The Harry Kopyto Defence Committee is posting below an article written by Michael McKiernan posted July 15, 2011 in the Law Times widely read by members of the legal profession.
In his article, Kopyto hits another roadblock, McKiernan makes a number of observations that deserve a response.
He states that Harry’s constitutional challenge to the regulation of paralegals by lawyers was quashed by his good character Hearing Panel in the July 5, 2011 decision. However, the article inexplicably ignores an important aspect, the Panel’s description of itself as not being institutionally competent to deal with Harry’s argument. How does this amount to a denial of jurisdiction? Its rather important admission that the Panel was personally implicated if Harry Kopyto was successful in establishing that it was part of a constitutionally flawed regulatory scheme makes it clear that the issue was one that deserved to be heard.
The article suggests that Harry engaged in delaying tactics in getting other earlier panels appointed to deal with his character to recuse themselves. However, one of those panels agreed with Harry and decided to dissolve itself because of an appearance of bias. The other showed its hostility to Harry by imposing a $10,000.00 fine on him and by communicating with the prosecuting Law Society counsel behind Harry’s back. The results of Harry’s encounters with these biased panels is documented in various articles contained in the Harry Kopyto Defence Committee blog at harrykopyto.ca.
The biases of past panels have been revealed to have great pertinence to the substance of Kopyto’s jurisdictional challenge that he is now pursuing in the Superior Court, where he is seeking an order to compel the current Panel Chair, Margot Blight to rule on his motion.
The Law Society itself has delayed its prosecution of Harry by waiting two years from the date of his application to be grandparented before initiating proceedings against him. Add to that the fact that the LSUC aggressively resisted production of disclosure documents needed before his hearing could start that he had been demanding for almost two years until it was finally ordered to produce most of the disclosure this winter and spring. Does this seem like Harry is the one responsible for the delay?
The article raises the issue of Harry’s disbarment which has become critical in his good character hearings for two reasons. First, the LSUC prosecutors insist on using the 22-year-old decision by the Law Society as prima facie evidence of bad character thus rendering the hearings a pre-ordained purge. Secondly, the basis of the disbarment itself remains in question and will be subject to a legal challenge based on new evidence which includes the fact that Harry was subsequently paid the full amount of his billings that were in question at the time of his disbarment only after his disbarment was rammed through in the face of the first written dissent in the LSUC’s 200 year history.
The Law Times article merely replays the snide slurs against Harry Kopyto as received wisdom current among the legal establishment repeated uncritically and without investigation. The factual misrepresentations contained in the article and circulated as an accurate account of Harry Kopyto in the hot seat do not meet minimal standards of objectivity and insight into the forces at play in the current Law Society proceedings. Is this the best one can expect of a journal of lawyers? The legal profession deserves an accurate account of the record in Harry Kopyto’s case. McKiernan’s article does not cut it.
To read the Law Times article click on: