Prominent Nunavut and Ontario lawyer disbarred for bigamy, fraud after marrying 2 women

A popular law firm in Nunavut and Ontario has been disbarred by Ontario’s Law Culture Tribunal for forging divorce files and illegally marrying a second female although he was presently married.

James Morton’s hearing was held Wednesday, wherever a a few-particular person panel revoked his licence to practise law and fined him $4,500 to shell out to the Law Culture of Ontario, according to an endorsement document from the Law Modern society Tribunal. 

Morton pleaded responsible to rates of bigamy and forgery in a Ontario court on April 26, 2019, and was sentenced in September of that yr. 

He was originally suspended from practising law in Nunavut and Ontario in 2018.

According to the rationale for sentencing, Morton experienced solid a divorce buy in 2018 to marry his paralegal though nonetheless being married to his first spouse. 

Morton was married to his initially wife — a Justice of the Peace he fulfilled at regulation faculty — for 30 a long time just before that.

The costs

In accordance to the motive for sentencing, a several several years prior to the incident transpired, he began a marriage with his paralegal who experienced been functioning for him for 10 several years. 

In 2016, Morton had moved his regulation business from the Increased Toronto Area to Hamilton. In the course of a journey to Montreal in March 2017, Morton and the paralegal grew to become engaged. At the time, she was still married and told him she was receiving a divorce. Morton instructed her he was also obtaining a divorce. 

Morton and his new fiancée acquired the dwelling they experienced been functioning the regulation workplace out of in the summer of 2017, a several months immediately after their engagement. 

In September 2017, Morton’s fiancée received her lawful divorce papers. Morton under no circumstances filed for divorce and developed phony papers he then confirmed her. 

They scheduled a wedding day day and despatched out invitations for May well 12, 2018, at a golf club in Hamilton. 

Cast papers

With the wedding day day approaching, Morton’s fiancée was inquiring him to get a marriage licence that he kept declaring he would offer with. The female sent their legislation pupil to the courthouse with Morton’s pretend divorce order to acquire a certification of divorce, which was required to get the relationship licence. 

When the regulation scholar gave the courtroom clerk the phony document, the clerk realized some thing was mistaken and informed the student the courtroom couldn’t situation the certificate till they discovered the file. 

The university student returned to the office environment and informed the fiancée what experienced transpired and that the clerk would mail the divorce certificate. 

The courtroom clerk notified the law enforcement of Morton’s fraudulent divorce buy on May 2, 2018. 

That same day, Morton went to Hamilton’s town corridor with a second cast document, a certificate of divorce, and acquired a marriage licence. 

Ten days later on, the marriage went ahead. 

Police investigation

Meanwhile, police were investigating the phony divorce order and spoke to Morton’s initially spouse on Could 8, 2018. She advised police she experienced spoken to Morton about it and that both of those of them ended up confused as to who or why anybody would make a phony divorce get.  

Police questioned Morton the same working day to appear into the station for an interview. But Morton failed to go in for the interview until eventually May 23, 2018, right after his legislation pupil sent police images of the wedding to his next wife. 

In the interview, Morton admitted to law enforcement he experienced created the phony divorce purchase but that he by no means gave it to everyone simply because it wasn’t serious. He also advised police that he never ever instructed his next wife that he was divorced. 

In a sufferer impression statement from Morton’s first wife to the courtroom, she explained she realized on June 22, 2018, that “the husband [she] adored was facing prison charges.”

“My daily life as I understood it was absent. My hopes and desires for the long run ended up ruined. All the things that we experienced reviewed and planned was in excess of.”

On Sept. 11, 2019, Justice Howard Borenstein sentenced Morton to 6 months home arrest and 50 hours of community services.