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Lawyer in Greg Carter Case
March 4, 2010 permalink
Toronto lawyer George Callahan is organizing a civil suit against phony doctor Greg Carter. If you wish to join in, get in touch with David Bulmer.
Class action suit possible in Carter case
Whitby man accused of false testimony in family court
DURHAM -- As criminal charges proceed against a Whitby man accused of falsely portraying himself as a clinical psychologist in family court cases, a move is afoot to launch civil action.
Toronto lawyer George Callahan said Tuesday he's consulted with a number of potential clients in the wake of revelations that Greg Carter conducted assessments and offered opinions in family court proceedings that involved child custody matters.
"I can confirm that there are a number of victims coming forward in the Carter matter," Mr. Callahan said. "We are actively considering a class action suit."
Mr. Carter, 63, was charged in January with perjury, obstructing justice and fraud. Durham police allege he falsely claimed to be a clinical psychologist while testifying in court and preparing parental assessments for agencies such as the Children's Aid Society; Mr. Carter was a contract employee with Durham CAS from 2003 to 2009.
Mr. Carter's opinions were considered by judges making rulings about child custody, police said. The Whitby man is registered with the Ontario College of Psychologists as a psychological associate. His practice is limited by the college and he is prohibited from independently making diagnoses.
Mr. Carter has not responded to requests for comment and the case against him has not been proven in court. He was scheduled to appear in remand court in Oshawa Wednesday.
Mr. Callahan said that in light of the accusations levelled against Mr. Carter, lawsuits by individuals who feel they've been affected by his alleged misdeeds are inevitable. Court approval would be required for claimants to come together to launch a class action suit.
And when lawsuits do start flying they'll allege liability well beyond Mr. Carter himself, Mr. Callahan predicted.
"It's a disastrous mess," he said. "There are no winners in this. There are only people who have suffered loss."
Pushing for a lawsuit is a Clarington man who claims he lost custody of his granddaughter because of a report authored by Mr. Carter. The man, whose name can't be published to protect the child's identity, first blew the whistle on Mr. Carter by calling police and is now trying to organize people affected by the case.
He said a system-wide review ought to be conducted. "This is gross incompetence."
Also watching developments closely is a Whitby woman who said she abandoned her court battle for custody of her two children after a scathing assessment authored by Mr. Carter.
"He was the assessor recommended by the court," the woman said. "This report would have influenced the judge."
The woman now lives in a different town than her children and sees them only occasionally. She said the decision to give up her custody fight was excruciating. And now that it's alleged Mr. Carter wasn't qualified to offer an opinion in the case, she's shocked and angry.
"My whole life has changed because of this," she said. "You trust this person has the credentials needed to perform this important function.
"I put my trust in the courts; I put my trust in my lawyer. I put my trust in this man."
Mr. Callahan said it's essential that witnesses offering expert opinions in court cases be vetted to ensure their capability and credibility.
"These assessors have such sway in the courts that often judges will follow their recommendations," he said. "And that appears to be the case with Mr. Carter."
Source: Metroland Media