Happy 4th Anniversary Lawdiva!

_DSC4179 - Version 2Happy Anniversary to me…I mean to Lawdiva! On May 10, 2010 I started writing and just haven’t stopped. I’ve since learned that 70% of blogs die within several months of their commencement or just get so sick they fade away.

So, what has the last four years looked like?

1. Thanks to my earliest readers, in October 2010 I won Best Canadian Legal Blog. What a way to start!

2. By early 2011 my blog articles were published in The Huffington Post, Postmedia’s Canada.com, and many of Canada’s daily newspapers including the Ottawa Citizen, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Windsor Star, and Regina Leader Post.

3. I have written 588 articles on 13 broad topics including my favourites: family law, criminal law, bad lawyers…and judges, celebrity divorce, pop culture..

4. My stats indicate I receive on average 40 comments from readers every month, and that many more comments are posted on Facebook and LinkedIn. Which articles got the most comments? “Notables Who Failed Their Bar Exam” and my “Disbarred Series”, followed closely by “The Scourge of Family Law: Child Sexual Abuse”.

5. The editors of Canada’s largest daily newspaper, the Toronto Star, liked my Lori Douglas bondage judge stories so much they hired me to write one for them.

6. Award winning US website “abovethelaw” didn’t like my opinions on Judge Lori Douglas and berated me in their commentary…I took their attention as a compliment!

7. My story on the Coachella Music Festival appeared in Palm Spring’s Desert Sun newspaper before it hit my blog… I got lots of hate mail for having the nerve to criticize Coachella, an economic necessity for the little town of Indio, California. You know, I still think Snoop Dog is a ghastly role model for the thousands of young teens who subjected themselves to his filth…

8. Most of my followers are Canadian or American, but I also get readers from many other countries including China, India, Australia, Malta (with a big shout-out to my Aunt Petra), Japan, Russia, Guyana, Singapore, Trinidad, Thailand, South America, and Europe.

9. For me, the best part of penning Lawdiva is hearing from you or not hearing from you, but knowing you’re lurking around…

Keep lurking and I’ll keep writing!

Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang

A Judge Under Fire: Lori Douglas’ Defence

In response to the notice of allegations delivered to Manitoba Associate Chief Justice Lori Douglas, her lawyer has submitted a memorandum to the Canadian Judicial Council in rebuttal to their notice.

The document is persuasive, focusing on the fact that Judge Douglas has done nothing to sully her office, rather she is the innocent victim of her husband, Jack King’s actions and Alex Chapman’s avarice and greed.

She points out that “her husband, in acts of unimaginable betrayal, in pursuit of a mad and undisclosed fantasy,” solicited Alex Chapman to have sex with her, all without her knowledge.

She states that the suggestion she had two “social encounters” with Alex Chapman is “grossly misleading” as she never knowingly met with Mr. Chapman. On two occasions her husband and Mr. Chapman arranged to meet and her husband asked her to drop by, never informing her that he was also meeting with his client, Mr. Chapman. She says that each meeting was brief and there was no inappropriate conduct or conversation between her and Mr. Chapman.

With respect to the allegation that Judge Douglas’ answer on the judicial application that she was unaware of any conduct in her past or present that would reflect badly on her as a judge, she says her response was justified because she had not engaged in any questionable behavior, rather any wrongdoing was as a result of her husband’s behavior and was well-known in Manitoba’s legal community.

Senior members of the bench and bar were fully aware of her husband’s conduct and encouraged her to apply for a judicial position. During the application process she was questioned about her husband’s behavior and the publication of intimate photos on the internet and the Judicial Appointment Committee nonetheless recommended her appointment. Earlier during the application process she was advised that Manitoba’s Chief Justice Monnin was uncomfortable with her situation, but later he reversed his position and supported her candidacy for a judicial position.

Judge Douglas acknowledged that she changed one word in her diary out of anger at Mr. Chapman’s false allegations. She said she was unaware that her diary may be evidence and she had no intention of misleading anyone. When questioned about the modification of her diary entry over a year later she confirmed that she did not respond accurately to the query from the Canadian Judicial Council’s lawyer due to an undisclosed medical condition.

In summary, Judge Douglas relies on the concept of judicial independence suggesting that security of tenure is an essential condition of independence and if a judge can be removed from the bench through the “malicious actions of a disgruntled litigant or the disreputable conduct of a spouse, when the judge is innocent of wrongdoing, there is a serious threat to the independence of the judiciary”.

Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang