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.
On August 19, 2013, Kopyto was retained by a client, Mike Giftopoulos, that Blight―a lawyer in her daytime job―was opposing in a human rights complaint against the Hamilton Wentworth Catholic School Board. Kopyto wrote her immediately the very next day so that she could deal with the conflict of both judging Harry while opposing his client. On August 21st last year, she decided to resign as counsel for her client, the School Board, but kept the retainer by having another lawyer in her firm represent her client. (Isn’t that still a financial conflict?)
Harry Followed the Adjudicator Code―the Panel, Not so Much
Then, Harry’s client, Mike, on August 26th, volunteered to testify as a witness for Harry at Harry’s hearing before Blight. This further complicated the problem for the panel. Blight’s recent involvement in acting as a lawyer against Mike created a conflict of interest, despite her decision to pass the case on to her colleague in the same firm. Now, on top of that, how could she appear to be unbiased as regards Mike’s testimony about Harry when, only days earlier, she was crossing swords with Mike?
Kopyto brought all of this to Blight’s attention three days later when he appeared before her on a regularly scheduled hearing date of his application to be grandparented as a paralegal. He explained the course of events exactly as set out here. He then asked her to resign. The panel listened to Harry’s submissions fully. They even asked him to clarify some matters, which Harry did.
In requesting that Ms. Blight recuse herself, Harry was following the procedure outlined in the Adjudicator Code of Conduct published by the Law Society. That Code specifically gave the panel the power to make a decision regarding an allegation of bias based on the procedure Harry had followed. The panel members could have made their decision right then and there without further ado. But, oh no. It’s never this simple when the Law Society has its back against the wall.
Blight Had Her Own Agenda
Blight decided to complicate matters. After Harry made his request, after outlining the reasons for it, after responding to the panel’s questioning of him, Ms. Blight decided, with a cursory glance at the other two panel members, to reject following the procedure in the Code of Conduct. Instead, she ordered Kopyto to bring a formal motion. This was a ruling she had no authority to make. It should have been his decision if he wanted to bring the motion or not. Harry strenuously resisted. However, barreling ahead, the panel, with wild applause from their cheering section sitting at the LSUC prosecutor’s desk, ordered Harry to bring the motion. It then set dates for Harry to file an affidavit, to be cross-examined, to file a factum and to make oral submissions.
Of course, Blight had no need to consider whether to resign by requiring Harry to take all these formal steps. Harry specifically said that he had no additional evidence beyond brief submissions he had already made that morning. No witnesses, no legal cases. That was all.
But Blight had her own agenda. It was her decision to put Harry through the ringer. It was her decision to have him cross-examined to see what the prosecution could come up with to undermine Harry’s request. (Nothing.) It was her decision to force Harry to come up with legal authorities for his position (she ignored them all as they were telling against her). It was also her agenda to postpone giving reasons for rejecting Harry’s request for a summary decision under the Adjudicator Code of Ethics. All of this scheming by Blight was more of a transparently facile then devilishly clever ruse. It was just the same old, tired slyness that distinguishes her style.
Motion Was a Waste of Time
As it turned out, the motion was a waste of time. The cross-examination of Harry yielded nothing. Harry’s affidavit was almost word for word the same as what he told Blight when he asked her to resign on August 29, 2013. Since she ignored the caselaw Harry cited to her, that was a waste of time too. And the close to three months’ delay in hearing oral argument―well, Harry never asked for that either and Blight was the only one who would benefit from stretching out the agenda.
Blight announced in early November, 2013 that she would stay on the panel but did not give her reasons until about four months later. The main advantage to Blight of ignoring the Adjudicator Code of Conduct and being able to delay her reasons for clearing herself was to wait to hear Mike Giftopoulos gave his evidence on March 4, 2014. That way, she could trash Mike’s evidence and justify her refusal to resign by saying that Mike’e evidence made him a “minor” witness. That’s exactly what she did. Once Mike testified, the reasons postponed for almost five months, were delivered one week later. Surprise, surprise!
Somebody Has to Pay―Guess Who?
But somebody had to pay for this expensive little motion that Blight directed take place against Harry’s strenuous objections and protests. Even though he didn’t ask for it, never wanted it and spoke vehemently against it, can you guess who that somebody might be? And somebody also has to decide exactly how much Harry has to pay. The Law Society is asking for $15,631.58. Don’t gasp, dear reader. It actually cost them much more―$35,872.50 for their prep time and counsel fees alone, or so they claim. Harry just doesn’t appreciate that he caught them in a generous mood.
So try to guess who that somebody is who will decide the amount of legal costs that Harry will be ordered to pay for bringing a motion he didn’t ask to bring and vociferously opposed and argued was not needed but who nonetheless was ordered to bring. That person is the same person that Harry said was biased. The same person who ignored the Adjudicator Code of Conduct. The same person who ordered Harry to bring the motion he did not want. The same person that decided the motion’s outcome. And the same person who ruled that she herself was not biased. That same person will now decide how much money Harry has to pay for bringing a motion that person ordered Harry to bring. Ladies and Gentlemen, take off your hats, get out of your seats and give it up for an extraordinary performance by none other than prima donna Margot Blight!
Curtain Call for Law Society Prosecutors
But wait, wait, wait―there is a curtain call! Other performers who played a supporting role also deserve a standing ovation. Shouldn’t the Law Society prosecutors also receive recognition for claiming close to two thousand dollars in their padded account for legal work done even before Blight directed Harry that he must bring a motion? And what about the Law Society’s schizophrenic reasons for seeking higher costs against poor Harry―at the same time, the Law Society accuses Harry of rushing the process by “attempting to surprise” the panel by having Blight follow the summary procedural guideline in the Adjudicator Code of Conduct while also accusing Harry of “using the groundless motion to drag out the process.” And then the prosecutors threw in another outright lie―that Harry refuses to pay costs orders as a matter of principle.
A Performance Deserving Recognition
Isn’t that also a performance deserving recognition, dear reader? Should the LSUC prosecutors not be added to the pantheon of thespians for their creative role-playing in this LSUC tragicomedy?
Let’s hear it for this wonderful repertory of performers, this troupe of mutual admirers, this entourage of snake-oil purveyors, this self-important and glib band of sycophants, their nose stuck high up in the clouds, who deem to judge the moral character of us mere mortals while themselves administering an immoral and soul-destroying avaricious monopoly that treats a fundamental constitutional public right such as access to justice as a commodity to be sold to the highest bidder? Ladies and gentlemen, a standing ovation!