Thursday, June 28, 2007

Ontario Law Society to discuss scheduling of Erik Bornmann's "good character" hearing at meeting Tuesday July 3

The key Crown witness in the breach of trust and fraud trial of former BC Liberal ministerial aides David Basi and Bob Virk - lobbyist Erik Bornmann - continues his efforts to become an Ontario lawyer on Tuesday July 3 in Toronto.

The Law Society of Upper Canada confirmed Thursday that a scheduling meeting will be held Tuesday to discuss when Bornmann's "good character" hearing will take place.

In November 2006 that "good character" hearing was delayed due to the impending trial of Basi and Virk.

As I reported exclusively in 24 hours and this blog, the hearing into Bornmann's "good character" resulted from a complaint to the Law Society. Police have alleged that Basi and Virk were bribed by Bornmann to obtain confidential government documents related to the $1-billion B.C. Rail privatization. Bornmann was a lobbyist for OmniTRAX, one of the bidders.

Law Society Communications Manager Lisa Hall said today that the July 3 meeting of the Hearing Management Tribunal is to deal with scheduling the Bornmann hearing not the "good character" issue itself.

"The merits are not being spoken to," Hall said. She was unable to say if the scheduling meeting was open to the public or the media.

Anyone admitted to the bar must be of "good character" according to Bar Society regulations.

Those regulations read in part:

"Part VI: Good Character Requirement

10. Good Character

(1) In order to be admitted into the Licensing Process, an applicant shall be of good character.

(2) A student shall be of good character.

(3) In order to determine whether the applicant or student is of good character, the Society may require the applicant or student to provide information and/or supporting documentation regarding good character."

Bornmann has also attempted to gain admission to the New York State bar as a lawyer and has passed the New York bar exam, as reported in 24 hours and this blog exclusively last month.

Bornmann's lawyer, Bryan Finlay, had asked in November 2006 to delay the "good character" hearing until after the Basi-Virk trial, which was then presumed would take place in the spring of 2007 but has since been delayed.

Finlay wrote on November 21, 2006 to the LSUC: "Consequently we would ask that this hearing be adjourned to July 2007 to set a date. It may be that if the criminal trial is further delayed, there will be a need to proceed with this Hearing without further delay. Erik's professional life cannot be held in abeyance for years."

Bornmann's lawyers had wanted the media and public excluded from the originally-scheduled hearing or a publication ban imposed. At that time Vancouver lawyer Dan Burnett said in an interview that his client, Global Television, was planning on arguing against such a ban or exclusion had the hearing proceeded.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for staying on top of this Bill. With all the activity going on in the Pt Grey riding these days - golf courses and all - I wonder what the local representative of the regional district is up to.

Is his affidavit still on file with the LSUC - or is that now 'privileged' information too?

Funny how a group whose objective is ostensibly the preservation of the 'public interest' should need to be so secretive, eh?

I still think there's a lot more to this story than meets the eye. Erik has been awfully patient though, hasn't he?

How much forebearance should one be expected to show?

Anonymous said...

What a sick joke! To even mention this person in the same breath as "good character" is an affront to all those lawyers who abide by the rules and do their best to uphold the reputation of their profession. It would be outrageous if this man is ever allowed to practice law. But then again nothing has stopped the corrupt lobbyists like Kieran who have admitted to bribing public officials according to court documents from continuing to lobby and rub shoulders with cabinet ministers and their staff. Whats next, Kieran is the new "ethics advisor" to the bc liberals?

Anonymous said...

Maybe Erik has been recieving funds from the RCMP has they have done with many star witnesses.

With Bornmann being the key witness, I am sure that he will bargain and seek an hourly or flat fee for his services.

The RCMP have paid millions of dollars to witnesses over the years.

Anonymous said...

If this fellow gets to practice law it should be a low point for lawyers who rank way down at the bottom of the pile as is. dl

Anonymous said...

thanks for the update bill! without your efforts we would be in the dark, the sun and the province don't think its newsworthy.

i agree with your posters but would add this - for this guy to even contemplate becoming a lawyer is a sick perversion of the entire system itself. If as you have reported according to court documents he has admitted to bribing public officials and has been able to extract such a sweetheart deal (or no deal, still waiting to hear from the prosecutor on this one) where he faces no prosecution whatsoever - this shows me the sheer utter desperation of the rcmp and prosecutor and the depths to which bornmann will sink to say and do whatever he needs to once again weave his web of intrigue and slip out the back door.
I would be very interested to know what your counterpart with the Denver Post thinks about this scandal vis-a-vis the Abramoff scandal in the U.S.

Anonymous said...

Hahahahahaha "good character". That's funny Bill!!

Anonymous said...

Any updates on Kieran and Elmhirst?

Anonymous said...

Good question Peter K. Where are the two pillars of respect in the lobbyist community. Last I heard Kieran had come to the coincidental conclusion that it was time for him to retire to his island estate while young jamie took over the reigns at K @ E Consulting. It would be too cynical for us to think Kieran resigned just mere days before information was released by the judge where he admits to bribing public officials.

It's also another coincidence (lots of these) that president jamie resigned from his duties as president of the liberal party in bc after being told he would be a witness in the basi/virk case. Come to think of it he would have known that the rcmp showed up at the fed libs offices in vancouver asking for paul martin donor lists. You gotta love those little details that seem to get "covered up".

It's funny how all these coincidences just seem to happen.

I can't wait for the trial where I am sure there will be lots of "selective amnesia" that will cloud memories. Thankfully from what we have seen so far memories will be jarred open and topics such as "blabby deputy ministers" brought to the fore.

Tick tick tick boys thats the sound of the time counting down to the day your dirty little secrets are going to be exposed for all to see.

Anonymous said...

Bill - When can we find out what is happening today with this hearing?

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill
I tried the site this morning and don't see anyhting about the planning to be lawyer. I'm sure you have better contacts than I so will watch for you tommorrow in 24 hours. dl

tinaz said...

As far as I am concerned the requirements of "good character" are quite minimal considering the power a lawyer gets as soon as he becomes a member of an organization that has proven itself, whether in British Columbia, Ontario or anywhere in North America, to be loose with their members who commit crimes.

Consider that there are over 11,000 lawyers only in the province of British Columbia. Now figure out how much money the Law Society makes with lawyers fees every year. Thus it is not in the best interest of the Law Society to regulate would-be lawyer and existing lawyers.

In effect Bill the least regulated profession is the practice of law and this should concern us all since the bar has taken over our courts and our tribunals. The bar has further confiscated our financial institutions, our federal and provincial government, and law enforcement i.e. the head of the RCMP is a lawyer with no experience in law enforcement. Soon we will be told that we need a lawyer to buy a car and to buy groceries as we are told that everything is so much more complicated now than it was 10 or 20 years ago.

Mr. Erik Bornmann should not be granted membership anywhere in the country or in the USA until he is fully investigated.

There are enough pigs running outside the barn and causing this country and the United States problems. I ask you Bill does Canada really needs another delinquent lawyer who does not appear to fit the requirement of “good character”? I think not.

Tina Zanetti