The BC Law Society says a Kelowna man who has allegedly been claiming he's been practising law for 30 years is actually not a lawyer at all.
In a petition to the B.C. Supreme Court filed last month, the society says they began receiving complaints about Scott McCluskey in April of this year, from several people claiming he had been erroneously claiming he was a lawyer.
McCluskey claims on his Optik Law website that his law firm has been “working together for 30 years and has a proven track record of success.”
The website claims McCluskey is the firm's founder and partner, practising criminal law, constitutional law, RCMP complaints, mediation and more.
"A graduate from Harvard, he is our resident expert in Canadian constitutional Law, and civil litigation law, and vast experience in Canadian criminal law," the website states. "When you need your business/family or friends, protected, he's who you want in your corner."
But the society says “Scott McCluskey is not now and has never been a lawyer.”
Additionally, Optik Law is not a registered company in B.C., nor is it registered with the law society to practise law in the province.
Optik Law's website also states Heidi Chartrand is a lawyer working for the firm, claiming she previously worked for “High Powered Firm NYC.” Chartrand is also not a registered lawyer with the society.
But in an email to Castanet, McCluskey claims the Optik Law website is a “spoof.”
“I do not have clients, never billed anyone, because I have never offered legal services,” McCluskey wrote. “I have never passed the bar, nor claimed I had. The website is a spoof. Do you believe everything on the internet?”
McCluskey tells Castanet the society's petition contains false allegations, and he has only practised law while self-representing himself in court.
In its petition, the society says it first became aware of McCluskey's claims last April, after a lawyer with Interior Savings Credit Union, Harold Hicks, had an email exchange with McCluskey on April 1. McCluskey and the credit union were engaged in some kind of proceeding, and McCluskey demanded the credit union settle the matter out of court.
“I have never lost a single criminal, civil or constitutional law case in 25 years or ever,” McCluskey wrote to Hicks. He ended the email: “best regards, Scott McCluskey, Lawyer.”
A week later, the law society says McCluskey was pulled over by an RCMP officer, and McCluskey told the officer he was a lawyer who'd been practising constitutional law for more than 30 years.
Then on April 22, McCluskey allegedly used his claimed legal expertise to threaten a pub owner in Port McNeil with legal action, after the pub owner had denied him service for failing to wear a mask, as stipulated by the province's public health order. McCluskey claims to have a medical exemption to the order.
The society says McCluskey once again claimed to be a lawyer with 30 years of experience, and said his lawsuit would bankrupt the establishment.
Between April 12 and May 9, McCluskey had dealings with a general contractor for a home inspection. But after their dealings broke down, the society says McCluskey threatened legal action, claiming again that he was a lawyer with 30 years of experience.
In his email, McCluskey tells Castanet he's had a number of recent disputes around the COVID-19 mask mandate, and his claimed medical exemption, including on a BC Ferries trip to Nanaimo. He says the captain threatened to have him removed from the ferry for refusing to wear a mask.
“What we are witnessing re hysteria and discrimination over Covid 19 medical exemptions, amounts to nothing less than medical apartheid,” McCluskey wrote.
A Twitter account with the name Scott McCluskey posted on Feb. 18 that he was “coming with criminal indictments” for several Kelowna RCMP officers, for allegedly breaking his arm. The matter appears to stem from another confrontation over mask wearing.
The Twitter account claims he has an "Elon M. like IQ."
McCluskey claims he has a "genius-level IQ," from a "diagnosis based on testing by a well known psychologist" during a court case that is currently before the courts. His Facebook account claims he studied at Harvard University.
Law society spokesperson Jason Kuzminski says the society has been in contact with McCluskey, and they expect him to file a formal response to the petition in the near future. Kuzminski says the society will wait for McCluskey's response before seeking judgment from the court.
But McCluskey claims he's already responded to the law society through the court. No such response is currently posted to B.C.'s Court Services Online as of Wednesday morning.