Why Ontario Justice of the Peace Paul Welsh should be sent to prison.

Ontario Justice of the Peace Paul Welsh

  • Another Ontario Judge goes rogue, ignores law, imprisons innocent man.
  • Suggested disipline includes “Training on Integrity”
  • Was previously convicted of Criminal Charge of Obstruct Justice in 2009

On December 5, 2017, the Ontario Justices of the Peace Review Council found that Justice of the Peace Paul Welsh committed judicial misconduct.

Terrible misconduct…

His Worship Justice of the Peace Welsh put an innocent man into prison:

On October 16, 2013, while presiding in criminal court, His Worship showed a wilful disregard for the law and for the rights of the accused by unilaterally changing the return date on a court matter without taking steps to notify the accused, counsel of record, or the Crown of the new return date. His Worship’s actions resulted in the issuance and execution of a bench warrant and deprived the accused of his liberty. (Ontario Judicial Council website)

His Worship’s lawyer, Mr. Eugene Bhattacharya, presented “31 letters from lawyers, two judges and a justice of the peace attesting to his (Welsh’s) character and contribution to the justice system” and suggested a “combination of dispositions would be appropriate including an apology, training on independence and integrity and a suspension with pay for a period between 14 and 30 days.”

The prosecution asked for little more than the defence: an apology to the wrongly imprisoned man, education on how to manage a busy courtroom and suspension for a few weeks without pay.

The proposed ‘dispositions’ are so far divorced from the expectations of ordinary Canadians that once again we are shown that the elites running our justice system either have zero realization about how lack of judicial accountability undermines public confidence in the courts – or they know and contemptuously don’t care.

Justice of the Peace Paul Welsh went rogue, willfully ignored the law and imprisoned an innocent man.

Previously in another case Welsh pleaded guilty to Criminal Obstruction of Justice, received an absolute discharge and was allowed to continue on the bench despite his corrupt actions.

To say that he should now have “training on integrity” is a sick joke. Welsh deserves to see the inside of a prison cell for putting an innocent man in jail.

What was his motivation for this latest misconduct? Was he angry at the litigant or his lawyer? Was he on drugs or drunk? Is he evil or powerdrunk? Did he do it for his own sick amusement?

What motivates a trained and experienced judge or justice of the peace to commit such egregious wrongdoing?

The exclusive club that is the self-regulating legal profession isn’t telling the Canadian public why Welsh did what he did – because the justice system exists for the benefit of the profession, not for ordinary Canadians. Judges at all levels are only accountable to fellow members of ‘the club’.

If this were an isolated incident by one judge, there might be an argument that simply firing Welsh would suffice. But talk to any lawyer or self-represented litigant and you’ll discover that all too often, and with increasing frequency, Ontario judges are ignoring the law and operating outside of the rules with impunity – because they can, and especially when it comes to self-represented persons.

Any disciplinary action against Welsh should take general deterence into consideration. The situation is that bad.

While the vast majority of rogue behaviour by judges involves lesser acts than imprisoning innocent people, a widespread court bias against unrepresented persons destroys lives, assets and families. Judges who ignore the rules and the rule of law should be held accountable.

Whatever Paul Welsh’s motivation for imprisoning an innocent man, there is no excuse for such a serious event. A precedent of requiring an apology and a short suspension does nothing more than licence this serious misconduct for the next rogue judge.

His Worship Paul Welsh should be fired, and should have to serve the same amount of time in prison as did the illegally jailed innocent man.

That goes for any judge who knowingly jails an innocent person. The fact that no imprisonment penalty for gross judicial misconduct exists in the disciplinary rules only underscores how the system is set up to prevent accountability of rogue judges.

As it is, the laughable penalty submissions of both Paul Welsh’s lawyer and the prosecution bring the administration of justice into disrepute and further undermine confidence in the Canadian justice system.

Canada’s new Supreme Court judge Sheilah Martin says courts should treat litigants with respect, be open, transparent. What does she think about Justice ‘Backroom Bryan’ Shaughnessy?

SCC Justice Sheilah Martin and ‘Canada’s Backroom Judge’ Bryan Shaughnessy (right)

Last Monday, Justice Sheilah Martin spent almost three hours meeting parliamentarians and generally laying out how she sees her role and the law. Of course she properly stayed away from specific issues that could come before the Supreme Court – but some of her words go straight to the heart of our justice system and the rule of law. Hopefully she will come down hard on courts that abuse their powers and authority.

Justice Martin’s Questionnaire for her appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada is a revealing document that shows her concern for the wrongly convicted and ordinary Canadians of many origins who are most often roadkill in our courts.

Overall, Martin stressed the need for judges to treat litigants with respect…

“You have to show respect in order to get respect,” she said.

She pushed back against the idea that judges’ rulings express their own views.

“The role of judges is a very different one than law professor or advocate. Judges decide based on proof, principle, precedent. We may call it a judicial opinion, but it’s not the personal preference of the judge. It has to be grounded in law, it has to be grounded in principle, there has to be an open, transparent, defensible reasoning, there has to be an explanation to the public, and it has to be clear and intelligible and has to meet the arguments that have been raised.” From the Star article New Supreme Court judge underscores need for judicial independence

How would Justice Martin view Bryan Shaughnessy’s disgusting misconduct?

Here is a sample from the September 28, 2017 sworn affidavit of Julian Fantino, former Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, concerning Justice Shaughnessy’s conduct during the Donald Best civil contempt case:

  • “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.”

In other words, Bryan Shaughnessy, a Federally appointed Justice of the Ontario Superior Court, corruptly wielded his authority and power in secret, in a backroom, off the court record and with zero regard for the rule of law, transparency or accountability… just as one commonly sees in third-world backwaters where local despots misuse their authority for private purposes.

Further, Justice Shaughnessy was dealing with an unrepresented person who had already been taken away to prison. Justice Shaughnessy knew that he could get away with this abuse because the prisoner didn’t have a lawyer and was incapable of appealing the secretly increased sentence from prison. Further Best might not even be told by prison authorities about his increased sentence for weeks or months.

There is no doubt that our new Supreme Court Justice Sheilah Martin would slam Bryan Shaughnessy’s corrupt and secret backroom actions that undermined the public respect for the courts and brought the judicial system into disrepute.

Justice Shaughnessy should permanently resign from the bench as no lesser remedy is capable of repairing the damage he has done.

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.

Notice to readers, including Persons and Entities mentoned in this article

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 at least 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. Photo of Justice Martin via Alberta Courts public handout.

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 staff deletes Justice Shaughnessy’s name from list of parties – public can’t locate courtroom

Open Courts Principle abused

At least three members of the public report that they attended at the Federal Court in Toronto but were unable to find the courtroom where my judicial review against the Canadian Judicial Council was being held. Even the front desk and security staff were unable to direct them to the courtroom – so they went home after being falsely informed that no such trial was taking place in the building that day.

This happened because Federal Court staff deleted the name of Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy from the list of parties and cases used to direct persons to the various courtrooms.

Justice Shaughnessy’s name appeared as an involved party on the list at all prior motion dates – but disappeared from the list at the main event, the Judicial Review itself. Neither did the words ‘Canadian Judicial Council’ or ‘CJC’ appear on the public list. This action – whether deliberate or accidental – violated the ‘Open Courts Principle’. (see Wikipedia and CCLN)

Over the two days about a dozen members of the public, all strangers to me, did manage to find the courtroom on the 7th floor and attended to listen to the proceedings and/or to wish me well. Some of the persons attending on the first day, Monday November 20, 2017, found the courtroom by going to every floor in the building and asking each security guard about the case. They then posted the location on Facebook for others to find.

This is incredible: in a case that is ultimately focused upon the disgusting actions of Justice Shaughnessy violating the Open Courts Principle by his secret backroom actions, members of the public were prevented from attending at the Judicial Review because Federal Court staff deleted Justice Shaughnessy’s name from the daily courtroom listings.

Julian Fantino intervention blocked

Another interesting happening in relation to this Judicial Review is that Julian Fantino, former Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, applied to intervene in the case – 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 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.

This is puzzling to an ordinary person like myself who always thought that when something is appealed by anyone, the main case is put on hold until the appeal is heard. Perhaps one of my readers with a legal background can explain this as Justice Boswell issued no reasons to accompany his decision.

Judicial Review finished – Decision to come

The Judicial Review was heard over two days, Monday – Tuesday November 20-21, 2017. My lawyer Paul Slansky took the first day to state my case that, among other issues, the court should send the Shaughnessy complaint back to the Canadian Judicial Council with instructions to do their job properly according to the laws that govern the CJC. On Tuesday, Mr. Peter Wardle (representing Justice Shaughnessy) and Mr. Victor Paolone (Attorney General of Canada) made their presentations trying to defend the indefensible actions of Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy.

At the end of Paul Slansky’s reply comments on Tuesday, Justice Boswell said he will be issuing his decision later.

My sincere thanks to everyone who came out to show support and to monitor and report on the proceedings.

Donald Best
November 22, 2017
Barrie, Ontario

 

 

 

Federal Court to review whitewashed Canadian Judicial Council decision about Justice Bryan Shaughnessy on November 20, 2017

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

Canadian Judicial Council cover-up exposed on November 20, 2017

The Federal Court of Canada has scheduled two full days on November 20 & 21, 2017 to review a Canadian Judicial Council (‘CJC’) decision about a complaint against Ontario Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy.

The hearing will review how and why CJC Director Norman Sabourin summarily dismissed a complaint by former Toronto Police Sergeant (Detective) Donald Best, without an investigation and in the face of irrefutable evidence that Justice Shaughnessy committed what has been described by various lawyers and a retired Crown prosecutor as ‘despotic, disgusting and reprehensible misconduct’.

“In all my years of practicing law, this is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen a judge do.” 

Senior Ontario lawyer writes to Donald Best after examining the evidence against Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy.

Donald Best alleged that after sentencing him to three months in prison for Contempt of Civil Court, Ontario Superior Court Judge J. Bryan Shaughnessy 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, without telling the self-represented prisoner and without placing the new secret order into the court record. This was a deliberate, vindictive and premeditated extra-judicial abuse of Justice Shaughnessy’s position and authority.

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.”

Canadian Judicial Council said to be operating ultra vires – in violation of the law.

As well as looking at the circumstances of the CJC dismissal of Best’s complaint, the Federal Court will be considering whether or not CJC Director Norman Sabourin is operating beyond his authority under the laws which established the CJC. This issue has been previously raised in public discussions, but has never been formally brought before the court as it is in the Judicial Review filed by Donald Best’s lawyer, Paul Slansky.

Packed Courtroom Expected

Many Canadians wrote expressing support for Donald Best and asked to be notified of the hearing date so they can attend and observe the process. A court artist and several independent journalists also state they will cover the hearing.

The hearing will be held:

Monday November 20th and Tuesday November 21, 2017 at 9:30am

Federal Court: 180 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario.

About The Public Trust – Statement by Donald Best

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

I believe that the vast majority of judges and lawyers do their utmost to deliver the best justice they can within our imperfect system. There are, of course, systemic problems that need attention – but when a lawyer or a judge goes rogue, Canada’s legal profession must take action or the entire justice system is tainted.

Justice Shaughnessy’s reprehensible backroom misconduct is egregious but, fortunately, exceedingly rare – so rare that no one I’ve spoken with has ever heard of any other judge doing what Justice Shaughnessy did.

The evidence of his misconduct is so strong that when the Canadian Judicial Council dismissed my complaint without an investigation it really was a self-indictment of the CJC, its director Norman Sabourin, and the CJC’s processes and decisions. Within the legal community, the CJC’s decision to dismiss my complaint produced disdain and contempt for the CJC – not to mention guffaws and comments of “If this isn’t judicial misconduct, then nothing is.”

It is hoped that a Judicial Review of the CJC’s Shaughnessy decision will provide Canadians with answers about how this happened and result in changes that could begin to restore confidence in our judicial system and in the Canadian Judicial Council that is mandated to bring accountability to those we Canadians entrust as judges.   Read more

When will judges speak out against perjury? Don’t make me laugh!

“Sometimes the truth just doesn’t matter to the courts when high status persons are in jeopardy.”

Georgialee Lang

I was happy to discover Lawdiva’s Blog by Vancouver lawyer Georgialee Lang – who posts some excellent articles about the legal system and treads where many others fear to go.

She also writes marvellous headlines such as “Judge Presides Over Child Support Hearing While Conducting an Affair with Litigant”.

Recently Georgialee asked When Will Our Judges Speak Out Forcefully Against Perjury?

I left this comment on her article:

Hello Ms. Lang,

I’ve enjoyed a few of your articles today after stumbling across your website a few clicks ago. (Can’t even remember where or how I got here – the wonders of the internet.)

In my 40 years in and around the court as a police detective and as a private investigator, I concur that there has always been a great reluctance to prosecute people for perjury. Even if the evidence is overwhelming and irrefutable with no reasonable doubt, perjury charges just never seem to follow.

In my own case before the Ontario Superior Court, even a forensically proven and secretly made voice recording that conclusively proved perjury wasn’t enough. Indeed, no court ever agreed to listen to the recording lest the judge would then have to find perjury and conspiracy against three witnesses.

And the three witnesses who perjured themselves just happened to be… lawyers.

Sometimes the truth just doesn’t matter to the courts when high status persons are in jeopardy.

The Sebastien Kwidzinski story: How senior partners taught a young articling lawyer to fabricate evidence and lie to the court.

Donald Best

 

Did lawyers assist in Justice Bryan Shaughnessy’s “disgusting” misconduct? #3 in a series

Big Law Firm lawyers Gerald Ranking (left), Lorne Silver & Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

Did lawyers Lorne S. Silver and Gerald L. Ranking know of Justice Shaughnessy’s intentions? Did they assist? If so, they are co-conspirators with the judge.

In articles over the past months (listed below), we told how after court ended on May 3, 2013, Ontario Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy went to a backroom where, off the court record, he secretly increased a prisoner’s sentence without a trial and without telling the self-represented prisoner (Donald Best). In that backroom, Justice Shaughnessy signed a secret new warrant of committal – that he did not place into the court record and that he provided only to prison authorities.

Several senior lawyers and a retired Crown Attorney called Justice Shaughnessy’s behaviour “disgusting”, “reprehensible”, “malicious” and “worthy of his removal from the bench.”

Donald Best complained of Shaughnessy’s misconduct to the Canadian Judicial Council – (Best’s Jan 5, 2016 12-page CJC complaint without exhibits. PDF 218kb).

After CJC Director Norman Sabourin summarily dismissed the complaint without conducting an investigation or providing reasons, Best’s lawyer filed for a Judicial Review of the CJC decision. That judicial review is now before the Federal Court.

Our second article in this series explained how big law firm partners Lorne S. Silver and Gerald L. Ranking certainly witnessed parts of Justice Shaughnessy’s misconduct in court.

In Part #3 of this series, we look at evidence that lawyers Ranking and Silver actually participated in Justice Shaughnessy’s serious misconduct – perhaps secretly meeting with the judge in a backroom after court.

On May 3, 2013, lawyers Lorne S. Silver and Gerald L. Ranking were in court and witnessed Justice Shaughnessy state on the record that he was lifting the stay on his January 15, 2010 Warrant of Committal for Donald Best, and that Best would now be taken to prison to serve the sentence indicated on that January 15, 2010 warrant – for contempt of court during a civil case costs hearing.

On May 3, 2013, Silver and Ranking also witnessed Justice Shaughnessy state on the record that “Approval of the order by Mr. Best will be dispensed with and I direct that this order shall be prepared by Messrs. Ranking and Silver and presented to me for signature by Monday, May 6, 2013.” (May 3, 2013 transcript, pg 57, line 32)

Silver and Ranking also witnessed Justice Shaughnessy order that Best was never again to be brought before him.

Thus, Justice Shaughnessy ordered Ranking and Silver to create a Judgment Order to be presented to him on May 6, 2013, and also that self-represented litigant Donald Best was not to participate or be provided with a copy of the judgment order. This judgment order (download here) did not order the creation of a new warrant of committal or increase Best’s sentence, and was not the secret new warrant of committal signed by Justice Shaughnessy after court on May 3, 2013.

 

Secret new May 3, 2013 Warrant of Committal. Click to enlarge.

Justice Shaughnessy’s misconduct was premeditated with malicious intent.

Shaughnessy ordered in court on May 3, 2013 that:

1/ Best was not to participate in the creation of a judgment order, and,

2/ Best was never to be brought before Justice Shaughnessy again.

As indicated in Best’s complaint to the CJC, these orders on the record are evidence of Shaughnessy’s premeditation and malicious intent to secretly increase Best’s sentence after court, and to not place the new secret warrant of committal or increased sentence on the court record.

We know that after court ended on May 3, 2013, Justice Shaughnessy left the courtroom and went to a backroom where he signed a secret new order dated May 3, 2013 that illegally increased Best’s sentence. Best only learned of the order from prison authorities after his arrival at the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, Ontario.

Did lawyers Lorne Silver and Gerald Ranking meet secretly with Justice Shaughnessy in a backroom after court on May 3, 2013?

We do not know at this point if Gerald Ranking or Lorne Silver knew in advance of Justice Shaughnessy’s intention to secretly increase Best’s jail sentence after court was over. Whether they knew or did not know in advance, is important evidence.

We do not know if Ranking and Silver learned of the secretly increased sentence and new warrant perhaps days or weeks afterwards – or, if Justice Shaughnessy secretly instructed them in a backroom meeting on May 3, 2013 to draft the secret new warrant of committal with the increased sentence.

Were the lawyers with Justice Shaughnessy on May 3, 2013 when he signed the secret warrant and illegally increased Best’s sentence? Did the lawyers draft the secret warrant upon private backroom instructions from the judge?

If lawyers Lorne Silver and Gerald Ranking had any part in the creation or delivery of the illegal and secret warrant of committal, or if they knew about it on May 3, 2013 or were present when Justice Shaughnessy signed it – then the lawyers are co-conspirators with the judge in his egregious misconduct.

What did the judge’s secretary and other court staff witness?

Justice Shaughnessy’s secretary and other court staff may have witnessed the lawyers meeting with the judge after court ended. The judge’s secretary and court staff may have knowledge of the creation and forwarding of the secret warrant of committal to prison authorities.

Drafts of the secret warrant warrant of committal might exist on court computers – or the secret warrant might have been created using one of the lawyers’ laptop computers and therefore does not appear on court computers.

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

Justice Shaughnessy, his court staff and lawyers Silver and Ranking must be witnesses in any valid CJC investigation or public inquiry – but so far both Lorne Silver and Gerald Ranking refuse to be cross-examined about any of their conduct in relation to Donald Best’s conviction, sentencing and imprisonment.

As indicated in our first two articles in this series, Justice Shaughnessy is now personally represented at the judicial review by Law Society of Upper Canada senior bencher Peter C. Wardle. Wardle has a conflict of interest as he also represented lawyers Lorne S. Silver and Gerald L. Ranking in a related matter.

With the Federal Attorney General representing the CJC, and the Ontario Attorney General absent after formerly representing Justice Shaughnessy, no one is representing the public interest at the judicial review.  

. Read more

Ontario’s Bay Street Cabal and law society circle the wagons to protect judge; Ignoring conflicts of interest and the public trust – #2 in a Series

Law Society of Upper Canada sides with Judge over misconduct some lawyers call “disgusting”, “reprehensible”, “worthy of removal from the bench.”

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

Our first article in this series exposed how Ontario Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy hired a conflicted lawyer to represent him in an ongoing Judicial Review of a Canadian Judicial Council decision about Justice Shaughnessy.*

Law Society of Upper Canada senior bencher Peter C. Wardle is Justice Shaughnessy’s new attorney. However, in a closely related matter Wardle also represented two lawyers who are almost certain to be called as primary witnesses in a CJC investigation or public inquiry into allegations of serious misconduct against Justice Shaughnessy.**

Of the over 50,000 licensed lawyers in Ontario, Justice Shaughnessy just happens to be represented by Mr. Wardle – the only lawyer in Canada who:

  1. represented two important witnesses to the judge’s misconduct in a closely associated legal matter, and,
  2. represented eleven high profile law firms and lawyers (including the current Treasurer of the law society) in the same closely related matter, and,
  3. is a senior bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada (‘LSUC’) – the regulator of all lawyers and paralegals in the province that has been extensively involved in this very series of legal actions, and,
  4. works closely with LawPRO, the law society’s company insuring lawyers in Ontario that is also involved in legal matters closely associated with the current Judicial Review.

Senior bencher Peter Wardle represented lawyers Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver during a civil law suit launched in July, 2014 by former Toronto Police Sergeant (Detective) Donald Best. Wardle represented a total of 11 lawyers and law firms in that lawsuit, including some of Canada’s largest Bay Street law firms. (Best was forced to discontinue that lawsuit in 2015 when he could not pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in court costs previously awarded against him on the basis of false testimony by Ranking and Silver.***)

The Law Society of Upper Canada and its insurance company LawPRO have been following this series of actions in the courts since at least 2009, and became even more involved in 2014 when Donald Best sued lawyers Gerald Ranking, Lorne Silver, bencher Paul Schabas and other people and entities who acted in the civil lawsuit that saw Best maliciously convicted of contempt of court and sentenced to prison upon provably fabricated and false evidence.

Paul Schabas

Today, Paul Schabas is law society’s highest elected official, the Treasurer. Schabas and his Blakes law firm appeared extensively before Justice Shaughnessy on the Best legal cases and acted in concert with lawyers Ranking and Silver during many motions and submissions against Best and his company.

As a senior bencher, Peter C. Wardle is an elite on the inside of the law society. He regularly acts for the law society’s LawPRO lawyer insurance arm and probably did so during Donald Best’s civil lawsuit against Ranking, Silver and Schabas. He serves on internal committees and often works directly with Treasurer Paul Schabas.

Wardle undoubtedly gained privileged, insider information about the case and about Justice Shaughnessy’s actions during the case, from his clients Ranking, Silver and Schabas. Wardle also likely gained similar insider information about the case that he obtained formally or informally as a direct result of his position as senior bencher and/or his relationship working with LawPRO.

Many persons find this arrangement and the relationship between the Law Society of Upper Canada, LSUC senior management, LawPRO insurance, Bay Street law firms and Justice Shaughnessy, to be all too cozy.

Who is looking after the public trust and the broader interests of lawyers in Ontario in this Judicial Review of the Canadian Judicial Council? With these potential and real conflicts of interest, both ordinary citizens and lawyers I’ve spoken with have little confidence that the Law Society of Upper Canada is doing anything other than circling the wagons to protect a judge facing strong – even irrefutable – evidence of serious misconduct.

The question is asked by many:

Are the law society’s actions in this judicial review being driven by the broad public and professional interests… or, are the law society’s actions more closely aligned with the personal agendas of the involved LSUC senior leadership and Bay Street law firms?

Big Law Firm lawyers Gerald Ranking (left), Lorne Silver & Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

Lawyers Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver are witnesses to Justice Shaughnessy’s serious misconduct

Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver are connected to Justice Shaughnessy’s misconduct through a series of civil court actions involving Donald Best, and due to their presence with Justice Shaughnessy on May 3, 2013 during at least some parts of the judicial misconduct.

The lawyers were also involved in a previous incident during the same civil case where Justice Shaughnessy backdated a court order for them on November 12, 2009 – backdated ten days to November 2, 2009.****

Here is a basic summary of what lawyers Ranking and Silver witnessed and may have witnessed during Justice Shaughnessy’s misconduct on May 3, 2013:

  • On May 3, 2013, both Ranking and Silver were present in court and witnessed Justice Shaughnessy declare (on the transcript) that he would not set aside his January 15, 2010 conviction of self-represented litigant Donald Best for contempt of court. Justice Shaughnessy ordered that the stay on his original January 15, 2010 warrant for the arrest and imprisonment of Donald Best would now be lifted, and that Best would be taken to prison to serve his 3 month sentence according to Justice Shaughnessy’s January 15, 2010 warrant of committal and court order.
  • Ranking and Silver also witnessed Justice Shaughnessy order that Best was not to have input into any court order to be made on that day May 3rd 2013 and that Ranking and Silver would prepare an order for Justice Shaughnessy.
  • Ranking and Silver also witnessed the judge order that Donald Best was never again to be brought before him, and that some other judge must deal with Best in the future.
  • Ranking and Silver witnessed that court ended, the judge left and then the court staff packed up and left. Court Police allowed Donald Best 10 minutes to pack up, after which he was taken in handcuffs to the basement cells and then to prison.
  • After court had finished on May 3, 2013 and Donald Best had been taken away to serve his three-month sentence, Justice Shaughnessy went to a backroom and secretly signed a new and secret warrant of committal that increased the Best’s prison time by a month. Justice Shaughnessy did this off the court record, out of court, without telling the self-represented prisoner and without placing the new warrant of committal or any mention of it or the increased sentence into the court record. This was all contrary to the sentence and order the judge himself delivered earlier in court on the record.
  • The judge gave the only copy of the new warrant to prison authorities after ordering that Best was not to have knowledge of the creation of the court order.
  • As secretly planned and arranged by Justice Shaughnessy, Best only discovered the increased sentence when informed by authorities at the prison.

The above shows that lawyers Ranking and Silver are, at the very least, important witnesses to parts of Justice Shaughnessy’s misconduct on May 3, 2013 – raising questions about conflicts of interest now that Peter C. Wardle is representing Justice Shaughnessy.

Complicating the conflicts of interest even further, lawyers Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver may not be just witnesses. Court transcripts indicate it is also possible that these lawyers assisted Justice Shaughnessy in carrying out his judicial misconduct.

Details on the Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver story are coming next week.

New Series: Abandoning Public Trust: Conflicts of Interest by Ontario’s legal profession

The series…

Part 1: Justice Bryan Shaughnessy chooses conflicted lawyer as personal counsel in Judicial Review.

Part 2: Ontario’s Bay Street Cabal and law society circle the wagons to protect judge; Ignoring conflicts of interest and the public trust.

Part 3: Did Lawyers Ranking and Silver know of Justice Shaughnessy’s intentions and actions? Did they assist in his judicial misconduct?

Part 4: Should conflicted lawyer Peter C. Wardle resign from representing Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy?

Part 5: Abandoning the Public Interest. When Canada’s legal profession circles the wagons to save club members, who looks after the interests of Canadians?

Part 6: Previous incident – How Justice Shaughnessy backdated a court order for lawyers Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver.

… Additional articles in this series will be added later.

Notes

*  Justice Bryan Shaughnessy chooses conflicted lawyer as personal counsel in Judicial Review.

**  Federal Court refuses to release judge from Judicial Review of Misconduct Complaint

*** Best secretly and legally recorded phone call with lying lawyers Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver

**** Details and court exhibits coming in Part 6 – Previous incident – How Justice Shaughnessy backdated a court order for lawyers Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver.

 

National Post credits watchdog Chris Budgell with breaking new story about Canadian Judicial Council’s own conflict of interest over Justice Newbould

One of Canada’s best known journalists credits independent CJC watchdog Chris Budgell with breaking a story about the personal conflicts of interest of a member of the Canadian Judicial Council committee investigating Ontario Superior Court Justice Frank Newbould.

Christie Blatchford wrote in the National Post “The first to notice these (conflict of interest) connections was Chris Budgell, a self-appointed citizen watchdog of the judicial council.”

Blatchford’s article Spotlight falls on panel probing conduct of judge who spoke against land claim details a CJC panel member’s conflicts:

A lawyer hand-picked by federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to serve on the committee probing the conduct of Ontario Superior Court Justice Frank Newbould hails from a Vancouver law firm with long-standing connections to the organization that complained about the judge.

On March 31, Wilson-Raybould announced that Clarine (Clo) Ostrove, a partner at Mandell Pinder, a Vancouver firm that focuses exclusively on First Nation work, is her designate on the three-person inquiry. (snip)

One of Ostrove’s associates at Mandell Pinder, Stephen Mussel, is a member of the Indigenous Bar Association.

A former Mandell Pinder associate, and former Chief of the Snuneymuxw First Nation in Nanaimo, B.C., Douglas S. White, was also an Indigenous Bar Association director.

Another of the firm’s former lawyers, Angela Cousins, was a board member of the association.

Most, including Ostrove herself, have spoken on Aboriginal law issues at various conferences, including two where either Wilson-Raybould, a lawyer, former prosecutor and former regional Chief of the B.C. Assembly of First Nations before her election as MP for Vancouver Grenville, or her husband, Tim Raybould, were also speakers.

Budgell did the digging and sent Blatchford a well researched article that provided the foundation for her National Post story. Budgell also sent the article to DonaldBest.CA as we were prepared to publish if the National Post ignored Budgell’s work.

Christie Blatchford’s excellent article contains much more about the conflicts of interest – including that both federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and the president of the Association of Superior Court Judges, Justice Susan G. Himel, are weighing in on the situation in what some are saying appear to be attempts to influence the Canadian Judicial Council and the Inquiry Panel convened into Justice Newbould’s conduct.

National Post still censors news about CJC and Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

Lawyer Peter Wardle – Justice Shaughnessy

Blatchford’s employer though, the National Post, still refuses to cover stories about the ongoing Judicial Review of the Canadian Judicial Council’s handling of a misconduct complaint against Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy, including:

  • A Federal Court refused to dismiss Shaughnessy’s application to remove his name as a party to the judicial review.
  • The unprecedented January 17, 2017 Federal Court decision also ordered Justice Shaughnessy to personally pay the legal costs of Donald Best, a self-represented litigant that the Ontario Superior Court Justice sent to prison for contempt of court.
  • No other judge in Canadian history has been ordered to pay legal costs.
  • Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General had been acting as the judge’s personal lawyer for almost a year but parted ways with Justice Shaughnessy a week after DonaldBest.CA published an article describing how, with the AGO acting as the judge’s personal attorney, nobody was acting for the public interest at the Judicial Review.
  • Justice Shaughnessy’s new lawyer Peter C. Wardle has multiple conflicts of interest. In a closely related matter, Wardle represented two lawyers who are almost certain to be called as witnesses in a CJC investigation or public inquiry into misconduct allegations against Justice Shaughnessy.
  • Questions are also being asked about the propriety of Wardle, a Law Society of Upper Canada senior bencher, representing a Federally appointed judge accused of serious, premeditated misconduct.
  • Justice Shaughnessy’s latest choice of lawyer only ramps up questions about conflicts of interest and the optics of the apparent relationships between big law firms, the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, and the Attorney General of Canada – when nobody is representing the public interest during the judicial review.

For more details and supporting court documents, read: Justice Bryan Shaughnessy chooses Conflicted Lawyer as personal counsel in Judicial Review.

 

 

Justice Bryan Shaughnessy chooses conflicted lawyer as personal counsel in Judicial Review – #1 in a series

Law Society of Upper Canada senior bencher Peter C. Wardle is Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy’s new attorney in an ongoing judicial review of a Canadian Judicial Council decision. However, in a closely related matter Wardle also represented two lawyers who are almost certain to be called as witnesses in a CJC investigation or public inquiry into misconduct allegations against Justice Shaughnessy.

Complicating the conflicts of interest even further, lawyers Gerald Ranking (left) and Lorne Silver may not be just witnesses. Court transcripts indicate it is also possible that these lawyers assisted Justice Shaughnessy in carrying out his judicial misconduct.*

This change of counsel comes after a Federal Court refused to release Justice Shaughnessy as a party in the judicial review of a CJC decision about the judge.

The unprecedented January 17, 2017 Federal Court decision also ordered Justice Shaughnessy to personally pay the legal costs of Donald Best, a self-represented litigant that the Ontario Superior Court Justice sent to prison for contempt of court.**

No other judge in Canadian history has been ordered to pay legal costs.***

Did Conflict of Interest complaints cause Ontario’s Attorney General to resign as Justice Shaughnessy’s lawyer?

Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General (‘AGO’) no longer represents Justice Shaughnessy in the ongoing Judicial Review. The AGO had been acting as the judge’s personal lawyer for almost a year – since April 2016.

Justice Shaughnessy’s new lawyer filed a document in court indicating that Justice Shaughnessy and the AGO went their separate ways on March 1, 2017. This was a week after DonaldBest.CA published an article describing how, with the AGO acting as the judge’s personal attorney, nobody was acting for the public interest at the Judicial Review.**

Readers complained to Ontario Attorney General

Yasir Naqvi, MLA AGO

Following publication of that DonaldBest.CA article, at least half a dozen readers reported that they had written to Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi expressing disapproval that the AGO was acting as personal lawyer to a judge accused of serious misconduct, instead of acting for the people of Ontario and the public interest.

Readers questioned both the optics and actual conflicts of interest in having the AGO personally representing a judge before whom Crown Prosecutors appear daily asking for convictions, sentences, court orders and search warrants. Some readers who are also lawyers opined that Justice Shaughnessy should have hired independent counsel from the start, albeit paid for by the public purse.

Justice Shaughnessy’s latest choice of lawyer, however, only ramps up questions about conflicts of interest and the optics of the apparent relationships between big law firms, the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, the Attorney General of Canada – and a Federally appointed judge accused of serious, premeditated misconduct.

Shaughnessy’s Judicial Misconduct

  • “In all my years of practicing law, this is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen a judge do.”
  • “Reprehensible misconduct by a judge that undermines the very foundations of justice.”
  • “Shaughnessy’s misconduct is worthy of his removal from the bench.”

The above comments were made by several senior lawyers, including a retired Crown Attorney, upon examining evidence proving that on May 3, 2013 in a backroom after court had finished, Justice Shaughnessy secretly increased Donald Best’s jail sentence and secretly created and substituted a new warrant of committal – off the court record, without informing the prisoner and in contravention of the sentence and order the judge himself delivered earlier in court on the record.****

Judicial Review of Canadian Judicial Council’s summary dismissal of Best’s complaint

While Donald Best was in prison, another Superior Court Justice, apparently horrified at what Justice Shaughnessy had done, released Best after his newly hired lawyer Paul Slansky filed a writ of habeas corpus. Best spent a total of 63 days in prison, with every day served in brutal solitary confinement as he is a former Toronto Police sergeant/detective.*****

Best later filed a complaint against Justice Shaughnessy with the Canadian Judicial Council. After CJC Director Norman Sabourin summarily dismissed the complaint without an investigation and without providing reasons, Best’s lawyer filed an Application for a Judicial Review of the CJC’s actions.

It is this Judicial Review that is now making its way through the Federal Court of Canada.

New Series: ‘Abandoning Public Trust: Conflicts of Interest by Ontario’s legal profession’

This is Part 1 of our new series exploring conflicts of interest in Ontario’s legal profession. The series starts with examples noted by former Toronto Police Sergeant Donald Best during his eight-year journey through Ontario’s justice system after being convicted of contempt of court and imprisoned on provably fabricated and false evidence.

As the series progresses, we will broaden our view to examine how the legal profession’s unenforceable ‘rules’ and standards about conflicts of interest are designed to ease public and client concerns while actually providing as much latitude as possible to lawyers and law firms in their quest for profits.

Abandoning Public Trust: Conflicts of Interest by Ontario’s legal profession

The series…

Part 1: Justice Bryan Shaughnessy chooses conflicted lawyer as personal counsel in Judicial Review.

Part 2: Ontario’s Bay Street Cabal and law society circle the wagons to protect judge; Ignoring conflicts of interest and the public trust.

Part 3: Did Lawyers Ranking and Silver know of Justice Shaughnessy’s intentions and actions? Did they assist in his judicial misconduct?

Part 4: Should conflicted lawyer Peter C. Wardle resign from representing Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy?

Part 5: Abandoning the Public Interest. When Canada’s legal profession, regulators and government circle the wagons to save club members, who looks after the interests of Canadians?

Part 6: Previous incident – How Justice Shaughnessy backdated a court order for lawyers Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver.

… Additional articles in this series will be added later.

Notes and Links    Read more

Canada Federal Court refuses to release judge from Judicial Review of misconduct complaint

In an unprecedented decision the Federal Court also ordered the Ontario Superior Court Justice to personally pay the legal costs of a man he sent to prison.

The Federal Court of Canada has refused a motion to release a judge as a party in a Judicial Review of a Canadian Judicial Council ‘CJC’ decision concerning his alleged misconduct.

At issue is a CJC decision about the actions of Ontario Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy after a civil case hearing where the judge sentenced Donald Best, an unrepresented litigant, to three months in prison for civil contempt of court.

Judge secretly created new warrant of committal in a backroom. Secretly increased prisoner’s sentence off the court record.

Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy ordered to pay legal costs.

After court had finished on May 3, 2013 and the prisoner had been taken away to serve his three month sentence, Justice Shaughnessy went to a backroom and secretly created a new warrant of committal that increased the prisoner’s jail time by a month. Justice Shaughnessy did this off the court record, out of court, without telling the prisoner and without placing the new warrant of committal into the public court record.

The judge gave the only copy of the warrant to prison authorities and ordered that the prisoner was not to have knowledge of the creation of the court order.

Senior lawyers shocked by Justice Shaughnessy’s misconduct

Justice Shaughnessy’s misconduct shocked many members of Ontario’s legal profession. Several senior lawyers, including a retired Crown prosecutor, examined the evidence against the judge and made comments such as…

“In all my years of practicing law, this is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen a judge do.”

“Reprehensible misconduct by a judge that undermines the very foundations of justice.”

“Shaughnessy’s misconduct is worthy of his removal from the bench.”

When the Canadian Judicial Council summarily dismissed a complaint against Justice Shaughnessy without an investigation, the complainant Donald Best filed an Application for a Judicial Review of the CJC’s decision – and named Justice Shaughnessy as a party.

Justice Shaughnessy then filed a motion asking the court to:

  • Release Justice Shaughnessy from being a named party to the Judicial Review.
  • Strike the majority of Donald Best’s affidavit evidence filed in the Judicial Review.
  • Strike parts of Best’s Application for a Judicial Review and modify the Judicial Review procedures.
  • Order that Donald Best, the Applicant for the Judicial Review, pay Justice Shaughnessy’s legal costs in the motion.

Condensed Order – click for large

Costs order against judge unprecedented in Canadian Legal History

The Federal Court of Canada denied every part of Justice Shaughnessy’s motion, and in an unprecedented decision in Canadian legal history, ordered that Justice Shaughnessy should personally pay $2,500 in legal costs to the complainant Donald Best: a man the judge had sent to prison.

Although this writer is open to correction, research to date indicates that this is the first time ever in Canadian, British and USA legal history where a judge has been ordered to personally pay the legal costs of anyone – let alone a person he sent to prison.

Justice Shaughnessy did not appeal the order of the court, which is now confirmed.

Nobody acting for the Public Interest

Lawyer Paul Slansky

In a move that many legal professionals find surprising, the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General is not acting for the people of Ontario and the public interest, but instead is the personal lawyer for Justice Shaughnessy. The Attorney General of Canada apparently represents the Canadian Judicial Council and sided with Justice Shaughnessy in the hearing of his denied motion.

As Toronto defense lawyer Paul Slansky is acting for Donald Best, it appears that the public interest is unrepresented in an important matter concerning serious misconduct by an Ontario Superior Court Justice.

The date for the Judicial Review of the CJC decision has not yet been set, but is expected to take place sometime in 2017.

Written by Donald Best

Court Documents in the Public Record

January 17, 2017 Federal Court of Canada Order and Reasons (PDF 250kb)

April 14, 2016 – Notice of Application (PDF 711kb) by Donald Best for a Judicial Review of CJC decision.

April 27, 2016 Affidavit of Donald Best in two PDF files: Vol 1 (10.4mb) and Vol 2 (11.7mb)

December 2, 2016 Memorandum of Fact and Law (PDF 436kb) – Paul Slansky for Donald Best

Background   Read more

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