What Bill Browder didn’t know about Paul Schabas and Canada’s corrupt Bay Street lawyers

 

Cowardice and lack of Integrity at Ontario’s Law Society

LSUC Treasurer Paul Schabas

Last week at the Cambridge Lectures, Hermitage Capital CEO and author Bill Browder spoke to a capacity crowd of top legal minds including Canada’s Chief Justice, the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin.

But while Browder kept the audience on the edge of their seats with true stories of corruption and murder in Putin’s Russia, he didn’t know that the moderator beside him – the leader of Ontario’s Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC), Paul Schabas – continues to whitewash corruption and criminal acts by members of Ontario’s Bay Street legal cabal.

Without courage, integrity means little

Bill Browder was client and friend of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky; an honest and courageous law firm auditor who was falsely arrested after he exposed a corrupt scheme to steal hundreds of millions of dollars in Russian tax revenues. When Sergei refused to cower and retract his evidence, he was held without charges for almost a year, tortured and finally beaten to death in solitary confinement by Putin’s thugs.

Browder documented that story of the corrupt Russian justice system in his best-selling book Red Notice. His lobbying brought forth the USA’s Magnitsky Act that authorizes sanctions against the involved Russians, including the crooked police and justice officials who are servants in the architecture of corruption.

Now Browder and his family are also paying the price that comes from courageously standing against corruption. They are targets of death threats, surveillance operations, kidnapping plots and a well-financed media smear-campaign against Browder and his murdered lawyer.

“Bill Browder did not know that the moderator who introduced him, Paul Schabas, doesn’t have the integrity or courage to hold corrupt Bay Street lawyers accountable. By his continued silence, Paul Schabas facilitates corruption and protects rogue members of Ontario’s legal elites.”

Bill Browder with photo of his murdered lawyer Sergei Magnitsky*

Canadians don’t have to go to Russia to find corruption

Threats to rape and murder witnesses (1,2), falsifying evidence (3,4,11), lawyers bribing police (5,6,7), putting an innocent man in prison (3,4,11), and protecting the elites against charges of money-laundering (8,9,10) and other crimes doesn’t just happen in Russia: it happens in Canada as well.

And nobody knows that better than Toronto lawyer Paul Schabas, the current Treasurer of Ontario’s Law Society of Upper Canada.

In his capacity as a lawyer, as a law society bencher and finally as LSUC Treasurer, Schabas knew of and received every piece of evidence in the Nelson Barbados and Donald Best civil cases where three corrupt Bay Street lawyers (Lorne Silver, Gerald Ranking and Sebastien Kwidzinski) were caught red-handed fabricating evidence and lying to the court to imprison an innocent man.

Paul Schabas also was aware of the hundreds of anonymous internet threats against witnesses in the Nelson Barbados case – including threats to rape and murder the victims of a massive US$100 million dollar fraud. Schabas and his law society received solid forensic evidence that many of the anonymous internet threats against witnesses originated from the computer network at Toronto’s Miller Thomson LLP law firm. (1,2)

Schabas and the Law Society of Upper Canada ignored anonymous threats against witnesses proven to be emanating from Bay Street law firm Miller Thomson LLP

Paul Schabas and his law society also knew that lawyer Gerald Ranking of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP’s Toronto office fraudulently claimed that his purported client was a registered Barbados business – when in fact the ‘company’ was a phony non-entity conjured up to deflect liability from Ranking’s actual clients. Schabas and the law society also knew that Ranking received over a million dollars court costs payments in the name of the phony ‘company’ that Ranking knew didn’t really exist – a badge of money laundering. (8,9,10)

Paul Schabas and the law society knew that lawyers Sebastien Kwidzinski and Gerald Ranking illegally paid a corrupt Ontario Provincial Police detective sergeant, James ‘Jim’ Van Allen, to work for them illegally on the side as an unlicensed private investigator, using police resources to gather evidence for their clients in a private civil case. (5,6,7)

Senior Ontario lawyers Gerald Ranking (center), Lorne Silver (right) and junior Sebastien Kwidzinski (left) lied to the courts.

Paul Schabas and the Law Society of Upper Canada ignored, whitewashed and covered up the entire mess to save three corrupt Bay Street lawyers: Lorne Silver, Gerald Ranking and Sebastien Kwidzinski.

And that was only the Nelson Barbados and Donald Best Ontario civil case.

As the Toronto Star newspaper’s Broken Trust series revealed, in the last few years the Law Society of Upper Canada also covered up several hundred other cases where Ontario lawyers committed criminal offences. (12,13)

At the Cambridge Lectures when Bill Browder gave his talk on corruption in Russia, he did not know that the moderator who introduced him, Paul Schabas, lacks the integrity and courage to hold corrupt Bay Street lawyers accountable. By his continued silence, Paul Schabas facilitates corruption and protects rogue members of Ontario’s legal elites.

“I will leave it to my readers to make what they will of the fact that in all these years, none of the people I name has sued me or asked the court for an injunction to remove my evidence and writings, or to curtail my future statements.”

Supporting Evidence for Statements of Fact

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

For three years I, Donald Best, have published court documents and exhibits (including voice recordings and forensic reports) that detail my ten year journey through Ontario’s civil courts and prove criminal and/or other serious wrongdoing by senior Ontario lawyers, police personnel and at least one judge.

The corrupt senior lawyers and those in the legal profession who protected them made sure that no jury of my peers would ever be able to consider this evidence in a court. They were successful in preventing my civil case from reaching trial because the legal profession and the Canadian justice system closed ranks and did everything possible to protect these senior lawyers who are members of a very exclusive club.

Nonetheless, for three years I’ve told my story here and at other venues, including in the Globe and Mail newspaper and at the University of Windsor Law Faculty’s National Self-Represented Litigants Project.

For three years I’ve publicly named certain senior lawyers and police officers – called them “corrupt”, and published evidence of their criminal acts and other wrong-doing. I have published the name of an Ontario Superior Court judge and provided evidence of his actions that several senior lawyers and a retired Crown Attorney call “despotic”, “disgusting”, “reprehensible”, “malicious” and “worthy of his removal from the bench.”(14)

I will leave it to my readers to make what they will of the fact that in all these years, none of the people I name has sued me or asked the court for an injunction to remove my evidence and writings, or to curtail my future statements. Read more

Federal Court to review whitewashed Canadian Judicial Council decision about Justice Bryan Shaughnessy on November 20, 2017

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

Canadian Judicial Council cover-up exposed on November 20, 2017

The Federal Court of Canada has scheduled two full days on November 20 & 21, 2017 to review a Canadian Judicial Council (‘CJC’) decision about a complaint against Ontario Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy.

The hearing will review how and why CJC Director Norman Sabourin summarily dismissed a complaint by former Toronto Police Sergeant (Detective) Donald Best, without an investigation and in the face of irrefutable evidence that Justice Shaughnessy committed what has been described by various lawyers and a retired Crown prosecutor as ‘despotic, disgusting and reprehensible misconduct’.

“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.

Donald Best alleged that after sentencing him to three months in prison for Contempt of Civil Court, Ontario Superior Court Judge J. Bryan Shaughnessy went to a back room after court ended, and – off the court record – illegally made a secret new court order increasing the Best’s sentence by a month, without telling the self-represented prisoner and without placing the new secret order into the court record. This was a deliberate, vindictive and premeditated extra-judicial abuse of Justice Shaughnessy’s position and authority.

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.”

Canadian Judicial Council said to be operating ultra vires – in violation of the law.

As well as looking at the circumstances of the CJC dismissal of Best’s complaint, the Federal Court will be considering whether or not CJC Director Norman Sabourin is operating beyond his authority under the laws which established the CJC. This issue has been previously raised in public discussions, but has never been formally brought before the court as it is in the Judicial Review filed by Donald Best’s lawyer, Paul Slansky.

Packed Courtroom Expected

Many Canadians wrote expressing support for Donald Best and asked to be notified of the hearing date so they can attend and observe the process. A court artist and several independent journalists also state they will cover the hearing.

The hearing will be held:

Monday November 20th and Tuesday November 21, 2017 at 9:30am

Federal Court: 180 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario.

About The Public Trust – Statement by Donald Best

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

I believe that the vast majority of judges and lawyers do their utmost to deliver the best justice they can within our imperfect system. There are, of course, systemic problems that need attention – but when a lawyer or a judge goes rogue, Canada’s legal profession must take action or the entire justice system is tainted.

Justice Shaughnessy’s reprehensible backroom misconduct is egregious but, fortunately, exceedingly rare – so rare that no one I’ve spoken with has ever heard of any other judge doing what Justice Shaughnessy did.

The evidence of his misconduct is so strong that when the Canadian Judicial Council dismissed my complaint without an investigation it really was a self-indictment of the CJC, its director Norman Sabourin, and the CJC’s processes and decisions. Within the legal community, the CJC’s decision to dismiss my complaint produced disdain and contempt for the CJC – not to mention guffaws and comments of “If this isn’t judicial misconduct, then nothing is.”

It is hoped that a Judicial Review of the CJC’s Shaughnessy decision will provide Canadians with answers about how this happened and result in changes that could begin to restore confidence in our judicial system and in the Canadian Judicial Council that is mandated to bring accountability to those we Canadians entrust as judges.   Read more

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.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Readers complained to Ontario Attorney General

Yasir Naqvi, MLA AGO

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

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

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

Shaughnessy’s Judicial Misconduct

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The series…

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

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

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

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

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

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

… Additional articles in this series will be added later.

Notes and Links    Read more

Ontario’s Law Society normalizing convicted pedophiles as lawyers

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

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

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

Pedophile lawyer Ronald Davidovic

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

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

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

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

Pedophile lawyer John David Coon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Law firm logo… or motorcycle gang tattoo?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eddie Adamson & Michael Sweet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May God bless both of them, and their families.

 

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

1 2 3 4