Monday, November 17, 2014

"Lori Douglas, please leave taxpayers cannot afford you any longer!"

Good Day Readers:

What's required is a debt clock much like that used by the Canadian Taxpayer Federation for the wall of the Winnipeg courtroom where the Douglas Inquiry is being heard. At least the public could "amuse themselves" by watching its costs steadily mount as the lawyers "entertain themselves" with their esoteric, ad nauseum arguments.

The $2 million figure is grossly understated because it does not take into account other non-legal fees such as travel, meals, translation/transcription services, photocopying, etc., etc., etc. Plus let us not forget Lori Douglas has been sitting at home tending her tomato plants since August of 2012 while drawing her full salary (approaching $300 thousand annually) plus a benefits package that won't quit. And what about an Acting Associate Chief Justice (Family Division) appointed earlier this year to do the work Ms Douglas should be doing?

A business model for investigating alleged misconduct of federally appointed judges that could well take more than 5-years costing in excess of $5 million is not seriously broken? Think again!

And to Lori Douglas CyberSmokeBlog says, "Lady please simply go taxpayers cannot afford you any longer!

Clare L. Pieuk

Note: The legal fees stated in The Lawyers Weekly article are understated. Sarah Whitman is the third member of  the "Team Douglas" publicly financed defence team and has been from the get go appearing at all hearings held in Winnipeg. Nowhere are her billables accounted.

Inquiry's legal bills run into millions

Cristin Schmitz

Sheila Block

November 21, 2014 Edition

The publicly funded legal fees of a senior Manitoba judge facing misconduct allegations are approaching $2 million the Public accounts of Canada reveal.

Prominent Toronto litigator Sheila Block and Molly Reynolds of Torys LLP are vigorously defending Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench (Family Division) Associate Chief Justice Lori Douglas at a formal Canadian Judicial Council Inquiry - were paid $630,191 from April 1 last year to March 31, discloses the report of the Receiver General of Canada tabled in Parliament on October 29.Their latest annual bill was in addition to $723,636 in fiscal 2013 and $191,691 in fiscal 2012 - a total of more than $1.5 million

That tally has already risen considerably this year, as the inquiry recently resumed operating after a 26-month hiatus while the Federal Court heard, and dismissed a bid by Justice Douglas to have it shut down for apprehension of bias. Block andy Reynolds are appealing that decision to the Federal Court of Appeal even as they defend the judge at the inquiry this month.

Associate Chief Justice Lori Douglas faces several allegations - all of which she vigorously denies - including that sexually explicit photos of her that her late husband circulated on the internet so harmed her image as a judge that she should be removed from the bench.

The total cost of the CJC's inquiry and the related interlocutory court proceedings - which at one point had 15 lawyers on the record, many on the public dime - and soaring into the many millions.

Other senior counsel paid by the public treasury in fiscal 2014 included Paul Cavalluzzo of Toronto's Cavalluzzo Shilton who billed $303,616 to represent the CJC and, the inquiry's independent counsel Suzanne Cote of Osler, Hoskin &Harcourt who billed $293,786.

According to a CJC spokesperson, a 2014 public consultation on the judicial discipline process "widespread support" for the notion that "judges should not receive public funding to challenge and delay the "discipline process" through interlocatory proceedings. Reform in that respect are anticipated.


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