Public Statements

Increasingly, regulators are being asked to deal with complaints that a practitioner made public statements without a reasonable basis for making them. Another example of this issue is found in Buckingham v. Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, 2022 NLSC 37 (CanLII), https://canlii.ca/t/jn3gz. In that case, a lawyer’s (“practitioner”) client died while in custody. Representatives of the correctional officers made public statements to the effect that the prisoner was the author of his own death and that the correctional officers had acted appropriately. The practitioner gave public statements to the media asking for a public inquiry indicating that the death was unusual and that it was “at the hands” of the correctional officers.

In response to a complaint, the regulator issued a letter of caution indicating that the practitioner did not have a sufficient basis for making those public statements, in part because they were made before the official finding that the death had been a homicide. The practitioner sought judicial review. The Court found that the reasons of the regulator for issuing the letter of caution were inadequate. In looking at all of the circumstances, including the public statements by the union and the context of calling for a public inquiry, the practitioner’s statements were not without reasonable basis. The degree of certainty the regulator was requiring of the practitioner to support their public statement was too high.

More Posts

Stays Just Got Harder to Obtain

Once a final regulatory decision has been made, a registrant can usually appeal or seek judicial review. Such challenges take time. At least months. An

Regulation by Objectives

The Interprofessional Council of Quebec has released a major study on the overarching approach to regulating professions. It is written by professors Popescu and Issalys

Sanctioning Sparseness

It is, unfortunately, not uncommon for some applicants to use the protected title and begin practising before the application for registration is completed. Regulators struggle

Risky Resolutions

Negotiated resolutions are generally considered a good thing, including in the discipline hearing context. They generate an almost certain outcome, without the risk of unpredictable