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Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Legal community rattled by attack on Hells Angels lawyer


legal community is raising questions after a criminal lawyer known for defending members of biker gangs was assaulted outside his home. The victim has been identified as Gilles Doré, who was involved in the criminal proceedings linked to arrests in the wake of Operation SharQc. He is also known as a prominent defence lawyer in the first Hells Angels' mega-trial in 2002, which ended in the murder conviction of Hells leader Maurice "Mom" Boucher. Montreal police say the 58-year-old man was assaulted outside his Outremont home on Friday night. Police say the victim was beaten by one or more individuals. No one has been arrested and the police do not have a description of a possible suspect. Colleagues said Monday he was in stable condition. Colleagues concerned Lawyers say they regularly get threats from all types of clients, which don't always lead to an attack. One defence lawyer, Eric Sutton, said he questioned whether the police will investigate the case with the same veracity with which they investigate other crimes. He said there is a perception that defence lawyers are closely connected with those they represent, which is not always the case. "The defence lawyers get associated with their clientele, and I'm not sure the police will prioritize this case the way it perhaps should have been," he said. "But I don't want to presume that." Richard Prihoda, president of the Defence Attorneys Association of Montreal, calls the attack completely unacceptable under any circumstances. Prihoda said in an interview that if the attack is found to be related to Dore's work, then it is more than just an assault. "It's not just an attack on one lawyer, it's an attack on the whole judicial system," Prihoda said. "As with the Crown prosecutors and the judges, we're a part of the system." Prihoda said the association will discuss the recent attack, at a previously scheduled meeting on Wednesday. "I went to the courthouse today (Monday) and everybody is asking questions," Prihoda said. Prihoda said he hopes that police can resolve the case, as well as other outstanding attacks on Quebec lawyers. Similar attacks on attorneys Montreal defence lawyer Joseph La Leggia was attacked in similar fashion last December near his home. He has since resumed practising law. Another Montreal lawyer, Thomas Kiriazis, who is not a defence lawyer, has also been targeted. The business lawyer says he has been the victim of death threats and a firebombing in front of his home, located in the same neighbourhood where Dore was attacked. Dore battling 2002 Bar suspension In addition to the 2002 megatrial, Dore is currently involved in the massive Hells Angels megatrial being held in Montreal. Dore is due before the Supreme Court of Canada soon, where he is attempting to overturn a lower-court decision that upheld a 21-day suspension he was given by the Quebec Bar Association during the 2002 megatrial. The suspension was over a critical letter Dore sent to a Quebec judge over comments that judge made at the bail hearing of one of his clients.



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