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Lawyer Wants to Shoot Social Worker
September 16, 2013 permalink
When Vancouver lawyer Stanley Foo met a social worker identified only as AM in the courthouse lobby he said: "I’m going to shoot you," and "You take away too many kids." The law society has taken action against Mr Foo. Comments from clients on Facebook suggest the real reason: he is good at defending families from MCFD.
Vancouver lawyer’s comments to social worker amount to professional misconduct, says Law Society of B.C.
A Vancouver lawyer who told a government social worker that he should shoot her because she apprehends too many children has been found to have committed professional misconduct.
Stanley Foo, who was called to the bar in B.C. in 1995, made the comments outside a Quesnel courtroom to the social worker, who is identified only by the initials A.M. in a decision of the Law Society of B.C.
According to a law society statement from A.M., she was walking down the stairs when she heard her name and turned to see Foo.
When Foo asked her if she was the social worker, she replied that she was.
“And he just looked at me and said, ‘I’m going to shoot you,’ and I kind of looked at my colleague that was standing beside me and I said, ‘Pardon me? What are you saying?’ And he said, ‘You take away too many kids.’ And I said, ‘Oh really?’ and I walked away. And that was the end of the conversation.”
A.M. told the society that she was “shocked” because she was not used to having to deal with lawyers in such a manner.
The September 2011 incident happened in a crowded area outside a courtroom on a busy day of dealing with family law cases.
Foo told the society that he did not know A.M. at all until the conversation, and that the two of them were making light conversation and that A.M. laughed.
He said that he didn’t remember exactly what he said, but he had been joking and had no intention to threaten or harm her.
Foo added that A.M. was not afraid of him and he did not have a gun or a knife and that social workers have no reason to fear him.
The lawyer said he was a “bombastic guy” and he had made spontaneous comments to A.M.
He told the society that making a joke, even in bad taste or poorly worded, is behaviour that is not a marked departure from the conduct the society expects of its members.
But a panel of the law society found that while Foo thought his comments were spontaneous and a joke, he must take resonsibility for his words and exercise more restraint.
“Even though his honest belief was that social workers take away too many children, he expressed his views inappropriately considering the context,” said the panel.
“The respondent does not seem to understand that, in the context of a waiting area outside of a courtroom on a busy day, when speaking to a person he believed he had no prior or current dealings with, it was inappropriate to identify her by name and occupation ... and to say he should shoot her and that she takes away too many kids.”
The decision notes that A.M. reported the incident to the RCMP but that police did not press charges or interview Foo regarding the incident.
A hearing to determine the appropriate disciplinary action for Foo will be held at a later date. Foo could not be reached.
Source: The Province