What is the cost of success?


I’ve previously mentioned the seminal Companioni case.  From that case, I was able to locate my current attorney.  I’ve also been doing quite a bit of work lately in New York City (recall that my client is physically located in the same building as the consulate that considered and rejected my application.)  Since Companioni lived in NEw York, I spent some time trying to track them down.

While I think I have, the process was far more challenging than I had initially expected – after all, these days it’s generally quite easy to track someone down.  Even when I found a matching profile on a professional website, I was surprised to find out that the person I identified did not allow direct contact (and this is a business networking website!)  That surprised me.  The same thing for social websites (e.g., Facebook).  As I dug deeper it began to sink in that there might be a high price for success: the rights of privacy disappear once the legal system is involved.  The details of who I am, what I do for a living, where I live, and my medical condition are all spelled out in a legal decision.  If it is unsuccessful, almost no one will take notice – and from my review of judicial review decisions most are unsuccessful.  Then again, most are refugee cases.

Companioni was succesful.  When I pushed my attorney a bit more on Monday about “where they were in the process” he demurred and said that I was pushing into an area of attorney/client privilege.  I’ve since offered up permission for my attorney to pass along contact information, but I’ve not heard anything.  A shame, but I suspect they may prefer their privacy.

I’m not always the sharpest knife in the drawer, but in this case it occurred to me that the reason for these things might very likely be that after the decision was made some people took it upon themselves to make the lives of Companioni and his partner difficult.  I cannot be surprised at such actions, given the extremist views of some people (e.g., Westboro Baptist Church and their actions.)

So now I’m wondering: will the cost of success (however unlikely) be so high that I ultimately decide it was not worth it?  If so, it really challenges me as to the basic nature of justice and the manner in which we execute it these days.  But then again, perhaps that is the goal: to provide us with an outlet that is so expensive regardless of success or failure that we will remain complacent and simply accept the fact that we are excluded.

That leaves me with a rhetorical question to ponder: Does Canada merely present the illusion of equality and tolerance while actively discouraging it?

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