Embattled Ottawa lawyer defends himself online in services-for-sex case

Article content

Ottawa lawyer James Bowie, under investigation by the Law Society of Ontario in an alleged legal services-for-sex case, has dismissed the complaint, saying his former client fabricated the allegations to avoid paying her bill.

Article content

An hour and a half after this newspaper reported on the investigation, Bowie went live on the social platform Discord and defended himself.

Article content

Bowie spoke openly about his former client and described her as a broke, single mom.

Bowie also acknowledged he’s under investigation by the law society, and said: “I’ve got to give a written answer to the law society explaining all this, and they will conduct their investigation, and decide what they want to do.”

“In the meantime, everyone’s mad at me, and I’m losing friends,” Bowie said online.

The complaint, reviewed by this newspaper, alleges that Bowie offered his client at the time services in exchange for oral sex, invited her to snort cocaine and sent her an unsolicited picture of his penis.

Article content

In the Sept. 16 complaint, the former client struggling with depression and finances reported that Bowie told her she could pay off her retainer with oral sex.

The former client attached what appear to be Snapchat messages to support her allegations to her complaint to the law society, the board that governs lawyers.

On the Discord social platform, Bowie referenced the Snapchat messages in question. He said he was merely flirting with his client and also detailed his theory about the allegations.

“Clearly what happened here, is in order to not pay her bill, she tells (Ottawa lawyer Michael) Spratt some sob story,” Bowie said.

While Bowie took to the social platform to defend himself, he has yet to respond to this newspaper after several requests for comment.

Article content

The woman has since retained criminal law specialist Michael Spratt, who filed the complaint to the law society on her behalf.

In a cover letter attached to the law society complaint, Spratt said: “(The complainant) is very upset and traumatized over the absolutely disgusting conduct of Mr. Bowie.

“These predatory acts violate multiple rules of professional conduct and were deeply harmful and offensive … (she) is fearful, given Mr. Bowie’s profile, about retribution,” Spratt wrote to the law society.

In an unrelated case, Bowie is scheduled to appear at a law-society disciplinary hearing later this month for allegedly failing to co-operate with three other investigations by not producing information and documents.

When he defended himself online, Bowie said the unrelated cases were boring bookkeeping issues, and said he took too long to provide documents because he was, “frankly, on the wrong meds.”



Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

Leave a Reply