When will judges speak out against perjury? Don’t make me laugh!

“Sometimes the truth just doesn’t matter to the courts when high status persons are in jeopardy.”

Georgialee Lang

I was happy to discover Lawdiva’s Blog by Vancouver lawyer Georgialee Lang – who posts some excellent articles about the legal system and treads where many others fear to go.

She also writes marvellous headlines such as “Judge Presides Over Child Support Hearing While Conducting an Affair with Litigant”.

Recently Georgialee asked When Will Our Judges Speak Out Forcefully Against Perjury?

I left this comment on her article:

Hello Ms. Lang,

I’ve enjoyed a few of your articles today after stumbling across your website a few clicks ago. (Can’t even remember where or how I got here – the wonders of the internet.)

In my 40 years in and around the court as a police detective and as a private investigator, I concur that there has always been a great reluctance to prosecute people for perjury. Even if the evidence is overwhelming and irrefutable with no reasonable doubt, perjury charges just never seem to follow.

In my own case before the Ontario Superior Court, even a forensically proven and secretly made voice recording that conclusively proved perjury wasn’t enough. Indeed, no court ever agreed to listen to the recording lest the judge would then have to find perjury and conspiracy against three witnesses.

And the three witnesses who perjured themselves just happened to be… lawyers.

Sometimes the truth just doesn’t matter to the courts when high status persons are in jeopardy.

The Sebastien Kwidzinski story: How senior partners taught a young articling lawyer to fabricate evidence and lie to the court.

Donald Best

 

Did lawyers assist in Justice Bryan Shaughnessy’s “disgusting” misconduct? #3 in a series

Big Law Firm lawyers Gerald Ranking (left), Lorne Silver & Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

Did lawyers Lorne S. Silver and Gerald L. Ranking know of Justice Shaughnessy’s intentions? Did they assist? If so, they are co-conspirators with the judge.

In articles over the past months (listed below), we told how after court ended on May 3, 2013, Ontario Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy went to a backroom where, off the court record, he secretly increased a prisoner’s sentence without a trial and without telling the self-represented prisoner (Donald Best). In that backroom, Justice Shaughnessy signed a secret new warrant of committal – that he did not place into the court record and that he provided only to prison authorities.

Several senior lawyers and a retired Crown Attorney called Justice Shaughnessy’s behaviour “disgusting”, “reprehensible”, “malicious” and “worthy of his removal from the bench.”

Donald Best complained of Shaughnessy’s misconduct to the Canadian Judicial Council – (Best’s Jan 5, 2016 12-page CJC complaint without exhibits. PDF 218kb).

After CJC Director Norman Sabourin summarily dismissed the complaint without conducting an investigation or providing reasons, Best’s lawyer filed for a Judicial Review of the CJC decision. That judicial review is now before the Federal Court.

Our second article in this series explained how big law firm partners Lorne S. Silver and Gerald L. Ranking certainly witnessed parts of Justice Shaughnessy’s misconduct in court.

In Part #3 of this series, we look at evidence that lawyers Ranking and Silver actually participated in Justice Shaughnessy’s serious misconduct – perhaps secretly meeting with the judge in a backroom after court.

On May 3, 2013, lawyers Lorne S. Silver and Gerald L. Ranking were in court and witnessed Justice Shaughnessy state on the record that he was lifting the stay on his January 15, 2010 Warrant of Committal for Donald Best, and that Best would now be taken to prison to serve the sentence indicated on that January 15, 2010 warrant – for contempt of court during a civil case costs hearing.

On May 3, 2013, Silver and Ranking also witnessed Justice Shaughnessy state on the record that “Approval of the order by Mr. Best will be dispensed with and I direct that this order shall be prepared by Messrs. Ranking and Silver and presented to me for signature by Monday, May 6, 2013.” (May 3, 2013 transcript, pg 57, line 32)

Silver and Ranking also witnessed Justice Shaughnessy order that Best was never again to be brought before him.

Thus, Justice Shaughnessy ordered Ranking and Silver to create a Judgment Order to be presented to him on May 6, 2013, and also that self-represented litigant Donald Best was not to participate or be provided with a copy of the judgment order. This judgment order (download here) did not order the creation of a new warrant of committal or increase Best’s sentence, and was not the secret new warrant of committal signed by Justice Shaughnessy after court on May 3, 2013.

 

Secret new May 3, 2013 Warrant of Committal. Click to enlarge.

Justice Shaughnessy’s misconduct was premeditated with malicious intent.

Shaughnessy ordered in court on May 3, 2013 that:

1/ Best was not to participate in the creation of a judgment order, and,

2/ Best was never to be brought before Justice Shaughnessy again.

As indicated in Best’s complaint to the CJC, these orders on the record are evidence of Shaughnessy’s premeditation and malicious intent to secretly increase Best’s sentence after court, and to not place the new secret warrant of committal or increased sentence on the court record.

We know that after court ended on May 3, 2013, Justice Shaughnessy left the courtroom and went to a backroom where he signed a secret new order dated May 3, 2013 that illegally increased Best’s sentence. Best only learned of the order from prison authorities after his arrival at the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, Ontario.

Did lawyers Lorne Silver and Gerald Ranking meet secretly with Justice Shaughnessy in a backroom after court on May 3, 2013?

We do not know at this point if Gerald Ranking or Lorne Silver knew in advance of Justice Shaughnessy’s intention to secretly increase Best’s jail sentence after court was over. Whether they knew or did not know in advance, is important evidence.

We do not know if Ranking and Silver learned of the secretly increased sentence and new warrant perhaps days or weeks afterwards – or, if Justice Shaughnessy secretly instructed them in a backroom meeting on May 3, 2013 to draft the secret new warrant of committal with the increased sentence.

Were the lawyers with Justice Shaughnessy on May 3, 2013 when he signed the secret warrant and illegally increased Best’s sentence? Did the lawyers draft the secret warrant upon private backroom instructions from the judge?

If lawyers Lorne Silver and Gerald Ranking had any part in the creation or delivery of the illegal and secret warrant of committal, or if they knew about it on May 3, 2013 or were present when Justice Shaughnessy signed it – then the lawyers are co-conspirators with the judge in his egregious misconduct.

What did the judge’s secretary and other court staff witness?

Justice Shaughnessy’s secretary and other court staff may have witnessed the lawyers meeting with the judge after court ended. The judge’s secretary and court staff may have knowledge of the creation and forwarding of the secret warrant of committal to prison authorities.

Drafts of the secret warrant warrant of committal might exist on court computers – or the secret warrant might have been created using one of the lawyers’ laptop computers and therefore does not appear on court computers.

CJC Executive Director Norman Sabourin summarily dismissed Best’s complaint without an investigation and without providing reasons.

Justice Shaughnessy, his court staff and lawyers Silver and Ranking must be witnesses in any valid CJC investigation or public inquiry – but so far both Lorne Silver and Gerald Ranking refuse to be cross-examined about any of their conduct in relation to Donald Best’s conviction, sentencing and imprisonment.

As indicated in our first two articles in this series, Justice Shaughnessy is now personally represented at the judicial review by Law Society of Upper Canada senior bencher Peter C. Wardle. Wardle has a conflict of interest as he also represented lawyers Lorne S. Silver and Gerald L. Ranking in a related matter.

With the Federal Attorney General representing the CJC, and the Ontario Attorney General absent after formerly representing Justice Shaughnessy, no one is representing the public interest at the judicial review.  

. Read more

Ontario’s Bay Street Cabal and law society circle the wagons to protect judge; Ignoring conflicts of interest and the public trust – #2 in a Series

Law Society of Upper Canada sides with Judge over misconduct some lawyers call “disgusting”, “reprehensible”, “worthy of removal from the bench.”

Surrounded by Law Society Benchers, newly elected Treasurer, Paul B. Schabas (centre), chairs his first meeting.

Our first article in this series exposed how Ontario Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy hired a conflicted lawyer to represent him in an ongoing Judicial Review of a Canadian Judicial Council decision about Justice Shaughnessy.*

Law Society of Upper Canada senior bencher Peter C. Wardle is Justice Shaughnessy’s new attorney. However, in a closely related matter Wardle also represented two lawyers who are almost certain to be called as primary witnesses in a CJC investigation or public inquiry into allegations of serious misconduct against Justice Shaughnessy.**

Of the over 50,000 licensed lawyers in Ontario, Justice Shaughnessy just happens to be represented by Mr. Wardle – the only lawyer in Canada who:

  1. represented two important witnesses to the judge’s misconduct in a closely associated legal matter, and,
  2. represented eleven high profile law firms and lawyers (including the current Treasurer of the law society) in the same closely related matter, and,
  3. is a senior bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada (‘LSUC’) – the regulator of all lawyers and paralegals in the province that has been extensively involved in this very series of legal actions, and,
  4. works closely with LawPRO, the law society’s company insuring lawyers in Ontario that is also involved in legal matters closely associated with the current Judicial Review.

Senior bencher Peter Wardle represented lawyers Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver during a civil law suit launched in July, 2014 by former Toronto Police Sergeant (Detective) Donald Best. Wardle represented a total of 11 lawyers and law firms in that lawsuit, including some of Canada’s largest Bay Street law firms. (Best was forced to discontinue that lawsuit in 2015 when he could not pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in court costs previously awarded against him on the basis of false testimony by Ranking and Silver.***)

The Law Society of Upper Canada and its insurance company LawPRO have been following this series of actions in the courts since at least 2009, and became even more involved in 2014 when Donald Best sued lawyers Gerald Ranking, Lorne Silver, bencher Paul Schabas and other people and entities who acted in the civil lawsuit that saw Best maliciously convicted of contempt of court and sentenced to prison upon provably fabricated and false evidence.

Paul Schabas

Today, Paul Schabas is law society’s highest elected official, the Treasurer. Schabas and his Blakes law firm appeared extensively before Justice Shaughnessy on the Best legal cases and acted in concert with lawyers Ranking and Silver during many motions and submissions against Best and his company.

As a senior bencher, Peter C. Wardle is an elite on the inside of the law society. He regularly acts for the law society’s LawPRO lawyer insurance arm and probably did so during Donald Best’s civil lawsuit against Ranking, Silver and Schabas. He serves on internal committees and often works directly with Treasurer Paul Schabas.

Wardle undoubtedly gained privileged, insider information about the case and about Justice Shaughnessy’s actions during the case, from his clients Ranking, Silver and Schabas. Wardle also likely gained similar insider information about the case that he obtained formally or informally as a direct result of his position as senior bencher and/or his relationship working with LawPRO.

Many persons find this arrangement and the relationship between the Law Society of Upper Canada, LSUC senior management, LawPRO insurance, Bay Street law firms and Justice Shaughnessy, to be all too cozy.

Who is looking after the public trust and the broader interests of lawyers in Ontario in this Judicial Review of the Canadian Judicial Council? With these potential and real conflicts of interest, both ordinary citizens and lawyers I’ve spoken with have little confidence that the Law Society of Upper Canada is doing anything other than circling the wagons to protect a judge facing strong – even irrefutable – evidence of serious misconduct.

The question is asked by many:

Are the law society’s actions in this judicial review being driven by the broad public and professional interests… or, are the law society’s actions more closely aligned with the personal agendas of the involved LSUC senior leadership and Bay Street law firms?

Big Law Firm lawyers Gerald Ranking (left), Lorne Silver & Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

Lawyers Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver are witnesses to Justice Shaughnessy’s serious misconduct

Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver are connected to Justice Shaughnessy’s misconduct through a series of civil court actions involving Donald Best, and due to their presence with Justice Shaughnessy on May 3, 2013 during at least some parts of the judicial misconduct.

The lawyers were also involved in a previous incident during the same civil case where Justice Shaughnessy backdated a court order for them on November 12, 2009 – backdated ten days to November 2, 2009.****

Here is a basic summary of what lawyers Ranking and Silver witnessed and may have witnessed during Justice Shaughnessy’s misconduct on May 3, 2013:

  • On May 3, 2013, both Ranking and Silver were present in court and witnessed Justice Shaughnessy declare (on the transcript) that he would not set aside his January 15, 2010 conviction of self-represented litigant Donald Best for contempt of court. Justice Shaughnessy ordered that the stay on his original January 15, 2010 warrant for the arrest and imprisonment of Donald Best would now be lifted, and that Best would be taken to prison to serve his 3 month sentence according to Justice Shaughnessy’s January 15, 2010 warrant of committal and court order.
  • Ranking and Silver also witnessed Justice Shaughnessy order that Best was not to have input into any court order to be made on that day May 3rd 2013 and that Ranking and Silver would prepare an order for Justice Shaughnessy.
  • Ranking and Silver also witnessed the judge order that Donald Best was never again to be brought before him, and that some other judge must deal with Best in the future.
  • Ranking and Silver witnessed that court ended, the judge left and then the court staff packed up and left. Court Police allowed Donald Best 10 minutes to pack up, after which he was taken in handcuffs to the basement cells and then to prison.
  • After court had finished on May 3, 2013 and Donald Best had been taken away to serve his three-month sentence, Justice Shaughnessy went to a backroom and secretly signed a new and secret warrant of committal that increased the Best’s prison time by a month. Justice Shaughnessy did this off the court record, out of court, without telling the self-represented prisoner and without placing the new warrant of committal or any mention of it or the increased sentence into the court record. This was all contrary to the sentence and order the judge himself delivered earlier in court on the record.
  • The judge gave the only copy of the new warrant to prison authorities after ordering that Best was not to have knowledge of the creation of the court order.
  • As secretly planned and arranged by Justice Shaughnessy, Best only discovered the increased sentence when informed by authorities at the prison.

The above shows that lawyers Ranking and Silver are, at the very least, important witnesses to parts of Justice Shaughnessy’s misconduct on May 3, 2013 – raising questions about conflicts of interest now that Peter C. Wardle is representing Justice Shaughnessy.

Complicating the conflicts of interest even further, lawyers Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver may not be just witnesses. Court transcripts indicate it is also possible that these lawyers assisted Justice Shaughnessy in carrying out his judicial misconduct.

Details on the Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver story are coming next week.

New Series: Abandoning Public Trust: Conflicts of Interest by Ontario’s legal profession

The series…

Part 1: Justice Bryan Shaughnessy chooses conflicted lawyer as personal counsel in Judicial Review.

Part 2: Ontario’s Bay Street Cabal and law society circle the wagons to protect judge; Ignoring conflicts of interest and the public trust.

Part 3: Did Lawyers Ranking and Silver know of Justice Shaughnessy’s intentions and actions? Did they assist in his judicial misconduct?

Part 4: Should conflicted lawyer Peter C. Wardle resign from representing Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy?

Part 5: Abandoning the Public Interest. When Canada’s legal profession circles the wagons to save club members, who looks after the interests of Canadians?

Part 6: Previous incident – How Justice Shaughnessy backdated a court order for lawyers Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver.

… Additional articles in this series will be added later.

Notes

*  Justice Bryan Shaughnessy chooses conflicted lawyer as personal counsel in Judicial Review.

**  Federal Court refuses to release judge from Judicial Review of Misconduct Complaint

*** Best secretly and legally recorded phone call with lying lawyers Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver

**** Details and court exhibits coming in Part 6 – Previous incident – How Justice Shaughnessy backdated a court order for lawyers Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver.

 

An excellent truth by Toronto lawyer Omar Ha-Redeye

“Lawyers are important beyond just practicing law. And although our contributions to society are not always fully cherished or appreciated, these gains cannot be simplified to analyses of too many or too few.”

Lawyer Omar Ha-Redeye comments about whether Canadian law schools are turning out too many lawyers. (See SLAW – Canada’s online legal magazine.)

Toronto lawyer Omar Ha-Redeye

by Donald Best

Documenting the outrageous abuse heaped upon Canadians who are forced to represent themselves in court tends to focus people on the negative – because that is the truth of the situation in Canada at this moment.

That necessary focus, however, does not fairly indicate my appreciation of our legal system and my deep respect for those good people who do the best they can to deliver justice to Canadians within our flawed system.

Through my own experience of over forty years in public and private law enforcement in and around our courts, it has been my honour to meet and work with so many truly decent, dedicated lawyers and judges.

Canada has the worst legal system – except for all the others.

Although a handful of corrupt lawyers and police fabricated the false testimony that sent me to prison for 63 days in solitary confinement – and I often write about my case and post supporting evidence – I do not forget that without courageous and honest lawyers and judges, our way of life would collapse into chaos.

It would not take much effort to make Canada like so many countries where lawyers, judges and justice are bought and sold with money, violence, threats and other inducements. All it takes is a powerful and corrupt cartel – and regulators willing to look the other way “to avoid unpleasantness.”

And, individual lawyers who may have integrity but lack courage.

“Does Canada need more lawyers? Here’s what Omar Ha-Redeye says about this:

The utility of a legal education and training is not limited to the provision of legal services.

An understanding of our laws or at least how the system operates is indispensable in a countless number of jobs and industries, from business executives, private consulting, regulatory review, privacy compliance, public interest, just to name a few.

If the debate emerges out of the licensing problems that’s somewhat of a separate issue. I think legal training, i.e. work experience in some capacity, is also advantageous for the many non-professional roles which lawyers can play in our society.

Lawyers are important beyond just practicing law. And although our contributions to society are not always fully cherished or appreciated, these gains cannot be simplified to analyses of too many or too few.”

Omar Ha-Redeye Twitter: @OmarHaRedeye

Website: http://www.omarha-redeye.com

National Post credits watchdog Chris Budgell with breaking new story about Canadian Judicial Council’s own conflict of interest over Justice Newbould

One of Canada’s best known journalists credits independent CJC watchdog Chris Budgell with breaking a story about the personal conflicts of interest of a member of the Canadian Judicial Council committee investigating Ontario Superior Court Justice Frank Newbould.

Christie Blatchford wrote in the National Post “The first to notice these (conflict of interest) connections was Chris Budgell, a self-appointed citizen watchdog of the judicial council.”

Blatchford’s article Spotlight falls on panel probing conduct of judge who spoke against land claim details a CJC panel member’s conflicts:

A lawyer hand-picked by federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to serve on the committee probing the conduct of Ontario Superior Court Justice Frank Newbould hails from a Vancouver law firm with long-standing connections to the organization that complained about the judge.

On March 31, Wilson-Raybould announced that Clarine (Clo) Ostrove, a partner at Mandell Pinder, a Vancouver firm that focuses exclusively on First Nation work, is her designate on the three-person inquiry. (snip)

One of Ostrove’s associates at Mandell Pinder, Stephen Mussel, is a member of the Indigenous Bar Association.

A former Mandell Pinder associate, and former Chief of the Snuneymuxw First Nation in Nanaimo, B.C., Douglas S. White, was also an Indigenous Bar Association director.

Another of the firm’s former lawyers, Angela Cousins, was a board member of the association.

Most, including Ostrove herself, have spoken on Aboriginal law issues at various conferences, including two where either Wilson-Raybould, a lawyer, former prosecutor and former regional Chief of the B.C. Assembly of First Nations before her election as MP for Vancouver Grenville, or her husband, Tim Raybould, were also speakers.

Budgell did the digging and sent Blatchford a well researched article that provided the foundation for her National Post story. Budgell also sent the article to DonaldBest.CA as we were prepared to publish if the National Post ignored Budgell’s work.

Christie Blatchford’s excellent article contains much more about the conflicts of interest – including that both federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and the president of the Association of Superior Court Judges, Justice Susan G. Himel, are weighing in on the situation in what some are saying appear to be attempts to influence the Canadian Judicial Council and the Inquiry Panel convened into Justice Newbould’s conduct.

National Post still censors news about CJC and Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

Lawyer Peter Wardle – Justice Shaughnessy

Blatchford’s employer though, the National Post, still refuses to cover stories about the ongoing Judicial Review of the Canadian Judicial Council’s handling of a misconduct complaint against Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy, including:

  • A Federal Court refused to dismiss Shaughnessy’s application to remove his name as a party to the judicial review.
  • The unprecedented January 17, 2017 Federal Court decision also ordered Justice Shaughnessy to personally pay the legal costs of Donald Best, a self-represented litigant that the Ontario Superior Court Justice sent to prison for contempt of court.
  • No other judge in Canadian history has been ordered to pay legal costs.
  • Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General had been acting as the judge’s personal lawyer for almost a year but parted ways with Justice Shaughnessy a week after DonaldBest.CA published an article describing how, with the AGO acting as the judge’s personal attorney, nobody was acting for the public interest at the Judicial Review.
  • Justice Shaughnessy’s new lawyer Peter C. Wardle has multiple conflicts of interest. In a closely related matter, Wardle represented two lawyers who are almost certain to be called as witnesses in a CJC investigation or public inquiry into misconduct allegations against Justice Shaughnessy.
  • Questions are also being asked about the propriety of Wardle, a Law Society of Upper Canada senior bencher, representing a Federally appointed judge accused of serious, premeditated misconduct.
  • Justice Shaughnessy’s latest choice of lawyer only ramps up questions about conflicts of interest and the optics of the apparent relationships between big law firms, the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, and the Attorney General of Canada – when nobody is representing the public interest during the judicial review.

For more details and supporting court documents, read: Justice Bryan Shaughnessy chooses Conflicted Lawyer as personal counsel in Judicial Review.

 

 

Justice Bryan Shaughnessy chooses conflicted lawyer as personal counsel in Judicial Review – #1 in a series

Law Society of Upper Canada senior bencher Peter C. Wardle is Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy’s new attorney in an ongoing judicial review of a Canadian Judicial Council decision. However, in a closely related matter Wardle also represented two lawyers who are almost certain to be called as witnesses in a CJC investigation or public inquiry into misconduct allegations against Justice Shaughnessy.

Complicating the conflicts of interest even further, lawyers Gerald Ranking (left) and Lorne Silver may not be just witnesses. Court transcripts indicate it is also possible that these lawyers assisted Justice Shaughnessy in carrying out his judicial misconduct.*

This change of counsel comes after a Federal Court refused to release Justice Shaughnessy as a party in the judicial review of a CJC decision about the judge.

The unprecedented January 17, 2017 Federal Court decision also ordered Justice Shaughnessy to personally pay the legal costs of Donald Best, a self-represented litigant that the Ontario Superior Court Justice sent to prison for contempt of court.**

No other judge in Canadian history has been ordered to pay legal costs.***

Did Conflict of Interest complaints cause Ontario’s Attorney General to resign as Justice Shaughnessy’s lawyer?

Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General (‘AGO’) no longer represents Justice Shaughnessy in the ongoing Judicial Review. The AGO had been acting as the judge’s personal lawyer for almost a year – since April 2016.

Justice Shaughnessy’s new lawyer filed a document in court indicating that Justice Shaughnessy and the AGO went their separate ways on March 1, 2017. This was a week after DonaldBest.CA published an article describing how, with the AGO acting as the judge’s personal attorney, nobody was acting for the public interest at the Judicial Review.**

Readers complained to Ontario Attorney General

Yasir Naqvi, MLA AGO

Following publication of that DonaldBest.CA article, at least half a dozen readers reported that they had written to Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi expressing disapproval that the AGO was acting as personal lawyer to a judge accused of serious misconduct, instead of acting for the people of Ontario and the public interest.

Readers questioned both the optics and actual conflicts of interest in having the AGO personally representing a judge before whom Crown Prosecutors appear daily asking for convictions, sentences, court orders and search warrants. Some readers who are also lawyers opined that Justice Shaughnessy should have hired independent counsel from the start, albeit paid for by the public purse.

Justice Shaughnessy’s latest choice of lawyer, however, only ramps up questions about conflicts of interest and the optics of the apparent relationships between big law firms, the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, the Attorney General of Canada – and a Federally appointed judge accused of serious, premeditated misconduct.

Shaughnessy’s Judicial Misconduct

  • “In all my years of practicing law, this is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen a judge do.”
  • “Reprehensible misconduct by a judge that undermines the very foundations of justice.”
  • “Shaughnessy’s misconduct is worthy of his removal from the bench.”

The above comments were made by several senior lawyers, including a retired Crown Attorney, upon examining evidence proving that on May 3, 2013 in a backroom after court had finished, Justice Shaughnessy secretly increased Donald Best’s jail sentence and secretly created and substituted a new warrant of committal – off the court record, without informing the prisoner and in contravention of the sentence and order the judge himself delivered earlier in court on the record.****

Judicial Review of Canadian Judicial Council’s summary dismissal of Best’s complaint

While Donald Best was in prison, another Superior Court Justice, apparently horrified at what Justice Shaughnessy had done, released Best after his newly hired lawyer Paul Slansky filed a writ of habeas corpus. Best spent a total of 63 days in prison, with every day served in brutal solitary confinement as he is a former Toronto Police sergeant/detective.*****

Best later filed a complaint against Justice Shaughnessy with the Canadian Judicial Council. After CJC Director Norman Sabourin summarily dismissed the complaint without an investigation and without providing reasons, Best’s lawyer filed an Application for a Judicial Review of the CJC’s actions.

It is this Judicial Review that is now making its way through the Federal Court of Canada.

New Series: ‘Abandoning Public Trust: Conflicts of Interest by Ontario’s legal profession’

This is Part 1 of our new series exploring conflicts of interest in Ontario’s legal profession. The series starts with examples noted by former Toronto Police Sergeant Donald Best during his eight-year journey through Ontario’s justice system after being convicted of contempt of court and imprisoned on provably fabricated and false evidence.

As the series progresses, we will broaden our view to examine how the legal profession’s unenforceable ‘rules’ and standards about conflicts of interest are designed to ease public and client concerns while actually providing as much latitude as possible to lawyers and law firms in their quest for profits.

Abandoning Public Trust: Conflicts of Interest by Ontario’s legal profession

The series…

Part 1: Justice Bryan Shaughnessy chooses conflicted lawyer as personal counsel in Judicial Review.

Part 2: Ontario’s Bay Street Cabal and law society circle the wagons to protect judge; Ignoring conflicts of interest and the public trust.

Part 3: Did Lawyers Ranking and Silver know of Justice Shaughnessy’s intentions and actions? Did they assist in his judicial misconduct?

Part 4: Should conflicted lawyer Peter C. Wardle resign from representing Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy?

Part 5: Abandoning the Public Interest. When Canada’s legal profession, regulators and government circle the wagons to save club members, who looks after the interests of Canadians?

Part 6: Previous incident – How Justice Shaughnessy backdated a court order for lawyers Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver.

… Additional articles in this series will be added later.

Notes and Links    Read more

Ontario’s Law Society normalizing convicted pedophiles as lawyers

A Law Society Tribunal has once again approved a convicted and jailed pedophile to practice law in Ontario. Not only that, the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) supported the pedophile’s application during the tribunal hearing, agreeing that he meets the ‘good character’ standard for licensing. (Tribunal’s decision is here 425kb pdf)

With this latest in a series of similar approvals, it is apparent that the licensing of pedophiles and other convicted criminals as lawyers is, effectively, LSUC policy. Has the law society turned down any pedophile yet? I haven’t been able to find such a case in the archives.

Lawyer had child-sex videos showing 5-year-olds

Pedophile lawyer Ronald Davidovic

This time the pedophile applicant was Canadian-born Ronald Ori Davidovic – who was a Florida lawyer in 2004 when he was arrested and convicted for possessing and viewing thousands of child-sex videos and photos where the victims were as young as five years old.

That’s right – Davidovic is excited by five-year-old children. For years while he was a Florida lawyer, he collected child sex videos showing pre-pubescent children being abused in sexual acts.

Sentenced to five years in prison, and released after three, Davidovic is permanently registered as a sex offender the United States, but now wants to practice law in Ontario.

The Law Society of Upper Canada just declared convicted pedophile Ronald Davidovic to be ‘of good character’ and gave him the approval and support he needs to be licensed – this despite a medical diagnosis that his risk of re-offending is as high as 8.4%. The phrase ‘compulsive magnetic attraction to child pornography’ appears in Davidovic’s medical record.

Pedophile lawyer John David Coon

Will the law society pay damages when a known compulsive pedophile attacks a child while serving in his capacity as a lawyer? It happened before when the law society licensed known pedophile John David Coon, who again attacked a child while performing his duties as a lawyer.

Not having learned its lesson, the Law Society continues to license other pedophile lawyers (see Martin Schultz) with little regard for the public safety or the reputation of the legal profession.

This time, Chair Raj Anand and member Jan Richardson crafted the tribunal’s decision. LSUC prosecutor Amanda Worley also supported the applicant Davidovic.

The one dissenting voice against the pro-pedophile lobby was Tribunal member and criminal defense lawyer Paul M. Cooper.

The backgrounds of the individual tribunal members make for an interesting study.     Read more

Cassels Brock law firm motto “A Law Unto Ourselves” under a bird of prey

What elitism. What arrogance. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read Cassels Brock’s motto on the law firm’s website* at ‘student.casselsbrock.com‘ : “A Law Unto Ourselves”

As a reminder, here’s what the phrase means… “One who ignores laws or rules”

Law firm logo… or motorcycle gang tattoo?

The bird of prey logo looks like a biker’s tattoo. (Law firms’ birds of prey eat clients and their bank accounts, right? The logo and motto must be quite the inside joke at Cassels Brock.)

You just can’t make stuff like this up. It’s wild that a major Canadian law firm would choose and publish on their website such an offensive motto and bird of prey biker tattoo – er, logo. But they did.

Maybe it’s an insider thing for partners, lawyers and law students. Somehow, I don’t think that clients are supposed to know about the motto, the logo and how Cassels Brock truly views the legal profession, itself, or clients.

And right at the bottom of the page: © 2017 CASSELS BROCK & BLACKWELL LLP.

(And to the Cassels Brock management committee; there was no need to copyright the tattoo. Really, I guarantee no other professional law firm is going to steal it. Then again, these are probably the kind of people who block their lawyers and employees from visiting DonaldBest.ca. See: Major Toronto Law Firms block employee visits to DonaldBest.CA)

Senior Partner Lorne S. Silver lied to the court, fabricated evidence

Perhaps their “A Law Unto Ourselves” motto explains the corporate culture at the Cassels Brock law firm – a culture where a senior partner’s misconduct is ignored even when it entails criminal offenses like perjury, fabricating evidence and obstructing justice.

For instance, Cassels Brock senior partner Lorne S. Silver (above) fabricated evidence and lied to the court orally and in writing. He even took an interest in a young articling student and taught him how to lie to the court too.

But don’t take my word for it. Read the detailed articles, listen to the secretly made voice recordings, examine the evidence and court exhibits – and make up your own mind.  Read more

Major Toronto law firms block employee visits to DonaldBest.CA – “Coordinated their web filters”

Miller Thomson started strategy of blocking employee visits to DonaldBest.CA

I hadn’t noticed but it’s true: visits to DonaldBest.CA from the static IP networks of all the big Toronto law firms stopped a few weeks ago. Apparently the senior partners and management committees don’t want their lawyers and staff reading what is on this website.

Goodness! I wonder why? (He said knowingly. For clues read Anonymous online threats against 82 year old widow originated from Miller Thomson Law Office and Miller Thomson LLP client claims lawyer Andrew Roman suggested anonymous publication of privileged documents.)

Hmmmm…. haven’t seen any visits lately from the Law Society of Upper Canada either. Let me check… Oh yes. Once someone tells you where to look, things become quite clear.

A big thank you to ‘A little birdie’ who contacted me while sitting in a Tim Hortons somewhere.

It’s nice to know that I have support from inside some of Canada’s largest law firms.

Dear Mr. Best,

Do you wonder why visits from big law firms dropped off the chart? I’ll tell you why.

The big five IT sections coordinated their web filters to block visits to donaldbest.ca. Miller Thomson started and the rest followed. signed:

A little birdie

P.S. Keep up the good work!

UPDATE: The Streisand Effect

Another reader commented on this story:

This story will spread like wildfire in the legal community. What could be so bad that law offices have to block their employees from seeing it?

Hasn’t anyone at Miller Thomson heard of the Streisand Effect?

How long is it going to take before lawyers realize that the simple act of trying to repress something they don’t like online is likely to make it so that something that most people would never, ever see (like a photo of a urinal in some random beach resort) is now seen by many more people? Let’s call it the Streisand Effect. <<<Wikipedia link
— Mike Masnick

 

 

 

 

Mike Sweet and Eddie Adamson died together – 25 years apart.

Eddie Adamson & Michael Sweet

It was 37 years ago today that my station-mate Mike Sweet was shot down by the Munro brothers during a robbery at a Queen Street bar in Toronto’s downtown. As Mike lay bleeding out on the floor begging for mercy, the murderous Munroe thugs did more heroin and taunted the police officers surrounding the building. They threatened to kill Mike if anyone approached.

They tortured Mike. The press went easy on those details to spare the family and to not inflame potential jury members.

Outside stood Eddie Adamson and his ETF Emergency Task Force team – yanking at their leashes to go in and rescue Mike.

Senior Officers on scene gave orders for Eddie and his squad to stand down. For over an hour everyone listened to Mike dying; crying, screaming, begging. Then just low moans. Then silence.

The men were outraged at the idiocy of the senior officers who wanted to ‘negotiate’ while Mike was bleeding out. Some were crying. In frustration, one officer smashed out a car window with the butt of his shotgun.

Still the senior officers ordered no action. They held a press conference while Mike lay dying…

And in the middle of that press conference, Eddie Adamson and his ETF breached the building, shot the hell out of Craig and Jamie Munroe, while some of the uniform guys dragged Mike up the stairs and to the hospital.

But it was too late for Mike. The Munroe brothers lived because they were jacked up on drugs. My friends could have been excused for finishing off each Munro with a shot to the head – but – they were disciplined police officers who served the rule of law first even in this horrific situation. It must have taken every bit of self-control and discipline to not murder the Munroes.

If I had been there in that basement, I might have murdered them.

Haunted like all of us, but perhaps worse because of his rank, twenty-five years later Eddie Adamson rented a hotel room, spread out newspaper articles about Mike, put his pistol into his mouth and pulled the trigger. The Munroe brothers taunted Eddie and his family from prison both before and after his death.

Eddie was right. We should have gone in way sooner no matter what the idiots in charge said.

And therein is the lesson of March 14, 1980: When authority is wrong, disobey and do the right thing no matter what the personal consequences. All the brass hat senior police officers and dignified second-guessing judges won’t bring back Mike or Eddie.

May God bless both of them, and their families.

 

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