Bre-X lawyer violated civility rules: law society
JEFF GRAY Law Reporter
The Globe and Mail
Last updated Thursday, Jun. 28 2012, 7:08 PM EDT
Prominent Bay Street securities lawyer Joe Groia’s courtroom rhetoric during the bitter Bre-X trial more than decade ago amounted to professional misconduct, a Law Society of Upper Canada disciplinary panel has ruled.
Mr. Groia was accused of violating his profession’s rules on civility with his behaviour during the trial of John Felderhof, the geologist at the centre of the Bre-X gold scandal in the 1990s. Mr. Felderhof was acquitted of securities charges.
During the trial, Mr. Groia repeatedly clashed with lawyers for the Ontario Securities Commission, accusing them of trying to railroad his client.
But two judges’ rulings later criticized his use of “sarcasm” and “invective” and even “guerrilla threatre” during the trial. And after a Law Society investigation, Mr. Groia faced a professional discipline hearing.
Mr. Groia’s penalty is to be determined at a future hearing. Under the Law Society’s rules he faces anything from a reprimand to a suspension or the revoking of his licence to practise law.
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