Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Appointing and bench slapping (if necessary) a Manitoba Provincial Judge!

Good Day Readers:

In light of the Douglas Inquiry, we wondered about two considerations:

(1) What is the process in Manitoba for appointing a Provincial Judge

(2) How do you get rid of one who has misbehaved? ("Bench slapped!")

The first question is relatively easy to answer. The procedure is outlined in The Provincial Court Act.


Just finished printing the 23 pages and 75 Sections (each with multi-Subsections) that constitute The Provincial Court Act for Manitoba. Already, we've noticed some important differences which if used by Queen's Bench might have prevented the Douglas-King-Chapman fiasco and the millions of dollars it will cost taxpayers before the Douglas Inquiry is over.

By comparison provincial process appears to be much more streamlined. It begins with Manitoba's Justice Minister (Andrew Swan) advising current Chief Judge Kenneth Champagne to convene a Nominating Committee under 3.1(2) for an appointment to be made pursuant to subsection 3(1) - the Lieutenant Governor (Philip Lee) in Council will make the final decision based on the recommendation of the Nominating Committee
As an interesting aside, it came out at the Douglas Inquiry under Independent Counsel's cross-examination of Jack King that at the time Alex Chapman complained to BigLaw Thompson Dorfman Sweatman about the actions of Mr. King, Andrew Swan was one of a 4-lawyer group that formed TDS's Family Law Unit the others being Lori Douglas and Connie Petersen with whom Jack King currently practices law at Petersen King.

But here's where it gets interesting. The Nominating Committee shall consist of:

- The Chief Judge who will Chair the Committee

- 3 persons who are not lawyers, judges or retired judges appointed by the Lieutenant Governor (emphasis ours)

- a judge selected by the judges of the provincial court

- a designee of the President of the President of the Manitoba Law Society

- a designee of the President of the President of the Manitoba Branch of the Canadian Bar Association

Oh My God Did you see that Douglas Inquiry Committee, Independent Counsel and the Judiciary Appointments Committee responsible for nominating Lori Douglas ..... well did you? Laypersons were included as part of the nominating process. Maybe, just maybe had a non-lawyer or two been on the JAC one might have said, "Geezus guys, once pictures are interneted they're there forever because of downloads even my 15-year old knows that!" in the process eventually saving taxpayers millions, and millions and millions of dollars.

Here's something else that jumped out at us. Section 28(4), Upon request, the administrator shall arrange for the provision of assistance to any person in the preparation of a complaint. Wonder if the Canadian Judicial Counsel offers such a service?

How do you get rid of a Provincial Judge

Without going into excruciating detail Sections 28, 32, 33, 37 and 39 cover off Complaints, Judicial Inquiry Boards, Investigations by JIBs, Judicial Councils, Adjudication by Judicial Councils, as well as, Appeals to the Court of Appeal.

In other words, assuming a Judge is placed on full administrative leave while the process plays itself out, taxpayers will be on the hook for a lot of money.

Why do we place Justices and Judges on pedestals right up there with God? Surely, there must be a much more cost effective way of getting rid of one should it be necessary.

Clare L. Pieuk

Thank you readers!

Good Day Folks:

Just a quick note to thank you for your support. July's visitor numbers are now in and we exceeded June our previous high by more than 1,500.

This is one matrix we do not discuss publicly. Suffice it to say we're well into the 5-digit range for monthly visitors.

Clare L. Pieuk

What's she doing these days and how much is it costing taxpayers? God only knows and he/she/it's not talking!

Hi Clare,

More than one source has said that the inquiry is adjourned until December. Is that correct? I can see them taking August off, but four months? To me that raises some serious questions, perhaps starting with what is Douglas herself doing with her time. As a judge still on salary she cannot take on any other work. So, if I were her, I'd be enjoying a long vacation, somewhere far removed from Winnipeg. and on her salary she can afford a five star resort.


Dear CB:

Thank you for contacting CyberSmokeblog. Short answer, on both counts we don't know the judiciary tells taxpayers as little as possible just pay the millions it will cost by the time the Douglas Inquiry is completed.

Regarding the first part of your question, yes, the Inquiry is adjourned until December. Earlier there was some discussion of re-convening for 4-days in September and 3-days in November. The first to hear the remaining 10-witnesses (by our count) and the second for final summations by Lead Independent Counsel Guy "The Cat" Pratte, Sheila Block Lori Douglas' Lead Counsel and Rocco "The Predictor" Galati who's acting on behalf of Alex Chapman.

Frankly, we don't think the Inquiry will get through the 10-remaining witnesses in 4-days try 6.

However, last Friday as the Inquiry wound up this phase of its hearings, "The Cat" told the Committee he couldn't make the September and November dates his earliest availability being in December although no specific dates were announced.

What is Lori Douglas doing and what's it costing taxpayers?

To try to answer this part of your question we turn to CBC Manitoba (Judge in harassment complaint has role reduced - Thursday, February 10. 2011):

"Lori Douglas stepped away from her duties as Associate Chief Justice (Family Division) in September 2010 but remained with the court in an administrative capacity.

However, in an email on Thursday, Glenn Joyal, Chief Justice of Manitoba's Court of Queen's Bench said Douglas' role had been reduced.

Pending the final outcome of the proceedings before the Canadian Judicial Council it has been agreed that Associated Chief Justice Douglas will not be assigned any administrative duties in relation to the Family Division, the email stated.

[She] will continue to work on various projects of importance and relevance to the court.

No further information was provided by Joyal."

What the hell does that sound like to you CB?

By the way, Alex Chapman filed his complaint with the Law Society of Manitoba on July 14, 2010 and was advised to contact the Canadian Judicial Counsel which he subsequently did. Time to dig deeper.

1.0 Allegations of Misconduct

On May 29th of this year, Team Independent Counsel filed its 4-count Notice of Allegations. The forth, Alleged Failure to Fully Disclose Facts to Independent Counsel at Page 3, Paragraphs 9 and 10 we have:

9. Upon being advised of the Chapman Complaint and the initiation of an investigation by the CJC, ACJ Douglas modified a personal diary that described an encounter with Mr. Chapman which she knew or ought to have known was relevant to the Investigation. ACJ Douglas subsequently intentionally made incorrect representations to Independent Counsel about that modification.

10. Any of the allegations set out above, if accepted by the Committee is: 1) capable of supporting a finding that ACJ Douglas is "incapacitated or disabled from the due execution of the office of judge" within the meaning of subsection 65(2) of The Judges Act, and 2) capable of supporting a recommendation for removal.

The foregoing in and of itself really tells us nothing about the condition of Lori Douglas. For that we must fast forward to June 13, 2012 when her Lead Counsel Sheila Block filed a Response to the Notice of Allegations.

2.0 Response to Allegations of Misconduct

Page 8 Paragraphs 30 and 31 state the following in relation to Allegation 4, Alleged Failure to Fully Disclose Facts to Independent Counsel:

30. In the late summer or fall of 2010, Douglas ACJ visibly changed a word in a gardening diary she keeps for her own reference. The adjective that was changed had originally referred to the previous afternoon, not to Chapman. Douglas ACJ admits changing the word out of anger at Chapman's false allegation that had been recently made against her in the media. She had no intention of misleading anyone. She did not anticipate that the diary would be evidence in an inquiry process. At that time, she was instructing counsel to prepare a response letter and did not believe that this matter would proceed to an inquiry on the basis of Chapman's false allegations against her. Douglas ACJ's review of the diary in the fall of 2010 was prompted solely by her attempt to provide her counsel with dates of events for the purpose of the response letter, including the dates of the meetings set-up by King and Chapman referred to above in paragraphs 8 and 9.

31. About a year and half later she was questioned about it in a telephone call in February 2012 and she did not respond accurately to Independent Counsel's colleague. At the time of the telephone call she was at home alone and in no condition to have been trying to respond to questions. She corrected her answer at the earliest practical opportunity and has co-operated fully with Independent Counsel with respect to his concerns on this subject, including providing medical evidence and full access to other private information concerning her condition in February.

The operative phrases, CB, are:

"..... At the time of the telephone call she was at home alone and in no condition to have been trying to respond to questions."


"..... including providing medical evidence and full access to other private information concerning her condition in February."

You be the judge and jury as to what they mean.

Sorry, CB, we can't give you a Class - 5 Answer (Cool - Clear - Clean - Concise - Consistent) but obtaining information on what Lori Douglas is doing and how much she's costing taxpayers these days is like trying to get a  straight answer to simple questions posed last week to Jack King at the Inquiry.

Clare L. Pieuk

Manitoba Queen's Bench transcripts .....

Good Day Readers:

Now that the Douglas Inquiry has been adjourned until December we can finally begin focusing on getting our life back. While covering a trial or inquiry everything goes to hell - laundry, dishes, cleaning the place (What's dusting?") ..... and, of course, answering correspondence.

Sometime ago we were asked by a Reader about transcription services at Queen's Bench so we spent a lunch break during the Inquiry to educate ourself at Transcription Services located on the second floor of The Law Courts. Here's what we learned:

(1) Pre-Trial Hearings are for criminal proceedings whereas Case Management Conferences are for civil proceedings. Transcripts for the former will always be made

(2) Case Management Conferences may or may not be recorded if Counsel for both sides waive them as being unnecessary. However, if one or both Parties is a self-rep transcripts will be prepared. The final decision rests with the Case Management Conference Justice

(3) A transcript is not a transcript only an audio recording until such time as a written copy is ordered. As previously noted, before it can be produced and released it must be approved by the Justice involved. The Court Clerk is responsible for making the audio and a log which marks the recording by date, time and individual speaking. This allows easy reference to specific portions of a tape

(4) Visit the link:


Near the top of the page that appears you will see, "For transcript fees, click here"

There you will find a complete listing of costs including those for expedited service

(5) An uninvolved third-party to an action can request to listen to a transcript or portion thereof of a Pre-Trial Hearing or Case Management Conference. Again, it's the Justice who will make the final decision as to whether the contents of a transcript are to be released

(6) It is our understanding Family Division Case Management Conferences are generally closed to the public unless as part of them a motion is being argued. As motions hearings are open to the public, an uninvolved individual can attend that portion of the CMC only

(7) Transcripts can be ordered by telephone 204-945-3026 but must be pre-paid

(8) As a matter of routine the public used to be able to listen to a tape recording of a Pre-Trial Hearing or Case Management Conference (no charge), however, in more recent times this service is no longer offered. Now only lawyers and the media are afforded that privilege which brings up an interesting question.

Is a Media Citizen Journalist/Blog Master considered part of the media? Should such an eventuality arise whereby CyberSmokeBlog was not afforded the same rights as the traditional media it would not hesitate to file a discrimination complaint with Ombudsman Manitoba under The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).

Don't know that they'd have a strong case especially given Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin's comments about Media Citizen Journalists in her late January 2012 address as part of Carleton University's Faculty of Law Chet Mitchell Lecture Series

(9) If one or both of the Parties are not in Manitoba and a Pre-Trial Hearing or Case Management Conference is held by teleconference, the rules as outlined above remain the same

We hope this helps the Reader who asked not be be identified.

Clare L. Pieuk

Monday, July 30, 2012

Wendy "King" and "The White-Haired John!"

Good Day Readers:

It seems the name "King" is taking on a new meaning in the annals of Canadian jurisprudence or as Yogi Berra would say, "Deja vu all over again." Fast back to August of 1978 then fast forward to Winnipeg during the summer of 2012 and the Douglas Inquiry where George Macintosh, a senior litigator with Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP is Inquiry Counsel to the Review Panel of Judges.

Sorry to hear you were gored Chris. Jeezus that must have hurt especially if it was in the you know whats! Wonder whatever happened to her little black book a veritable who's who of Vancouver? Can you imagine had that occurred today and the names were interneted?

Was reading about a prostitute in Boston on trial earlier this year. Her lawyer was trying to get the court's permission to publish her black book. That must have made a lot of people nervous! Unfortunately, we subsequently lost track of the story.

Clare L. Pieuk

From: Chris Budgell [mail to:cbudgell@gmail.com
Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2012 1:56 PM
To: Clare Pieuk
Subject: Fwd: George Macintosh, John Farris, Wendy King


I'm juggling a number of items today (including paid employment), but I couldn't resist the opportunity to fire off this little missive to Christie Blatchford. Sounds like you guys are now into the fireworks.


---------- Forwarded message ----------

From: Chris Budgell cjbudgell@gmail.com
Date: Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 11:52 AM
Subject: Farris, Vaughan, Wills Murphy LLP
 To: Christie Blatchford; cblatchford@postmedia.com

Dear Ms Blatchford:

Just picked up the print copy of today's National Post and read your dispatch


Don't know if I may have mentioned this before. My own courtroom experience includes being gored by a FVWM lawyer, the delightful Marylee Davies (http://www.farris.com/farris-lawyers/profile/Marylee-A-Davies/).

CyberSmokeBlog's own Chris Budgell getting "gored!"

That won't interest you, but you might want to see what you can find online about former British Columbia Chief Justice John Farris and the end of his judicial career, which came about thanks to another King - Wendy King. And then ask what happened to Wendy's little black book. Maybe it's still locked away in a vault somewhere. In contrast to Jack King's little portfolio of pictures.

Chris Budgell
Recalling a scandal: Part one

Former Vancouver Sun reporter Glenn Bohn walks down memory lane and remembers how British Columbia's top judge fell off the bench

May 31, 2008


'Are you busy? Could I come up and say hello?'
The most sensational judicial scandal in B.C. history began on a hot August afternoon in 1978.

Plainclothes police officers watched the ground-level entrances of Governors Place, a highrise apartment building in the West End where prostitute Wendy King rented a two-bedroom suite.

An elite police unit waited for a judge to arrive. Officers knew one of King's customers was coming for a "date" because they had a wiretap on King's phone.

Police heard another prostitute tell King to expect a call from a former customer, a judge who called himself "White-haired John."

The judge phoned King one week later, on Wednesday, August 16.

King: "Hello."

Judge: "Candice?"

King: "Yes."

Judge: "It's John. Do you remember me? White-haired John."

King: "Yes."

Judge: "Okay. Carmen gave me your number. Are you busy? Could I come up and say hello?"

Just 13 minutes after the call, two plainclothes officers see the 67-year-old man get out of his car to visit the 29-year-old prostitute. They take note of the Cadillac's licence plate: PGH-670.

The registered owner lives in an Angus Drive mansion in Shaughnessy. The prostitute's "trick" is John Laughlan Farris, the chief justice of the Appeal Court of B.C.

Three months later, on a dreary November day, Farris submitted his letter of resignation to the federal justice minister: "Certain allegations against me (not of a criminal nature) have been referred to the Canadian Judicial Council for investigation. I consider the mere fact that these allegations have been made, regardless of their substance, have so impaired my usefulness as chief justice that it is in the public interest that I resign."

Farris was just the first B.C. judge whose name was linked to prostitutes. In the coming months, a Provincial Court judge was seen with a prostitute and a B.C. Supreme Court judge would be falsely accused of being one of King's customers.

A labour-management dispute had stopped the presses at The Vancouver Sun and The Province, but other media trumpeted what came to be known as "the judges scandal."

I followed developments like every other news junkie, unaware that I would soon be repeatedly meeting the red-haired prostitute visited by John Farris and many other johns.

When Farris resigned three decades ago, I was a 23-year-old cub reporter. Like many reporters then and now, I wanted to do investigative journalism: big stories that exposed societal problems and uncovered institutional scandals. I was a political science major at Simon Fraser University when two Washington Post reporters investigated a botched break-in by wiretappers who worked for the White House and kept writing stories until U.S. President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974. I was a first-year journalism student in 1976, when All The President's Men hit the theatres.

I didn't know anything about John Farris or Wendy King when the Chief Justice resigned. But in the spring 1980, I was learning the most intimate details of his extra-judicial activities with King. That's because I was the first journalist in Canada to interview King and see transcripts of police wiretaps and investigation reports that are still locked away in police and Crown counsel offices. I am the ghostwriter of The Wendy King Story, a book that stores yanked from their shelves because of a libel suit launched by another judge.

My personal Wendy King story is one of the best untold stories of my 30-year career at The Sun, but it's not just a good yarn for the Press Club. It's a story about male judges, female prostitutes and the way the male-dominated justice system reacted when B.C.'s top judge fell off the bench.

The judges scandal focused public attention on the increasing number of prostitutes on Vancouver streets, from the West End and central business district to the Downtown Eastside. Some asked why the prostitute was punished but not the customer. Others raised concerns that a prohibition on bawdy houses pushed drug-addicted women on to dangerous streets, the hunting ground for predators like Willy Pickton.

Prostitution was legal. But court rulings on soliciting, procuring and bawdy house laws then in force affected how and where prostitutes went and how they conducted their business. One of the cases that went to the B.C. Court of Appeal in 1978 involved an undercover female police officer. A man approached the constable, believing her to be a prostitute. After they negotiated a sex-for-money deal, police arrested the customer. Prosecutors charged him with soliciting a person in a public place for the purpose of prostitution.

Can a man be guilty of soliciting? In April 1978, the B.C. Court of Appeal's answer was no: "A man who accosts a woman and seeks to gain her favours for money cannot be said to solicit her for the purpose of prostitution. He does so for the purpose of satisfying his own sexual desire." Farris was one of the judges on a three-man panel who made that ruling, just months before he satisfied his own desires at King's apartment.

Today, the law against making a money-for-sex-deal in a public place isn't aimed solely at prostitutes, most of which are women. Now, a man who makes such a transaction in a public place can be charged. In Canada, every "person" who communicates with someone in public for the purposes of prostitution and gets convicted of that offence can be sentenced to as many as six months in prison and be forced to pay a $2,000 fine.


Police seized business cards, a whip and handcuffs

The apartment tower where King once lived looks a little dated now but it's still attractive. A sign boasts of an indoor swimming pool.

Thirty years ago this month (May 1978), police tapped the telephone line going to King's 10th-floor home.

The Coordinated Law Enforcement Unit, a policy agency that battled organized crime, was not targeting King. It was investigating King's live-in lover Raymond Young, a suspected drug trafficker.

Investigators with CLEU soon realized what King was selling. They had the goods on the chief justice in mid-August, when they photographed Farris and confirmed his identification with the licence plate of his Cadillac. On August 23, officers were eavesdropping again when Farris phoned King once more to arrange another date.

On September 11, the organized crime unit showed the Vancouver police department vice squad some of the wiretap transcripts. Ten days later, the vice squad set the bait for King's arrest. Vancouver police constable Grant Smith phoned "Candice" and pretended to be a john. King agreed to meet Smith in her apartment on September 21, shortly after 7:30 p.m.

Smith hid a 1970s tape recorder that police called a "body pack" under his clothes. The constable, a tall, clean-shaven man, was greeted by a blue-eyed, red-haired woman in a black kimono-style dress. Smith told King he worked for the Canadian Armed Forces. He acted nervous, pretending he was a married man who had never before bought sex. King gave him a glass of whisky and made small talk. She assured the cop that police were not trying to catch customers. King brought Smith into her bathroom, where she turned on water taps to muffle their conversation in case her suite was bugged. But the tape recorder picked up almost every word when they struck the deal.

Before King offered Smith anything more than booze, four Vancouver police detectives were at King's door.

Smith stayed in character as a nervous customer. King denied that she was a prostitute. Asked how she paid the rent, King said she leased the apartment from a "Mr. Fortune." Police found a pager and more than 100 business cards. They also seized a whip, thumbcuffs and handcuffs.

The vice squad left at midnight without arresting King. Ten days later, police searched King's apartment again and found her "trick book" under a pillow in a bedroom. The book listed the names and phone numbers of more than 800 men.

King tried to disguise many of the phone numbers by using a simple code: The sequence of the last four digits of phone numbers were in reverse order. But police matched the real phone numbers to the calls placed by some of King's customers.

And a second B.C. judge is investigated

Rumours about a liaison between judge and a prostitute percolated into Vancouver newsrooms by the fall of 1978. Bit by bit, the story became public.

The first media reports were about vague allegations "involving judges and members of the judiciary in B.C."

 Then the Canadian Judicial Council confirmed it was investigating an unnamed federal government-appointed judge. And on November 9, federal justice minister Otto Lang confirmed the subject of the investigation was chief justice Farris.

Farris was only the first judge to fall. Later that same day, November 9, the chief provincial court judge disclosed there would be a public inquiry into an allegation that Provincial Court judge Erik Bendrodt picked up a prostitute outside the Devonshire Hotel in downtown Vancouver. George Peden, the hotel's security officer, blew the whistle. Peden saw the 44-year-old judge and a 19-year-old female prostitute drive away in a cab.

On radio station CJOR, Peden talked about a trick book that contained the names of many prominent Vancouver men. Peden, who had obviously been talking to frustrated cops, said the book was locked away in Vancouver police headquarters. One month later, the Devonshire Hotel laid off its security officer. Said Peden: "There was obviously some pressure placed on the hotel, pressure from the legal establishment whom I've embarrassed."

Two weeks after Farris resigned without any admission that he had bought sex from a prostitute, the justice system started its prosecution of the other half of the sex-for-money transaction. Crown counsel in the B.C. attorney-general ministry charged Wendy King, also known as Heather Fortune, Candice Simmons and Wendy Buchanan. The crime: keeping a common bawdy house. The maximum sentence: two years in jail.

Young, 45, King's live-in lover, was charged with the same Criminal Code of Canada violation. Linda Stephens, the 31-year-old prostitute who phoned King to alert her that White-haired John would soon call, was charged with four counts of procuring King for the purpose of having illicit sexual intercourse with another person.

But prosecutors didn't lay a procuring charge against the judge who had asked King on September 23 to have "another girl" along for his next "date" with King. In effect, Farris was trying to procure a person for the purposes of prostitution, a crime then and now. Anyone convicted of procuring faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

John Laughlan Farris studied law at the University of B.C. and Harvard Law School. His father was John Wallace deBeque Farris, the city of Vancouver's first prosecutor, a B.C. attorney- general, a Liberal senator and the head of a large law firm. John Laughlan Farris became a senior partner of Farris, Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy (emphasis ours). In 1971, Farris followed in his father's footsteps again and became president of the Canadian Bar Association.

Farris also enjoyed lucrative connections to the corporate establishment: he held directorships with the B.C. Telephone Company, Kelly Douglas Limited, the Loomis Corporation, Pacific Petroleums Limited., Toronto Dominion Bank and The Sun Publishing Company, which then owned The Vancouver Sun.

He looked like a leader. A news story described him as "tall, heavy set, thick white-haired and forceful."

In 1973, prime minister Pierre Trudeau appointed Farris the chief justice of the Appeal Court of B.C.

Farris lost that well-paid and prestigious job when he resigned five years later. But he never faced criminal charges and, unlike former provincial court judge Erik Bendrodt, didn't have his sexual imbroglios exposed at a public inquiry. Farris also didn't have to testify at King's trial, because she pleaded guilty and no witnesses were called. In February 1979, just a few months after Farris resigned, the B.C. Law Society allowed him to work as a lawyer again. He didn't return to the well-respected law firm that still bears his name; he joined another large firm.

'The publication of these names would ... embarrass some people'

King had a large clientele and charged more than street prostitutes, but claimed she was too poor to hire a defence lawyer. So the taxpayer-funded Legal Aid Society paid lawyer Robert Gardner's legal fees.

Almost a year passed before the bawdy house charge against King went to trial, but a lot was happening behind closed doors. Letters that were later read out in the B.C. legislature show the prosecution and defence discussed how the trial would proceed. Prosecutor James Jardine promised the Crown would drop its bawdy house charge against King's boyfriend. Gardner promised to "plead Wendy King guilty and, of course, due to the dearth of evidence, [Young's] case would be stayed." That deal -- Opposition critics called it "plea bargaining" -- meant Farris and other johns wouldn't be forced to testify in court or face a wall of news photographers and reporters.

King pleaded guilty when her trial started on October 23, 1979. Vancouver's Chief Prosecutor Bruce Donald set aside the bawdy house charge against Yeun, just as a colleague pledged the Crown would do.

One week later, Donald declared "the highest level in our society" was touched by King's illegal business. He asked for a jail term, saying a fine would only be "licence to operate." Judge Darrell Jones ordered King's trick book sealed: "The publication of these names would only serve to embarrass some people."

King didn't have to go to jail, although she had earlier been convicted in 1976 of soliciting. The judge imposed a $1,500 fine and ordered her to do 300 hours of community service work. He suggested that King, then 31, could work with senior citizens. G.A. Spencer, a senior with a sense of humour, wrote one of the many letters to the editor published in The Sun: "I might be prepared to put in for a couple of hours of Miss King's services -- regrettably, only in five-minute installments, as I fear I'm not the man I was. That would leave 198 hours for others equally civic-minded."

King, meanwhile, began telling her life story to Robert Wilson, a convicted thief and fraud artist. Wilson, a man in his 50s, had only known how to read and write for a decade. His manuscript ran 200 pages.

King and Wilson cut some kind of deal with Ron Langen, who was then publishing Biline, a magazine for gays and bisexuals. Langen knew he had to hire a writer to make Wilson's manuscript readable. I met Langen through writer Stan Persky, whom Langen first approached. I nibbled on the lure dangled before me.

At that point, I was 26 and a permanent employee at The Sun for less than two years. I was thrilled when King's go-between offered me the ghost-writing job.

This was my Watergate. I dreamed of fame, fortune and front-page stories.

The two-page contract that Langen signed promised me $500 a week, for a total of $2,500, which wasn't enough to buy a house in Tahiti and retire. I was also supposed to get 10 per cent of the net profits received from the publication of the Wendy King Story, including serialization rights. Before turning over my manuscript to Langen, I made sure I got all of the promised $2,500, and that the cheque didn't bounce. But I never saw a dime of the profits from sales of the book, which were probably miniscule because it soon became the target of a libel suit.

The contract also promised that I had to give written approval to all deletions or additions to my completed manuscript. But promises in contracts are only as good as the people who sign them.

The cub reporter meets the call girl

My first face-to-face meeting with King was in March 1980, at another West End apartment. She wore jeans and a tight-fitting sweater. Her long red hair was still stunning.

I thought she was attractive but asked myself: Is this the woman who took down B.C.'s top judge? Was she sexy enough to woo 800 paying men?

Robert Wilson, a chain-smoking ex-con, tended to dominate that meeting and the others which followed. He was cocky, loud and opinionated. He liked to use big words like fornification. As I came to know Wilson, I realized he hoped the book would make him a respected author and provide a vehicle for his strongly-held views that prostitution laws were unjust and the justice system corrupt and hypocritical.

King said little at the first meeting until she approached my chair. She knelt in front of me, cuddled my knees with her breasts and put a hand on my thigh. She looked in my eyes and smiled broadly. These were the charms and sexuality that lightened the wallets of many men.

It was strictly business at every meeting that followed: I asked questions, she offered answers. I took notes and still have the original audio tapes of those interviews -- perhaps six hours on tape. When Wilson wasn't interrupting, King was articulate and entertaining. She had a high-pitched, girlish laugh. She wasn't shy when she talked about sex, but was far less explicit than the words now posted on thousands of erotic websites.

Wilson's draft was half-decent for someone who had been illiterate most of his adult life, but it wasn't a biography that explained her background, her decision to become a prostitute and her thoughts on the pros and cons of the oldest profession.

I started my interviews with King's account of her upbringing, her adult years and her first "tricks." I reasoned that King would be more forthcoming and honest about her celebrity clients if I developed a good writer-subject relationship first.

King did talk about her childhood, her teen years and the reasons she started selling sex as an adult in her 20s. Born in Vancouver in 1948, King grew up in the Trout Lake neighbourhood. Some milestones from adolescence: she began smoking cigarettes at 15; had her first sexual encounter at 15; drank alcohol at 16 or 17. She said she started at the University of B.C. in 1966 as the "hippie revolution" began. King took liberal arts courses, experimented with LSD and left university after just one school year. She traveled south, to California and Mexico. She enjoyed the sexually-liberal communal homes she lived in.

At about age 22, King asked female friends who were prostitutes about their job. At one point, she told an older man she had decided to become a prostitute. They ended up in bed. When the man left, he put $200 in King's hand. "The golden hook was in," said Wilson, offering the cliche that would become a chapter title. The title of the following chapter: Tricks of the Trade

(Continued on part two).

You can call us stupid but .....

Good Day Readers

A little while ago we wondered how the Canadian Judicial Council would handle a single complaint that named multiple Justices for the same case or several different complainants against the same Justice. Remember in our continuing series, The Delichte File! (Karyn L. Delichte versus Brendan N. Rogers FD04-01-73022) we stumbled upon while researching Jack King in the Manitoba Queen's Bench online File Registry?

The action began in March of 2004 and continues to the present 394 filings later. When we carefully analyzed the Disposition Sheet we counted 14 different Justices and 5 Masters had touched this case at one time or another. By natural extension this brought us to, "Is anything falling through the cracks? Is there consistency/continuity of decision making given it has passed through so may judicial hands?

Single mothers on CyberSmokeBlog's advisory team fighting custody cases tell us this is not unusual at all. Find yourself in Family Division with a child custody related matter and the odds are you'll likely be there for years.

The issue of one complainant (a single parent mother) filing a complaint with the Canadian Judicial Council against three different Justices who have made rulings in her ongoing 12-year child custody case has happened. While we're certainly not soothsayers, we may have called this one accurately.

The aforementioned single parent mother embroiled in a lengthy child custody battle sent us an electronic copy of her complaint naming 3 different Justices who have been involved with her file at one time or another. We have an e-mail into Norman Sabourin, Executive Director and Senior General Counsel for the CJC and are awaiting his reply which we'll certainly post once received.

Our question is about the "publishability" of such a document. The Law Society of Manitoba, the province's most powerful trade union, operates under The Legal Profession Act. Get this, if a complaint is lodged against one of it's members they cannot be identified until after the matter has been dealt with before a Disciplinary Panel. The penalty? Section 79(1) of TLPA provides for a fine of $2,000 and/or a jail term of up to 6 months.Compare that with someone accused of fraud, for example, and their name can be splashed all over the newspapers. Talk about protecting their own!

The first comments you'll read below are from Vancouver-based Chris Budgell. With no formal legal training, a few years ago he won an important labour relations case before The British Columbia Superior Court and has filed two complaints with the Canadian Judicial Council over the issue of Judges with conflicts of interest not recusing themselves from handling his case. Get a document he's filed with the court and you'd think it was prepared by a veteran lawyer.

VJH (Veritas Justia Honoris) is another one of our excellent advisers - his analysis and writing are top drawer. Stop asking us who he is Readers because we honestly don't know other than he works and lives somewhere in Manitoba.

Follow our comments in blue.

Clare L. Pieuk

Re: Why not?
Chris Budgell [cj@jmail.com]
Sent: Wed 7/25//2012 8:28 PM
Cc: pieuk@sha.ca

I'm being kept rather busy by my employer at the moment, so not enough online time, however a couple of comments:

I agree that anything like a class action is very unlikely to accomplish anything. I recall something of that sort that got quite a bit of attention (briefly) back around 2008. Some political organization filed a complaint against the Queen Herself, Beverley McLachlin (Chief Justice of Canada), over the granting of some award (Order of Canada?) to Henry Morgentaler. The effort got panned by the press.

As for the show, I noticed in one of Blatchford's (Christie Blatchford, National Post's crime/legal affairs reporter) recent columns a comment that when Histed was before the Law Society on some disciplinary matter he was facing two or more of TDS's lawyers (benchers?).

Here's our understanding of the situation. The Law Society of Manitoba tried to discipline Ian Histed for his actions related to the Douglas-King-Chapman "sexcapade" so he appealed it's decision to the Manitoba Court of Appeal. Apparently on the LSM's Disciplinary Panel there were a couple Thompson Dorfman Sweatmen lawyers plus, get this, William Gange who negotiated the $25,000 confidentiality agreement on behalf of Jack King with Mr. Histed - we thought we heard correctly. If accurate, isn't that unbelievable!

It was at that time the Appeal Court order the file sealed - photographs, e-mail, etc. Was the Appeals Court complicit in so doing? We think so! Did it aide and abet a cover?

I'm curious to see what the inquiry learns about how Douglas actually ended up getting appointed.TDS got rid of King immediately, but as long as Douglas remained there, in a sense so did King. My guess is that TDS, regardless of any sympathy for Douglas, would have been more comfortable if she left. And she did. On her third try she got an appointment. Who was involved in shepherding her application through the process? What were her qualifications that put her ahead of other applicants? How many other applications were reviewed? What were the qualifications of the other applicants? Etc.

For a good explanation read the article we posted the other day (Friday, July 28), Our top 10 screw ups by The Judicial Appointments Committee! It f....d up majorly.


On Tue, Jul 24, 2012 at 12:45 PM, VJ H; veritasjustiahonoris@live.ca; wrote:

Hi Clare (and other assorted receiptients),

I do apologize, with it being summer and the wife having a hundred things on my "honey-do" list, I'm spread rather thin.

Those "honey-do" lists" can be killers.

I have been following the thread of your recent conversations, and at this stage, I must admit, I'm stumped.

It would seem from various accounts that there are significant issues with family courts all over the world, especially in "western" societies. I have heard of "parental alienation" and understand that it is a phrase bandied about in the Manitoba Courts much as it is in the States. I'm not at all surprised to hear that Jack King is an "expert" on this, considering his other habits, and would have serious concerns about his involvement in any cases involving children.

Yes, family courts are in a crisis everywhere and Manitoba is no different. The single parent mothers who advise us on this matter tell us they're totally f....d - our words not theirs they're much more refined and classy than us.

With regard to filing a class action with the CJC - each complaint is considered to be independent - and we must remember, that the CJC only hears complaints about the conduct of a Justice - not his/her decisions. Sadly recourse for decisions is the appeal process. However, repeated appeals of a particular Justice can result in an internal review by the Provincial Chief Judge - but decisions are not normally part of the CJC process. Unless you can show that the decisions are founded in personal beliefs - and not law - then and only then can a decision be used within a complaint.

If any complaints are filed against Lori Douglas with the CJC, our guess is the complainant(s) will attempt to argue her "unorthodox lifestyle choice" negatively impacted decisions she made against mothers during custody cases.

Simply not being happy with the outcome of a case is not sufficient to file a complaint. You have to be able to show that behaviour by the Justice was inappropriate - as with Dewar earlier this year.

So, while filing a class action complaint would bog down the CJC and certainly bring media attention - the problem is not necessarily an individual Justice, it is the system as a whole. The application process, vetting, selection, etc. All of which are dependent upon the views of the public - which never seem to be solicited.

Agree, the system is totally f....d. The public is only solicited when it comes time to pay the bills such as for the Douglas Inquiry. Then we become important in our role as taxpayers prior to that it doesn't give an effin shitte about us. Try to get intervener standing at a CJC "Public" Inquiry. Good bloody luck!

I continue to watch the Douglas affair - but fear the sensationalism of the sexual nature will overshadow the facts that Douglas was inconsistent/inaccurate within the process.

If the Inquiry Committee cannot see that it should pack up now and go home to save taxpayers money!

I don`t know if this has been of assistance or not, but I do find this intriguing.

The entire process is better than an expensive D-Grade sideshow.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Will we get a copy ..... well will we?

Mr. Norman Sabourin
Executive Director and Senior General Counsel
The Canadian Judicial Council
Ottawa, Ontario

Cher Monsieur Sabourin:

As you are no doubt aware, after Chief Justice Catherine Fraser read the Inquiry Committee's decision into record last Friday whacking but good Lori Douglas' lead lawyer Sheila Block's attempt to halt the proceedings, Ms Block asked for a written copy of the ruling.

Chief Justice Fraser noted the Committee would endeavour to have said document in Ms Block's hands within two weeks.

Will the ruling be posted on the CJC's webpage and those on the mailing list such as CyberSmokeBlog be e-mailed a heads up notice?

Merci Bien/Sincerely,

Clare L. Pieuk
Media Citizen Journalist/Blog Master



Rules for publication?

Mr. Norman Sabourin
Executive Director and Senior General Counsel
The Canadian Judicial Council
Ottawa, Ontario

Dear Mr. Sabourin:

We have just received a detailed e-mail copy of a complaint against a Queen's Bench Justice. It is our understanding it has been sent quite recently to the Canadian Judicial Council.

Could you please provide us with the Council's rules/guidelines as they pertain to its internet publication.

Merci Bien/Sincerely,

Clare L. Pieuk

Media Citizen Journalist/Blog Master

Is Jack King out in left field without a glove?

Good Day Readers:

Here at CyberSmokeBlog we are not Philadelphia lawyers nor experts on family court. In the case of the former we have no formal legal training whatsoever while our exposure to Manitoba Queen's Bench Family Division is about 5-minutes. A manslaughter trial we were covering adjourned so looking for a place to land at The Law Courts we stumbled into the courtroom of Justice Frank Aquila.

Even at that we tail ended the hearing. After His Honour departed a gentleman (we're assuming the father) began giving it to his lawyer for not raising certain issues during the proceeding - that's the sum, net and total of our experience.

Jack King's comments in an April 2009 radio interview in which he suggested parental alienation was a "hot and sexy topic" has raised the hackles of several mothers who have and/or are still struggling with divorce-child custody cases before Queen's Bench Family Division.

In testimony earlier this week, Ian Histed the lawyer who negotiated the $25,000 confidentiality agreement on behalf of complainant Alex Chapman observed when Mr. King visited him in his office he (Jack King) was of the view "it was a lot of fuss over nothing seeing himself as a libertine and his actions as a lifestyle choice."

As if that weren't enough, Jack King had already testified under oath that his actions were" ..... bizarre, ridiculous, stupid, self-indulgent and grotesque. My judgment in this regard had left me. My understanding of fantasy is it originates in one's mind but it doesn't necessarily stay there." Talk about a classic, textbook case of simultaneously putting not one but both your feet in your mouth and chewing them. Inconsistent evidence? You be the Inquiry Committee.

We also seem to recall him saying he wish he'd blacked out the face of Lori Douglas in the photographs he  arranged to have posted on the site Dark Cavern. A rookie mistake Mr. King!

The horror stories these mothers are telling are really quite heart wrenching so we wonder, "Can all these mothers be wrong all the time?" You be the judge and jury.

Beginning with the initial hearing of the Douglas Inquiry (May 19, 2012) what has started to coalesce is, for lack of a better term, an ad hoc group of mothers who are serving as informal advisers to CSB given it's complete lack of knowledge and firsthand experience with QBFD. Who better than these ladies to tell us about a system which, at least to us, appears hopelessly antiquated, out-of-date and in need of an immediate major overhaul?

The Golden Rule

Any e-mail submitted to this site critical of Queen's Bench Family Division must be fair, balanced, well-researched and, therefore, accurate. Court related document(s) you would like posted must be registered and filed so it's public domain information.

Potentially defamatory or libelous comment will be deleted or re-worded. Under existing Canadian law, the registered owner of a website or blog is responsible for any and all material published on a site's main page. For imported defamation, where the contentious comments appear in a link, they are not. We will not jeopardize CyberSmokeBlog for the benefit of one contributor.

Should you wish to have information posted concerning your case you can self-identify, use a pseudonym or the marker "Anonymous." However, please, please please indicate whether you are using a pseudonym or self-identifying and do not wish to have your actual name published. We are terrible, terrible, terrible at reading minds. The e-mail you're about to read was delayed because the contributor failed to follow this simple, basic rule so we had to contact them for clarification.

Finally, one small consideration we ask. Should you send us an e-mail for publication if at all possible please, please, please ensure it's written using Times New Roman 12 point. For reasons we do not understand and cannot explain, it matters not, anything else when copied and pasted to the main page results in text that will be different from what's already there and, frankly, looks like hell and must be transcribed by hand. The posting you're about to read arrived in Ariel 12 point. Thank you!

Clare L. Pieuk


There was some previous discussion at the Inquiry of re-convening it in September and November, however, on Friday lead Independent Counsel Guy Pratte indicated the earliest he could attend would be in December. It is highly unlikely a complete transcript of witness testimony will be available on the Council's webpage until everyone has appeared.

In other words, Mr. King's verbatim comments will not be accessible in official written form until sometime in December.

Read on.

Dear CyberSmokeBlog,

Recently, a fellow Canadian mother told me about your blog. I had intended to write you on the weekend but was completely sidetracked by thunderstorms, my health and a father's rights type group trying to collect some of my Facebook friends for an "event" they are planning in Manitoba.

Then, I wanted to check you out a bit. Why so wary? Same as an animal in the wild who has been attacked and survived. I am in contact with many mothers across several countries who have lost custody of children to child abusers and to wife beaters. Some have had their children murdered.

Those mothers who are new to this horrific reality are frequently "sucked into" groups that are, in fact, a cover for abusers. These abusers try to have mothers/women on their side - gives them credibility. After years of learning from other mothers and children, I now know what to look for most of the time.

One such group is Canada Court Watch. There may be some who are "genuine" but others also are grandparents who support their abuser sons (in going for custody), some are abusers determined to demonize their ex, some are psychologists who have swallowed bogus and dangerous theories that destroy children like Garnder's parenal alienation - false memory types, false allegations etc.

I have just had a quick look at your blog and see that there is an awareness of this kind of dangerous nonsense. Essentially, it is not the failure of family courts it is a failure of our entire country. Women who tend to become mothers are second class citizens - we have only had a vote for a millisecond of history. Children don't even have a vote/voice.

There are whose who argue convincingly that the law is not failing children but is doing exactly what the law was meant to do protect property. It's a view that sees women and children as property, then daring to remove those possessions from the ownership is punishment.

It isn't just Manitoba but the entire country, however, matters may be worse in this province for a number of factors. I happen to be a white middle class (in terms of formal education) but I know that if I had been born First Nations or Metis or Asian (the list goes on) I may have had it worse.

Why am I writing you? I am delighted that a Canadian is blogging and writing about what happens in "family law." I hope you continue. Wasn't it in Manitoba where Justice Dewar babbled about "sex in the air" concerning a rape case?

There are many mothers on my Facebook Page who have survived (just barely) an abuser . Some have had their children murdered, some are active with blogs although they tend to be Americans (more people, more access to computers etc.).

I intend to promote your blog on my Facebook Page. It was you who found the Delichte file was it not? The 134 filings and 14 Justices - reprehensible.

Keep on with CyberSmokeBlog - Bravo!


P. S. I was one who lost everything but my life to an abuser. He tried I lived hence my interest.

All it takes for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing ..... Edmund Burk, Ireland 1729-1797

Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for contacting CyberSmokeBlog. We trust we checked out to your satisfaction but, of course, you realize it's a two way street. CSB is very fortunate indeed to have some excellent, excellent individuals associated with it including single mothers fighting custody cases - they keep us exceedingly well-informed on the current issues.

You came back as highly credible. Further, we are also aware you appeared before a Special Joint Parliamentary Committee studying the issue of child custody and access. Since you requested anonymity we chose not to display the link sent to us otherwise it would have identified you.
Yes it was Justice Robert Dewar who made those intemperate, beyond asinine comments for which he was publicly rebuked by the Canadian Judicial Council and asked to apologize which he has since done.

Regarding the Delichte File (Karyn L. Delichte versus Brendan N. Rogers File Number FD0404-01-73022), in light of the Douglas Inquiry we stumbled upon it quite by accident while researching Jack King in the online Queen's Bench File Registry wondering what he was up to these days given he was not disbarred by the Manitoba Law Society for his role in posting sexually explicit photographs of his wife and eventual Associate Chief Justice Family Division Lori Douglas.

As this is being written there's another file that has pricked out interest involving Ms. Douglas in a custody case while she was practicing for BigLaw Thompson Dorfman Sweatman. We hope to be able to say more about that in the near future.

Oh, and one more thing. The Delichte File is not 134 filings. According to the Disposition Sheet it's a mind boggling 394 beginning in March of 2004 and continuing to the present day. We have every reason to believe there will be more filings.

Clare L. Pieuk

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Our top 10 screw ups by the Judicial Appointments Committee!

Manitoba Court of Appeal Judge Martin Freedman prior to testifying at the Douglas Inquiry on Friday. (Photograph: Wayne Glowacki/Winnipeg Free Press)

Good Day Readers:

As we sat listening to the testimony of Judge Freedman we were incredulous at how sloppy the vetting of Lori Douglas' application had been prior to her appointment as a Queen's Bench Justice in 2005. Like most situations in life, one is left to wonder is this merely the tip of a judicial iceberg? Have there been other Justices appointed who shouldn't have been? What changes have been made to the process, if any, or is it still as flawed as it was prior to Ms Douglas' selection?

We'll never know because the only reason we're getting this unique, behind-the-scenes look at the process is due to the Douglas Inquiry. Before it began how many of you knew the procedure by which a Manitoba Justice is appointed - be honest? As a layperson we'd venture to say very, very few. Even lawyers with whom we've spoken didn't know.

And here's another one for you. Tim Killeen was recently named as a Manitoba Provincial Judge. How does that process differ from what we're seeing in Queen's Bench? Don't know do you ..... well do you?

The lack of internet savvy displayed by Judge Freedman and former Queen's Bench Chief Justice Marc Monnin, now a colleague of Judge Freedman in the appellant court, is nothing short of head scratching.

Your 15-year old son or daughter knows once a photograph or image is posted on the internet it's potentially there forever because it can be easily downloaded and copied by anyone, anywhere, any time. So even if it has been deleted from the site of origin, in this case Dark Cavern, it lives on. Like radioactive material with its half lives, how long does it take before it's rendered completely inert?

Here are CyberSmokeBlog's favourite statements made by Judge Freedman and later by now retired lawyer Margaret-Rose Jamieson who at the time of the Douglas appointment was Executive Director of Appointments to the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs Canada. The OCFJAC serves as a clearing house in that all information on a candidate passes through it on the way to the Federal Minister of Justice's Office. While Judge Freedman Chaired the Judicial Appointments Committee Ms Jamieson also served as a Member.

Drum roll please .....

Our Top 10 Screw Ups By The Judicial Appointments Committee Based On Testimony At The Douglas Inquiry

10. The OCFJAC is empowered to interview judicial applicants via the Judicial Appointments Committee. Lori Douglas was never interviewed.

9. The JAC is totally dependent on candidates to fully disclose any impediment(s) that may exist to their appointment as set out in Section 12 of the Guide to Applicants.

8. In the 4-years Appeals Court Judge Martin Freedman Chaired Manitoba's Judicial Appointments Committee 73 applicants were considered. None were interviewed.

7. The Executive Director of Appointments at the time (Margaret-Rose Jamieson - OCFJAC) was not empowered to insert her comments in the final JAC information package on a prospective candidate that was sent to the Federal Minister of Justice's Office nor was she allowed to have any further discussion/input regarding the matter.

6. Going into the selection process, Judge Martin Freedman had heard rumours Jack King had tried to solicit  a client to have sex with Lori Douglas, nude pictures had been placed on the internet but the matter had been resolved.

5. Former Queen's Bench Chief Justice Marc Monnin, now a colleague of Martin Freedman on the Manitoba Court of Appeal, told Judge Freedman although he was initially concerned the pictures had not surfaced for a couple years.

4. Judge Freedman did not know the reason Jack King had been terminated from Thompson Dorfman Sweatman.

3. Judge Freedman had no recollection of any judges with whom he consulted expressing concern about the pictures.

2. After a judicial appoint is confirmed all notes of Judicial Appointments Committee meetings are shredded. So too were those of Margaret-Rose Jamieson including her computer files. This "rule" was followed in the Lori Douglas case. At the time Margaret-Rose Jamieson spoke on the telephone with Ms Douglas she wrote a note to file. That also was shredded.

And number 1. .....

Marc Monnin told Martin Freedman the pictures had been completely removed from the internet and he believed him!

Here are some other "candidates" that did not make our Top 10 List

11. Then Federal Minister of Justice Irwin Cotler could have asked the Judicial Appointments Committee for more due diligence on the Douglas file but didn't. Why not? (Sheila Block)

12. The pictures were considered as an impediment but not an obstacle by the JAC resulting in a rating of "Recommended" rather than "Highly Recommended."

13. Martin Freedman believed Lori Douglas was a completely innocent victim.

14. Judge Freedman was never shown the pictures only informed they were sexually explicit.

15. No thought was given to deferring the appointment of Lori Douglas so more due diligence could be undertaken. Why? It had been done in the past.

16. There was no extensive discussion of the photographs within the Judicial Appointments Committee. Why?

17. No one on the JAC specifically asked/challenged the notion it was possible to permanently remove the photographs from the internet. Why?

18. No candidate interviews were undertaken from 2003-2009 while Margaret-Rose Jamieson was Executive Director for Appointments at the OCFJAC. Why?

Clare L. Pieuk

"The Contortionist" becomes a judge!

Good Day Readers:

Nice to see Tim Killeen is now The Honourable Timothy Killeen, Provincial Judge. We first got to know him during his defence of Mark Stobbe charged in the second degree murder of his wife Beverly Rowbotham.The incident took place in 2000 but the charge wasn't laid until 2008.

During a 6-week trial that began in February of this year ending mid-March, we came up with the moniker "The Contortionist" because he didn't sit in those hard Queen's Bench oak chairs, rather, he surrounded them. Have never seen anyone sit in a chair more than 50 different ways. When we told him he had a good laugh - excellent sense of humour and was always most willing to answer our gazillion questions about the law during breaks and at the end of the day.

Also noticed he was most accommodating with the media and Robson Hall (University of Manitoba Faculty of Law) students who periodically attended the trial. Now we'll have to refer to him as The Honourable Timothy Killeen, "The Contortionist."

Since Mr. Stobbe was a senior adviser to former Premier Gary Doer, Vancouver Crown Wendy Dawson was brought in to prosecute the case. She faced an uphill struggle because all the evidence was circumstantial, nevertheless, did an outstanding job with what he had to work. Told her during the trial it's a good thing we weren't on that jury because based on what we were hearing we'd have hung it had the majority voted for an acquittal. Don't recall seeing any jurors with bulging muscles in black leathers covered in chains, tattoos and body piercings.

Now there's someone who'd also make a fine, fine judge. Again, very, very accommodating of the media and unlike certain senior Crowns here doesn't have a misplaced sense of entitlement and, therefore, in need of some major AA (Attitudinal Adjustment). She is the complete opposite. We've kept in touch to this day.

Our other two favourite Provincial Judges are Kelly Moar and Fred Sandhu. In the case of the former, he makes sure the microphones are set so everyone can clearly hear the proceedings. What a refreshing change!
Judge Sandhu always takes the time to ask those appearing before him to tell him about themselves. Here's one judge who does take and interest and cares about the accused.

At the Douglas Inquiry the audio system is a joke. It keeps malfunctioning or half the time you can't hear reminiscent of two-bit, tin, third world equipment which is unusual to say the least! Given the Inquiry will cost taxpayers millions and millions and millions of dollars before it's over you'd think the federal government would at least invest in state of the art equipment.

When we have a chance we're going to research how provincial judges are appointed. Apparently there's some provision for citizen oversight and participation. We're hearing about a selection process for Queen's Bench Justices, at least in Manitoba, that appears to be seriously flawed and broken. Perhaps the federal authorities should have a look at how it's done by their provincial counterparts.

Clare L. Pieuk

Friday, July 27, 2012

Media Citizen Journalist/Blog Master is a "life style choice!"

Good Day Readers:

While Mr. Jack King's life style choice may have been glamorous ours certainly is not. Join us shortly for an exclusive behind-the-scenes inside look at the life of a Blogger. Follow us as we document what it's like running every day to the Douglas Inquiry then coming home to answer e-mail relating to a significant investigative report on which we're currently working then posting articles on CyberSmokeBlog.

We'll take you through our experience: living temporarily on Kraft Dinners; watching your apartment take on the appearance of being hit by a hurricane; the dirty laundry build up; dirty dishes in the sink; dusting what's that; fighting sleep depravation; owing e-mail responses to mothers who share their Manitoba Queen's Bench Family Division horror stories with you ..... and so it goes. To you single parent Moms we say, we feel your pain please be patient we will eventually answer your correspondence and post your concerns.

While Mr. King's life style choice, like his views on parental alienation, may for him be "hot and sexy" - personally we think he's out in left field without a glove - our life style choice is certainly not. But you know, as we remarked recently to half of Team Pratte-Crain, Kirsten Crain ("Crain the Pain"), "We wouldn't miss the Inquiry for all the tea in China ..... and more."

Please excuse us Readers while we catch up on some much needed sleep ..... the dirty dishes and laundry will have to wait.

Clare L. Pieuk

Team Block-Reynolds have very bad hair day at Douglas Inquiry!

Good Day Readers:

Chief Justice Catherine Fraser and the Committee whacked Team Block-Reynolds but good Friday in ruling the Inquiry will proceed in spite of Sheila Block's request that it be halted.Was there an apprehension of bias? Not so said the Review Panel citing a couple Supreme Court of Canada decisions to show unlike a trial a public inquiry has a broader mandate to search for the truth

Specifically the Review Panel took issue with/were unclear as to:

- The meaning of certain terms Mr. King used in his testimony

- "Life style choice" needed to be explained

- More evidence was required regarding Jack King's mental state at the time he "interneted" the pictures

- Was the $25,000 confidentiality agreement to protect him or his wife?

- His seemingly inconsistent affidavit and other information provided to the Manitoba Law Society

There are three ladies (Regina-based company) providing the transcripts. The one at the Inquiry sends the audio to two others (in Winnipeg) in virtually real time so the transcription process can begin almost immediately. At the end of the day, the third one joins the other two so by next morning the Committee has a proofed transcript that is shared with Inquiry Counsel George Macintosh.

The Chair went through several questions raised by Mr. Macintosh identifying them by page and line in the transcript citing specific responses provided earlier by Jack King to lead Independent Counsel Guy "Pratte the Cat" and Alex Chapman's lawyer Rocco "The Great Predictor" Galati.

After Ms Block's main objection had been skillfully dismantled by the Panel, an increasing desperate Sheila Block tried to argue using but one vague example, she had not been privy to all discussions among Counsel but that too was shot down. She was also criticized for not objecting when George "The New Rocky" Macintosh had earlier cross-examined Thompson Dorfman Sweatman Senior Managing Partner Michael Sinclair on the firm's supposedly thorough and complete internal investigation of Mr. Chapman's complaint against then employee Jack King.

In response to Sheila's Block's question, Chief Justice Fraser agreed to endeavour to get a written copy of the Panel's decision to her within two weeks. Could this possibly be Block-speak for another challenge to halt the proceedings?

Sheila Block then went on to re-affirm she would continue as Lori Douglas' lead Counsel - a swipe at Pratte the Cat who had earlier raised the possibility he might resign if the question of the role of Independent Counsel vis-a-vis that of Inquiry Counsel were not clarified. This portion of the proceedings ended by Mr. Pratte again seeking more definition of their roles.

All in all a very bad hair for Team Block-Reynolds who did not look amused as they exited the courtroom after the decision and a tad worse for wear.
We recommend the first thing they do upon their return to Toronto is run to their hair dressers as fast as they can!
Nice try ladies but no cigars for you. Besides, you'd only choke on them which would be a complete waste of a couple fine Davidoffs. Or in the immortal words of Rudyard Kipling, " A woman is a woman but at least a good cigar is a smoke."

Clare L. Pieuk

The evolution of Rocco "The Great Predictor" Galati!

Good Day Readers:

We always have to have names for individuals and Mr. Galati was no exception. With a Christian name like "Rocco" combined with the fact he used to practice kick boxing, "Rocky" was a natural choice. But then one day during a break in the proceedings, his Assistant, articling student Dushahi Sribavan (What a little sweetheart she is with a great future ahead of her!) was explaining Rocco Galati doesn't like being called "Rocky."

Well, who rounds the corner with clenched fist? That's right! So after Inquiry Counsel George Macintosh's masterful cross-examination of Senior Managing Thompson Dorfman Sweatman Partner Michael Sinclair, a New Rocky was born the result of his knock out of Mr. Sinclair at 1:43 of the first round. Thus the original Inquiry Rocky became "The ex-Champ!" that is until the other day when The New Rocky masterfully cross-examined Jack King.

In private conversation Mr. Galati predicted exactly what happen when Sheila Block tried to halt the Inquiry and so was born, "The Great Predictor!"

Very interesting gentleman. His business card lists him as fluent in six languages:


How many of you can make that claim?

We accompanied his Assistant and him back to their hotel at the Fort Garry a couple times since it was on our way home anyway the last occasion being yesterday after the Inquiry had adjourned.

Both were quite taken with Winnipeg saying they couldn't get over how cheap everything was compared to Toronto especially food. So we asked the Big Question, "While you've been here have either of you been bitten by one of our infamous huge mosquitos?
 Both had to unequivocally admit, "No!" So in return for Winnipeg's hospitality and this Blog's continued support, they have agreed upon return to Toronto they will begin a campaign to debunk the myth our city has the worst mosquitos in Canada.

And with that we rest our case ..... at least for now.

Clare L. Pieuk

Psst Readers: Don't be fooled. Oh for sure we'll now always publicly refer to Mr. Galati as "The Great Predictor" but in our heart of hearts you know he'll always be the Douglas Inquiry's original "Rocky!"

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fireworks at the Douglas Inquiry!

Good Day Readers:

Rather than regurgitate what happened at the Douglas Inquiry today here's a link to today's CBC Manitoba article, Judge's lawyer calls for sex scandal inquiry to fold - Panel to rule Friday on allegation of bias


Below are before and after videos of today's development. Instead we'd rather focus on what we think will likely happen.  


If tomorrow's ruling goes against Team Block-Reynolds, it has two options:

(1) File an appeal in the Federal Court of Canada

(2) Seek an injunction to stop proceedings

Examining the first, for an appeal to be successful it must be shown a legal proceeding that has run it's course (which the Inquiry hasn't) was fraught with errors such as points of law misinterpreted, inadmissible evidence entered in to the record or perhaps perjury (very difficult to prove). Statements such as, "I don't remember: or "I can't recall" or "I have no recollection" or "I don't know" ..... ad nauseam, as we witnessed, our insufficient. In our opinion, there are insufficient grounds

An injunction might have more of a chance whereby the proceedings are halted until all parties can agree on a formula for continuing.

Team Block's request for the Inquiry Committee to, in effect, recuse itself is unlikely to happen. Her accusation Chief Justice Fraser had conducted an inappropriate tribunal under Federal Court of Canada rules is too much of a stretch. In the Canadian Lawyer Magazine February 2012 Issue, Judging the judges by Michael McKieman (previously featured on this site), Rocco Galati, Alex Chapman's Inquiry lawyer, noted:

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 secretative," says Galati.

Our prediction? The best Team Block Reynolds can hope for is the cross-examination of Jack King by Inquiry Counsel George Macintosh is thrown out. The Committee recuse itself - no.

Should that happen it matters not. Even without this George Macintosh's cross-examination, very, very serious doubts have already been raised in Mr. King's that's my story and I'm sticking to it approach, Lori Douglas had no prior knowledge whatsoever of his part-time career as a photographer-internet entrepreneur has already been fatally wounded by the previous cross-examinations of Independent Counsel Team "Pratte the Cat" and "Crain the Pain," as well, as Rocco "The Predictor" Galati.

Clare L. Pieuk

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

CyberSmokeBlog the elephant at the Douglas Inquiry?

Elephant in the courtroom: social media
By Donald Richards
Friday, July 27, 2012 Issue
When I was contacted in the fall of 2010 by the owner of an auto detailing shop about threatening and abusive posts being made by his employees on their Facebook walls, there were no precedents to follow. 

We could find no Facebook cases. Now, not two years later, there are many — ​and there will be more.

As Facebook, Twitter and other social networking websites become a part of our daily life, great quantities of information, both public and private, are being housed on these sites. Inevitably, this information has begun to show up in court.

Photographs of allegedly injured plaintiffs flying through the jungle at high speeds on zip lines are now being admitted into evidence. Lawyers are being ordered to have their clients preserve such evidence for trial. Indeed, some of the most damaging evidence against plaintiffs, grievors, and complainants will have been created and stored by them on social media websites.

And the presence of social media doesn’t end there: Jurors are polling their friends via Facebook from the deliberation room. Photos of witnesses are being taken in court and widely distributed. Is this freedom of information or an intimidation tactic? Lawyers are commenting on the judges presiding over their cases via Twitter. Members of the media are tweeting live from the courtroom.

These and other issues, ethical and professional, will be explored at the upcoming (August 12-14) Canadian Bar Association conference. “Snakes in the Grass: Ethical Issues in the Information Age” will explore the growing trend of social media use in the courtroom. How will the introduction of this new technology affect publication bans, court decorum, production of evidence and the administration of justice?

Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, in a recent speech to students at Carleton University, addressed the explosion of social media, expressing concerns that fairness and accuracy might become “casualties of the social media era.”

“How can a medium such as Twitter,” she said, “inform the public accurately in 140 characters or less of the real gist of a complex constitutional decision?”

She also expressed concerns about improper influence of witnesses and juries: “If witness or juror contamination is a concern with television, is it not even more so with ubiquitous social media accessed or received via a hand-held device?”

There is no doubt that social media sites can serve a valuable purpose in wide-range, instantaneous sharing of information. But what happens when these new tools are taken to court? As with any new technology, the court must adapt and establish rules to balance freedom of expression and freedom of information against privacy rights and fair trial process.

Is it proper for a judge to “Google” an accused or party before her? Should a juror “Google” the accused? All of these issues raise practical, professional and ethical questions that must be guided by common sense. An accused’s right to a fair trial may be adversely affected by jurors viewing material on Google that would not otherwise be admitted into evidence. How does a juror maintain an impartial attitude after they have seen negative information and commentary about the accused online?

The role of social media in the context of criminal proceedings continues to evolve as law enforcement is increasingly relying on electronic evidence. It is now a common occurrence for criminal activity to be captured electronically; for example, through the use of cellphone cameras (and later posted on various social media sites). The RCMP recently charged two girls, aged 13 and 14, with an assault that was posted by a bystander on YouTube. In Britain, a young offender was recently handed a four-year jail sentence for setting up a Facebook event titled “Smashdown in Norwich Town” in what the court determined to be an attempt to incite rioting. As many of the participants in the Vancouver Stanley Cup riot of 2011 are finding out, it is unwise to wreak mayhem when just about everyone has a camera in their pocket. The use of social media-based video evidence will be prominent in such trials.

The Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Nikolovski [1996] 3 S.C.R. 1197 considered the usefulness of videotape evidence and stated as follows: “Once it is established that a videotape has not been altered or changed, and that it depicts the scene of a crime, then it becomes admissible and relevant evidence. Not only is the tape (or photograph) real evidence in the sense that that term has been used in earlier cases, but it is to a certain extent, testimonial evidence as well. It can and should be used by a trier of fact in determining whether a crime has been committed and whether the accused before the court committed the crime. It may indeed be a silent, trustworthy, unemotional, unbiased and accurate witness who has complete and instant recall of events. It may provide such strong and convincing evidence that of itself it will demonstrate clearly either the innocence or guilt of the accused.”

Social media is here to stay. The courts must establish common sense, balanced rules to deal with the challenges raised by this new technology.

Donald Richards is a partner at Farris LLP in Vancouver and was counsel on Canada’s first Facebook termination case.