The court hears arguments in case #28639, Law Society of New Brunswick v. Michael A.A. Ryan, on October 1, 2002.
In 1993, Grant Trider and Ronald Stewart retained New Brunswick lawyer Michael Ryan to represent them in a wrongful dismissal case. In 1999, Mr. Trider and Mr. Stewart complained to the Law Society of New Brunswick that Mr. Ryan had failed to represent them and that he had lied to them on several occasions. Among their concerns, Mr. Ryan had allegedly provided them with a forged decision of the New Brunswick Court of Appeal dealing with their case, when in fact no such decision had been rendered by any court or judge. The Law Society Discipline Committee decided that Mr. Ryan should be disbarred. Mr. Ryan appealed but the Discipline Committee reaffirmed its initial decision. Mr. Ryan then appealed to the New Brunswick Court of Appeal, which substituted for disbarment an indefinite suspension and various conditions for reinstatement of Mr. Ryan’s license to practice law. The Law Society is now appealing this decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Lawyer D. Leslie Smith presents arguments on behalf of Michael Ryan and responds to several questions from various justices.