Thursday, March 27, 2008

Erik Bornmann - key Crown witness in Basi-Virk case - has April 21 hearing in efforts to become Ontario lawyer

The ongoing efforts of Erik Bornmann, the Crown’s key witness in the breach of trust case against former B.C. government ministerial aides David Basi and Bob Virk, to become an Ontario lawyer will take another step on April 21 in Toronto.

On that date the Law Society of Upper Canada will hold a Hearing Management Tribunal to determine the next steps in Bornmann's much-delayed application to the bar.

Bornmann was to be the subject of a “good character” hearing last year to determine his admissibility as a lawyer because of complaints regarding his role in the Basi-Virk case. Bornmann is alleged by police to have provided benefits to Basi and Virk in exchange for confidential government information on the $1 billion privatization of BC Rail.

At the time Bornmann was retained as a lobbyist for OMNITrax, the American company that was one of the bidders for BC Rail. Neither Bornmann nor OMNITrax is facing charges.

Bornmann’s lawyer had last year requested an adjournment so that it would take place after the trial but lengthy delays have ensured trial will not start until well after April 21. The next major pre-trial hearings, scheduled for three weeks court time, begins May 5 and will deal with so-called BC Rail "vets" - the vetting of documents related to the deal that may be introduced as evidence.

An official with the Law Society of Upper Canada told me today that the April 21 hearing will not be the "good character" hearing, which will be open to the public and media, but will deal with the next steps in that process.

The Society's 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 previously requested a closed hearing or publication ban on the deliberations.

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 previously here.


Anonymous said...

Great update for those of us following this case.

Saw some of the show last night and thought that it was good review for everyone.

It is nice to get credit for your hardwork and I look forward to the next update.

I wonder if you will get a bump in your web visits as the VOBC did a great job in plugging your blog.

RossK said...


Does this mean that an adeptness with ceiling tiles is now a criterion for passing the NY State Bar?


Gary E said...

I'll say one thing for this guy. He sure has a big set of stainless steel cajonis.
How does anyone in their right mind continue to seek admition to the bar anywhere when they are still under a cloud? Does he think everyone will forget in time?


Anonymous said...

Lawyers are way down on the list of folks a very large number of people simply don't trust. If this chap, with his possible connection to bribary, even not proven one way or the other, gets called to the bar people support for the law profession won't rise up. The safe thing for the Ontario group in my view would be to hold the chap at arm's lenght, or farther until the BC Judge rules on the Basi Basi and Verk case.He would have to posess support from some big time folks to be approved.