WINNIPEG, CANADA: A sex scandal comes to a pause. A Winnipeg judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Canadian divorce lawyer Jack King who was accused by a former client (“Chapman”) of sexual harassment and breach of fiduciary duty (King allegedly asked Chapman to have sex with his wife). Here’s an excerpt from the Winnipeg Free Press:
A lawsuit at the centre of a sex scandal involving a lawyer and his wife has been dismissed by a Winnipeg judge.
In a judgment released this morning, Queen’s Bench Justice John Menzies has dismissed Alex Chapman’s $10-million lawsuit against his former lawyer, Jack King.
Chapman had sued King, claiming breach of fiduciary duty, harassment, negligence and intention infliction of emotional distress.
In his summation released this morning, Menzies said King had “satisfied me that the claims advanced by the plaintiff were settled in 2003.”
Strange case, but it seems that the former client was claiming that his divorce lawyer asked him to “have sex” with said lawyer’s wife, contemporaneous with said lawyer’s representation of said client. Did you follow that? Quite incredible and behavior from a divorce lawyer that is beyond the pale. But it appears that the accuser and his ex lawyer had already reached a settlement on the matter in 2003 for $25,000 and that was the basis upon which the judge dismissed the new multi-million action.
The kicker is that the lawyer’s wife is a judge named Lori Douglas and she was serving on the bench when Mr. Chapman brought the lawsuit! A sitting judge! So the wife (judge) had to recuse herself from the bench pending the investigation into the matter. Here, again, the Winnipeg Free Press:
Chapman, 44, came forward earlier this year with allegations his former lawyer, King, tried to coerce him into having sex with his wife, Lori Douglas, while representing him on a divorce case in 2003. Douglas was appointed to the Court of Queen’s Bench family division in 2005 but days after Chapman’s revelations were made public, she announced she was temporarily removing herself from the bench pending the ongoing investigation.
A divorce lawyer and his wife, a judge engaged in this sort of debased conduct? Unbelievable. Apparently, even though the judge dismissed the client’s lawsuit, it does not estopp the bar from suspending this attorney, or even disbarring him for this disgraceful behavior. No word whether his wife, Ms. Douglas, is entitled to get her judgeship back. But if she was complicit and participating, then her conduct is also beyond the pale.
Again, the Winnipeg Free Press:
King still faces three counts of professional misconduct before the Law Society of Manitoba. They involve allegations of sexual harassment — that King put his own interests before those of his client and failed to act with integrity. If found guilty, punishment could range from a reprimand to a suspension or even disbarment.