Canada: Ian Mulgrew: Convicted killer still sparring with B.C. Law Society - - PressFrom - Canada

Canada Ian Mulgrew: Convicted killer still sparring with B.C. Law Society

00:55  12 october  2019
00:55  12 october  2019 Source:

Convicted rapists walk out of Ottawa court, skip town and prison

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B . C . lawyers are gathering Tuesday for a historic showdown over a crisis in the legal system triggered 16 years ago by former Liberal Attorney General Geoff Plant. The outcome of the annual general meeting of the Law Society of B . C . may very well serve to pass judgment on a generation of legal

A generation after the incoming B . C . Liberals decimated the Legal Services Society — slashing its budget by 40 per cent — the Law Society of B . C . has endorsed a very different, far more expensive vision of legal aid.

a person posing for the camera: Convicted killer Allan Dunbar claims the scales of justice had a thumb on them during his trial and appeal. Convicted killer Allan Dunbar claims the scales of justice had a thumb on them during his trial and appeal.

The B.C. Supreme Court is being asked to order the Law Society of B.C. to reveal disciplinary records to either quash or confirm allegations a lawyer’s conduct may have perverted a murder trial 20 years ago.

Vancouver lawyer Martin Peters filed the application seeking direction from the court, after reaching an impasse with the lawyers’ regulator over files that Peters alleges may contain evidence casting doubt on the fairness of convicted killer Allan Dunbar’s trial.

In an April letter, the court documents say, the Law Society said it had concerns about turning over the material because it said the files were covered by the cloak of statutory privilege and because of the B.C. Court of Appeal’s 2003 decision, which strongly dismissed similar allegations about the lawyer in the original trial.

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A Law Society of B . C . disciplinary hearing descended Tuesday into acrimony and occasional raised voices over the regulatory body’s ability and willingness to police money laundering. Kenneth McEwan, a lawyer for the society

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Peters said the court needs to examine the records and decide whether they should be made available to Dunbar given their potential impact on his ability to “make full answer and defence.”

“The protection of innocence is the relevant principle of fundamental justice that provides the foundation for post-conviction disclosure obligations and for this level of court’s jurisdiction to make post-conviction disclosure orders in appropriate cases,” stated an application for third-party disclosure signed by Peters, which was included in the materials submitted to the court.

“There is no other means available at law to Mr. Dunbar to obtain the fresh evidence that would assist with the post-conviction remedies that he wishes to pursue.”

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Like the old Soviet Communist Party airbrushing Leon Trotsky from photographs of Joseph Stalin, the Law Society of B . C . is erasing the province’s first chief justice from its image. It has condemned Sir Matthew Begbie’s statue in the foyer of its Vancouver building

A much-anticipated debate on the self-representation and legal-aid crisis besetting B . C . courts and the strident concerns within the Law Society of B . C . about how to deal with it have been put on hold. Ironically, the important discussion about key access-to-justice concerns was cut off by access issues.

Represented at the time by lawyer John Banks, Dunbar was convicted by a jury of first-degree murder on Oct. 13, 2000. He was found guilty of firing a shotgun blast on Oct. 29, 1989, that shattered the sliding glass door of a basement apartment on Laurel Street, killing Diane Corkum, a 35-year-old mother of three.

Corkum was the spouse of Dunbar’s younger brother Ronald, but they had split and were in a bitter custody dispute over their three-year-old son, Allan Jr.

The killing went unsolved for a decade until the RCMP reopened the VPD file and brother Ronald and older half-sister Pat White came forward to finger Dunbar.

At the time, Dunbar claimed the dysfunctional extended family was embroiled in a nasty financial squabble and that his siblings lied — allegations rejected by the appeal court.

Dunbar was handed life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for 25 years.

Mother's anger spills out in court as son's killer sentenced

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Nowhere is the Law Society of B . C .’s failure to act in the public interest more evident than its more-than-a-decade-long procrastination to regulate We’re still waiting. Let’s stop kidding ourselves. The Law Society is an anachronistic mechanism for regulating the provision of legal services according to

The cri de coeur echoed across the province and quickly around the Net — there oughta be a law against missing women killer Robert Pickton It’s one thing to find ways to prevent convicted killer Robert Pickton from profiting from his book, but quite another to try to prevent him from publishing it.

He insisted his trial was flawed because of Banks’s conduct and failure to follow instructions. Dunbar alleged that evidence he wanted to be presented wasn’t and, against his wishes, Dunbar was not allowed to testify.

Dunbar’s initial attempt to correct what he claims to be a miscarriage of justice at the trial was handled by lawyer Sheldon Goldberg, who was himself found to have incompetently handled the appeal, preventing a proper review by the court.

Goldberg presented Dunbar’s appeal as part of an omnibus appeal with three others, each involving a defendant represented by Banks. All were dismissed.

Some material from the Law Society files about Banks was delivered to the high bench then but the panel — Chief Justice Lance Finch, Justice Tom Braidwood and Justice Peter Lowry — ruled “the sealed packages need not be opened” because the evidence tendered was “completely inadequate” to meet the test for doing so.

The court rejected Dunbar’s appeal and, in an unusual afterword, urged the Crown to complain about Goldberg to the Law Society.

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An Indigenous lawyer facing client complaints in Alberta failed to prove the Law Society of B . C . discriminated against her by refusing to allow her to practise without conditions. But the regulatory agency was nevertheless scolded in B . C . Supreme Court for failing to adequately support the mother

Ian Mulgrew : Trinity Western’s legal win sets up Supreme Court showdown over Christian law school. B . C .’s top court has set up a Supreme Court of Canada showdown In B . C ., the law society originally endorsed the law school but that triggered a backlash among lawyers standing up for LGBTQ persons.

The division excoriated him for questioning without proof Banks’s professional fitness and alleging the use of cocaine: “There is no factual foundation in any admissible affidavit evidence to support these accusations.”

It went on to say the allegations made by Goldberg on Dunbar’s behalf were “replete with inadmissible hearsay, opinions, speculations, argument, and the irrelevant” and ultimately unfounded.

In 2004, the Supreme Court of Canada refused to consider Dunbar’s case.

Goldberg was subsequently censured and quit law.

In 2009, however, in a judgment supporting the Law Society’s discipline of Goldberg, Justice Jo-Ann Prowse referred to a decision not to permit Banks to return to the practice of law and wrote, “it may be the Law Society refused to readmit Mr. Banks as a member of the bar for reasons which have nothing to do with his fitness to practice” but “if Mr. Banks was refused readmission (on) the basis of unfitness, it is not unreasonable to question whether (Banks) may have been unfit at the time he represented one or more of these clients at trial.

“The Law Society is in possession and control of relevant information in that regard … (and) may consider it appropriate to review its records to ascertain whether there is a foundation therein for recommending a further investigation into this matter, with a view to determining whether there may have been a miscarriage of justice in relation to one or more of the Dunbar appellants.”

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Just off the plane from Kyiv, Mark Benton, CEO of B . C .’s Legal Services Society , wanted to talk about Ukraine’s inchoate legal aid system, not the imposition of martial law in the conflict-racked nation. The military crisis, hopefully, would pass — the civil- society initiatives are about the future.

Ian Mulgrew . Updated: July 4, 2019. Here, the B . C . Law Society , after a decade of blather, is still twiddling its thumbs about how to do the same thing. Still , let’s hope, the access-to-justice movement is gaining momentum — the glacial change has been difficult to watch given how many are suffering.

In 2017, Peters obtained a B.C. Supreme Court order providing access to the Law Society material under a protocol, but alleges now that not all of the relevant documents were produced.

Peters hopes to win access to the files and use them to support an application to the Supreme Court of Canada asking it to send the Dunbar case back to the B.C. Court of Appeal for reconsideration.

Banks, who was readmitted and practises in White Rock, said he was surprised to hear these old allegations had resurfaced.

“It’s between the Law Society and Dunbar,” he said. “The matter happened 20 years ago now. It’s hard for me to remember all the details at this point. … Let’s see what happens.”

The Law Society said in an emailed response to questions that it has been cooperating with Peters to provide access to the records sought in 2017: “The protocol that was established by the court order allows Dunbar to review records, but requires Dunbar to give notice of his intention to use them in a legal proceeding. To our knowledge, the protocol and process has worked as intended. This new application seeks to broaden the scope of records by adding a new category of records to what was covered by the 2017 court order. As the matter is before the court, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

None of Dunbar’s allegations have been proven in court and some already have been examined by a court and declared unfounded.

The next hearing is set for Oct. 29.

'Not enough': Widow slams sentence for tow truck driver convicted in fatal crash .
The widow of an Ottawa man killed when a tow truck slammed into his vehicle nearly four years ago says the sentence handed to the other driver Friday wasn't harsh enough.Mohamed Haj-Saleh, 26, was sentenced to two and a half years in a federal penitentiary and given a seven-year driving prohibition after being convicted of dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

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