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Good Lawyers, Bad Lawyers


Sandra BabcockinJusticebusters salutes Sandra Babcock, lawyer for Stanley Faulder, the Albertan on Death Row in Texas. (executed) Ms. Babcock has done everything humanly possible to get justice for Mr. Faulder, setting an example for defence lawyers everywhere. Stan Faulder's execution is scheduled to go ahead on December 10.

Stanley FaulderinJusticebusters applaud the efforts of Joyce Milgaard and Hurricane Carter who went to Texas to talk to execution-happy Texas Gov. George W Bush.
Stanley Faulder on Death Row in Texas (executed)

of course there are more of these

Lawyer Barry Gorlick under suspension

Barry Gorlick

Carrie Forsythe said she feels as if the legal community conspired against her.

The lawyer Barry Gorlick was recommended to her in 2012 by former law society bencher Jon van der Krabben. "I thought he had my back. I thought he was protecting me and I asked for his advice," said Forsythe.

Van der Krabben failed to tell her he chaired a hearing the year before, where Gorlick pleaded guilty to professional misconduct, for failing to work and communicate on a client's case over several years.

She gave Gorlick's firm, Monk Goodwin, $5,000 to file a lawsuit over a mouse infestation in a house she bought. Gorlick never did file her claim. Emails show he made several excuses.

During that time, he was again under investigation, for failing to communicate with another client, as well as a serious charge of misappropriating a client's fees.

'He made a mistake'. Van der Krabben stated that when he recommended Gorlick he didn't think his previous misconduct was of "significant concern."

"He made a mistake and paid for it. To follow your logic, it would be imprudent to enter into a motor vehicle if someone who had previously been convicted of speeding was the driver," van der Krabben said.

Terrible comparison. Everyone speeds at one time. Not everyone screws their clients. --

Forsythe said Gorlick's firm also didn't tell her anything was amiss, until he was suspended this year.

"Not one of them - not the law firm, not the law partners - ever recommended I look somewhere else or that this guy may not even be able to finish," said Forsythe.

She has hired another lawyer to restart her case, which she said was hurt by the delay. She had to push Gorlick's firm for months to get a $3,000 refund.

Gorlick refused to talk about any of this, citing client confidentiality. He faces a hearing on the charges against him in November 2014. His former firm stated the "matter is closed."

Kickbacks, favours and more corruption as sleazy Saskatchewan's secrets are uncovered. How many careers have been built on the "Scandal of the Century?"

This case is still going on because a whole string of lawyers perpetrated a fraud upon the Saskatchewan court.

Greg Walen acted for Sgt. (now Superintendent) Brian Dueck, Department of Social Services, the Ministry of Social Services, and all three Ross children in 1996 during Richard Klassen's criminal defamation trial (he won). Walen was removed as lawyer from all these files after a complaint was finally taken seriously by the Saskatchewan Law Society. He was rewarded in 2000 with an appointment as Queen's Council. Walen is in the same law office as Barry Singer who was rewarded with the QC title five years ago after losing a string of important cases.

The next lawyer on Dueck's file was Barry Rossmann who withdrew from the file in January after successfully getting a quasi-gag order on Richard Klassen. When exams for discovery resumed June 25, a new lawyer represented Dueck: Young Gun Gerrand, a brash piece of work who quizzed Klassen extensively on the claims in the lawsuit, asking for seven examples of each allegation. (Klassen undertook to provide these examples and is ready to hand them over). Gerrand then interrogated Klassen about private details from his past.: Isn't it true you were a member of AA? What was your sponsor's name? Tell me about psychiatrists you saw when you were in jail. Etc.

This would be disgusting enough if he was just another lawyer, but our Young Gun is not just any lawyer. He is son of Big Gun, Gerald Gerrand , of whose law firm he is also a member. Big Gun holds the appointed positions of Privacy ($105,000) and Conflict of Interest ($122,000) commissioners which net him $105,000 a year beside his law practice. Nothing like having inside information to give your business that extra edge!

Gerrand has access to details of Klassen's past which Klassen cannot himself get under the privacy act!

The Gerrand firm in Regina is retained by the government of Saskatchewan and the Saskatoon Board of Police of Commissioners, two of the main defendants in the lawsuit which was launched in January, 1994.

This information was reported by Sheila Cameron on CBC in August, 2001.

As the last indicted officials from the Devine regime work their way out of court and jail, are we going to be going through another set of trials of corrupt officials?

We will have to live through whatever it takes to get justice in Saskatchewan. Part of this process will be facing up to some hard truths, which inJusticebusters will continue to post.

Bad Lawyers & Demagogs

The most powerful lawyer in Saskatchewan is Roy Romanow

Of course, most Saskatchewan lawyers are home trained. Visit their university site to get a feel for the attitude. The training is all about keeping knowledge in the hands of lawyers so people will have to pay for anything they get. The recruitment package urges them to come and enjoy elite privileges while they train! Not all law schools are like this. There are many places which try to include non-lawyer people by making simple information available and not being so fearful of people defending themselves in court.

We're still advising you to defend yourselves and refer you to our court tips. The Martensville nine all had lawyers. 99% of the inmates of Saskatchewan jails had lawyers. Most of them have never seen the crown's disclosure against them. Many accepted plea bargains without ever having been made aware of exculpatory evidence, especially in drug cases. When you hear a defence lawyer complain about heavy workload, don't you wonder why? They are highly trained professionals whose law degrees are subsidized by the taxpayers. The Criminal Code of Canada provides many good defences. Yet over and over again they go before a judge, hand in hand with the prosecutor, to present a "joint agreement" which sells their clients out.

Roy Romanow

Roy Romanow: Premier of Saskatchewan

Romanow advised his minister of justice, Bob Mitchell, to proceed against the Sterlings in Martensville, although he knew this was a case built on 100% hysteria and no evidence. Ten years earlier, prosecution of such cases had been thoroughly discredited in California and Minnesota. Nonetheless, some politicians had furthered their careers during the height of the hysteria there. Never mind that hundreds of lives had been ruined. When a clever lawyer like Roy jumps into such a slough, knowing that the charges are preposterous, and advises his ministers to jump in with him, some questions are raised regarding their motives. Click Premier Roy Romanow's picture to find out more.

Greg Walen Greg Walen has variously represented the children in the Foster Parent's case, Sgt. Brian Dueck, and Social Services, sometimes all at the same time. He didn't see any conflict. We should point out that he is no longer handling all these files but it was an uphill battle to have him withdrawn as Dueck's counsel in the civil claim.

Walen self-importantly strode into the courtroom and informed the judge that he had "Orders from the Minister (of Social Services)" to stop any attempts to produce them before Rick Klassen received the go-ahead from Queen's Bench Judge Peter Dielschnieder to have the Ross children produced for his criminal defamation trial

This imperious form of lawyering works with some judges, but most know that Canada is no longer a colony and that the courts are independent of the legislature.

Apparently it works like a damn with his peers. Greg Walen was just made Queen's Counsel in 2000. We have to wonder how many careers are going to be made out of unethical lawyering in the Scandal of the Century. At the rate the race is going, it might even beat David Milgaard. The province is run almost entirely by people who rose to their present positions -- including the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal -- by mishandling Milgaard. The Foster Parent Scandal and Martensville would seem to have provided similar stepping stones for the next generation of dishonest administration.

Roger Kergoat

  • Roger Kergoat was in court in January, 1999 to defend previously convicted pedophile Gordon Cole against charges of indecent assault and gross indecency.
  • The complainant was connected to the original Foster Parent Case as a falsely accused person against whom charges were later stayed.
  • In the Foster Parent Case, Kergoat was defence counsel for, Don R. who eventually won a new trial from the Supreme Court of Canada. No thanks to Kergoat who provided a tepid defence, to put the kindest reading on it!
  • His defence of Gordon Cole is vigorous, enthusiastic -- and unethical. He draws on material he could have learned only during his stint as counsel in the Foster Parent Case.
  • He attempted a character assassination on the witness, extracting from the complainant his kinship to the only person convicted in that case, twice referring to the witness as "the accused" and even bringing in our website as evidence of some kind of pathological stress syndrome causing him to make allegations against his client!
  • He went so far as to say that community standards of 1974 tolerated grown men sneaking up on thirteen year old boys in their beds to stroke their penises!
  • The Crown was obviously ambushed by Kergoat's vitriolic attack but wisely waited until Kergoat settled down. The judge was not impressed, either, and ordered Cole to stand trial on both charges.
  • Kergoat clearly had a vendetta against the Crown witness in this proceeding. He brought in injusticebusters' publishing the whereabouts of Michael Ross as evidence of -- what? That had nothing to do with his client's case!

See also Jane Olson

Saskatchewan's sleazy and crooked lawyers: Darren Hagen will be allowed to resume practice after 30 months if he takes counselling and acquires organizational and time management skills. Kenneth Wasylyshen pleaded guilty to 10 charges of conduct unbecoming a lawyer They fleeced clients.

Lawyers, don't be so rude: Recommendation made to improve courtroom etiquette

Canada's lawyers have become so rude that they need a basic etiquette course to eradicate antics like yelling at witnesses and making faces and noises at each other while sipping their Starbucks coffee in the courtroom, a legal conference was told Tuesday.

"Play down your Gladiator-like instincts," advised Justice David Jenkins of the Prince Edward Island Supreme Court.

An Ontario judge painted a dismal picture of "the breakdown of civility" in his small Orangeville courtroom that would make Miss Manners shudder.

Justice Emile Kruzick of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice said he and clients often have to wait for late lawyers who finally waltz in with their coffee, muffin, and sometimes a newspaper they blatantly read during court proceedings.

Others, he said, make faces and sigh, moan or roll their eyes during their opponents' arguments and torment witnesses. Some lawyers don't bother to stand when addressing the judge and sometimes they address each other directly instead of communicating through the bench, breaking a sacred rule of the courtroom.

"I sometimes have to say, 'Hello, I'm here' " said Kruzick. "And then there are counsel who openly show displeasure by facial expressions or other mannerisms on which I won't elaborate."

About 30 of the 800 lawyers at the annual gathering of the Canadian Bar Association attended the panel discussion on manners and the dismal attendance was noted by the participating lawyers and judges.

Both the bench and the bar asserted that the aggressive nature of the business, in which lawyers are expected to act like "attack dogs" for their clients, simply breeds bad manners. And lack of decorum goes far beyond the courtroom: it permeates telephone calls to clients and discussions between opposing lawyers on a case, who are routinely given to shouting at each other and sending nasty e-mails.

"There is an expectation, a demand by clients that from the beginning of their file we advocate fully, forcefully, fearlessly and sometimes fiercely on their behalf," said Prince Edward Island lawyer Ron Profit. "To be civil, calm and courteous is seen by some clients and opposing counsel as too cowardly, too co-operative and negligent."

Profit served up "stress-busting" tips that he said get to the root of the rudeness problem: overworked lawyers who are three times more prone to alcoholism and drug addiction than the population as a whole and six times more likely to commit suicide.

His list includes dozens of simple tips, which read much like the popular self-help book Don't Sweat the Small Stuff. Among them is to have a "buddy lawyer" to keep an eye on each other and talk out problems. Others include apologizing when wrong, taking time for lunch every day, meeting with people in person instead of over the phone because it's harder to be rude to someone's face, and rejecting the "Hollywood" image of lawyers that "glamourizes rudeness and incivility in our profession."

Be sure and check out our fall-winter 2002 story of rude, bullying prosecutors and a judge who could go to manner school as injusticebusters seek a fair hearing for Tracey Marcotte. This one is still unfolding.