Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Basi-Virk - Legal wrangling means no stories from Tuesday court session; Berardino cleared

Legal wrangling down at the Basi-Virk/BC Legislature Raid case all day Tuesday means no stories can be told, as Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie's publication ban applies when the jury is mercifully absent from such arguments.

There is one story of minor note however - Special Prosecutor Bill Berardino has been cleared of any conflict of interest or wrongdoing over his donation of $500 to the BC Liberal Party in 2005 - specifically to the campaign of Wally Oppal, the former Attorney General.

Here is the BC Law Society news release of June 22, 2010

Law Society concludes inquiry into special prosecutor, William S. Berardino, QC

Vancouver – The Law Society of BC has concluded its investigation into complaints made about BC lawyer William S. Berardino, QC and found no evidence of professional misconduct.

The complaints were made on May 6, 2010 and alleged that Berardino had compromised his role as a provincial special prosecutor because his firm had donated to the Liberal party and did not make appropriate disclosure.

The Law Society retained the services of Perry Mack, QC, a well-respected and experienced lawyer from Alberta, to assess the evidence and determine whether Berardino’s conduct constituted a discipline violation. After a thorough review of the facts and law, the Law Society has determined that no further action should be taken and has now closed the file.

The Law Society of British Columbia regulates the more than 10,000 lawyers in the province, setting and enforcing standards of professional conduct that ensure the public is well-served by a competent, honourable legal profession.


cfvua said...

Well of course there was no malicious intent, just bad optics. Some poor clerk simply forgot to disclose the donation. Totally unintentional and only an indicator of support for Mr. Oppal.
Another errr...well distinguished member of the bar.
Remember lawyers have a stronger club than any union and have one another's backs no matter what. Nice to know that poor vision isn't only a BC illness.

G West said...

What a farce. The LAW SOCIETY has cleared him!

Big surprise.

Skookum1 said...

...and found no evidence of professional misconduct.

Yes, but what about conflict of interest, which is a different topic? And one which the Law Society does not have the authority to render a judgement on. (not that we have yet figured out who in this country can, or would).

The bigger issue of his being appointed contrary to rules, and from an origin which clearly points at conflict of interest, is yet to be addressed. Again, if there's any authority in this country that has the balls to.

Anonymous said...

"What a farce. The LAW SOCIETY has cleared him!

Big surprise."

No surprise there. The optics were wrong, but he did not commit any violation of Law Society rules.

So what was your reaction when Moe Sihota was sanctioned by the Law Society?

Anonymous said...

This is a joke. Another whitewash investigation relating to the BC Liberal party.

Bill Berardino and the other Special Prosecutors certainly get good value for their donations.

kootcoot said...

His donation to StoneWally was nothin' compared to the fact that he was previously partner in law practice with AG at the time Geoff "I can spin unconstitutionality claims" Plant and Asst. AG and in charge of resisiting discovery in the BC Rail Trial for the Campbell Forces Alan Seckel.

If that isn't a conflict of interest then why not just have David Basi or Gordon Campbell's mom be the judge or Special Prosecutor?

Anonymous said...

Good grief, there is no one, more corrupt than lawyers, other than when they become judges, of course. There was no point, to turn it over to the Law Society. Everyone knew the outcome, before it was even given. Lawyers are very easily bought, that is common knowledge to everybody and their dog. It's hard to miss.