Ontario Appeal Court decision clears the way for lawyers Lorne Silver and Gerald Ranking to sue Donald Best for Internet libel.

Toronto lawyers Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver lied to the court, fabricated evidence.

Toronto lawyers Gerald Ranking (Faskens) and Lorne Silver (Cassels Brock) lied to the court, fabricated evidence.

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

There remains just one small problem… everything Donald Best published is true.

A recent cutting-edge decision by the Ontario Court of Appeal clears the way for residents of Ontario to sue for Internet libel no matter where in the world the offending material is published.

The Appeal Court upheld a lower court ruling that persons are entitled to sue in the jurisdiction where they enjoy their reputation. (The Lawyers Weekly: Israeli paper libel case to be tried in an Ontario court.)

If there was any doubt on the part of Toronto lawyers Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver about their ability to sue me in Ontario, the decision in Goldhar v. Haaretz.com 2016 ONCA 515 should clear the way if they wish to launch a civil action concerning my articles about them as published here at DonaldBest.CA.

I, Donald Best, hereby declare that I write and publish this website in Ontario, Canada, where I am resident.

Some of my articles document how Messrs. Ranking and Silver, as Officers of the Court, fabricated a false ’Statement for the Record’ and lied to the court in writing and orally to convict me in absentia of ‘Contempt of Court’ in a civil case costs hearing I was unaware of while I was overseas.

In several articles, I directly call both Mr. Ranking and Mr. Silver ‘liars’, which they are. They are proven to be liars by my secret telephone recordings and other evidence. By example, they even taught a junior lawyer how to lie to the court.

Please don’t believe anything I say. Examine all the affidavits, exhibits, recordings and court transcripts posted on this website and make up your own mind.

I also published several articles describing how Gerald Ranking committed fraud upon the courts when he knowingly conspired with his clients to use a phoney non-entity to bring motions and appear before the courts, including before the Supreme Court of Canada.  Read more

Vote in our Poll: Should Jim Van Allen resign from the Order of Merit of the Police Forces?

Fasken Martineau lawyer Gerald Ranking (left) illegally hired OPP Sergeant Jim Van Allen to perform an illegal investigation to benefit Ranking’s clients. Section 120 (1)(a)(i) & (ii) of the Criminal Code calls that ‘Bribery of a Peace Officer’

Fasken Martineau lawyer Gerald Ranking (left) illegally hired OPP Sergeant Jim Van Allen to perform an illegal investigation to benefit Ranking’s clients. The Criminal Code calls that ‘Bribery of a Peace Officer’

What Canada’s Governor General wasn’t told.

NOTICE: Poll closed after 24 hours. Analysis tomorrow!

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

On May 26, 2010, Ontario Provincial Police Detective Sergeant James ‘Jim’ Arthur Van Allen stood proudly as Governor General Michaëlle Jean invested him as a Member of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces.

What neither the Governor General nor her nominating committee knew though, was that during the selection period Detective Sergeant Van Allen actively violated Provincial and Federal laws. He illegally took money ‘on the side’ to work as an unlicensed private investigator for one of Canada’s largest law firms.

We now know that in 2009 and 2010 Van Allen was a Detective Sergeant in charge of the elite Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Criminal Profiling Unit when lawyer Gerald Ranking of Fasken, Martineau DuMoulin LLP illegally paid him $2,699.93 to illegally investigate me and provide the results for use in a civil dispute.

Evidence of Van Allen’s corrupt actions is public

The evidence is filed in Ontario courts. You can download the court documents via the links at the end of this article and make up your own mind. You can examine Van Allen’s invoices and read his deceptive sworn affidavit where Van Allen and the lawyers deliberately conceal his law breaking from the courts.

You can even listen to a secretly made telephone recording of Van Allen that, with the other evidence, proves Van Allen and his fellow senior OPP officers lied and concealed his law breaking.

Should Jim Van Allen do the honourable thing? (A 24 hour poll)


Only one police officer in history has been stripped of the Order of Merit. In 2010 the Governor General ousted RCMP Sergeant Warren S. Gherasim after the officer crashed his private auto while drinking and driving.

The rules of The Order state that members can resign voluntarily in writing. Termination is automatic when a person has been convicted of a criminal offense or has been subject to official / formal / serious sanction by the police service.

The Governor General can also terminate a person’s membership as His Excellency sees fit.

To my knowledge, Governor General David Johnston does not yet know about Jim Van Allen’s law breaking during the time when the officer was invested in the Order.

Now that everything is known, should Jim Van Allen resign from the Order of Merit of the Police Forces?

Evidence and Background Articles  Read more

TheRedline.ca – Group of young(ish) Toronto Lawyers set out to reform their profession

A group of young(ish) Toronto lawyers are telling some inconvenient truths on their new TheRedline.ca blog. Hopefully they will retain their mission when members of the Bay Street Boys Club start refusing to shake their hands in court. DB

Some excerpts from Allison Hines’ article ‘Thou Shalt Not Bring the Justice System into Disrepute’

Allison Hines, Toronto lawyer

Allison Hines, Toronto lawyer

I’m talking about the people who do not equate the words “justice system” with “justice”, for which I am one. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am proud to work in the justice system as a lawyer. I’m proud to have the opportunity to help marginalized people maneuver through the system, and to be someone who understands what it’s like to have distrust for the very thing that you’re hoping will allow you to access your rights…this time. I also acknowledge that even though the justice system isn’t perfect, it does provide protection and dignity to many.

However, I see too many flaws and too often. I see that our current system was born from and still imitates feudalism, where inequality and unchecked intergenerational privilege make a mockery of our constitutional rights. These flaws truncate individual rights proving the system to be illegitimate in the eyes of many.  Put simply, the system betrays many of its own people. It disrespects the rights and dignity of those who have no meaningful say in how the law is created, maintained, or carried out.

(snip)

So, I guess what I’m trying to get at here is that instead of telling law students and lawyers not to bring the justice system into disrepute, I think we should be teaching them to question how we can bring the justice system into good standing, for all people, period. I know that what I have written here may seem very negative and critical. Hell, I’d even agree with that. However, I am saying these things because I am optimistic that things can change, but not without a critical view of how the system is working, or not working.

Read Allison’s full article at The Redline: Thou Shalt Not Bring the Justice System into Disrepute’

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

 

Ontario lawyer despairs that the legal profession places Privilege over Public Interest

Julie Macfarlane, National Self-Represented Litigants Project

Julie Macfarlane, National Self-Represented Litigants Project

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

As usual, Julie Macfarlane doesn’t hesitate to speak the truths that many in the legal profession find so difficult to acknowledge in public, or even admit to themselves.

Her latest piece is superb and well worth your time, especially if you are a lawyer or a judge. The article should be required reading in every law school in the country.

For me, the one issue in Julie’s article that stands out above everything is how the legal profession, including the Law Society of Upper Canada, usually places privilege over public interest. Lawyers and former lawyers (called ‘judges’) most often choose to protect their own even at the expense of the public interest and the public trust.

Notwithstanding that the vast majority of lawyers and judges are hard-working, ethical, and decent people, the current culture of the legal profession punishes members who dare to report or even acknowledge specific professional misconduct by other lawyers. The standard in the profession is that it is permissible to talk about ethics and misconduct generally, but woe unto the lawyer or judge who points a finger. In many ways this is very similar to the protectionist culture found in policing organizations.

Those in the legal profession who won’t circle the wagons and stand with ‘the Club’ soon find themselves standing alone, with no referrals and few lunch invitations at best. At worst, they are squeezed out of their firms, find their careers diminished and themselves under attack.

As Julie Macfarlane says,

“It’s not the people in the legal profession who are the problem.

It’s what the profession has become.”

Julie Macfarlane: Why I Sometimes feel Despair about the Profession I Love

Canadians are well aware of what the legal profession has become, just as they are well aware of the legal profession’s pretensions of public interest. Ordinary Canadians get it – they just lack the power and capability to do anything about a profession that is entirely self-regulating and accountable only unto itself.   Read more

Ghomeshi verdict highlights a Double Standard

Former CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi

Former CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi

Courts slam witnesses for lying, but one group gets a pass.

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

The reality in criminal courts is, like it or not, that if a major witness is exposed lying, fabricating evidence, grossly exaggerating or in any way modifying their evidence to better ensure a conviction, then the charges against the accused will likely be dismissed.

Jian Ghomeshi, the former CBC Radio host, was found not guilty on four counts of sexual assault and one count of overcoming resistance in connection with allegations made by three women. The judge overseeing the case, Ontario Court Justice William Horkins, said about the witnesses, “The act of suppression of the truth will be as damaging to their credibility as a direct lie under oath.”

Each of the three witnesses did not tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but truth, therefore the judge tossed the charges.

Justice Horkins came down hard on the witnesses, going as far as to criticize the three complainants for their “willingness to ignore their oath to tell the truth on more than one occasion.” (Globe & Mail: Truth and deception: Ghomeshi verdict a good day for justice)

The judge found that the witnesses were on a mission to bring Mr. Ghomeshi down. In one of the thousands of e-mails Ms. DeCoutere exchanged with S.D, she said she wanted to see Ghomeshi “decimated.” Add the fact that each of the witnesses was caught lying to the court and you open the door for charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice and commit perjury. Those charges will not happen because the public would be outraged, but perjury is perjury even if the witness was sexually assaulted and is truly a victim.

Ghomsehi was a trial very much in the public eye, so everything had to be done according to the law as best as the judge could. Public interest and press scrutiny really do assist to keep judges on the straight and narrow.

Justice Horkins did what had to be done in the Jian Ghomeshi case. He followed the rule of law and ignored the political, public and other influences.

Double Standard when it comes to lying to the court

The judge’s action in Ghomeshi highlights a double standard in the justice system; the courts always condemn witnesses for lying – but regularly look the other way when lawyers lie to the judge and knowingly place false evidence into the court record.

Even when irrefutable evidence proves that lawyers fabricated evidence and lied to the court, the rules about perjury and obstruction of justice go by the wayside as the legal profession and the courts do everything possible to save fellow members of ‘The Club’ – even if it means sending an innocent man to jail.

Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

In my case, Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy convicted me in absentia (I was not present) of ‘contempt of civil court’ and sentenced me to three months in jail; during a hearing I was unaware of.

I was in Asia at the time when opposing lawyers rushed through a civil costs hearing over the Christmas season. At that hearing, lawyers Gerald Rankin and Lorne Silver lied to Justice Shaughnessy and knowingly placed false evidence into the court record.

The lawyers falsely told the judge in a written ‘Statement for the Record’ and also orally in court that, during a phone call with the lawyers, I told them that I had received a copy of a certain court order. In fact, during that phone call I told the lawyers over twelve times that I had not received the court order and would they please send it to me.

Later, when confronted with my letter to the judge accusing them of lying to the court and fabricating evidence, Mr. Ranking (Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP) and Mr. Silver (Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP) doubled down on their corrupt activities and assured Justice Shaughnessy that their version of the events was true, that they categorically rejected my version and that I was therefore lying.

What Ranking and Silver did not know was that I had secretly recorded the phone call.  Read more

Ben Wizner, whistleblower Edward Snowden’s legal advisor at Allard Prize forum

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

In light of the recent and massive Panama Papers leak, attention is once more focused upon whistleblowers.  When does exposing crime become a criminal act itself? What if government agencies and their employees don’t care about the law, and are in fact breaking the law? What are the limits of whistleblowing?

Twenty-five years ago, document leaks routinely involved a few dozen filefolders secretly copied over a few weeks on the office photocopier.

The nature of the leaks has changed. Today we are facing massive unauthorized releases of millions of pages. Innocent lives can be ruined. People can lose everything and even their lives under some conditions.

And yet, we are learning from the leaks that often the very agencies and people who are supposed to be upholding the rule of law and protecting citizens, are actively working to undermine our freedoms and rights and even commiting crimes for personal or other agendas.

Well worth your time to watch Ben Wizner at the Allard Prize forum, and to read the full article below at the Allard Prize website.

Allard Prize Integrity

From the Allard Prize website:

Did Apple take on the FBI because of Snowden’s revelations?

On March 22, 2016, the Allard Prize and the Centre for Business Law hosted an open forum with Ben Wizner, Director of the Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in New York City and principal legal advisor to National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Wizner’s presentation challenged the claims that Edward Snowden’s act of conscience had been in vain, that others would be foolish to follow his example, and that the growing movement for reform would not succeed. Wizner argued, instead, that Snowden’s disclosures had actually strengthened the institutions that are supposed to serve as a check on the reach of the American national security state, specifically the courts, the U.S. legislative branches, and the media.

article continued at the Allard Prize website

Advice for self-represented litigants, Part 3: LSUC Bencher Joseph Groia “Lawyer-bullies prey on the weak and inexperienced”

Lawyers Gerry Ranking and Lorne Silver-private

Lawyers Gerald Ranking (left) & Lorne Silver. Strategies for cross-examination of self-represented litigant included screaming, yelling foul words and throwing objects at the witness. (as indicated in transcripts of cross-examination with the Judge not present. The lawyers later apologized to the court, but not to the self-represented litigant.)

The Legal Profession’s culture of bullying

Law Society of Upper Canada bencher Joseph Groia and BC lawyer Gerry Laarakker are two of the high profile people weighing in with comments on law professor Adam Dodek’s excellent article: Ending Bullying in the Legal Profession.

In January 2012, the Law Society of British Columbia found Laarakker guilty of misconduct for not being polite to a bullying Ontario lawyer. Laarakker had to pay $4,500 in fines and costs. The Ontario lawyer-bully walked free because the legal profession has a culture of bullying that law societies tolerate and even support through attacks on lawyers who stand against the practice.

According to lawyer Katarina Germani of Clyde & Co. LLP in Toronto, “(lawyer-bully) behaviour is so often normalized by the profession.”

And as Chris Budgell comments, bullying by lawyers is a problem in the courts, not just within law firms.

Self-represented litigants need to be aware of lawyer-bullies

There is a sometimes difficult to define line between a lawyer diligently representing their client – and engaging in bullying. Although there are contrary opinions I’m sure, I believe that most judges and most lawyers dealing with self-represented litigants try to be fair – if for no other reason than to avoid appeals and complaints.

But, as LSUC bencher Joseph Groia points out, some lawyers are bullies who attempt to prey on the weak and inexperienced. That description certainly includes self-represented litigants.

In my own case, during a January 2013, cross-examination where the judge was not present, senior counsel Lorne S. Silver of Cassels Brock & Blackwell yelled, screamed foul language at the top of his voice and threw objects at me. All this is supported in the transcripts. Co-counsel Gerald Ranking of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP later apologized to the court (but not to me), for the disgusting behaviour, of which Mr. Ranking played his own part during the same cross-examination.  Read more

Ontario’s Law Society of Upper Canada approved & licensed known pedophile to be children’s lawyer – with predictable results.

John David Coon Lawyer Pedophile-private

“Coon was given a licence to practice law in Ontario despite a history that included a prior criminal conviction for sexually assaulting a child.

According to the documents, Coon revealed in 2004 to the Law Society that he had been convicted of sexually assaulting a friend’s 12-year-old daughter in 1991.

… But the Law Society determined there was insufficient evidence to justify what is known as a “good character” hearing after Coon produced a “favourable” report from a psychologist who had treated him from 1990 to 1994…” (National Post)

Ontario Lawyer John David Coon is on the run. Arrest warrant issued.

Accused of sexually assaulting 4-year old girl while acting in his professional capacity as an Ontario lawyer.

Thought to be hiding in Thailand or Cambodia.

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

Far be it that I, or any ordinary Canadian, should attempt to define professional standards for Ontario’s Law Society of Upper Canada.

After all, the Law Society has arranged it so that lawyers are unaccountable to anyone but their fellow members of the Club. Ontario lawyers are only regulated and judged by the same people they went to law school with, worked with and attended office and family functions with.

These same members of the Club decided that a convicted pedophile met the ‘good character’ standards to be licensed as a lawyer in Ontario. Not to mention that the pedophile’s area of practice was ‘Child Protection Law’.

Well, if that’s the standard, who are we ordinary Canadians to disagree?

With the Club.   Read more

Canadian Judicial Council refuses investigation of Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy. CJC says “No misconduct”

Norman Sabourin, CJC Executive Director & General Counsel

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

“I have carefully considered your complaint and concluded that it does not involve misconduct. Accordingly, I will be taking no further action.”

Norman Sabourin
Executive Director and Senior General Counsel
Canadian Judicial Council

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

I have just received the below letter from Canadian Judicial Council Director Norman Sabourin, in response to my January 5, 2016 complaint about the actions of Ontario Superior Court Justice the Honourable J. Bryan Shaughnessy. (CJC 2016 Response Sabourin PDF 906kb download)

The letter is dated January 28, 2016. The envelope has an office postage meter date of February 3, 2016. Assuming that the CJC mailed the letter at Canada Post shortly after running it through the CJC’s office postage meter (and that it didn’t sit on someone’s desk) it took Canada Post almost eight weeks to deliver an ordinary mail letter from Ottawa to Barrie, Ontario.

That seems to be abysmal performance on the part of Canada Post. On the other hand, Mr. Sabourin messed up the postal code. So for whatever the reasons, I have just received the CJC’s decision about my complaint. Contrary to the indication on the letter, the CJC did not send the letter to me via email.

I invite my readers, and especially those involved in Canada’s Justice System who love the Rule of Law, to carefully consider the evidence of Justice Shaughnessy’s actions as reported in my articles here at DonaldBest.ca.

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

Then, I invite you to have a carefully considered read of Mr. Sabourin’s letter, and repeat after Mr. Sabourin: “…it does not involve misconduct…it does not involve misconduct…it does not involve misconduct.”

That any judge would do what Justice Shaughnessy did; illegally, vindictively, in secret, in a backroom and off the court record, is immensely disturbing to every lawyer I have spoken with.

“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.

I’ll be writing further about this subject in a while.

Photo of Norman Sabourin courtesy of The Lawyers Weekly.

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