Legal Word of the Day: “Sophistry”


“Sophistry” – A specious, hair-splitting argument, short on logic, which fails for lack of legal foundation.

Sophistry is related to “cavil,” as a legal argument that fails for lack of foundation.

Cases that describe or illustrate sophistry include:

  • R. v. Wood, 1995 CanLII 7424 (ON SC) — 1995-04-25. In Wood, a professional engineer argued his Charter rights were impugned by a provision in the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
  • AXA Insurance v. Dominion of Canada Insurance Co., 2004 CanLII 34995 (ON CA) — 2004-11-04
    This case involves a boat, a bungee cord and three insurance companies.
  • R. v. Baldree, 2012 ONCA 138 (CanLII) — 2012-03-02. Are implied assertions hearsay exceptions or legal backwaters?
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