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TKNumber3

Crazy Disbarment Stories

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It also seems slightly insane that s. 11 protections apply to a $40 parking ticket but not potentially life-ruining half million dollar penalties.

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It also seems slightly insane that s. 11 protections apply to a $40 parking ticket but not potentially life-ruining half million dollar penalties.

Can't argue with that.  I mean, I don't think section 11 protections should apply in the Guindon case, but I find the SCC's reasoning (and, in fairness, all the earlier cases) to be pretty useless.  In practice it comes down to (i) does it look like a criminal procedure and (ii) can you go to jail?  But, of course, since they don't actually say that, it basically come down to a "we know it when we see it test", which isn't all that helpful.   

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The SCC has a blind spot as far as the Act goes.  You could have the cra kicking in doors at random and waterboarding taxpayers into providing info and they'd still say "hmm looks regulatory to me, and turning the info over for a criminal charge after the fact is a-okay too"

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The SCC has a blind spot as far as the Act goes.  You could have the cra kicking in doors at random and waterboarding taxpayers into providing info and they'd still say "hmm looks regulatory to me, and turning the info over for a criminal charge after the fact is a-okay too"

 

Gotta protect the 'fisc!!!

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The SCC has a blind spot as far as the Act goes.  You could have the cra kicking in doors at random and waterboarding taxpayers into providing info and they'd still say "hmm looks regulatory to me, and turning the info over for a criminal charge after the fact is a-okay too"

Well, at some point Jarvis kicks in.  Still, you're certainly right that as long as the CRA is only interested in collecting taxes and imposing (hefty penalties), they probably could waterboard you for information (I mean, what's an audit if not a particularly tedious form of torture), and certainly their requirement powers are extensive.  I had dinner with some US tax litigators the other night, and they were floored with the contrast between the IRS and the CRA.  The IRS goes for criminal convictions - in Canada, only the craziest of kooks or true, no brain loser scammers get criminal convictions.  For everyone else, it's so much easier to go after them civillally and force them to the prove the CRA's wrong. 

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My limited experience with Jarvis was frustrating; as far as I can tell CRA investigators actually benefit from being oblivious idiots, because as long as they don't think they're conducting a criminal investigation everything they find is fair game to get passed on once it finally clicks.

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http://www.canada.com/story_print.html?id=ae6cc9d0-176f-42d3-83c1-6fa11d790ac1&sponsor=

 

Matthew Merchant, Tony Merchant's son:

 

"The law society found that Merchant's conduct was deserving of sanction on seven citations involving applying for ex parte garnishee orders knowing counsel was acting for the other side, deliberately misleading the court in applying for the said ex parte garnishee orders, failing to respond to opposing counsel on a timely basis, threatening his clients with criminal proceedings to induce repayment of settlement monies overpaid to them by his firm's mistake, lying to his clients in an attempt to frighten them into paying the said money back and failing to render a trust accounting on a timely basis"

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Wasn't there the story of a Liberal Senator from BC and her son who go into trouble for their billing practices (i.e., billin 25 hour a day)?

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I recall two cases, one in New Brunswick, one in Newfoundland, of lawyers who had messed up on limitation periods or on actually filing something, and rather than go back to the client and admit they screwed up (or in one case, of just doing the work that needed to be done), they forged Court decisions and written Orders. Here's a link to the Newfoundland one: https://www.canlii.org/en/nl/nlls/doc/2007/2007canlii20275/2007canlii20275.html-- which at the end of the day is probably the worse of the two, because the lawyer could have proceeded with the quieting anyway, so forging the Order was pointless.

 

The New Brunswick one you're referring to is probably LSUC v Ryan (SCC):

 

In 1993, the clients had sought the respondent’s legal advice with respect to their dismissal by their employer and gave him a small cash retainer to represent them for wrongful dismissal.  For five and a half years, the respondent did nothing to advance the claims.  To disguise his inattention to his clients’ interests, the respondent spun an elaborate web of deceit.  He lied to his clients making it seem as if he was taking action on their behalf and placing the blame for delays on others.  In response to persistent requests for information, the respondent gave his clients a forged decision of the New Brunswick Court of Appeal dealing with their case.  Moreover, the respondent falsely told his clients that a contempt motion against the defendants was granted and that they had been awarded $19,000 and $18,000 respectively.  He then invented significant delays and appeal periods that prevented his clients from collecting these sums.  Finally, he admitted to his clients that the “whole thing was a lie”, at which time the clients filed a complaint with the Law Society. 

 

 

Edited by xyz

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To return to the OP, Groia (who maximumbob mentioned) would actually be a pretty interesting paper topic:

 

[20] Some of the trouble in this case flows from Mr. Groia’s failure to understand the proper role of a prosecutor. Mr. Groia, in his unrestrained attacks on Mr. Naster’s professional integrity said over and over again that it is improper for the prosecutor to seek a conviction. That statement, standing alone, is inaccurate.

 

 

[33] … it is inappropriate to attack a prosecutor for seeking a conviction. To do so demonstrates a misunderstanding of the vital distinction between a prosecutor who improperly seeks nothing but a conviction and a prosecutor who properly seeks a conviction within the appropriate limits of fairness.

 

 

[268] The evidentiary record demonstrates Mr. Groia’s tendency to characterize as deliberate prosecutorial abuse any legal position taken by the prosecutor with which Mr. Groia disagrees. It may be that his difficulty flows from his mistaken understanding of the role of the prosecutor, discussed above. It may be that his difficulty flows from some of his novel ideas of the law of evidence such as the proposition that Mr. Naster is not only obliged to disclose evidence that might help the defence but that he is also obliged to prove in his case in chief every piece of potentially exculpatory evidence that Mr. Groia thinks might help his client.

http://www.canlii.org/en/on/oncj/doc/2007/2007oncj345/2007oncj345.html

 

[318] Taken as a whole, the submissions we have excerpted can best be described as a relentless personal attack on the integrity and the bona fides of the prosecutors. It is important to emphasize that the examples we have selected provide some flavour, but it is difficult to convey the cumulative effect of the unabated repetition over the course of 10 hearing days of Mr. Groia’s vehement and very lengthy attacks on the prosecutors.

 

[319] These attacks were personal in nature. In Mr. Groia’s testimony before the hearing panel, he suggested that he never attacked the prosecutors, but merely the way in which the prosecution was being handled by the OSC. We disagree. Some of these comments taken in isolation could arguably be seen as directed at the OSC or the Crown, not the individuals who were representing it in court. Taken together, in context, over the course of this lengthy trial, it is very clear that they were decidedly personal.

 

 

[322] Nothing the prosecutors did justified this onslaught. These attacks on their integrity and bona fides did not have a reasonable basis.

 

 

[324] … we conclude that Mr. Groia had no reasonable basis on which to attack either the integrity of the prosecutors or their motives. The prosecutors had not promised that they would introduce all relevant documents, regardless of the rules of evidence. They were under no obligation to call evidence favourable to the defence. They had not resiled from their promises. Their positions on evidentiary issues were not improper and were often correct.

 

 

[328] In the context of this trial, zealous advocacy did not require Mr. Groia to make unfounded allegations of prosecutorial misconduct. Zealous advocacy did not dictate that Mr. Groia improperly impugn the integrity of his opponents. Zealous advocacy did not require Mr. Groia to frequently resort to invective in describing opponents who were trying to do their jobs.

 

 

[332] The hearing panel, in its decision, concluded that Mr. Groia knew that his allegations of prosecutorial misconduct were wrong in law and that his position with respect to the documents was not well-founded. The hearing panel also concluded that Mr. Groia’s motivation in making allegations of prosecutorial misconduct during the trial was to disrupt the orderly proceeding of the trial by provoking the prosecution and creating the conditions for the trial to collapse under its own weight. These findings of credibility are tainted by the hearing panel’s misapplication of the abuse of process doctrine and thus cannot be used to assess the impact of Mr. Groia’s conduct. That said, accepting that Mr. Groia was not deliberately misrepresenting the law and was not ill-motivated, we are nevertheless satisfied that Mr. Groia’s misconduct had a serious adverse impact on the trial, by causing numerous delays in the evidence of the trial’s first witness, by distracting the prosecutors from the presentation of the evidence, and by forcing the trial judge to become involved in many unnecessary disputes. This is a factor that we cannot ignore and which has to be taken into account in determining penalty.

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