Thursday, November 27, 2014

Oh Jeezus not another lawyer with a stiletto obsession!

$555 to $$14,000 for a pair. How many pair do you have in your closets' ladies?

'It is not my practice to litigate my cases in the media': Who is Jian Ghomeshi's lawyer Marie Henein?

By Jen Gerson
Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Marie Henein, then lawyer for Michael Bryant, leaves old City Hall and prepares to talk to media in Toronto, Ontario Monday, October 19, 2009. (Brett Gundlock/National Post Files)

Marie Henein was being hailed as a rising star in the criminal justice system well before she successfully defended former attorney general Michael Bryant on charges of criminal negligence causing death; however, her position as the most high profile criminal defence lawyer in the country has been cemented with her decision to represent disgraced CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi.

Ms. Henein’s striking visage appeared next to Mr. Ghomeshi’s on Wednesday, when the man accused with four counts of sexual assault briefly faced a scene of total media chaos outside the Toronto courthouse where he made his first appearance.



“It is not my practice to litigate my cases in the media,” she said. “We will say whatever we have to say in a court of law. We will not be making any further media statements.”
Ms. Henein, who was called to the bar in 1992, has represented an impressive array of some of Canada’s most famous and infamous clients.
Related

Jian Ghomeshi’s full statement on the criminal charges against him told through his lawyer (video)

In addition to Mr. Bryant, who was charged in connection with the death of cyclist Darcy Allan Sheppard, Ms. Henein was part of the team that defended Robert Latimer, who killed his severely disabled pre-teen daughter in the ’90s; also, Daniel Weiz, who was accused and acquitted of beating a teenager to death in a Toronto Park in 1999. Before that she aided in the defence of Gerald Regan, former Nova Scotia premier, against sexual abuse.

Records show she has a penchant for being tough on witnesses.

For example, when Ms. Henein defended hockey coach David Frost on charges of exploitation, the lawyer grilled a female witness as to why she had failed to notice a “plum-sized blood sac that appears like a third testicle” when she claims to have performed oral sex.

The witness was 16 when she said she was coerced into multiple threesome between Mr. Frost and her boyfriend, one of his players.

Mr. Frost was acquitted.

According to a Toronto Star profile published in 2003, Ms. Henein’s family immigrated from Egypt when she was 4-years-old. The lawyer attended Osgoode Hall and was described as “hardworking, dedicated and extremely tenacious,” by Ed Greenspan, whose firm hired her after she was called to the bar.

According to the article, Ms. Henein’s confidence about her cases are often reflected in her footwear; when things are going well, she opts for Manolo Blahnik stilettos. (emphasis CyberSmokeBlog)

Before she took Mr. Ghomeshi’s case, Ms. Henein raised eyebrows with an off-colour joke at a gala event where she was speaking: “As criminal lawyers we represent people who have committed heinous acts. Acts of violence. Acts of depravity. Acts of cruelty. Or as Jian Ghomeshi likes to call it, foreplay.”

Fishnets and stilettos on the Supreme Court of Canada ..... eh?

Good Day Readers:

Recently concluded Douglas Inquiry Independent Counsel Suzanne Cote, who always showed up in black wearing fishnets and stilettos, has been named as the latest appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Whatever happened to a public bi-partisan parliamentary hearing to publicly vet the nomination even though the questions/comments were trite - "my father came to Canada during the depression with only a chicken in a brown paper bag ....." Oy vey. Here, when the Harper government chooses to have a confirmation hearing it's a tea party compared to the American experience where's it's a barbecue on national television. More deja vu from the Conservative government. Taxpayers are handed the decision as a fait accompli - "shut your faces folks and pay your taxes.

Imagine had she been appointed while.the delay plagued, error filled Douglas Inquiry were still in play? That would have driven the Canadian Judicial Council nutso!

CyberSmokeBlog's nomination for the next Supreme Court Justice? Rocco Galati - "Rocco! Rocco! Rocco!" Bet you don't have the cojones to do that Stephen Harper.

With this latest appointment at least there will be a fashion statement on the highest court. Congratulations "Justice Fishnets or is it Justice Stilettos."

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk

Postscript

Regarding those fishnets and stilettos, let us not forget if there was one principle in law established by the Douglas Inquiry it was that Justices can wear whatever they please under those robes.

PM picks Quebec lawyer Suzanne Cote for Supreme Court seat

Sean Fine/Justice Writer
Thursday, November 27, 2014

Quebec government lawyer Suzanne Cote is shown in Quebec City on August 30, 2010. (Mathieu Belanger/The Canadian Press)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper named Suzanne Côté of Montreal to the Supreme Court of Canada today, raising the complement of women back to its high-water mark of four on the nine-member court.

Ms. Côté, Mr. Harper’s seventh appointment on the nine-member court, is the first female practicing lawyer appointed in the court’s 139-year history. Male litigators appointed to the Supreme Court include Ian Binnie and John Sopinka. Ms. Côté replaces Justice Louis LeBel, a liberal-minded judge appointed by prime minister Jean Chrétien who reaches the mandatory retirement age of 75 on November 30.

Ms. Côté is a partner and head of the Montreal litigation practice at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP specializing in civil and commercial law.

Simon Potter, a Montreal lawyer and a former president of the Canadian Bar Association, said she will be a “strong and independent-minded judge. A battler with a mind and a will, with a strong sense of individual justice.”

McGill University law professor Robert Leckey said Ms. Côté is known as an extremely aggressive advocate.

“Some people perceived her as needlessly pugnacious during the Bastarache Commission in 2010 [on judicial appointments in Quebec] when she was lawyer for the Charest government,” Prof. Leckey said. “You probably need to take such comments with a grain of salt – some people would suggest that women are judged differently than men, starting from an assumption that women will be nicer or gentler than men. So one might at least ask whether a man acting as she did would be so quickly characterized as aggressive. Still, that would clearly be the description of her on the street, I think.”

For the second Supreme Court appointment in the past five months, Prime Minister Harper allowed for no parliamentary input in the selection. The justice department, in documents tabled in the Commons this week, said the government is rethinking the process because of a breach of confidentiality in a previous appointment. That was a reference to a Globe and Mail story last May revealing that four of six candidates on a government list for a Supreme Court vacancy last fall were from an ineligible court.

While the Conservative government has criticized judges for not deferring to Parliament on social-policy issues, and Mr. Harper has expressed a wish for law-and-order judges, Ms. Côté’s judicial philosophy is untested.

“It is striking that this is another nomination without even the somewhat perfunctory passage via the parliamentary committee,” Prof. Leckey said.

From 2004 until last fall, a parliamentary committee had winnowed the government’s list of candidates down to a short list of three, for the Prime Minister to choose from. And Mr. Harper was the first Prime Minister to put his nominees before a separate committee for a televised question-and-answer session in Parliament. That hearing, too, seems to be a dead letter, based on the justice department documents tabled this week in response to questions from Liberal MP Irwin Cotler.

The appointment of Ms. Côté, after three previous appointments from Quebec of men, may help Mr. Harper avoid controversy in Quebec City in an election year, although it departs from a tradition that one of the three Quebec judges on the Supreme Court come from Quebec City. The appointment puts to rest the notion that Mr. Harper would appoint Justice Robert Mainville, which could have led to a challenge at the Supreme Court much like the one last year in which Mr. Harper’s choice, Justice Marc Nadon of the Federal Court of Appeal, was ruled ineligible by the Supreme Court in a 6-1 vote.

The court went 10 months with just eight judges until Mr. Harper named Clément Gascon as his replacement. Justice Mainville was, like Justice Nadon, on the Federal Court of Appeal, but the government attempted to move him to the Quebec Court of Appeal last spring. Toronto lawyer Rocco Galati, who challenged the Nadon appointment, also filed a lawsuit against the Mainville appointment, and a hearing at the Quebec Court of Appeal on its legality is to be held in December.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Mcintyre versus Mansbridge versus McDonald versus Ghomeshi


The ultimate fall from grace ,,,,, bye, bye for you Jian Ghomeshi!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

"The Douglas Deal" ..... how's your pension doing taxpayers, that is, if you can even afford one?

Dear CyberSmokeBlog:

On reading the CJC's terse announcement I was wondering how they would justify paying her until her date of "early retirement" unless she starts hearing cases again.


Looks like they've engineered an answer by saying the inquiry is not really concluded, but merely "adjourned," which I guess puts her in a kind of suspended animation.

... cb

Dear cb ...

Thank you for contacting CyberSmokeBlog. You have raised some interesting points. Why was Lori Douglas' retirement not effective at the start or end of a month as it would have been in most similar cases? More than likely because it will give her sufficient pensionable time to meet the minimum requirement for $130,000 annually.

What will she be doing between now and May 21, 2015? God only knows. She has been on full administrative leave since August 2010 during which time she has not set foot in a courtroom. One can only assume she's been at home tending to her tomato patch or perhaps sharpening pencils for the other Justices.

And you're right this is an "engineered" settlement.


The alacrity with which the Canadian Judicial Council accepted "The Deal" suggests it couldn't wait to get the huge monkey off it's back that the Douglas Inquiry has been - an unmitigated public relations disaster. Its complaints procedures and business model under which it's currently labouring has been exposed as totally inadequate prompting it to finally seek public input.

Is the Inquiry Panel required to seek ratification of the deal from the full CJC membership? Don't know. Here's another flaw. When the Canadian Senators were initially suspended they were allowed to accumulate pensionable time. After the public raised its voice the federal Treasury Board was forced to backtrack to introduce legislation in the March 2014 Omnibus Budget Bill that put an end to this practice.

Look at the Douglas case. She's been accumulating pensionable time since 2014 yet hasn't done one iota of work for the Crown and ultimately taxpayers but will be compensated as though she had. Like Senators, federally appointed Judges and Justices also work for the Crown. Without this 4-years of unearned pensionable time she would not qualify for her very, very generous "minimum" pension.

Legislation needs to be introduced that immediately ends such unearned public benefits.

"The Douglas Deal" is yet another in a long line of examples that explains why the Canadian Judicial Council is widely viewed as judges protecting judges; judges judging judges. It's public inquiries are for lawyers, by lawyers and of lawyers. Where's the independent public oversight?

Is Alex Chapman Poised To Become Canada's Next Best Selling Author?


This morning on CBC Winnipeg Radio, never at a loss for words Alex Chapman (who spoke up when no one else would) was interviewed. Apparently he's writing a book. Should be interesting although it won't be a picture book. He best begin proofreading his material and using a spell check - that or hire a ghost writer.

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Canadian Judicial Council would be out of it's collective mind not to accept the deal!

Good Day Readers:

Had a notice from the CJC the hearing will reconvene at 2:15 today.

The Canadian Judicial Council really has no choice but to accept the deal otherwise it risks dragging on this sordid affair even longer at taxpayer expense.

Suppose the Inquiry went to its natural conclusion. Only two conclusions would have been possible. She remain on the bench or she not. If the former the House of Commons and the Senate would have had to ratify the decision. so what do they do send her back and give her an office next to Vic Toews pretending none of this happened? If that happened can you imagine the outcry from women and their advocacy groups. Vote to remove her from the bench and the Canadian Judicial Council could have breathed much easier.

The Inquiry has been a huge embarrassment for the Council on a few levels. Beyond the time and public cost it has consumed, it has painfully shown the inadequacies in the CJC complaints discipline procedures, as sell as, the severely flawed way federal judges are appointed in Canada.

Right about now the boys and girls in the inner sanctum of The Council must be heaving a huge collective sigh of relief.- "Thank you Lori Douglas for letting us off the hook." And so ends another sordid chapter in the annals of Canadian jurisprudence but there'll be others..

Sincerely,
Clare L Pieuk
Lori Douglas judge in nude photos case, offers deal to retire

Monday, November 24, 2014

Senior Manitoba Judge Lori Douglas has proposed a deal to retire, just ahead of a hearing into whether she should be kicked off the bench over nude photos of her that appeared on the internet.

Douglas's lawyer, Sheila Block, said the agreement was struck with theCanadian Judicial Council (CJC) to stay the proceedings in return for Douglas to retire in May 2015.

The three-person panel hearing the case in Winnipeg still has to approve the proposed settlement. A decision is expected Monday afternoon.

Lori Douglas case to start anew with sex photos off-limits
Lori Douglas wins temporary ban on nude photos at disciplinary hearing

The complaint against Douglas, an associate chief justice, arose after her now-late husband, Jack King, took graphic photos of her — some of which depict bondage — and posted them on an internet site without her knowledge or permission in 2003.

Douglas faces allegations that she failed to disclose the photos whenshe applied to become a judge in 2004 and that the pictures could undermine public confidence in the justice system.

The panel had set aside 10 days for the hearing, which was expected to receive testimony from 23 witnesses. Douglas's lawyers had fought for a ban on the use of graphic sex photographs during the hearing.

Federal Court Judge Richard Mosley ruled in their favour on Friday, raising questions about how the hearing would proceed without photos central to the allegations against her .

The following is the statement read by Sheila Block to the CJC panel:

Rising to ask you to stay this hearing so that a settlement agreed to by the Canadian judicial Council with ACJ Lori Douglas can bring an end to the proceedings and all the many court related processes that are ongoing or will arise if the matter continues.

Here are the terms of the settlement the two parties, CJC and ACJDouglas, have agreed upon [for] the cessation of the hearing by way of a stay. ACJ Douglas will submit her notice electing early retirement as of May 21, 2015. It is signed and in the hands of the committee for judicial affairs and will be sent to the minister immediately on the settlement. ACJ Douglas will be given back by the CJC all the photos it possessed and distributed to anyone through the CJC so she may destroy them.

CJC states it respects her decision to elect early retirement. CJC will respect this committee's decision to stay the proceedings to facilitate the resolution. The CJC states that there is no public interest in further expanding public funds for ongoing proceedings when the judge is retiring in that time frame. It also agrees there is no public interest in pursuing the various options before the federal courts and ACJ Douglas agrees as does the CJC to discontinue these various actions once the retirement takes effect and no further funds or judicial resources will be expensed in the meantime.

The CJC states that no conclusions should be drawn about the merits of the allegations against ACJ Douglas or about the merits of any of the issues before the courts. When the CJC says it respects ACJ Douglas' decision to elect to retire it has been advised of her reasons. For her part in the trauma of the past four years has taken a grave toll on her, on her family, those who have stood by her.

On a personal level she has been devastated by the death of her mother and her husband during this. Even though she loved being a judge and considered it an honour and privilege to serve she is at the point where this is the best choice for her, for her son and elderly father, for her late husband's children and the rest of her family.

To withstand more weeks of hearing into intensely private matters and risk the viewing of her intimate images by colleagues and others is more than she can bear. So she is voluntarily giving up her constitutionally secure tenure at her right to use this process to fight for that and for her vindication in the process. It is common ground that the proceedings before the courts which are connected to this case will not be completed by the early retirement date and accordingly a great deal of public resources both funds and judicial resources will be saved in the public interest by this consentual resolution with the CJC.

The CJC in assessing this resolution and agreed to it is of course regulated required to act in the public interest that is its mandate both the CJC and the judge agree this should be resolved and that this resolution is in the public interest.

With files from The Canadian Press

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Douglas Inquiry: Money no object Inquiry poised to sink deeper into the quagmire!

The Douglas Inquiry re-victimizing another taxpayer!

Good Day Readers:

With the Douglas Inquiry about to resume on Monday (November 24) you really have to give your head a good shake.

Cost

In July of 2010 Complainant Alex Chapman went to the Law Society of Manitoba to complain about the actions of his then lawyer the late Jack King and Mr. King's wife Lori Douglas both lawyers for Winnipeg BigLaw Thompson Dorfman Sweatman at the time. The following month Ms Douglas went on administrative leave presumably at full pay of close to $300,000 annually plus a benefits package that for federally appointed Judges can only be described as "extremely generous" - no one from Queen's Bench Manitoba has yet disputed those fact.

Next you have her publicly financed legal bills which must be starting to approach $2 million by now with no end in sight. But then there are all the other costs associated with a public Inquiry. The cost of an Acting Associate Chief Justice to replace Ms Douglas while she stays at home tending her tomato patch, Independent Council's legal fees; travel costs for the Inquiry Panel and witnesses, translation and transcription services, and on and on it goes ..... How many millions do you figure the total public cost of this sideshow will be - $5 million, $10 million? For what?

So what will the Douglas Inquiry have demonstrated for taxpayers once it's over? Just how seriously flawed the appointment process is for federal judges and how it's damn near impossible to get rid of one who may be seriously wanting

Re-victimization of whom by whom?

To add insult to injury for taxpayers, you now have Team Douglas claiming that to allow the Inquiry Committee to view the pictures would be re-victimizing their client even though only a very few individuals directly associated with the Inquiry would be allowed to view them. That's re-victimization? And BTW, CyberSmokeBlog has seen the photographs and they're nothing to write home about. Trust it you don't want to see them. It's the taxpayers who are paying the Inquiry's costs who are constantly getting re-victimized.

And while still on the subject of victimization, aren't those ladies who find themselves in shelters for woman who have been verbally and/or physically abused the real victims? Imagine what the money being ....ed away on the Inquiry could accomplish if it were channeled into better support services for these woman who really need it. You need to get your priorities straight Douglas Inquiry.

It's really quite amazing woman and their advocacy groups aren't out rioting in the streets against Team Douglas' characterization of their client' "re-victimization."

Culpaqbility?

In this the age of digitization it is nothing short of shocking Lori Douglas did not have the presence of mind to refuse  to pose for the pictures. Pose on your head if that's what turns you on but don't allow it to be digitized!

Look at the case of Manitoba Queen's Bench Justice Vic "You either stand with the child pornographers or the government" Toews. The hacker group Anonymous still have half a dozen or so YouTube videos on the internet that contain some rather embarrassing, unflattering allegations if they are to be believed. Makes you wonder how he was ever appointed a federal judge.

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
Lori Douglas case to start anew with sex photos off-limits

Manitoba judge says photos were taken by her husband and posted online without her consent

Colin Perkel/The Canadian Press
Sunday, November 23, 2014

Manitoba Associate Chief Justice Lori Douglas won a temporary ban on the use of graphic photographs taken of her from being used at her disciplinary hearing. (CBC)

A second hearing into whether a senior Manitoba judge should be kicked off the bench is finally set to start in Winnipeg on Monday but sex photos central to the allegations against her will be off-limits — at least for the time being.

Lori Douglas wins temporary ban on nude photos at disciplinary hearing

Block sex photos ahead of disciplinary hearing, Lori Douglas's lawyer asks court

The three-person panel of the Canadian Judicial Council had wanted to view the images of Associate Chief Justice Lori Douglas but her lawyers won an 11th-hour stay of that decision on Friday.

In ordering the stay, Federal Court Judge Richard Mosley stressed it would be up to another hearing to decide whether the images should be permanently sealed. That judicial review is slated to happen Dec. 9 in Ottawa.

"(Douglas) points to the emerging social consensus in Canada that intimate images should not be disclosed or disseminated against the will of the persons they depict, unless it is absolutely necessary," Mosley said in written reasons.

"If the stay is refused and (Douglas) subsequently succeeds on the merits of her application for judicial review, the court will have condoned unnecessary disclosure of such images."

Douglas faces three allegations:
The photographs could be seen as "inherently contrary to the image and concept of integrity" of the judiciary and undermine public confidence in the justice system;
Douglas failed to disclose information about the pictures when she applied to become a judge in 2004;
She altered her personal diary after learning the council was probing her conduct.

The committee has set aside 10 days for the Winnipeg hearing. It expects testimony from 23 witnesses. It's not clear how its inability to view the images might affect the proceedings.

This is the second panel to hear the case.

The first hearings collapsed after a few weeks in 2012 amid accusations levelled by Douglas that the five-judge committee was biased against her. The committee's independent counsel resigned, followed by the resignation of the panel itself a year ago.

Committee 'almost fell from their chairs' over judge's nude photos: lawyer

The issue of bias became part of a legal fight currently headed to appeal after Federal Court ruled there was none.

The Canadian Judicial Council — essentially comprising the country's chief and associate chief Superior Court justices — has drawn scathing criticism for its handling of the case, especially its contention that it does not answer to the courts.

That issue is also headed to appeal after Federal Court firmly rejected that notion.

In March, the council appointed a new panel, comprising two male judges and a female lawyer. Also appointed was a female lawyer to act as independent counsel to the panel.

The complaint against Douglas arose after her now-late husband, Jack King, took photos of her and posted them on the Internet without her knowledge or permission in 2003.

King would later describe his behaviour as "bizarre, ridiculous, stupid, self-indulgent, grotesque."

Years later, King's client Alexander Chapman again posted the images on the Internet in violation of an agreement to return or destroy them.

The current committee dropped an allegation that Douglas had sexually harassed Chapman.

Douglas's lawyers have argued passionately the proceedings have only served to revictimize a woman already victimized by the non-consensual distribution of the intimate photographs, an act the federal government is seeking to criminalize.

Lori Douglas, celeb Jennifer Lawrence both nude photo victims: lawyer

"This was classic revenge porn," lawyer Sheila Block told Mosley in Toronto last week. "Suppose the judge was raped and somebody put it on YouTube?"

The judicial council could recommend Douglas's removal from the bench but only Parliament can fire her.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Quote of the day .....

Legendary American essayist, political commentator, historian and all round iconic writer when asked a few years ago his greatest accomplishment, "I haven't murdered anyone yet."

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Douglas Inquiry: "Join hands and form a circle boys and girls .....Here we go around the taxpayer mulberry bush again, the mulberry bush ..... "

'Nude' judge wins temporary ban of sex photos at disciplinary hearing

Colin Perkel
Friday, Nlovember 21, 2014

TORONTO - A senior Manitoba judge has won a temporary 11th-hour ban on the use of graphic sex photographs taken of her from being used at her disciplinary hearing next week.

The stay will be in effect until the admissibility of the images of Associate Chief Justice Lori Douglas can be determined at a later date, Federal Court Judge Richard Mosley ruled Friday.

Mosley's reasons were not immediately available.

Lawyers for Douglas had pleaded with him on Thursday to grant a stay against the decision by an inquiry committee of the Canadian Judicial Council that the photographs should become evidence.

They argued allowing use of the images, taken by her husband and posted on the Internet without her consent, would revictimize her.

Mosley also ruled that Douglas's motion for a permanent injunction against the photographs would be heard Dec. 9 in Ottawa.

The committee is slated to begin its hearings into Douglas in Winnipeg on Monday, but it was not immediately clear how the ruling would impact the schedule.

The panel's independent council, Suzanne Cote, had said a temporary stay would put the hearings themselves on hold given the central importance of the images.

The Canadian Judicial Council did not respond to a request for comment Friday.

Mosley also granted Cote leave to intervene in the stay hearing, but not to appeal the court's ultimate ruling.

In court on Thursday, Douglas's lawyers made an emotional plea to permanently seal the photographs, saying the disciplinary committee, which could recommend Douglas be booted from the bench, does not need to see the photographs.

The committee already knows what the pictures are about, Block said.

"These are pictures of people having sex," the lawyer said. "They're highly prejudicial."

Douglas sought the stay after the panel ruled last month that the photographs were relevant.

"It is difficult, if not impossible, to consider these allegations without a concrete first-hand appreciation of their nature and what they depict," the panel stated.

Cote, who had opposed the requested interim stay, said the two male judges and female lawyer on the disciplinary panel needed to view the photographs given that the "main dispute" about Douglas is the "effect" of the images.

The committee did promise to keep the images out of the public record.

The photographs, some of which depict bondage, were taken by Douglas's now-late husband Jack King before she became a judge.

Block called it a classic case of "revenge porn" and said any judge could become a victim.