How the Law Society of Ontario Sent an Innocent Man to Prison to Save Three Corrupt Lawyers

Ontario Solitary Confinement Prison Cell

The client most lawyers fear – and won’t represent at any price

by Donald Best (First published 2016)

There is a class of self-represented litigants that the legal profession does not talk about or even acknowledge, at least publicly. These are the people who are ready and willing to pay a lawyer, but are forced to represent themselves because the vast majority of lawyers refuse to litigate cases involving a claim of professional misconduct against another member of the Bar.

In the past year I have spoken with dozens of such individuals. I am not a lawyer, but they appear to have good civil claims against lawyers for unethical or even unlawful conduct – apparently supported by strong evidence and backed by case law. Yet these Canadians are unable to find legal representation at any price.

Some of these victims choose to self-represent, while others abandon any thoughts of seeking justice. Increasingly, self-represented litigants are assisted behind the scenes with legal research and document preparation by lawyers who are sympathetic, but fear backlash and opprobrium from the profession if they take the case themselves.

Corrupt lawyers Sebastien Kwidzinski, Gerald Ranking & Lorne Silver lied to the courts.

The perils of challenging a lawyer in court

I approached over one hundred lawyers to petition the court to overturn my conviction for contempt. This conviction resulted from a private prosecution that was led by two senior lawyers from large Bay Street firms. All refused to take my case, even as they acknowledged its validity and the strength of the evidence against the Bay Street lawyers.

In brief: I had been convicted of contempt of court in a civil matter while out of the country, and sentenced to three months in prison. My conviction in absentia was based upon the written and oral testimony of two Toronto lawyers who swore that, during a conference call with them, I had confirmed that I had received a copy of a certain court order.

Their sworn evidence also assured the court that they had served the order upon me in Ontario via courier. (The courier company however, stated that they had never received the court order from the lawyers, and no shipping documents, signature receipt, or tracking number have ever been produced by the lawyers). An affidavit by their “private investigator” provided an expert opinion that I was deliberately avoiding service – because I use a commercial mailbox as my address.

In fact, I had not received the court order, and stated this many times clearly during the conference call (as a forensically certified recording proved). Instead I asked, many times, for the lawyers to please send me a copy.

Despite this, I was held in contempt based on the lawyers’ assertion that I had received the court order and confirmed that receipt to them during the call.

Looking for representation

I returned to Canada and hoped to put the recording of the conference call and other evidence before the court. I knew that I would face prison time for contempt if I were unsuccessful.

So I searched for a lawyer to represent me.

Many of the young lawyers I approached were sympathetic and forthright, even admitting that they were ashamed to have to turn me down. They explained that they dared not take my case because they feared the professional and social sanctions that would certainly result. Some cited conflicts of interest involving past colleagues and law firms, while others explained that they regularly receive work from the large Bay Street firms, and could not afford to jeopardize that source of business.

A surprising number of lawyers told me that it was their firm’s policy not to litigate against lawyers, or to bring motions or evidence that would harm the careers of other lawyers.

“Yes, Mr. Best, the lawyers lied to the judge to convict you, but our firm simply does not handle this type of case.”

When I explained all of the above to Ontario’s Law Society of Upper Canada and asked for assistance in finding a lawyer willing to represent me, I received a form letter referring me to the list of lawyers on the Law Society’s website {the Lawyers Referral Service).

Trying to defend myself

Since no lawyer would represent me at any price, I was forced to represent myself.

The judge {the same judge who presided over the original hearing) would not listen to the conference call recording or consider any other fresh evidence that proved that I had never received the court order, and that for the lawyers to claim otherwise was perjury. The judge also refused me permission to cross-examine the lawyers and the “private investigator” all of whom provided testimony the court relied upon to convict and send me to prison.

The judge sent me to prison.

It was while I was in prison that I finally found and retained a lawyer willing to appeal my conviction.

Mv appeal: finally represented by a lawyer

Principled Lawyer Paul Slansky Represented Donald Best

I shall never forget this moment.

When my lawyer introduced himself at the appeal hearing, opposing counsel refused to shake his hand, saying that he would not shake the hand of a lawyer who filed a motion stating that a colleague had deceived the court. And so the social and professional sanctions began: against the one lawyer I found with the courage and integrity to act on his sense of duty.

I was eventually forced to abandon my appeal because of punitive costs (that I could not pay) awarded against me earlier, and returned to prison to serve the rest of my sentence {which, as a former police officer, I served in solitary confinement). No court ever heard my certified voice recordings of the phone call with the lawyers. I was never allowed to cross-examine the lawyers and other witnesses upon whose testimony I was convicted and sent to prison.

My lawyer believes that everyone deserves Access to Justice and fair legal representation – but for over one hundred other Ontario lawyers, Access to Justice apparently ends if a litigant has evidence of misconduct by a fellow member of the Bar.

Donald Best is an Access to Justice & Anti-corruption advocate. A former Toronto Police Sergeant (Detective), he worked on deep-cover investigations against organized crime, corrupt police, and public officials. His website is

University of Windsor Deletes Original Article, Cancels Author

The above article was originally published July 7, 2016 by the National Self-Represented Litigants Project at the University of Windsor Law School under the title The client most lawyers fear – and won’t represent at any price.

(The NSRLP article did not name the corrupt lawyers as this one does)

For the next seven years, the article was the #1 read article at the NSRLP website – a fact that was confirmed by both the NSRLP Director in a video presentation and in NSRLP Annual Reports.

In June of 2023, the National Self-Represented Litigants Project removed the article from its website and cancelled the author, Donald Best – removing all mention of him from the NSRLP website.

This was within a few days of Donald Best publishing a personal-website article featuring Lois Cardinal, a transsexual woman who self-identifies as:

“A sterilized Indian on a mission to save vulnerable children and young people from the predatory trans-industry that destroyed me.”

See Canada’s Largest Pharmacy Chain Quietly Deletes ‘Trans’ From Pride Month

NSRLP Executive Director Jennifer Lietch and many other members of the NSRLP refused to respond to written communications and phone messages from Donald Best – requesting the NSRLP to republish deleted article and about 50 public comments.

As of March 28, 2024, the University of Windsor Law School National Self-Represented Litigants Project is still banning and cancelling Donald Best.

Other Articles About The Corrupt Lawyers and Donald Best

December 24, 2018 – Cassels Brock website celebrates corrupt lawyer Lorne Silver who lied to jail a self-represented litigant

December 4, 2018 – Donald Best Receives the 2018 OCLA Civil Liberties Award

Canada Frees Two of Its Political Prisoners As International Attention Grows

An International Audience Learns That Canada Has Political Prisoners – Lot’s of them!

After two years of torture, isolation from loved ones, deteriorating health, and financial ruin – two of Canada’s political prisoners finally signed a coerced confession as required by the tyrannical Alberta and Federal governments.

Only two days ago Chris Lysak and Jerry Morin were said to be terrorists and too dangerous to release on bail under any circumstances…

… but once they signed their confessions they were free to go. Thus the courts and both governments admitted that denying bail to the Coutts accused was a political decision and act – nothing to do with public safety.

Canadians already knew that truth, just as they knew that the RCMP and the prosecutors have no evidence to convict these men of the main charge of Conspiracy to Murder Police Officers.

“Chris Lysak and Jerry Morin were political prisoners. Anthony Olienick and Chris Carbert remain political prisoners. The battle for justice continues.”

IF the police and prosecutors had the evidence to convict of Conspiracy to Murder Police Officers, these accused would still be in remand jail. It’s as simple as that. There will be no outrage from serving police officers about this failure to prosecute because the police know THERE NEVER WAS SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO CONVICT.

I don’t believe that there was even sufficient evidence to lay the charge. A Grand Jury would probably have tossed the charge to begin with. (See my article Denying Bail To The Coutts Four Is a Political Decision and Act)

Chris Lysak and Jerry Morin stood tall for two years because they knew they were innocent. They refused previous deals because they knew they were innocent. But after two years of resisting the politically-imposed torture, and having maintained their innocence, they did what was necessary to survive. Canadians owe each of them prayer, respect, and welcoming support as they regain their lives.

Chris Lysak and Jerry Morin were political prisoners. Anthony Olienick and Chris Carbert remain political prisoners. The battle for justice continues and the International Press are paying attention.

Check out the latest Newsweek USA coverage of the Coutts accused by Gord Magill…

No Canadian Is Free. Justin Trudeau’s Political Prisoners Are the Proof | Opinion

Questions, Doubts, Lack of Accountability Undermine Coutts Fundraising

Coutts Four Fundraising Chaos

Declaration by Donald Best

I, Donald Best, am the sole author of this Investigation Report concerning Fundraising for the accused men commonly known as the ‘Coutts Four’: Anthony Olienick, Chris Carbert, Chris Lysak, and Jerry Morin.

I verily believe that everything in this report is accurate and true to the best of my professional abilities, and considering the sources and information available to me at the time.

Should the need arise or be required, I am willing to create a sworn affidavit based upon this report and / or testify under oath if subpoenaed.

If any person or group objects to anything in this report or that I have published or broadcast anywhere regarding the subjects and issues at hand, I can be contacted via email at:

[email protected]

I will professionally consider all communications and especially any relevant evidence or exhibits sent to me. Should new evidence disprove anything in this report or cause me to change any reported fact or my analysis, I will prominently publish that evidence and a revised report at my website: DonaldBest.CA

This report is the result of requests from almost a hundred people (witnesses) who contacted me starting in July, 2023 and expressed concern with the fundraising activities of what I call ‘The Margaret MacKay Group’ or for brevity ‘The MacKay Group’. Some friends and family members of the four accused also contacted me.

I have never directly spoken with any of the four accused, although I have received messages through others.

The intent of this report is twofold:

1/ To document the Coutts Four joint fundraising controversy that is undermining the ability of the Coutts Accused to raise funds, and,

2/ To restore public confidence in fundraising through a recommended ‘Clean Start’ for the individual fundraising efforts of each accused. As detailed later, it is my belief that the current situation has destroyed the viability of joint fundraising for the foreseeable future.

Note: I will be further copying the text of the report into this post, but for now here is the full report in .pdf format…


Donald Best

Sunday, November 19, 2023

23:20 hours Eastern

BREAKING: Ottawa Police provide public link to Detective Grus Online Hearing

Worldwide Interest in Ottawa Police Detective’s Sudden Infant Death Investigations 

Due to extensive public interest in the Police Act charges against Detective Helen Grus, Ottawa Police have given permission for DonaldBest.CA and others to openly post the link and passcode for viewing the hearing online.

Until this afternoon, interested parties had been required to email the Ottawa Police Media Relations to request access to the Thursday, September 15, 2022 online hearing. The number of emails became unworkable – so Ottawa Police asked DonaldBest.CA and others to make the links easily available to everyone.

The hearing will be conducted using MicroSoft Teams software – so be sure to start early to download the videoconferencing program if it is not already installed on your computer.

There is also an audio-only feed available for those who wish to call into the hearing. (See below)


An overview of the Helen Grus case can be found in our previous article here…

Worldwide Interest in Ottawa Police Detective’s Sudden Infant Death Investigations


Online Access to the September 15, 2022 1pm Helen Grus Hearing

For any problems, please contact Ottawa Police Service Media Relations via email…

[email protected]


The Helen Grus hearing is scheduled for September 15, 2022 at 1 pm.

Click here to join the meeting []

Meeting ID: 243 524 493 109

Passcode: iq8eQ8

Download Teams [] | Join on the web []


Or call in (audio only)

+1 343-803-4734    (Canada, Ottawa-Hull)

Phone Conference ID: 612 496 313#

Amazing COVID-19 Virus Decision by Ontario Court of Appeal Sends Warning to Lawyers

Also: Lawyers for Best Buy, Staples, London Drugs and Canada Computers using COVID-19 Virus Delay Tactic

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

Today the Court of Appeal for Ontario told the legal profession, litigants, and in fact everyone in Ontario that they cannot use the COVID-19 Virus pandemic as an excuse to delay or obstruct justice.

Using the strongest of language and leaving no uncertainty, Justice David M. Paciocco put all Ontario lawyers on notice – by refusing to adjourn a condominium fees dispute and ordering lawyers to use electronic documents and teleconferencing so the case can proceed as scheduled.

Further, the court will make its decision in the case based upon written submissions already filed and will use teleconferencing to question the lawyers about their submissions. The case will go ahead as scheduled on April 9, 2020.

And what if a lawyer claims that they are “uncomfortable working with electronic documents because they are accustomed to working with paper and is only slowly building up the technical capacity for law firm employees to work remotely” ???

The Ontario Court of Appeal savaged the lawyer and in effect answered “Cry me a river. You will do this – or else.”

“It is not in the interests of justice to overburden the court by adjourning matters that can be dealt with fairly, as scheduled. The backlog that will be created by cases that must be adjourned to protect the public and ensure fair hearings will be imposing and it should not be unnecessarily aggravated.”

Justice David M. Paciocco, Court of Appeal for Ontario. Carleton Condominium Corporation No. 476 v. Wong, 2020 ONCA 244 PDF Here

It must have been truly humiliating for 20-year senior Toronto Bay Street lawyer Newton Wong to petition to the court that he and his entire law firm…

“cannot prepare adequately for an oral hearing because his materials are at his law firm and contain post-its and other endorsements that he would rely upon. He has made the personal choice, that I respect, that he will not risk the health of his employees by sending them into the office to assemble and retrieve this material, and he himself is not capable of doing so without help. He is uncomfortable working with electronic documents because he is accustomed to working with paper and is only slowly building up the technical capacity for his law firm employees to work remotely.”

The court ordered THE OPPOSING LAWYERS to provide to Newton Wong electronic copies of his own materials filed with the courts so that he doesn’t have to attend his office and can work from home. Oh, the shame.

“The appellant’s adjournment request is denied.”

Justice David M. Paciocco, Court of Appeal for Ontario. Carleton Condominium Corporation No. 476 v. Wong, 2020 ONCA 244

The message to lawyers is this… If you have Internet and can receive emails and .pdf documents, you have a duty to advance justice as we face the COVID-19 health crisis.

Lawyers for Best Buy, Staples, London Drugs and Canada Computers using COVID-19 Virus Delay Tactic

In the Super Channel 4Stores anti-piracy case, the opposing lawyers are trying to delay the May 7, 2020 injunction hearing while their clients continue to profit from promoting copyright piracy.

I’m no lawyer, but anyone can see that Justice David M. Paciocco just sent a big message to the legal profession and litigants… Don’t even think about the tactic of using the COVID crisis to delay or obstruct justice if your case can reasonably proceed on schedule.

So Much for The COVID Excuse!

Coming in Part 2: The full details of how lawyers and witnesses on both sides of Super Channel’s 4Stores case recently conducted cross-examinations using video conferencing. Lawyers, witnesses and the court reporter came together online from Vancouver, Toronto, Barrie and Florida.

Learn about Super Channel’s anti-piracy lawsuit against Best Buy, Staples, London Drugs and Canada Computers – ChangeTheCulture.CA

Donald Best receives 2018 Ontario Civil Liberties Award

Scandal, Cover-up by Federal Court of Canada Exposed.

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Toronto Police

I’m surprised and deeply honoured to receive the 2018 Ontario Civil Liberties Award – announced this morning.

Today (and in my recorded acceptance speech – transcript here) I am calling upon the Law Society of Ontario and the law societies in every province to cease investigating complaints against their own members. This most serious conflict of interest undermines the profession’s credibility and the public’s trust in our legal system.

Self-investigation by the lawyers’ unions is a real conflict of interest that is unacceptable by any modern standard and cannot be resolved – except by the establishment of independent organizations in each province to receive complaints against lawyers, to perform professional unbiased investigations and to lay charges where appropriate. The retention of investigative functions by the law societies is indefensible.

Today, I also reveal details of an ongoing major scandal and active cover-up by the Courts Administration Service and the Federal Court of Canada that impacts every Canadian who has appeared before that court for any reason in the last few years.

This documented misconduct by Federal Court of Canada personnel throws into question every recent decision of the Federal Court of Canada. Dozens of lawyers and litigants have already contacted me about this revelation and I am aware of several lawsuits / legal motions that are imminent. At least one will be filed within days.

Regarding my personal legal battles, both the Ontario Civil Liberties Association (in their news media release) and University of Windsor law professor Julie Macfarlane in her introduction speech for my award – openly declare that I was unjustly convicted of contempt of court and imprisoned based upon false evidence fabricated by senior lawyers from some of Canada’s largest law firms. (Former OPP Commissioner of Police Julian Fantino said the same thing last year in a sworn affidavit and said that if he knew then what he knows now, he would have launched a criminal investigation against named Ontario Provincial Police officers and lawyers.)

To my friends and family who believed in me during the darkest times and gave me strength – thank you. This is your Ontario Civil Liberties Award as much as it is mine. To the legal profession and the courts… We want our justice system back.

Ontario Civil Liberties Association announcement…

My acceptance speech…

Professor Julie Macfarlane’s introduction…

Donald Best Receives the 2018 OCLA Civil Liberties Award

(Ottawa, December 4, 2018) – The Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) presents its 2018 Civil Liberties Award to whistleblower and anti-corruption activist Donald Best.

Donald Best is a former Sergeant (Detective) with the Toronto Police responsible for investigating Canadian police, lawyers, and politicians involved in organized crime, and a leading Canadian anti-corruption whistleblower and activist.

In his ongoing legal cases and public advocacy, Mr. Best has exposed corruption in the Canadian legal profession including secret orders and investigations by judges, the submission of false evidence in court by lawyers, and the failure of disciplinary bodies such as the Law Society of Ontario and the Canadian Judicial Council to investigate complaints against judges and lawyers.

Mr. Best’s tireless efforts to create integrity and accountability in the Canadian legal system make him an exemplary leader in the fight for equality before and under the law of all Canadians, including self-represented litigants.

Embedded at the OCLA’s award website (link HERE) is a video of Donald Best’s acceptance speech for the 2018 OCLA Civil Liberties Award, following a video introduction of Mr. Best by law professor Julie Macfarlane, Director of the National Self-Represented Litigants Project, University of Windsor.

Background Articles available online

Federal Court of Canada secretly uses internet to investigate people and cases appearing before judges

Dr. Eric Cole – former Commissioner on CyberSecurity to President Obama – confirms secret investigations by Federal Court of Canada

Financial Post article reports stunning new development in Canadian Judicial Council case.

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Toronto Police

Judges and/or employees of the Federal Court of Canada (‘FCC’) conducted extensive secret online investigations into my case, my witnesses, my lawyer and me during the over a year and a half that my CJC Judicial Review case was before that court.

Even during the November 20, 2017 final hearing as my lawyer was in court speaking to Justice Boswell – the FCC staff and/or Justice Boswell himself were googling about the case and downloading evidence, information and exhibits from the internet. 

As reported by Julias Melnitzer in the Financial Post, the above has been forensically confirmed by US computer networking expert (and former commissioner on cybersecurity for President Obama) Dr. Eric Cole in a sworn affidavit filed in Ontario courts. (Available here as a .pdf: without exhibits 2.5mbwith exhibits 33mb)

Secret evidence is prohibited in our courts.

So what’s the problem with judges and their staff secretly collecting information online about the cases, litigants, accused persons, witnesses and lawyers appearing before the judge?

That’s easy – this secret and unlawful court activity strikes right to the heart of our standards for a fair and open trial process.

Persons before the court have a right to see, examine and challenge all evidence considered by the court and to do so in public. This standard goes back over eight hundred years to the Magna Carta and is what differentiates English-based judicial practice from so many other countries and cultures.

Thus in the British, American and Canadian courts, jury members and judges are not supposed to do independent research into the cases they are considering. This is to ensure that all the evidence the court or jury members consider is on the record and in public so the prosecution and defence are aware of the evidence, can test it for accuracy and make submissions as to its value and interpretation in the case.

If the judge or jury members consider evidence that nobody else is aware of, they are conducting a portion of the trial in secret.

The issue of no secret evidence in the courts is so important to justice and fair trials that in the United States and Britain jury members are regularly jailed for violating this prohibition. Recently in Canada two lengthy criminal proceedings were declared mistrial when jurors were caught independently researching the case.

Jurors are usually caught when another member of the jury finds out and alerts the court staff. As one can imagine though, catching judges secretly investigating cases is exponentially more difficult although there have been a few recent instances in the USA and Canada.

Federal Court Justice Keith Boswell

Federal Court of Canada in full cover-up mode

It is apparent in the sworn affidavit of Dr. Eric Cole that the Federal Court of Canada was caught red-handed using the internet and google searches to secretly gather information about my case and the involved parties and witnesses for over a year and a half.

Further, Dr. Cole confirms that the Courts Administration Service that operates the computer network for the Federal Court of Canada knows exactly which judges and court staff are involved.

In a series of letters between Chantal Carbonneau, Deputy Chief Administrator of Judicial and Registry Services and my lawyer Paul Slansky, Ms. Carbonneau…

  1. admitted that court personnel conducted the investigations,
  2. indicated that she had knowledge of the people involved, but…
  3. refused to identify the judges and/or court staff who conducted the secret investigations into my case, and my lawyers and witnesses – and me.

There is much more to come regarding this story. The main takeaways are the following…

  1. For over a year and a half, Federal Court of Canada judges and/or their staff used the internet to conduct secret investigations and to gather information and evidence about the Donald Best – Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy case before the court.
  2. Expert witness Dr. Eric Cole, former Commissioner on CyberSecurity to President Obama, confirms the misconduct of the Federal Court of Canada personnel, and that the Courts Administration Service and the FCC know everything about which FCC judges and court personnel secretly researched the Donald Best – Justice Bryan Shaughnessy case before the court.
  3. The Courts Administration Service and the Federal Court of Canada refuse to release information about which judges and court personnel secretly researched the Donald Best – Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy case and the involved persons.

How many other cases did Federal Court of Canada judges secretly research on the Internet? Did the judge consider secret evidence in YOUR case before the Federal Court of Canada?

Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy desperate to avoid public hearing into Canadian Judicial Council

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Toronto Police

Last Monday was a 20-hour day for yours truly and two friends as we printed, sorted and bound ten full sets of my legal response to tactical legal motions by Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy and the Attorney General of Canada.

Justice Shaughnessy launched a tactical legal motion demanding that I pay a security deposit to continue with my public interest case bringing accountability and transparency to the Canadian Judicial Council.

The Attorney General of Canada, abandoning the public interest, also filed a tactical motion to end our campaign to bring public accountability to the CJC.

Unbelievably the Attorney General of Canada is supporting Justice Shaughnessy – whose misconduct is described by several senior lawyers and a retired Crown Attorney as “despotic”, “disgusting”, “reprehensible”, “malicious” and “worthy of his removal from the bench.”

And so two friends and I worked in a cold garage until 1am Tuesday morning to put our legal response together.

Here is what this latest filing meant in materials alone:

  • Appeal Book 4 volumes per set = 1487 pages x 10 sets = 14,870 pages
  • Responding Motion Record 3 volumes per set = 1441 pages x 10 sets = 14,410 pages
  • Factum = 34 pages x 10 copies = 340 pages

29,620 pages in 80 bound volumes that had to be created because Justice Shaughnessy and the Attorney General of Canada want to keep public attention from the Canadian Judicial Council.

After about five hours sleep I was up again at 7am and drove from Barrie to downtown Toronto where I personally served the Attorney General of Canada and Justice Shaughnessy’s lawyer. (No professional document server hired as I did it myself.) Then I met with my lawyer Paul Slansky at the Federal Court building where we filed the materials on time.

Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy (r) & his lawyer, Peter Wardle

Justice Shaughnessy’s legal costs fully covered with no limit.

The court costs of both Justice Shaughnessy and the Attorney General of Canada / CJC are paid by the Government. Not a penny of the judge’s legal costs comes from the his own pocket. The Attorney General and the judge’s lawyers snap their fingers and assistants draft their legal motions, and then print, bind, serve and file everything with not a thought about the costs.

Even the Executive Director of the Canadian Judicial Council, Norman Sabourin, confirmed in a Toronto Star news article that there is no limit on the publicly-paid legal costs when Federal Court justices are defending misconduct allegations. Judges sometimes run up over a million dollars in legal fees and there is not a thing that anyone can do about it.

This is what we are up against in this public interest case. The only way we can compete is by working harder and keeping costs to the absolute minimum. That’s why you’ll find my friends and me printing and binding court documents in a cold garage at 1am. 

Lawyers especially are concerned with Shaughnessy’s misconduct as his actions strike right to the foundations of our justice system and society. Every lawyer I’ve spoken with is concerned that the Canadian Judicial Council dismissed my complaint against the judge without an investigation or even reading the court file. Background story here.

Public awareness is starting to grow. National Self-Represented Litigants Project director Dr. Julie Macfarlane just declared that our CJC challenge is necessary, and another five professors at major law schools also contacted me offering support. Several lawyers regularly send me case law references that they think might assist my lawyer.

Canadians just might make this happen!

Justice Shaughnessy and the Attorney General are also trying desperately to have the next court hearing held privately – not in public.  No wonder!

Coming Soon

I’m busy redacting Identity Information from my latest legal documents and will probably start to post them tonight.

I’ll also be posting breaking news on a strange turn of events. It is confirmed that Federal Court judges and / or court staff performed improper and unrevealed investigations of me, my lawyer and witnesses throughout the 18 months that the case was before that court. 

We have forensically proven, and the court administration has basically admitted in writing, that during the original judicial review hearings in the Federal Court of Canada, employees and/or judges of the FCC conducted extensive private online investigations of me, my witnesses and my lawyer. Even during the actual hearing as my lawyer was speaking to the judge, FCC staff or the judge himself were googling about the case and downloading evidence, information and exhibits from the internet. This is a huge deal in the legal community. 

More coming!

Please contribute $25, $100 or whatever you can to support our 2018 legal challenge to the Canadian Judicial Council. >>>

GoFundMe Donald Best CJC Public Interest Campaign

Notice to readers, including Persons and Entities mentoned in articles

As always, if anyone disagrees with anything published at DonaldBest.CA or wishes to provide a public response or comment, please contact me at [email protected] and I will publish your writing with equal prominence. Comments on articles are moderated about once a day. Or, of course, you can sue me and serve my lawyer Paul Slansky. You can find Mr. Slansky’s information here.

Photos have been included to put context to the article. Their use is the same as with other Canadian news outlets.

Readers are also encouraged to thoroughly study all the evidence available here at DonaldBest.CA, to perform independent research on the Internet and elsewhere, to consider all sides and to make up their own minds as to the events reported on DonaldBest.CA.

Donald Best
Barrie, Ontario, Canada


Dr Julie Macfarlane, NSRLP Director at Windsor Law: Donald Best’s CJC Challenge necessary

by Dr. Julie Macfarlane, National Self-Represented Litigants Project

The National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP) of which I am the Director has been extremely concerned – and made this concern clear – for many years about the process for reviewing and adjudicating complaints brought against a member of the judiciary by a member of the public.

Many of the complaints brought to the CJC each year are now brought by self-represented litigants. The “mandate” of the CJC excludes most of these complaints as written.

In order to rebuild public confidence in the judicial system, a robust overhaul of the complaints process – including assistance for members of the public who wish to bring forward a complaint – is essential.

Mr Best’s judicial review claim is an example of the extraordinary lengths to which it is presently necessary to go to draw attention to this flawed system and the lack of public accountability that the CJC reflects.

Yours truly,

Dr Julie Macfarlane
Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Law

(Editor’s note: Don’t forget to support the Donald Best CJC Challenge with a small donation at GoFundMe.)

More from Dr. Macfarlane…

Its out! The fully revised 2nd edition of The New Lawyer: How Clients are Transforming the Practice of Law (UBC Press).

Named one of Canada’s 25 Most Influential Lawyers

For information on my research and continuing work on self-represented litigants, including my Blog on Access to Justice and the SRL Phenomenon, go to

Follow me on Twitter @ProfJulieMac

Our podcast Jumping Off the Ivory Tower downloadable here


Help fund the public inquiry into the Canadian Judicial Council

As standard CJC practice, Director Norman Sabourin summarily dismisses complaints against judges without investigations or providing reasons.

To the benefit of all Canadians, we need your financial support to force modern standards of accountability, transparency and performance upon the Canadian Judicial Council – the organization mandated to investigate and discipline Canada’s federal judges.

The Canadian Judicial Council summarily dismisses the vast majority of complaints against judges without investigation or even talking with the complainants. Now Canadians have the one perfect case with which to challenge the CJC’s performance and arbitrary standards, but we need your help to cover court costs.

Donald Best, his legal team and their supporters are challenging the Canadian Judicial Council’s wholesale dismissal of misconduct complaints against judges. The CJC summarily disposes of the vast majority of complaints against judges without investigations, public accountability or transparency.

The Donald Best case is perfect for this challenge. That’s why Canada’s Attorney General and the Canadian Judicial Council are fighting tooth and nail to keep this from going to a public trial.

The person bringing this challenge, Donald Best, is acting in the public interest for all Canadians and gains nothing personally from bringing or winning this legal action which is currently before the courts.

Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

Donald Best is a former Toronto Police Sergeant and business person who, while traveling in Asia, was found guilty of contempt of court in a civil business matter in Ontario, Canada. While Best was out of the country and unaware of the court hearing, corrupt lawyers placed provably fabricated evidence before a Federal Court judge – Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy – falsely claiming that Best had informed the lawyers during a phone call that he had received a certain court order.

In fact, during the phone call Best clearly stated over a dozen times to the lawyers that he had not received the court order and asked the lawyers to please send him a copy. After the call, the lawyers lied to the judge in writing and orally on the court record, falsely saying that Best had ‘confessed’ to receiving the court order. Based upon this false evidence, the judge convicted Best of contempt of court ‘in absentia’ (while Best was not present) and sentenced him to three months in prison.

Fortunately, Best had recorded the phone call and returned to Canada to place evidence before the court that proved the lawyers lied to the judge to obtain his conviction.

“In an obvious effort to protect the Bay Street lawyers, Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy refused to listen to Best’s recordings, refused to consider the new evidence of his innocence and refused to allow him to cross-examine the very lawyers and witnesses that the judge relied upon to convict and sentence Best at the secret hearing.”

Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

Justice Shaughnessy upheld Best’s original conviction and three month prison sentence. Court ended, Justice Shaughnessy left the courtroom and Mr. Best was taken away to prison. Then, secretly, in a backroom and off the court record with no transcript and no endorsement on the court record, the Judge illegally created a new Warrant of Committal and increased Best’s prison time by 50%. Mr. Best had no lawyer, wasn’t present and the backroom judge never told him what he had done.

This new secret Warrant of Committal was given only to the prison authorities and was not placed into the court records. The prison warden informed Best about the increased sentence when he arrived at the prison – saying that he had never seen such a thing before in 30 years with the Correctional Service.

Several senior lawyers and a retired Crown Attorney call Justice Shaughnessy’s behaviour “despotic”, “disgusting”, “reprehensible”, “malicious” and “worthy of his removal from the bench.” Lawyers especially are concerned with Shaughnessy’s misconduct as his actions strike right to the foundations of our justice system and society.

Nonetheless, when Best complained to the Canadian Judicial Council about Justice Shaughnessy’s serious misconduct, the CJC didn’t even investigate, saying that the judge’s actions were not ‘conduct’ under the CJC’s mandate.  

Without published standards and rules, the CJC arbitrarily defines what is and is not ‘judicial conduct’ in a self-serving manner on a case by case basis so they can reject any complaint. Donald Best is challenging this in court.

Outrageously, the Attorney General of Canada is defending and condoning the corrupt judge’s backroom misconduct – and is using every procedural trick in the book to delay and derail Mr. Best’s case.

Former Cabinet Minister Julian Fantino

Who Supports Donald Best?

In the past few years, hundreds of ordinary Canadians contacted Donald Best with messages of support. Lawyers volunteered to provide legal research in support of his lawsuit. Peter A. Allard Q.C., founder of the Allard Prize for International Integrity, praised Donald Best as “One of Canada’s most methodical and well documented whistleblowers.”

Julian Fantino, former Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, former federal Cabinet Minister and current member of the Queen’s Privy Council, swore a comprehensive affidavit supporting Donald Best and documenting illegal conduct against Mr. Best by police, lawyers and a judge. Mr. Fantino launched his own ongoing court motion to gain Intervenor standing in Mr. Best’s CJC judicial review case.

Donald Best’s story has been told in the Toronto Star. Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper published his article ’Solitary confinement is pure torture. I know, I was there.’

The University of Windsor law school and the National Self-represented Litigants Project told Donald Best’s story on their website article ’The client most lawyer fear – and won’t represent at any price’. The NSRLP Director Dr. Julie Macfarlane recently commented on the necessity of the Donald Best CJC court challenge.

Please contribute $25, $100 or whatever you can to support our 2018 legal challenge to the Canadian Judicial Council.

Contribute anonymously to the Donald Best CJC Challenge GoFundMe campaign.

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