Tag: complaint

Law Society of Manitoba ordered to investigate complaint against Peter Nygard’s lawyer

The Law Society of Manitoba has been ordered to investigate a professional misconduct complaint against Winnipeg lawyer Jay Prober for comments he made about women who allege they were sexually assaulted by Peter Nygard.

The law society initially dismissed the complaint because the complainant, Ottawa human rights lawyer Richard Warman, had no connection to the case.

Warman filed a complaint in June after reading a CBC News article which quoted Prober as saying a woman who accused his client, Peter Nygard, of rape was “a purported actress who is now playing another role” and had “jumped on the perceived money train.” 

Prober called another alleged sex assault victim “probably another complainant who has been paid for false evidence.”

Warman appealed the decision to dismiss his complaint, and the Manitoba law society’s complaints review commissioner ordered the investigation.

“They had not bothered to conduct even the least investigation into it,” Warman said in a phone interview with CBC News.  

Fifty-seven women have filed a civil class-action lawsuit in New York against Nygard, claiming they were raped or sexually assaulted. Some of them allege they were assaulted when they were just 14 or 15 years old.

On Feb. 25, 2020, the FBI raided Nygard company offices in New York as part of a criminal investigation. (Earl Wilson/The New York Times)

The lawsuit was put on hold in August after the U.S. government requested a stay of proceedings.

Nygard denies all allegations against him and claims his former neighbour in the Bahamas — billionaire Louis Bacon, who Nygard has been feuding with for years — is paying the women to make up allegations as part of a conspiracy to destroy his reputation and business. 

In a Sept. 8 letter to Warman, Manitoba law society complaints review commissioner Drew Perry said, “while a lawyer is permitted to make the same type statements in public as he/she would make in court, I agree that the statements attributed to Mr. Prober are concerning, especially in the MeToo era of shifting expectations.”

He added that “The only way that I have to take the matter further, and in the process obtain his explanation for his alleged comments, is to order an investigation. I am now doing that.”

One of the women in the class-action lawsuit told CBC News she came forward in part because of Prober’s comments in the media about the other alleged victims. 

Warman says that alone should have been reason enough for the law society to investigate his complaint.

The society, Warman says, is in the “unique position to say to a member of the profession that engaging in that kind of conduct is not only subject to investigation by us as the law society, but it’s also questionable because it raises the issue of whether those kinds of comments in and of themselves are spawning further litigation.”

Richard Warman says he’s concerned the only public acknowledgement of the law society’s investigation will come if it proceeds to a hearing before a tribunal. (Submitted
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Judge halts work of Trump police commission after NAACP complaint

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While discussing the shooting of Jacob Blake on ‘The Ingraham Angle,’ President Trump said some police officers who shoot unarmed suspects ‘choke.’

USA TODAY

A federal judge Thursday halted the work of a national law enforcement advisory commission authorized by President Donald Trump as part of a legal challenge to the group’s composition and claims that it lacked representation from police reform and civil rights groups.

The order issued by U.S. District Judge John Bates comes weeks before the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice was due to deliver to Attorney General William Barr its findings on challenges facing local police.

While the The commission was directed to produce a “fresh evaluation of the salient issues affecting American law enforcement and the communities they protect,” civil rights advocates claimed that it has served to support “unfounded yet repeated public assertions” by the president and the attorney general that there is lack of respect for police.

 “That purpose is evident in the composition of the commission, which is stacked with members that are exclusively from a law enforcement background,” the NAACP Defense & Educational Fund Inc. claimed in its initial complaint. “Not a single member of the commission is a defense attorney, criminologist or other relevant academic, public-health practitioner, mental health or addiction-recovery treatment provider, offender reentry coordinator, social worker, or formerly incarcerated individual.”

Attorney General William Barr stands by President Trump as he speaks to Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth and Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis Sept. 1, 2020 in Kenosha, Wis. (Photo: Mark Hoffman, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Bates, in a 45-page opinion, concluded that the government had not met its obligation to “ensure transparency and fairly balanced (committee) membership … during this time of great turmoil over racial injustice and allegations of police misconduct.”

“The attorney general stressed the need to hear from a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives such as “community organizations, civic leadership, civil rights and victim’s rights organizations, criminal defense attorneys, academia, social service organizations, and other entities that regularly interact with American law enforcement,” Bates wrote. “Despite these stated goals, however, the commission’s membership consists entirely of current and former law enforcement officials.”

The judge also took issue with the commission’s proceedings, describing them as “far from transparent.”

“Especially in 2020, when racial justice and civil rights issues involving law enforcement have erupted across the nation, one may legitimately question whether it is sound policy to have a group with little diversity of experience examine, behind closed doors, the sensitive issues facing law enforcement and the criminal justice system in America today,” Bates wrote.

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