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Payday dreams dashed

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Alex Chapman’s dreams of a big payday were dashed Tuesday morning when a Manitoba judge tossed his $10 million lawsuit against former divorce lawyer Jack King out of court.

In the decision – which you can read here in its entirety - Queen's Bench Justice John Menzies essentially Chapman had no merit in seeking damages for a seven-year-old sex scandal which has made headlines around the world and put several legal careers on the line.

It wasn’t really a surprising decision, given that Chapman admits to signing a confidentiality agreement in which he promises, among other things, not to seek legal action against King in exchange for receiving $25,000.

The Winnipeg computer programmer made headlines earlier this year when he came went public with claims that King tried to coerce him into having sex with his wife, Lori Douglas, while representing him on a divorce case in 2003.

Douglas is now a Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench family court justice.

Chapman initially filed $67 million worth of lawsuits against King, Douglas and their former law firm, alleging sexual harassment, negligence, and infliction of emotional distress.

The claims against Douglas and the law firm were dropped by Chapman earlier this fall, and now Menzies dismissed his final bid at making a buck.

But the story is far from over.

The Law Society of Manitoba recently announced they were laying three counts of professional misconduct against King, based on Chapman’s complaint against him. They involve allegations of sexual harassment, that King put his own interests before those of his client and that he failed to act with integrity. If found guilty, punishment could range from a reprimand to a suspension or even disbarment.

King is continuing to practice pending a formal hearing on the charges.

Douglas, meanwhile, is in similar legal limbo. The Canadian Judicial Council is continuing to investigate Chapman’s complaint against her and a decision on her fate is expected out of Ottawa soon. Douglas has temporarily stepped down from the bench pending the ongoing review.

Ironically, it could end up being Chapman who suffers the most from this scandal.

He has already lost his job at Great West Life and is now staring down a countersuit from King, citing the admitted breach of the confidentiality agreement. King is seeking damages that go well beyond the $25,000 payout Chapman has already offered to give back – if King would drop his lawsuit.

No matter how this all plays out, it’s clear there are several more chapters still to be written in this case.

Stay tuned.

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About Mike McIntyre

Journalist, national radio show host, author, pundit and cruise director ... Mike McIntyre loves to keep busy.

Mike is the justice reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press, where he has worked since 1997. He produces and hosts the weekly talk radio show Crime and Punishment, which runs on the Corus Radio Network in several Canadian cities.

Born and bred in Winnipeg, Mike graduated from River East Collegiate and completed his journalism studies in the Creative Communications program at Red River College.

He and his wife, Chassity, have two children.

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