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.

 

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

Canada Federal Court refuses to release judge from Judicial Review of misconduct complaint

In an unprecedented decision the Federal Court also ordered the Ontario Superior Court Justice to personally pay the legal costs of a man he sent to prison.

The Federal Court of Canada has refused a motion to release a judge as a party in a Judicial Review of a Canadian Judicial Council ‘CJC’ decision concerning his alleged misconduct.

At issue is a CJC decision about the actions of Ontario Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy after a civil case hearing where the judge sentenced Donald Best, an unrepresented litigant, to three months in prison for civil contempt of court.

Judge secretly created new warrant of committal in a backroom. Secretly increased prisoner’s sentence off the court record.

Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy ordered to pay legal costs.

After court had finished on May 3, 2013 and the prisoner had been taken away to serve his three month sentence, Justice Shaughnessy went to a backroom and secretly created a new warrant of committal that increased the prisoner’s jail time by a month. Justice Shaughnessy did this off the court record, out of court, without telling the prisoner and without placing the new warrant of committal into the public court record.

The judge gave the only copy of the warrant to prison authorities and ordered that the prisoner was not to have knowledge of the creation of the court order.

Senior lawyers shocked by Justice Shaughnessy’s misconduct

Justice Shaughnessy’s misconduct shocked many members of Ontario’s legal profession. Several senior lawyers, including a retired Crown prosecutor, examined the evidence against the judge and made comments such as…

“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.”

When the Canadian Judicial Council summarily dismissed a complaint against Justice Shaughnessy without an investigation, the complainant Donald Best filed an Application for a Judicial Review of the CJC’s decision – and named Justice Shaughnessy as a party.

Justice Shaughnessy then filed a motion asking the court to:

  • Release Justice Shaughnessy from being a named party to the Judicial Review.
  • Strike the majority of Donald Best’s affidavit evidence filed in the Judicial Review.
  • Strike parts of Best’s Application for a Judicial Review and modify the Judicial Review procedures.
  • Order that Donald Best, the Applicant for the Judicial Review, pay Justice Shaughnessy’s legal costs in the motion.

Condensed Order – click for large

Costs order against judge unprecedented in Canadian Legal History

The Federal Court of Canada denied every part of Justice Shaughnessy’s motion, and in an unprecedented decision in Canadian legal history, ordered that Justice Shaughnessy should personally pay $2,500 in legal costs to the complainant Donald Best: a man the judge had sent to prison.

Although this writer is open to correction, research to date indicates that this is the first time ever in Canadian, British and USA legal history where a judge has been ordered to personally pay the legal costs of anyone – let alone a person he sent to prison.

Justice Shaughnessy did not appeal the order of the court, which is now confirmed.

Nobody acting for the Public Interest

Lawyer Paul Slansky

In a move that many legal professionals find surprising, the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General is not acting for the people of Ontario and the public interest, but instead is the personal lawyer for Justice Shaughnessy. The Attorney General of Canada apparently represents the Canadian Judicial Council and sided with Justice Shaughnessy in the hearing of his denied motion.

As Toronto defense lawyer Paul Slansky is acting for Donald Best, it appears that the public interest is unrepresented in an important matter concerning serious misconduct by an Ontario Superior Court Justice.

The date for the Judicial Review of the CJC decision has not yet been set, but is expected to take place sometime in 2017.

Written by Donald Best

Court Documents in the Public Record

January 17, 2017 Federal Court of Canada Order and Reasons (PDF 250kb)

April 14, 2016 – Notice of Application (PDF 711kb) by Donald Best for a Judicial Review of CJC decision.

April 27, 2016 Affidavit of Donald Best in two PDF files: Vol 1 (10.4mb) and Vol 2 (11.7mb)

December 2, 2016 Memorandum of Fact and Law (PDF 436kb) – Paul Slansky for Donald Best

Background   Read more

SHOCKER: Police secret investigation collected evidence of misconduct by Ontario Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

 

Why are police investigating the Judicial Review of a Canadian Judicial Council decision? There are only a few possibilities – all troubling and some illegal.

Was Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy the target of the police investigation? Chief of Police refuses comment.

Durham Regional Police launched a secret investigation soon after Toronto lawyer Paul Slansky filed an Application for a Judicial Review of a Canadian Judicial Council decision regarding Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy.

Internet records and correspondence with Chief of Police Paul Martin reveal that from at least May 31 to June 21, 2016, multiple Durham Regional Police investigators spent many days examining and downloading electronic evidence and legal documents filed in support of a judicial misconduct complaint by Donald Best against Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy.

Police investigators also collected evidence supporting Donald Best’s Application for Judicial Review of the CJC decision. At least three police investigators worked at the same time using different computers and mobile devices in a major investigation that lasted almost a month.

Several police sources and former law enforcement personnel (including this writer) confirm that this was a major deployment of investigative resources by the Durham Regional Police.

Police Detectives accidentally exposed major investigation

The secret investigation was discovered because the police detectives were apparently unaware that their computers were connected to the Internet through an ‘assigned Internet Protocol number’ that is registered to the Durham Regional Police. (IP number 66.163.5.113)

The police detectives were also apparently unaware that visitor records of the targeted website, DonaldBest.CA, would show their Durham Regional Police origin, the type of computer or other device used, operating system version, screen resolution, physical location & postal code, browser program version, Internet service provider, visitor activities, visitor history and much more.

Hide My Ass VPN Service

Durham Regional Police adopt ‘Hide My Ass’ VPN

After Best’s lawyer Paul Slansky wrote a letter of concern to Chief of Police Paul Martin on June 15, 2016, police detectives started using the ‘Hide My Ass’ VPN virtual private network service to disguise their activities. This is a paid service, so either the Durham Regional Police or an individual police detective purchased a ‘Hide My Ass’ account in an attempt to conceal the ongoing investigation.

The police failed to correctly configure their ‘Hide My Ass’ software. As a result the DonaldBest.CA website administrator was still able to identify Durham Regional Police computers and document the continuing investigation. During the same time frame, many similar visits were traced to an IP number assigned to The Regional Municipality of Durham.

Chief of Police Paul Martin

Durham Regional Chief of Police stonewalls questions

Lawyer Paul Slansky’s letter to Chief Martin included evidence of the police investigation, asked for an explanation and confirmation that the investigation was official and authorized. (Letter and attachments available below.)

Mr. Slansky wrote to Chief Martin:

“My client is concerned about why this is taking place. He has committed no crime. Why is the DRPS investigating him or his website? He feels intimidated by these actions. In light of the past ‘off the record’ investigation* by the DRPS, that he was advised of by Detective Rushbrook, my client is concerned that this may not be an official DRPS investigation.”

Chief of Police Paul Martin stonewalled Best’s lawyer and refused to provide any information at all. The Chief’s Executive Officer simply replied:

“Your client’s public website is easily accessible by any individual who wishes to view it. No further response to your letter will be provided.”

CJC Executive Director Norman Sabourin

Who ordered the police investigation of a Judicial Review of a Canadian Judicial Council decision – and under what authority?

Was the intent of the police investigation to impact, interfere with or subvert the Judicial Review? Was the intent to intimidate a CJC complainant and his lawyer?

Was Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy the actual target of the police investigation?

Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

There is no doubt that the Durham Regional Police initiated a secret investigation after Best’s lawyer served and filed an Application for a Federal Court Judicial Review of the decision of the Canadian Judicial Council regarding Donald Best’s complaint about the misconduct of Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy.

Best’s Application for a Judicial Review seems to have been the catalyst for the police investigation as for almost a year previously the DonaldBest.CA website published many articles about Justice Shaughnessy, his involvement in Best’s civil case and the CJC complaint against him. It was only when the Application for a Judicial Review was filed that the Durham Regional Police initiated their investigation.

Troubling Questions

  • What is the true purpose of the Durham Regional Police investigation? What were the investigation goals? How were the results intended to be used, and by whom?
  • Was Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy the target of the police investigation? Was the investigation assigned to the Durham Regional Police because they are the local agency in Oshawa where Justice Shaughnessy usually sits?
  • Who ordered the investigation and under what authority in law?
  • Who knew about the investigation?
  • Who received reports or briefings about the police investigation?
  • What were the results of the police investigation?
  • Which senior police officers authorized this major deployment of investigative resources?
  • Was this an official investigation with an occurrence number, document trail and retention of records? Or, was it an improper backroom use of police resources for a private purpose as happened previously in 2009 & 2010 as already documented in court records of Donald Best’s civil case?*
  • What government and police databases were accessed during the investigation? What information was exchanged with other agencies and law enforcement agencies? Were other law enforcement agencies involved?
  • Were Crown prosecutors consulted?

Parties served with the Application for the Judicial Review:

  • Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy
  • Attorney General of Ontario
  • Attorney General of Canada for the Canadian Judicial Council.

Did any of the served parties overstep their authority in ordering a police investigation?

Did anyone intend that the Durham Region Police investigation would be used to impact, undermine or subvert the Judicial Review of a Canadian Judicial Council decision – or to intimidate the complainant Donald Best or his lawyer Paul Slansky?

Who ordered the Police Secret Investigation? Some Possibilities…

Attorney General of Canada (AGC)
Canadian Judicial Council, Director Norman Sabourin

The first thought that occurs to this writer is that if the Attorney General of Canada or the Canadian Judicial Council wanted to use the police to conduct a secret investigation, they would naturally turn to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The RCMP is our national police service, and is headquartered in Ottawa near the AGC and the CJC.

On the other hand, either the AGC or the CJC could have requested an investigation by the Durham Regional Police – which is the local police service in Oshawa where Justice Shaughnessy usually sits.

If, however, the AGC or the CJC did order the police investigation, this raises extensive ethical and legal questions about the limits of each entity’s authority and mandate.

Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG)

As with the federal Attorney General, it seems reasonable that if the MAG wanted to order a police investigation of the Judicial Review, of Justice Shaughnessy or of the complainant to the CJC, Donald Best, that the MAG would have turned first to their own policing organization, the Ontario Provincial Police.

The Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General declared during a preliminary motion that it acts as Justice Shaughnessy’s personal lawyer, and not for the people of Ontario in this case. This again raises extensive ethical and legal questions if the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General ordered the Durham Regional Police to conduct an investigation where the results could potentially be used in support of Justice Shaughnessy or to potentially impact the Judicial Review, the complainant or his lawyer in any manner.

Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

If Justice Shaughnessy, upon learning of the Judicial Review of the Canadian Judicial Council’s decision regarding a complaint of misconduct against himself, ordered or caused the Durham Regional Police to investigate the Judicial Review, the complaint, the complainant or his lawyer – is this an abuse of position, against any law or established ethics, guidelines or conflict of interest rules for judges?

I would be very interested in hearing from legal scholars as to the boundaries of proper behaviour for a judge, the CJC, the MAG and AGC in this case where it is proven that the Durham Regional Police conducted a major investigation concerning a judicial review.

About the only thing that we know for sure is that the Durham Regional Police secretly conducted a major investigation shortly after lawyer Paul Slansky filed an Application for a Judicial Review of a Canadian Judicial Council decision about a complaint of misconduct against Justice Shaughnessy.

As to who ordered the investigation and its purpose, the police know – but they aren’t talking.

Paul Slansky’s letter and Chief Martin’s reply

June 15, 2016 Slansky letter to Chief Martin (PDF 379kb)

June 30, 2016 Durham Regional Police response letter (PDF 140kb)

Donald Best’s Complaint of Misconduct against Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

See this article: Affidavit filed in action against Canadian Judicial Council, Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

Previous Unofficial Police Investigations

*In 2009 a Durham Regional Police officer conducted an unauthorized and probably illegal ‘on the side’ investigation of Donald Best, apparently to assist defendants in a civil case where Best’s corporation was the plaintiff.

Read: Canadian Police Expertise, Information and Resources illegally sold to major law firms.

Photo Credits

‘Hide My Ass’ logo courtesy of Privax Ltd. / HideMyAss.com

Durham Regional Police logo & Chief Paul Martin released to the public domain in unrestricted DRPS Annual Report.

Public domain photo of Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy has been modified to remove others in the background and is a new work by Donald Best. The photo has been included to put context to the article. It’s use is the same as many Canadian news outlets that continue to publish photos of many Superior Court Justices who were or are under investigation by the CJC and other authorities.

Norman Sabourin, CJC Executive Director photo courtesy of The Lawyers Weekly

National Post bans Donald Best comment on article about Donald Best and lawyer Paul Slansky

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

Canada’s National Post newspaper ‘stealth banned’* comments by yours truly, Donald Best, on a newspaper article about my lawyer Paul Slansky, my legal case and me.

When I’m logged in as a registered reader I can read my own comments – but I’m not told that my comments are not visible to other readers, only to me.

The National Post published the same flawed Colin Perkel article as did the Toronto Star, which contains such deliberately limited information that it can only be called fake news. After Perkel’s first such article about my case in June 2016, he refused to interview me despite my offers. My recent post explains it all.

My comment at the National Post was polite and informative – but the editors apparently have marching orders from their masters. The news article names me, is about my case and my lawyer, and the reporter refuses to interview me – but the National Post doesn’t want the public to read my comments about the story.

Here are my words, apparently too dangerous to the National Post’s agenda for the public to read:

This is Donald Best, the former Toronto Police Sergeant (Detective) who is mentioned in this article. Paul Slansky is my lawyer. He is a man of integrity and courage to take my case when it was apparent from the start that the legal establishment was simply not going to allow my evidence to reach a civil jury of my fellow Canadians.

No judge in any court listened to the audio recordings that I secretly made (and that prove my case) – and that includes the two judges that the National Post article mentions. Nor was I allowed to cross-examine the lawyer-witnesses upon whose testimony I was convicted and imprisoned in solitary confinement for 63 days.

Think about that: I was not allowed to cross-examine the witnesses about their testimony that the court relied upon to send me to prison.

Canadians are universally appalled when they visit my website, listen to the audio recordings, view all the evidence that was never allowed to come to trial – and understand what really happened.

Unfortunately, journalist Colin Perkel did not include in his story that a Judicial Review is in progress, and that the Federal Court just released a decision in my favour. Nor did Mr. Perkel include various background that would allow readers to decide for themselves what happened, and to follow the story as it continues to unfold.

After his original article last June, Mr. Perkel did not take advantage of my offers to be interviewed. I remain available should any Mr. Perkel or any journalist be interested.

Donald Best
Barrie, Ontario
website: DonaldBest.CA

*Stealth Banning is the practice of rendering an individual comment invisible to everyone except the poster. (Wikipedia)

 

 

Karin Litzcke on Canadian Judicial Council’s judicial independence public relations campaign

Karin Litzcke

“So, judicial independence. The core idea is that judges cannot be pushed around by governments, even back in the days when governments were kings. This was a great idea, I’m sure, until – in Canada at least – the print dried on the Charter. It’s my belief that that was when institutional power soared, and relative individual power shrank to the point where individuals have become comparatively invisible to the law.

And that is when the problem with judicial independence began. Not problems with independence from government – judges have always been on top of protecting themselves from governments. No, the problems with judicial independence now are about whether judges can keep themselves independent from other powerful agencies in the economic, social, and, above all, legal superstructure.”

by Karin Litzcke

Read the whole thing at Karin’s Court Jester blog. Well worth your time: The doomed campaign to promote the perception of judicial independence

Photo of Karin Litzcke courtesy CBC

Affidavit filed in action against Canadian Judicial Council, Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

In the next few days I’ll be establishing a separate page devoted to my current Application for a Federal Court Judicial Review of the decision of the Canadian Judicial Council regarding my complaint about the misconduct of Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy on May 3, 2013.

(Whew! Sometimes it takes a run-on sentence to accurately describe a lawsuit.)

Meanwhile, my lawyer Paul Slansky has filed on my behalf a supporting affidavit sworn by me on April 27, 2016.

You can download the affidavit in two PDF files: Vol 1 (10.4mb) and Vol 2 (11.7mb)

A senior Ontario lawyer examined the complaint and the evidence, and stated…

“In all my years of practicing law, this is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen a judge do.” 

Senior Ontario lawyer writes to Donald Best after examining the evidence against Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy.

Background

March 31, 2016: Canadian Judicial Council refuses investigation of Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy. CJC says “No misconduct”

Feb. 9, 2016: Judge J. Bryan Shaughnessy under investigation by Canadian Judicial Council

Dec. 2, 2015: Ontario Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy secretly increased prisoner’s jail sentence; in a backroom meeting, off the court record, without informing the prisoner.

March 9, 2016: Canadian Judicial Council remains silent on investigation of Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

 

Federal Court proceeding commenced against Canadian Judicial Council, Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

Court asked to rule on foundational issues concerning the Canadian Judicial Council and a Federal Judge.

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

On April 14, 2016, my lawyer, Paul Slansky, filed on my behalf a Notice of Application in the Federal Court of Canada; seeking a Judicial Review of the Canadian Judicial Council’s decision regarding my complaint against the Honourable Mr. Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy for his actions on May 3, 2013.

The relief I am asking for is outlined in the Notice of Application, which is published here both as a .pdf file and in text below. Where the text and the .pdf file differ, the .pdf file is the accurate copy of the legal papers filed with the court.

It is my understanding that the issues before the court are far larger than just my personal case, and are of importance to all Canadians.

Legal professionals, lawyers and judges who read this Notice of Application will certainly recognize the serious implications of the issues brought forward in this court action.

This is a legal document and reads that way, so you might want to start with some of the articles previously published on DonaldBest.CA…

March 31, 2016: Canadian Judicial Council refuses investigation of Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy. CJC says “No misconduct”

Feb. 9, 2016: Judge J. Bryan Shaughnessy under investigation by Canadian Judicial Council

Dec. 2, 2015: Ontario Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy secretly increased prisoner’s jail sentence; in a backroom meeting, off the court record, without informing the prisoner.

March 9, 2016: Canadian Judicial Council remains silent on investigation of Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

A copy of the Notice of Application as filed before the court can be download here in .pdf format: Notice of Application Best v CJC, Shaughnessy pdf – 900kb

As well, I publish the Notice of Application in text format below. (NOTE: The text below may contain formatting and other errors, and is provided only for online convenience. The .pdf file above is the only accurate copy of the papers filed with the court.)

As always, I remind my readers that this is still before the courts. If any person disagrees with anything I’ve published or wishes to provide a public response or comment, please contact me at info@donaldbest.ca and I will publish your writing with equal prominence.

Court File No.: T-604-16

IN THE FEDERAL COURT OF CANADA

B E T W E E N:

DONALD BEST

Applicant

– and –

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF CANADA

and

THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE J. BRYAN SHAUGHNESSY

Respondents

NOTICE OF APPLICATION

(Pursuant to ss. 18-18.1 Federal Courts Act,

and ss. 24, 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982)

TO THE RESPONDENT:

A PROCEEDING HAS BEEN COMMENCED AGAINST YOU by the applicant. The relief claimed by the applicant appears on the following page.   Read more