Manitoba court orders payback of $25Gs to stay quiet on judicial sex allegations

Alex Chapman leaves federal court on Broadway after testifying in the inquiry.



WINNIPEG -- Manitoba's Court of Appeal has upheld an order that Alex Chapman repay $25,000 he received to keep quiet about sex allegations involving his former lawyer's wife, Associate Chief Justice Lori Douglas.

Last June, Justice Chris Martin ruled Chapman clearly violated a confidentiality agreement when he went to the media and revealed his former lawyer, Jack King, tried to convince him in 2003 to have sex with Douglas, then a lawyer in private practice. Martin ordered Chapman to repay the $25,000, plus another $15,000 for King's court costs.

Chapman appealed Martin's order, arguing the confidentiality agreement "constituted an illegal act."
Chapman claimed he signed the agreement "under duress" and was unaware of its contents.

Chapman also claimed he was never served notice of court hearings addressing the matter last summer, a claim that was at odds with evidence his lawyer at the time, Paul Walsh, was served notice of the hearings and notified Chapman.

"(Chapman's) explanation on service is, to put it mildly, absolutely unconvincing," Court of Appeal Justice Richard Chartier wrote in a four-page decision released Wednesday.

A judicial inquiry tasked with deciding whether Douglas can remain on the bench heard three weeks of testimony last summer. No dates have been set for it to resume.
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