Edmonton lawyer disbarred after denying he had sexual relations with woman he was opposing in court by Dylan Short, February 6, 2020, Calgary Herald
An Edmonton lawyer has been disbarred after a number of complaints were brought against him, including that he repeatedly denied he had a sexual relationship with a woman he was opposing in a custody trial.
A report from a recent Law Society of Alberta hearing regarding the conduct of Navdeep Virk states in 2015 he was representing a man accused of being the father of a child during a child support proceeding. During the proceeding, the mother of the child thought she recognized Virk as a man she had a sexual encounter with two months before her baby was born in 2010.
After informing her lawyer of the relationship, the lawyer and the woman approached Virk, who said he had never met the woman before.
“She said that she had chatroom communications on the adult dating site where she had met Virk wherein he identified himself by name. There were intimate discussions leading to the first of two meetings, which in turn led to a meeting for a full sexual encounter,” states the law society report.
“She was able to identify the hotel at which they met as being between Calgary Trail and Gateway Boulevard in Edmonton and just north of the Whitemud Freeway.”
In the report, all other people involved have had their identities redacted and replaced with initials.
The judge in the child support proceeding advised Virk to remove himself as counsel whether the allegations were true or not because they were “a sideshow” that did not serve his client’s interests.
Throughout the court proceeding and an ensuing investigation by the law society, Virk repeatedly said he did not have any encounter with the woman. Eventually, he admitted he may have had a sexual relationship with her and he didn’t remember.
A separate report posted to the society’s website showed a medical doctor said Virk suffers from bipolar two disorder, which could have a “profound impact on cognitive and overall functioning as well as social, interpersonal and occupational performance.” Under cross-examination the doctor — identified as Dr. C.E — said the disorder does not contribute to an absence of memory.
The Law Society’s investigation found a Bank of Montreal (BMO) credit card under Virk’s name was used to book the hotel accommodation with the woman. When questioned about it, he denied owning a BMO credit card before the law society was able to match the credit card to him.
They found Virk’s statements were not a result of a lack of memory but an “outright lie.” [Lying seems standard practice in Canada’s legal profession: nine Supreme Court of Canada judges intentionally published a falsehood in their ruling in Ernst vs AER and when called on it, have done nothing to correct t.]
After a number of other complaints were brought against Virk in the years following, the law society ruled his conduct deserved sanctions for misleading other lawyers, failing to fulfill undertakings, failing to serve, to be candid with clients and acting in a conflict of interest. A hearing committee ordered Virk to be disbarred effective Jan. 31.
The society found the sexual encounter itself was not a conflict of interest. However, Virk’s initial denial of the relationship and the subsequent refusal to co-operate with the law society’s investigation, once provided evidence his previous answers were false, were both sanctionable acts.
They also ruled his failure to be honest with his client and the opposing lawyer were sanctionable offences. They also found his disorder did not cause his misconduct.
“The code of professional conduct prohibits lawyers from misleading others, either intentionally or accidentally. Where information has been provided that the lawyer comes to believe is misleading, he is under an obligation to correct it once he finds out,” states the report. [But, it’s OK for judges to intentionally mislead the public and defame Ernst in a published ruling and do nothing to fix it when called out on the lie?]
The law firm Virk Law, where Virk was previously listed as an attorney, declined to comment.
Refer also to:
Nasty! Canadian courts describing “individuals as exhibiting ‘vexatious-style’ behavior without formally designating them as a vexatious litigant.” Is that how Supreme Court of Canada Justice Rosalie Abella gets away with ruling AER found Ernst to be “vexatious litigant” when evidence proves AER found Ernst to be a “criminal,” 7 years later, a terrorist – all without charges, evidence, trial or due process? With AG Jody Wilson-Raybould saying & doing nothing about Canada’s top judicial farce?
Slide from Ernst presentations. SCC = Supreme Court of Canada
Who orders a new hearing for a Supreme Court of Canada ruling where 9 justices knowingly published a lie and sent it to the media? Who “slaps” Justice Rosalie Abella for knowingly lying in her ruling and belittling the applicant? Certainly not the Canadian Judicial Council!