News media censorship of Julian Fantino’s Canadian Judicial Council intervention crumbles as Toronto Star publishes bombshell article

Former top-cop details evidence of corrupt acts by lawyers, police, judge

Four years after the Toronto Star first refused to cover the Donald Best story and deleted all mention of the name from the comments section of their website, the newspaper about-faced and published an article about former Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino applying to intervene in Best’s judicial review about the Canadian Judicial Council and Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy.

The Toronto Star article opens with the following bombshell statement:

“Former Conservative cabinet minister and provincial police commissioner Julian Fantino has accused a Canadian judge, lawyers and several police forces of acting improperly and even illegally in the conviction and jailing of a man for contempt of court.”

After the Toronto Star published first, the National Post, the Globe and Mail and a host of smaller outlets carried the same Colin Perkel Canadian Press story of corrupt acts by police, lawyers and a judge. (Toronto Star: Ex-federal cabinet minister Julian Fantino takes aim at judge, cops, lawyers)

Yes, Colin Perkel’s article contains important errors and omissions (some of which I correct below) and no link is provided to an actual copy of Fantino’s affidavit (pdf 8.7mb), but at least readers are now aware of an important story that was concealed from them.

The big story is that the after years of participating in a cover-up, the news media is finally acknowledging that this story is not going away, that it is important and that the supporting facts and evidence are as credible as they are disturbing.

In short, it seems likely that the Canadian news media came to the conclusion that the press could no longer withhold the Donald Best story from the public without further loss of credibility and relevance. It took the news media three months to mention Fantino’s September 28, 2017 sworn affidavit. Even then the media did not name any of the principal subjects in this story of corruption with the exception of Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy whose name is on the official style of cause filed at court.

I’ll fix that naming omission in a moment, but first I want to address just a few of the important errors and omissions in Perkel’s article:

  • Contrary to the article’s statement that Justice Shaughnessy found me guilty of contempt of court in 2013, Shaughnessy found me guilty on January 15, 2010 at a civil court hearing that I was not told about and was not present for. Nobody represented me at the hearing. I was in Asia at the time.
  • Justice Shaughnessy convicted me based upon several lawyers’ provably false testimony – and also upon a deceitful affidavit by an ‘expert witness’ who concealed from the court that he was a serving Ontario Provincial Police detective sergeant corruptly taking bribes from the lawyers to provide them with access to confidential police information.
  • The lawyers falsely told Justice Shaughnessy in writing and orally on the court record that during a November 17, 2009 phone call with them, I had ‘confessed’ to receiving a certain court order. In fact I said exactly the opposite, that I had not received the order – but the corrupt lawyers lied to the judge. Too bad for the lawyers that I have recordings of the call that prove they lied to the judge.
  • I returned to Canada and applied to Justice Shaughnessy to remove my conviction and sentence. I presented forensically certified telephone recordings, transcripts and other credible evidence that proved the lawyers lied to the court to obtain my conviction.
  • At a hearing in May of 2013, Justice Shaughnessy refused to consider any new evidence showing my innocence. He did not listen to the recordings. He also refused to allow me to cross-examine the witnesses (lawyers and corrupt police) upon whose false evidence he had convicted and sentenced me in January 2010 while I was in Asia.
  • On May 3, 2013 Justice Shaughnessy refused to overturn my 2010 conviction for Contempt of Court and sent me to prison to serve the 3 month sentence he had already imposed in 2010.
  • After court ended on May 3, 2013, Justice Shaughnessy went to a backroom and there, off the court record and without a hearing, trial or transcript, secretly increased my prison sentence by 50% without notifying me. He secretly created a new warrant of committal with increased jail time that he gave only to the prison authorities. He did not file the new secret warrant with the courts or make mention of it anywhere in the records.
  • Later, higher courts denied me the right to appeal my conviction because I could not pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in court costs earlier awarded to the other side on the basis of their provably fabricated and false evidence.
  • I was not even allowed to cross-examine the lawyers and other witnesses that Shaughnessy relied upon to convict and imprison me. I was not allowed to cross-examine the corrupt Ontario Provincial Police officer. To this day, no court has listened to the forensically certified voice recordings of my telephone call with the lawyers that prove the lawyers lied to the court to convict and imprison me.
  • Every judgment of every reviewing court considered only the evidence that Justice Shaughnessy allowed. Every judgment of every reviewing court is tainted by the fact that Justice Shaughnessy and all the reviewing courts deliberately excluded the evidence that exonerated me. 
  • When I could not pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in previous court costs, the court refused to hear my appeal. I served 63 days in prison because I could not pay court costs awarded during a civil matter; with every minute spent in solitary confinement as I am a former police officer. Prison authorities said that solitary was the only place where they could keep a former police officer alive.

This is also the true story of how, when confronted with forensically certified telephone recordings and other irrefutable evidence proving that lawyers fabricated evidence and lied to the court to convict a person of contempt – the Canadian legal profession and courts closed ranks to save the corrupt lawyers, even when that meant sending an innocent man to prison.

The People behind the Corruption

Here are the names referred to in Fantino’s affidavits, the supporting exhibits and the underlying case filings:

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

Lorne S. Silver – Corrupt lawyer with the Toronto office of Cassels Brock & Blackwll LLP law firm. Fabricated false ‘Statement for the Record’ on November 17, 2009. Falsely informed Justice Shaughnessy that Donald Best had ‘confessed’ during a phone call to receiving a court order. Conspired with Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy and Gerald L. Ranking to backdate a court order ten full days. Admitted to putting Donald Best in prison to extort evidence and settlement in a different legal case filed in another jurisdiction – Florida.

Gerald L. Ranking – Corrupt lawyer with the Toronto office of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP law firm. Fabricated false ‘Statement for the Record’ on November 17, 2009. Falsely informed Justice Shaughnessy that Donald Best had ‘confessed’ during a phone call to receiving a court order. Lied to the court about serving court documents upon Donald Best. Conspired with Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy and Lorne Silver to backdate a court order ten full days. Fraudulently filed court papers for, and claimed to represent, a purported client that he knew was actually a fraudulent non-existent business entity. Received a million dollars in court costs for this non-existent entity – which money was undoubtedly laundered into a bank account that was not in the name of his phony purported client. Unlawfully hired and gave money to Jim Van Allen, a corrupt Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer, for illegal access to confidential police information. Directed Kwidzinski and Van Allen in crafting Van Allen’s deceptive affidavit. Admitted to putting Donald Best in prison to extort evidence and settlement in a different legal case filed in another jurisdiction – Florida.

Sebastien Kwidzinski – Previously junior lawyer with the Toronto office of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP law firm. Now a corporate lawyer with Foresters Financial. Watched as corrupt lawyers Lorne S. Silver and Gerald L. Ranking fabricated false ‘Statement for the Record’ on November 17, 2009, said nothing when they placed the false evidence before the court to convict an innocent man. With Ranking, illegally hired corrupt Ontario Provincial Police officer Jim Van Allen to access confidential police data. Assisted Ranking and Van Allen in crafting Van Allen’s deceptive affidavit.

Corrupt OPP Detective Jim Van Allen (left) illegally made some cash on the side during the hunt for serial rapist / murderer Russell Williams

Detective Sergeant James ‘Jim’ Arthur Van Allen (OPP, now retired) Worked illegally ‘on the side’ as an unlicensed private investigator. Illegally took money from Ranking, Kwidzinski, Fasken law firm to provide confidential police information for use in a private civil action. Swore a deceptive affidavit that was used by Justice Shaughnessy to convict Donald Best of contempt of court. Surprisingly issued invoices to Ranking / Fasken Law Firm detailing his illegal activities. The invoices are filed as exhibits in the Donald Best case.

Former OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino swore in his affidavit:

  • “From my examination of the evidence that is already filed in court and was easily available to the courts and the CJC had they examined it, it is reasonable to conclude that OPP Detective Sergeant Jim Van Allen’s inappropriate employment as a private investigator, his access to confidential information and the distribution of the same, and the very creation of his affidavit in order to benefit private parties in a civil lawsuit, represents a flagrant violation of various Provincial and Federal laws including the Police Services Act, the Private Security and Investigative Services Act, the Criminal Code and the Freedom of Information Act.
  • “In no small way, Detective Sergeant Jim Van Allen violated his oath of office.”
  • “Detective Sergeant Van Allen’s conduct and behavior in relation to this case occurred while I was OPP Commissioner. Had I known about it at the time, I would have immediately ordered an investigation to gather all evidence to determine the details, extent and duration of his activities with a view to possible provincial and/or criminal charges against Van Allen and, potentially, charges against other involved persons.”
  • “I notice that Van Allen’s two redacted invoices are numbers 11 and 12 for the year 2009, which to me raises serious questions about how many other illegal investigations he had performed and which lawyer clients might have retained him previously. Had I known of his transgressions, I would have acted immediately as OPP Commissioner to deal with his rogue conduct.

Lawyer Andrew Roman and his client Iain Deane (right)

Andrew Roman – formerly senior partner with Toronto office of Miller Thomson LLP law firm. Sent threatening letter to directly to witness in controvention of Florida laws. Delivered legally privileged documents to his client Iain Deane and suggested they be published on website known for threats and harassment against Donald Best’s witnesses. Engaged in cover-up of anonymous threats to witnesses proven to have originated from Miller Thomson LLP’s Toronto office. Knew that co-counsel Ranking and Silver placed false evidence before the court but remained silent.

Surrounded by Law Society Benchers, newly elected Treasurer, Paul B. Schabas (centre), chairs his first meeting.

Paul SchabasBlake, Cassels & Graydon LLP lawyer defending lawsuit launched by Donald Best’s company. Member of the famed ‘Bay Street Boys Club’ and Treasurer of the Law Society of Ontario. Engaged in cover-up of anonymous threats to witnesses proven to have originated from Miller Thomson LLP’s Toronto computer network. Covered-up Andrew Roman’s illegal threatening letter to a witness. Knew and covered-up that co-counsel Ranking and Silver fabricated false evidence and that they lied to the court. Complaints to the law society about Schabas were whitewashed with no investigation and no independent review.

Justice Shaughnessy (r) & his lawyer, Law Society of Ontario bencher Peter Wardle

Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy – Justice of the Superior Court of Ontario. Former Regional Senior Judge for the Central East Region. On November 12, 2009, Shaughnessy backdated a court order ten full days to November 2, 2009, immediately placing Donald Best into contempt of court for failing to deliver business documents on November 10th – three days before Shaughnessy actually made the order. In January 2010, convicted Donald Best of Contempt of Court for, among other things, failing to deliver documents on November 10th – three days before Shaughnessy’s order to deliver the documents existed.

On May 3, 2013, after court ended Justice Shaughnessy went to a backroom and there, off the court record and without a hearing, trial or transcript, secretly increased Best’s prison sentence by 50% without notifying Best, who was unrepresented by a lawyer. Shaughnessy secretly created a new warrant of committal with increased jail time that he gave only to the prison authorities. He did not file the new secret warrant with the courts or make mention of it anywhere in the records.

Numerous other incidents of judicial misconduct as laid out in Donald Best’s complaints to the Canadian Judicial Council.

CJC Executive Director Norman Sabourin summarily dismissed Best’s complaint without an investigation and without providing reasons.

Norman Sabourin – Executive Director of the Canadian Judicial Council, summarily dismissed a complaint against Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy by former Toronto Police Sergeant (Detective) Donald Best, without an investigation and in the face of irrefutable evidence that the judge 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. Under Mr. Sabourin’s hand, the CJC regularly whitewashes complaints against judges and remains an organization with no transparency, independent oversight or public accountability. Mr. Sabourin acts as ‘gate-keeper’ to dismiss complaints without investigation – without so much as looking at the court file or reading a transcript showing the judge’s comments or actions.

Notice to readers, including Persons and Entities mentoned in articles

As always, if anyone disagrees with anything published at DonaldBest.CA or wishes to provide a public response or comment, please contact me at [email protected] and I will publish your writing with equal prominence. Comments left on articles are moderated about once a day. Or, of course, you can sue me and serve my lawyer Paul Slansky. You can find Mr. Slansky’s information here.

Photos have been included to put context to the article. Their use is the same as with other Canadian news outlets.

Readers are also encouraged to thoroughly study all the evidence available here at DonaldBest.CA, to perform independent research on the Internet and elsewhere, to consider all sides and to make up their own minds as to the events reported on DonaldBest.CA.

Donald Best
Barrie, Ontario, Canada


Another massive brute-force login attack against DonaldBest.CA website

WordPress Attacks-private

August 29, 2016 attack included over 2,500 attempts in a few hours.

Somebody is paying professional hackers to destroy DonaldBest.CA.

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

Every day there are always a few attempts to guess the administrator password to log into DonaldBest.CA and take over the website. But about once a month the same professional hacker(s) launches an all-out brute-force attack using hundreds of compromised ‘zombie’ computers.

It is obvious that the ‘blackhat’ hacker(s) are professionals because each attack consists of thousands of pre-programmed attempts made over the course of a few hours using hundreds of different IP numbers and computers from every part of the globe. This shows the attacker(s) maintains an asset base of compromised machines worldwide to effect strategic vulnerability scans and brute-force login attempts.

Further, the attacks are not random because the selection of user names includes words specifically related to me, that I might personally choose if I wanted something easy to remember. This shows that the attacker probably has access to investigative reports about me, including my Identity Information and similar information upon which to create a list of likely words, rather than basing the attack on a standard common passwords dictionary.

Cassels, Brock & Blackwell LLP involved?

There is sworn evidence* before the Ontario courts indicating that during a previous brute-force attack on March 28, 2015, a website visitor from Barbados and a website visitor from the Toronto law office of Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP (IP Number knew of the attack beforehand, and checked on the results during the attack.

Before you start to say that it would be impossible that anyone from a large and respected law firm like Cassels would be involved in initiating an illegal attack to take this website down, you might want to consider sworn evidence indicating that lawyers from large Canadian law firms are proven to have:

That’s not even mentioning the Toronto Star newspaper’s Broken Trust series that documented how the Law Society of Upper Canada covered up hundreds of incidents where lawyers committed criminal offences against their clients.

For over two years I’ve been publishing solid evidence on this website that certain Ontario lawyers committed criminal and other offences, and that the Law Society of Upper Canada and some courts knew of this and covered-up to protect privileged senior members of the Bay Street Boys Club.

No one has sued me, or taken advantage of my offers to publish responses or refutations of the evidence.

As a police detective investigating crimes, I always asked myself “To whom the benefit?”

And so my readers should ask themselves about the continuing professional attacks on DonaldBest.CA… To whom the benefit if the attacks succeed?

Donald Best
Barrie, Ontario, Canada

* See paragraphs 198-207 of my 20150331 Injunction Motion with Exhibits (PDF 17mb – large file!)

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

Big Law firms’ anonymous internet postings about clients, cases and legal opposition. Part 1 in a new series.

Miller Thomson Computer Crime SAN

“Let’s start with Miller Thomson LLP’s anonymous Internet postings about the National Hockey League Players Association and work up from there.”

Is it ethical for lawyers to anonymously post on the Internet about their cases, clients and legal opponents?

by Donald Best

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

Since at least 2004, personnel from Miller Thomson LLP’s Toronto law office made dozens of anonymous Internet postings on and other websites; about clients, opponents and others involved in ongoing legal matters. I’ve also discovered that some other Big Law firms similarly made anonymous postings over the years.

But before the public calls upon the Law Society of Upper Canada to investigate, we had better ask “Who will watch the watchmen?”

As an example, my investigations show that in 2009 personnel from the law society themselves posted anonymously on about then Osgoode law student Wendy Babcock, a former Toronto sex-worker and political organizer. Babcock later committed suicide in 2011.

This extraordinary information is easily confirmed online by anyone with Internet access.

You’ll be able to confirm everything for yourself after reading this and other articles in the series. (So will investigators from the Law Society of Upper Canada; not that LSUC takes any action against BIG LAW firms like Miller Thomson LLP, but that is a separate issue.)

National Hockey League Players Association

Personnel from Miller Thomson’s Toronto law office anonymously posted on the Internet about the National Hockey League Players Association, former NHLPA Executive Director Bob Goodenow and then NHLPA associate counsel Ian Pulver.

These anonymous Internet postings appear to have been made at a time when Miller Thomson LLP either represented some of the subjects of the articles, or represented other clients in existing and/or potential legal proceedings or negotiations involving the subjects.

Over the years, Miller Thomson law office personnel also made many other anonymous Internet postings about persons and entities involved in legal actions, negotiations and labour disputes. Although their motives are not always apparent, one thing that is clear is that Miller Thomson personnel chose to make these Internet postings anonymously instead of using their real names or attributing the postings to Miller Thomson.

Are MIller Thomson’s actions ethical? Do their actions contravene any rules of the Law Society of Upper Canada?

Lawyers and other law firm personnel deal with privileged, confidential and intimately private information daily. That these same lawyers and staff would anonymously post information online about their clients, cases and legal opponents should be of grave concern to the legal profession and governing bodies because it tends to undermine public confidence in lawyers and thus in the justice system itself.

Forensic investigations revealed the truth about this little-known activity by law firm personnel. Other Big Law firms have been up to the same thing: a coming article in the series will consider anonymous Internet postings by Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP and some other BIG LAW firms.

Are lawyers and law office personnel allowed to make anonymous Internet postings about their legal cases, clients and opponents?

To the ordinary Canadian, the Rules of Professional Conduct as posted on the website of the Law Society of Upper Canada appear to be so general and vague as to be almost useless as a guide in some of the incidents documented in this series. Other incidents I present in this new series are, however, obviously in violation of the LSUC Rules and of various Federal and Provincial laws as well.

Perhaps some lawyers out there might be able to comment after reading this article and others in the series.

I have identified a number of different types of anonymous internet activities that Miller Thomson and some other Canadian lawyers, law firms and legal personnel appear to be engaged in. In order of increasingly serious conduct:

  1. Anonymously changing the online public record about clients, cases and legal opponents.
  2. Anonymously spreading online rumours, misinformation & discord.
  3. Serious misconduct, including anonymous online threats against opposing witnesses, harassment, posting of confidential information including Identity Information as defined in the Criminal Code.

Once again, all of these activities happen in situations where the subjects of the anonymous conduct are either legal clients or opposing entities. And, in at least three examples I’ve found, personnel from law firms made anonymous internet postings about competing law firms and lawyers.

NHLPA Logo-private

Example #1: Miller Thomson personnel anonymously changed the public internet record about Robert W. “Bob” Goodenow, Executive Director of the National Hockey League Players Association       Read more

Canada’s Top Legal Ethics Stories of 2015

Miller Thomson Computer Crime SAN

Alice Woolley of the University of Calgary Faculty of Law lists her Top 10 Canadian legal ethics stories of 2015:

1. Judges behaving badly
2. Trinity Western University before the courts
3. National competency standard
4. The Supreme Court on money laundering
5. Lawyer advising
6. Truth and Reconciliation Commission
7. Resignation of Quebec’s bâtonnière
8. Regulatory innovation
9. Campaigning in the LSUC election
10. Joe Groia and civility regulation

To Alice’s list I’ll add two more. (You know I couldn’t help myself.)

11. Anonymous online threats against 82-year-old widow originated from Miller Thomson Law Office

12. 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.

Donald Best

Bestselling author Kenneth Eade tweets the Donald Best story of lawyer and police misconduct

Author Kenneth Eade Killer Lawyer-private

A pleasant surprise this morning to wake and find that bestselling legal thriller author Kenneth Eade tweeted about my case.  @KennethEade1 

His latest book Absolute Intolerance holds the lead on Amazon’s top seller list for thrillers.

Tonight I’ll dig into Eade’s Killer.Com that comes highly recommended by an old friend.

Thanks for the mention, Mr. Eade.

Donald Best

When lawyers and police break the law together, what justice can exist for ordinary citizens?

Faskens lawyer Gerald Ranking illegally hired OPP Sergeant Jim Van Allen to perform an illegal investigation. Section he Criminal Code calls it

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’

Alabama: Yet another case of corrupt police and corrupt lawyers working together. 

by Donald Best

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

Leaked documents reveal that for over ten years a group of corrupt Dothan, Alabama police officers (including the current Chief of Police) planted drugs and weapons on hundreds of innocent young black men.

Instead of stopping the practice and freeing the innocent prisoners, the local District Attorney covered up and colluded with the corrupt police.

Collusion between corrupt police and corrupt lawyers is a worrisome issue in the justice system simply because we are beginning to see increasing reports of this type. The news from Dothan, Alabama is only the latest story.

As I reported last March, Louisiana plaintiff Douglas Dendinger was arrested and charged with battery, obstruction of justice and intimidating a witness after five police officers and two prosecuting attorneys jointly provided false evidence that they saw Dendinger physically assault and intimidate a police officer as he served the officer with legal documents. Luckily for Mr. Dendinger that (as in my case) he had a hidden recording proving that the police and attorneys perjured themselves and lied to the court.

In my own case, lawyers and police committed various wrongdoing; including fabricating false and deceptive evidence, lying to the court, committing a fraud upon the court by representing a phoney non-existent business entity, anonymously threatening witnesses and illegally hiring a corrupt Ontario Provincial Police officer ‘on the side’ to perform illegal acts and other misconduct.

Canadians rely upon the legal profession to monitor the police, make rogue officers accountable and to act as a deterent. When corrupt lawyers work hand in hand with corrupt police officers, and the Law Society of Upper Canada covers up and whitewashes, how can ordinary citizens hope for justice?

Lawyer and police misconduct in Donald Best case “reads like a John Grisham novel”

John Grisham-Rogue Lawyer private

Perjury. Violence. Abduction. Threats to rape and murder witnesses. Anonymous internet threats from a Bay Street law firm. A Canadian judge’s secret backroom order.

Best vs. Ranking is just another civil lawsuit in Ontario Superior Court…

by Donald Best

by Donald Best

A judge once remarked on the record that my case reads like the plot from a John Grisham novel.

I can’t disagree. I wonder what Mr. Grisham himself might think. (Grisham photo above courtesy of the Toronto Star)

Like most Grisham novels the stakes in my case are high enough at US$120 million dollars to cause some lawyers, accountants, police officers and other professionals to step over the line.

Way over the line.

“My case is complex, but my April 23, 2015 sworn affidavit provides a basic summary and is, frankly, a pretty good page-turner at bedtime.”

Download Donald Best’s April 23, 2015 affidavit. (PDF 882kb without exhibits)

My case has seen some people on the other side (including certain lawyers and police officers) proveably commit various crimes including: fabricating evidence, lying to the court [1], fraudulently using a phoney non-existent ‘company’ as a lawyer’s client to petition the courts and transfer a million dollars [2], illegally hiring a corrupt OPP police sergeant ‘on the side’ to work against me in a civil lawsuit [3] and putting an innocent man in jail using proveably false, fabricated evidence. [4]

Welcome to civil litigation involving the Caribbean island nation of Barbados.

Also like a John Grisham novel, my witnesses, lawyers, myself and our family members have been the targets of a long-running campaign of violence, harassment and threats designed to deter us from seeking justice before the courts.

In the Greater Toronto Area, I was assaulted in the street. Also in the GTA, a man with a Caribbean accent approached and threatened one of my children over this case. My family’s auto was shot up. While my former lawyer was out of Canada litigating my case, his wife and family received an intimidating anonymous phone call from a person with a Barbados accent. My lawyer’s wife gathered up her children and fled their Orillia, Ontario home in terror; exactly as was intended by the caller.

One of my witnesses was abducted and beaten at gunpoint by a person connected with the other side in Barbados. One of my witnesses was threatened with job loss if he testified, and was fired from the University of the West Indies after he testified anyway.

Illegally and behind my back, an Ontario judge secretly substituted a changed court order in a backroom meeting; off the court record and without notifying me even though I was a self-represented litigant. This kind of judicial ‘Star Chamber’ activity regularly happens in Iran or Russia, but surely not in Canada; except when it does. [5]   Read more

Police and media response to Lynelle Cantwell and ‘Ugliest Girls’ online poll shows double standard

Cyberbullying victim Lynelle Cantwell (photo courtesy of Toronto Star)

Lynelle Cantwell (photo courtesy Toronto Star)

ST. JOHN’S, N.L.—A school board in Newfoundland and police are now investigating a case of cyberbullying involving an anonymous poll ranking girls at a high school based on their looks.

Lynelle Cantwell, a student at Holy Trinity High School in Torbay, is getting national attention for her response to the creators of the online poll, called “Ugliest Girls in Grade 12.”

Toronto Star: ‘Ugliest Girls’ online poll under police investigation in Newfoundland

by Donald Best

by Donald Best

Opposing internet bullying is a popular cause these days. Investigating online bullying is also a popular police activity that nets law enforcement easily-gained positive recognition in the community; but only as long as the perpetrators are low hanging fruit like high school students and not members of a protected class like lawyers from big Bay Street law firms.

The contrast is stark.

On one hand, a story about high school student Lynelle Cantwell and anonymous online poll for the ‘ugliest girls’ receives national news media attention about online bullying.

On the other hand, when sworn forensic evidence filed in Ontario Superior Court shows that personnel from the Toronto office of Miller Thomson LLP, one of Canada’s largest law firms, sent anonymous threatening internet messages to several witnesses in the Best v. Ranking civil lawsuit, the news media coverage is… Zero.

“The anonymous online messages and emails even include threats to murder and rape female witnesses.”

The anonymous threats and harassment originating from the Miller Thomson LLP law firm and elsewhere are part of a campaign of anonymous threats, harassment and criminal acts that has been ongoing for years, even to the present day.

Here are some samples taken from the court record:  Read more

Law Society of Upper Canada unlikely to win the Allard Prize for International Integrity

Allard Prize Integrity

by Donald Best

by Donald Best

Lawyers have significant influence in the shaping, drafting and enforcement of policies and legislation that protect critical checks and balances necessary for a healthy society.

But who regulates and oversees the lawyers? And what happens to a society if lawyers abandon ethics and societal accountability in the pursuit of money? What happens if greed, not justice and truth, becomes the primary motivation of lawyers?

Such has been our confidence in the legal profession that, to this time, Canadians have allowed lawyers to regulate and discipline themselves without independent civilian oversight, public accountability or any real transparency. That willingness of Canadians to allow lawyers to self-regulate is changing with revelation after revelation of serious wrongdoing by lawyers and coverups by governing legal bodies.

In Ontario, the Law Society of Upper Canada has time and time again covered up or ignored criminal activities by lawyers; especially if the lawyers are associated with any of Canada’s largest law firms. The recent ‘Broken Trust‘ series of articles in the Toronto Star looks into why over 80% of Ontario lawyers who commit serious criminal offences in relation to their law practice never face criminal sanctions.

My own case (‘Donald Best v. Gerald Ranking et al’. Superior Court of Justice, Central East Region: Barrie, Court File No. 14-0815) is just one of many where Law Society of Upper Canada ignored and covered up solid evidence of criminal wrongdoing by Ontario lawyers and protected members of ‘the club’.

Evidence filed in Best vs Ranking shows that members of the large law firm club receive unhealthy deference from the Law Society of Upper Canada and other regulators in matters of misconduct and discipline.

In my case, the Law Society of Upper Canada ignored and covered up evidence of serious criminal offences by lawyers from large law firms. The law society also refused to assist me, an unrepresented litigant, to find legal counsel in a special situation where the vast majority of lawyers were too intimidated and frightened to represent me before the courts.   Read more

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