Legal Ethics

Judge Faces Disciplinary Hearing Over Photos Posted by Attorney Husband on the Internet

The husband of a Queen’s Bench judge in Manitoba says that she knew nothing of the explicit photos of her he uploaded onto the Internet years ago.

It also appears that Justice Lori Douglas may not have known at the time that her husband, who is also an attorney, had pressured a client to have sex with her nearly a decade ago, when she was still practicing law. (The sex, all parties agree, never occurred, although the judge’s husband has said he gave the man nude photos of Douglas.)

However, Justice Lori Douglas is facing a disciplinary hearing, which began Monday, before the Canadian Judicial Council. She is accused of sexually harassing the client, failing to disclose the situation to a judicial appointment screening panel in 2005, holding back information from the judicial inquiry panel and undermining public confidence in the judiciary, the Globe and Mail reports.

Douglas denies the allegations and says both the screening panel and Manitoba’s chief judge knew about the photos. She blames both her husband and his client, saying that she was treated badly by both.

Law professor Karen Busby of the University of Manitoba told the newspaper it is worrisome to see a judge facing potential discipline because of misbehavior by someone else and says Douglas, based on what is now known, should not be taken off the bench.

“It is troubling that a judge could be removed because she has been victimized by others or has participated in a common and lawful activity—even if that activity is disturbing to some,” Busby said.

Earlier coverage: “Lawyer Apologizes to His Wife, a Prominent Judge, for Pressuring Ex-Client to Have Sex with Her”

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