Friday, June 22, 2012

The big clawback begins!

Good Day Readers:

For a long time we've maintained revolving doors should grace the front entrance of organizations. Why? Simple. At any given time take a picture and you'll see those on the way up and those on the way down and out. Winnipeg's Law Courts Building is no different.

Manitoba Queen's Bench Justice Chris Martin who just handed down the decision that Alex Chapman must return the $25,000 previously paid to him by Jack King is definitely on the way up. Have sat through one of his sentencing hearing, a voir dire in the Mark Stobbe second degree murder trial and the trial per se which dragged on for over 6-weeks.

As for who's leaving through the front door we'll leave that to your imagination.

The $25,000 payment was negotiated by Mr. Ian Histed representing Mr. Chapman at the time. William Gange (Gange Goodman & French) acted on behalf of Mr. King.

At the May 19th initial hearing of the Douglas Inquiry, Alex Chapman made a tearful plea for funding so he could hire an attorney to help him with the preparation of an intervener application. The Inquiry Committee agreed after hearing testimony in which Alex Chapman claimed he could not find a lawyer because all were fearful of reprisal from within the legal community.

At one point during his comments before the Committee he half turned and pointed to Mr. Gange who was sitting directly in front of us to say, "Billy over there ruined my life."

William "Billy" Gange

At about that time we observed a slight twitch developed to the right side of Mr. Gange's right eye - seriously! Where else would you get that level of detailed coverage. Certainly not the Winnipeg Free Press, nor CBC Manitoba much less the Winnipeg Sun.

In relation to the aforementioned, no, no not the twitch, Mr. Chapman has filed a complaint against a Winnipeg lawyer who we are unable to name. Section 79(1) of The Legal Profession Act of Manitoba that governs operation of the province's law society clearly states if a Member's name is released before they have appeared before a Disciplinary Panel those responsible are libel for a fine of up to $2,000 and/or 6-months in jail. It seems the world's second oldest profession has the world's most powerful trade union.

Disciplinary Panel hearings in most cases are open to the public. Over a week ago we contacted a senior official at the Law Society of Manitoba but have yet to receive a response. As soon as we have a chance we'll contact the LSM's Chief Executive Officer Mr. Allan Fineblit.
Mr. Fineblit is a real gentleman so we've been through this with him before (same official). We'll send him a copy of the e-mail and ask he have a little chat with the individual. If we don't hear back by next week we'll publish the correspondence minus the name of the lawyer against whom Mr. Chapment has filed his latest complaint - don't want to go to jail.

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk

Man at centre of Manitoba judge's nude photos to repay $25,000

By Steve Lambert
The Canadian Press
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Judge Lori Douglas (centre); Husband Jack King (keft); Alexander Chapman

WINNIPEG — The man at the centre of a scandal over a Manitoba judge’s nude photos has been ordered to repay the $25,000 he received as part of a settlement almost a decade ago.

Thursday’s ruling by Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Chris Martin is the latest legal setback for Alexander Chapman, who went public in 2010 with accusations of being sexually harassed by Justice Lori Douglas and her husband, Jack King, in 2003.

King had been Chapman’s divorce lawyer. He has admitted to giving nude photos of Douglas, a fellow lawyer at the time, to Chapman in an attempt to convince him to have sex with her, but said he acted without Douglas’s knowledge.
Chapman complained to King’s law firm soon afterward. That led to a settlement that saw King pay Chapman $25,000 on the condition he return all photos and never publicly discuss what had happened.
Chapman has admitted to breaking that deal and has said he had to go public because he continues to be haunted by what happened.

Because he broke the confidentiality clause and spread the photos, Chapman must now repay the money he was given.

“We know that Mr. Chapman went to the media and provided to the media the very same documents (he had agreed to return),” King’s lawyer, Bill Gange, told court Thursday.

Chapman will also have to pay King’s legal expenses which could top $10,000, although the exact amount has yet to be determined. Neither Chapman nor his lawyer showed up for the decision.

The controversy over the nude photos, some of which show Douglas in bondage gear and performing sex acts, has led to a public inquiry. The Canadian Judicial Council is holding hearings this summer to determine whether Douglas should be removed from the bench.

Douglas has denied any wrongdoing and has said she should not be penalized for her husband’s actions. The photos remain on the Internet.

Chapman has already lost other legal actions. In 2010, he filed separate lawsuits against Douglas, King and the law firm where they worked. He soon dropped the claims against the law firm and Douglas due to a lack of evidence. His lawsuit against King was dismissed when a judge ruled the matter was resolved by the 2003 settlement agreement.

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