A man embroiled in a controversy over nude photos of a Manitoba lawyer who is now a judge has dropped his $7-million lawsuit against her but not against her husband or a law firm.
Alexander Chapman appeared in a Winnipeg court on Wednesday with Toronto-area lawyer William Gilmour, who said the case against Lori Douglas would not go ahead because it lacks adequate evidence to meet the burden of proof.
Gilmour, who was just hired by Chapman on Tuesday, said he needs time to go through all of the documents to determine if there is enough cause for Chapman to proceed with the lawsuits against lawyer Jack King and the Winnipeg law firm Thompson Dorfman Sweatman.
He said a decision would be made soon.
Chapman filed a $10-million lawsuit against King and a $50-million claim against the law firm on Sept. 1.
Meanwhile, the matter will be back in court on Oct. 26 for a judge to hear a motion from King, who is seeking to have the claim against him dismissed as well.
He and Douglas filed separate notices of motion last week to that end. They appeared in court Wednesday to present them to a judge, when Gilmour announced the matter involving Douglas would not go ahead.
Douglas' lawyer, Michael Green, said his client is relieved.
"She feels encouraged that this is behind her. She wants all of it to be behind her and she wants to get back to her life and her judicial life and this is step in that direction," Green said.
In their separate statements of defence, King and Douglas both argued the alleged matters occurred more than six years ago and so the window of opportunity for a lawsuit has been closed under the Limitations of Actions Act.
King further argued that Chapman signed a confidential settlement and release in 2003, agreeing to never bring legal action regarding the matter against King or his legal partners. As part of the settlement, King also paid Chapman $25,000.
King has filed his own lawsuit against Chapman, accusing him of violating that settlement and claiming his privacy was breached.
Chapman claims in his lawsuits that he was harassed and suffered emotional distress when King tried, but failed in 2003, to get him to have sex with Douglas. At the time, both King and Douglas were partners at the law firm.
Douglas was appointed a judge of the Court of Queen's Bench on May 19, 2005, and then appointed as an associate chief justice of the Court of Queen's Bench on May 14, 2009.
Chapman first met King in 2002, when he retained the lawyer to handle his divorce. Chapman claims King showed him sexually explicit photos of Douglas, naked in various forms of bondage, in chains, with sex toys and performing oral sex.
At some point, King also directed him to a porn website devoted to interracial sex, particularly between black men and white women.
When his divorce was concluded, Chapman filed a complaint to the managing partners at the law firm. Soon after receiving the complaint, King left the firm and signed the confidentiality agreement with Chapman.Douglas has temporarily stepped aside from her duties as a sitting judge but remains with the court in an administrative capacity.