Law books tend to lack pictures. As do legal memos, factums . . . and judgments. Though a picture is said to sub for a thousand words, it’s not traditional for legal workers to speed things along that way. And neither is it easy, or possible, perhaps, to come up with images that capture the sort of conceptual thinking that law involves. Yet every now and then the image tells the tale, or, at least, an important part of the story, finding its way into judgments.
Some time ago we featured one such judgment, that by U.S. Justice Posner, whose aim was censure and mockery. I recently learned of another opinion using an image, this time simply to make certain facts and terms clear.
In Moreira et al v. Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. et al 2012 ONSC 2304 three gamblers sued an Ontario casino because of what they saw as a problem with the way the roulette wheel was operated. Justice Belobaba found it useful to include an annotated photograph of such a wheel as an appendix to the judgment, which, if nothing else, adds a bit of, well, colour to the matter.
(Not that it wasn’t colourful enough without that: the three plaintiffs had spent more than two million dollars playing roulette “betting an average of $1000 per spin.” This in a game about which the “Wizard of Odds” says:
If you are looking for a easy to understand and slow paced table game, and are willing to sacrifice on the house edge [5.26%], then you may like roulette. If you want something more stimulating or with a decent return I would suggest looking at other games.)
The house won again, as it happens.