Robert P. Lee, a member of the Law Society of Alberta

Re: Robert P. Lee, a member of the Law Society of Alberta

To: Jennifer Rothery, Discipline Hearing Coordinator, and Heather Ross, Chair of Law Society of Upper Canada

From: Brian M. Samuels, member of LRWC, and Gail Davidson, Executive Director of LRWC

Date: 2009-05-14

We understand that a continuation of the above-referenced hearing is to be scheduled, the purpose of which is to address the issues of sanctions and costs. We understand that LRWC’s request to intervene at the sentencing stage has been accepted and that LRWC is to provide written submissions within 30 days. Mr. Brian Samuels, LRWC member and a senior barrister in Vancouver will be preparing the submissions and will be prepared to speak to the matter further and answer questions in person, by phone or by video conference subject to the wishes of the panel.

We have had an opportunity to review the written reasons dated May 1, 2009 issued by the disciplinary panel. The following facts are clear from those reasons:

1. Mr. Lee typically represents clients who have grievances against the Government of Alberta, primarily those who have been involved with child welfare (paragraph 1 of the written reasons);

2. The charges against Mr. Lee were all brought by complainants who work directly or indirectly for the Provincial Government (paragraph 2 of the written reasons);

3. The Government of Alberta has interfered with Mr. Lee’s right to earn a living, by threatening to withhold funding from the AASCF, an organization principally funded by the Government of Alberta, unless it cancelled a contract with Mr. Lee for a speaking engagement (paragraphs 127 – 128); and

4. The Government of Alberta has sought to prevent individuals in custody from retaining Mr. Lee’s services or speaking with him (paragraph 158).

We are also advised by Mr. Lee that the Government refuses to place Mr. Lee on the Children’s Advocate’s list of lawyers who are paid by the Government to represent children in Child Welfare proceedings, even though he meets the educational requirements for being placed on the list

The above mentioned facts fall directly within our mandate, which is to protect lawyers, who take sensitive cases against their government, from retaliation by that government, by intimidation, interference with the right to earn a livelihood, or interference with client’s access to counsel.

We will forward our submissions to you as requested.