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Judge, husband, and law firm face lawsuits
Douglas could get permenantly removed. Thoughts on that? Any thoughts about the way the law firm and Law Society handled (or failed to handle) the situation.
Also, is it just me, or do you think $67 million is a little excessive? :eyeroll:
A Winnipeg judge, her lawyer husband and a prestigious law firm are being sued for a total of $67 million by a man who claims he was harassed and suffered emotional distress when he was pressured to have sex with the lawyer's wife.
The complainant, computer specialist Alexander Chapman, 44, alleges Winnipeg family lawyer Jack King, 64, harassed him in 2003 by pressuring him to have sex with his wife, Lori Douglas, who was a lawyer at the time.
The legal action comes a day after CBC News reported that Chapman had filed a formal complaint in July about King to the Law Society of Manitoba over the same alleged incidents. That same month, he also filed a complaint to the Canadian Judicial Council about Douglas's conduct.
The statements of claim all allege misfeasance in public office, negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
In an interview with CBC News, Chapman said he first met King in 2002, when he retained him from the Thompson Dorfman Sweatman firm to handle his divorce.
Alexander Chapman claims he was pressured to have sex with Lori Douglas by her husband. He said he never had sex with Douglas. (CBC)
Chapman alleges King invited him out for a drink about five months later and mentioned a porn website devoted to interracial sex, particularly between black men and white women. He indicated he wanted Chapman, who is black, to have sex with his wife.
King also showed him about 30 sexually explicit photos of Douglas, showing her naked in various forms of bondage, in chains, with sex toys and performing oral sex, said Chapman, who noted in the lawsuit documents that he kept a diary of their conversations and meetings.
When his divorce concluded, Chapman said he filed a complaint to the managing partners at Thompson Dorfman Sweatman. Soon after receiving the complaint, King left the firm.
Chapman received a $25,000 payment in return for a promise not to take legal action against King and his partners. As part of the settlement, Chapman said he was required to not speak about the matter and to destroy all emails, photos and other materials sent to him by King.
He said he signed the settlement papers, but kept the material.
After seven years of silence, Chapman said he decided to come forward, saying he felt distraught about the matter for a long time and worried it may have influence in a civil court case he's involved in, which is related to the divorce he obtained in 2003. CBC News has seen no evidence of such influence.
In the lawsuit documents, it says Chapman is seeing a psychologist who has diagnosed him "as having adjustment disorder with mixed disturbance of emotions and conduct, directly related to these episodes."
'Did she know?'
Irwin Cotler, the former federal justice minister who appointed Douglas to the Court of Queen's Bench in 2005, said on Wednesday that he had no idea about the photos.
Appointments to the bench are always thoroughly vetted and the candidate is asked about his or her background, he said in an interview in Ottawa.
It's possible that an applicant could be unaware of the possible misuse of their personal photos or papers, he said.
"The question is, what did she know and when did she know it? I think that will be a very important part of this," Cotler said.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper refused to comment on the allegations or the vetting process that failed to discover the incident about the nude photos.
Speaking to reporters in Quebec on Wednesday, he said it would be "completely inappropriate" for him to comment on the matter because it is before the Canadian Judicial Council.
"They are the body that deals with disciplinary and other such matters [involving judges]. The judiciary's responsible for looking into that matter," he said.
Douglas unaware of posting: lawyer
In an earlier interview with CBC News, King's lawyer, Bill Gange, said King suffered from depression in 2003 and said the events Chapman complained about were part of an isolated incident and that King's wife didn't know he was soliciting a client to have sex with her.
Gange said Douglas also was unaware her husband was posting pictures online to a porn website soliciting black men for sex with white women.
Douglas has declined to comment, saying it's a private matter.
Last edited by Bill Haverchuck; 09-02-2010 at 01:52 AM.