Donald Best receives 2018 Ontario Civil Liberties Award

Scandal, Cover-up by Federal Court of Canada Exposed.

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Toronto Police

I’m surprised and deeply honoured to receive the 2018 Ontario Civil Liberties Award – announced this morning.

Today (and in my recorded acceptance speech – transcript here) I am calling upon the Law Society of Ontario and the law societies in every province to cease investigating complaints against their own members. This most serious conflict of interest undermines the profession’s credibility and the public’s trust in our legal system.

Self-investigation by the lawyers’ unions is a real conflict of interest that is unacceptable by any modern standard and cannot be resolved – except by the establishment of independent organizations in each province to receive complaints against lawyers, to perform professional unbiased investigations and to lay charges where appropriate. The retention of investigative functions by the law societies is indefensible.

Today, I also reveal details of an ongoing major scandal and active cover-up by the Courts Administration Service and the Federal Court of Canada that impacts every Canadian who has appeared before that court for any reason in the last few years.

This documented misconduct by Federal Court of Canada personnel throws into question every recent decision of the Federal Court of Canada. Dozens of lawyers and litigants have already contacted me about this revelation and I am aware of several lawsuits / legal motions that are imminent. At least one will be filed within days.

Regarding my personal legal battles, both the Ontario Civil Liberties Association (in their news media release) and University of Windsor law professor Julie Macfarlane in her introduction speech for my award – openly declare that I was unjustly convicted of contempt of court and imprisoned based upon false evidence fabricated by senior lawyers from some of Canada’s largest law firms. (Former OPP Commissioner of Police Julian Fantino said the same thing last year in a sworn affidavit and said that if he knew then what he knows now, he would have launched a criminal investigation against named Ontario Provincial Police officers and lawyers.)

To my friends and family who believed in me during the darkest times and gave me strength – thank you. This is your Ontario Civil Liberties Award as much as it is mine. To the legal profession and the courts… We want our justice system back.

Ontario Civil Liberties Association announcement…

http://ocla.ca/ocla-civil-liberties-award/

My acceptance speech…

https://youtu.be/AWUcVtnec9A

Professor Julie Macfarlane’s introduction…

https://youtu.be/trPU2uwUzOM

Donald Best Receives the 2018 OCLA Civil Liberties Award

(Ottawa, December 4, 2018) – The Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) presents its 2018 Civil Liberties Award to whistleblower and anti-corruption activist Donald Best.

Donald Best is a former Sergeant (Detective) with the Toronto Police responsible for investigating Canadian police, lawyers, and politicians involved in organized crime, and a leading Canadian anti-corruption whistleblower and activist.

In his ongoing legal cases and public advocacy, Mr. Best has exposed corruption in the Canadian legal profession including secret orders and investigations by judges, the submission of false evidence in court by lawyers, and the failure of disciplinary bodies such as the Law Society of Ontario and the Canadian Judicial Council to investigate complaints against judges and lawyers.

Mr. Best’s tireless efforts to create integrity and accountability in the Canadian legal system make him an exemplary leader in the fight for equality before and under the law of all Canadians, including self-represented litigants.

Embedded at the OCLA’s award website (link HERE) is a video of Donald Best’s acceptance speech for the 2018 OCLA Civil Liberties Award, following a video introduction of Mr. Best by law professor Julie Macfarlane, Director of the National Self-Represented Litigants Project, University of Windsor.

Background Articles available online

https://donaldbest.ca/faqs-about-best-v-ranking/

https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/ex-federal-cabinet-minister-julian-fantino-takes-aim-at-judge-cops-lawyers

https://business.financialpost.com/legal-post/internet-research-by-jurors-and-judges-during-cases-challenged-julius-melnitzer

https://donaldbest.ca/broadcaster-jimmy-dore-interviews-donald-best-the-lawyers-lied-to-the-court-and-as-a-result-you-were-convicted/

Cassels Brock law firm removes offensive logo

‘A Law Until Ourselves’ Bird of Prey logo revealed contempt for lawyers’ Duty to the Public Trust.

Almost two years ago, DonaldBest.CA exposed the elitism and arrogance of the Cassels Brock law firm in their web-publishing of a bird of prey logo declaring ‘A Law Unto Ourselves’.

You can read our original article here: Cassels Brock law firm motto ‘A Law Unto Ourselves’ under a bird of prey

We can now report that Cassels Brock has removed the offensive logo at their Cassels Brock law students’ webpage.

Yes, the logo is gone… but what about the ‘A law unto ourselves’ attitude?

HA!

Next up…

Coming Soon: 

Cassels Brock website celebrates corrupt lawyer who lied to jail a self-represented litigant

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 info@donaldbest.ca and I will publish your writing with equal prominence. Comments 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
November 13, 2018
Barrie, Ontario
Canada

Broadcaster Jimmy Dore interviews Donald Best: “The lawyers lied to the court and as a result you were convicted…”

Jimmy Dore Show names corrupt Toronto lawyers Gerald Ranking, Lorne Silver, Sebastien Kwidzinski – plus corrupt judge and cop.

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

For years the Canadian news media put a ‘kill’ on my story and shadow-banned my comments on their websites. Many supportive mainstream journalists informed me that their editors refused to publish any part of my story due to ‘libel chill’ – their fear of being sued by the corrupt lawyers who proveably lied to the court to convict and imprison me for contempt in a civil matter.

On those rare occasions when Canadian outlets did write about my case, the stories were invariably agenda-driven, inaccurate and obviously sourced from the opposition. To this day no Canadian news media has published a story comparing the provably false court testimony of the Toronto lawyers with the truth as shown in the forensically-certified secret voice recordings of our conversation.

Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

Things started to change late last year when the Toronto Sun, Toronto Star, National Post and other outlets published Colin Perkel’s article Ex-cabinet minister Julian Fantino suggests judge, lawyers and cops part of conspiracy to convict man. Then on June 5, 2018 the Financial Post carried Julius Melnitzer’s story Internet research by jurors and judges during cases challenged: Julius Melnitzer.

Now the US news media is picking up the story with The Jimmy Dore Show out of Los Angeles being the first to publish a video of my guest appearance on the show. (YouTube video above or here: Cop Whistleblower Targeted by Canadian Court)

“There were secret recordings you made of your telephone conversations with the lawyers involved. I read the official court records showing what those lawyers told the court. They lied to the court, and as a result you were convicted for Contempt of Court while you weren’t even in the country.” (Jimmy Dore to Donald Best at about 10:30 into the interview.)

Jimmy Dore is the first journalist with the courage to publicly state that he compared my secret recordings with the corrupt lawyers’ testimony and finds that the lawyers lied to the court to convict me.

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

Jimmy Dore Show also names Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy, Police Officer James ‘Jim’ Van Allen

At about 18:41 into the interview, I name and the Jimmy Dore Show names the three Ontario lawyers, Ontario Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy and retired Ontario Provincial Police officer Jim Van Allen – all of whom Jimmy Dore refers to as “corrupt”.

“Donald Best, we wish you all the best in getting to the bottom of this, getting justice in your case and exposing these corrupt lawyers and judges…” (Jimmy Dore to Donald Best at about 25:00 into the interview.)

Jimmy, his staff and presumably his legal team studied my case in detail prior to making his production decisions and final edits.

Viewers know exactly what it means when a citizen like me and a journalist like Jimmy Dore openly name lawyers and a judge as “corrupt” and they do not sue. The lawyers and the judge don’t dare because they would have to expose themselves to cross-examination for the first time – and they know they are guilty of corrupt acts.

Sometimes it takes a while to break through the news media gatekeepers. It looks like that time is approaching.

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 info@donaldbest.ca and I will publish your writing with equal prominence. Comments 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
September 29, 2018
Barrie, Ontario
Canada

 

Federal Court of Canada secretly uses internet to investigate people and cases appearing before judges

Dr. Eric Cole – former Commissioner on CyberSecurity to President Obama – confirms secret investigations by Federal Court of Canada

Financial Post article reports stunning new development in Canadian Judicial Council case.

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Toronto Police

Judges and/or employees of the Federal Court of Canada (‘FCC’) conducted extensive secret online investigations into my case, my witnesses, my lawyer and me during the over a year and a half that my CJC Judicial Review case was before that court.

Even during the November 20, 2017 final hearing as my lawyer was in court speaking to Justice Boswell – the FCC staff and/or Justice Boswell himself were googling about the case and downloading evidence, information and exhibits from the internet. 

As reported by Julias Melnitzer in the Financial Post, the above has been forensically confirmed by US computer networking expert (and former commissioner on cybersecurity for President Obama) Dr. Eric Cole in a sworn affidavit filed in Ontario courts. (Available here as a .pdf: without exhibits 2.5mbwith exhibits 33mb)

Secret evidence is prohibited in our courts.

So what’s the problem with judges and their staff secretly collecting information online about the cases, litigants, accused persons, witnesses and lawyers appearing before the judge?

That’s easy – this secret and unlawful court activity strikes right to the heart of our standards for a fair and open trial process.

Persons before the court have a right to see, examine and challenge all evidence considered by the court and to do so in public. This standard goes back over eight hundred years to the Magna Carta and is what differentiates English-based judicial practice from so many other countries and cultures.

Thus in the British, American and Canadian courts, jury members and judges are not supposed to do independent research into the cases they are considering. This is to ensure that all the evidence the court or jury members consider is on the record and in public so the prosecution and defence are aware of the evidence, can test it for accuracy and make submissions as to its value and interpretation in the case.

If the judge or jury members consider evidence that nobody else is aware of, they are conducting a portion of the trial in secret.

The issue of no secret evidence in the courts is so important to justice and fair trials that in the United States and Britain jury members are regularly jailed for violating this prohibition. Recently in Canada two lengthy criminal proceedings were declared mistrial when jurors were caught independently researching the case.

Jurors are usually caught when another member of the jury finds out and alerts the court staff. As one can imagine though, catching judges secretly investigating cases is exponentially more difficult although there have been a few recent instances in the USA and Canada.

Federal Court Justice Keith Boswell

Federal Court of Canada in full cover-up mode

It is apparent in the sworn affidavit of Dr. Eric Cole that the Federal Court of Canada was caught red-handed using the internet and google searches to secretly gather information about my case and the involved parties and witnesses for over a year and a half.

Further, Dr. Cole confirms that the Courts Administration Service that operates the computer network for the Federal Court of Canada knows exactly which judges and court staff are involved.

In a series of letters between Chantal Carbonneau, Deputy Chief Administrator of Judicial and Registry Services and my lawyer Paul Slansky, Ms. Carbonneau…

  1. admitted that court personnel conducted the investigations,
  2. indicated that she had knowledge of the people involved, but…
  3. refused to identify the judges and/or court staff who conducted the secret investigations into my case, and my lawyers and witnesses – and me.

There is much more to come regarding this story. The main takeaways are the following…

  1. For over a year and a half, Federal Court of Canada judges and/or their staff used the internet to conduct secret investigations and to gather information and evidence about the Donald Best – Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy case before the court.
  2. Expert witness Dr. Eric Cole, former Commissioner on CyberSecurity to President Obama, confirms the misconduct of the Federal Court of Canada personnel, and that the Courts Administration Service and the FCC know everything about which FCC judges and court personnel secretly researched the Donald Best – Justice Bryan Shaughnessy case before the court.
  3. The Courts Administration Service and the Federal Court of Canada refuse to release information about which judges and court personnel secretly researched the Donald Best – Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy case and the involved persons.

How many other cases did Federal Court of Canada judges secretly research on the Internet? Did the judge consider secret evidence in YOUR case before the Federal Court of Canada?

Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy desperate to avoid public hearing into Canadian Judicial Council

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Toronto Police

Last Monday was a 20-hour day for yours truly and two friends as we printed, sorted and bound ten full sets of my legal response to tactical legal motions by Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy and the Attorney General of Canada.

Justice Shaughnessy launched a tactical legal motion demanding that I pay a security deposit to continue with my public interest case bringing accountability and transparency to the Canadian Judicial Council.

The Attorney General of Canada, abandoning the public interest, also filed a tactical motion to end our campaign to bring public accountability to the CJC.

Unbelievably the Attorney General of Canada is supporting Justice Shaughnessy – whose misconduct is described by several senior lawyers and a retired Crown Attorney as “despotic”, “disgusting”, “reprehensible”, “malicious” and “worthy of his removal from the bench.”

And so two friends and I worked in a cold garage until 1am Tuesday morning to put our legal response together.

Here is what this latest filing meant in materials alone:

  • Appeal Book 4 volumes per set = 1487 pages x 10 sets = 14,870 pages
  • Responding Motion Record 3 volumes per set = 1441 pages x 10 sets = 14,410 pages
  • Factum = 34 pages x 10 copies = 340 pages

29,620 pages in 80 bound volumes that had to be created because Justice Shaughnessy and the Attorney General of Canada want to keep public attention from the Canadian Judicial Council.

After about five hours sleep I was up again at 7am and drove from Barrie to downtown Toronto where I personally served the Attorney General of Canada and Justice Shaughnessy’s lawyer. (No professional document server hired as I did it myself.) Then I met with my lawyer Paul Slansky at the Federal Court building where we filed the materials on time.

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

Justice Shaughnessy’s legal costs fully covered with no limit.

The court costs of both Justice Shaughnessy and the Attorney General of Canada / CJC are paid by the Government. Not a penny of the judge’s legal costs comes from the his own pocket. The Attorney General and the judge’s lawyers snap their fingers and assistants draft their legal motions, and then print, bind, serve and file everything with not a thought about the costs.

Even the Executive Director of the Canadian Judicial Council, Norman Sabourin, confirmed in a Toronto Star news article that there is no limit on the publicly-paid legal costs when Federal Court justices are defending misconduct allegations. Judges sometimes run up over a million dollars in legal fees and there is not a thing that anyone can do about it.

This is what we are up against in this public interest case. The only way we can compete is by working harder and keeping costs to the absolute minimum. That’s why you’ll find my friends and me printing and binding court documents in a cold garage at 1am. 

Lawyers especially are concerned with Shaughnessy’s misconduct as his actions strike right to the foundations of our justice system and society. Every lawyer I’ve spoken with is concerned that the Canadian Judicial Council dismissed my complaint against the judge without an investigation or even reading the court file. Background story here.

Public awareness is starting to grow. National Self-Represented Litigants Project director Dr. Julie Macfarlane just declared that our CJC challenge is necessary, and another five professors at major law schools also contacted me offering support. Several lawyers regularly send me case law references that they think might assist my lawyer.

Canadians just might make this happen!

Justice Shaughnessy and the Attorney General are also trying desperately to have the next court hearing held privately – not in public.  No wonder!

Coming Soon

I’m busy redacting Identity Information from my latest legal documents and will probably start to post them tonight.

I’ll also be posting breaking news on a strange turn of events. It is confirmed that Federal Court judges and / or court staff performed improper and unrevealed investigations of me, my lawyer and witnesses throughout the 18 months that the case was before that court. 

We have forensically proven, and the court administration has basically admitted in writing, that during the original judicial review hearings in the Federal Court of Canada, employees and/or judges of the FCC conducted extensive private online investigations of me, my witnesses and my lawyer. Even during the actual hearing as my lawyer was speaking to the judge, FCC staff or the judge himself were googling about the case and downloading evidence, information and exhibits from the internet. This is a huge deal in the legal community. 

More coming!

Please contribute $25, $100 or whatever you can to support our 2018 legal challenge to the Canadian Judicial Council. >>>

GoFundMe Donald Best CJC Public Interest Campaign

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 info@donaldbest.ca and I will publish your writing with equal prominence. Comments 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

 

Dr Julie Macfarlane, NSRLP Director at Windsor Law: Donald Best’s CJC Challenge necessary

by Dr. Julie Macfarlane, National Self-Represented Litigants Project

The National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP) of which I am the Director has been extremely concerned – and made this concern clear – for many years about the process for reviewing and adjudicating complaints brought against a member of the judiciary by a member of the public.

Many of the complaints brought to the CJC each year are now brought by self-represented litigants. The “mandate” of the CJC excludes most of these complaints as written.

In order to rebuild public confidence in the judicial system, a robust overhaul of the complaints process – including assistance for members of the public who wish to bring forward a complaint – is essential.

Mr Best’s judicial review claim is an example of the extraordinary lengths to which it is presently necessary to go to draw attention to this flawed system and the lack of public accountability that the CJC reflects.

Yours truly,

Dr Julie Macfarlane
Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Law

(Editor’s note: Don’t forget to support the Donald Best CJC Challenge with a small donation at GoFundMe.)

More from Dr. Macfarlane…

Its out! The fully revised 2nd edition of The New Lawyer: How Clients are Transforming the Practice of Law (UBC Press).

https://www.amazon.com/New-Lawyer-Second-Transforming-Practice/dp/0774837071

Named one of Canada’s 25 Most Influential Lawyers

http://www.canadianlawyermag.com/6513/The-Top-25-Most-Influential-2017.html

For information on my research and continuing work on self-represented litigants, including my Blog on Access to Justice and the SRL Phenomenon, go to https://representingyourselfcanada.com/

Follow me on Twitter @ProfJulieMac

Our podcast Jumping Off the Ivory Tower downloadable here https://representingyourselfcanada.com/podcast/

 

Help fund the public inquiry into the Canadian Judicial Council

As standard CJC practice, Director Norman Sabourin summarily dismisses complaints against judges without investigations or providing reasons.

To the benefit of all Canadians, we need your financial support to force modern standards of accountability, transparency and performance upon the Canadian Judicial Council – the organization mandated to investigate and discipline Canada’s federal judges.

The Canadian Judicial Council summarily dismisses the vast majority of complaints against judges without investigation or even talking with the complainants. Now Canadians have the one perfect case with which to challenge the CJC’s performance and arbitrary standards, but we need your help to cover court costs.

Donald Best, his legal team and their supporters are challenging the Canadian Judicial Council’s wholesale dismissal of misconduct complaints against judges. The CJC summarily disposes of the vast majority of complaints against judges without investigations, public accountability or transparency.

The Donald Best case is perfect for this challenge. That’s why Canada’s Attorney General and the Canadian Judicial Council are fighting tooth and nail to keep this from going to a public trial.

The person bringing this challenge, Donald Best, is acting in the public interest for all Canadians and gains nothing personally from bringing or winning this legal action which is currently before the courts.

Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

Donald Best is a former Toronto Police Sergeant and business person who, while traveling in Asia, was found guilty of contempt of court in a civil business matter in Ontario, Canada. While Best was out of the country and unaware of the court hearing, corrupt lawyers placed provably fabricated evidence before a Federal Court judge – Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy – falsely claiming that Best had informed the lawyers during a phone call that he had received a certain court order.

In fact, during the phone call Best clearly stated over a dozen times to the lawyers that he had not received the court order and asked the lawyers to please send him a copy. After the call, the lawyers lied to the judge in writing and orally on the court record, falsely saying that Best had ‘confessed’ to receiving the court order. Based upon this false evidence, the judge convicted Best of contempt of court ‘in absentia’ (while Best was not present) and sentenced him to three months in prison.

Fortunately, Best had recorded the phone call and returned to Canada to place evidence before the court that proved the lawyers lied to the judge to obtain his conviction.

“In an obvious effort to protect the Bay Street lawyers, Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy refused to listen to Best’s recordings, refused to consider the new evidence of his innocence and refused to allow him to cross-examine the very lawyers and witnesses that the judge relied upon to convict and sentence Best at the secret hearing.”

Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

Justice Shaughnessy upheld Best’s original conviction and three month prison sentence. Court ended, Justice Shaughnessy left the courtroom and Mr. Best was taken away to prison. Then, secretly, in a backroom and off the court record with no transcript and no endorsement on the court record, the Judge illegally created a new Warrant of Committal and increased Best’s prison time by 50%. Mr. Best had no lawyer, wasn’t present and the backroom judge never told him what he had done.

This new secret Warrant of Committal was given only to the prison authorities and was not placed into the court records. The prison warden informed Best about the increased sentence when he arrived at the prison – saying that he had never seen such a thing before in 30 years with the Correctional Service.

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.” Lawyers especially are concerned with Shaughnessy’s misconduct as his actions strike right to the foundations of our justice system and society.

Nonetheless, when Best complained to the Canadian Judicial Council about Justice Shaughnessy’s serious misconduct, the CJC didn’t even investigate, saying that the judge’s actions were not ‘conduct’ under the CJC’s mandate.  

Without published standards and rules, the CJC arbitrarily defines what is and is not ‘judicial conduct’ in a self-serving manner on a case by case basis so they can reject any complaint. Donald Best is challenging this in court.

Outrageously, the Attorney General of Canada is defending and condoning the corrupt judge’s backroom misconduct – and is using every procedural trick in the book to delay and derail Mr. Best’s case.

Former Cabinet Minister Julian Fantino

Who Supports Donald Best?

In the past few years, hundreds of ordinary Canadians contacted Donald Best with messages of support. Lawyers volunteered to provide legal research in support of his lawsuit. Peter A. Allard Q.C., founder of the Allard Prize for International Integrity, praised Donald Best as “One of Canada’s most methodical and well documented whistleblowers.”

Julian Fantino, former Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, former federal Cabinet Minister and current member of the Queen’s Privy Council, swore a comprehensive affidavit supporting Donald Best and documenting illegal conduct against Mr. Best by police, lawyers and a judge. Mr. Fantino launched his own ongoing court motion to gain Intervenor standing in Mr. Best’s CJC judicial review case.

Donald Best’s story has been told in the Toronto Star. Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper published his article ’Solitary confinement is pure torture. I know, I was there.’

The University of Windsor law school and the National Self-represented Litigants Project told Donald Best’s story on their website article ’The client most lawyer fear – and won’t represent at any price’. The NSRLP Director Dr. Julie Macfarlane recently commented on the necessity of the Donald Best CJC court challenge.

Please contribute $25, $100 or whatever you can to support our 2018 legal challenge to the Canadian Judicial Council.

Contribute anonymously to the Donald Best CJC Challenge GoFundMe campaign.

Law Society of Ontario calls for input into money laundering rules… Foxes designing hen house security

Money Laundering needs specialists

Lawyers are key to successful money laundering. That’s why the rules shouldn’t be left up to them.

During his acceptance speech as the co-winner of the 2015 Allard Prize for International Integrity, journalist Rafael Marques de Morais said “(unethical) Lawyers are servants in the architecture of corruption.”

Indeed they are. Lawyers are very necessary servants in the architecture of corruption for without lawyers willing to assist their valued clients, money laundering would be much more difficult for organized crime, crooked politicians, cheating corporations and others so inclinded to wash and conceal money here in Canada or offshore.

With Canadian banks and other named businesses having to report to the government large cash transactions (deposits or withdrawals over $10,000 cash) and also suspicious transactions – lawyers are the go-to people for weaseling around the laws because they are largely exempt from the reporting rules and constraints of non-lawyers. Plus, lawyers have a vast array of creative tools and strategies available – not to mention an international brotherhood that is experienced in working around inconvenient laws.

After 9/11, Canadian lawyers fought hard to keep from being more closely regulated and scrutinized over the issue of money transfers. They succeeded for a time, but the pressure is on again.

“The Law Society ‘solution’ for preventing money laundering is to rely entirely upon the integrity of individual lawyers – with no accounting or oversight by the law society or anyone else unless a complaint is made. Given that those involved in money laundering would never complain to the law society, that wraps things up quite nicely.”

Law Society of Ontario calls for input into money laundering rules

Canadian lawyers admit they are in fear of “the possibility of a renewed effort by the federal government to extend the PCMLTFA (Proceeds of Crime – Money Laundering – and Terrorist Financing Act) to members of the legal profession.” (See page 2 of the Law Society of Ontario’s Call for Input – download 1mb pdf here.)

As a result, the law societies across Canada have banded together with the Federation of Law Societies of Canada to present a little dog and pony show for the public and the legislators (who are primarily legal profession club members themselves.) The ‘club’ created a ‘Professional Regulation Committee’ and is calling for input from lawyers to the proposed amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Rules.

A few minor changes coupled with a public relations campaign should do the trick… anything to stave off effective regulations that would cramp the profession’s ability to creatively serve the needs of their big-paying clients that they don’t want anyone to look at too closely.

You will note how the LSO proposal deals with transfers of cash, identifying and verifying clients and the use of lawyer’s trust accounts. A closer read shows that the proposed changes still leave lots of leeway and discretion to individual money-laundering lawyers. The money laundering toolbox is still intact with private mortgages, property transfers, offshore corporations and lots more tools still viable as lawyers’ secret conduits for tainted money.

Focus on Cash is a red herring.

The focus upon cash is a red herring for Canadian lawyers. Most of the money-laundering lawyers in Canada are not involved with large cash transactions through their own hands. By the time money arrives in their law firm accounts, it is coming through banks and from other lawyers in the form of documented transfers, real estate sales to apparent arms length parties and staged business dealings that have just enough appearance of legitimacy to protect the involved lawyers and law firms.

A Global Witness undercover investigation showed that 25% of New York lawyers would money-launder for strangers walking in off the streets. That was for strangers, not valued and known clients. Do we think that proportion of crooked lawyers is any different in Toronto, London or Barbados?

LSO Treasurer Paul Schabas (left) covered up fraud and money-laundering indicators for corrupt lawyer Gerald Ranking.

Law Society of Ontario Treasurer Paul Schabas knew that lawyer Gerald Ranking fraudulently used a fake business entity in Ontario courts, and that Ranking received a million dollars in a trust account for this phony purported client.

Intruding into this Law Society of Ontario dog and pony show are some serious facts that destroy the law society’s credibility to deal with apparent money-laundering by legal club member lawyers.

For instance, Law Society of Ontario Treasurer Paul Schabas was co-counsel with corrupt Fasken lawyer Gerald L. Ranking on a civil case where Ranking went wild with criminal misconduct. Schabas at the time was a bencher and a member of the law society’s discipline committee. (See ‘Paul Schabas and Canada’s Corrupt Bay Street Lawyers‘ for details and supporting court exhibits.)

What did Paul Schabas do when he learned that Gerald Ranking’s purported client in a civil case was actually a non-existent fictional creation?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Nada. Zilch.

What did Law Society of Ontario bencher Paul Schabas do when he learned that Gerald Ranking had received about a million dollars in a trust account for his ficticious non-existent client?

Paul Schabas and his law society 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.

What did Paul Schabas do when he knew that the million dollars could not possibly be deposited to the credit of the fake ‘business’ that the court awarded it to?

Nothing.

So you see… Law Society Treasurer Paul Shabas and the Law Society of Ontario cannot be trusted to administer, investigate and discipline lawyers who violate anti-money laundering rules, including the ‘know your client’ provisions.

And that was just one case. Here’s a few hundred more…

According to the Toronto Star’s Broken Trust investigation, in the last few years the Law Society of Ontario covered up and whitewashed hundreds of crimes by lawyers who committed criminal offences against their clients.

And now the Law Society of Ontario is proposing minor changes to the anti-money-laundering rules that will do little to stem the problem of money-laundering lawyers – the “servants in the architecture of corruption.”

It is time to bring Canada’s legal profession into compliance with modern standards of transparency, independent oversight and external accountability.

Attorney General of Canada desperate to stop Julian Fantino’s sworn testimony.

Former federal Cabinet Minister Julian Fantino

Federal Court of Canada rebukes Attorney General of Canada counsel Victor J. Paolone.

Attorney General of Canada counsel Victor J. Paolone apparently wasn’t happy with Julian Fantino filing an appeal in the case of Fantino’s application to intervene in the Best – Shaughnessy CJC matter. On January 24, 2018, over a month after the court accepted Fantino’s appeal notice, Paolone requested a case conference call with Madam prothonotary Aylen of the Federal Court of Canada – NOT the Federal Court of Appeal where Fantino had filed his case.

Madam Mandy Aylen is the Federal Court of Canada prothonotary (minor judge) who first denied Fantino’s application to internvene in the CJC Shaughnessy matter way back in October 2017. (See October 26, 2017 article here)

Paolone’s request to the Federal Court of Canada was unusual because the Federal Court of Appeal had a month previously accepted Fantino’s appeal – and now Paolone wanted to undo that – quietly in a little meeting and without a formal motion.

Paolone sent a letter to the other counsel saying he would write to the court to request a case conference call.

‘The Court’ … Paolone didn’t tell the other lawyers that he wasn’t writing to the Federal Court of Appeal where the case was now on file. He didn’t mention that he intended to try and get Prothonotary Aylen of Federal Court of Canada to hold the conference – even though that court was finished with the case.

What a slick move by Attorney General of Canada counsel Victor Paolone. Not quite in the ‘dirty tricks’ manual… but not the move of an upfront guy either! 

So how did Paolone’s slick move work out? Ha! The Federal Court of Canada delivered the following rebuke…   

“The Court is in receipt of a letter from the Attorney General seeking a case management conference in order to obtain direction from the Court as to the appropriate venue in which Mr. Fantino should pursue his appeal. The Court does not provide parties with legal advice. Moreover, there are currently no proceedings before this Court. Accordingly, the Court declines the Attorney General’s request for a case management conference.”

Julian Fantino’s bombshell affidavit

Both the Attorney General of Canada and Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy filed notice that they intend to fight Julian Fantino’s appeal and application to intervene in the judicial review of the Canadian Judicial Council’s summary dismissal of a complaint against Justice Shaughnessy.

One can understand how Justice Shaughnessy would be terrified of Fantino’s sworn testimony as it exposes the truth about Shaughnessy’s behaviour which several senior lawyers and a retired Crown Attorney have called “despotic”, “disgusting”, “reprehensible”, “malicious” and “worthy of his removal from the bench.”

“It is not the rogue acts of a handful of judges that undermine our justice system, it is the cover-ups that do the most damage to the public’s trust and confidence in our courts.”

The real puzzler is why the Attorney General of Canada should be siding with a judge whose ‘disgusting’ misconduct is proven by irrefutable evidence straight from the official court record and transcripts. One would hope that the Attorney General of Canada would have the broader interests of Canadians and the integrity of the justice system in mind…

But… perhaps Victor Palone and the Attorney General of Canada believe that it’s all about protecting fellow club members when possible – and the public trust and rule of law be damned.

Justice Keith Boswell

Julian Fantino files appeal in the Donald Best, Justice Shaughnessy Canadian Judicial Council case.

Julian Fantino, former Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, applied to intervene in the CJC / Justice Shaughnessy case by filing an application and supporting affidavit sworn September 28, 2017. On October 25, 2017, Prothonotary Mandy Aylen rejected Fantino’s application.

Fantino then filed an appeal of the rejection, to be heard on November 20, 2017 prior to the Judicial Review – however on Thursday afternoon, November 16, 2017, effectively one business day prior to the court date, Justice Keith M. Boswell issued an order that Mr. Fantino’s appeal would not be heard and would be scheduled for General Sittings. But – the Judicial Review would go ahead anyway without Mr. Fantino’s intervention or waiting for another court to hear his appeal.

Justice Boswell constructively dismissed Julian Fantino’s appeal – so Fantino’s lawyer, Bill McKenzie, filed an appeal which has yet to be scheduled. You can read Fantino’s notice of appeal here.

Here are some of the recent documents filed in the case…

January 26, 2018 – Direction of Madam Prothonotary Aylen refusing Victor Paolone – AGC request for case management conference call. (pdf 182kb)

January 8, 2018 – Attorney General of Canada – Victor Paolone Notice of Appearance in Fantino appeal. (pdf 508kb)

December 15, 2017 – Julian Fantino Notice of Appeal of Justice Boswell decision. (pdf 723kb)

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 info@donaldbest.ca 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

Court decision “An affront to all victims of crime or misconduct.” Appeal filed in Dismissal of Canadian Judicial Council ‘Backroom Bryan’ Shaughnessy review application

Lawyer Paul Slansky filed Best’s appeal

Victims’ Rights advocates mobilizing.

Donald Best has filed an appeal of Justice Keith M. Boswell’s dismissal of Best’s application for a judicial review of a Canadian Judicial Counsel decision.

Mr. Best had complained to the Canadian Judicial Council alleging serious misconduct by Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy during a 2013 hearing where Best had asked Justice Shaughnessy to set aside his 2010 conviction obtained in absentia (in Best’s absence) for contempt of court in a ‘trial’ that Best had not be informed of and therefore did not attend.

Best had been convicted in 2010 in his absence upon the provably fabricated evidence, deliberate written and oral lies placed before the court by corrupt Toronto lawyers Lorne Silver and Gerald L. Ranking of the Cassels Brock and Fasken law firms.

Justice Shaughnessy’s misconduct on May 3, 2013 is described by former Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police Julian Fantino in a sworn affidavit:

  • “Court ended and the Judge (Shaughnessy) left the courtroom. The courtroom staff ended their duties and Mr. Best was taken away to prison. Then, in Mr. Best’s absence, in a backroom and off the court record with no transcript and no endorsement on the record, the Judge secretly created a new Warrant of Committal and increased Best’s time to be served in prison by 50%… this new secret Warrant of Committal was given only to the prison authorities and was not placed into the court records.”
  • “There is no justification for this which appears to be a vindictive and punitive act and it needs to be closely scrutinized.” (Summary of Fantino’s bombshell affidavit and full copy here.)

Best complained about Justice Shaughnessy’s misconduct to the Canadian Judicial Council, but CJC lawyer Norman Sabourin summarily dismissed Best’s complaint without an investigation, without examining court records and without interviewing Best or any witnesses. Best then filed an application with the Federal Court of Canada for a Judicial Review of Sabourin’s decision.

After a two day hearing on November 20 and 21, 2017, Justice Keith M. Boswell dismissed Best’s application and issued his decision and reasons on December 14, 2017.

Best’s lawyer, Paul Slansky, now filed an appeal that can be downloaded and read in full here. (Best Appeal 20180115 pdf 2.3mb)

Victims’ Rights advocates rip into Justice Boswell’s decision

While Mr. Best’s position is that Justice Boswell’s decision was seriously flawed in many areas, victims’ rights groups are focusing on one issue:

Some victims’ rights advocates are mobilized by Justice Boswell’s declaration that the rights of a victim or complainant are not at stake in a criminal trial or complaint of misconduct.

Paragraph 9(e) of lawyer Paul Slansky’s appeal application for Donald Best says the following:

“It would be an affront to all victims of crime or misconduct to say, as the application judge (Justice Boswell) has said, that the rights of the complainant are not at stake in a criminal trial or complaint of misconduct. The finding of wrongdoing and the sanction flowing from such a finding engage the rights of the complainant. While one focus of a criminal trial is the rights of the accused, the right of the complainant, who seeks vindication and sanction for the wrong done to him or her cannot be ignored. The same applies in respect of complaints of misconduct against any professional (lawyer, engineer or judge, etc.).”

The Canadian Judicial Council’s whitewash of Justice Bryan Shaughnessy’s misconduct is not being left unchallenged, and now it appears that Justice Boswell’s written decision has also caused grave concern among victims’ rights advocates.

Although it has been only a few weeks since Justice Boswell released his decision that denigrated victims of crime, several victims’ rights advocates contacted Donald Best expressing interest in his case and the appeal. There is more to come on this development.

Until the justice system and the legal profession strictly adhere to the Rule of Law and adopt modern standards of transparency, independent oversight and external accountability, Canadians cannot truly say that the justice system and courts belong to all of us.

Justice Keith Boswell

Decision of Justice Keith M. Boswell

20171214 Full decision of Justice Boswell here. (.pdf 1.5mb)

Donald Best’s Application to Appeal Boswell Decision

20180111 Best Boswell Appeal Notice (.pdf 2.3mb)

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 info@donaldbest.ca 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

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