Preface to the second edition

AuthorChristopher C. Nicholls
ProfessionFaculty of Law, Western University
to the Second Edition
There is a story told of a university professor whose lecture was inter-
rupted by a f‌ire alar m. Students, faculty, and sta calmly gathered up
their belongings and dutif ully f‌iled out of the building, all as suming
that this wa s simply the latest in a serie s of annoying fals e alarms. But
on this occasion, they were sad ly mistaken. The building housi ng the
entire university department burned to the ground. Thank fully, there
was no loss of life, but owing to a trag ic administr ative oversight, it was
discovered that the build ing was uninsured. Temporary arrangements
were made for some personnel to be housed elsewhere in the un iversity,
but so signif‌icant was the damage that much of the department simply
had to be shut down while a capital campaign was conducted to raise
funds for a new building. The process drag ged on for more than f‌ifteen
years. At last, the fund ing targets were achieved. Constr uction work
began apace and, happily, a beautiful new building eventually arose on
the site of the devastating f‌ire. When the university depart ment was
ready to be re-opened in its new home, that same professor was invited
to deliver an inaugural lectu re as part of the ribbon-cutting ceremonies.
The lecture would mark the f‌irst time he had spoken publicly since the
day of the terrible f‌ire.
The lecture hall fell silent as the professor entered. Ignor ing the
hushed audience, he walked directly to the podium at the front of the
room, unfolded the very speaki ng notes he had been using those f‌ifteen
years earlier, raised h is eyes to the crowd and began: “As I was saying . . . .”

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