Saturday, June 30, 2012

What's this man doing these days?

Good Day Readers:

When Jack King was convicted on 3-counts of professional misconduct and punished by The Law Society of Manitoba in March of 2011 (reprimand; fine of almost $14,000) for his part in the Douglas-Chapman fiasco, he was not disbarred so we wondered, what's he doing these days?

We've being researching files in which he has been involved and will begin profiling a particularly interesting one shortly.

Clare L. Pieuk

Friday, June 29, 2012

Is the CJC's complaint mechanism institutionally biased and unconstitutional?

Good Day Readers:

A special thank you to CyberSmokeBlog's Vancouver Associate Chris Budgell for sending this article along. It is germane to the Douglas Inquiry for a few reasons. Rocco Galati, who specializes in constitutional law,  will be representing complainant Alex Chapman in one of the four Allegations against Associate Chief Justice Lori. He is referenced in the piece.
It also mentions the same arguments Ms Cher Hazen, who has an ongoing 12-year child custody case before Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench and CSB made in their failed attempts at being granted intervener standing.

Is seems the CJC's "Public" Inquiry doesn't appreciate direct public involvement unless, of course, it's to pay for the cost of the Inquiry.

Clare L. Pieuk
Judging the judges
Written by Michael McKiernan
February 2012 Issue

Illustration: Tara Hardy
In almost two decades of practice, criminal lawyer Paul Slansky had never complained about a judge. But one day in July 2004, he resolved to change that. Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Thompson had just ordered him confined to the courthouse in Owen Sound, Ont., while jurors deliberated on the fate of his client, Vytautas Baltrusaitis, who was charged with murder. Toronto-based Slansky, who was staying at a hotel just a couple of minutes’ walk from the courthouse, viewed the move as malicious and petty. “However this conduct was merely the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Slansky wrote in an affidavit following the trial he called “the most difficult of my career.”

Baltrusaitis was acquitted by the jury, but no thanks to Thompson, in Slansky’s opinion. “It was more than obvious, in my professional view as counsel for the accused, that Justice Thompson, through his actions, demeanour, and rulings, was making it clear that he was doing his best to ensure a conviction,” he wrote. Slansky and Thompson repeatedly clashed during the nine-month trial and the preceding pretrial motions. In his complaint to the Canadian Judicial Council, Slansky accused the judge of being biased, rude, abusive, and bullying.

Thompson denied the allegations, claiming that Slansky, “from time to time during the trial, was completely out of control,” and in a competing complaint to the Law Society of Upper Canada, he accused the lawyer of insulting the court, attempting to get himself cited for contempt, and trying to provoke a mistrial. Both complaints were dismissed, but Slansky wasn’t satisfied, and made an application at the Federal Court for judicial review of the CJC’s decision, criticizing its “anemic” and “flawed” investigation. The application also seeks a declaration that the CJC’s complaint mechanism is institutionally biased and unconstitutional because it involves judges judging the conduct of judges.

The nominations of two new Supreme Court of Canada justices put the process for selecting federally appointed judges in the spotlight last year, but far less attention has been paid to the other end of the scale, when the time comes to remove a judge from office. In fact, that time comes extremely rarely; just five superior court judges have been recommended for removal in the 145 years since Confederation, and all but one of those resigned to avoid the indignity of dismissal.

But the ultimate fate of Slansky’s complaint could change the way the CJC operates.

“It’s easier to get a constitutional amendment than to remove a judge,” says Rocco Galati, a Toronto lawyer representing Slansky in the judicial review. “Judges are human beings. They don’t descend from the sky or heaven, and some need to be removed. If the public knew the kinds of things some judges do, I think there would be more action taken. They make life hell not only for lawyers, but the people who have to come in front of them.”

The CJC’s 39 members are the chief justices, associate chief justices, and senior judges from provincial and federal superior courts across Canada. Johanna Laporte, the CJC’s Director of Communications and Strategic Issues, insists that judges are in the best position to assess the conduct of their peers, because of their shared experience and the need to protect their independence. “I think it’s an accepted principle of professional orders, and there’s plenty of others that do it that way,” she says.

But Galati says judges are in a unique position compared with other self-regulating professions, such as lawyers or doctors. “No profession truly regulates itself, because they never have the final say, the courts do. But the courts have the final word on themselves and that’s wrong. It’s just not independent,” he says.

Allan Hutchinson, a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, says the CJC should look for a way to include lay participation in the complaints process. “They’re quite happy to laud over other professions and people the doctrine of natural justice, that nobody should be the judge in one’s own dispute. But they don’t seem too keen to apply that to themselves,” he says.

According to Hutchinson, judges would gain from opening up the process to outsiders and imposing a more rigorous discipline process. “We do treat them differently and it’s a mistake. It does a disservice to ourselves as a democracy, and in a way, to the judges themselves. It’s not doing them any favours to be seen as something of a secret elite beyond public control, and I think they would benefit if we started treating them like everyone else. Some judges are poor, and some are great,” he says. “This is a very powerful group, and they have to have some kind of accountability, and the history of judicial discipline wouldn’t fill one with confidence about their ability to assure their ranks are appropriately staffed.”

In April 2009, Paul Cosgrove resigned from the bench after the CJC recommended his removal for abusing his judicial powers during an Ontario murder trial that ended with Cosgrove staying the charge for a slew of supposed Charter violations. His misconduct was “pervasive in both scope and duration,” the CJC’s final report to the minister of justice said. The previous year, a CJC inquiry committee recommended removing Ontario Superior Court Justice Theodore Matlow from the bench. It said his conduct in opposing a development in his Toronto neighbourhood and later sitting on a three-judge Divisional Court panel that ruled against a controversial City of Toronto proposal for a streetcar right-of-way was “manifestly and totally contrary to the impartiality, integrity, and independence of the judiciary.” A majority of the full judicial council agreed that Matlow’s behaviour constituted misconduct, but overruled the removal recommendation.

Only two other cases have reached the inquiry stage in the last decade, both involving Quebec judges who were ultimately allowed to remain on the bench. Only eight inquiry committees have reported on the conduct of judges since the CJC was created in 1971.

Associate Chief Justice Lori Douglas of the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench will become the subject of a ninth after a review panel of five judges decided her salacious case could be serious enough to warrant removal. Her lawyer husband has already been sanctioned by the province’s law society for sending pornographic pictures of Douglas to a client and suggesting he have sex with her. Douglas, who at the time of the allegations was still practising, stepped aside from her her judicial duties in the summer of 2010 when King’s former client launched his complaint.

Karen Busby, a law professor at the University of Manitoba, says the intense public interest in the case has been a factor in the persistence of the Douglas matter. “I’m surprised it’s got that far because the facts are really straightforward, and in my view, she did nothing wrong. It should have been resolved at the initial complaints stage,” says Busby. “At the same time, there is huge interest in the case and if they hadn’t made the inquiry, then there could have been a cloud hanging over her, which would be very unfortunate. Perhaps the only way the air can be cleared is if the inquiry is carried out and the report is made public.”

Busby is also troubled by the length of time the case is taking to wind its way through the CJC process — the complaint against her was lodged in July 2010 — and compares Douglas’ fate with that of another Manitoba judge roundly criticized for his comments in the sentencing of a sex offender in February 2011.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Robert Dewar came under fire for suggesting the victim of the sexual assault wore provocative clothing and labelling the accused a “clumsy Don Juan.” The CJC closed the case after expressing its concern to Dewar and receiving assurances about his future behaviour. “His comments went directly to his capacity as a judge. An apology and some training does the trick, and it’s all over in six months,” Busby says. “[Douglas is] in trouble because she participated in things that were not illegal in any way, and conduct that I don’t think is incompatible with her position as a judge.”

At the provincial court level, where each jurisdiction has its own judicial council, misconduct findings are equally rare. The Ontario Judicial Council has held 10 hearings since 1995, but just three of those have resulted in misconduct findings. In 2007, Ontario Court Justice Marvin Zuker was officially warned after he admitted altering court transcripts to remove comments he made about Harry Kopyto, a disbarred lawyer whom he refused permission to represent a party in a child protection application.

In 2004, Justice Dianne Nicholas received a reprimand after admitting indiscreet comments inside and outside court about an accused and her family. The same year, Justice Kerry Evans was found guilty of misconduct related to inappropriate physical touching of female court staff, some of it sexual. He resigned before the council could impose a penalty.

Complaints were dismissed in the other seven cases, including one judge accused of using the offices and computers of colleagues to visit porn sites and leaving images visible on his computer. That hearing was held in private and the anonymous judge’s conduct was ruled “inappropriate,” but not labelled judicial misconduct.

In 2006, another OJC panel found Justice Norman Douglas had come close to the line for his conduct in impaired driving cases. After convicting a defendant in a drunk-driving case, Douglas was overturned by a Superior Court judge who said there was an appearance of bias. Douglas then went on to attack the appeal decision in subsequent rulings and offered to help the Crown in its own appeal of the Superior Court judge’s decision.

Saskatchewan has also suspended two judges in the last decade. Justice Donald Bird was reinstated in 2011 after criminal charges involving alleged assault and threats made in a domestic dispute were dismissed, while the other resigned before a hearing could be held.

In the U.K., the Office for Judicial Complaints, established in 2006 after a reform of the judicial complaint procedure, reports that five judges have been removed in the last three years, as well as a further eight resignations by judges under investigation. There have also been six reprimands issued in that time. The U.S. state of Pennsylvania, meanwhile, has seen 13 state judges removed from office in the last 10 years.

But Julian Porter, a bencher with the Law Society of Upper Canada and a former member of the Ontario Judicial Council’s complaints review panel, says the public should not be worried by the low number of cases in Canada. “It’s quite different than, say, parts of the U.S., where you have elected judges that sometimes do much more bizarre things,” he says. “I would think that if there were dishonest judges, someone in the system would be on them, and the other judges would start to do something. And if someone’s getting lazy, it’s certainly up to the chief justice to give them a kick.”

Hutchinson says the number may be artificially shrunk in Canada because judges are more inclined to take the traditional path of falling on their own sword in the face of a meritorious complaint or an informal expression of concern from superiors and colleagues. Again, he says the profession could benefit from a more transparent approach to discipline. “I don’t think for a second [there is] rampant impropriety among judges in Canada, but who would know,” he says.

Neil Skinner, executive legal counsel to Alberta’s provincial court, says he remembers a case where the secrecy of the process worked against the judge facing a complaint. “Once it goes to the council, it’s like a black box, which is a shame, because if the media could have read the stuff, they would have seen why there was no basis for the complaint, but we couldn’t even defend the guy if we wanted to,” he says. Even so, “I’m not sure if any of the judges want to be more transparent,” says Skinner.

In the Slansky case, matters have been held up because the CJC refused to hand over a report by University of Toronto law professor Martin Friedland, upon which Manitoba Chief Justice Richard Scott’s decision to dismiss was based, arguing the report was privileged. In April 2011, Federal Court prothonotary Martha Milczynski ordered the CJC to turn over a redacted copy of the report, although that decision was appealed by the CJC. “I am satisfied that there is a public interest in knowing how the CJC deals with complaints against judges to ensure the public has confidence in the integrity of the process and to also ensure that the application for judicial review can be conducted in a meaningful way,” Milczynski wrote.

“The process has to be transparent and it has to be effective. It doesn’t mean they have to find against the judge, but it can’t be this secretive. It’s nonsense,” says Galati.Laporte says the CJC is working on improving its public disclosures. She says from time to time it publicizes criticism of judges in cases where the judge’s behaviour falls short of misconduct, such as in the recent case of Manitoba’s Dewar. In his report, Alberta Chief Justice Neil Wittmann said Dewar showed a “lack of sensitivity towards victims of sexual assault” over comments in his sentencing of a sex offender that seemed to cast some blame on the victim.

But comments are only publicized in higher profile cases where the media has already shown an interest. The council’s annual report does not include descriptions of all resolved complaints. “Council wants to be transparent, and we’re working towards changing the way we communicate complaints on the web site,” says Laporte.

Porter says he understands why judicial councils are sparing with the amount of public sanctions they hand out to judges. “I’m quite struck by the fact that if you reprimand a judge, it certainly is something the judge can never get away from. It isn’t as if it ever goes away,” he says.

Karen Selick, the litigation director of the Canadian Constitution Foundation, says repeatedly poor judges shouldn’t be stuck with the stigma of reprimands or other findings against them. Instead, “we should fire them,” says Selick, who believes sanctions should not be reserved only for issues of misconduct, but also for issues of quality. “I don’t see why in this occupation you should be exempt form losing your job. There’s lots of people waiting to fill those jobs, and there’s no guarantee that the ones doing a bad job are going to do a better job than the ones who weren’t appointed,” she says.

In September 2011, Ontario Court Justice John Ritchie was barred from a drinking-and-driving case after a Superior Court justice found he appeared biased against the defendant. The Superior Court judge decided an informed and reasonable observer would conclude that Ritchie had prejudged his rejection of a Charter application. It was the second time in seven years that Ritchie received a serious rebuke on appeal, since in 2004, another superior court judge overturned his conviction in such a case because of the judge’s use of “boilerplate” reasons.

“This is the second time his honour has had to be reminded by an appeal court to approach trials fairly and of the overarching importance of justice being seen to be done and not only being done,” said Paul Burstein, president of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association at the time. “If anyone else shirked their employment responsibilities in such a fundamental way, they’d risk being terminated or suspended.”

If Selick had her way, that would change. “Judges who get things wrong, necessitating appeals that overturn their decisions, should perhaps face some consequences other than the shame of being reversed,” she says, adding she would like to see judicial feedback programs in use in U.S. states such as Arizona and Florida, adapted to give Canadian lawyers and litigants a chance to rate their judges. Consistently poor performers would then be removed from the bench.

Frank Addario, a former president of the CLA, says chief justices should have more powers to tackle the small minority of problem judges. “The court has an obligation to provide a certain level of service, and there’s no threat to judicial independence if the chief justice is empowered to prevent low-grade services being provided,” he says. “It can’t be the case that someone is immune from repeated correction by appellant courts.”

The diary!

Good Day Readers:

The Canadian Judicial Council has released a massive document drop on its website 164 Tabs (most multiple pages) indexed as:

Tabs 1-36
Tabs 37-101
Tabs 102-152
Tabs 153-164

It's massive.enough to choke a herd of horses.We wondered, at what point did Team Block-Reynolds Counsel to ACJ Douglas become aware of the release of this information and what is the motivation of their client to continue fighting the allegations.

It offers a unique behind-the-scenes picture of Manitoba's judiciary the likes of which you are not going to see again for a very long time. At least to this point in time Ms Douglas certainly seems prepared to pull out all the stops! Intuitively, we feel it's much, much too difficult to get rid of a judge.

Some of the diary entries have been redacted.

Clare L. Pieuk
Judge angry that husband shared nude photos, diary shows

Manitoba Justice Lori Douglas accused of sexual harassment

Thursady, June 28, 2012
Manitoba Associate Chief Justice says her world 'collapsed' after her husband told her he shared sexually explicit photos of her online according to diary entries, released as part of an inquiry into her conduct. (CBC)

Anger, resentment, shame.

Those are the emotions Justice Lori Douglas felt as she found out that her husband, Jack King, shared sexually explicit photos of her.

Her feelings are laid out in personal diary entries released Thursday; the documents are part of a Canadian Judicial Council investigation that could see Douglas removed from the bench.

"Met Jack for lunch. My world collapsed with what he had to tell me," Douglas wrote on June 16, 2003 — the day her husband informed her he had uploaded photos, some of which showed her in bondage gear and performing sex acts, to a website.

King had also shared the photos with Alexander Chapman, who seven years later, filed the complaint against Douglas that is now before the Council.

"The day is a blur. I'm so angry with Jack for what he did," Douglas wrote two days later.

As the weeks and months wore on, Douglas continued to write about it in her diary, even after her husband paid $25,000 to Chapman to return all the photos and agree to never talk about the matter.

At the time, Douglas and King were lawyers at the same Winnipeg law firm. Unbeknownst to them, Chapman would renege on the deal in 2010 and go public.

"Woke up in the middle of the night, wondering how Jack could have done what he did," Douglas wrote on October 20, 2003.

Douglas is facing four allegations:
  • That she sexually harassed Chapman
  • That she failed to disclose the issue when she was screened for a judicial appointment in 2005
  • That she didn't fully disclose some facts to the inquiry and changed a 2003 entry in her personal diary in 2010
  • That the very existence of photos have undermined confidence in the justice system and her ability to act as a judge
Through her lawyer, Douglas has denied all the allegations. She has said, as has King all along, that King was suffering from a mental breakdown and was acting without her knowledge.

King has already been found guilty of professional misconduct. He was fined $14,000 by the Manitoba Law Society, but retains his licence to practise law.

Douglas's lawyer has said Douglas should not be punished for her husband's actions.

Emails also released

The documents released Thursday include emails between King and Chapman, in which King tried to convince Chapman to have sex with Douglas.

King had represented Chapman in a divorce case, and started emailing him pictures of Douglas and asking how they looked.

"What do you think? Are you interested?" King wrote in an email to Chapman on May 8, 2003.

"I am making progress. She seems more interested at the moment in another woman + bondage, with her being the one tied up," King wrote three days later.

"She suggested this evening … that you should be invited out here," King wrote three weeks later.

There is, however, nothing in the documents that show Douglas was part of any communication or even aware of what King was doing.

When Chapman filed a sexual harassment complaint against King in 2003 — for which he received the $25,000 settlement — he didn't file a complaint about Douglas.

The only direct contact Chapman and Douglas ever had was during two brief meetings at a downtown bar, which Douglas and King have said were arranged by King without Douglas's knowledge.

In his affidavit released Thursday, Chapman alleges Douglas flirted with him during the second encounter.

"She touched me on my arms a few times, as well as my leg. I also touched her arms," Chapman said in the affidavit.

The document contains allegations which have not been proven, and Douglas's lawyer has said she "never laid a finger" on Chapman.

Situation well-known in legal community

The documents also appear to at least partially refute the allegation that Douglas failed to disclose the controversy when she was appointed a judge in 2005.

She would rise to associate Chief Justice of the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench, heading up the Family Court Division.

A journal entry listed in court documents as being from Francois Giroux, an adviser to then federal justice minister Irwin Cotler, does not mention the sexually explicit photos. But it does mention the harassment claim.

It also seems to note that the story was well-known in Manitoba's legal community.

"Husband, let go from the same firm as Mrs. Douglas. Allegations of mental health troubles," the journal entry, handwritten in French, says.

"Offered to a client the services of his wife without her knowledge. Mrs. stayed with. Made the round of the profession. Situation resolved. Counselling, psychological."

The hearing into Douglas's future will resume July 16, when Chapman is scheduled to testify.

Such inquiries are rare. The judicial council has held them nine times across the country in 40 years. It has only once recommended that a judge be removed.

In 2009, the council recommended to the federal government that Paul Cosgrove be removed as a justice of the Ontario Superior Court due to incompetence and abuse of his powers. Cosgrove resigned before the federal government could make its decision.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Our grossly overpaid, under worked Co-Legal Affairs Critic/Legal Analyst VJH is back!

Veritas Justitia Honoris working hard on the Douglas Inquiry file

Good Day Readers:

We received VJH's e-mail a few days ago and apologize for not getting to this sooner. Since close of the latest phase of the Douglas Inquiry (June 26) we've been swamped with e-mail.Sorry readers we'll get to them as soon as we can. There's a lot quietly happening behind the scenes we simply cannot talk about - yet.

To date we've had a lot of correspondence, mostly from women, about Cher Hazen who presented before the Inquiry Committee on Tuesday. Ms Hazen has written a lengthy rebuttal to the National Post's Christie Blatchford's recent article which we plan to post. But there has been a lot of other mail as well.

Yesterday, CyberSmokeBlog set an all time record of monthly visitors and we're still in June. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Readers.

As for VJH, here's another of his excellent (superbly analyzed and written) articles/comments about the Douglas Inquiry. Should you encounter him undertaking research at The Law Courts be sure to say hello but please don't stare - he really thinks he incognito with that fake nose, glasses mustache and eyebrows. If you have any information you'd like to share confidentially with him he can be contacted online at

Our response is in blue.

Clare L. Pieuk

Dear Mr. Pieuk:

I actually clicked on the link in the Winnipeg Free Press article this a.m. and read the entire decision on including the discs forwarded to CJC as evidence for this inquiry. Though, your request for comment was nice to have, and thank you for same.

No, thank you!

Overall, I find I agree with the decision of the Committee that they need to consider the content of the discs as a separate and legitimate complaint and part of this inquiry as it does directly impact on three of the four allegations.

Being the ever skeptic we thought the CJC would find a way to sweep the second complaint under the carpet.

Where I disagree with the CJC is there decision with regard to releasing the content of the complaint to the public as being at their discretion. The order states, “While they are part of the record, they will not be made public unless the Committee expressly orders otherwise” (Page 13, Paragraph 56).

There will be no discretion exercised when taxpayers are asked to pay for the Inquiry. Therefore, partial disclosure is not an option.

It would seem that Justice Douglas’ counsel was vehement in her pitch that the content of the discs does not impact her ability to be a judge, and that the Committee need not engage in investigating “…highly personal, constitutionally protected and lawful acts between the judge and her husband” (Page 7, Paragraph 32). And I would agree with this statement, had those acts remained BETWEEEN THE JUDGE AND HER HUSBAND. It would seem to me, the Judge’s recourse is against her husband, as [according to Douglas] he is the individual who released these photos into the public domain, and if she is not willing to take recourse against her husband, then she is, as my Granddad used to say, SOL.

To counsel for ACJ Douglas on this issue we say, "Balls!" Your Granddad sounds live a very wise man.

Despite the claims that these images do not impact her ability to be a judge, counsel puts forward the argument that the Committee viewing the photographs will “exacerbate the pain that the Judge is experiencing from the knowledge that others and, particularly, some of her colleagues on the Council, have viewed these photographs in discharging their role in the investigatory process” and doing so would result in, “physical deterioration based on fear, panic, humiliation and further isolation from her colleagues” and finally the inclusion of the discs would, “’re-victimize’ the Judge since each instance of the photographs being viewed amounts to a horrific violation of her privacy, a stripping away of her dignity and integrity and what feels like a ‘rape.’” (Page 11, Paragraph 47)

Again to counsel for Lori Douglas we say, "Balls!" If Ms Douglas is so concerned she should resign, cash in her generous severance, pension and benefits package and avoid the public humiliation. When we're presented with the final cost of this Inquiry perhaps we'll be the ones who are raped - financially.

I would argue that a Judge experiencing pain and humiliation from her own actions (she allowed the photographs to be taken and allowed them to remain in someone’s possession other than her own) has engaged in behaviours that are now interfering with her ability to perform her duties. She has stated that she experiences “physical deterioration, panic and “fear” when facing individuals who have seen these photographs and is comparing that to having being raped.

 (The irony of which has not since escaped me is that not a favourite game in S&M &BD?). She herself is stating that viewing of this material is “stripping away” her “dignity and integrity,” does that not then contradict the claim that she can do her job? The argument that her actions have not put the judiciary in disrepute when she is claiming to be ‘raped’ every time the photos are seen is contradictory. If they truly did not impact her, and she has no shame of her conduct (which is the foundational claim of those in the lifestyle – safe, sane, consensual) then why care who sees them? If she was ‘in control’ of the situation and proud of her conduct, thinking it to be appropriate – then I beg the question – why are you so humiliated and embarrassed?

Very good arguments - spot on! If this fiasco is causing her pain isn't that what S&M B&D is all about. Whip me more, humiliate me I love it!

While I can understand why the CJC would be stating this evidence should remain in-camera, I believe that because of the claims that Douglas is making to encourage this to happen, form part of the very reasons they cannot remain in-camera. She is claiming them to be an invasion of privacy and that they humiliate her, don’t forget this important element.

The CJC has a difficult balance to strike. Too much in-camera and its credibility will take a hit the last thing it needs.

First, I remind you that the CJC can limit information before the public in a hearing. Section 63, subsection (5) states:

"The Council may prohibit the public publication of any information or documents placed before it in connection with, or arising out of, an inquiry or investigation under this section when it is of the option that the publication is not in the public interest."

However, it is incredibly easy to argue that the publication is in the public interest, BECAUSE IT IS STILL READILY AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC. Want proof? Google “Lori Douglas” “photos” and then use the images search engine. In a mere 0.32 seconds, I had 11,000 images of Justice Douglas at my fingertips, including the pornographic ones.

Excellent points you've raised VJH! Our story? Approximately, a year and a half ago a criminal defence lawyer and fellow Blogger sent us a copy of an anonymous e-mail they'd received bearing a address - anonymous because the prefix was meaningless. They had not opened it but we did to satisfy ourself whether it was a hoax. It contained instructions to sequence 4-hyperlinks which we did to find 30-photographs of Lori Douglas naked as a jaybird save for various B&D S&M paraphernalia.

It's as though the Judicial Selection Committee just didn't get it - understand how the internet works. Scary don't your think?

Further, much has been made of Trudeau’s landmark legislation, to wit, “there is no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation” yet, when one reads The Criminal Code of Canada, indeed, within the section on Anal Intercourse (which I understand is the subject of some of the photographs – though I may be wrong), The Code states in Section 159 that it remains a crime, unless engaged in by two people, in private and “if it is not engaged in a public place or if more than two persons take part or are present;”

Then it is NOT private and indeed is a criminal offence. I beg the question – if two people are engaged in an act of anal intercourse, and a third person is present taking photographs, does that not constitute a criminal offence?

Good point. While Jack King freely admitted to placing the pictures on the internet, has it ever been established he also took them? There's one, for example, where the person would almost have had to have been a contortionist which begs the question .....

Finally, Douglas is claiming an invasion of privacy, yet has not levied any charges against the supposed perpetrator – her husband. Yet, it would seem [I say seem because I have not read the sections in detail] that Sections 122 (Breach of Trust), 162 (Voyeurism), and sections relating to obscene material production and distribution without consent might all apply as potential charges that could be laid, yet have not. Why? Would that not exonerate her? Or, does the remaining shred of ethics and the standard of perjury in a court of law waylay any action against her husband, because at this point, neither she nor her husband have been put under oath have they?

If defence counsel Sheila Block is to be believed in her summation as to how she will proceed when the Inquiry resumes on July 16th, the reason Lori Douglas has not sued Jack King for invasion of privacy, defamation of character, and whatever else, is because wants her husband to be there to help raise their child. We we hear that it was all we could do not to become violently ill.

So you can see I hope, the CJC has given in on her “privacy” issues, however, if Independent Council has any skill with litigation, he has been provided with a cornucopia of material that can be used to discredit her claims of this conduct having no impact on putting the judiciary in disrepute.Her own statements have painted her into a corner – you can’t be humiliated and suffer physical health problems from something that you are not ashamed of, and shame implies an understanding of wrongdoing. Ergo – she is guilty of allegation 3, and by knowing these photos existed and not reporting them in writing (she chose to pose for them and gave over control of them to another person who made them public), she is guilty of allegation 2.

If Independent Counsel cannot get a conviction on at least one of the four counts there should be a Public Inquiry into the Independent Counsel.

My wife wants me to add, that as a professional woman, who fought hard for equal rights, who has fought against the debasement and degradation of women and who has fought for women to stop being seen as objects, possessions and servants – my wife is appalled and disgusted by the actions of Justice Douglas, and as a feminist (and she is to the core, I promise you!) she does not take issue with high standards of conduct and exemplary behaviour being enforced against her gender.

Nor does my wife see removal of Douglas as a deterrent to young women aspiring to positions of power. She feels the reverse to be true, that if Douglas is allowed to stay on the bench it sets women’s rights back 50 years – where a powerful woman secretly wants to be “owned” and is incapable of making responsible decisions for herself, relying on men to protect her from her own inappropriate behaviour.

First, on behalf of our readers thank your wife for giving you enough time long enough from the salt mines to writer this. We take no exception to feminists, in fact, we welcome them with one important proviso - do what you wish and how you wish as long as it breaks no laws and is respectful of others.

We are Big, Big proponents of civil disobedience - protest until the cows come home or you're blue in the fact which ever comes first. However, never place yourself in a position to get arrested although the G20 summit in Toronto of a couple years ago is an exception in that it was the police who were breaking the law.

One of the mistakes young people sometimes make at protests is to get arrested, charged and eventually convicted. Fast forward a little down the road. They are candidate for a position of their dreams and it's down to one or two others and them. Guess what? They didn't get it because they had a criminal record. Not smart, not smart at all.

The only person who can protect you from inappropriate behaviour is you.

We'll share a story with you. On May 19th the first hearing of the Douglas Inquiry the CBC's Marisa Dragani and I were chatting in the lobby of 363 Broadway Avenue chatting when who should happen along but Cher Hazen of later intervener application fame. Ms Dragani was mentioning how we wouldn't believe how much heat she has taken (she's the one who broke the story) since she began covering the story.

We were both rather taken aback so asked, "What do you mean?" Her response, "Several women, some with a feminist bent, who think Lori Douglas is being skewered by the system." Feminism notwithstanding perhaps these individuals should wake up, smell the coffee and get a life.

I am curious to see where these hearings go and…

It's only going to get more and more interesting especially if Lori Douglas hangs tough and refuses to step down.

In the meantime, I remain,
VJH (Veritas Justitia Honoris)

Thank you VJH and your wife!

Douglas Inquiry featured on Above the Law!

Good Day Readers:

New York City based-Above the Law hosted by Harvard Law graduate Elie Mystal has been closely covering the Douglas Inquiry from the beginning.
That's him on the right wooing the ladies!

A couple years ago it claimed over 500,000 professional monthly visitors. It's one of our favourite American legal blogs and must be somewhere in the top 10. Over a year ago it published the 30 pictures of ACJ Douglas naked as a jaybird. However, it did have the presence of mind to cover the private parts with little red maple leafs.

In its Canadian section there's an article entitled, Probe Into Madam Justice Lori Douglas Gets Underway from which we'd like to share a short excerpt:

[T]he inquiry committee unanimously rejected applications by Cher Hazen and blogger Clare Pieuk, saying neither had a personal interest in the matter and didn’t bring any expertise in the matter to the hearing.

Hazen said she wanted to be part of the inquiry because she is worried Douglas’s alleged personal behaviour affected her child-custody hearing.

Pieuk argued he should be given standing to represent the public because “if there is no public intervener, is it really a public inquiry?”

But the committee told him as a blogger member of the media he was welcome to sit in the public courtroom, but was not to be granted standing.

..... and furthermore, Readers, don't call us losers because at least we tried.

Clare L. Pieuk

She said he tried to say .....

Good Day Readers:

Thank you to the gentleman who left us a voice mail message and the individual who sent an e-mail advising the transcripts of the June 25, 2012 Douglas Inquiry were now posted on the Canadian Judicial Council website. We're on the CJC's electronic mailing list and usually get a heads up but not this time. Jeez, hope it hasn't cut us off.

Had to smile. On Tuesday Sheila Block from Team Block-Reynolds was holding forth summarizing how she would present her case once the Inquiry resumes Monday, July 16 at 10:00 a.m. when suddenly we heard our name mentioned. Now that we have the transcripts, we can enter our evidence into the record.

Exhibit A: The Transcripts

Shiela Block: It can be photoshopped or as Mr. Pieuk has encouraged, nude photos of the Prime Minister, get those published. It doesn't matter that it isn't him, his face is on the nude, and you can't possibly reach all the people who see it to say hey, that not real.

The Chair: ..... Mr Pieuk?

Mr. Pieuk: I would like to comment on something Ms. Block said in reference to my name.

The Chair: Well, I'm sorry, but were not -- we are in the middle -- just explained to Mr. Johnson --

Mr. Pieuk: Thank you.

The Chair: -- that were in the middle of an inquiry and we do have a process to follow and it doesn't include comments. I believe I mentioned the first day we started this inquiry that we were not holding an open-mic session where people come up and make comments that they choose to, whether on point or off point, but thank you in any event. (page 225 lines 22-25; page 326 lines 1-15)

Exhibit B: The Picture!
The Defence

Blog Master Pieuk freely admits on May 18 of this year on his brithday and eve of the opening of the Douglas Inquiry he did, in fact, post this picture on his site as part of the article, Ever wonder what your member of Parliament would look like nude?

However, it should be pointed out since federally Canada has no re-call laws constituents are stuck with their Member of Parliament for the full term. If they are under performing or not performing there is no way to boot them out on their arse. Based on the Prime Minister's nude painting CSB reasoned the only hope voters had was to take up a collection and commission a painting of their MP. If they refused to step down then it would be publicly auctioned off.

And, yes, we did agree to post pictures of any nude paintings received but there were none. Had we received any we would have covered the subject's thing(s) with little red maple leafs much like the American Blog Above the Law did a couple years ago with the Lori Douglas pictures.

The law must make a distinction where a person's thing(s) are clearly shown versus where they are covered.

So how say you judge and jury readers, is Mr. Pieuk guilty as alleged by Ms. Block of distributing nude photographs of the Prime Minister?  

The Canada Evidence Act

Section 4 (3)

No husband is compellable to disclose any communication to him by his wife during their marriage, and no wife is compellable to disclose any communication made to her by her husband during their marriage.

Could it ..... well could it?

Good Day Readers:

The other day at the Douglas Inquiry someone asked if Counsel for Alex Chapman (Rocco Galanti) and Team Block-Reynolds Counsel for ACJ Douglas disagreed with a decision of the Inquiry Committee, could they appeal to The Federal Court of Canada that has the power to overrule decisions of The Canadian Judicial Council? This in turn raises another interesting question.

Presumably, Independent Counsel Guy Pratte who's representing our best interests could do the same. If he did not challenge a particular ruling of the Inquiry Committee which the public thought he should we could petition him to do so.

We're not Philadelphia lawyers, which is just as well otherwise we'd be suing everything that moved. Does  anyone know is that correct?

Clare L. Pieuk

There's ballsy then there's Pat Martin send him your two cents worth!

Good Day Readers:

Winnipeg Member of Parliament Pat Martin has something few of us possess immunity for defamation. He can talk until he's blue in the face or the cows come home, subject to the Speaker,  whichever comes first without fear of a lawsuit as long as he does it in the House of Commons. So what does he do? Go on national television and gets himself sued for $5 million.

Now he has set up a legal defence fund to help pay his legal fees. Since he's been a vocal supporter of eliminating the penny, you should send him your two cents to show how ridiculous you think he's being.
Is this may still smiling?
Clare L. Pieuk
NDP's Pat Martin asks for help against robocall defamation suit

Kelly McParland
Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pat Martin has a new cause: Save Me From my Mouth.

The Winnipeg MP, famous for saying whatever flits through his brain, is in trouble for allegedly defaming RackNine, Inc., the telemarketing firm that got caught up in the robocall controversy. RackNine hasn’t been charged with anything, or even investigated by authorities trying to get to the bottom of the campaign of fraudulent election phone calls.

That didn’t stop Mr. Martin, who can usually count on parliamentary immunity to protect him from libel suits, but ventured outside the House to continue criticizing  RackNine. In February he assailed  “hundreds of thousands of phony phone calls by the RackNine rascals.”

The company sought to correct his charge, and Martin eventually delivered an abject apology, admitting:
“I singled out a private individual, Mr. Matt Meier, along with his business RackNine Inc. and I wrongfully accused them of being part of a conspiracy to commit electoral fraud,” he said.
“I now know that the statements I made insinuating Mr. Meier’s and RackNine’s participation in an electoral fraud conspiracy were wholly and unequivocally false…. To my knowledge, neither Mr. Meier, nor RackNine, including any employees of RackNine, has ever been investigated for involvement in electoral fraud in the 2011 general election or otherwise.”
But he waited seven weeks to do so, by which time, says RackNine, the damage had been done.  It wants $5 million in damages, claiming “exceptionally inflammatory and sensationalistic” defamation and “ongoing malice” by Martin and the NDP.

So Martin has started a fundraising campaign to pay his defence costs. He’s looking for $250,000. Unlike political contributions, the money wouldn’t be deductible in any way. “It’s not a charity, nor is it a political party donation. It would simply be a contribution to my legal defence fund,” he says. He’s also looking for help from the Board of Internal Economy, which oversees MP expenses and budgets. Why the board would feel obligated to help him out of his private legal problems is anybody’s guess.

Is he remorseful? You be the judge:

“We’re going to defend it aggressively, but it’s a nuisance, let’s face it, and it’s time-consuming and it takes you away from your other interests and your other tasks and duties.”

Yeah, being held accountable for what you say as an elected member of Parliament. Such a nuisance.

Guest Post U


Your site is great. I would like to see whether you'd be open for guest contributors. I am looking to write about something related to government and thought that the topics I had in mind may go with your blog.

I was thinking about the following subjects:

1. Tips to help save government issues
2. What can you do to save our government in terms of politics?

What do you think of these topics? If you're interested, I am happy to get something written up and sent over to you or if you have another topic you'd like to see covered, I am more than happy to create a custom article of your choice.

Our articles are custom written by writers for your blog and absolutely FREE.

Thanks and I look forward to your response.

Dana Ballatan

Guest Post U
The University of Great Content

Dear Ms Ballatan:

Thank you for contacting CyberSmokeBlog.

A couple overview comments first. It appears your extensive mailing list of which we were but one was composed mostly of federal Members of Parliament. In fact, it seems to be copied from CSB which is fine, however, in our opinion a more targeted focus is required.

Second. The meaning of your two proposed subject areas, at least to us, is unclear. From your website it appears Guest Post U is composed of current or recent graduates of English/Journalism courses in Canada who are desirous of acquiring some practical writing experience.

We are always looking for good writing so here in a nutshell is our editorial policy. We reserve the right to alter all material received because:

(i) Under Canadian defamation law blogs are responsible for all material appearing on their sites whether written by them or someone else. Therefore, all potentially defamatory/libelous material will be removed and/or edited

(ii) Spelling and grammatical errors will be corrected; ambiguous material re-written in consideration of our readership

After that it's pretty much an open playing field. We have two major contributors one in Manitoba who chooses to use the pseudonym Veritas Honoris Justitia ( and Chris Budgell in Vancouver ( both of whom are excellent researchers and writers.

Currently the Canadian Judicial Council is conducting a Public Inquiry into the actions of Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench Associate Chief Justice Lori Douglas whose nude pictures turned up on the internet. Before over, the Inquiry is going to set precedents all over the place Both VJH and Chris Budgell are engaged in undertaking leading edge research into the operations of the CJC. We'd recommend your contact them to offer your services.

Clare L. Pieuk

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Is The Council incapable of impartially toward layperson complainants?

Good Day Readers:

Our west cost correspondent Chris Budgell is a very impressive individual indeed. Without formal legal training he won a very significant case in the British Columbia Superior Court that will benefit future "self-reps." We can't, of course, speak for fellow interveners Alex Chapman and Cher Hazen but our impression on Tuesday when we presented was the bar has been set so high even if you had a Harvard Law Degree your standing was by no means guaranteed. So much or a "Public" Inquiry.

Mr. Chapman was represented by Toronto-based constitution lawyer Rocco Galati while Ms Hazen and CyberSmokeBlog had no one. Is the CJC intervener unfriendly? CSB thinks so! Over the years there have been nine inquiries involving judicial behaviour. We are unaware of any previous interveners. The fact Mr. Chapman was granted limited standing (he and his lawyer Rocco Galati can only participate in the first of four allegations against ACJ Douglas) is significant.

There may be another complaint filed against ACJ Douglas with the CJC so Mr. Budgell is serving as a consultant of sorts.

Clare L. Pieuk

Vancouver, B.C.
V6E 1N7

A. Lori Douglas
Associate Chief Justice (Family Division ) .
Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench V6E
408 York Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3C 0P9

January 6, 2011

Bias and Abuse of Process at the Canadian Judicial Council

Dear Ms. Douglas:

I am a Canadian citizen resident in Vancouver, British Columbia. On October 12 last year, following extensive dealings with B.C.'s superior courts, I filed with the CJC a comprehensive complaint, a copy of which is posted on the Internet at the following address:

On January 5, I received from the Council an email containing a press release about the recent decision regarding the complaint filed against you by Mr. Chapman.

I had made note of the earlier media reports of that complaint because of my concerns that the CJC is institutionally incapable of dealing impartially with the majority of complaints it receives: that is, all complaints brought by parties that are not themselves members of the legal establishment.

By letter dated December 8, 2010, the CJC's Executive Director, Norman Sabourin, informed me that my complaint had been reviewed by the same Council member who has now decided that the allegations against you warrant further investigation. As Chief Justice Wittmann had found that my complaint constituted merely “conjecture” and “rhetoric,” the CJC had dismissed it:

On its face, this letter simply confirms the CJC's institutional bias and the judiciary's inability to act in good faith when dealing with self-represented parties.

I am in no position to offer an opinion about the merits of the complaint against you, but it seems to me that Chief Justice Wittmann was not prepared to summarily dismiss it because the CJC would then have had to send to Mr. Chapman a letter similar to the one I received, resulting in further media coverage that would negatively impact the public perception of the CJC and the judicial community.

I am aware of the history of the Council, and it is my view that Parliament should reconsider its unfortunate decision to grant the judiciary the right of exclusive oversight of itself. This arrangement clearly does not serve, but in fact undermines, the public interest.

You may wish to consider the relevance to your own circumstance of the issues I am raising.

Realistically, I don't see how the CJC can provide you with due process if it is not capable of deliberating impartially and providing due process in dealing with every complaint.

Chris Budgell
Vancouver, B.C.

Copies to:

Norman Sabourin, Executive Director, Canadian Judicial Council (

Andre Garin, Executive Legal Officer, Supreme Court of Canada (

Peter Milliken, Speaker of the House of Commons (

Noel Kinsella, Speaker of the Senate (

Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (

Frank McArdle, Executive Director, CSCJA (

Mr. Harper is that the best you can do?

Good Day Readers:

After reviewing this next story one is left to wonder which is more flawed how Manitoba judges are appointed or senators?

Clare L. Pieuk
"Bullying" and "frequent sexual harassment" created "toxic" work environment under Brazeau: court documents allege

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

By Jorge Barrera
APTN National News

In the ring, Senator Patrick Brazeau was out-boxed in March by Justin Trudeau, and on Tuesday he was Twitter-swarmed into submission after calling a female Canadian Press reporter a “bitch” during an online spat.

The Conservative Quebec Senator, however, faces potentially more humiliating circumstances if he loses another battle he’s been quietly fighting in Federal Court for over a year involving a former junior staffer with an Aboriginal organization and allegations of “drunk” sexual harassment.

On Wednesday morning, Brazeau personally apologized to The Canadian Press reporter Jennifer Ditchburn for calling her a bitch on Twitter Tuesday in response to an article she wrote about the Senator’s abysmal attendance record.

“While u smile Jen, others suffer. Change the D to a B in your last name and we’re even! Don’t mean it but needs saying (sic),” wrote Brazeau.

Ditchburn reported that Brazeau, 37, missed 25 per cent of the Senate’s 72 sittings between June 2011 and April 2012. During that same time span, Brazeau also missed 65 per cent of the Aboriginal peoples Senate committee of which he is a member.

Brazeau said on Twitter that personal reasons were behind his absences.

Pundits and journalists have savaged Brazeau on Twitter and in print, some have even accused him of misogyny.

The Senator, who was appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, however, is fighting far more potentially explosive battle in Federal Court.

A former female junior staffer who worked for the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP) while Brazeau was its national chief wants the Federal Court to overturn a Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) decision to not hear her sexual harassment complaint against the Senator because the organization fell outside its jurisdiction.

Alisa Lombard, who is now a lawyer, is trying to convince the Federal Court that the CHRC erred in its decision because CAP is an Aboriginal organization dealing exclusively in federal issues.

She initially filed her complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission, which also decided the complaint fell outside its jurisdiction.

A botched kiss, along with the events that led to it and the text messages that followed, formed the basis of Lombard’s sexual harassment complaint which was filed with the human rights bodies.

While APTN National News first reported on the case last year, a number of documents have since been filed with the court and, taken together, offer a revealing snap-shot of the Aboriginal organization under the leadership of Brazeau, who was appointed the Senate in December 2008.

None of the allegations have yet been proven in court.

Brazeau’s lawyer Andrew Lister, founding partner with Ottawa law firm Lister-Beaupre, could not be reached for comment.

Lombard’s lawyer Maxime Faille, a partner with Ottawa law firm Gowlings, could not be reached for comment.

The sexual harassment complaint stemmed from one alcohol-drenched office Christmas party on December 20, 2007. The incident is detailed in several documents, including two human rights complaints, a third-party investigation report, and a letter written by Lombard to CAP’s Board, which were all filed in Federal Court.

A third-party investigation initiated by CAP into the sexual harassment complaint found that the three allegations that made up the complaint, if taken separately, may not constitute sexual harassment.

“Taken as a trio, the three key allegations in this complaint, if proven, would form a course of conduct or pattern of behaviour that would constitute sexual harassment,” the investigation by ADR Chambers found.

The investigators described the incident as a “sexually charged series of events at a Christmas party where both parties (and all witnesses) were drinking.”

According to Lombard’s account, much of it which is supported by the third-party investigation, the night began with wine, beer and shots at a bar on Montreal Road. Called Caps.

The drinking started at about 5 p.m. and Brazeau found himself sitting next to Lombard who was drinking wine along with a “shot or two,” according to the documents.

“I noticed that additional drinks continued to be brought to me. I suspect it was Mr. Brazeau because when I inquired as to my bill, he expressed that I should not worry about it,” wrote Lombard. “I did not drink the additional glasses of wine.”

The conversation, which initially centred on work-related issues, turned to the personal when the then-married Brazeau started discussing his marital difficulties with Lombard, according to her human rights complaints.

Brazeau also wanted to talk about Lombard’s boyfriend and at one point asked her, “Have you ever cheated on your boyfriend?” Lombard alleged, according to the court documents.

“During the course of the discussion, he would speak about work and his ability to ensure my overall advancement,” states Lombard.

The investigator’s report states that “Mr. Brazeau drank heavily” that night and the “conversation on the subject alleged happened.”

The investigators noted that, “it was not an appropriate conversation for a superior to be having with any staff. As Chief, Mr. Brazeau ought to recognize that his position of authority creates a power imbalance with any subordinate.”

The investigators, however, said it was unclear whether Brazeau would have realized the subject matter of the conversation was making Lombard uncomfortable.

“Ms. Lombard says she told Mr. Brazeau she didn’t like the question and he in turn totally denies that and says she was a willing participant,” the investigators wrote.

Later, standing outside the bar, a “drunk” Brazeau, allegedly grabbed Lombard by the back of the head and pulled her toward his lips for a kiss.

Lombard stated that she turned and “froze.”

His lips missed their target, landing on her cheek. Brazeau then made a “mouawh” sound.

“It all happened very quickly. I backed away and said, ‘what the hell?” stated Lombard in one of the human rights complaint forms filed in Federal Court.

The investigators found Lombard’s account of the kiss to be credible. The report noted that Brazeau “was very drunk and slurring his speech at this time.”

The investigators found that the kiss “was certainly stupid and inappropriate,” and a rather a “goofy Christmas-time kiss from a happy inebriated party-goer.”

The next day, Lombard said she missed 15 calls on her cell phone from an unknown number.

“For fear that it was Patrick, I didn’t answer. I felt sick to my stomach,” she stated, in one of the human rights complaints.

Then Brazeau, who had forgotten his winter boots that evening, began texting her “Pas de botte d’hiver.”

Lombard stated she believes the text messages were a double-entendre based an inside office joke and a colloquial French expression “une bonne botte,” meaning a “good lay.”

She said Brazeau sent her the message three times.

The investigators found the messages could not constitute sexual harassment because it was unclear whether the messages meant more than what they stated on the surface.

“Alcohol fuelled much of what took place in the incidents described and we believe that alcohol likely ultimately propelled the CAP’s most senior member to make a stupid move,” the investigators concluded.

“However innocent the action (and it may well have been innocent), it does not take away the impact that this had on the complainant. She was genuinely hurt by what appeared to her at least to be a course of action (with the text messages) of harassment against her,” the investigators said.

They also noted that Lombard continued to work for CAP after the incident and invited Brazeau to the home of her mother for a lobster supper.

Lombard, however, stated in a submission to the CHRC, which is also filed in court, that the investigators never met with any of the witnesses she suggested.

“The firm was retained and paid by…CAP,” the submission stated.

Lombard also stated in her Ontario Human Rights Commission complaint form, filed in court, that a week after she sent her letter of complaint to CAP’s Board, her supervisor told her that her corporate email account would be cancelled and she would be out of a job by April 31, 2008.

“I was punished for the behaviour of my employer’s manager,” wrote Lombard. “I was warned that physical harm may be caused to my personal belongings by a colleague.”

In the letter to CAP’s Board, filed with the court, Lombard stated that the sexual harassment complaint from the Christmas party was just “one of the harassment incidences” which she faced during her time working for the organization.

“The drunken phone calls by upper management, inappropriate and unprovoked late night drunken phone calls and voice messages and inadvertent sexual comments and advances are too numerous to recall and recount,” she wrote in the letter dated March 24, 2008.

In one of her human rights complaints, she described CAP’s office environment as toxic, awash in alcohol, with ‘bullying,” swearing and “frequent sexual harassment.”

She wrote that a “significantly intoxicated” Brazeau once narrowly escaped arrest during a business trip in Newfoundland and Labrador.

“The entire staff was later reprimanded by the Chief’s advisor,” wrote Lombard.

She said staff were sometimes “summarily dismissed” when Brazeau “became displeased.”

We are not the clowns!

Good Day Readers:

In National Post writer Christie Blatchford's coverage of Monday's Douglas Inquiry (Christie Blatchford: Manitoba judge's sex scandal quickly turns into a circus), there seems to be the suggestion Ms Cher Hazen and I as intervener applicants somehow were responsible for turning the Inquiry into a circus.

CyberSmokeBlog takes the position the circus was there long before we arrived on the scene by a couple of clowns who did some really stupid things. To make a statement in box car sized letters such as,

 "No one on the panel attempted to tell Hazen her remarks were wildly out of line, rein her in"

really misses the point. Perhaps that remark applies more to Ms Blatchford's article.

After all, taxpayers such as Cher Hazen pay the Big Fat salaries and benefits of those on the Inquiry Committee so at the very least they could at the minimum politely listen to what she had to say good bad or indifferent.

Talking with Ms Hazen outside the Inquiry it was evident she had poured a lot of work into her presentation.

She may not be a Harvard educated lawyer with all kinds of antecedents after her name but neither are you.

It matters not.Fact is, she's a single parent struggling to make ends meet who has been fighting before Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench Family Division for 12-years to gain better access to her son. How many Mothers out of frustration would have simply thrown their hands in the air and walked away? Not this lady!

So you see, Ms Blatchford, you and the Inquiry Committee owe this lady some respect. To ask the Panel to give her 15-minutes of their time was nothing especially after what's she been through. You really blew it on this one!

Your standing as CbyerSmokeBlog's favourite reporter is currently under review. There are a couple young Globe and Mail and one Toronto Star court reporters who are looking pretty good these days..

Clare L. Pieuk

Take the "Public" out of Public Inquiry?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Was the lady naked?"

Ms Cher Hazen's point ACJ Douglas, as someone who is masochistic, in not fit to judge cases when one party is a victim of another is going to be lurking in the minds of the Inquiry Committee for the duration of this hearing. Cher's point was articulately made and repeated twice, and it sunk in. This will be a major factor in their decision.

But look for Douglas to resign before the hearing resumes.

Do you have the witness list.

Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for contacting CyberSmokeBlog. In her own way we found Ms Hazen to be impressive. She came across as an understated person who while nervous and not possessing a Harvard law degree, which you'd need to get intervener standing, nevertheless, made some very points. She also seemed to be master of the one liner.

One of our favourite's was when Independent Counsel Guy Pratte was holding forth about how interveners need not apply he's completely in control, or words to that effect, she got him good when she said something like, "Well if that's the case then you should take the 'Public' out of Public Inquiry." Touche!

As for Lori Douglas resigning, we thought it would happen long ago. If we were a bookie we'd give you 50-50 odds.

The complete witness was not released on Tuesday only snippets. That will be the subject of a separate posting very shortly.

Clare L. Pieuk

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Was the lady naked?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "A pleasant unfocused character with a very generous view of what he could contribute ....." who should run off to join the circus?"

Correction: Molly Reynolds did not say, "nakedly disgruntled litigant." She just said," disgruntled litigant. Team Block would not use the "naked" in any of its variations in this case. They understand how words lock into the brain and that is one word they do not want locked into anyone's brain in this case!

Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for contacting CyberSmokeBlog. We cannot honestly recall Ms Reynolds exact words, however, beyond a reasonable shadow of a doubt, Ms Cher Hazen was not naked when she stepped before the podium. CSB should know it was seated in the front row and surely would have noticed something like that.

Clare L. Pieuk

"A pleasant unfocused character with a very generous view of what he could contribute ..." who should run off to join the circus?

Under the Big Top with CyberSmokeBlog

Good Day Readers:

After reading Ms Blatchford's article below be brutally frank we need to know.. Do you think we're a pleasant unfocused character with a very generous view of what he can contribute who should run off to join the Big Top?

Christie Blatchford is still our favourite reporter

Perhaps so all we know is yesterday CyberSmokeBlog set an all time high for visitors to the site and today is another very strong day and we've barely posted anything.

We're sending a copy of this posting to Ms Blatchford so why don't you too readers?Tell her you agree Mr. Pieuk is a pleasant character but is focused and does not have a very generous view of what he can contribute to the the proceedings.

Clare L. Pieuk


If Christie Blatchford thought yesterday at the Douglas Inquiry was a bit of a circus wait until she reads our account of today's happenings. Ironically, we chatted with her this morning but had yet to read her article referencing us. Regardless, she's still in our good books because she was going for a coffee during a break in proceedings and graciously offered to get us one.

Besides, yesterday she complimented CyberSmokeBlog's page layout and our humorous way to reporting the news, or as one lawyer termed it, "The Stephen Leacock approach." Oh My God, a modern Stephen Leacock walks among us! Too bad Team Block-Reynolds didn't see it that way.

Long story short. If you though yesterday was a tad unusual wait until you hear about today - bizarre! Perchance, is there a full moon?

Christie Blatchford: Manitoba judge's sex scandal quickly turns into a circus
Monday, June 25, 2012
Computer programmer Alexander Chapman is the man at the centre of a judicial scandal regarding Chief Lori Douglas and her husband lawyer Jack King. (Ken Gigliotti/Winnipeg Free Press Files)

WINNIPEG - The Lord does giveth and taketh away and so, just as the Red River Ex was moving out of town Sunday night, so was the circus rolling in the next morning.

Or so it seemed, at least, at the Canadian Judicial Council inquiry into the conduct of Manitoba Associate Chief Justice Lori Douglas, where in an effort to appear fully transparent and accessible, the five-member committee Monday handed over the floor to a couple of members of the public who proceeded to kick — there’s no other word for it — the judge while she was down.

Judge Douglas is facing several allegations of wrongdoing here.

She is accused of having participated in her lawyer husband Jack King's scheme to entice a client of his into having sex with her, and thus of sexually harassing the man; of failing to disclose this in her application for the bench; of altering a diary entry and thus trying to thwart the CJC investigation - and that, as a result of the public availability of intimate sexual pictures of her on the web, posted there by King, she is unable to continue sitting as a judge.

Judge Lori Douglas (CBC)

All this is quite grave enough.

Judge Douglas has not been actively sitting since the allegations first hit the fan two years ago. By any measure, she has been publicly embarrassed while the cumbersome CJC process unfolded. Now, she faces the prospect that if she is found to have committed misconduct, she could be deemed unfit and be removed from the bench.

But the inquiry committee nonetheless heard from three people applying for “intervener” standing, status that would allow them to cross-examine witnesses.

At least two of these applications were patently ridiculous. The significant one came from Alex Chapman, the complainant whose allegations lit this fire.

Chapman doesn’t come to the matter with a clean slate: he is a regular litigant in Winnipeg, had a criminal record under another name before he won a pardon and, in 2003, when King was handling his divorce and sent him the graphic pictures of his wife (Judge Douglas was then a lawyer at the same firm) and tried to enlist him into a sexual relationship with her, he also tried to squeeze the law firm for $100,000.

As a result, King lost his job at the firm, paid Chapman $25,000 out of his own pocket in exchange for a confidentiality agreement and the alleged return of those pictures, and the matter appeared to go away.
Judge Douglas was subsequently encouraged to apply to the bench, and did so, and it appears that virtually everyone involved in the appointments process was made aware of the scandal involving King and Chapman.

But in 2010, Chapman allegedly was forced to settle another one of his lawsuits (this time against the Winnipeg police) and apparently believed the judge in that case was in cahoots with Judge Douglas. Needless to say, Chapman renewed and enlarged his complaints, first with the CBC, and then with the CJC.
Now, represented by Toronto lawyer Rocco Galati, he is seeking intervener status at the hearing. The essence of Galati’s argument is that the committee’s independent counsel, Guy Pratte, can’t wear two hats and be equally tough in what Galati says will amount to a “he said, she said” case.

According to Galati, “some of the conduct by Jack King and Lori Douglas may be criminal.”

No one on the panel attempted to tell Hazen her remarks were wildly out of line, or to rein her in.
Galati didn’t elaborate except to say that even if the committee concludes Judge Douglas “had no part in the sexual harassment,” her knowledge of the confidentiality agreement and the alleged “destruction of emails and voice mails” could be construed as a criminal offence.

Details of these as yet untested allegations apparently are contained in a lengthy affidavit from Chapman filed with Galati’s materials, which may or may not be made public.

Then came Clare Pieuk, who runs the CyberSmokeBlog, and who sought intervener status on the grounds that there needs to be “citizen oversight” of the hearing.

Pieuk seems a pleasant character, but with a very generous view of what he could contribute to the proceedings. As he put it once, “As a blogmaster, I have access to a lot of individuals . . . people who feel that in family court they’ve been treated unfairly.”

He spoke for 15 minutes before Catherine Fraser, the Alberta Chief Justice and chair of the committee, attempted to get him to focus.

Pieuk ended by concluding that it “is CyberSmokeBlog’s position” that Judge Douglas hasn’t honoured her oath. (emphasis ours)

Next came Cheryl Hazen — a nakedly “disgruntled litigant” as Molly Reynolds, one of Judge Douglas’ lawyers, called her. Judge Douglas was one of a line of judges who had ruled against Hazen in a child-custody matter. She ruled on a motion to vary another judge’s order, and delivered a thoughtful 23-page decision.

Hazen also rambled and was allowed to say the following things before anyone on the committee tried to halt her: that Judge Douglas had “a bias resulting from her inclination for pain and suffering”; that she took “pleasure in pain and suffering”; that she “favours men with sexually deviant lifestyles” in her courtroom; that she is “not abiding by the moral code of society” but sits in judgment of others and that she has “a gross lack of integrity.”

Only then did Chief Justice Fraser interrupt her.

No one on the panel attempted to tell Hazen her remarks were wildly out of line, or to rein her in.
In the end, the committee ruled against Pieuk and Hazen — it will rule on Chapman’s application Tuesday — but not before Judge Douglas’ name had been smeared anew.

Galati and Chapman have doubts about the fairness of this hearing. They surely aren’t alone in that.

Throw him a bone or under the bus!

Good Day Readers:

Today we find out whether Alex Chapman will be taken off intervener life support and granted standing for one of the four allegations against Lori Douglas or tossed a bone depending upon how generous the Inquiry Committee is feeling.

A decision is also expected on redaction of certain documents or sections thereof. Team Block-Reynolds have requested certain documents or portions thereof while Independent Counsel Guy Pratte is in opposition. We do not know the specifics of which documents and how much.

Clare L. Pieuk