Sunday, March 01, 2015

Does the world's most powerful trade union need protection from itself?

Preferred bat of the Teamsters

Good Day Readers:

Because of sweeping, unbridled powers given law societies they're like the Teamsters on steroids without the baseball bats - they've been called the world's most powerful trade union. For example, under provisions of Section 79 (1) and (2) of The Legal Profession Act of Manitoba anyone reporting the name of an accused lawyer before a finding of misconduct is subject to a $2,000 find and or 6-months in jail. For a media outlet it can be up to $10,000..

The Case of Winnipeg Lawyer David Bradley

Profiled below, Mr. Bradley was first given a formal caution by the Law Society of Manitoba in 2008 for advising a client he'd filed a statement of claim when, in fact, he hadn't. Then in March of last year another complaint was filed alleging he had mislead clients into believing he'd undertaken certain legal procedures when he hadn't. He was subsequently suspended from the practice of law for one year beginning March 1, 2015.

Section 79 Provisions Cut Both Ways

Supposing, just supposing you were contemplating hiring David Bradley so checked with the LSM whether he had any previous contraventions. Is it obliged to advise you of his 2008 transgression? Perhaps even more importantly, had you contacted The Society during the period he was under active investigation until an eventual finding of guilt, would the LSM have been required to advise you of  such? 

Wouldn't Section 79 preclude it from doing so otherwise it could be fined and or shipped off to jail for up to 6-months. Humm ..... not a bad idea!

The Day CyberSmokeBlog Saved the Law Society of Manitoba From Itself: The Strange Case of Boston Blackie!

Long story short.. A few years ago a lawyer facing multiple counts under the MLPA asked CSB to attend what morphed into a series of pre-disciplinary hearings. To protect their identity they became "Boston Blackie" a reformed jewel thief and safecracker created by author Jack Boyle. It seems Blackie liked to party with women taking great delight thoroughly off the authorities by always being one step ahead.

You had to love someone with the motto, "An enemy to those who make him an enemy, friend to those who have no friend."

In the late 1940s and early 1950s BB was a popular radio series that eventually moved to television. How many of you can remember listening to, The Adventures of Boston BlackieCSB can. - barely.

"An enemy to those who make him an enemy, friend to those who have no friend."

If you believed everything in the Boston Blackie series he makes the city's modern day Whitey Bulger look like a piker.

The Citation

Blackie gave CyberSmokeBlog authorization to publish the Citation outlining the 3 or 4 alleged transgressions of the province's Legal Protection Act. Get this! The actual initials of all those identified were used including BB's. The two complainants, name of the organization they represented - everyone! Unbelievable! Anyone with half a brain would have been able to figure out those involved - all this before a finding of misconduct had been rendered. To save the Law Society of Manitoba from itself, CSB altered all the designations.

What do you figure the LSM would do if someone attended a hearing and identified the accused et al. by their actual initials? In retrospect CSB should have filed a complaint with the Federation of Law Societies of Canada - the boys and girls down at the Law Society of Manitoba aren't playing by their own rules.

Final Word - For Now

As a recent investigative report by CBC Television's Go Public (Clients feel scammed, as alleged lawyers misconduct kept quiet - eloquently demonstrated you're better off to go to the media than rely on law societies for updated information on lawyer misconduct. Ironically, one of those profiled is a Winnipeg lawyer.

Clare L. Pieuk
Winnipeg lawyer David Bradley suspended by regulator

Law Society of Manitoba found Bradley 'fabricated' information to client

By Vera-Lynn Kubinec
Friday, February 27, 2015

The decision by the Law Society of Manitoba to suspend David Bradley for a year takes effect March 1, 2015 and also requires him to under counselling by a a psychriatrist and pay $5,988 the costs of the investigation and hearing. ( Photo: Wilder Wilder & Langtry)

After misleading his clients for years and "fabricating" information about their file, Winnipeg lawyer David Michael Bradley has been suspended from practising law for one year.
The decision by the Law Society of Manitoba takes effect March 1 and also requires Bradley to undergo counselling by a psychiatrist and pay $5,988 towards the costs of the investigation and hearing.
At a Jan. 13 hearing, Bradley pleaded guilty to all charges against him and entered into a statement of agreed facts with the law society.

The citation said that over a period of approximately 10 years, commencing in June 2002, Bradley misled the clients on numerous occasions regarding the status of their civil lawsuit.

The clients, who are not named in the decision, retained Bradley to represent them in a lawsuit against an insurance company.

The statement said the family's insurance claim had been denied as a result of the company's suspicion that a possible arson had been committed by a family member, but RCMP investigated and laid no charges related to the fire.

The law society concluded that, "After filing a statement of claim and taking some early steps to advance the action Mr. Bradley did nothing further of consequence on the file." The client complained to the law society in March of 2013.

The law society's findings include the following:
  • "From 2002 until 2010 Mr. Bradley misled his clients advising them that he had been taking various steps to advance the court action when he had not."
  • "He fabricated information including the details of what were fictitious motions he had advanced and fictitious court orders which he told his clients had resulted in orders of costs against the defendants."
  • "He fabricated accounts of plans to proceed to trial and of matters being delayed due to a particular judge falling ill."
  • "He did not advise his clients of a Notice of Motion brought by the defendants to dismiss the action for delay and instead advised his client that the insurance company was prepared to engage in some form of settlement discussions when they were not."
  • "He told his client that he had set up a conference with a judge to set a trial date when he had not."
  • "He falsely led opposing counsel and his colleagues to believe that the client intended to oppose the motion for delay."
  • "He ultimately consented to an order dismissing the Statement of Claim for delay without his client's knowledge of the existence of the motion or that he had consented to it."
  • "After the claim had been dismissed, he continued to communicate to his client advising that matters were progressing in court and that he had appeared before and met with a judge  regarding the scheduling of a trial date."
Calls by CBC News to Bradley's law office, at Wilder Wilder & Langtry, were not returned.

Documents filed by the discipline committee said Bradley apologized to the clients, who attended the hearing last month.

The documents said Bradley advised through his lawyer that he was "horrified" by what he had done in the case.

"He then apologized to the law society for the resources that were expended in investigating and prosecuting this complaint. He then apologized to the profession generally regarding the impact that his behaviour will have on the reputation of lawyers in our community," said the discipline committee reasons.

The document states Bradley sought psychological therapy in order to better understand why he behaved in the manner he did.

Bradley was called to the bar in 1991.

His prior discipline history involved a formal caution in 2008 for failure to act with integrity and failure to provide the expected quality of service.

In the 2008 matter, a client had complained that no progress had been made on a statement of claim over several years. The law society investigation found no statement of claim had ever been filed and the limitation period had expired.

The law society panel document on the latest case said Bradley's behaviour is "entirely unacceptable and is deserving of a significant penalty which, in the panel's view, is one step short of disbarment."

You can contact the CBC I-Team with information about this or any other story by emailing or phoning our confidential tip line at 204-788-3744. You can also message us on Twitter: @cbciteam.


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