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

Ontario Solitary Confinement Prison Cell

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

by Donald Best (First published 2016)

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

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

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

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

The perils of challenging a lawyer in court

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

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

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

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

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

Looking for representation

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

So I searched for a lawyer to represent me.

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

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

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

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

Trying to defend myself

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

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

The judge sent me to prison.

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

Mv appeal: finally represented by a lawyer

Principled Lawyer Paul Slansky Represented Donald Best

I shall never forget this moment.

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

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

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

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

University of Windsor Deletes Original Article, Cancels Author

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other Articles About The Corrupt Lawyers and Donald Best

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

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


  • I think we may have found a way to catch the Ottawa Police and CBC with the Detective Grus fake story and fraudulent trial.

    The news broadcasters are under a regulation they cannot lie. In 2011 the CRTC rptried to amend this regulation but Canadians were outraged. Uof Ottawa Lawyer Michael Geist might be contacted to speak as to this.
    This is amazing as the CBC on 2 occasions had to retract lies regarding the truckers protest. The CBC lied on ivermectin against Dr. Daniel Nagase where now the FDA in the USA have to remove all social media attacking ivermectin for covid. They called it horse paste.

    This is an amazing angle Rodney Palmer and the National Citizens Inquiry would like to use in Court. CTV fabricated lots of misinformation and lies the vaccines and covid including breaching medical ethics as doctors in Canada cannot deny healthcare to the unvaccinated as per the government as well. Criminal negligence is wanton disregard for safety and the social media doctors and politicians committed that as per the criminal code of Canada. Dr. Daniel Nagase was smeared by the CBC after using ivermectin and now with the court ruling against the FDA fundedt o the tune of 85% by big pharma the CBC has committed fabricatiin and lies under the CRTC. As well Rodney Palmer told us the CBC canned a story in Dec 2021 regarding the vaccines being infecctive supported by Pfizer CEO Albert Bourls who told us the 2 doses were ineffective. They shelved the story as it outed the criminal vaccine mandates and passports. They are caught.

    The Detective Grus trial came as a result of a fabricated CBC news story in violation of the CRTC law against media lying and fabricating.

    That goes nicely with Fox news lying about names of pilots involved in an airline crash in July 2013. The media lies and thus break the CRTC law. Any fines or jail because criminal negligence was committed by many regarding these experimental shots. The adverse events prove it as in the USA 18 million had serious enough reactions to these vaccines that they went to the hospital in the early days of the vaccine rollout.

  • Hope you can use this, Donald.
    Helen Grus – a hero
    Ottawa Police management – corrupt and pathetic at every level

  • DON you’re not just a pretty face . Good luck with all your pursuits.
    I have been running with the “POGG” and “KICKLEI” groups who are incredible pursuers of justice. I delayed my launch to catch up with their findings which lends a lot of credence to my claims. Slow ….but interesting.


  • Originally from Ontario, I know all too well about self litigation with no law firm wanting to take on my case.
    My complaint to the Chatham Kent police went so bad against me that two officers spoke the words, “maybe you should just move.” Again, spoken by the OPP officer who was asked by the Law Society to investigate my alleged corrupt Chatham Kent police. Exact same speech from the female OPP officer.
    When I finally found a lawyer in Windsor, he was negligent in so far as convincing me to go from small claims to Superior Court without telling me he knew the defendant’s lawyer as a friend. Bad enough, the very person (neighbour) I was suing worked as a clerk in the very same law office. That being her step father’s law practice. So I had the defendants step father(lawyer), lawyer partner defending the step daughter and my very own, expensive lawyer obviously falling head over heals with the mini skirts, high heals she wore to work. Now she had three lawyers in her corner. I didn’t have a chance.
    So what did we do, we moved to New Brunswick. Another mistake. The purchase of our newly built home was nothing but a living hell, corrupt, lying builder and lawyer. Trying to find a lawyer here in Moncton, NB was impossible due to a lawyer involved with alleged corruption, theft of money held in trust and lies after lies. Still fighting for justice without anyone in my corner.

  • “Bullshit society upper Canada “ I can’t expect more from them.