There is reasonable litigation (suing the government for wrongful prosecution) and then there are the lawyers who take reasonable litigation and behave outrageously outraging reasonable people. Litigation on crack?
November 24, 2004 - It wasn't that the StarPhoenix disclosed the information given them by Justice Minister Frank Quennell that got the lawyer's panties in a knot. At least that what he says in a lawsuit against the StarPhoenix. No, Geoff Dufour objected to the StarPhoenix publishing the remarks of a colleague, Robert Stephenson, that the terms of the settlement raise a "red flag".
Mr. Dufour says in his claim that this term is damaging to his reputation. He is also considering going after Stephenson.
I have already said most of what I have to say about Dufour so it is probably beside the point to use the adjective "avaricious."
It is worth noting that Justice Minister Frank Quennell, Dufour and StarPhoenix lawyer Grant Currie all used to work at Robertson Stromberg.
The offices of Balfour Moss prepared the claim on Dufour's behalf.
Now that Saskatchewan lawyers have drained the bank accounts of most people in Saskatchewan it seems only right that they should go after each other.
In early August, 2002, Geoff Dufour approached Richard Klassen offering to be his lawyer. He said he could get a setttlement much more quickly than Klassen could on his own. He could be up to speed and ready to go for exams for discovery within 3 weeks.
He said: "I bring to the table my experience in dealing with these government people. "
He also clearly indicated that while he didn't think Klassen needed a lawyer, "If I take you (Klassen) on, you are to disassociate yourself from everyone not connected to the case, including Borden and Holgate (counsel for the other plaintiffs in the $10M+ lawsuit)." Dufour told Klassen he would have to work with him and him only, , spend day and night with him and to keep this secret even from his wife, another plaintiff in the suit represented by Borden Holgate. He could not speak to the media.
Dufour speculated that Klassen would not receive as much as Popowich, because Popowich was a police officer and Klassen an ordinary civilian. Richard Klassen himself would get "maybe a million dollars," As for the others in the claim? Dale and Anita (foster parents for the Ross children), including (Ron and Linda Sterling in the Martensville case who were not yet his clients) they would receive much less than Popowich. "Maybe it t would amount to a car and a pizza."
It is rare that a cop is falsely accused of a sexual offence. It happened to Popowich and he was rightfully compensated. The notion that because he is a cop his reputation is more important than that of any other citizen is one which must be challenged. More often than not it is more marginalized people -- like the Klassens, the Kvellos, the Rosses and Travis Sterling -- who find themselves railroaded to court. People like David Milgaard, Guy Paul Morin, Tom Sophonow, Greg Parsons, and Chris McCullough. The outcomes of these cases are widely varied, depending on the integrity of their litigators and the degree of public sympathy they could command.
Judge Paul Hrabinsky's speech about then-Sgt. Dueck's reputation at the sentencing hearing of John and Johanna Lucas for criminal defamation against him is a case in point. The Lucases went to prison even though most of what they had alleged about Dueck was true. Dueck has benefited greatly from having deceived a judge. (See Judge Hrabinsky's secret court and the acquittal of Richard Klassen and Sheila Steele for having made almost identical allegations)
At the time Dufour approached Klassen he was not yet representing the Sterlings. He was still trawling for old files for which he could get some quick settlements and his percentage. By the time The Fifth Estate program Hell to Pay aired, he most certainly had the Sterlings in tow. This would possibly explain why the story was not as aggressive in proclaiming the innocence of Travis.
Travis Sterling (right) remains the most wrongfully treated person in the entire Martensville fiasco. He becme the sacrificial lamb whose conviction allowed the government to save face. A public prosecutions office hellbent on getting convictions rather than serving the public need to discover the truth in a court of law. Hugh Harradence was appointed by the court to be Travis Sterling's legal counsel. Harradence conveniently neglected to defend one of the charges against Travis even though there was powerful evidence for such a defence. Now Harradence is running inquests and inquiries, useless exercises which, nonetheless provide nice pay checks for the person running them. Such high profile appointments generally lead to the bench.
Dufour could well have aspirations to the bench. He is definitely into maintaining the status quo regarding secrecy and under the table deals.
From: Geoff Dufour <g.dufour@XXXXXXX>
Date: Fri Feb 28, 2003 12:18:09 PM Canada/Central
Subject: Breach of Court Ordered Publication Ban
To: Sheila Steele
From: Geoffrey D. Dufour
Dufour Scott Phelps & Mason
Re: Naming XXXXXXX
Please be advised that we represent XXXXXXX
Your site names XXXXXXX. You are aware, of course, that a court
order prohibits the publication of XXXXXX's name. We demand that
you remove it from your website immediately.
Geoffrey D. Dufour
inJusticebusters has complied with this demand. It has not ever been the intention on this website to further embarrass people who have been brought into the spotlight by a corrupt justice system. By the same token, we want to give every falsely accused person an opportunity to his/her name. As Ron Sterling stated so eloquently when asked why he has stayed in Saskatchewan, where could he go? Everybody knows his face and the face of every other accused who has been set up by police and falsely charged (with the media on hand to record the arrests). People are not always aware of the acquittals, or staying of charges.
Dufour is not doing his clients any service by encouraging them to shut up. Playing on the fears and embarrassment of people who have always been traumatized is downright unethical. Dufour's client in this instance suffered incredible losses. She was not even in the province when the other people were charged. Even though she was acquitted (see Judge Lavoie's verbal abuse of T.S.) eventually, she was subjected to unforgiveable treatment. For Dufour to participate in making her feel frightened about her identity is curious.
But we already know few if any Saskatchewan lawyers have any ethics.