And, yes I know it should be “defence”. When in Rome and all that.
Anyway, it seems to be pretty much the same, eh? Not that a prominent downtown Toronto criminal defence law firm is having some employee problems – although that’s the same, too – but rather the whole picture, and especially the private but genuine opinions held by the CDL’s as revealed through emails:
The well-known downtown Toronto firm — formerly Pinkofskys Criminal Trial and Appeal lawyers — has a reputation for aggressive lawyering and representing clients facing murder, drugs, gun and gang charges…
And here you thought people in Canada don’t know about guns since they have no 2nd amendment, and the only “gangs” they have any experience with are the guys that meet in the mornings before they go out and club the cute little baby seals to death. Nope, Toronto is this big urban place with all the usual problems, including large criminal defence firms that say too much in emails:
One email from a lawyer within the company described a Crown attorney looking “like a baby lizard on crack.” Another lawyer referred to an Ontario court judge as a “useless tit,” while another commented “the zoo is aware he has escaped.”
The document also includes numerous email excerpts which allegedly “demonstrate” how it was “perfectly acceptable within the firm culture” to make “disparaging remarks” in email.
The examples refer to lawyers in and outside the firm as “closet felchers,” “fags,” “stupid, fat and lazy,” and “delusional, lazy and cheap.”
Well. So much for the reserved and polite Canadians.
In any case, I like how the managing partner, Reid Rusonik, handles it all. Plus, this all looks pretty American to me except that the managing partner’s name is “Reid”, which I have to admit screams Canadian:
“The litigation that gave rise to the dissemination of these excerpts from a private, internal office email forum is ongoing and, unfortunately, I cannot comment on it,” Rusonik said Friday.
He then goes on to deftly comment, as well he should:
He added the excerpts “are horribly out of context” and don’t reflect the atmosphere in which they were sent.
“They were either written under the stress of day-to-day litigation by colleagues who occasionally used the forum as a shared means of blowing off steam or they were written in a jestful, teasing manner between friends,” he said.
The practice has been abolished over the past two years “as inappropriate and because of the potential for misunderstanding and harm,” he said.
“Unfortunately, this ban came too late and we are sick about any pain that might be caused as a result. Our passion is defending and protecting people, not embarrassing them.”
Well done, Reid. It’ll blow over soon. I won’t write anymore about it, either. Just this once though. Couldn’t resist.