He who fights with Monsters might take care lest he thereby become a Monster
Exhibit A: Canadian attorney Richard Warman, who while he probably started his career with good intentions has become an advocate for abuse, a vexatious serial litigant, a censor, an internet troll, a female impersonator on Nazi-oriented web forums ("not that there's anything wrong with that" but more below the jump), and it now emerges, placed the life of a total stranger in jeopardy just for fun.
We've blogged about Canadian hate speech crusader Richard Warman before as shown in the links above, and while blogging about Warman is now about as fresh as writing about Jack Thompson, another abusive attorney who's made a career of crossing the line, like Thompson, Warman is a gift who keeps on giving.
Warman's latest gift? He posted a link to a letter of apology written by a teenaged girl (who was being sued by Warman before Canada's Human Rights Commission) on a web forum populated by white supremacists and Nazis. The defendant, Elizabeth Lampman, was apologizing for her past involvement with the white supremacist movement, and promising to make amends.
Warman posted the link under the board handle "axetogrind," an identity he'd built up for the purpose of convincing these racists that he was one of them. He posted it in a thread devoted to Matthew Hale, a white supremacist leader who was under prosecution in the United States for soliciting the assassination of a federal judge, along with the smirking comment "with friends like these".
Now why would a crusading lawyer, who has built his career on fighting racist hate, do such a thing? Ms. Lampman had apologized to Warman (oddly enough the plaintiff suing her), and his employer, the Canadian Human Rights Commission, for her past involvement with hate groups and stated her regret for her acts. That's just the sort of outcome that the Human Rights Commission, which trumpets its mission as one of reconciliation and education, supposedly desires. In this case, they'd taken a bad human being, a racist, shown her the error of her ways, and led her to reform.
So the last thing Warman would want to do is to tell her former associates, in a movement which contains people who don't shy away from violence, that she'd left them? Right?
In fact, Warman, who has written about causing what he calls "maximum disruption" to proponents of hate, which may or may not include violence, testified in a case before his employer that he "didn't care" what happened to Ms. Lampman, and that her security was not a concern for him.
That's a pretty shocking admission for anyone to make, certainly for an attorney sworn to uphold the law. Warman had nothing to gain by telling these people that Elizabeth Lampman had left their ranks, unless sick kicks count, but Ms. Lampman had, potentially, everything to lose.
How does a person like this maintain government employment? Do Canadians want their tax dollars paying the salary of a man who endangers fellow citizens for cheap thrills, on the job? What conceivable benefit does Canada gain by paying a man to visit Nazi websites for the purpose of female impersonation?
And how does this man maintain a law license? While it may be debatable whether Warman's acting as an attorney when he's the plaintiff (before a forum of which he's an employee), the Rules of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Ontario equivalent of a State Bar in America, state that a lawyer shall not "needlessly abuse, hector, or harass a witness," or "needlessly inconvenience a witness"; that "[a] lawyer shall be courteous, civil, and act in good faith to the tribunal and with all persons with whom the lawyer has dealings in the course of litigation"; that "[a] lawyer shall encourage public respect for and try to improve the administration of justice". Certainly rules any attorney should aspire to live by, whether he's acting as counsel or as a litigant. Well, any attorney except Richard Warman, who "doesn't care" what might have happened to Elizabeth Lampman.
Even Mike Nifong said he was sorry.
Last 5 posts by Patrick Non-White
- With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility For Chip McGee's Feelz. And For Wombats. - January 30th, 2015
- Charlie Hebdo - Open Thread - January 7th, 2015
- The Curious Case Of The T.V. Attorney And Twitter - December 20th, 2014
- The Statement Of South Pittsburg Commissioner Jeff Powers - December 17th, 2014
- The Speechfather - November 19th, 2014