Every Canadian's Guide to the Law. 3rd ed.


390 pages
Contains Index
ISBN 0-00-639546-1
DDC 349.71




Reviewed by Sarah Robertson

Sarah Robertson is editor of the Canadian Book Review Annual.


Linda Silver Dranoff is a family lawyer and activist who served as
Chatelaine magazine’s legal columnist for 25 years. Her previous books
include the bestselling Every Woman’s Guide to the Law and Women in
Canadian Law.

Every Canadian’s Guide to the Law, now in its third edition, is
Dranoff’s attempt “to demystify the law for the average person.”
She achieves that goal admirably in the book’s 12 lucidly written and
efficiently organized chapters. An introduction addresses topics ranging
from Aboriginal justice to whistle-blower protection, and the
disquieting fact that “the law does not only evolve. It can also
devolve.” Following are chapters devoted to “Birth Issues,”
“Working Life,” “Marriage,” “Common Law,” “Parents and
Children,” “Human and Civil Rights,” “Injury, Abuse,
Victimization: Criminal Charges and Civil Remedies,” “Property,”
“Separation and Divorce,” “Planning for the Future,” and
“Access to the Legal System.”

Dranoff is not afraid to express an opinion on controversial subjects.
She believes, for example, that anti-terrorism law in Canada poses a
serious threat to the rule of law. Her book is peppered with intriguing
tidbits. In the section on jury duty, for instance, we learn that
“[w]omen used to be able to exempt themselves from jury duty simply
because they were women. It was not until the 1950s that most provinces
even permitted women to be jurors.”

Informed by the author’s 30-plus years of experience as a practising
lawyer, this eminently readable book renders the law and its
intimidating complexities into plain English—a feat that’s sure to
gratify its target audience.


Dranoff, Linda Silver., “Every Canadian's Guide to the Law. 3rd ed.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 21, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/16561.