by Henry M. Goslett
November  2011

 

 

The following is the story of the making of The Annotated Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, formerly the Annotated Immigration Act, published by Carswell.

I first met Frank Marrocco in the mid-1970s.  His law office and the immigration enforcement office, where I worked, were in the same building on University Avenue in Toronto.  Although working on opposite sides of the fence, so to speak, and at times on opposite sides of the same cases, we became friends over the years having a professional respect for each other.

One day in the summer of 1979 we met for lunch in Chinatown at Sai Woo’s Restaurant.  We began discussing immigration related criminal inadmissibility issues and as our conversation  continued we began talking about how helpful it was to have a publication such as Martin’s Criminal Code and Tremeear’s Criminal Code which are annotated with relevant jurisprudence.  I commented that “wouldn’t it be great to have an annotated immigration act”... to which Frank responded “yes it would, why don’t we write it together.”  I thought his suggestion was crazy but Frank was tenacious and over the next few months he would bring up the subject every time he saw me until I finally agreed to do it.  I said to him “when do we start?”... to which he replied “what are you doing right now?”... it was a Friday afternoon at 5 o’clock.

The next thing I knew we were entering the Great Library at Osgoode Hall.  All of the reference material we would need was available in the library, however, we had a significant strategic problem to deal with.  Our plan was to read immigration related case law and then dictate a summary of each judgment that we felt was relevant.  Using a dictaphone in the library, however, was definitely not allowed.  Fortunately Frank knew the Librarian to whom he explained our predicament.  The Librarian soon came up with a solution and took us to a small room behind the stacks in a library where the janitor kept his brooms, mops and cleaning materials.  It was also a storage room for extra study carols two of which were sitting in the middle of the room.  For the next five years this became our base of operations.  We met in the library broom closet evenings after work and on weekends reading and dictating the case summaries.  We would discuss the relevance of the cases and where they might fit under the appropriate sections of the Immigration Act and regulations.  We used the indices and table of cases in every law reporter series available and we read every case involving immigration, immigrant, alien and any other identifier we could think of, from January 1, 1947 to the present.

By 1984 we had somewhat of a manuscript.  A friend of Frank’s at Canada Law Book had always expressed interest in our project and in publishing our book when it was ready, but unfortunately, that same year, Canada Law Book published a textbook on refugee law and would not consider publishing another book on immigration law in the same year.  We were both new to the legal publishing business and I for one did not understand the reason for the negative decision. The refugee law book was a textbook while our publication was specifically designed to be a tool of the trade for immigration officers, inquiry officers, adjudicators and other department officials, immigration lawyers and consultants, and judges hearing immigration cases.  Frank and I were disappointed but we had no intention of giving up at this point.  Frank assigned the finding of a publisher to his then legal assistant, Pamela Hudson.  Pamela was a very friendly and pleasant person.  I had no idea that she was also one tough lady.  It turns out that Pamela was an allied intelligence officer working behind enemy lines in the Second World War.  She never backed down then and she had no intention of backing down now when the person on the other end of the telephone at Carswell told her they were not interested in our project.  She persisted firmly to tell the Carswell editor that she had a manuscript in her hand and one way or the other they were going to read it!  I do not know if the editor was frightened or simply trying to save face when she told Pamela that she had thought we wanted Carswell to finance the research to begin the project not understanding that the manuscript was already prepared.  Pamela was a little indignant that the editor had thought we were looking for a handout but everything ended peacefully and the manuscript was promptly delivered by courier to Carswell.  Carswell agreed to publish The Book.

The first edition of the Marrocco and Goslett Annotated Immigration Act of Canada was published in 1984, but  the publisher had only printed 250 copies to sell.  I immediately phoned them to let them know they had grossly underestimated the market and told them that The Book would be very popular in the immigration legal community.  They told me that 250 copies of a new law book was generous.  They told me that if we sold 300 copies in the life of The Book it would be considered a great success.  The initial 250 copies were sold almost immediately and so they agreed to print another 250 copies.  Again, I suggested they were making a mistake and should have printed more copies.  The second 250 copies were sold through orders before they could be printed.  Carswell printed another 250 copies which also sold immediately.  That first edition sold just over 900 copies in one year. Frank’s law firm held a reception to celebrate The Book and the publisher gave each of us a leather bound edition.

Frank and I had always intended that we would write an annual edition of The Book and so, we continued to work in the broom closet at the Great Library producing a second manuscript.  Much to our surprise our publisher was shocked as they had not intended on publishing a second edition.  Once again we had to convince them of our belief in the demand for The Book.  Our second edition which was published in 1986 sold approximately 1500 copies.  Since then we have published an annual edition and the publisher awaits our manuscript at the end of July each year.  Over the years many young lawyers and law students have helped us proofread the manuscript, as The Book has grown significantly from 246 pages to 1179 pages.  The book now sells on average, 3000 copies a year and is considered one of the publisher’s more successful books.

Since The Book was always designed to be a tool for practitioners in the area we always refrained from any editorial comment even though we often wished we could comment.  To appease our desire in this regard, at least to some small extent, we chose the colour of the cover of the book with specific intent.  The first edition was red because there was a Federal Liberal government in power at the time.  The second edition cover was blue because the Conservatives had now come to power and the next edition’s cover was black to indicate our state of mourning over the government’s policies.  The next cover was burgundy to designate a blending of red and blue making the point that neither party was distinguishable.  Most never knew the meaning behind the colour of the covers.  After that, the publisher wanted to standardize the colour and design of all of their annotated acts and we have no input any longer.

In late 2005 Frank Marrocco was appointed a Judge of the Ontario Superior Court, and Barbara Jo Caruso, one of the young lawyers that had made significant contributions to The Book from 1992 to 2005, took over Frank’s role and together we continue to write the Annotated Immigration and Refugee Protection Act annually. 

 
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