Studies of federal courts found that when a female justice or a justice of color sits on a panel, their male or white colleagues are more likely to side with plaintiffs in civil rights cases.
Klippenstein quit my lawsuit August 26, 2018 to work at destroying the one decent thing happening in Canada’s legal profession. He didn’t even have the decency to tell me the truth about why he quit; I found out via the media ten months later.
I have been attacked, threatened and betrayed again and again for daring to speak out against law violations by aquifer frac’er Encana and its law violating non-regulating regulators. I always managed to drag my crushed self up off the floor to stand again.
I have been trying to stand up again for over a year now but am finding recovery from the betrayals by my lawyers impossible. Worse, Klippenstein knows what a terrible punch he and Wanless hit me, my lawsuit and community’s drinking water with.
The feisty Irish sent this ancient curse for the “blessed lawyers/liars” before they “wind down” into hell without safe water to drink or bathe in:
Comment from concerned citizen in BC:
“Shows how corrupt our legal (definitely not justice!) system is. May all White supremacists rot in hell.”
Comment to the Sun article below:
It is from this circus of clowns we choose our judges, and it shows in our injustice system.
Joshua Sealy-Harrington Retweeted Louis Century
Couldn’t have put it better. The great irony of denying racism, and thus, proving your (perhaps) unwitting participation in it.
Stop SOP has caused untold harm to our profession. But it has also been a rallying cry for EDI supporters.
I know we’re in dark times — but I hope the real legacy of @Stop_SOP will be to unwittingly promote exactly the kind of self-reflection that the SOP intended.
SOP was supposed to remind lawyers that systemic racism exists. @Stop_SOP did that in spades. [!!!!!]
SOP was supposed to encourage lawyers to take action in opposing systemic racism, but it was @Stop_SOP that triggered a movement for racial equity in the legal profession (@DemandInclusion) and a meaningful public discourse about critical race issues (@JoshuaSealy).
SOP was supposed to help initiate a “culture shift”, but @Stop_SOP showed us, in ways the SOP never could have on its own, why such a “culture shift” is both essential and urgent.
On a more personal note, the sheer intensity of the SOP backlash helped me understand “white fragility” — the defensiveness felt by white people when confronted with our complicity in racism — and why challenging white fragility is key to achieving racial equity.
So, while mourning the end of the SOP, let’s also acknowledge what it achieved. It forced the issue. It brought latent racism to the surface for ALL lawyers to see, not just racialized lawyers who endure that racism as part of their daily work. [and for litigants to see!]
I’m gutted about the SOP repeal. But I take solace in the view that the bumbling Stop SOP crew has unwittingly caused a moment of collective self-reflection and a reckoning about systemic racism in law. Isn’t that what the SOP aimed to do in the first place? @DemandInclusion
[Comments by Ernst added September 13, 2019 after reading Jack Century’s tweets: In my view as an ordinary citizen and litigant (who finds most legal writing – what I call “legal mumbo jumbo” – arrogant, incoherent, prejudiced, excessively paper and money wasting, and cruel – because it intentionally rambles in tortuous boring circles excluding non-legal people), StopSOP publicly and brazenly exposed the evil underbelly of the legal profession.
The StopSOP also destroyed my lawsuit and my trust in the profession, which I expect the StopSOP and my defendants are cheering.
On the healing yet painful side, the lawyers supporting the SOP showed me that legal writing can be coherent, succinct, respectful, humane, humble, fair and fascinating.
Thanks to the StopSOP, I experienced the analysis and writing by Joshua Sealy-Harrington: brilliant yet incredibly easy to understand; powerful; respectful; kind and brutal; heart and soul exposing yet warming; forever mind-altering; and inspiring. His heart, spirit, brilliance and humanity is desperately needed on Canadian benches. I might not have discovered him or his stunning work, if not for the StopSOP!]
Tweets below, on the day the StopSOP abolished the SOP, 9/11:
Apparently even thinking about trying to make the world a better place with respect to diversity and equality, in whatever way you want, is too much to ask.
What occurred today will forever be a stain on the legal profession in Ontario.
When the least you can do is still too much…
Nadar R Hasan tweet:
To all young lawyers from diverse backgrounds: Do NOT let today get you down. You DO belong in this profession. They are scared because they know the profession is changing and their privilege will soon erode. These anti-diversity campaigns are the last gasp of dinosaurs.
Ontario law society revokes rule on promoting diversity by The Canadian Press, Sept 11, 2019, Toronto Sun
… Others reacted to the news on social media.
“As a profession that the public entrusts with upholding the rule of law, human rights and the cause of justice, our future depends on our ability to reflect the diversity of the public we serve,” the Ontario Bar Association said on Twitter.
[Conclusion by a member of the public watching the StopSOP cruelty and who has been a litigant in Canada’s extremely sick legal system for 12 years: Mighty stupid of us Canadians to trust the legal profession with such nastiness and hideousness rampant in it, never mind trust a white privileged profession to uphold the rule of law. Time for the public to revolt, and boycott the legal profession and Canada’s courts (judges are after all hatched from lawyers, and if lawyers are white supremacists, they will operate as white supremacists when appointed to the bench, especially if appointed by white supremacist politicians).]
“Time for this convocation to prove its concern with a required (statement of principles) was truly freedom of expression by delivering meaningful solutions to inequality in the profession.”
The requirement that lawyers create and abide by a so-called “statement of principles” acknowledging their obligation to advocate for equality and inclusion had stirred debate for months.
In their annual report to the law society, members had to confirm they had made and upheld such a statement, but did not have to disclose its contents to the regulator or public.
Those opposed to the rule argued it amounted to unconstitutional, compelled speech, and was beyond the jurisdiction of the regulator.
Supporters, meanwhile, said it was a small but significant step towards eradicating systemic barriers within the profession.
The rule was adopted in 2016 after it was recommended by an internal working group on tackling systemic racism and discrimination.
After Wednesday’s vote, board member Sidney Troister introduced another motion that would essentially require lawyers to acknowledge in their annual reports the existing rules of conduct for the profession, which include provisions on discrimination and human rights.
While it might be a “meaningless virtue statement” to some, it is an important signal to others, particularly racialized lawyers, he said.
Many of those who supported that motion said they believed it was inadequate but considered it better than nothing.
Others denounced the motion as contributing to “regulatory fatigue,” arguing they had not been given enough time to weigh the issue. Lawyer Sam Goldstein described it as being ambushed by political correctness.
That motion passed 27-18, with five board members abstaining.
Law Society scraps key diversity initiative by Jacques Gallant, Sept. 11, 2019, Toronto Star
Lawyers and paralegals in Ontario are no longer obliged to adopt a “statement of principles” acknowledging their “obligation to promote equality, diversity and inclusion.”
The key diversity initiative of Ontario’s legal regulator was scrapped Wednesday, leaving its supporters concerned for the future of other programs that promote equality and inclusion.
The requirement that every lawyer and paralegal adopt such a statement of principles (SOP), which they could write themselves, was repealed in a 28-20 vote of the Law Society of Ontario’s board of directors. There were two abstentions.
Instead, the board voted 27-18 with five abstentions to mandate lawyers and paralegals to acknowledge annually that, under their existing rules of professional conduct, they already have a “special responsibility” to respect the requirements of Ontario human rights law and the obligation not to discriminate.
The repeal of the statement of principles was a victory for a slate of 22 lawyers, known as StopSOP, who had campaigned against the statement of principles and won their seats in the election in April for the board of directors. These lawyers argued the statement requirement was “compelled speech” and unconstitutional.
Expressing concern about the kind of message the vote sends to the legal community, especially racialized lawyers, and the public in general, some board members described the decision to scrap the statement of principles as a “sad day” for Ontario’s legal profession.
“This was a devastating blow to all racialized licensees and the public at large,” member Atrisha Lewis told the board after the vote. Lewis said it felt as though it was a “metaphorical punch in the face to racialized licensees.”
The statement of principles was perhaps one of the most divisive topics in the legal profession in recent years. It dominated the law society’s last board meeting in June, where after many hours of debate, board chair Malcolm Mercer was compelled to adjourn after members were unable to come to a final decision on the statement’s fate.
Aside from the 40 lawyer seats on the board, 22 of which are occupied by StopSOP members, there are also five paralegal board members and eight non-lawyer public members appointed by the provincial government.
“We are concerned that (the repeal) sends the message to the public that equality, diversity and inclusion are values that the legal profession does not share,” said Gerald Chan, president of the Ontario chapter of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, in a statement.
“No less than the Supreme Court of Canada has said that a diverse bar is more responsive to the needs of the public it serves and promotes public confidence in the administration of justice.”
The statement of principles was one of 13 recommendations made in 2016 by the law society’s Challenges faced by racialized licensees working group, which had spent four years studying those challenges, finding they were both “longstanding and significant.”
A vote earlier Wednesday to salvage the statement by making it voluntary, not a mandatory requirement, was voted down.
Its repeal has left some board members and legal organizations concerned that other diversity initiatives at the Law Society could be next on the chopping block.
“We’re always concerned about the equity initiatives. We didn’t like the idea of this being a slippery slope, that, if you can get rid of one of the recommendations, it could lead to others,” said Lori Anne Thomas, president of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, who said her association will work to ensure the other initiatives “stay in place and grow.”
… Other recommendations implemented in 2016, which remain in place, include requiring legal workplaces of at least 10 lawyers and/or paralegals to develop and implement a human rights/diversity policy.
Another major recommendation was an “inclusion index,” the first of which is to be published later this year. Information in the index will be based on several sources, including demographic data pulled from lawyers’ annual reports to the Law Society and lawyers’ voluntary responses to questions about inclusion in their workplace. The index will apply to legal workplaces with 25 or more licensees (lawyers and/or paralegals), and is to be updated every four years.
“It is absurd to say this is about compelled speech when the StopSOPers voted down a voluntary statement. What this is about is resistance to anti-racism initiatives, and I predict this is only the beginning,” board member Julian Falconer, who was vice-chair of the racialized licensees working group, told the Star.
Board member Sidney Troister proposed Wednesday that, instead of the statement of principles, lawyers and paralegals be required to acknowledge every year in their annual report to the Law Society that, under the Society’s rules of professional conduct, they already have a special responsibility to abide by Ontario human rights laws.
Troister’s motion was met with resistance from some StopSOP members, who spoke about being “sandbagged” by a motion without prior notice, and argued it should first be studied by a committee.
[Those spewing resistance included my ex-lawyer, Klippenstein, refer below. Shows us what we need to know about how selfishly and tightly the StopSOPers are hanging onto their power and privilege.]
But supporters of the motion argued it simply reiterated some of the requirements of being a lawyer or paralegal. “You’ve been ambushed by the rules of professional conduct. You’ve been ambushed by human rights law,” said board member Orlando Da Silva to members who were taken aback by the motion.
Troister’s proposal passed in a 27 to 18 vote.
Jacques Gallant (Toronto Star reporter) tweets, Sept 9, 2019:
NEW: The Law Society of Ontario’s statement of principles has been abolished in a 28-20 vote. Two abstentions.
Board member Sidney Troister is now trying to have this motion passed, requiring lawyers to acknowledge their existing obligations under the human rights code. “I don’t think the result of today is any cause for celebration,” he says.
Board member Julian Falconer says “in my view, categorically…as far as protecting those most vulnerable in our profession, today is a sad day…We simply shed ourselves of a key feature for protecting people.”
“This is only the beginning of the dismantling of equity initiatives at the law society,” says Falconer. Says he will fight every attempt at doing that.
Member Gina Papageorgiou says repeal of statement of principles is a “devastating message” to lawyers and the public. “It’s not a new regulatory requirement,” she says of Troister’s motion, which she supports. “The requirement is already there in the bylaws.”
NEW: the Troister motion below PASSES 27-18. Five abstentions.
Member Murray Klippenstein says “we were completely sandbagged by this motion,” referring to Troister’s motion. “I feel like I got hit by a meteor.”
[Klippenstein, you got hit with a tissue compared to what you hit me with – quitting my lawsuit without warning; pushing me against my instructions to “wind down” my lawsuit even after I said no and while knowing I have always been opposed to that; trying to deny me my right to freedom of thought and expression as you work to defend yours; withholding my website and trust account funds for about a year; and still withholding my case files while admitting you are running out my lawsuit’s clock with it dead by January 2020.]
Klippenstein on Troister’s motion: “We’re now obliged, forced, to acknowledge something. And that doesn’t sit well with me…I just don’t feel good about it.”
OmarHaRedeye tweets, Sept 9, 2019:
The motion to make SOP voluntary fails. 27 against. All stopSOPs oppose a voluntary SOP, again. It now proceeds to a repeal of the mandatory SOP. No debate. Only vote.
Motion to repeal SOP passes. 28-24-2 Groia and Wellman abstains. Now we see what stopSOPs are really about.
Falconer says Shi didn’t even read the Racialized Licensees Report. They are voting in the dark. This is who you voted, Ontario bar.
A few snaps of tweets, Sept 9, 2019:
Refer also to:
All the world’s not a stage, it’s a pedophile ring! Is Rod MacLeod’s ungagged legal victory against basilian pedophile priest why catholic/extreme right white lawyers took over Ontario’s law society a year later? To keep vatican’s Pedophile Ring & “Silent Shuffle” busy? Jury was blunt: “Put children in harm’s way – grossly negligent. … Betrayal of trust with the community.” Meanwhile in Australia, the ultimate court-ordered gag order betrays the public’s trust
Enabling sexual predators? Enabling Canadian judges revictimizing sexual assault victims? Enabling Canada’s demented abusive legal system? Threatening sexual assault victims to keep silent? Galling, throw-women-back-into-the-cave statements by Canada’s Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin
Ontario Bar Association reaffirms commitment to promoting equity, diversity & inclusion, “speaks as a united voice.” Compare to Law Society of Ontario’s white supremacists squabbling childishly trying to hold onto power. How does a litigant get fair legal representation with shit like this going on?
Do you want fairness, equality, diversity, inclusion in Canada’s legal profession? In 2019, 85% of the legal profession in USA is white and mostly male. No wonder so many sexual assault victims are re-victimized in court and known convicted pedophiles are granted licence to practice law! No wonder our environment is underrepresented and unjustly served with vile demented gag orders
“Klippenstein, admittedly, ‘would not be the person’ he is ‘without freedom of thought and expression,’ so where’s his outrage at the legal suppressing of those freedoms – aka gag orders? And who would he be then, with his mouth legally taped shut?” Comment to Andrew Nikiforuk’s article in The Tyee on Klippenstein & Wanless quitting
Above take the money and “potable water through a tank system forever” and shut up legal advice by Alberta Energy Regulator’s outside counsel, Glenn Solomon, lets oil companies get away with contaminating community drinking water supplies and doing it again and again “down the street.”
The lawsuit he talks about to another frac’d Albertan in the audio clip is mine (ernstversusencana).
Have you ever lived with potable water though a tank system in your home?
I have, for 13 years now. It’s bloody awful, especially in Alberta’s winter when you need a hot bath but there isn’t enough water and it’s too cold to haul any.
Slides above from Ernst presentations