A man who claims he was pressured to have sex with a Manitoba judge and shown explicit sexual pictures of her may be running out of options to pursue his case through the courts.
For the second time in as many months, Alexander Chapman has dropped one of his lawsuits connected to his claim. This time, it was a suit against Thompson, Dorfman, Sweatman - the law firm where Lori Douglas and her husband Jack King worked before Ms. Douglas was appointed a Court of Queen's Bench judge.
"My client doesn't feel that he has an action against Thompson, Dorfman, Sweatman," Mr. Chapman's lawyer, Paul Walsh, said Tuesday outside court.
"His complaint and his action is with Mr. King and consequently, that's the action we want to carry on with."
But even that lawsuit could be in jeopardy. Mr. King's lawyer asked a judge Tuesday to dismiss the claim. After an hour-long hearing, Mr. Justice John Menzies reserved his decision.
Mr. Chapman made international headlines when he came forward in the summer with claims that he had been approached by Mr. King in 2003 as a prospective sex partner for Ms. Douglas. He claims Mr. King showed him pictures of Ms. Douglas involved in sex acts and pointed him to an interracial sex website with more photos of Ms. Douglas.
He filed separate lawsuits against Ms. Douglas, Mr. King and their former law firm seeking a total of $67-million. Last month, he dropped the suit against Ms. Douglas, admitting to a lack of evidence.
Mr. King's lawyer, Bill Gange, has said Mr. King was suffering from depression in 2003 and was acting without his wife's knowledge. He is asking the court to dismiss Mr. Chapman's lawsuit on two grounds - that the standard six-year time limit has expired for filing a lawsuit over a dispute, and that Mr. Chapman signed a confidential settlement agreement in 2003.
"Once you've settled something … it's settled, it's all over," Mr. Gange said outside court.
Mr. Chapman has admitted to signing an agreement that saw him receive $25,000 in exchange for returning all the photographs, dropping any legal claims, and agreeing not to talk about the matter.
He says he decided to break his silence this year because he continues to suffer emotional trauma.
Mr. Chapman's lawyer told the court Tuesday the settlement agreement should never have been signed because it was unfair to Mr. Chapman. That prompted the judge to suggest that, if the agreement is indeed unfair, perhaps Mr. Chapman should consider suing the lawyer who negotiated it for him instead of Mr. King.
There was no indication of when the judge would decide whether to dismiss the lawsuit.
Even if the lawsuit is thrown out, the controversy may not be over.
The Canadian Judicial Council is investigating a complaint of unethical behaviour against Ms. Douglas filed by Mr. Chapman. The Law Society of Manitoba is investigating a similar complaint filed by Mr. Chapman against Mr. King.
Ms. Douglas has stepped down from the bench while the investigation continues, but remains on the job performing administrative duties.
The Canadian Press