Code of Conduct Complaint Filed Against Convoy Lawyer

A lawyer who was part of the legal team representing some of the Freedom Convoy organizers is the subject of a complaint to the Law Society of Alberta.

Keith Wilson worked for the Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), a legal organization and registered charity based in Calgary, when he was part of that team at the height of the protest in Ottawa.

Richard Warman, an Ottawa human rights lawyer, alleges Wilson violated his professional code of conduct and filed a formal complaint with the Law Society of Alberta.

JCCF President John Carpay is already under a code of conduct investigation for hiring a private detective to track a judge who was presiding over one of the Justice Center cases last year.

Trudeau compared to Hitler

In the complaint letter dated February 25, 2022 and obtained by CBC, Warman writes that Wilson posted “material urging police officers to disobey their oath to uphold and uphold the law because it would benefit his clients.”

Warman points to a tweet posted by Wilson showing a video of an Edmonton police officer supporting truckers and thanking them “for standing up to the cops.”

“To the hundreds of additional police who are currently massing in Ottawa to soon raid/arrest their fellow Canadians protesting for Charter rights, watch this video. Decide which side of the story you are on. The world is yours. look,” Wilson wrote on Twitter on Feb. 16. 9, 2022.

This tweet was the subject of a complaint to the Law Society of Alberta. (@ikwilson/Twitter)

This post violates the Law Society of Alberta’s code of conduct, the complaint alleges. For example, the code states that “when acting as a lawyer, a lawyer must represent his client decisively and honorably within the limits of the law” and that “a lawyer must encourage the respect of the public and try to improve the administration of justice”.

Warman also alleges that Wilson engaged “in trivializing the Holocaust by retweeting material comparing Justin Trudeau to Adolf Hitler,” with the hashtag FreeTamara in reference to convoy organizer Tamara Lich, who was arrested in the time. In the tweet, “Blackface” refers to the fact that Trudeau previously admitted to wearing blackface many years ago.

This retweet from Keith Wilson was part of a complaint filed with the Law Society of Alberta. (Twitter)

According to his letter of complaint, Warman believes that these tweets violate various rules of the code of ethics, such as the one which requires that within the framework of a professional practice, a lawyer must not communicate with anyone “in an abusive manner , offensive, or otherwise inconsistent with the proper tone of professional communication from an attorney.”

For his part, Wilson wrote the following in response to CBC/Radio-Canada’s request for comment: “I am aware of the complaint filed against me with the Law Society of Alberta by Mr. Warman. Since the case is now before the company law, I will not comment on it until this process is complete, or at all. »

A protester walks through an encampment near Parliament Hill in Ottawa shortly before being arrested on February 17, 2022. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

The Law Society of Alberta declined to comment because complaints and investigations are confidential.

“Cases only become public when citations are issued and a complaint is directed to a public hearing,” the bar wrote in response to the CBC/Radio-Canada question.

The president of the JCCF already indicted

JCCF founder and president, lawyer John Carpay, admitted last year to hiring a private detective to surveil a Manitoba judge and senior officials.

Chief Justice Glenn Joyal of Manitoba’s Court of Queen’s Bench was presiding over a case launched by the JCCF on behalf of a group of Manitoba churches opposing provincial pandemic health orders.

The detective followed the judge to his private residence and cottage to see if he was following COVID-19 public health rules.

JCCF’s own board of directors unreservedly condemned John Carpay’s decision to have a judge follow. (Radio Canada)

Carpay and another JCCF lawyer apologized in court to Joyal.

The Canadian Bar Association and the Manitoba Bar Association have strongly denounced the use of a private investigator against a judge.

At the time, Warman also filed a complaint in this matter with the Law Society of Alberta, but was informed that the Law Society of Manitoba was overseeing the matter and an investigation was already underway.

JCCF’s own board of directors unreservedly condemned Carpay’s decision to follow a judge and announced that he would take indefinite leave from the Justice Center in July 2021.

However, the following month, Carpay resumed his responsibilities as chairman.

The Law Society of Manitoba confirmed to Radio-Canada/CBC that it is still investigating the case.

Jon J. Epps