Law Society’s case of ‘Kopyto as fraudster’ falters – now he’s ungovernable

Greenaway’s Credibility Shattered

It was trench warfare on Remembrance Day at Osgoode Hall. Kopyto was in no mood to take prisoners.  He was cross-examining his chief protagonist, Law Society (LSUC) investigator Adrian Greenaway.  Greenaway is a loyal foot- soldier in the LSUC’s war to impugn Harry’s good character.  The strategic LSUC goal is to expel Harry from the ranks of paralegals.  Paralegals were recently colonized by Big Law representing the expansionist financial interests of lawyers.  Lawyers have already disabled their more affordable competitors by limiting their scope of practice in a war for lucrative markets in legal services.  The result has been a lawyers’ monopoly which the Law Society controls, wants to protect, and which Harry is seeking to breach.

Greenaway’s credibility as a witness against Harry’s good character has already been shattered by Harry in a battle of attrition.  How many times have the Panel Chair, Margot Blight, and the LSUC chief prosecutor, Susan Heakes, stated that the opinions of Mr. Greenaway are of little value to the proceedings? Despite open bleeding wounds, Greenaway continues to respond to a call to duty carrying the can for the LSUC Brass. He sits on the edge of his seat eager to deflect Kopyto’s aggressive cross-examination.  But he does it out of a sense of duty.  He has better things to do.  His heart is really not in it. Greenaway wants it all to be over.  A bead of sweat dribbles down his forehead.  But now, at 10:00 in the morning, sizzling with firepower, Kopyto makes sure that Greenaway will not forget Remembrance Day, 2011.

All the reports from the front were unanimous―it was a rout for the LSUC.  The Law Society’s strategy was in tatters at the end of the day.  They are down but not out.  They will be there again, soon. On Tuesday November 22, 2011, they will rise to fight Harry another day. However, on this sad day, which commemorates those who gave their lives for democratic rights like access to justice, Kopyto attacked the battle-weary Greenaway on two fronts.

First, Harry savagely destroyed the carefully crafted myth that he defrauded the Ontario Legal Aid Plan.  (See box below detailing the chronology of Kopyto’s dealings with the Legal Aid Plan.)  Greenaway admitted under fire that his two-year- long-scouting expedition in the archival bowels of Osgoode Hall confirmed that the Legal Aid Plan paid Kopyto for all the legal aid accounts that it froze when the LSUC disbarred him in 1989.  Somewhat dazed, he conceded that not a cent was deducted for any alleged “overbilling.”  Yet this mythical “overbilling” was the reason the majority of Convocation― lawyers elected by lawyers to run the LSUC gave to justify Kopyto’s disbarment.

Kopyto Clears His Name

During his 17-year prior posting as a cop, Greenaway told the Hearing Panel, he never knew a victim of fraud or theft who did not want to be compensated.  Why did Legal Aid not seek restitution from Kopyto? “I don’t know,” was Greenaway’s flaccid response.

“If you don’t know,” Kopyto asked, “who knows?”

If Greenaway, who reviewed the disbarment records, who interviewed the Legal Aid Plan’s lawyers, who reviewed the court file, didn’t know; if Greenaway, who signed his name to a 26-page Investigation Report accusing Kopyto of fraud didn’t know why Legal Aid didn’t claim repayment―which it could have deducted from Kopyto’s frozen accounts―who does know? That question remained unanswered by Greenaway. There was a deafening silence in the room.  Everyone was waiting patiently for an answer. But it never came. Only silence.  Silence that hovered over the heads of the three members of the Hearing Panel like a spectre from the fog of a distant war seeking vengeance for past wrongs against those present.

Kopyto’s sleeves were rolled up.  With a vibrant tenor of passion in his voice― which he was cautioned by Panel Chair Blight to tone down―he demolished the false accusations of dishonesty using the LSUC’s own key witness to establish his innocence. Greenaway squirmed as the Law Society’s charge of dishonesty dissipated with each unanswered question.

Greenaway Squirms―“I Don’t Know”

Kopyto opened up a second front in his battle to clear his name by asking the Panel to review his record as a paralegal.

“If I am pervasively dishonest, if I am a fraud artist, if I am a thief, would you not expect misdeeds recorded in hundreds of court appearances, trials and motions over the last 22 years?” asked Kopyto of his now shaken witness. “In my appearances in family court and criminal court, small claims court and before countless boards and tribunals, would you not expect judges to find improprieties in my conduct?”

“Yes”,  was the shy and hushed reply of the LSUC’s Chief Investigator.

“Did you find a single case of a judge making allegations that I did something improper?” Kopyto demanded in what was now becoming an up-close bloody knife fight.

“No,” Greenaway, wan at this point, blurted out.

“Why not?” Kopyto asked.

Again, a moment of silence. Again, a nervous smile on Greenaway’s face. Again, the barely audible three words that made the LSUC prosecutors squirm: “I don’t know.”

Kopyto did not relent.

“Why would a dishonest, fraudulent lawyer choose to build a practice representing clients on Legal Aid Certificates paying $75 an hour when he could be making several times more by representing clients privately?”  Kopyto asked Greenaway.
Greenaway again shrugged his shoulders: “I don’t know.”

“If I am a crook and a cheat and a fraud artist, why do dozens of my supporters come to these good character hearings [25 hearings in number over two years] to back me?” Kopyto demanded to know.

Greenaway was now distinctly unnerved.  He was taking flack on the front line.  Not a good time for him.  Again, he blurted out the three words that symbolized the bankruptcy of the LSUC’s attack on Harry’s character, “I don’t know.”

Kopyto Was Hot

Kopyto was hot on November 11, 2011. But sniping from the sidelines, the Law Society senior counsel, Susan Heakes, compulsively attempted to staunch the bleeding with protests designed to deflect Harry’s missives. Kopyto fired back, attacking Heakes for making repeated unfounded objections leading to delays to his hearing.  Harry seized that moment to counter-attack against Heakes’ snide assaults made at previous hearings in which she accused him of deliberate delaying tactics and had attempted to provide a chill to the proceedings by telegraphing to the Panel that the continuation of these hearings meant that Harry Kopyto was continuing to practice. A back and forth ensued―rat-at-tat, rat-at-tat, rat-at-tat. The room was electric.  The Hearing Panel Chair, Margot Blight, declared a ceasefire. It was too early in the morning for personal attacks, she ruled.  But it didn’t work. The hand-to-hand combat continued throughout the rest of Remembrance Day until Greenaway finally got some R & R when the hearing ended a half hour early.

Kopyto was able to extract additional concessions from Greenaway to enable Harry to consolidate his position and protect his ground. These included the following:

•    Greenaway matter-of-factly admitted he made no effort to obtain any positive evidence about Harry’s character―only negative evidence. This was a public confirmation of Kopyto’s position that Greenaway had tunnel vision, was building a case against him and that his own alleged failure to cooperate with Greenaway was justified.
•    Greenaway said that he was not going to go “behind the disbarment” to assess Harry’s character. This explanation was typical of Greenaway’s slavish submission to authority where big lies are taken as gospel truth with the LSUC’s stamp of approval while reality fades into nothingness.
•    Greenaway testified that he did not know if Harry was “too aggressive” as found by Toronto Family Court Judge Marvin Zuker. Zuker falsified a court transcript of reasons why he would not let Kopyto appear before him on behalf of a client, Robin Mayer, who was present at the hearing and proudly identified herself as a backer of Kopyto.  Zuker, as is well known, was found guilty of judicial misconduct in a dramatic exposure by Kopyto that did little to make Harry popular among the judiciary upon whose opinions the Panel relies.
•    Greenaway testified that he regarded the decisions of some judges to refuse Kopyto audience was proof of his bad character, whatever the reasons for exclusion might be. This followed from Greenaway’s position that Judge Zuker’s illicit exclusion of Harry from his courtroom constituted clear proof of Harry’s bad character.  This also showed Greenaway’s inability to form his own independent conclusions regarding Harry’s character as well as his subservience to the judicial establishment.  Not a man to rock the boat, for sure.
•    Greenaway admitted that his negative opinion of Harry’s character was influenced by the notoriously rightwing Ian Outerbridge who chaired the LSUC Panel that disbarred Harry in 1989. So vicious was Outerbridge’s attack on Harry that Convocation, embarrassed by the vitriol in his report ignored it and rewrote the reasons for disbarring him. Although he took issue with Outerbridge’s condemnation of Harry as someone who wanted “to smash the legal system,” Greenaway nonetheless endorsed the hostile decision of Outerbridge who believes that government regulation of doctors and lawyers makes them “slaves” of the state.

LSUC Hits Rock Bottom

Greenaway is an interesting example of the mentality that the LSUC instills in its troopers. If your are not with us, you are against us. He sees Harry, not as Harry is. He sees Harry as Greenaway is.  He obeys orders uncritically.  He adopts the perceptions of his superiors.  When reality impinges on these perceptions, he is genuinely perplexed―hence his chorus of “I don’t knows.”  Reality is too complex for the Adrian Greenaways of this world to understand.

At the November 11, 2011 hearing, the LSUC hits rock bottom.  It should never have crawled out of the trenches on that day. It now finds the foundation of its case against Kopyto weakened by giant fissures, if not blown to smithereens. However, it now seeks high ground to renew its attack.  It has already regrouped. Harry  is now accused of being “ungovernable.”  The change in strategy is an attempt to strengthen its flank and reorder its focus for the critical battles still to come.  It is also a transparent attempt to camouflage its rout.

The Law Society must pursue its campaign to demobilize Harry as a warrior for justice.  It must fight to the end. As Greenaway admitted, there is only one standard for defining good character that applies both to paralegals and lawyers.  A finding that Kopyto has good character to work as a paralegal is only a small step away from allowing him to reenter the ranks of lawyers. The LSUC knows that the victor in this theatre of war at Osgoode Hall will take a huge prize.

True, the legal profession makes the rules under which it conducts its war against Harry. Its defences are armor-plated. It has endless resources.  It has big guns. It is a well-oiled war machine.  It is connected at the hip with Big Money and Big Government.  It employs a battalion of 500 on its home front to defend its turf. It pays lip service to transparency, accessibility to justice and accountability to win the patriotism of the public.

Neutrality Not an Option

But, the reality is the opposite.  Harry continues to receive the support of members of the public.  Between 25 and 50 supporters have come to each one of his 25 hearings. They manage to penetrate the imposing ramparts of Osgoode Hall.  In 1837, Osgoode Hall was the nest of the Family Compact supporting British colonialism against William Lyon MacKenzie and the rebels who backed his struggling for an independent Upper Canada.  Close to 200 years later, Osgoode remains the resistant bastion of injustice.

Their propaganda war has led the elite of the legal profession to believe its own lies.  In legal battles, as in war, the first casualty is truth. Lawyers know that perception is everything. There are many truths, depending on which side you are on.  Which truth will ultimately prevail? The truth of the opulent legal aristocracy which is well acquainted with the fragrant bouquet of the exquisite reds that line the walls of Osgoode Hall’s wine cellar?  Or the 99% of us who have to work a full week to pay a lawyer’s fees for one billable hour?

If Harry ends up being a casualty of the LSUC’s attack on his character, we will all die a little.  When we attend as witnesses, we do so to defend ourselves, not just him.  His war is our war. An attack on him is an attack on all of us.

The red line is drawn in the white sand. The battleground is Osgoode Hall’s Museum Room. The next sortie will take place on Tuesday November 22, 2011 at 9:30 a.m.  Neutrality is not an option.

Kopyto’s Overbilling a Myth

1984-1986    Kopyto works almost exclusively for legally-aided clients issuing 423 accounts to the Ontario Legal Aid Plan (OLAP) which were paid by the Plan.

1987    The Law Society charges Kopyto for inaccuracies, mostly in recording phone calls, in his billings

1989    Convocation finds Kopyto guilty of defrauding the Plan ― an allegation that it had previously withdrawn from an Agreed Statement of Facts.

1987-1989    OLAP freezes Kopyto’s settled accounts withholding $150,000.00.

1989    Kopyto sues OLAP to unfreeze the fees for his settled accounts and pay him for all outstanding work.

1990    Kopyto writes a public letter to Attorney-General Ian Scott challenging him to charge him with criminal fraud.  Scott declines.

1990    Legal Aid pays Kopyto’s previously withheld fees and work-in-progress. No deductions for overbilling

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