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Enough done to purge contempt citation?

|Written By Michael McKiernan

An Ottawa lawyer who skipped court dates to go on vacation will find out today whether he has done enough to have his contempt citation purged.

Defence lawyer Felix Weekes was cited for contempt of court by Ontario Court Justice Peter Wright on Feb. 22 after he missed a court date the previous November in a sex assault case to go on holiday to Tanzania.

According to the Ottawa Citizen, lawyers from the Children’s Aid Society and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario turned up for the hearing, which concerned the release of hospital records.

Weekes later missed a second date when he flew to Saint Vincent to care for his sick mother and was removed from the record by Wright.

The absences also caused upheaval in five more of Weekes’ cases, prompting a second judge, Ontario Court Justice Lise Maisonneueve, to label his conduct “appalling” and “an affront to the administration of justice,” according to the Citizen. She spared him a second contempt citation though.

Weekes’ lawyer Doug Baum told the court his client’s practice is as already under review by the Law Society of Upper Canada because of problems in its management, and the contempt citation may yet bring him under further scrutiny from the regulator.

Weekes has now paid $3,300 to cover the legal fees incurred as a result of the missed trial date in November, as well as a $500 donation to the Boys and Girls Club. Wright is set to rule today on whether that’s enough to purge his contempt citation.

Update: According to the Ottawa Citizen, Wright purged the contempt charge, so Weekes will not have a criminal record.





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