Legal Wit — Green Eggs and Ham as Allegory

Legal Wit — Green Eggs and Ham as Allegory

Yet the Bar, at least the Toronto Region Bar, does not appear to share that perspective. From my observations two reasons seem to influence the local Bar's preference for summary judgment motions over trials. The first reason stems from a lack of experience and familiarity with civil trials, particularly amongst members of the Bar who have practiced for less than 15 years. In a sense they have not tasted the trial process, which brings to mind the insights provided by an iconic story about the reluctance to taste something unknown.


Recall the Dr. Seuss story of the efforts by Sam-I-am to persuade a skeptical interlocutor about the merits of green eggs and ham. Sam-I-am asked: "Do you like green eggs and ham?" To which the curmudgeonly interlocutor responded:         


I do not like them,




I do not like


Green eggs and ham.


Persistent efforts by Sam-I-am to persuade the other of the fine merits of green eggs and ham culminated in his final exhortation to the interlocutor:


You do not like them.


So you say.


Try them! Try them!


And you may.


Try them and you may, I say.


In the face of such repeated attempts at suasion our interlocutor finally breaks down and says:




If you will let me be,


I will try them


You will see.


With a doubting look our interlocutor eyes, then tries, the proffered green eggs and ham. We all know the results of his taste-testing:




I like green eggs and ham!


I do! I like them, Sam-I-am!


Our interlocutor then expounds at length on his new-found love for that which he previously shunned.


Are civil trials the legal equivalent of green eggs and ham? Is Green Eggs and Ham an allegory in which Sam-I-am represents the Bench, and the interlocutor the Bar? I will leave the finer points of literary analysis to the critics, but the story does bear a striking resemblance to the on-going dialogue between Bench and Bar regarding the respective merits of civil trials and motions.

George Weston Ltd. v. Domtar Inc. |
2012 CarswellOnt 10880 |
Ontario Superior Court of Justice [Commercial List]


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