As Kenneth Smookler watched Cinderella at the ballet four years ago, he had a thought.
Farr & Beyond LLP: Lawyers for the Otherworldly reimagines the Big Bad Wolf not as a villain, but a contractor with a strong legal argument
“Cinderella’s family had her scrubbing floors and cooking,” recalls the 87-year-old retired lawyer. “But now, they’ve lost her to the prince.” His legal imagination took off. He worried that Cinderella might have signed a contract with her stepmother to perform housework. If so, the stepmother could file a suit to keep Cinderella from doing similar work for the prince. For fun, Smookler wrote Cinderella a letter, explaining her rights.
He saw legal issues in other fairy tales. “The Three Bears had a trespasser for heaven’s sake!” he says. He wrote his ideas down.
His wife, Fran, saw his work and told a friend, whose son is an editor at book publisher Wall & Emerson. This past winter, Farr & Beyond LLP: Lawyers for the Otherworldly hit bookstores. It’s full of legal documents that relate to the caseload of a firm that represents fairy tale characters. For example: the Big Bad Wolf, whom Smookler reimagines as a contractor who thinks the Three Little Pigs’ homes aren’t up to code. In a letter to the city’s planning commission, counsel for the wolf states: “My client is the owner of the Huff-n-Puff demolition company and is prepared to blow these houses down.”
This story is from our Spring 2017 issue.
Illustration by Ryan Howe
Looking for a holiday gift for that lawyer who has everything? Well, they probably don’t have this.
We were delighted to get our hands on a copy of Farr & Beyond: Lawyers for the Otherworldly, written by retired Toronto lawyer Kenneth Smookler, Q.C. The book reveals the goings-on at imaginary law firm Farr & Beyond LLP, which stays in business by representing our favourite fairytale characters, like Hansel and Gretel, the Big Bad Wolf and Rapunzel.
What damages is Captain Hook entitled to from Peter Pan for the loss of his hand? In marrying the prince, did Cinderella breach her contract with her evil stepsisters?
In an amusing combination of judge’s rulings, statements of claim, phone conversations and the like, Farr & Beyond explores these legal issues and more.
Farr & Beyond: Lawyers for the Otherworldly is published by Wall & Emerson, Inc. You can buy it online for $19.95.
Illustrations by Ryan Howe