A Montreal lawyer who had been ordered to pay $ 1,000 for “mocking the system” by wasting her time in court was able to overturn the decision, because of the judge who had conducted his own investigation into her.
“The fact of carrying out one's own investigation, without first informing [the lawyer], both as to its behavior and its content, constitutes a violation [of a rule of procedure], while constituting a sufficient element to create a reasonable apprehension of bias in a duly informed observer, ”said Judge Marc-André Blanchard, quashing the conviction of Me Marie-Hélène Giroux.
Me Giroux, a lawyer with 31 years of experience, was harshly criticized last June for creating delays in court.
“Rather than assume its faults, it chose to provide a junk version that did not hold up, ruled judge Manlio Del Negro. She was ready to say anything to exonerate herself. She showed no remorse. ”
However, this is where the pack hurt since Judge Del Negro exceeded his powers, especially since it was he who cited the lawyers in the case, and he had heard a lawyer without the presence of Me Giroux to then use the testimony against the latter.
But if the Superior Court of Quebec quashed the conviction, it did not clear Me Giroux for his behavior in court.
“The court believes it necessary to add that this judgment does not relate to the behavior of Me Giroux, but only to findings with regard to the procedure followed in first instance”, he insisted on recalling.