My attorney recently learned of my blog from a rather surprising source: Justice Canada. Apparently I’ve said some unflattering things on here and (now that I’ve been re-reading them) I can see why he might be upset.
While it was a tense couple of days as we went back and forth (I won’t detail the conversations at this point, but I did learn that an attorney cannot drop a client easily, without the agreement of the client or permission of the Court.) In doing this I realized that his criticism was actually correct – that I didn’t trust him. This wasn’t fair to him, because the distrust wasn’t really appropriately aimed at him. Rather, the distrust was really from my previous attorney. Once I received the medical results back from CIC my old attorney said basically “sorry about this, too bad it won’t work out.” Not surprisingly, I now realize this made me feel abandoned. I’d picked my attorney precisely because he presented himself as being knowledgeable about GLBT immigration issues. It turns out he wasn’t as comfortable pushing into this area.
So I did all the leg work necessary: coordinated with my employer to create the medical savings plan. I already had a private insurance policy and with a bit more work I arranged to be covered by a group policy (with no medical underwriting because of the size of the group). This provided 100% coverage, with overlapping policies – and the PHSP is a medical savings plan, so there’s no question that it by itself would pay. But since the one thing I couldn’t do is identify the cost of the drugs, I didn’t want there to be any question that the coverage wouldn’t be sufficient – and it was external to me.
The damage was done by then, though. I’d been forced to be self-reliant and learn a distrust of my old attorney. But carrying that into the relationship with my new attorney was unfair to him.
So I will say this. I think my current attorney has done a very good job. At one point I told him:
I think highly of your work. I have recommended you to
several others already and I know at least one of them has engaged your for representation. I would not have done that if I did not respect your abilities.
I do think this fairly summarizes my objective opinion of him. I have apologized to him personally and I now do so publicly. My comments were coloured by my bias and unduly harsh. There really is no one else who would have done a better job of representing my case before the course.
I’m writing this after a very tumultuous 10 days or so, trying to capture the important essence now before it fades from my memory.
I think the attorney for Justice Canada has done a professional job on behalf of her client. While I will never know, based upon my review of what has happened now that the dust is settling and I’m regaining some objectivity, I get the sense that when she reviewed this case she knew that her client had “screwed up” and she was going to have to do some work to prevent them from getting egg on their face. I made her job easier, with the spousal application, because it gave CIC an “out”. She would have been well aware of the case law: Hilewitz, Sapru, Companioni and Rashid. CIC lost three of those four cases. When I read Sapru I thought “wow, this is my case except the visa officer didn’t even bother to try and backfill the rationale”. In some ways I have sympathy for the visa officer – the medical officer really did hang her out to dry by not giving her much. Then again, the visa officer probably should have pushed back. Maybe she was assuming I’d just give up and walk away, as I’ve talked about and I suspect most people in my situation would have done.
For the Justice Canada attorney, I’m sure none of this was personal. She was doing her job. Perhaps I’ve made it a bit more personal by some of the things I’ve said, but I suspect that she knows someone in my position isn’t going to be terribly objective.
So, I apologize to my attorney – he was not deserving of my lack of trust. And if I have offended CIC’s attorney, I apologize as well, because in the end my read is that you’ve pushed for a good outcome for both parties, which is ultimately the objective.
I’ve made my decision, by the way. After discussions with my attorney I concluded that there wasn’t enough to gain by moving forward. He discussed the situation with CIC’s attorney and she inquired as to the status of my new application and the word relayed to me (from LA) was:
All statutory requirements have been met as of September 12th. We cannot speculate as to when the final decision will be rendered but as nothing else is pending, the file is expected to be concluded shortly.
With this, and the discussion with my attorney I agreed to discontinue the judicial review application. The docket for my case is truly an unusual one, far outside the norm, but without a decision it’s not one that anyone else will ever study. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, honestly.
- Decision time (medicallyinadmissible.com)
- Is Discretion the Better Part of Valour? (medicallyinadmissible.com)
- Legal Consumer Tip #4 – Think Like a Lawyer (thelegalreformer.com)
- Revisionist History (medicallyinadmissible.com)
- Harper’s anti-drug strategy gets a little less compassionate (macleans.ca)
- Day 27: Accept someone’s apology. (everydaydepressioncures.wordpress.com)