Monday, February 28, 2011

"Hello, is that you uncle Bernie?"

The Madoff Tapes
One evening, my home phone rang. “You have a collect call from Bernard Madoff, an inmate at a federal prison,” a recording announced. And there he was.
By Steve Fishman
February 27, 2011

Coming soon!

A political plum?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Judging our judges!"

Good evening Mr. Pieuk:

In answer to your question, the Lieutenant Governor is appointed by the Governor General, as a representative of both the Crown and Federal Government, on recommendation by the Prime Minister. The Lieutenant Governor has all the same tasks, rights and privileges of the Governor General, just on the Provincial level, "selects" the Premier (though this is usually the Leader of the Party with the most votes) and may, as a last resort, dismiss a provincial government.

Like the Governor General they serve a 5-year term, and the office is sometimes used as a partisan "reward" for services rendered to the sitting government in Ottawa.

Here endeth the lesson ...


Dear VJH:

Thank you for writing with the civics class lesson. Upon reading your e-mail we couldn't help but wonder shouldn't Manitobans choose their Lieutenant Governor rather than the Prime Minister and Governor General? Why not allow candidates to put their names forward for a vote?

Every time government leaders are allowed to appoint individuals invariably it opens the door to political patronage - look at the Canadian Senate. Why should people with ties to a particular Party simply be handed a plum without having to campaign and convince citizens they're worthy. Is this idea too radical?

Clare L. Pieuk

Charlie Sheen makes $2 million a show he wants $3 million!

Can we have handcuffs and night sticks Mr. Harper?

Good Day Readers:
Last week Prime Minister Harper tabled a Bill (The Citizen's Arrest and Self-Defence Act) in the House of Commons. If passed Canadians will be given a reasonable amount of time to make a citizen's arrest should they discover someone has committed a crime on their property or in relation to it. As it currently stands, such arrests can only be made if the culprit is literally caught red-handed. An amendment to Section 494(2) will be required.
This undoubtedly resulted from a case involving a Toronto shopkeeper who mand national headlines (May 2009) when he was charged with assault and forcible confinement after chasing, restraining and tying up a man who had stolen items from his store. He was subsequently acquited.
This article was inspired by a recent posting on The Public Eye which we'll get to in a moment.

Truth To Power (;

So in our tongue in cheek approach we reasoned if Canadians will have increased powers of citizen arrest shouldn't they also have the right to carry handcuffs and night sticks? But why stop there? Our government is always telling us how out of shape and obese so why not issue us with ticket books. Here's how it would work.

Here's how it would work. We'd be encouraged to go walking and running if we can issue official parking tickets along the way. If you spotted an infraction all you need do is complete and mail a citation to Winnipeg's parking authority from your numbered book and poof you'd receive half of the monetary penalty.

Can almost see it now:

"Jeez Martha, had a great run tonight. Feel and look great plus made a really easy $350 writing tickets along the way - God that was easy! I'm going to do more running!"

Talk about healthy multi-tasking - makes perfect sense to us! Good idea/Bad idea?

Now for the Truth To Power article.

Sincerely/Clare L. Pieuk

February 28, 2011
The System

Man charged with threatening to 'arrest' Kirkland mayor, assistant city attorney
By Levi Pulkkinen
As originally posted on:
September 29, 2010
King County prosecutors have filed felony charges against a traffic offender accused of threatening to arrest the mayor of Kirkland and an assistant city attorney.
Prosecutors contend that David Russell Myrland - apparently upset that his car was impounded following a traffic stop - sent a threatening e-mail to Kirkland Mayor Joan McBride.
In the letter, Myrland, 52, of Redmond, suggested the mayor leave her home unlocked to facilitate a citizen's arrest, according to charging documents. He went on to claim to have issued a "writ of probable cause" and said he would be arriving at the mayor's home with 50 armed, concerned citizens, police said.
"DO NOT RESIST as these Citizens will be heavily armed and will meet all resistance with all necessary force, as provided by law," Myrland continued, according to charging documents. "If you default or otherwise do not appear, and if my application is granted, I would advise you to keep your front and back doors to your home UNLOCKED to better facilitate your lawful arrest."
The August 30 e-mail came three weeks after Myrland was arrested and his vehicle impounded by Kirkland police. Myrland was suspected of driving with a suspended license and an expired temporary license plate; at the time, police contend Myrland had an unloaded pistol and a loaded ammunition magazine on the passenger's seat.
Four days after the e-mail, police contend Myrland left a short threatening message on the home phone of an assistant city attorney who'd been involved in a civil case filed by Myrland.
"Keep your doors unlocked," Myrland said, according to police. "Don't resist. You're going to be meeting people."
Court records show Myrland had previously, unsuccessfully argued police lack the legal authority to issue traffic tickets and conduct law enforcement activities.
In a 2009 case handled by the assistant city attorney, Myrland - whose is identified as a tax avoidance expert on various websites apparently created by him - contended he had the authority to arrest city employees.
"(The City of Kirkland) is scheming in private and in secrecy to damage (me) by malicious prosecution and other pains to cover up the crimes of which (Kirkland) employees and officials stand accused from coming to light of day for examination," Myrland wrote.
Asserting that he has the right to arrest public employees, Myrland noted he "has never mentioned justifiable homicide in his dealings" with the city.
Myrland went on to claim that the city was attempting to force him into "an armed confrontation so they can kill him." He asked a King County judge to order the Kirkland police to turn in all of the firearms and ammunition owned by the city.
Contacted by a detective, Myrland reiterated his threat and expressed his concerns about police conduct during the traffic stop.
"He stated that the Kirkland Police Department illegally arrested and kidnapped him, stole his motor vehicle, disarmed him by taking his handgun, and allowed fines to be incurred against him in both tow impound fees and illegal traffic citations," Detective Joseph Indahl told the court.
"Myrland stated to me that he has every right to 'arrest' both the Mayor and Assistant City Attorney for 'felonies' that they have committed and he is going to carry out those arrests."
Myrland offered to not pursue those "arrests" if the city dropped the charges against him and paid his impound fees, the detective added.
Asking that Myrland be held on $50,000 bail, Senior Deputy Prosecutor Gary Ernsdorff noted that the man "apparently does not believe that State laws apply equally to him."
A King County judge instead issued a summons ordering Myrland to appear for arraignment and a restraining order directing him not to contact the mayor or the assistance city attorney.
Myrland has been charged with two counts of intimidating a public servant.
Levi Pulkkinen can be reached at 206-448-8348 or Follow Levi on Twitter at

That's it! How to avoid a defamation lawsuit - register yourself as a comedian!

NY judge: Seinfeld can mock cookbook author on TV
By David B. Caruso/
Associated Press
In this undated publicity image released by Running Press, Missy Chase Lapine, author of "The Sneaky Chef," is shown. A New York City judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which a cookbook author accused Jerry Seinfeld of hurting her reputation by mocking her on television. The judge said it was clear the comedian was joking when he called author Missy Chase Lapine a “wacko” on the "Late Show with David Letterman" in 2007. (Running Press/AP Photo)

NEW YORK -- A judge has thrown out a lawsuit by a cookbook author who accused Jerry Seinfeld of hurting her reputation by mocking her on national television.

In a ruling filed with the court Friday, state Justice Marcy Friedman said it was clear the comedian was joking when he called author Missy Chase Lapine a "wacko" during an appearance on the "Late Show with David Letterman" in 2007.

The judge said Seinfeld also has a constitutional right to express his opinion.

The suit stemmed from a legal battle in which Lapine accused Seinfeld's wife, Jessica, of stealing her idea for a book on how to get children to eat healthy. Both women had published their books that year. Lapine's was called, "The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals." Jessica Seinfeld's was titled "Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food."

The case became tabloid fodder, and Seinfeld addressed it on Letterman with a heaping of ridicule.

"One of the fun facts of celebrity life is wackos will wait in the woodwork to pop out at certain moments of your life to inject a little adrenaline into your life experience," Seinfeld told Letterman.

"So there's another woman who had another cookbook," he continued. "My wife never saw the book, read the book, used the book ... But the books came out at the same time. So this woman says, 'I sense this could be my wacko moment.'"

Seinfeld said Lapine was accusing his wife of "vegetable plagiarism."

"She comes out and says, 'You stole my mushed-up carrots. You can't put mushed-up carrots in a casserole. I put mushed-up carrots in the casserole.'"

A federal court eventually agreed with Seinfeld that the copyright suit was baseless and tossed it out last year. The judges said there was nothing original about the idea of "stockpiling vegetable purees for covert use in children's food."

Friedman's ruling, signed Wednesday but filed Friday, noted that you can't sue someone for libel in the U.S. merely for hurling an insult. You must show that a person lied about facts in order to damage a person's reputation and did so in such a way that a reasonable person would have believed that those false statements were true.

Given all of the hyperbole in his jokes - one of which implied that people who went by three names, like Lapin, were predisposed to become assassins - the judge said she found it "inconceivable" that a reasonable viewer thought he was serious about fearing for his safety. And as for Seinfeld's suggestion that Lapine was an opportunist making up baseless plagiarism claims, the judge wrote that he was entitled to voice his opinion.

"If the law were to the contrary, the protection of the First Amendment would be unacceptably denied to persons who publicly defend themselves against what they believe to be baseless charges or lawsuits," she wrote.

The judge also absolved "Deceptively Delicious" publisher HarperCollins of any wrongdoing. Lapine had accused the company of lifting ideas from a book proposal she sent the company in 2006.

Lapine's lawyer, Howard Miller, said he and his client were evaluating the opinion and would decide later whether to appeal. He had no other comment.

Seinfeld's attorney, Orin Snyder, called the decision "a complete victory for Jerry, and also a victory for the First Amendment and the right of comedians to tell jokes."

Judging our judges!

Who is this man?
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The poll!"

Hello Mr. Pieuk,

Just wanted to clarify a couple of points for you on this article.

Justice Corrin is a provincial court justice. The Canadian Judicial Council only oversees investigations into the conduct of federal judges (Queen's Bench). Removal of a provincial court justice is done according to the Provincial Court Act of Manitoba, not the The Judges Act.

When Corrin was priviously reprimanded, the "charge" would have been decided by a panel of 3 - a lawyer, a member of the public, and a QB judge - all appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council and cannot be members of the Canadian Judicial Council. The decision of this Board is final. The "charge" then goes before the Judicial Council (Provincial) and while investigation is pending the Chief Justice may suspend with or without pay. An appeal to the Court of Appeal is allowed for suspension without pay - which is why they typically don't impose that particular sanction during investigation.

The Judicial Council is made up of 3 Provincial Justices from other jurisdictions, the President of the LSM (or designate) and 2 lay people not connected to the profession who are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor.

As with the CJC, this provincial Judicial Council can make recommendations for everything from a reprimand to removal. This goes to the Lieutenant Governor who then puts the recommendation before the Justice Minister and our Legislature. Any decision of the Council can be appealed to the Court of Appeal of Manitoba.

So, while not as complicated as removal of a QB judge, the process is still long and complicated.

I find the whole process much like family law. If we made it as difficult to get married, as it is to get divorced, we would have less divorce. If we made it as difficult to become a judge, as it is to get rid of one, we would have less problems with our judiciary.

Appointment is outdated, partisan and inappropriate in today's climate of an educated populous. Election provides the public with a means to evaluate our judiciary. However, in lieu of this, terms of office are appropriate or an age limit, like in the Senate.

Regardless, we have a nasty trio of judges in this province, and our government needs to rectify the situation immediately!

Continuing to seek ...


Dear VJH:

Thank you for writing with the corrections. You likely know more about the process of removing judges than most lawyers in the province - you sure you're not one of them? Just joking we take your earlier response at face value.

When you made reference to the Lieutenant Governor in Council, to help readers better understand we found this on the province's webpage:

What is an Order in Council?

An Order in Council is a formal, legal document setting out a decision that is made by Cabinet and approved by the Lieutenant Governor. Once signed by the Lieutenant Governor, it becomes a public document.

"Council" means the ministers of the government who make up the Executive Council of Manitoba — more commonly known as "Cabinet".

The Lieutenant Governor is the official appointed to be the Queen''s representative in Manitoba.

The phrase "Lieutenant Governor in Council" means the Lieutenant Governor acting "by and with the advice of" Cabinet.

An Order in Council is required if you see words in an Act or regulation such as:

• the Lieutenant Governor in Council may
• approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council
• subject to the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council

There may be other situations where an Order in Council is not required by an Act but is desirable because it will provide written evidence of a decision — for example, authorizing a federal-provincial agreement or setting up an advisory body.

From your description it sounds as though there are two Councils for judging judges in Manitoba each operating under different Acts. In the case of a Provincial Judicial Council at least there is some layperson invlovement which is good. Completely agree. There are problems with both the front and back ends of the process. The selection of judges should be more rigorous and open incorporating public input. Why not take a page from the Americans and have public confirmation hearings and/or make judges electable? It's the old senate argument isn't it - appointed versus elected.

At the back end it would appear there's far too much rigamarole. You can call us cynical but these Councils are reminiscent of Law Societies and in particular the LSM. They go through a lot of formal process and procedure yet in the end get it wrong by imposing inappropriate penalties. If the system is go great why do we have 3-judges who should be removed from the Bench? In the case fo the Law Society of Manitoba we have the Douglas-King-Champman fiasco, Blackie - and God knows what else - where The Society has it back asswards. It's the Complainants "What a guy that Mr. Y!" and his accomplice "The Bully!" who should be the subject of a disciplinary hearing not Blackie.
BTW, it's The Honourable Philip S. Lee, C. M., O.M. Manitoba's Lieutenant Governor.
Clare L. Pieuk
P. S. VJH, Do you know the process by which our Lieutenant Governors are selected? Sounds like they possess significant influence in certain situations beyond their ceremonial duties with which most are familiar.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

OMG The Public Eye just found my identical twin - almost!

Truth To Power (;

Subject: Separated at Birth
Date: Sunday, February 27, 2011 5:13 pm
Not sure if you've seen the most recent post (a reproduction of a piece by William Windsor from "Lawless America,", but if you haven't ..... you should. There's something which I just noticed a few minutes ago: HE LOOKS ALMOST EXACTLY LIKE YOU. Take a look for yourself and tell me if you think I'm nutsoid.

Vic Populi
Dear Mr. Populi:
Thank you for writing and no, no you're not nutsoid. Yes, there is a distinct resemblance although we like to think we're a little better looking. What is it they say about everyone having a double? Mr. Windsor seems to be mine although in the past I've also been likened to Kenny Rogers and Sean ("I have a licence to kill!) Connery if you can believe it. However, we're soul mates in that we both like petitions.
Sincerely/Clare L. Pieuk
February 27, 2011
The System

Supreme Court Refuses to Honor Oath to Defend Constitution
By William M. Windsor
As originally posted on: Lawless America
February 22, 2011

On February 22, 2001, The U.S. Supreme Court issued an order in Docket No. 10-411 in which the justices refused to honor their oath to defend the Constitution.

Each justice took oaths required to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic” and to “bear true faith and allegiance to the same.”

But in the fifth petition presented to The Supreme Court in the last three months asking the Court to declare that federal judges do not have the right to ignore the Constitution, the Court refused again.

Each justice took this oath required by 5 U.S.C.§3331: "I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."

Each justice also took this oath required by 28 U.S.C.§453: "I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as _________ under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God."

But in the fifth petition asking The Supreme Court to declare that federal judges do not have the right to ignore the Constitution in their courts, The Supreme Court refused again.

The petition was filed by William M. Windsor. Windsor said: “Each of the justices was told that I would consider their refusal to defend the Constitution to be a clear violation of their oath. Based upon the law, these judges now lack any authority to rule on matters that come before them. The Constitution grants their only authority, and they refuse to honor the Constitution. I have called on Congress to impeach all of the justices.”

Windsor says the justices of The Supreme Court have committed felonies in this matter. 18 U.S.C.§4 states that: “Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.” Windsor’s petition presented the justices with an extensive list of criminal violations by various federal judges. The justices have not reported these as required by federal law.

Windsor stated: “Everyone in America needs to know that our federal judiciary is hopelessly corrupt. Our rights have been stolen by corrupt judges, and the justices of The Supreme Court are among the most corrupt. We must insist that Congress conduct public hearings into the corruption in the federal judiciary. If Congress does not do so, we need to replace Congress with people who are honest and will defend our rights granted by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.”

The Government Corruption Crisis Conference will be held on Sunday, February 27, 2011 from 5 to 7 pm EST. It will be broadcast live on the Internet and can be seen at Windsor and others are forming an alliance that will seek to demand that all elected government officials and all government employees always tell the truth and honor the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. All Americans who support honesty in Government and our rights under the Constitution and Bill of Rights are asked to take the Pledge by joining the group at!/home.php?sk=group_193128914045255&ap=1

Windsor continues to attempt to locate one honest government official. His mobile billboard can be seen driving all around Washington, DC on March 1. It says: “Wanted: One Honest Government Official.” It provides a toll-free number. Windsor has yet to receive a call.

The primary focus of these petitions is that the Supreme Court has a duty to uphold the Constitution.

Petition for Rehearing in Supreme Court Docket 10-632
Petition for Rehearing in Supreme Court Docket 10-633
Petition for Rehearing in Supreme Court Docket 10-690

"Hello, Governor Walker? This is CyberSmokeBlog calling from Canada - you dummy!"

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Case dismissed!

Source: Daniella Ciuffa, Winnipeg Sun
Good Day Readers:
We seem to recall a time about 5-years or so when the Winnipeg Police Service under Chief Jack Ewatski came under increasing scrutiny. A couple cases were thrown out of court back-to-back. One as we remember involved the City's finest entering the famous (In more ways than one!), historic McLaren Hotel on Main Street on a Saturday night looking for any individuals with wants and warrants - a safe bet. Apparently, the officers proceeded to check everyone's identification.
The McLaren hotel - "A friendly place to meet people in Winnipeg!"

The judge threw the case out on the basis the police cannot simply stop and detain everyone to verify their identification without probable cause which makes perfect sense. Otherwise the Boys in Blue could randomly visit restaurants, shopping malls, football stadiums - wherever - on the presumption there's got to be at least one want and warrant here.

Next came the case of a lady who was obviously dealing drugs (cocaine). The officers involved made at least four or five mistakes one of which included not reading the individual their rights in a timely way. Looking back we now wish we'd saved the Winnipeg Free Press write-up. The judge's comments were priceless. To paraphrase. "You made 5-mistakes" then proceeded to list each one. At least a couple were violations under Canada's Charter of Rights and freedoms. Case dismissed!

Then there was the latest one involving an allegation against the police of illegally obtaining a Search Warrant, exercising it and perjury.

Sincerely/Clare L. Pieuk

A Crown Attorney School first day mistake?

Robert L. Tapper, Q.C.
Called to the Manitoba Bar, 1974
Called to the Ontario Bar, 1981
Appointed Queen's Counsel, 1992
Listed in "Best Lawyers in Canada" in three categories: medical malpractice, personal injury and media/defamation law
Named by "Best Lawyers in Canada" as lawyer of the year, 2011 for injury law in Manitoba
Good Day Readers:
What caught our attention in this story was the Justice who threw the case out - Her Ladyship Madam Brenda Keyser. During all those years Manitoba Metis Federation President David Chartrand, his Board of Directors and Canadian taxpayer financed defamation lawyer Murray Trachtenberg who prosecuted the case needlessly dragging us through the court system with their frivolous, extremely expensive SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) lasting several years, it seemed at times as though we'd been inside just about every courtroom at the Law Courts Building and before just about every Queen's Bench Justice one of whom was "Keyser, J" as lawyers often designate judges in their filings. Suffice it to say she's good - she's very good!;

We (my lawyer Mr. Jeff Niederhoffer at the time and I) even made a brief appearance before then Queen's Bench Chief Justice The Honourable Marc Monnin. During October 2005 Counselor Trachtenberg sought a temporary, interim injunction preventing Co-Defendant Terry Belhumeur and I from publishing any internal MMF headquarters documents (including those of it's 6-Regional Offices, 7-"so called arms length affiliates" - even the Metis National Council, as well as, its Secretariat were thrown in for good measure) that might be in our possession. Talk about over kill! It was one of those production line days at the courthouse where Motions and other matters, involving totally unrelated cases, are batched together and considered by the same presiding judge during one Hearing.

Later (May 2006) "Our Learned Friend" filed a Motion for return to him of any and all such documentation. By that time I was now self-represented but argued before Madam Justice Deborah McCawley Counselor Trachtenberg should not be granted an order given this material was essential if we were to mount a vigorous defence. Unfortunately, I lost and was forced to:

"..... forthwith return to counsel for the Manitoba Metis Federation Inc. all copies of all internal documents ....."

In response to my concern if relinquished these documents could otherwise "miraculously" go missing, on multiply occasions Her Honour advised they could be subpoenaed for trial if necessary - she couldn't have me going to a possible Examination for Discovery with material in my possession possibly obtained "by questionable means."

Sure enough during September 2007 "Learned Friend" invited us to an Examination for Discovery. Even though he was shown and already in possession of multiple e-mail firmly establishing former Manitoba Legal Aid lawyer Lionel Chartrand (Metis - now a Crown Attorney in Wetaskiwin, Alberta), and at the time CyberSmokeSignals' General Legal Counsel, had clearly written the allegedly defamatory material while providing Messrs Belhumeur and I with no cautionary warning it might/could contain actionable words/phrases, Counselor Trachtenberg in his obsessive-compulsive anally fixated approach to the case chose to plow ahead ignoring the relevant evidence resting on the table before him. Why?

Not once in the thousands and thousands of pages of filings and correspondence did Counselor Trachtenberg once use the term, "alleged defamation." Isn't that something you learn in your first day of law school? We couldn't recall a trial being held and a finding of guilt. Rookie mistake!

In my case it amounted to 1,567 pages worth of potential evidence. I cannot speak for Mr. Belhumeur. However, I subsequently appealed that decision before a different judge presiding over one of many Pre-Trial Conferences (almost 30 - more than a serial killer would likely face) who at one point in the process was replaced. The only reason given? She was on leave.

So as you can see, we've been in many courtrooms before several judges. At one point we were asked if we'd ever been in court? We were able to reply prior to the MMF's vengeful, vindictive lawsuit we'd never so much as set foot in a courtroom going on to suggest to Her Ladyship should she have our name run through the system using any available data base at Her disposal she wouldn't find as much as an unpaid parking ticket.

Sincerely/Clare L. Pieuk


Police perjury case ends after judge cites Crown error
By: Mike McIntyre
Posted: February 22, 2011

Hymie Weinstein, left, and Sheldon Pinx were all smiles as they left the courthouse to speak to media Tuesday after a judge threw out all charges against two Winnipeg police officers accused of lying under oath to provincial justice officials because the Crown failed to have witnesses identify the accused in court. (

WINNIPEG - A judge has thrown out all charges against two Winnipeg police officers accused of lying under oath to provincial justice officials because the Crown failed to have witnesses identify the accused in court.

Constable Peter O'Kane and Constable Jess Zebrun were cleared Tuesday afternoon of perjury after their jury trial came to a sudden halt. The decision sparked a round of applause by numerous off-duty officers in court. It may also have saved the careers of the two accused.

Their lawyers filed a motion earlier in the day for a directed not guilty verdict, saying prosecutor Robert Tapper had failed to have any of his witnesses properly identify the two accused in court as required by law.

Queen’s Bench Justice Brenda Keyser (emphasis ours) agreed, saying the technical error by Tapper was enough to sink the case. Since defence lawyers weren’t consenting to the identification of their clients, Tapper should have ensured the issue was made crystal clear for jurors.

Tapper closed his case last week but fought the defence motion by seeking to re-open it. He argued no damage was done because it was clear to everyone the officers at the centre of the controversy were indeed O’Kane and Zebrun.

The allegations of perjury, which stem from an allegedly improper search of a downtown hotel room and the seizure of nearly a kilogram of cocaine and $18,000 cash.

O'Kane, 40, and Zebrun, 33, were arrested in January 2008 after they allegedly took an illegal shortcut to arrest a known drug dealer. The internal investigation of the officers' actions started in November 2006 after the Crown stayed drug-trafficking charges against the suspect and an accomplice when questions were raised at a preliminary hearing about the validity of a police search warrant.

O'Kane and Zebrun are alleged to have lied to a magistrate about how they obtained the search warrant, which they used to enter a room at the Fairmont hotel and seize the drugs and cash.

When they testified at the accused drug dealer's preliminary hearing, O'Kane and Zebrun claimed their suspicions about the hotel room weren't based on an illegal "sneak-and-peek," but rather on the information of a mysterious informant. The pair told a judge they never entered Room 1707 at the Fairmont until after they obtained a search warrant. They also gave different accounts in court of when they first went to the hotel the day of the July 2005 arrests.

O'Kane and Zebrun told court the drug investigation began with a routine call about a disturbance. They found a drunk and disorderly Scott Guiboche and took him to the Main Street Project under the Intoxicated Persons Detention Act. The case changed focus when a routine pat-down search uncovered nine rocks of crack cocaine. The officers also found a swipe card for a room at the Fairmont.

Much of the evidence against the two officers involves a global positioning system from their cruiser cars and recorded conversations with a police dispatcher and court officials. A manager from the Fairmont is expected to testify the two officers asked for entry to the suite prior to obtaining a search warrant on the premise they were searching for a missing girl.

However, the manager was never directly asked by Tapper to identify Zebrun and O’Kane in court – an oversight that proved fatal to his case.

The poll!

Good Day Readers:
Noticed the Winnipeg Free Press is running an online poll. The question:
"Should Manitoba Queens' Bench Justice Robert Dewar be disciplined for comments made during the sentencing of a rapist?"
A simple "yes" or no is required.
We'd take it a couple step farther. Why was a judge with little or no background in criminal law selected to preside over a rape case? It's our understanding the Chief Justice, Court of Queen's Bench makes that decision. Also, what, if any, disciplinary action should be taken?
We asked the latter question because of the following article which appeared in the WFP yesterday involving another Manitoba judge Brian Corrin who's also in hot water or should we say "lukewarm water?" Notice our highlighted paragraph (nineth). The "judicial panel" referenced is likely the Canadian Judicial Council.
Perhaps Law Society of Manitoba disciplinary committees should adopt the same policy if they haven't already. When Jack Anthony King of Dynamic Team Douglas-King-Chapman fame appears before it (March 28, 2011) he should be required to produce a little note from his doctor plus made to write an essay on what it means to be a good lawyer.
What about our beloved Blackie who also faces a hearing before the LSM? Since The Legal Profession Act which governs The Law Society forbids identifying the Defendant and Complainants until there's been a finding of misconduct we've chosen the pseudonym "Blackie" after author Jack Boyle's character Boston Blackie of the 1920s-1950s - an accomplished jewel thief and safecracker who graduated to become a private detective no less followed by a career in radio, television and later movies.
"Enemy to those who make him an enemy ..... friend to those who have no friend. That's Blackie!"

Follow the "Free Blackie!" campaign as it unfolds on this site in the days, weeks and months ahead. As penalty for his alleged chicken s..t indiscression(s), if found guilty we think Blackie should be made to write a 1,500 word essay on how the LSM got it so wrong (the Complainants should be the ones subject to disciplinary hearings although one's a non-lawyer) along with the criteria The Society should use when judging/assessing the ethics of its membership.

It's nice to see at least the CJC and LSM are on the same page when it comes to setting penalties. What grade was Mr. Corrin given for his essay? Obviously it was a passing mark but what would have happened had he failed? Blackie could write the definitive book for the Law Society of Manitoba on what it means to be an ethical lawyer. Bet the Complainants can't do that!

Clare L. Pieuk

P. S. Blackie - hint. Take a little note from your doctor to your disciplinary hearing.
Controversial judge faces assault charge
Corrin accused of attacking mother during dispute
By: Mike McIntyre
Posted: February 26, 2011

A Manitoba judge who is no stranger to controversy has been accused of attacking his mother during a dispute inside a River Heights home.

Brian Corrin was arrested Thursday and charged with assault and uttering threats. Chief provincial court Judge Ken Champagne announced Friday Corrin has been put on administrative leave, pending his ongoing criminal case.

Justice sources told the Free Press Corrin is on vacation and his status will be reviewed upon his return, expected next month. He has been released on a promise to appear in court at a later date. The allegations have not been proven and he is presumed innocent.

Constable Jason Michalyshen didn't provide further details of what the alleged assault entailed, saying the incident was considered to be "family violence." Police said it happened on February 20 and the victim suffered minor injuries to her upper body.

"(When any) public figure, whether it be a police officer or any other public figure is involved or has been arrested or charged, we want to be as transparent as possible with regards to our investigations," said Michalyshen.

Corrin, 65, was elected a city councillor in 1974 and an NDP MLA in 1977. He was named a provincial court judge in 1988.

He didn't return an email message seeking comment Friday. It is not known if he has retained legal counsel.

Corrin has previously come under fire for his conduct inside various courtrooms.

He was convicted in 1996 of seven counts of professional misconduct and was suspended without pay for 30 days. He was also ordered by a judicial panel to write an essay on what it means to be a good judge.

Corrin was found by the panel to have acted with "arrogance and an over-inflated sense of his role" stemming from a high-profile incident in which he failed to return to court for a drunk-driving trial while his car was being repaired. The charges included offering to personally pay the fees of an expert Crown witness to cover the delay, making disparaging comments to three Crown attorneys and disregarding the rights of an accused.

In 2007, the Manitoba Court of Appeal twice rebuked Corrin for his actions during criminal cases. In the first example, the high court ruled Corrin used "inappropriate stereotypes" to consider the case of a young suburban teen who pleaded guilty to a drug-fuelled robbery spree.

In the second case, the same court found Corrin had "embellished" evidence presented to him by lawyers and handed down an illegal sentence in a case involving a Winnipeg university student who damaged 13 red-light cameras during a year-long vandalism spree.

Former Chief Justice Richard Scott pulled no punches in assessing the judge's handling of the case, which included Corrin's lengthy lecture about the man's "political agenda" as a "personal tyranny... putting at risk the delicate compromise of democratic governance that has evolved in Canada since its formation as a country."

"The judge inappropriately embellished the circumstances before the court beyond the particular facts placed in evidence," Scott wrote in the appeal court's decision. Scott said Corrin was wrong to suggest Gavin was "the principal player in what he seemed to see as a domestic terrorist organization." The appeal court also criticized Corrin for refusing to allow lawyers to make further submissions when it was clear he was going to reject their proposed sentences.

SEmD with files from Gabrielle Giroday

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 26, 2011 Page A4

Friday, February 25, 2011

It's time to play, "Let's make a deal!"

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Need a judicial score card?"

Hi Clare,

Wow, 3 judges to write about! Your blog is going to be the place to go for the news that matters!

P. S. I should buy a little ad!

Dear Anonymous:
Thank you for writing. Yes, our visitor numbers have trended up sharply the past few days. Readers must love juicy judicial scandals!
Here's the deal. Complete the legal review of VJH's petition calling for Lori Douglas to resign and you can have all the free advertising your little heart desires. Jeez, maybe we should now add Robert Dewar and Brian Corrin to it.
Sincerely/Clare L. Pieuk

Need a judicial score card?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Associate Chief Justice Lori Douglas now has company!"

Good Afternoon Mr. Pieuk,

My God, the last 24 hours has been an exercise in judicial indiscretions!

Douglas does indeed have company, but as a Manitoban taxpayer - I'm outraged!

At least our Porn Queen Justice is still working, Corrin is on leave! As a Provincial Court judge, thankfully its not as complicated to remove him, provided Mr. Swan (Justice Minister) has the cojones to do so. He'll probably await the outcome of the criminal charges - so Corrin gets a paid vacation for the next 2 years or so...

And in other news .....

The Canadian Judicial Council is now investigating Justice Robert Dewar for his inappropriate statements, but since you don't get removed for having naked bondage pictures on the net, I doubt Mr. Dewar will have to do much more than "apologize," which is hardly appropriate.

What is wrong with the Bench in this Province? Is the air so stale in chambers that our judiciary is deprived of oxygen and is making these gross errors in conduct?

I certainly do not want to be taxed to pay for two judges to do essentially nothing and one to shoot his unevolved mouth off!

A very, very disappointed .....


(Who, by the by, is NOT a member of this godforsaken profession!)
Dear VJH:

Thank you for writing as we knew you would.

Here's a posting from the CBC Manitoba webpage which appeared later today and provides a little more information on Justice Corrin than was initially released by Manitoba Justice:

A judge who has served provincial court in Manitoba for more than two decades has been charged with assault and uttering threats.

The charges against Brian Corrin, 65, were laid by Winnipeg police on Thursday, according to a spokesperson with the Manitoba courts.

The allegations involve a family member.

According to Winnipeg police, the incident happened February 20 at a home in the city's River Heights neighbourhood.

Corrin allegedly became involved in a confrontation with a woman and physically assaulted her, causing minor injuries. The woman was also threatened, police said.

An arrest warrant was issued on Thursday and Corrin was taken into custody.

He has been released on a promise to appear in court to face the charges.

He has also been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome.

Corrin is a former Winnipeg city councillor and provincial NDP MLA and once also ran for mayor.

He served as councillor from 1974-77, when he moved to the legislature after winning a seat in the 1977 provincial election.

He served the Winnipeg riding of Wellington as an opposition member and justice critic. In 1983, while still in the legislature, Corrin challenged incumbent Mayor Bill Norrie in the civic election, but was soundly defeated.

He has been a provincial judge since 1988.

In 1996, he was suspended for 30 days after a panel of six judges found him guilty of misconduct.

One of the incidents that led to the decision was a court hearing he had skipped so he could oversee repairs on his car.

"He has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome."
We interpret this to mean he'll be at home collecting his full salary (probably in the neighbourhood of $300,000 annually) plus benefits until his case goes to trial and he's found guilty if that is, in fact, the outcome. It could be argued Madam Douglas is at least doing something productive, albeit sharpening pencils for the other judges, to earn her keep.

Here's another one for you VJH. During the Pre-Trial Conference phase of the Manitoba Metis Federation's beyond asinine Canadian taxpayer financed defamation lawsuit against
prosecuted by Winnipeg lawyer Murray Trachtenberg, the presiding Justice who began the process (early September 2008) suddenly evaporated.

The last Pre-Trial was late February 2010 be when we returned for yet another in early June 2010 Her replacement simply stated she was now on leave. Since then whenever we're at the Law Courts doing research (as recentlly as Thursday of this week) we always check the bulletin board displaying the list of hearings. Her name has yet to appear. What happened to her VJH? It's getting to the point where you'll soon need a score card to keep track of the judges.

BTW, it's too bad you're not a lawyer because you have an excellent legal mind and write even better. The profession is an honourable one, unfortunately, that's no how it's practiced by many in Winnipeg. We sometimes wonder if as an attorney were to be judged by the Manitoba Law Society or the Canadian Judicial Council where should you take your chances? It's a toss up but we'd go with the LSM because all you need to get off is a little note from your doctor.

Sincerely/Clare L. Pieuk

Judge Dewar, "Whatever we wear, wherever we go yes means yes and no means no!"

Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Judicial body reviewing complaints against judge
By: Staff Writer
February 25, 2011

WINNIPEG — A body that investigates judicial misconduct confirmed this afternoon that it will be reviewing complaints against Manitoba Queen's Bench Judge Robert Dewar.

And the province of Manitoba announced it will file a formal complaint about the federal judge with the Canadian Judicial Council.

The council, which hears complaints of judicial misconduct, confirmed today that it has already received "several" complaints about the conduct of Dewar.

Jennifer Howard, minister responsible for the status of women, said today she will undertake the action on behalf of the government.

"I feel it's important, and we as a government feel it's important, to send a message to women ... who may have been a victim or may be a victim of sexual assault that they should come forward, that they should feel protected by the law...," Howard said in an interview.

in a statement released today, the judicial council said "there have been numerous media reports and public reaction to these comments."

Earlier today more than 100 women and men chanted 'Yes means yes and no means no' and called for the resignation of Dewar at a noon-hour protest in front of the Law Courts Building.

Dewar gave a convicted rapist a conditional sentence last week — instead of jail time — and suggested that the victim's attire and flirtatious behaviour were partly responsible for the attack.

One of the protest organizers, Alanna Makinson of the Canadian Federation of Students lambasted Dewar for commenting on the victim’s attire and suggesting that "sex was in the air" the evening that Kenneth Rhodes forced intercourse on a woman along a highway near Thompson in 2006.

"These statements by Judge Dewar are reinforcing the myth of implied consent and the myth that the victim of sexual assault is ultimately responsible for their own victimization," Makinson said, as the crowd shouted ‘Shame.’

"This ruling has damaged the credibility of Canada’s justice system, and we are calling for an apology for his misguided and irresponsible ruling..." she said.

Makinson said the students federation also plans to file a complaint against Dewar with the Canadian Judicial Council in the coming days.

The bureaucracy!

Good Day Readers:
We received the following reply today and would like to thank Ms Belsher-Ireland for the quick turnaround. Because of a busy schedule our Access to Information Act request was only surface mailed earlier this week.
Since an ATI application only costs $5 we anticipate filing others. This comes as no surprise given we expected such an eventuality from the outset to get at what we're seeking.
For questions 3-5 inclusive we will correspond directly with the Manitoba Metis Federation. If it does not respond or provides inadequate/incomplete data, we will contact the Information Commission of Canada informing her an organization receiving many millions of dollars annually from the federal government has refused a request for basic information that should be readily available.
There is provision within The Act whereby should the Information Commissioner's Office believe a request denied should be honoured, it can take the matter to the Federal Court of Canada on behalf of an applicant. If this happens we will ask it be done.
Shortly we'll send a follow up reply to Ms Belsher-Ireland agreeing with the conditions as outlined in her letter. It will be posted on the internet.
In the meantime, should you have any information on the Manitoba Metis Federation's budget or questions you'd like included in our next application, please send them. Remember, you can remain anonymous. Our only interest is in what you have to say.
Sincerely/Clare L. Pieuk
Subject: "Manitoba Métis Federation - Canadian Taxpayer Funded" Access to Information Request
Date: Friday, February 25, 2011 12:58 pm
Good Afternoon,

I am in receipt of your ATI request (as worded below) in which certain portions require clarification.

For ease of reference, I am re-typing your ATI request:

1. What was the total dollar amount received by the Federation from the federal government for the 2009-2010 fiscal year?

2. From which federal departments and in what amounts were these monies provided?

3. To which programs and in what amounts were they assigned?

4. What was the annual salary and expenses of Manitoba Métis Federation President David Chartrand, his expenses and benefits package for the fiscal year 2009-2010?

5. What was the amount received, per diems, honorariums and expenses by each provincial Board of Directors for the period under consideration (fiscal 2009-2010)?

6. Results of audits for the last 3-fiscal periods, namely, fiscal 2006-2009 inclusive

7. What is the federal government's audit policy and schedule for the Manitoba Métis Federation for fiscal 2009-2010

For all points, we can only respond on behalf of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) - which includes Labour and Service Canada. Therefore, your points 1 and 2 will be combined. For information concerning other federal departments, you will have to address separate requests to them.

For number 3, if the information exists, we can tell you from which HRSDC program the MMF received funding, but not necessarily to which MMF program the funding was assigned.

For information concerning points 4 and 5 - this is specific to the Manitoba Métis Federation operating structure. You will need to address these items to them.

For points 6 and 7 - HRSDC recommends that these points be addressed in a follow-up ATI request. The type of audits/audit policy cannot be determined until it is known what type of funding, if any, was provided to the Manitoba Métis Federation.

Also, please note that, in order to respond to your request, we will be rewording your points to request documents that respond to the various points rather than answering your questions. In other words, for point number 1, it will state "provide documents detailing the total dollar amount..." etc.

Once you confirm that you agree with the above approach, we will be pleased to begin the processing of your request.

In the meantime, should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Thank you.
Angie Belsher-Ireland
Team Leader/Chef d'équipe
(819) 994-0991
(819) 953-0659

Well did you Justice Dewar?

Good Day Readers:

We applaud the young lady for having the courage to come forward publicly (Winnipeg Free Press). If you read her comments, with all due respect to His Lordship, she makes a hell of a lot more sense!

The critical question. If nothing else, did Justice Dewar, not having a background in criminal law, at least have the presence of mind to issue a Court Order against Mr. Rhodes for a DNA sample to be entered into the National Data Bank for sexual offenders? Admittedly, there could still be an appeal but assuming the conviction is upheld did/will he? The WFP article (below) makes no mention of this critical consideration. Assuming nothing changes, for purposes of DNA sampling does it matter the accused will not serve any jail time?

To try to find the answer we contacted Media Relations at the RCMP and Winnipeg Police Service. The response there was law enforcement require a court order - they cannot simply go around randomly detaining individuals for sampling.

A very helpful young Duty Crown in the Crown Prosecutor's Office directed us to Section 487.04 of The Criminal Code of Canada (available online) which deals with the matter pointing out it's presumptuousness - trial judges have some discretion in the matter.

Below is an excellent analysis written in layperson language by Toronto area firm Kostman & Pyzer Barristers - Toronto Criminal Lawyers

Notice in paragraph 5 the Crown Prosecutor can make a submission arguing a DNA Order should be issued. We sure hope they did.

So we ask, "Was a DNA sample ordered by the court? If nothing else at least there will be a permanent record.

Clare L. Pieuk
DNA Orders, Primary and Secondary Offences
November 1, 2009

In 1995, despite resistance on the part of criminal defence lawyers and civil rights activists, Bill C-18 was passed, which amended the Criminal Code to create a regime for collecting DNA samples from convicted offenders. Many criminal defence lawyers had argued that requiring offenders to submit bodily samples interfered with their bodily integrity and infringed their right to privacy. Nonetheless, the amendments to the Criminal Code were passed, giving courts the authority to order that offenders give a DNA sample. Samples are stored in a national databank created by the DNA Identification Act for use in investigating unsolved past crimes and future crimes. Under the new regime created by the DNA Identification Act, a judge can make a “DNA order” after convicting an offender of certain proscribed crimes. These orders are legally binding, and the offender must surrender a sample of his or her DNA. The Supreme Court of Canada has declared the DNA order regime constitutional in several cases.

For the purpose of issuing DNA orders, the Criminal Code distinguishes between two types of offences: primary offences and secondary offences. DNA orders may be issued for an individual convicted of a primary or secondary offence. In reality, the two categories cover almost every common offence in the Code.

Primary Designated Offences are listed in s. 487.04 of the Criminal Code. There are over 50 offences designated as primary offences. They are mostly of a violent or sexual nature, but also include especially serious offences such as hijacking, using explosives, endangering the safety of an aircraft, and participating in terrorist activities. If an individual is convicted of a primary offence, the judge must make a DNA order with respect to that person, unless the defendant and his or her criminal defence lawyer are able to satisfy the court that the impact on the defendant’s privacy and bodily integrity significantly outweighs the public interest in protecting society through the early detection, arrest and conviction of offenders. The burden on the accused is particularly high. The defence lawyer must show that the negative effect on the offender would be “grossly disproportionate” to the benefits for society. A DNA order may be avoided for a primary offence if the offence was extremely minor (for example, a sexual assault that consisted of touching another person’s leg or buttocks) and/or the defence can show that there is very little chance of the offender reoffending.

Secondary Designated Offences are also listed in s. 487.04 of the Criminal Code. They include all indictable offences under the Criminal Code for which the maximum sentence is five years or more, and all indictable offences under s. 5 (trafficking), s. 6 (importing and exporting narcotics), and s. 7 (production) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act punishable by a maximum sentence of five years or more. Section 487.04 also lists almost 20 additional secondary designated offences, including escaping from custody, assault, arson, criminal harassment or uttering threats. If an individual is found guilty of a secondary offence, the court can make a DNA order if it determines that it is in best interests of the administration of justice to do so. Often, the Crown Attorney will request a DNA order and make submissions to the judge arguing in favor of the Order, and the accused’s criminal defence lawyer will make submissions against the making of the Order. The court will then weigh a number of factors, including the submissions of counsel, the nature and circumstances of the offence, the criminal record of the accused, and the impact of such a DNA order on the accused’s right to privacy and security of the person, to decide whether a DNA order is warranted.

One of the most controversial aspects of the DNA Order Regime is that it applies retrospectively. According to s. 487.052 of the Criminal Code, the Court may order that DNA samples be taken from certain offenders convicted of committing a crime before Bill C-18 came into force. Retrospective Orders are made by way of an ex parte (without notice to the offender) application. They can be made against an individual who is serving a prison sentence of at least two years on the date of the application, for murder, certain listed sexual offences, or manslaughter, They can also be made against an individuals serving a sentence of at least two years on the date of application who has been declared a “dangerous offender” under the Criminal Code. Generally speaking, as a matter of fairness, laws only apply to actions committed after a law comes into force. However, in Regina v. Rodgers, the Supreme Court of Canada declared retrospective DNA orders constitutional.

DNA orders can be issued to young offenders (individuals between the ages of 12 and 17 tried under the Youth Criminal Justice Act). The same rules about primary and secondary offences apply to young offenders. However, in the case of Regina v. R. C., the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that it is appropriate to consider the underlying principles and objectives of the Youth Criminal Justice Act when determining whether to issue a DNA order against a young offender for a primary offence.

DNA orders can also be made when an individual is found “not criminally responsible” by way of insanity or mental illness [NCR] for a designated primary or secondary offence, even though an NCR finding is not technically a finding of guilt. Moreover, when a judge looks at an offender’s criminal record to determine whether to issue a DNA order for a secondary offence, they may consider any previous NCR findings in making their assessment.
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Victim: 'This is beyond sexist'
Woman outraged over lenient sentence for convicted rapist
By: Mike McIntyre
Posted: February 25, 2011

Manitoba Justice Robert Dewar gave a convicted rapist a two-year conditional sentence.

A rape victim is slamming the controversial decision of a Manitoba judge who gave her attacker a lenient sentence on the basis she may have sent out mixed signals about her sexual intentions.

"This is beyond sexist. I don't even know how to comment on it. No woman asks to be raped. I'm so pissed off," the 26-year-old single mother told the Free Press in an exclusive telephone interview Thursday from her rural Manitoba home. "Nobody knows what it was like to be in this position. It's not something I'd ever want to go through again. No woman should have to."
Queen's Bench Justice Robert A. Dewar (Ken Gigliotti/Winnipeg Free Press Archives)

Appointed to the bench by the Harper government Sept. 9, 2009

Born in Ottawa, Dewar received a BA in 1970 and a law degree in 1973 from the University of Manitoba

Joined the law office of Pitblado & Hoskin in Winnipeg in 1973 and was a partner there from 1979 to 1998

Became a partner with Hill Dewar Vincent, another city law firm, in 1998. Continued there until his appointment to the bench

Was appointed a Queen's Counsel in 1991 and is a past director of Legal Aid Manitoba

Dewar does not have a background in criminal law. His practice focused on commercial and corporate litigation, insolvency, professional liability, discipline matters, construction disputes and insurance

Source: Federal government release on Dewar's judicial appointment

Outdated thinking horribly pervasive Kenneth Rhodes was given a two-year conditional penalty last week, which allows him to remain free in the community. The Crown wanted at least three years behind bars, citing numerous case precedents suggesting that is the starting point for a major sexual assault.

Queen's Bench Justice Robert Dewar disagreed, saying the victim gave out signs "sex was in the air" through her suggestive attire and flirtatious conduct on the night of the attack. He called Rhodes a "clumsy Don Juan" who may have misunderstood what the woman wanted when he forced intercourse along a darkened highway outside Thompson in 2006.

"That's bulls---t," the victim said Thursday. "I did say no to him. I kept saying no. He knew that I didn't want (sex)."

Rhodes and a friend met the woman and her girlfriend earlier that night outside a bar under what the judge called "inviting circumstances." Dewar specifically noted the women were wearing tube tops with no bra, high heels and plenty of makeup.

"They made their intentions publicly known that they wanted to party," said Dewar. He said the women spoke of going swimming in a nearby lake that night "notwithstanding the fact neither of them had a bathing suit."

"I wasn't dressed like a skank. I was like 20 years old, wearing a tube top. It was summer," said the victim, who cannot be identified as she is the victim of a sexual assault.

The foursome left the parking lot in a vehicle and headed into the woods, court was told. Rhodes began making sexual advances toward the victim, who initially rejected him but later returned his kisses. Rhodes then forced himself upon the woman once they were alone.

"I didn't like the guy. He was beyond creepy, a real pervert," she said Thursday. "He deserves to be behind bars for what he did." She had asked her friend to stop the car to let her out because she no longer wanted to be near Rhodes. Unfortunately, he also exited as the other two drove away, leaving them alone together on the highway.

Rhodes pleaded not guilty at the trial on the basis he thought the woman had consented. Dewar rejected his defence, but said aspects of it could be considered in sentencing.

"This is a different case than one where there is no perceived invitation," said Dewar. "This is a case of misunderstood signals and inconsiderate behaviour." Dewar said he didn't want to be seen as blaming the victim but all of the factors surrounding the case must be viewed to assess "moral blameworthiness."

"I'm sure whatever signals were sent that sex was in the air were unintentional," he said. The Crown has 30 days to file an appeal of Dewar's decision. No decision had been made as of Thursday.

"I hope they appeal. I would like some justice. This is not real justice to me. It's a slap on the wrist," said the victim.

The woman said she has suffered severe psychological trauma from the attack, including trust issues with men and a fear of being alone.

"It's impacted me in so many ways," she said. The woman also bears a permanent reminder of what Rhodes did to her in the form of a scar on her knee, a sign of the violence the much larger man used to restrain her.

Defence lawyer Derek Coggan told court last week it's clear alcohol was a factor for both his client and the victim in terms of their ability to make good judgments. He said Rhodes never threatened the woman, didn't have a weapon and was simply "insensitive to the fact (she) was not a willing participant."

Dewar agreed the case was not "typical" of ones the courts often see and shouldn't be viewed as a precedent.

"There is a different quality to this case than many sexual assaults," he said. "Not all guilty people are morally culpable to the same level. This difference is not to be reflected in conviction. It can be reflected in sentencing."

Rhodes has also been ordered by the judge to write a letter of apology to the victim -- something the woman says she has no interest in reading.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 25, 2011 Page A3

Associate Chief Justice Lori Douglas now has company!

Good Day Readers:

This story broke literally within the last few minutes. Brian Corrin was appointed to the Bench in March of 1988. Needless to say we'll be following it in the days ahead.

Clare L. Pieuk

Manitoba judge charged with assault, threats
CBC News
February 25, 2011

A provincial court judge in Manitoba has been charged with assault and uttering threats.

The charges against Brian Corrin, 65, were laid by Winnipeg police on Thursday, according to a Manitoba Justice spokesperson.

The allegations involve a family member.

Pending the outcome of the charges, Corrin will be on administrative leave.

An election issue in the making?

Good Day Readers:

Yesterday morning was spent listening to arguments in a case currently before Canada's Federal Court of Appeal presided over by a panel of three out of town judges who reserved judgment. It's a complicated matter that's been argued in the courts now for at least a couple years which is potentially significant because the ruling could become an election issue especially for westerners.

It appeared the "good guys" won but we'll have more to say as soon as we've had a chance to review our notes and prepare a posting.

Clare L. Pieuk

Workplace discrimination!

John has left a new comment on your post, "Is Harvard University filled with pretty women pretending to get a legal education?"

This is very shocking news as this is happening in New york. Jaime Laskis is an innocent woman. I also read the story on
Dear John:
Thank you for writing. Unfortunately, this sort of thing happens a lot more than we realize. Fortunately, Ms Laskis has the means to fight back to bring attention to her situation. Often this is not the case. We wish her well.
Sincerely/Clare L. Pieuk

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mr. Harper: "The lie will set you free!"

A special thankyou to a reader who sent this after receiving it from a another reader.

Clare L. Pieuk

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How poor Ray ran afoul of the cleavage police!

Good Day Readers:

A few days ago while surfing the net we happened upon the site Sweet Hot Justice ( Since then we haven't stopped laughing it's hilarious. The anonymous ladies running it (Columnists The Legal Tease, Sweet Hot Counsel and Hot News) themselves work for "Big Law" discussing topics usually taboo in law school or the corporate world. They really have done a terrific job - great, great work!

You've got to feel for Ray! As for their "Appropriate for work?" picture poll we liked them all.

Clare L. Pieuk

Keep Those Breasts Firm ... Appropriate
September 29, 2010
By Legal Tease

You may have noticed that people working in Big Law are more pissed off than usual lately. And I can’t say that I blame them. The threat of associate layoffs still looms large. A six-figure salary barely keeps you off food stamps. White shoe firms are crawling with bed bugs. And herpes. But it looks like there’s a new kid on the block—a pair of kids, actually—gaining traction as the latest target for Big Law acrimony, at least if the state of affairs in and around my firm is any indication: Boobs. Or more to the point, how front and center they should be when it comes to dressing for work.

Now, arguments over appropriate sartorial choices for the workplace, breast-related or otherwise, are nothing new. Panels have been convened over them. Entire websites have been launched about them. Lawsuits have been waged because of them. But when the argument focuses on the degree of exposure—or lack thereof—of female breasts in the workplace, especially in a legal workplace, that’s when tempers really start to get out of control.

I can tell you’re already starting to get a little hot under the collar, aren’t you? OK, look, let’s all just calm down, take a deep breath, and take a tour of some photographic evidence.

First, let’s start with my law school friend, Ray—or more specifically, Ray’s Facebook page. Ray, a married, good-natured father of three, works in Big Law out in the Midwest and tends to limit his personal Facebook “updates” to a picture of his kids or an occasional comment about football. So, I admit that I was a little taken aback when Ray posted a link to Fox News’ recent interview with Ines Sainz, the curvaceous Mexican news anchor who has been embroiled in an NFL locker room sexual harassment scandal in the past couple of weeks. The link included a picture of Ines in a low-cut, revealing blouse and Ray had noted above it, “Maybe if you looked down at your chest you’d see why you’re in this situation. Dress professionally and people will treat you that way.” In other words, “You were asking for it, slut.”

Within a matter of hours, after a slew of vehement comments on his post—some agreeing with him, most disagreeing—and no doubt a phone call from his wife, Ray deleted the entire post and has been silent ever since. But even though his original comment is gone, its impact is still there. And his opinion is hardly unique. Like Ray—an intelligent, thoughtful Big Law attorney—men across America looked at images of the same gorgeous woman wearing a low-cut blouse to her job and agreed that her neckline was so wildly, hideously, horrifyingly inappropriate, that she basically deserved to be treated anything other than “professionally.”

Incidentally, the picture that started it all:

So, do you agree with Ray? Is Ines’s neckline so absurdly inappropriate for her job that it fully, necessarily precludes anyone from treating her “professionally”? And what if she was an attorney rather than a TV anchor? Would that make her neckline choice even more inappropriate—and to what end? To being harassed? Being fired? Bottom line: Where’s the line? At what point do you cross the (neck)line from “working woman” to “working girl?”

And does the analysis change if you’re a lawyer? Does it matter if you’re working at a firm? It’s not uncommon for defenders of business-formal law firm dress codes to cite the argument that if a client is paying a lawyer $1,000 an hour, they want that person to “dress like a lawyer.” But if you’re a lawyer with breasts, especially large ones, what does “dressing like a lawyer” actually mean? Cover ’em up at all costs? Don nothing but high-button blouses and crew neck sweaters? And if you insist on clinging to this argument, let me ask you: When was the last time you had any face-to-face contact with your clients, regardless of what you were wearing? (I’m talking to you, $1,000-an-hour Big Law types.) As any Big Law drone knows, there aren’t exactly roving hordes of clients storming the halls on any given day. So, if you’re sitting in a 10×10 office for 20 hours a day with little to no other human, much less client, contact, why should it matter how plunging your neckline is? Hell, why shouldn’t you sit in your office topless if you’re alone and it makes you feel comfortable? As long as you’re hitting your billables, who cares?

Well, quite a few people, apparently. I’d like to dismiss the obsession with workplace cleavage as the harmless infatuation of a few lonely, terrified, insecure men, but that couldn’t be further from reality. Remember our Facebook friend, Ray? Most of the she-was-asking-for-it comments were actually left by women, most of them lawyers. In other words, if only two things are crystal clear from Ray’s comment war and the latest breast-focused media circus that inspired it, it’s that everyone has an opinion about how your breasts should look at work—but no one has an actual answer.

So, what’s a female lawyer with breasts and a closet full of plunging necklines to do? Well, let’s take this to the next level and start figuring out which of our lady lawyer peers—or more specifically, which of their necklines—cross the line from seemly to scandalous. Yes, it’s time for a poll.

Below are a few (safe for work) images of actual or fictional lady lawyers (one of whom may or may not be writing this right now) in flagrante décolletage at work or at work-related events. Clearly, they all thought that they looked appropriate enough—but what do you think? Take the poll under each image to see how your opinion stacks up against your fellow cleavage police readers.

(And if anonymous decapitated boob shots leave you deeply unsatisfied, click on the link after the poll to find out who’s lurking above each of these necklines.)

Judge away.

The misadventures of poor misguided Ray will continue shortly .....