Jeffrey Miller is perhaps Canada’s best-known writer on law and culture. (One commentator has described his work as “Mark Twain meets Rumpole of the Bailey.”) He has been a feature columnist for The Lawyers Weekly for the last 27 years, and frequently discusses law and language on television and radio, notably as the “legal curiosities” correspondent for CBC Radio’s late, lamented “Basic Black” and TV Ontario’s “More to Life.” His latest published book is Murder on the Rebound, the third comic novel narrated by Amicus, the sharp-tongued (and surprisingly well-read) courthouse cat. The other two installments in the series are Murder at Osgoode Hall and Murder’s Out of Tune, the latter having Toronto’s jazz community as its setting.
Miller’s trade non-fiction and public speaking often concern law as social history, focusing (frequently with a humourous bent) on the intersection of law with the larger human society in general. His best-known work on that topic is Where There’s Life, There’s Lawsuits: Not Altogether Serious Ruminations on Law and Life. Lawsuits was optioned by a Hollywood producer and featured as a best non-fiction finalist for the Arthur Ellis Award. Miller’s other book-length works of social-legal history are Ardor in the Court: Sex and the Law (frequently stolen from public libraries) and Naked Promises (a history for the general reader of the law of contract). On the technical side, he is also the author of The Law of Contempt in Canada, a treatise for lawyers, which grew out of his former work as a “Bay Street” lawyer specialising in media and defamation law as well as commercial litigation.
While Miller spends most of his workday as a writer and occasional book reviewer for major daily newspapers, he is also Adjunct Professor of Law and Literature in the law faculty of the University of Western Ontario and a translator (French-English). He holds a B.A. from the University of Colorado, an M.A. from the University of Toronto (in English language and literature), a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School, and certification as a translator from the U of T.
He is also an enthusiastic musician, having played guitar with a jazz big band, and guitar, flutes, and banjo in various traditional music groups such as Uncle Itch and the Immigrants. His web site, which usually is scandalously out of date, is www.jeffreymiller.ca.
Teaching In 2013-2014
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