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Lawyer who tried to halt showing of Harry Potter movie in Canada disbarred

A lawyer who tried to stop a Harry Potter movie from being shown anywhere in Canada has been disbarred.

Kimberly Townley-Smith has had her licence revoked by the Law Society of Upper Canada, which regulates lawyers in Ontario.

A law society disciplinary panel found Ms. Townley-Smith guilty of professional misconduct for making unfounded allegations of bias and corruption against judges and others.

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In 2005, Ms. Townley-Smith represented a Winnipeg folk group called The Wyrd Sisters and sued Warner Bros. Inc for $40 million.

She alleged the film Harry Potter And The Goblet of Fire included one scene that showed a fictional rock band that infringed on the Winnipeg group's trademark.

Ms. Townley-Smith lost the case, setting off years of appeals in which she accused nine judges and more than a dozen lawyers in Ontario and Manitoba of conspiring against her.

In 2010, Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench Justice Chris Martin called Ms. Townley-Smith's actions "deplorable" and wrote that "she had reported me to the police for alleged criminal offences."

In the end, Ms. Townley-Smith and the Winnipeg group were ordered to pay some legal expenses incurred by Warner Bros. Kim Baryluk, the only permanent member of the Wyrd Sisters, parted ways with Ms. Townley-Smith.

Ms. Townley-Smith "made allegations of improper conduct, including criminality, against an ever-expanding group of individuals directly and indirectly involved in the ... proceedings and subsequent related events," the Law Society of Upper Canada panel wrote in its decision.

The panel has ordered Ms. Townley-Smith to pay $30,000 in costs.

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Ms. Townley-Smith was not immediately available for comment Tuesday.

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