Regulation Tradition disbars legal professional who faked divorce, married laws clerk

Regulation Tradition disbars legal professional who faked divorce, married laws clerk

A as quickly as-outstanding Ontario legal professional and authorized scholar criminally convicted of fraud and

A as quickly as-outstanding Ontario legal professional and authorized scholar criminally convicted of fraud and bigamy was recognized responsible of professional misconduct and disbarred Wednesday.

The revocation of James Morton’s regulation licence “in these circumstances is actually the one real looking penalty,” Barbara Murchie, chair of the 3-member Regulation Society tribunal panel, acknowledged on the abstract of the disciplinary listening to.

Morton, 62, has been suspended from practising regulation because of the truth August 2018 adhering to his arrest by York Regional Legislation enforcement for forging his divorce purchase so he might marry his laws clerk regardless that nonetheless married to his spouse of 30 a few years.

In 2019, he pleaded accountable to 2 legal bills in Newmarket courtroom, the place his partner, Rhonda Shousterman, nonetheless presided as a justice of the peace. Morton acquired a six-month conditional sentence lower than family arrest, alongside with an purchase for group assist.

Morton’s home arrest led to March 2020, however the “corrosive impact” of his steps “actually are usually not capable of be overstated,” Legislation Society self-discipline counsel Patrick Copeland reported by a zoom listening to.

Summarizing the report of the perfectly-publicized circumstance, Copeland knowledgeable the panel Morton’s conduct occurred greater than a comparatively prolonged time frame and included a number of deceptive actions, like producing a phony divorce get which he made use of to make use of for a wedding licence. Morton married Jennifer Packwood on Might 12, 2018, in St. Catharines, regardless of recognizing he was remaining investigated by police.

While he was not performing in his certified potential as a regulation agency, Morton even so used his licensed abilities and instruction “to perpetrate the fraud and in so endeavor he risked discrediting the huge larger a part of authorized gurus whose integrity is unblemished, whereas in all probability feeding the cynicism of the general public’s watch of the job sometimes,” Copeland suggested the panel.

“That cynicism can lastly erode and chip absent on the public’s self-worth within the authorized system and courtroom docket procedures.”

Morton, a 1-time president of the Ontario Bar Affiliation, grew to turn out to be licensed to use regulation in Ontario in 1988 and Nunavut in 2011. He has already resigned from the Regulation Society of Nunavut. He hung up his shingle in Hamilton in 2016.

Morton didn’t floor to be current throughout the digital persevering with however was represented by lawyer Glenn Sandberg. Morton voluntarily admitted that the main points outlined in an agreed assertion of knowledge constituted certified misconduct. Nor did he contest his disbarment.

Sandberg defined to the panel he skilled minor to include besides to confess that Morton skilled been “a wonderful barrister whose advocacy was correctly regarded and revered throughout Ontario and additional than, together with the Supreme Courtroom docket of Canada.”

He was additionally beneficiant along with his time, sharing his data the 2 as counsel and as a mentor to college students, different authorized professionals, judges, regulation enforcement, prosecutors, Sandberg ongoing. “The legacy of his a long time of contribution to the job will survive these unfortunate capabilities,” Sandberg reported.

“Many people recall and settle for Mr. Morton’s contributions,” Murchie responded.

Copeland identified the media scrutiny of the scenario “amplified the injury that was achieved to the general public’s notion of the administration of justice and licensed occupation usually.” He additionally noticed that Morton had no prior self-discipline background and skilled been totally cooperative as a result of his licence was suspended.

Morton agreed to fork out $4,500 in costs to the Laws Fashionable society.