I like the work, I like the people, I like the clients, I set my own hours, I set my own price structure, I call the shots with what I will and will not do.
Today brings good news for Madam Justice Lori Douglas, the Canadian judge captured in pornographic pictures that wound their way to the web. Alex Chapman — the 44-year-old computer programmer who sued Justice Douglas for $7 million, alleging that the judge and her husband harassed and inflicted emotional distress upon him, by pressuring him (Chapman) to have sex with her — has dropped his lawsuit against Her Honor. Chapman will continue to move forward with his suit against Douglas’s husband, divorce lawyer Jack King.
Perhaps Chapman was scared off by the “statement of defense” that was filed for Douglas earlier this week. Douglas claimed the action was barred by the statute of limitations and that Chapman’s allegations “fail to disclose a cause of action against her.” (This makes sense to us; based on what we currently know, it seems that Douglas was, if anything, also a victim here.)
With Justice Douglas out of the case, the lawsuit may become somewhat less salacious. But we will continue to bring you updates to the extent that we can.
We don’t normally cross international borders to find judges to write about; there are enough colorful characters in the U.S. judiciary. But when the jurist in question has appeared in pornography that made its way on to the interwebs, we make an exception.
There are some updates in the tale of Madam Justice Lori Douglas, the Canadian judge who appeared in nude photos showing Her Honor engaging in bondage, playing with sex toys and performing oral sex. We previously “exposed” the story here and here.
The first one is an amusing yet cautionary tale. Just because your porn features a judicial angel in the centerfold doesn’t mean it’s not porn — and, as such, inappropriate to keep on your work computer.
This is a lesson that Alex Chapman, the man who has filed ethics complaint and civil lawsuits against Justice Douglas and her husband, prominent divorce lawyer Jack King, learned the hard way….
Yesterday we wrote about Madam Justice Lori Douglas, a Canadian judge in Manitoba who, in her pre-robescent days, apparently posed for nude pictures — while engaged in such activities as bondage, sex toy play, and oral sex. These photographs apparently made their way on to an interracial porn website called DarkCavern.com (without Douglas’s knowledge or consent, according to her husband — who claims he posted the pics during a bout with depression).
The pictures came to light when an ethics complaint was filed against Justice Douglas and her husband, matrimonial lawyer Jack King. A former client of King, an African-Canadian gentleman by the name of Alex Chapman, claims that King sexually harassed him by showing him the porn pics of Lori Douglas and encouraging him (Chapman) to have sexual relations with Douglas. According to Chapman, King suffers not just from depression but from “Jungle Fever”: he is titillated by African-Canadian men getting it on with white women.
Justice Douglas did not comment to CBC News, which broke the story. But she has taken other action in the wake of the scandal….
Up in Canada, judges have no problem with cameras in the courtroom. As Canadian Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin explained in a recent discussion with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Canada’s high court has had cameras in the courtroom for over 20 years, and they haven’t caused any problems. [FN1]
Some Canadian judges don’t have a problem with cameras outside the courtroom, either. As reported by CBC News, naked photographs of a senior judge from Canada engaging in bondage, playing with sex toys and performing oral sex were previously posted on the internet. These nude pictures are now part of ethics complaints filed in July against the judge, Lori Douglas, associate chief justice of Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench, and her husband, Winnipeg family lawyer Jack King.
And the pics are just the tip of the iceberg. The complainant, a 44-year-old computer specialist named Alexander Chapman, claims that Jack King, Chapman’s lawyer at the time, sexually harassed Chapman by pressuring him to have sex with King’s wife, Lori Douglas (still a lawyer at the time).
So… many… questions. Let’s learn more — plus ogle a bigger and better photo of Madam Justice Douglas….
The man’s problems seem trivial to the outside world. His office is crappy. He needs an upgrade, but not because he wants to feel like he’s some hotshot. He just knows that he has to look like a hotshot in order to generate business. This is how he explains it on a Craigslist post:
I work in a large Bay Street law firm. Many of my partners and clients have extensive collections of original artwork. As a struggling associate with a mortgage, no job security and a wife with a penchant for running into things with our car, I cannot afford to buy original artwork myself, so I appear low-rent to the higher-ups. Given the high standards of my clients and partners, I also cannot go out and buy prints or copies of original art – I will be laughed into the unemployment line.
A lot of associates would have noted the problem and left it at that. Maybe they would have gone home crying to their mothers about life’s unfairness. But not this kid…
Sometimes law firm outings can get pretty crazy. It seems like this is especially true in Canada. Who would have thought, eh?
Last month, we wrote about a bottles-and-models party in Toronto that led to one associate losing his Canadian cookies in a cab, and a partner allegedly grinding (inappropriately) on female associates. Maybe those ladies just needed thicker skins or, in that case, booties?
Meanwhile, as we mentioned briefly this morning, a female lawyer in Vancouver did not have a thick enough head. In 2001, Michelle Marie Danicek, then 32, was a law clerk at Alexander Holburn Beaudin & Lang LLP. According to the Vancouver Sun, in April 2001 she went out dancing at the Bar None nightclub, after a firm-sponsored associates’ dinner at an oyster house.
As many of you know, lawyers are not always the best dancers. The lawyers got their grooves on, and one of Danicek’s fellow maladroit associates stumbled into her, perhaps while he was doing the “running man” (that seems Canadian).
This caused her to fall to the ground — and sustain a $6 million injury….
- Canada, Defamation, Drinking, Labor / Employment, Parties, Sex, Sex Scandals, Sexism, Sexual Harassment
Sometimes law firm after-hours parties get pretty wild. The Great Recession didn’t put a damper on one Toronto firm’s celebrations last year. In January 2009, Mathews, Dinsdale & Clarke threw a rager in honor of its annual labour law “moot” competition for Canadian law students. (We mentioned this story briefly in yesterday’s Non-Sequiturs.)
After awards were given out at a dinner, the lawyerly crew headed to Toronto night club Cheval, for bottle service and dancing. Things got a little crazy. One senior associate got so hammered that “he left the club without his coat or keys and vomited in the taxi cab as it left the club.” And one partner, David Cowling, allegedly got too friendly with some of the female associates while grinding on the dance floor.
Two associates complained about his behavior to other partners, and now Cowling is suing the two associates (who have since left the firm) for defamation and intentional interference with economic relations.
So what did they allege?
The Canadian legal blogosphere has been buzzing this week over an article penned by last year by a retired Canadian law professor. In it, University of Western Ontario emeritus professor Robert Martin likens Canadian law faculties to “psychotic kindergartens” and offers other hilarious taunts about the quality of Canadian legal education.
The Guardian highlights this quote by Professor Martin: “Each fall, a horde of illiterate, ignorant cretins enters Canada’s universities. A few years later, they all move on, just as illiterate, just as ignorant and rather more cretinous, but now armed with bits of paper, which most of them are probably not able to read, called degrees.”
Some might say: this sounds just like the United States. Does Professor Martin have a newsletter or perhaps a blog of his own so that we may continue to hear his thoughts on the state of legal education?
While Martin has a number of excellent quips about Canadian education, he reserves his biggest guns for the value proposition of going to law school. His thoughts should resonate with many American law students….
We expect judges to not let their personal opinions influence their judicial decisions. But it’s silly to expect judges to be automatons with no feelings. They hurt, they cry — and just like everybody else, they get angry when they have to deal with assholes.
Sadly being an asshole isn’t a crime, and so one Canadian judge just had to suck it up and let a Canadian junior hockey player charged with assault go free. But not before the judge gave the defendant a little piece of his mind. The CBC reports (gavel bang: Deadspin):
Junior hockey player Chris Doyle was found not guilty of assault Friday, but received some harsh words from P.E.I. Judge John Douglas.
“If he was charged with being a colossal asshole, I would find him guilty,” said Douglas, chief judge of the provincial court.
“Of assault causing bodily harm, I find him not guilty.”
Make no mistake. Judge Douglas was right to point out that Chris Doyle was a giant douchebag…