Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Even though they don't have baseball bats are law societies even more powerful than the Teamsters?

Good Day Readers:

"Law societies are the most powerful trade union in the world" ..... CyberSmokeBlog always thought it was the Teamsters with their baseball bats. Those words were uttered by successful British businessman Joseph Dowling. After a supposedly "free" consultation with a London, England law firm it subsequently tried to stick him with a billable.

After years of getting the royal bum's rush from the Law Society of London,  a completely frustrated Mr. Dowling parked his camper van in front of the Society's offices with a note on the windshield saying he had a bomb (in reality a computer adapter) and was ready to blow the place up. After a 28-hour standoff he surrendered. For that he was sentenced to 15-months in May of 2,000. But get this irony of ironies the Society eventually ruled in his faour.

Canadian Law Societies Have Far Too Much Unbridled Power

This comment is occasioned by a recent Law Society of Manitoba disciplinary hearing CSB attended. Our interest was pricked by a Winnipeg Free Press article from last summer which indicated the LSM had taken the highly unusual step of suspending a member prior to completion of its investigation and much less before a disciplinary hearing had been held. Now wouldn't that make for an interesting Constitutional/Charter challenge for someone with deep pockets?

Under the terms of Section 79 (1), (2) of The Legal Profession of Manitoba Act the name of the accused cannot be published otherwise for the individual it's up to a $2,000 find and or 6-months in prison. For a mainstream media outlet it can be a ,maximum of  $10,000 so CSB will not even divulge the individual's gender.

Will someone/anyone please tell the LSM's hierarchy it's not a criminal offence to be a journalist.

It also percludes the possibility of televising hearings. What is counsel for the accused to do bring their client to a hearing with a brown paper bag over their head and mouth taped shut that or a voice over which is most unfortunate because an important teaching tool is lost.

Disentigrating Into Detail

After opening summaries and arguments the hearing disentigrated into detail with both sides debating the merits, of lack thereof, of certain provisions of the LPMA - the usual legal wrangling. After what was to have been a 15-minute break in the proceedings, about 2-hours later the 3-person disciplinary panel returned to announce there'd be and indefinite adjournment. It seems there's a "slight" problem. A panel member may be in a potential conflict of interest. It seems they know one of the expert witnesses who is scheduled to testify on behalf of the accused so they're off sorting this out.

Rocky Kravetsky counsel to the LSM has agreed to contact CyberSmokeBlog once a reschedule has been set. You have to love a lawyer with the name "Rocky" - however, unlike that other "Rocky" (Galati) who dabbles in kick boxing, there's no danger having your lights punched out by Mr. Kravesky.

What's Next?

In the coming days, weeks and months CSB will feature a series of articles demonstrating why law societies are inept at disciplining their membership while building a case this function should be removed from their purview.

Clare L. Pieuk


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