I heard from the former lawyer (Bruce Hallsor) for the BC Conservative Party (meanwhile making speeches supporting the BC Liberals) who was in a bit of a hissy fit over me outing him in a post yesterday (see here).
Also, for more reading on the political activities of Hallsor including his involvement in the infamous “in-and-out” campaign expense controversy as well as his lobbying efforts and political connections, see here.
Dear Mr. Skoreyko,
I read with interest your blog posting about me on bcblue. In it you suggest that I somehow acted unprofessionally or unethically in my profession, vis-à-vis some legal work that I did for the BC Conservative party. I called Mr. Bridge after reading this to ask if there was any concern about me ever discussed at the BC Conservative board, and he flatly denied that the subject had ever come up.
For your information, I was retained to give the BC Conservatives legal advice, not political advice, and my provincial political affiliation was disclosed to the BC Conservatives upon my initial retainer. I have, over the years, been retained to provide organisational and election law advice to a variety of parties and associations of which I am not a member, and I have always take great care to separate my professional life from my political involvement. I have provided legal advice or representation to the Green Party, the Work Less Party, the BC Liberals, the BC Conservatives, and to individual New Democrats in various contexts. I have represented municipal candidates from the left and the right, and have represented recall opponents, and recall proponents with Elections BC and before the courts.
To the best of my knowledge, there has been no complaint ever made about my legal services to the BC Conservatives, or any other candidate or party that I have represented. I view your allegation to the contrary very seriously. I view your posting as defamatory of my professional reputation, and I request that you immediately delete all references to this allegation on your blog forthwith.
It is not my desire to cause you any embarrassment, or to engage in litigation. I trust that if you have the same desire, you will comply with my request forthwith, and we can both put this matter behind us. Please respond by Monday, November 22, 2010.
Thank you for your consideration of this request.
CREASE HARMAN LLP
800 – 1070 Douglas Street
Victoria, British Columbia V8W 2S8
250-388-5421 x 201
My response was:
“Jeff Bridge is lying about the subject of your professionalism not coming up during discussions as it did several times and I would be happy to state so in court.”
I’m sure ex-MP Randy White, MP John Cummins and party President Wayne Mcgrath among others would soooo enjoy appearing in court testifying about their participation in these discussions.
Update: Email exchange between Hallsor and myself:
The issue about whether or not this was discussed is not the main point. You now know my position on the matter, and you are posting information on your site that is harmful to my professional reputation. Do you intend to continue to post this information, or are you prepared to withdraw it?
I am not asking you at this point for a retraction, or a letter of apology, or any damages. I am merely asking that you remove the defamatory statements which you now know that I dispute. I am sure that both of us have better things to do than litigate, but I will litigate if you require me to do so.
I am certainly prepared to accept at this point that you posted that material with an honest belief, but now that you have heard my position, I would hope that in fairness, you would simply agree to remove it.
Please let me know by Monday.
I have not posted anything that is untrue. You did make a speech supporting the BC Liberals over the BC Conservatives and it was discussed among many within the Party to make a formal complaint that was not followed through after Jeff Bridge convinced the members to not do so but instead quickly pay off your bill (which was also disputed) and leave the matter alone. Bridge, in conversations with me described your relationship politically, personally and as his lawyer.
I would be fully prepared to back this up in court and have all those involved testify including Jeff Bridge, John Cummins, Randy White and Wayne McGrath.
I do not dispute that some people may have said those things within your earshot in private conversations, even though I had no knowledge of the conversations. I fully believe that you, having never spoken to me or heard my version of events, thought these allegations of unethical behavior things were true when you posted them. However, it is you who have chosen to broadcast these allegations, and you are now on notice that I dispute them and consider them defamatory.
Knowing this, are you prepared to remove or edit your blog posting to make it clear that you are not intending, from this point forward, to repeat or broadcast defamatory allegations about my ethical behavior?
It will not help your defence to merely say that some people told you this. I will defend my reputation if required to, and it is no defence to libel to say that you are merely repeating what somebody else said, when you are no notice that it is not true, and you do not know of its truth yourself.
First of all, I was not retained by the BC Conservatives at the time I made the speech in question. The bill you speak of was for services rendered well in the past, which had not been paid for even though they were satisfactorily performed.
Second of all, it was never a condition of my legal retainer with the BC Conservatives that I had to support them politically. In fact, it was well disclosed that I was not a political supporter of that party and was not offering it any political advice.
Your posting suggests otherwise, and that is why it is defamatory to me.
I have been hoping to appeal to your sense of decency and integrity, which I assume you share with me as a fellow conservative, and still hold out that hope. If you insist on repeating the defamation, you can expect to hear from me shortly in a more formal manner.
Note: The relationship between the BC Conservatives and Hallsor ended well after this speech and at no time was the current Board aware that he did not support the Party.