The Law Society (LSUC) has rushed through a very early hearing date — Wednesday February 2, 2011 — the Museum Room at Osgoode Hall at 9:30 a.m. for Kopyto’s good character hearing. The LSUC is turning up the heat higher then ever. Why? Two failed Panels, almost two years of dilly dallying and the LSUC is still at the starting gate in its prosecution of Kopyto.
Kopyto has survived this long because so many of his supporters have spent full days as witnesses to the LSUC’s treatment of Kopyto. Kopyto’s supporters have given up time at work or home to show their solidarity with an outstanding defender of victims of social injustice. Their presence at the hearings has inhibited the LSUC from riding roughshod over Kopyto’s rights. Public presence helped force one judge to declare herself subject to a perception of bias causing the entire panel to collapse on January 10, 2011. Public presence forced an earlier hostile panel chaired by Carl Fleck to back off after public exposure of his one-way communication to LSUC prosecutors behind Kopyto’s back. And now, public presence and oversight of the LSUC’s treatment of Harry is more critical than ever before.
The LSUC’s defeat on January 10, 2011 was embarrassing. The LSUC is now moving into high gear with blood in its eyes. The LSUC has now scheduled three more dates — February 4th, February 23rd and February 24th hearing dates all to follow the Wednesday February 2nd date already selected. It is not absolutely clear whether all of those dates will be used but the LSUC is out to break Kopyto’s defence and get their sputtering little kangaroo court back on the road. As of this date, Kopyto has still not been told who will sit on the panel on February 2nd. But with the LSUC’s renewed thirst for Kopyto’s professional blood, they are not likely to make nice with Harry.
Kopyto is still at the starting gate in his own search for fair treatment by the LSUC. On Wednesday February 2, 2011 he will once again still be seeking an order for disclosure of the LSUC’s records pertaining to the paralegal takeover. These are records that he has been fighting for, for close to two years. He needs the LSUC records to flesh out his legal challenge to their takeover of the paralegal profession in 2007 through the Access to Justice Act.
Kopyto accuses the LSUC of restricting access to justice by eliminating their competition. The takeover stripped the public from accessing affordable and usually competent legal services at a fairer price than charged by lawyers who elect the LSUC directors and control the LSUC. The LSUC claims to be acting “in the public interest” but the only people they are fooling are themselves.
Kopyto accuses the LSUC of a conflict of interest arising from their adverse economic position to paralegals. Kopyto accuses the LSUC of already unreasonably paring down the scope of practice of paralegals to protect their own turf. He points out that the LSUC forbids paralegals from drafting standard leases, preparing simple powers of attorney or even filling in a change-of-name application form. Why such a ban? Is it out of concern for protecting the public or protecting their price fixing monopoly? You answer the question.
Kopyto points out that the immediate result of the LSUC paralegal takeover has been denial of access to affordable justice, a crushing blow to the public interest. Kopyto also points out that the legislative monopoly given to lawyers over their competitors has driven the price for legal services soaring, forced thousands of persons to go to court unrepresented and ultimately will bring the administration of justice itself into disrepute.
If successful, Kopyto’s motion for disclosure, scheduled for February 2nd and February 4th, will give him the records he needs to expose the LSUC as an emperor without any clothes. It will not be easy. The LSUC will resist. There will be blood. The LSUC will not be happy campers. They will not readily provide access to records that they must suspect will expose the hypocritical rationale for monopoly price-fixing. Kopyto believes that the records will verify the conclusions of three independent commissions, including that of Justice Cory in 2000 that warned emphatically against regulation of paralegals by the LSUC.
The scene is now set for what could be a turning point in Kopyto’s fight for professional survival against a judicial system where justice goes to those with money and power.
Kopyto was told last week that the Law Society will send out his name and scheduling details to elected and appointed Law Society Benchers who have volunteered to sit on hearings. This procedure is clearly open to abuse and is contrary to the procedure followed in the courts where judges ordinarily hear whatever case happens to be listed in their courtroom and are not allowed to choose those whom they judge. Most of the elitist Benchers of the LSUC reject everything Kopyto stands for. Providing them Kopyto’s name as the person to be judged in advance of their decision to appear on the panel is like hanging a fresh piece of meat in front of a starved crocodile. Kopyto has asked the Law Society to follow the court protocol. No decision has been made.
The February 2nd panel is likely to attract Benchers who may wish to build their reputations by bringing Kopyto down. Therefore all the more reason to mobilize for February 2nd and probably February 4th. All the more need to mobilize to defend Harry from those he has fought and opposed for 37 years. All the more reasons to set aside the time to stand with Harry just as he has stood with us over the decades. Our presence as witnesses is crucial.
The LSUC is on a rapid destruction of Kopyto course. Their intensified determination must be met with an equal if not greater determination by Harry’s supporters. All out at Osgoode Hall on February 2nd! The war has just begun.