Judge Douglas’ Lawyer Cries Uncle

They say if you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen, an appropriate admonishment to Judge Douglas’ lawyer, Sheila Block, who is now desperate to call a stop to the judicial inquiry.

So what are Ms. Block’s options? Can she call in sick? No, she can only rely on an age-old legal ploy to extricate her client from the debacle that is called the Judge Douglas Judicial Inquiry.

There are times when proceedings in court or in a similar judicial hearing become untenable, and you believe your client is being prejudiced by the unfolding events. For example, in one case I argued the central theme of the case revolved around off-shore bank accounts. The presiding judge interrupted my argument to suggest that only people who have something to hide would use off-shore bank accounts.

The judge’s jaded view of such accounts led me to believe that she may decide the case based on her ignorance of the world of multi-national corporations and high stakes business dealings. I then made an argument that the judge should remove herself from the case on the basis of the legal maxim called “a reasonable apprehension of bias”. Interestingly, there are hundreds of case where an allegation of bias has been asserted against a sitting judge, most of them unsuccessful, as was mine. Face it, why would a judge admit they were biased?

This is the argument that is being made on behalf of Judge Douglas, however, the allegations of bias flow from the vigorous cross-examination of Judge Douglas’ better-half by Vancouver lawyer George McIntosh, who is counsel for the Inquiry panel.

Ms. Block complains that Mr. McIntosh’s questioning of Jack King is overly aggressive and shows “animus and bias”. From the media descriptions of Mr. McIntosh’s cross-examination it appears that Jack King is easy pickin’s as he tries to convince the panel that Judge Douglas had never seen the photos.

You can only imagine the snickering in the hearing room as Mr. McIntosh toyed with Mr. King, suggesting to him that it strained credulity that the good judge would pose for pictures, but never ask to see them and was unaware they were posted online.

Judge Douglas desperately needs a saviour and apparently believed her husband could play that role convincingly, but it isn’t working. The truth is Mr. King’s testimony is another nail in her coffin. And the panel has not even dealt with the “main event”, namely, why did Judge Douglas deliberately conceal the pornographic photos and the events relating to Alex Chapman, “Dark Cavern” and drinks at Earl’s?

I guess I’d want to get out of there too.

Douglas Judicial Inquiry: “Gotcha” Moment Arouses Media, But Doesn’t Matter

Unless you have been in a courtroom and been cross-examined by a tough litigator, you have no idea what Madam Justice Lori Douglas’ accuser, Alex Chapman, is putting up with.

What is puzzling, however, is the commentary from media pundits who seem ticked off because Mr. Chapman is fighting back and who, in my view, are misinterpreting the significance of the questions and answers flowing from Judge Douglas’ counsel’s cross examination.

Judge Douglas’ counsel, Sheila Block’s apparent “gotcha” moment came as she suggested to Mr. Chapman that he had taken up his neighbor’s offer to have sex with his wife for $500.00 a week, allegations Ms. Block made based on her review of Mr. Chapman’s diary.

Mr. Chapman denied the allegations saying that what his neighbor wanted was for him to teach his wife computer skills. Mr. Chapman maintained that Ms. Block’s allegations were incorrect and that she could call his neighbors as witnesses, if she really desired the truth.

My question is who cares and how does this advance Judge Douglas’ case?

Lawyer Sheila Block has already produced convincing evidence that Alex Chapman is willing to lie when he needs to. He admitted to her that despite his previous claims, he did not have a degree in computer science. He also admitted that he did have access to money to retain a lawyer, when earlier he said he did not, and also, that he was not accurate when he suggested he had been fired from his job because of the media fall-out after going public about Judge Douglas and her husband, lawyer Jack King.

The real issue between Mr. Chapman and Judge Douglas is whether Judge Douglas knowingly participated in her husband’s seduction scenario. Did she touch Chapman’s arm when her husband arranged for them to meet with Chapman for a drink? The Judge says she did not. I can’t imagine how this “controversy” will significantly impact the issues before the Judicial Council.

Presumably, they will believe Judge Douglas and not Alex Chapman, but how does that really assist the Judge to rebut allegations that she knowingly engaged in a plan to involve Alex Chapman in her private life?

Her counsel also pounced on an even less relevant line of questioning, accusing Mr. Chapman of violently abusing his former wife during their marriage. Mr. Chapman’s retaliatory retort was that he was not there to debate his divorce. No, he wasn’t, but it’s not unusual for presiding judges to listen to reams of evidence that make not a whit of difference at the end of the day.

I guess her counsel’s theory is that if she can make Mr. Chapman out to be a twisted sex addict who lies, beats his wife, and is a vexatious litigant, the Judicial Council will welcome Judge Douglas back to the bench with open arms.

In my view, none of the evidence elicited by Ms. Block adds anything to Douglas’ defence to the main allegations, namely, did she make a change in her diary to hide the truth about Chapman?; did Judge Douglas omit to advise the judicial committee that vetted her application for judgeship of her nude internet photos?; and can she carry on her judicial duties with the integrity expected of judges while the internet reveals all?

Another typical day in court… I wonder when they’ll start dealing with evidence that really matters.

Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang