Justice Abella expressed her learned approval, describing the defendant’s actions as “hella decent,” before high-fiving Justice LeBel. Justice Wagner exclaimed that the defendant was wearing a leather jacket “just like the one my friend’s older brother Ricky has,” adding, “Ricky lets me ride in the back of his Corvette all the time, you guys.”

Chief Justice McLachlin expressed that the defendant’s super-decent wheelie was a major component in the court’s decision, especially when considered in conjunction with the “mad nasty” roar of the motorcycle’s 500CC engine.

Justice Moldaver formed the lone dissent, arguing that the defendant’s choice to look back at the explosion had a significant mitigating effect on how “clearly bitchin’” his actions were. “Cool guys don’t look at explosions,” he said, citing foundational precedents such as Die Hard I and II, as well as the famous obiter in The Italian Job. “The original,” he clarified, “not the remake with Jack Bauer’s dad.”

Furthermore, all the justices agreed that the escape did not meet the more stringent test established in Graham v. TAG. The ‘SFM’ principle arising from that case negates any legal responsibility a defendant may have for his or her actions, so long as they could be described as being ‘Super Fucking Metal.’  The SFM doctrine also has the further effect of awarding the defendant a seriously decent Red Bull sponsorship.


*Thanks to my friend Jess for her help coining the phrase CBS

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