Speaking Truth to Power: Kopyto v the Law Society of Upper Canada

October 1, 2014

It’s been a while. But Kopyto is still alive and well, hoping that the Law Society’s guillotine will not cut off his professional head after 40 years of legal service.

While he awaits the verdict of the Margot Blight Panel, there’s not much left of his fingernails. Of course he’s proclaimed his intended retirement to the Panel (Ha! Ha!) but we know what’s in the D.N.A. in Harry’s blood and we know that he won’t (can’t), say no to anyone facing the well-oiled machine of class justice. Now that his batteries have recharged during the short Ontario summer, Kopyto’s blog is back on track. We thought you’d be interested in reading his parting shot.

Starting on the morning of July 9th and continuing on July 10, 2014, Harry Kopyto presented his closing submissions to the Law Society of Upper Canada panel presiding at his character hearing. Below is an edited version of part 1 of his submissions. The remainder of his presentation will be printed serially on this blog at regular intervals.

 


 

I Come to Bury Caesar, Not to Praise Him

Good morning, Members of the Panel. When I began my defense, Read the rest of this entry »


Kopyto’s Last Stand – July 9th And 10th, 2014

June 27, 2014

Harry Kopyto is back! Mark Wednesday July 9th and Thursday July 10th on your calendar with a big red marker.

Yes, you guessed it. It will be the last time when Harry’s presence will grind against the gears being turned by the three austere panelists charged by the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) to decide if his career as an advocate should come to a screeching stop. We hope every supporter of Harry’s will be there to show the Panel that their conduct is subject to public scrutiny.

 

We Would Like to Say….

We would like to say Read the rest of this entry »


Lies, Deceit And Manipulation – the Law Society’s Credo

April 29, 2014

Is there no end to the deceit, manipulation and lies that the Law Society is committing against Harry Kopyto?

Sit down. Take a deep breath. Consider even taking a valium from that little plastic pillbox in the back of your medicine cabinet. What you will now read may leave you in a state of tearful disbelief. Or worse, you may wish to tear your hair out or sob in disgust. But please, let us assure you. Not one word is exaggerated. Every single dot and comma is a matter of record. Every word that follows is in a transcript or recording.

 

$15,631.58 For Bringing a Motion Harry Didn’t Want

First of all, the Law Society (LSUC) is seeking $15,631.56 in costs from Harry Kopyto for bringing a motion that he never asked to bring and that he was ordered to file, against his strenuous protests, by Margot Blight, the Chair of his paralegal admission panel. Secondly, the bill is padded with services that preceded the bringing of the motion. Thirdly, the LSUC has submitted to Blight reasons for the costs award it is seeking on the basis of blatant lies. Now, pour yourself that double scotch and listen to the details. Read the rest of this entry »


Does Harry Believe In The Rule Of Law?

April 11, 2014

Does Harry Kopyto believe in the rule of law? The Law Society says no. Harry says yes.

The attack on Harry comes from his representation of clients who can’t afford to pay high-priced lawyers. A by-law of the Law Society forbids paralegals from doing lawyers’ work.

Harry explains it this way. Read the rest of this entry »


The Lines Are Drawn

April 4, 2014

What do the following people have in common?

 

  • A sightless, unemployed, young black man who successfully sued a bank for discriminating against him.
  • A pharmacist who exhausted her life savings of $120,000 on lawyers’ fees and, unrepresented, conducted a week-long matrimonial trial which she won hands down. She had the help of a paralegal who charged her less than 2% of what she had previously spent in legal fees.
  • A Cuban immigrant with no income and unable to speak English sued by a plaintiff who hired a high-priced lawyer from the biggest law firm in Canada. He succeeded miraculously in blocking the plaintiff’s lawsuit against him.
  • A man who suffered a serious brain injury in a head-on car accident on a highway when he was ten years old. He finally shared his story in a trial against the doctor and hospital which did nothing to diagnose and treat him years earlier as they were legally bound to do.
  • An elderly, disabled man who needed a patient, committed advocate to defend his dignity against a hospital and long-term care facility that abused him and denied him his rights. He eventually won his case in the courts.
  • A disabled property manager who was fired when he revealed fraudulent activities by his superiors and then pursued a civil suit against them. He had help from a paralegal who did legal work over several years on the case for less than $1,000.
  • A young person charged with a criminal offence who was denied Legal Aid. He was represented by a paralegal for a twenty dollar bill.
  • Members of a Vietnamese family who sought, in various court cases, and never received to this day, a meaningful explanation for the death of their mother and wife while she was visiting the emergency department of a hospital for a medical complaint. They are still seeking an explanation from the hospital.
  • A nurse whose daughter was stillborn filed a complaint against a coroner for failing to carry out a mandated autopsy on the fetus which the hospital claimed had been done. Her complaint against the coroner gathered dust for five years until the Coroners’ Council which disciplines coroners was abolished. Her complaint was the only one outstanding at that time and was never adjudicated.
  • Representatives of 300 nurses, most of whom were members of minorities, needed an effective advocate to appear before the Ontario Labour Relations Board to fight against a trusteeship imposed upon their union local by a bureaucratic union leadership. The representative they chose exposed the union’s manipulation and deceit in undermining their democratically elected local executive.
  • A person wrongly convicted of assault could only afford $200 as legal fees to pay someone to do all his paperwork on an appeal of his wrongful conviction. The appeal was successful and he was completely exonerated.
  • An elderly woman in her eighties went to court sixty years after being jailed in Toronto under the Female Refuges Act in 1939 for marrying a Chinese man. She was completely exonerated, received financial compensation, an official apology from the Premier of Ontario and became a cause célèbre in the public sphere.
  • The father of a seven-year-old child was barred from helping his son dress or allowed to enter the dressing room after hockey games. The son was forced to change his clothes in public on a stairwell of the freezing hockey arena. His son won the lawsuit against the hockey association. He received an apology, compensation, and the policy barring parents from access to their children was dumped.
  • A young black man stopped two dozen times by cops while driving a flashy car without ever being convicted of anything. He faced down each cop that stopped him in a court case which allowed him to expose the harassment he suffered and defend his dignity.
  • A young man wrongly charged with various criminal offences who could not afford a $20,000 retainer to pay a lawyer he had asked to defend him. He was exonerated in court on all but one of the charges for which he received an absolute discharge. He was represented in multiple appearances by a paralegal who charged him less than 5% of the amount initially quoted as legal fees.
  • A mother of two children appeared in family court seeking representation by a paralegal. The judge tampered, in fourteen different places, with the official court transcript of the hearing during which he denied the mother the right to be represented by the paralegal. The judge was exposed for falsifying the transcript and was found guilty of judicial misconduct by the Ontario Judicial Council.

What do all these persons have in common? They were only some of the character witnesses who appeared personally to attest to Harry Kopyto’s good character during the last few months of 2013 and the first few months of 2014 before a three-person Law Society (LSUC) Hearing Panel chaired by establishment lawyer Margot Blight. They were all helped or represented by paralegal candidate Harry Kopyto who provided them with access to affordable justice.

 

No One Came Knocking on His Door

The Law Society charges that Harry has poor moral character because he engaged in unauthorized practice by helping many of these clients who testified about him. Harry breached a Law Society by-law by providing legal services only lawyers are allowed to perform. Therefore, Harry is ungovernable. He does not follow rules. So there, Kopyto! Begone! Read the rest of this entry »


Shall We Laugh or Cry?

March 19, 2014

Blight is Trying to Walk on Water

Shall we laugh or cry?  That is the real question arising out of Margot Blight’s written decision not to recuse herself as Chair of Harry Kopyto’s good character Hearing Panel.

It took Margot Blight six and a half months―until March 12, 2014― to release her reasons. It’s a good thing you didn’t hold your breath.  If there was any doubt about her bias and conflict, it’s dissipated by her twisted excuses.

Is there a conflict of interest? Blight says no.  But how does she get around the fact that she represented the Catholic School Board that Mike Giftopoulos, a key witness for Harry at the hearing before her, claims discriminated against him by refusing him to work full-time hours?  And the fact that her colleague still represents the Board?  The answer, she pleads, is simple. Read the rest of this entry »


March 4th ― D Day!

March 17, 2014

The Cast

If there was one single day that exemplified the essence of the Law Society’s bias and conflict of interest in judging Harry Kopyto’s moral character, it was Tuesday March 4, 2014.  Come join us to review the theatrical production that took place.

There was Harry at the podium―stubby and unshaven―shirt hanging out over his pants, bluntly questioning his witness, as usual without notes.  There was Panel Chair Margot Blight, demur and affable, with the usual smile pasted on her face except for occasional flashes of anger and a nervous habit of chewing her fingernails that reveal her real mood. She was sitting between her two fellow Panel members, stern paralegal Michelle Tamlin and public appointee Baljit Sikand, always ready to soften Blight’s rough edges.    There were also Law Society counsel, Susan Heakes and Anne Catherine Dionne. They were sitting to Harry’s right, ready to pounce whenever opportunity allowed.  And there was Mike Giftopoulos, Harry’s character witness, fidgeting uncomfortably at the witness table in surroundings that were clearly unfamiliar to him.

The stage was set. The Panel was straining to create an atmosphere of dignity in Osgoode Hall’s austere Museum Room. Everyone’s role was defined.  Nothing appeared amiss. It was just―on the surface―one more day out of dozens and dozens of other hearing days.

Each day, Harry’s moral character is the subject of detailed dissection by the gatekeepers of moral rectitude, who decide who can be an advocate in Ontario’s courts.  Everyone knows what the denouncement will be.  However, the masquerade party still has a couple of days to go before the masks are doffed. Read the rest of this entry »


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