BC’s Provincial Court Judges drive thousands of kilometres a year travelling between more than 80 court locations around the province. Whether their commute takes them through the Deas Island Tunnel from Surrey to Vancouver or along Highway 97 from Dawson Creek to Fort St. John, many judges find listening to a good podcast reduces the stress and helps them maintain the serenity needed in court.
eNews got such a good response when it asked judges what they were reading for pleasure, we decided to ask about their favourite podcasts. Again, their response was varied but it reveals common interests in history, ideas, music, wellness, mystery/true crime, and law.
Here, loosely grouped by subject, are some of the podcasts that BC Provincial Court judges are listening to.
History Extra – More than one judge listens to these weekly episodes featuring interviews with historians on diverse topics. They range from ancient to recent history and include crusading knights, Tudor monarchs, and the D-Day landings.
Revisionist History - Also popular with more than one judge, this podcast shares Malcolm Gladwell’s re-examination of an event, idea, person, or song from the past to see whether “we got it right the first time”.
Dan Snow’s History Hit - explores the deep history behind today’s headlines. Reports from around the world and interviews with historians are offered to provide a context to understand today’s events.
Philosophize This - a “beginner-friendly” introduction (or review) of the thinkers and ideas that forged the world, presented in chronological order.
Decoder Ring - “Cracking cultural mysteries” - in each episode, host Willa Paskin examines the history of a cultural question, object, or habit and tries to figure out what it means and why it matters.
Radiolab - An American public radio show focusing on scientific, philosophical, and political topics with a light-hearted, accessible style. Investigative journalists probe deep questions. Innovative sound design combines information and music.
Science Vs - Originally from Australia, this podcast uses interviews with experts, extensive research, and fact-checking for a “myth-busting approach” to current events and hot topics.
Reveal - This podcast of a weekly public radio show features the work of the Center for Investigative Reporting in the US.
Under The Influence - Canadian former adman Terry O’Reilly shares insights into marketing and advertising with stories that “connect the dots between pop culture, marketing and human nature”.
Soul Music - Focuses on a single song, its origins or notable performances, and the impact it’s had on listeners’ lives. The selection is eclectic, not just “soul music”, and includes many all-time “faves”.
Coverville: The Cover Music Podcast - A combination of music and information about cover songs delivered in a relaxed style. Learn about the cover artist, the original artist, and the source album.
Health and wellness
Just One Thing - Dr. Michael Mosley shares one small thing you can do everyday to improve your mental and physical wellbeing, and interviews experts on the topic. Episodes range from “Stand Up” and “Drink Water” to “Think Yourself Stronger (how to increase your strength without moving a muscle)”.
The Arm Chair Expert - Dax Shepard’s interviews explore “the messiness of being human” and people’s stories celebrating the challenges and setbacks that ultimately lead to growth and betterment. Celebrities, current events.
Tim Ferriss Show - The author best known for "The Four-Hour Work Week" interviews a diverse range of accomplished people to discover routines, tactics, and tools a listener can use.
Super Soul with Oprah - Conversations between Oprah and thinkers, authors, and spiritual leaders from the daytime series on OWN.
On Purpose - A life coach and author of "Think Like a Monk", Jay Shetty interviews people from around the world.
10 Percent Happier - Dan Harris, a journalist who had a panic attack on live tv, then discovered the benefits of meditation and wrote the book "10% Happier", talks with meditation teachers, scientists, and celebrities. He explores issues like anxiety, productivity, and relationships and concludes that happiness is a skill that can be learned.
It’s all your fault - Bill Eddy, author of “High Conflict People in Legal Disputes” explores the five types of people with high conflict personalities who can “ruin your life”.
In the Dark - American Public Media’s podcasts based on independent investigative journalism. Season 2 explores the case of a Black man tried six times for the same crime in Mississippi.
Island Crime - The Globe and Mail said former CBC producer Laura Palmer “heats up a cold case in a respectful, human way". This True Crime podcast is said to offer in-depth, victim-focused story-telling and just won a 2021 Webster Award. (Full disclosure – Ms. Palmer is married to a Provincial Court judge.)
Criminal - Intended to counter sensationalised crime stories, each episode tells a different story. Time Magazine called it "the purist's True Crime series".
Trauma Informed Lawyer - Host and BC lawyer Myrna McCallum says on the podcast site, “Lawyers, this is the education about trauma, cultural humility, vicarious trauma and trauma informed lawyering you didn’t know you needed”.
In All Fairness - Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice (CIAJ) podcasts in English and French include a variety of topics grouped under Dignity, Diversity, Human Rights, Indigenous Peoples, Writing Skills, and Administrative Law.
The Every Lawyer - Canadian Bar Association podcasts on a range of legal subjects. Recent topics include Reconciliation Toolkits, Online Hate and Harassment, and Medical Assistance in Dying.
The Docket - Ontario lawyers Michael Spratt and Emilie Tamen discuss issues at the intersection of law, politics, and policy.
The Rule of Law Matters - Monthly discussions on the Rule of Law using current events to illustrate concepts, from the Law Society of BC.
eNews - In collaboration with LegalListening.com, the Provincial Court of BC makes some of its most popular eNews blog articles available as podcasts. Varied topics range from how to prepare and conduct family court and traffic hearings to judges’ robes, oaths, and the polygraph.
It’s Clawbies time!
Whether or not your favourite legal podcast is in our list, you might want to nominate it for a Clawbie award. This month, fans of Canadian legal communication vehicles can nominate their favourites for the Canadian Law Blogs Awards (“Clawbies”).
Started in 2006 to recognize great law blogs, the Clawbies have expanded over the years to include other free online legal content - podcasts, social media accounts, newsletters, videos, and more. In 2019 the BC Provincial Court’s eNews blog and Twitter Town Halls were awarded Clawbies.
The Clawbies judges invite you to tell them who made the world a little better with their legal content in 2021. Did you find a podcast, blog or other online legal information particularly interesting or helpful? Nominate up to 3 digital publications or authors by tweeting #Clawbies2021 before December 18, with a short explanation of why they deserve an award. Winners will be announced December 31.