Donald Best secretly (and legally) recorded call with lawyers Gerald Ranking, Lorne Silver
In his Statement of Claim filed in Barrie, Ontario Canada, Donald Best alleges that on January 15, 2010, he was convicted of ‘Civil contempt of Court’ in absentia (in his absence) and sentenced to prison on the basis of false evidence presented to the Court by lawyers, including defendants Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver.
Among other falsehoods, the lawyers assured the Judge that Donald Best had told them during a November 17, 2009 phone call that he had received a copy of the Court Order dated November 2, 2009.
Unbeknownst to the lawyers, Mr. Best had secretly recorded his phone call with them.
Compare what you hear in the November 17, 2009 secret telephone call recording with what the lawyers told the Court on December 2, 2009, both orally and in their written ‘Statement for the Record’.
What the Lawyers told the Court about the November 17, 2009 call with Donald Best
On December 2, 2009, the lawyers informed Justice Shaughnessy that Donald Best said during their November 17, 2009 phone call with him that he had received a copy of the Court Order dated November 2, 2009:
From the ‘Statement for the Record’ that Ranking / Silver provided to the Court:
MS. RUBIN: Just to be fair to Mr. Best, my notes say that he indicated that he hadn’t received a copy of Justice Shaughnessy’s November 2nd order, and that he had asked for a copy to be sent to him.
MR. SILVER: I don’t think that is right, actually. I think he said that he got it for the first time last night.
MR. RANKING: Well, I don’t want to really get into… my recollection is similar to Mr. Silver’s, that he, indeed, indicated that he had obtained the court order, and that he, in fact, called the trial coordinator to find out about the material.
(See page 12 of the Ranking / Silver ‘Statement for the Record’ PDF 1.7mb)
Ranking / Silver submissions to the Court, December 2, 2009
On December 1, 2009, Donald Best wrote to the Court and to the lawyers, accusing the lawyers of lying in their ‘Statement for the Record’. Mr. Best’s December 1, 2009 letters are here. (PDF 627kb)
In Court on December 2, 2009, the lawyers rejected Mr. Best’s version of events as detailed in his December 1, 2009 letters, calling his version of the November 17, 2009 phone call ‘defamatory’:
Ranking: We can’t find Mr. Best and it’s one of those invidious, and I don’t use that word lightly, situations where Mr. Best at his will can write to counsel, can make frankly defamatory remarks about Mr. Silver and I to the court without any affidavit evidence, and yet hide away somewhere and yet then expect us to jump over hoops and bring motions and keep corning back and bothering this court and your valuable time, which is indeed, as I say in my respectful submission, invidious.
December 2, 2009 official court transcript, pages 4/5
After receiving Donald Best’s December 1, 2009 letters containing Mr. Best’s version of the November 17, 2009 phone call, the lawyers assured the court that they rejected Mr. Best’s version of the call. The lawyers didn’t know that Mr. Best had secretly recorded the telephone call, and that Best’s ‘version’ of events was backed up with an accurate voice recording:
Ranking: it goes without saying that we (Mr. Silver, Mr. Ranking and Ms. Clarke) categorically reject Mr. Best’s version of events that day.
December 2, 2009 official court transcript, page 41
What Really was said during the November 17, 2009 call with Donald Best
What did Donald Best really say during the November 17, 2009 call?
As claimed to the Court by lawyers Ranking and Silver, did Donald Best state that he had received a copy of the judge’s order?
Listen to the secret November 17, 2009 recording, read the certified transcript of the recording and then decide for yourself. Here are some excerpts from the certified transcript of the secret recording:
Ranking: The judge ordered you to attend. You have a copy of Justice Shaughnessy’s order dated November the 2nd?
Best: I do not Sir.
Ranking: Pray tell, how did you …
Best: I do not. As a matter of fact, the court reporter told me yesterday that there’s all sorts of documents I don’t have, and..
(Page 4 of Certified Transcript Primeau, YouTube recording starts at 6:55)
Best: But, but well, hang on Sir. First of all, couple of things. One, I found out about this yesterday. I phoned the trial coordinator as I’ve been doing occasionally and, and, she told me that the order was signed by the judge on Friday and it wasn’t sent to me. I don’t have a copy of it. She said it wasn’t, she said she sent it to, ah, I forget, but, anyway ah Mr. Ranking on Friday when he signed it on Friday but to no one else. But, but, nonetheless I’m, I’m phoning.
Silver: Sir. Sir, the order was made on November 2nd
Best: Well, I didn’t know that.
Silver: And it was sent to you earlier and I’m sure you didn’t know but it doesn’t matter because a court order was made and you’re in contempt of it by not being here today Sir.
(Page 7 of Certified Transcript Primeau, YouTube recording starts at 9:20)
Best: I found out about this yesterday, and I’ve been told that there’s a bunch of documents, by the court reporter, by the court, ah coordinator..
Silver: Mr. Ranking sent you all that doc, all of the documentation that the court thought you required before you were cross-examined
Best: Well she says, she says that a lot of the stuff the court, ah, wasn’t sent to me and the court was told it was
But, but, you know
Silver: Okay, take it all up with Justice Shaughnessey, but, but..
(page 10 of Certified Transcript Primeau, YouTube recording starts at 15:00)
Best: Well, I found out about it yesterday…
(page 10 of Certified Transcript Primeau, YouTube recording starts at 15:50)
Ranking: Just tell me where you are! Whether you’re in the jurisdiction or not. And if you’re in the jurisdiction, where?
Best: I, I, I cannot make it, Sir. I found out about this yesterday and I cannot make it. I don’t have any documents. I haven’t seen an order. I mean, the order hasn’t been sent to me. I’ve been told stuff hasn’t been sent to me. Now, I’m willing to answer questions. I’m willing to answer them right now.
(page 11 of Certified Transcript Primeau, YouTube recording starts at 16:41)
Silver: And you’re in breach of a court order.
Best: Well, I never got the court order Sir.
(page 14 of Certified Transcript Primeau, YouTube recording starts at 22:08)
Ranking: Cause if I send it to you again, you’re going to have the same problem. Unless you want to give me your residential address. Otherwise I can put together another four packages and you’re never going to get them..
(page 15 of Certified Transcript Primeau, YouTube recording starts at 23:08)
Best: Well I’d like to have a copy of the order
(page 16 of Certified Transcript Primeau, YouTube recording starts at 25:12)
What Donald Best wrote to the Court and the Lawyers on December 1, 2009
On December 1, 2009, after having received a copy of the lawyers’ ‘Statement for the Record’, Donald Best knew that the lawyers were putting false evidence before Justice Shaughnessy. Best wrote two letters, one to the Court and one to Gerald Ranking and all the lawyers. Both letters were delivered to the Court and to each of the lawyers.
The letters are here: 20091201 Best Letters Court-Lawyers (PDF 627kb)
In his December 1, 2009 letter to Justice Shaughnessy, Best informed the court that:
- He had been forced to flee Canada due to the actions of the Nelson Barbados defendants and their law firms.
- Mr. Ranking and Mr. Silver were deliberately misleading the Court.
- The lawyers’ ‘Statement for the Record’ falsely reports to the court that Best had said that he had received a copy of the Judge’s Order (dated November 2, 2009).
- Mr. Ranking and Mr. Silver misled the Court by claiming that legal documents had been properly served when they had not been.
- Best requested that the court audit all the court documents for proper service as the court had been misled.
- The letter attached Best’s December 1, 2009 letter to Gerald Ranking, and also the lawyers’ ‘Statement for the Record’ (Victory Verbatim transcript) and an article from ‘Barbados Underground’. (not reproduced here)
In his December 1, 2009 letter to Gerald Ranking and the lawyers, Best informed Ranking and the lawyers that:
- When Ranking hung up the phone after the November 17, 2009 call with Best, the line did not disconnect, and therefore Best was able to hear Ranking and Silver privately discuss how to manipulate the Court record that they intended to place before Justice Shaughnessy.
- Best accused Ranking and Silver of falsely reporting to the court that Best said he had received a copy of the court order, when Best had said exactly the opposite several times during the call.
- Best recounted various details of the November 17, 2009 call with the lawyers, including how they manipulated evidence and deceived the court with their ‘Statement for the Record’, and how they improperly responded to Best’s concerns for his and his family’s security, and how the law firms and defendants were involved in wrongdoing.
- Best recounted that the October 30, 2009 Barbados Underground article revealed that the private investigator had accessed confidential information from police and Ministry of Transport records.
- Best recounted that Mr. Silver had told him during the November 17, 2009 phone call that he, Silver, had no idea who hired the private investigator. (Unbeknownst to Donald Best at the time, it is fact that Silver, Ranking and all the lawyers had also been at Victory Verbatim on November 17, 2009 regarding the scheduled cross-examination of Ranking’s ‘private investigator’ Jim Van Allen.)
- Best did not reveal that he had made a secret recording of the November 17, 2009 telephone call.
During a court appearance on December 2, 2009, the Gerald Ranking informed Justice Shaughnessy on the court record, that the lawyers ‘categorically’ rejected Donald Best’s version of events, and that their version provided orally before the court and in their ‘Statement for the Record’ was accurate and true. Mr. Ranking stated that Mr. Best’s version was ‘defamatory’ and therefore untrue.
Justice Shaughnessy accepted the evidence provided by the lawyers as Officers of the Court, and rejected Mr. Best’s version of events.
Neither Justice Shaughnessy nor any other judge agreed to listen to Best’s recording of the November 17, 2009 phone call with the lawyers.
The Court convicted Best and sentenced him to three months in jail: based upon the false evidence placed before the court by the lawyers, including a deceptive and false affidavit from ‘private investigator’ Jim Van Allen.
‘Private Investigator’ James Arthur Van Allen was, in fact, a serving Ontario Provincial Police officer, working illegally and hired illegally to assist one side of a civil dispute. Van Allen illegally took money and employment to violate laws and his oath of office. (More on Van Allen and the improper actions of the police can be found here and here.)
Visitors to DonaldBest.CA are invited to listen to the recorded phone call, examine all the evidence and to make up their own mind as to the truth.
None of the allegations has yet been proven in a court of law, and to our knowledge none of the defendants has filed a Statement of Defence. Visitors to this website are encouraged to examine the legal documents and other evidence posted here and to make up their own minds about the civil lawsuit known as ‘Donald Best v. Gerald Ranking et al’. (Superior Court of Justice, Central East Region: Barrie, Court File No. 14-0815)
* Legally Made Secret Voice Recordings
In Canada it is legal for anyone to record a conversation as long as at least one party provides consent. In other words, if only one person in a room or during a group telephone conversation provides consent for the conversation to be recorded, then the recording is legally made. There is no requirement to notify the other persons in the conversation that you are making a recording.
Different rules apply to the police and agents of the police.
All of the voice recordings presented at DonaldBest.CA were legally made according to Canadian law.