Ottawa judge rules his colleague showed no appearance of bias
Judge who threatened Defendant with contempt then stormed out of court showed no bias against Defendant: Nov. 29 ruling.
Justice Peter B. Annis of the Ontario Superior Court has ruled that his colleague, Justice Robert N. Beaudoin did not present a “reasonable apprehension of bias” in the defamation case of St. Lewis v. Rancourt.
Beaudoin withdrew from the case on July 24, 2012, after the Defendant submitted an April 24, 2012 Ottawa Citizen article about him in court that revealed Beaudoin had a financial relationship with the University of Ottawa and that the lawfirm representing the university in the case, Borden Ladner Gervais (BLG), had named a boardroom in honour of Beaudoin’s late son.
In his ruling, Annis states:
“It is unreasonable to suggest that the mere act of respect by a law firm towards one of its associates who was the son of a judge and whose untimely death touched the firm could indirectly cause the judge to be biased in favour of the law firm’s clients. Were this to be the case, Beaudoin J. could not hear any case pleaded by Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. This is an untenable proposition that fails to recognize that lawyers are officers of the court who are required to advance their clients’ interests without adopting them as their own.” [emphasis added]
A November 30, 2012 Ottawa Citizen article about the judge’s decision is posted HERE.