Tuesday, October 02, 2012

A curious example of judicial misconduct?

Good Day Readers:

Received the following e-mail from Chris Budgell an excellent/outstanding layperson legal researcher, writer and frequent contributor. Recently, Mr. Budgell had two complaints dismissed by Canadian Judicial Council Executive Director and Senior General Counsel Norman Sabourin. He subsequently filed an application with The Federal Court of Canada seeking a judicial review.

Assuming there was no CJC review of this matter, given it's alacrity for purporting to always act in the public interest should there have been? Or, like the Law Society of  Manitoba, no investigation is undertaken unless or until a formal complaint is filed.

Recall when the Douglas-King-Chapman scenario finally "hit the public fan" (August 2010) the LSM claimed it had not received a complaint, therefore, couldn't do anything even though it seems half of Winnipeg's legal community was aware of the situation and had been for some time. Does this demonstrate a significant lack of proactivity on the part of these organizations?

Imagine if the police heard rumour upon rumour upon rumour ..... about a situation but refused to take a look because no formal complaint had been received - should taxpayers be concerned?

British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Mary Marvyn Koenigsberg
Lubomyr Prytuluk
Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk

Clare,

See if this link works for you:

http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/story.html?id=f8352b75-fa48-4440-8940-ecd9745f710c&p=1

If not search for "Koenigsberg" and "British Columbia judge's partner hit with libel penalty of $250,000"

The media record of this is quite sparse. There may have been a little more at the time, but not much more.

The U.S. attorney came to Vancouver and, as I recall, the Chief Justice, Donald Brenner (who subsequently retired and joined George Macintosh's firm, Farris and Company but is now deceased) decided that the award of damages in the United States court could not be enforced through a B.C. court.

There seemed to be a question of whether Koenigsberg was party to an act of fraudulent conveyance along with her domestic partner, an alleged holocaust denier.

I suspect that the plaintiffs knew what they were doing and subsequently threatened to initiate a new tort action in British Columbia, thus forcing them into a settlement. There was no hint in the media that Koenigsberg's tenure as a judge was ever at risk, but I later noticed something that looked like a consequence. She was, and still is, listed on the court web site
(http://courts.gov.bc.ca/supreme_court/
about_the_supreme_court/judges_and_masters
_of_the_supreme_court.aspx) as the only judge attached to a courthouse in Smithers B.C., a place that enjoys a winter climate similar to Winnipeg's. She now issues very few judgments but this latest one is on a matter that was heard in Smithers (http://courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/SC/12/12/2012BCSC1285.htm).

It would seem to me that a complaint to the CJC was clearly warranted, but my guess is that none was ever filed. I would say that possible participation in an act of fraudulent conveyance by a sitting judge is far worse than what Lori Douglas is accused of.

And Madam Justice M. Marvyn Koenigsberg is a federally, not provincially, appointed judge. As I understand B.C. has just three courts: Provincial, Supreme and Court of Appeal.  Access to all three is consolidated on one web page (http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/).

Follow the links and you get to this page (http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/supreme_court/
about_the_supreme_court/judges_and_masters
_of_the_supreme_court.aspx), where she is listed along with 100 other "Current Justices" as the only one attached to the Smithers courthouse.  That, of course, doesn't mean that she resides in that part of the province. She may still live in Vancouver (or anywhere else) and just fly there when a case is to be heard.

Chris Budgell
Vancouver

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