BARE BONES BRIEFS: Law Society Tribunal: child pornographer can practise | NS Provincial Court judge pursues misconduct allegations against fellow jurist | Excuse me: juror had accused’s pictures on T-shirt | Suspended driver motors into court | IBA: Lawyers contribute $1.6 trillion to GDP

By Julius Melnitzer | June 6, 2024

TRIBUNAL LICENSES APPLICANT WHOSE CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CONVICTIONS WERE STAYED FOR DELAY

The Law Society Tribunal has allowed an applicant whose convictions were overturned on appeal for unreasonable delay to practise law. Jordan Cristoferi-Paolucci, formerly a youth basketball coach, was charged with various child pornography and luring offences in 2013. He was convicted on seven charges in 2017, but the charges were stayed on appeal based on unreasonable delay – meaning he had no criminal record. Cristoferi-Paolucci disclosed all these facts on his license application. Following the first day of a two-day hearing, the Law Society of Ontario advised that it would not oppose Cristoferi-Paolucci’s application. In allowing the application, the LST found that Cristoferi-Paolucci had gained insight, was remorseful, engaged in rehabilitation, and that there had been no misconduct since 2013.

Related Article: The LSO denies a paralegal license to an ex-police officer who masterminded a $3.1 million robbery

NSSC TO RULE ON COLLEAGUE’S COVID-RELATED MISCONDUCT ALLEGATION AGAINST CHIEF JUDGE

Global News reports that Justice Crista Brothers of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court has reserved her decision on an application by Judge Rickcola Brinton of the Nova Scotia Provincial Court to rejuvenate a judicial misconduct complaint against a colleague. Brinton alleges that Pamela Williams, former chief judge of the Provincial Court, whose term has expired but is still a court member, applied undue pressure on her to disclose her vaccination status. During the pandemic, Williams decided that only vaccinated judges could hear cases in court. Brinton objected to the policy and refused to reveal her vaccination status, citing privacy concerns. Williams allegedly threatened to suspend Brinton and referred her to the Judicial Council. She also allegedly tried to obtain Brinton’s medical records by way of various communications with Brinton’s doctor. In June, 2023, Brinton submitted a judicial misconduct complaint against Williams. But Michael Wood, Chief Justice of the NSSC, acting as chair of the Judicial Council, summarily dismissed the complaint. Brinton has also sued Williams and the Provincial Court for breaching her rights to judicial independence and medical privacy.

Related Article: COVID-19 puts courts, integrity of Ontario’s civil jury system on trial

JUROR HAD SUSPECTS’ PICTURES ON SHIRT

Not surprisingly, the judge presiding over the trial of two men charged with conspiracy to commit murder at a 2022 border protest in Alberta has excused a potential juror who showed up with the accused’s faces printed on his T-shirt. As if that wasn’t enough, the Toronto Star reports, the juror waved at the accused, who were in the prisoner’s box.

Related Article: Crown seeks juror challenge for transgender bias

NEW TAKE ON SELF-INCRIMINATION

An hilarious BBC video shows that, for reasons unknown, Corey Harris joined his remote court hearing in Michigan on a driving while suspended charge even as he was sitting behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. The clearly dumbfounded judge remarked, “I don’t even know why he would do that.” Does anyone? Harris will have time to think about it: the judge ordered him into custody.

Related Article: OCA: ineffective lawyering can include bad advice on whether to testify

IBA: STRONG CORRELATION BETWEEN RULE OF LAW AND QUALITY OF LIFE

The IBA (International Bar Association) report on the social and economic impact of the legal profession has found that the world’s 20 million lawyers, paralegals and support staff, together with 14 million workers in the supplier sector, including notaries and translators, contribute US$1.6 trillion, some 1.7% of GDP, to the global economy. The authors also concluded that

  • Countries that firmly uphold the rule of law experience greater socio-economic benefits from the everyday contributions of lawyers than countries that impose restrictions on legal rights;
  • A strong independent legal profession can hold governments to acccount, attract more investment, provide better healthcare and improve gender equality;
  • A robust rule of law can help to achieve higher life expectancy, 53% less pollution and greater protection of minorities including LGBTQI+ communities;
  • Innovation levels were higher in the top quartile countries following the rule of law; and
  • North America and Europe account for 80% of the legal services market.

Related Article: UN, OECD say lawyers are “professional enablers” of crime

Julius Melnitzer is a Toronto-based legal affairs writer, ghostwriter, writing coach and media trainer. Readers can reach him at [email protected] or https://legalwriter.net/contact.

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