The Quebec Bar Association and bencher-elect Lu Chan Khuong have released a joint statement, indicating that Khuong has decided to resign her position and duties. The joint press release, dated Tuesday, September 15, 2015, announces a settlement agreement of the legal action opposing the board of directors of the Bar Association and Khuong.
For details on what transpired up to this settlement, please read my previous post here.
With assurances that her election platform and policies will be taken into consideration, she states that her decision was made “to preserve this institution, which is more important than the people who run it.”
Former Chief Justice of the Superior Court, François Rolland, acted as a mediator between the parties and helped them reach the agreement.
Following the press release, a new bencher was quickly named without the benefits of an election or the opinion of the members. The board of directors of the Bar Association unanimously named (not elected as stated in the press release, how can you be elected when the members did not vote) Claudia P. Prémont into the role of the new “Bâtonnière” du Quebec. Her term begins on September 15 and will end in 2017, in accordance with section 31 of the Election Regulations of the Quebec Bar.
Prémont was bâtonnière of Quebec City in 2007-2008, and since June, she’s had the role of administrator for the Quebec City region on the board of directors. So a known figure to the profession with an impressive background.
Following both announcements, many members of the bar took to Twitter to discuss the news. You could see that the decisions did not go well with the members who wanted Khuong back. Others feel that the Bar Association should make an examination of conscience in the role the board played in this whole affair and the platform Khuong wanted to implement.
Others are happy that the “circus” is finally over.
However, there may be more to this story. While the drama at the bar has ended for the time being, I wonder what will become of Khuong? Will we hear more about these incidents of shoplifting that started the whole affair and the later allegations of theft? Will those members who supported Khuong be able to accept the newly announced Bâtonnière? Or will there remain a rift in the bar?
Well I guess not…
Droit Inc. reported that Khoung is intending to release the Simons security video footage. Why? it does not really say except that she considers herself a minority, a woman, and coming from a small law firm, implying discrimination and that the Quebec Bar Association needs to work on diversity on many levels.
I don’t disagree with that statement but what would be the point of releasing the tapes?!
I suspect the members who supported Khoung will be watching closely, and the “circus” may not be over yet!