Monday, March 16, 2015

"And the winner is ..... it's a draw!"

Good Day Readers:

In what had to be the Law Society of Manitoba's Mother of all disciplinary hearings that stretched over two months and four and a half days (including one session lasting until about 8:30 Thursday evening) of at times mind numbing testimony finally concluded last Friday around noon.

Like political debates, in spite of a lot of to-and-frowing, sparing, punch counter punch neither side seemed able to score that decisive knock out punch - you know,  that defining A-ha moment finally caught you by the short and curlies you little bugger!

In all 8-witnesses were called by Team Accused everything from a psychiatrist, a couple of psychologists, lawyer who'd worked with the accused and former clients. On Thursday and Friday it was a parade of one after another waxing poetic and singing the praises of the accused. Had you suddenly been dropped in and knew nothing of the case you had to wonder WTF is the accused doing before a disciplinary panel.

Team LSM offered no rebuttal witnesses - you mean to say no clients were harmed by what the accused did or did not do? So CyberSmokeBlog checked after the hearing as to why? Apparently it's Society policy not to further embarrass individuals who may have suffered much like people who've been scammed on the internet often only tell their stories in the shadows and with a voice makeover.

Since the identity of victims is already protected by a publication ban CSB failed to understand the reasoning. Another example of the extraordinary protections afforded accused lawyers? CyberSmokeBlog will check with the governing body for accountants to ascertain how it handles disciplinary procedures.


Team Accused was able to sufficiently muddy and cloud the waters to take this out of the realm of a slam dunk. The Law Society has a lot of sanctions it can impose on a lawyer. Therefore, look for the accused not be be disbarred, rather, to be monitored by a senior lawyer for a stated period of time. Ditto for a mental health professional such as a psychologist. There are other "overheads" (CSBspeak for restrictions) that can also be imposed. The accused certainly cannot claim they were not given sufficient time to present their arguments.

There will be a final session on Friday, March 27, 2014 at the offices of the Law Society of Manitoba 219 Kennedy Street beginning at 9:30 am. at which time both sides will present their final comments. Given the complexity of the case the panel may or may not be ready to render its decision. If it does and Team Accused does not agree with its findings it can appeal to the Manitoba Court of Appeal.

Clare L. Pieuk


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