This is the third of four instalments from my prepared text.
I also want to talk tonight about lawyers and my long journey at their side. First I want to bring to your attention that I believe that Val Scott, Amy Lebovitch and I probably got too much credit for striking down the prostitution laws. Our legal teams got too little credit. Let me drop a few names: Professor Young, Marlys Edwardh (who fought for Dr. Morgantaler), Ron Marzel, Stacey Nichols, Sabrina Pingitore, Kendra Reinhardt, Katrina Pacey, Daniel Sheppard and other lawyers fought for our side directly and indirectly.
I have been fighting, and my lawyers have been fighting on my behalf, against the laws that were struck down for 20 years. In my youth I was too poor and lacked the support to contemplate challenging the laws. But in 1994, when I was raided in Thornhill that changed. I had support. You can read all about that in my book, but with that support I took a position. I was selling role play and refused to sell sex. Yet I was raided and charged as a prostitute. David O’Connor represented me at my bail hearing and did a good job. The late Ken Danson began my defence preparations and Morris Manning took over from him. Morris also represented Dr. Morgantaler. My supporters recommended that change and Ken was supportive. Ken told me, even after he was replaced, “Terri, you can’t plead guilty. Promise me you won’t”. Morris lived up to his reputation and at my trial he had the charges thrown out because they were too vague. Unfortunately that did not hold up on appeal. Murray Klippenstein took over. He worked with Charlie Campbell and was advised by Paula Rochman and assisted by Wendy Snelgrove. That was in part because I and my supporters felt that lawyers with a reputation as activists were going to be important as the matter became a high profile battle of attrition. During this time George Callahan, a true gentleman and pit bull as the situation required, assisted me in ensuring my private affairs were in order. He also joined Klippenstein’s team, which was then disqualified. They were ruled in conflict because they represented all the accused together. Fortunately, Osgoode Professor Alan Young signed on as an advisor to the team and was ready to take over if the Klippenstein team was disqualified and he did. He was assisted by lawyer Leah Daniels, who taught at Seneca, when my trial finally got under way in 1998. They spent all summer on the case and had a team of students assisting them.
It was a barn burner of a trial. The CNN truck and all the major networks staked out the courthouse in Newmarket, wherever that is. The trial went on for weeks and the questions to be decided, as some reporters said, were as fundamental as those raised in the recent Supreme Court decision – in my view more fundamental. Judge Roy Bogusky, with all the mass media assembled, gave a short oral decision. He said the people there had to make a living and were in a hurry to leave. What a fool. Even he was lucky to get a seat at the trial. He refused to say which of the things I did were not legal and what he did specify was for such poor reasons that no appeal that was not rigged would uphold such a disgusting miscarriage of justice. He said the misuse of the search warrant was an understandable reaction of young bucks. Rosie DiManno finished off his reputation for good in her column.
Professor Young and Paul Burstein (who needs no introduction) did the appeal in 1999. Well, Judge Finlayson of the Ontario Court of Appeal wrote the worst decision in its history. Read it some time. It was so poor, lawyers told me, that it meant that a stripper or waitress could be charged as a prostitute and it was almost impossible to have a search warrant that could be challenged. It was so poor that judges afterwards threw out prostitution and bawdy house charges simply because my conviction and appeal decision were such garbage that they became precedents to cite when acquitting. Ever wondered why prostitution convictions fell steadily since, despite the rising population and the growth of the sex trade, whatever that is. Answer in part, Finlayson.
Some of this was pointed out by now Judge David Corbett, who sought leave to appeal to the Supreme Court. He worked with Lucy McSweeney and Timothy Banks, then an articling student, when David prepared his masterful factum in 2000. Unfortunately it was not heard.