Was Lang Michener a double agent?
All lawyers have been forced to argue at one time or another with those who say lawyers are crooks, liars or greedy money-grubbers. So why did Philip Slayton, a former law-school dean and corporate lawyer, write Lawyers Gone Bad, profiling some of the worst examples of these stereotypes?
The answer may be that his book could more appropriately have been titled The Legal Profession Gone Bad. Slayton uses Lang michener affair of more than Lang michener affair dozen different lawyers who have been disciplined by their provincial professional regulators to criticize the profession as a whole.
Despite his harsh view of his profession, though, Slayton tries not to be judgmental toward individual lawyers who, for a variety of reasons, fall from grace.
He profiles lawyers from all over the country - from northern Manitoba to downtown Vancouver - and in a variety of practice areas, from big Bay Street firms to a one-lawyer shop in Cape Breton. These stories of human frailty will be interesting for lawyers and non-lawyers alike.
Slayton tries to understand the motivation of his subjects, citing the written decisions of various courts and disciplinary bodies, first-hand interviews with many of the lawyers who "went bad" and those affected by the downward spiral of these flawed characters.
He has clearly done his research. The motivations for the questionable decisions made by these lawyers are often puzzling. The closed conservative culture of a big Toronto firms, he suggests, made Martin Pilzmaker go to great lengths - including theft, forgery and fraud - to impress his colleagues.
The eccentric Pilzmaker joined the staid Bay Street firm Lang Michener with a profitable immigration law practice, but eventually committed suicide after his many illegal activities were discovered.
The accepted view in the profession, that a lawyer should be a zealous advocate for his or her client, allowed many of these lawyers to justify unethical behaviour.
Simon Rosenfeld and Peter Shoniker, who were found guilty of money laundering, attempted to use solicitor-client privilege to hide what they were doing from the authorities. Slayton clearly thinks others are getting away with laundering and other crimes under the cloak of lawyer-client confidentiality.
Since Slayton is looking only at lawyers who have "gone bad," some of his criticisms of the profession as a whole do not always address the full issue. Requiring a lawyer to report a client to the government undermines the legal process at its core: A client needs to believe that his or her information is being given in confidence, without judgment or repercussions.
But times are changing, and Slayton welcomes this. The Canadian federal government has been trying for some time to require lawyers to report suspicious transactions to catch launderers and the financers of terrorism.
A major report by Sir David Clementi in Britain has suggested that non-lawyers answerable to Parliament should have a role in disciplining lawyers.
This, he says, would put the interests of consumers at the centre, not just the interests of lawyers, and Slayton thinks these changes should happen in Canada, as well.
If politics enters the fray, lawyers doing ethical but unpopular work - defending accused terrorists, for example - could have the threat of discipline hung over their heads as a way to prevent the vigorous defence of their clients.
His first-hand accounts of some lawyers shed little light on their motivations, apart from confirming their apparent madness, and the details of how they were eventually disciplined made me wonder how else they could have been dealt with.
Story continues below advertisement Slayton clearly did extensive research, and sometimes throws information in unnecessarily.
In his account of the investigation of a real-estate fraud by the Law Society of British Columbia, we learn that the executive director who was involved in the investigation later resigned for unrelated reasons an alleged conflict that did not result in any discipline.
This tidbit interrupts the narrative flow and seems only to highlight the fact that the B. This is understandable, since most lawyers are not crooks, liars or money-grubbers.
But what all lawyers need to think about, Slayton is saying, is a better way to deal with the members of the profession who do go bad. Tim Wilbur is a lawyer and the managing editor of The Lawyers Weekly.The so-called Lang Michener affair, in which a lawyer was disbarred for illegal practices and five of his partners were reprimanded for not notifying the Law Society of his suspected misconduct sooner, has catapulted professional discipline hearings to the ashio-midori.com article examines the.
Lang Michener Affair 8e, p. • Are expectations for professional standards above non-professionals?
• Lawyers actions not up to expectations, or obligation to clients, prof., law society, public?%(1). Notwithstanding, Mr. Williams' response, we have not received an answer to our request for a denial, under Oath, by Lang Michener that will rebut the allegation in our Statement of Claim that Lang Michener was a double agent for an, as yet, unidentified party.
On January 1, , Lang Michener and McMillan LLP combined, taking the name McMillan LLP. History. Lang Michener dated back to in Toronto, Ontario, where future Governor General Roland Michener and Daniel Lang formed the firm as Headquarters: Toronto.
In legal circles the recriminations of the “Lang Michener Affair” went on for years, damaging the reputation of Chrétien and others and raising questions about the governance of lawyers. corporate matters discussed in this issue. Proper resignation as a corporate director, good governance of natural resource industries, effective government relations and a comprehensive policy of.