Ever since Conservative government cut funding to Court Challenges Program army of feminist lawyers that used to depend on this glorified welfare for legal professionals found themselves scrounging for new careers and new sources of income.
Some of these feminist lawyers were unable to make safe transition and join ranks of Ontario judiciary despite best efforts of Dalton McGuinty who in his relatively short stint as Premier of Ontario nominated close to one hundred judges so far.
One of these lawyers stranded by cancellation of Court Challenges program is Ms. Susan Vella.
Associate Partner – Civil Litigation
Direct Line: 416.363.7627
E-mail Address: email@example.com
Jennifer Lord, Legal Assistant – Law Clerk
(416.363.1867, Ext. 248; firstname.lastname@example.org)
Meredith Francis, Law Clerk
(416.363.1867, Ext. 243; email@example.com)
Main Areas of Practice:
Civil Sexual and Institutional Abuse and Misconduct Claims, Aboriginal Rights Litigation and First Nations’ Dispute Resolution, Commercial Litigation,
Public Interest Litigation
Graduated from St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto, Hon. B.A. (Eng.), With Distinction
Susan might not be connected well enough in Toronto legal circles to become a judge but she knows enough many feminist judges well enough to be sure that if she can put a case together she is guaranteed to win it.
One of such judges sympathetic to feminist cause is Madam Justice Sandra Chapnik who in one of her former incarnations served as the President of the Womenâ€™s Law Association of Ontario.
|Madam Justice Sandra Chapnik, Superior Court Of Justice
Madam Justice Sandra Chapnik obtained a BA from the University of Toronto in 1962, and a Secondary School Teacherâ€™s certificate in 1963. She was a high school teacher for several years, commencing in 1963.
In 1976 she obtained an LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1978. Prior to her appointment to the now Superior Court of Justice in September 1991, Madam Justice Chapnik was a vice-chair of the Workerâ€™s Compensation Appeals Tribunal (WCAT) and a fact finder and mediator for the Ministry of Education. From 1982 to 1986, she practiced civil litigation, family, some criminal and entertainment law as a partner in Banks and Chapnik and acted as a part-time Rent Review Commissioner.
Professional positions that Madam Justice Chapnik has held include President of the Womenâ€™s Law Association of Ontario, member of the national and provincial executives of the Canadian Bar Association, Bar Admission Course Instructor and Bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada. Awards received include the Canadian Bar Association Award of Distinction and Award for Distinguished Service, the Womenâ€™s Law Association Presidentâ€™s Award and a Reuben Wells Leonard Scholarship from the University of Toronto.
All that Ms. Vella needed a was a civil case preferably sexual assault case that ended in guilty plea or criminal conviction and an organisation with deep pockets that could be made vicariously responsible for paying compensation.
You might not believe it but Canadian law still keeps on their books almost never used concepts of fiduciary duty and vicarious liability. If you were a child victim of abuse or (homosexual) rape do not hold your breath for too long thinking that you could hold people that were paid to “raise” you or CAS to account for any of their actions, Ms. Vella can assure you of that as she tried it on previous occasion, see:
If there is a will there is a way, as they used to say.
First Ms. Vella tried to hit Toronto East General Hospital for some money over the alleged rape of 73 years old terminally ill woman, despite of the fact that the judge who presided over criminal trial Mr. Justice Laforme had some harsh words for feminists that tried to set up “rapist” intensive care nurse Mr. Peter Cocchio with three counts of sexual assault.
Justice Thomas R. Lederer of the Superior Court of Justice threw Ms. Susan Vella’s case out of court for abuse of process.
You can read some details of that fiasco at:
Undeterred by such treatment Ms. Susan Vella went to Ontario Court of Appeal to have that decision overturned and three justices were happy to accommodate her grievances.
You can also read how well is Ms. Susan Vella connected at Ontario Court of Appeals at:
In a meantime, Susan Vella poked around some more and found another case; nothing so drastic and life altering as rape, and quite dated as the case is almost 30 years old but other than that perfect case as the victim and the perpetrator are still alive and are living in Ontario, Toronto Police has deep pockets, and most importantly perpetrator was found guilty of sexual assault.
When Harper’s Government cut federal funding for Court Challenges Program they firmly believed that “welfare for legal professionals” was killing entrepreneurial spirit of Toronto feminst lawyers and distracting them from serving some “real” clients.
The proof is in the pudding, as they say, so here are some stunning financial results of Ontario feminists left to their own devices:
‘I went through this . . . to heal’
RENÃ‰ JOHNSTON/TORONTO STAR
Marian Evans was awarded $215,000 plus legal costs for a 1979 attack in which she was detained and assaulted by a Toronto police officer.
Woman vows to fight for ‘what is right’ after police appeal ruling in officer’s sex attack
Dec 17, 2008 04:30 AM
Marian Evans says she had expected to lose and wind up “financially devastated” when she sued Toronto police for an assault committed by a former officer almost 30 years ago.
But she says it was never about money.
“I went through this process to get the truth … to heal basically,” she said yesterday, sitting in a midtown coffee shop.
“It was so important for me to figure out for my own good. I couldn’t move forward.”
Following a civil trial, Ontario Superior Court Justice Sandra Chapnik last month awarded Evans $215,000 plus legal costs, and said the Toronto Police Services Board should pay because it was “vicariously responsible.” John David Sproule, a former constable, was also ordered to pay $25,000 in punitive damages.
The court-ordered award is believed to be one of the largest against Toronto police. Evans’ lawyer, Susan Vella, hailed the ruling as “very important for women.”
Last Friday, the board filed a notice of appeal. Despite the setback, and the prospect of having to borrow even more money to pay her legal bills, Evans, 54, says she will continue to “fight for what is right.” That means refusing to accept any offers to settle, just as she has done since launching her lawsuit in 2002.
“I’m actually a stronger person than they think,” she said.
Chapnik, whom Evans praised as “a picture of class,” wrote in her Nov. 12 judgment that Evans “was subject to an admittedly outrageous and despicable sexual assault.”
In the morning hours of Jan. 7, 1979, Sproule, who was in uniform, stopped Evans, then 24, as she was driving alone on Danforth Ave. He detained her, drove her to a secluded area and tried to grab her breast and kiss her. She complained and he was charged with indecent assault. After pleading guilty, he was fined $1,000 and quit the force.
The incident was a closed book, something never discussed in the Scarborough home where she lived with her parents.
“I was left to deal with it on my own terms so the only way I could deal with it was to let it go as much as I could and it festered over the years.”
She went from someone who had grown up in a happy and “normal but strict environment” to living a chaotic life that saw her, for a period, living in rooming houses.
After years of blaming herself for what she describes as often erratic and irrational behaviour, she started to see a psychiatrist in 2001. With the benefit of counselling, she began to realize the impact the assault had on her life and, in 2002, she began legal proceedings. She was well aware she was long outside the four-year limitation period under the Limitations Act.
“It was understood, but the fight was more important to me than being concerned about that.”
The board, in its notice of appeal, is asking the Ontario Court of Appeal to set aside the trial decision and dismiss the claim because it was initiated 23 years after the assault took place. The notice also states the judge “erred in the application of the law regarding vicarious liability as it related to the Toronto Police Services Board.”
A mediation session in 2003 was the first time she had seen Sproule since 1979. He lives in Northern Ontario and did not appear at the trial.
“I could not look at that man’s face,” she said, covering her own face with her hand. Nor was she able to speak when asked to state her name. “I didn’t want anything to do with this man. I didn’t want him to hear my voice … So I was quite pleased when he didn’t show up at trial.”
Evans is trying to “rebuild her life.” She works freelance in the book publishing industry and is writing her memoirs.
“It’s been a very, very long time for me and slowly coming together but it’s really hard,” she says tearily. She says she still gets frightened when she sees police cars.
Her 23-year-old son Adam has been the “angel” on her shoulder. She started to cry yesterday recalling how, after the judge’s ruling, he hugged her and told her he was proud of what she had done.
“I’m willing to go through this, I’m very willing to go through this,” she said.
“I can’t run â€“ I have to face it. The only thing that matters to me is my son. As long as he’s all right I can get by, I’m happy.”