They say a lawyer must be able to think on his/her feet and have a thick skin.  I had to call on both resources first thing this morning when, quite unexpectedly, Commissioner Oppal took me to task in the public hearing over a few questions I had posed to witnesses back on Octber 18 and 19.  At the time, no one, including Commission Counsel Art Vertlieb, Q.C., had objected to the questions, so it was rather a surprise to be confronted and questioned about a few moments of testimony that occurred two weeks ago.

I did my best to defend my conduct, and my success, or failure on that front can be ascertained from a review of the transcript of this morning’s proceedings.  I certainly respect Commissioner Oppal’s opinions and have no difficulty with him fairly expressing them.  I will continue to strive to represent the interests of my clients, the families of 18 of the missing and murdered women, in a way that is entirely consistent with my professional responsibilities.

The morning continued fairly uneventfully with Mr. Gratl’s submissions on his application for protection of vulnerable witnesses.

The federal government’s application for a publication ban may be heard later today.

2:40 p.m. update:  The Commission has adjourned for the day, without any formal indication of what may occur tomorrow.  Presumably, the federal government’s application for a publication ban will be on the agenda.  We continue to prepare material in support of our anticipated application for full disclosure of relevant records, and for a brief adjournment to enable us to digest the documents in the event we are successful.  It seems like that may come on for hearing after the testimony of VPD Deputy Chief Lepard, who takes the stand Monday.