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

 

 

 

Canadian news media swarms Julian Fantino over marijuana business – ignores Fantino’s sworn evidence of corrupt police, lawyers, judge.

Canadian News Media Censorship is now the Story

Last week former Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police Julian Fantino opened the Vaughan office of Aleafia – a company dedicated to treating patients with medical marijuana. The media tsunami struck the next day with many articles in both the mainstream and alternative news discussing how a former Chief of Police and anti-drug crusader could now be an advocate for medical marijuana.

Journalist Michael Coren

On Wednesday morning I listened to Toronto AM1010 Talk Radio with Michael Coren and a number of other high-profile people. Mr. Coren said that although he likes Julian Fantino and always has, he found this latest career change to be hypocritical.

In response, two other panel members said that as Minister of Veteran Affairs, Fantino saw the benefits of pot in assisting soldiers to deal with anxiety, sleep disorders and PTSD. There is no better advocate for change, they argued, than someone who has themselves come to new realizations.

Fantino’s marijuana business dominated the news for about two days and then dropped off as is natural. It was news in the first place because of Fantino’s high public profile as a long serving and senior law enforcement officer and former cabinet minister in the Harper government.

Justice Shaughnessy (r) & his lawyer, Peter Wardle

A much bigger Julian Fantino story not covered by Canadian media

Donald Best, The Attorney General of Canada and Mr. Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

What was not in the news though, is that just a few weeks ago on October 25, 2017 former OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino swore and filed an explosive affidavit in the judicial review of a Canadian Judicial Council decision currently before the courts.

In the case of Donald Best, The Attorney General of Canada and Mr. Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy, Mr. Fantino’s affidavit names names and details evidence of corruption, law breaking and even criminal offences by police, lawyers and a judge.

The sworn evidence of a former OPP Commissioner alleging police and legal system corruption, naming names and calling for criminal investigations, is totally unprecedented in Canadian history – but not one Canadian news media outlet covered the story although they all know about it.

Over the last three years I have personally spoken with a few dozen professional journalists from just about any major Canadian news organization that you can name: CBC, Toronto Star, CTV, Globe and Mail, PostMedia, iHeart Radio.

All were excited about my story until they found that it couldn’t make it past their editors. Several told me that there is an ‘editor’s kill’ on my story because several of the involved lawyers are high profile Bay Street law firm partners – who provably fabricated evidence and lied to the courts to convict and imprison me, Donald Best, during a private prosecution for Contempt of Court during a civil case costs hearing.

Now that former OPP Commissioner Fantino has examined all the evidence and totally vindicated me, the mainstream Canadian news media are still concealing the corrupt actions of several lawyers, police and a judge. And yes, the Canadian news media outlets know about and have downloaded copies of Mr. Fantino’s sworn affidavit.

The story is now about the Canadian mainstream news media concealing proven criminal misconduct by corrupt and powerful people and entities – in total opposition to the news media’s duty to the public trust.

And that my friends is a much more disturbing and important story than the misconduct of a crooked cop and a handful of rogue lawyers and a judge.

Read a summary of Julian Fantino’s affidavit, and download the full affidavit if you desire:

Court denies former Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino intervention in judicial review of CJC

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.

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 denies former Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino intervention in Judicial Review of CJC

Julian Fantino’s ‘bombshell’ evidence.

A Federal Court prothonotary has denied a motion by Julian Fantino, former Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, to intervene in the judicial review of a Canadian Judicial Council decision. (UPDATE: Fantino is appealing this decision in Federal Court on Monday, November 20, 2017)

Mr. Fantino, who is also a former Federal Cabinet Minister in the Stephen Harper government and a lifetime member of the Queen’s Privy Council, had sought intervenor status in a Judicial Review scheduled for November 20, 2017 in Toronto at the Federal Court of Canada. The review is brought by Donald Best, a former Toronto Police sergeant, concerning the Canadian Judicial Council’s decision not to investigate his complaint about the conduct of Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy.

Justice Shaughnessy (r) & his lawyer, Peter Wardle

Opposing Fantino’s intervention were Victor J. Paolone of the Attorney General of Canada and Justice Shaughnessy’s lawyer, Ontario Law Society bencher Peter Wardle. Mr. Fantino was represented by K. W. McKenzie. Paul Slansky represented Donald Best.

While the October 25, 2017 written decision by prothonotary Mandy Aylen covers many of the issues addressed in Mr. Fantino’s application, it does not mention some of the most stunning parts of Fantino’s sworn affidavit, nor the controversial statements made by each of the lawyers during oral submissions.

Initial reactions from police officers, lawyers and ordinary Canadians range from shock to embarrassed acknowledgement that some of the activities revealed in Fantino’s affidavit are nothing new to insiders in the justice system and law enforcement.

(Fantino’s application, affidavit, written submissions and Prothonotary Aylen’s decision are public documents and are attached at the end of this article.)

Julian Fantino Affidavit Bombshells

Here, complied by your publisher Donald Best, is a list of selected passages from Mr. Fantino’s 33 pages of sworn affidavit. (With attached exhibits, the full affidavit is 461 pages.)

NOTE: The verbatim quotes and summarized excerpts below are selected from various affidavit pages. They obviously cannot be presented in context in this short summary article and may be out of order.

Canadians are urged to carefully read and consider Mr. Fantino’s full affidavit and other source documents and to make up their own minds as to the full import of Mr. Fantino’s sworn testimony.

Evidence in Julian Fantino’s sworn affidavit includes (summarized except verbatim excerpts in quotes):

General

  • No one is representing the public interest of Canadians at this judicial review. The Attorney General of Canada represents the CJC, not the public.
  • “Mr. Best was convicted of contempt of court and sentenced to prison in absentia (while he was not in Canada) upon the presentation by lawyers of provably false evidence during a private prosecution in a civil trial costs hearing.”
  • “This prosecution and eventual imprisonment of Mr. Best was being carried out in the name of a purported client that did not exist. The CJC should investigate how this offshore non-person received substantial funds in court costs (over 1 million dollars) which raises questions about possible money laundering and currency control violations.”
  • “The court also convicted Mr. Best based upon affidavit evidence that was the product of illegal actions by a serving officer of the Ontario Provincial Police at the time that I was OPP Commissioner.” The officer, now retired Detective Sergeant James (Jim) Arthur Van Allen, was manager of the OPP’s elite Criminal Profiling Unit under Commissioner Fantino.

Improper Police Involvement in Civil Cases & Secret Investigations

  • “There are four general incidents in the (Donald Best) civil case, CJC record and in the current Judicial Review where police resources and personnel were improperly and even illegally and secretly used and coopted.”
  • “There is disturbing evidence, some strong and apparently irrefutable, and some circumstantial, that in four groups of incidents in the civil case and even during the present Judicial Review, police resources and personnel were (or appear to have been) improperly retained, used and coopted to assist one side of a private civil dispute in the Ontario courts.”
  • Involved police organizations include the OPP, Durham Regional Police, Peel Regional Police and the Toronto Police Association.
  • Durham Regional Police perform undocumented (secret) investigations of civil case litigants “all the time” and “most likely in assistance to the Court.” This was done in the Donald Best civil case and perhaps in respect of the current Judicial Review of the Canadian Judicial Council decision regarding Justice Shaughnessy.
  • “There is also evidence of involvement by other police forces before the finding of contempt by the court and later who have been involved in this civil court matter. Some of it with the apparent intent of using the investigation results to influence, impact or derail this Judicial Review.”
  • “If left to stand, these abuses in total would result in the undermining of public confidence in the police, the judicial process, the CJC and the Rule of Law. My background and experience is such that I can assist the Court in determining the truth about what appears to be significant abuses of police resources to improperly influence the justice system in the civil case and perhaps even in this Judicial Review.”

Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

  • Justice Shaughnessy backdated a court order ten full days that immediately put Donald Best into contempt for failing to deliver certain documents to opposing lawyers two days before the order was created. Best was jailed for this ‘failure’ to comply with an impossible court order.
  • Certain court documents and orders that were said to have been delivered to Donald Best were, in fact, not delivered and Justice Shaughnessy knew this. Nonetheless Justice Shaughnessy validated service of these documents.
  • Justice Shaughnessy allowed the court process to be used on an extra-jurisdictional basis and “improperly delegated his judicial power to the prosecuting lawyers in order to interfere with and impact legal proceedings in other countries.” The lawyers told Justice Shaughnessy that they were pursuing Donald Best for contempt charges in order to force Best to provide evidence for use in a Florida legal case, and to force settlement upon other litigants in civil cases in Florida and Barbados courts.
  • “The record shows that after Best requested a review of his conviction and sentence, the Judge (Shaughnessy) refused to consider his fresh exculpatory evidence including but not limited to secretly made and forensically certified voice recordings of a telephone call with the lawyers that showed they placed false evidence before the Judge, refused to allow Best to cross-examine the lawyer-witnesses, their clients and ‘private investigator’ James Van Allen, who together provided the false evidence that the court used to convict and sentence Best.”
  • “I cannot recall any other case where a Canadian was convicted and sentenced in absentia (when the accused was not present) upon provably false and/or illegally sourced evidence, and was then refused the basic right to cross-examine the witnesses and accusers that the court relied upon to convict and sentence.”
  • “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.”… “The CJC did not address these actions by the Judge, but rather summarily dismissed the issue by ruling that it was not ‘conduct’.”

OPP Detective Sergeant James Van Allen

“Had I known of his (Jim Van Allen’s) transgressions, I would have acted immediately as OPP Commissioner to deal with his rogue conduct.”  Julian Fantino

  • “The prosecuting lawyers hired and submitted an affidavit from Mr. Van Allen. They claimed that he was a private investigator and failed to disclose that he was a serving police officer with access to police resources. This police officer obtained confidential information not available to the public which was then used by the Judge to convict, sentence and imprison Mr. Best for contempt.”
  • “Although the lawyers regularly referred to Van Allen as a ‘private investigator’ in their legal documents and on the court record in verbal submissions and discussions with the Judge, Jim Van Allen was not a licensed private investigator. James ‘Jim’ Arthur Van Allen, was in fact a serving Ontario Provincial Police Detective Sergeant and manager of the OPP’s Criminal Profiling Unit who was working secretly and illegally as an unlicensed private investigator.”
  • “From my examination of the evidence that is already filed in court and was easily available to the courts and the CJC had they examined it, it is reasonable to conclude that OPP Detective Sergeant Jim Van Allen’s inappropriate employment as a private investigator, his access to confidential information and the distribution of the same, and the very creation of his affidavit in order to benefit private parties in a civil lawsuit, represents a flagrant violation of various Provincial and Federal laws including the Police Services Act, the Private Security and Investigative Services Act, the Criminal Code and the Freedom of Information Act.”
  • “In no small way, Detective Sergeant Jim Van Allen violated his oath of office.”
  • “Detective Sergeant Van Allen’s conduct and behavior in relation to this case occurred while I was OPP Commissioner. Had I known about it at the time, I would have immediately ordered an investigation to gather all evidence to determine the details, extent and duration of his activities with a view to possible provincial and/or criminal charges against Van Allen and, potentially, charges against other involved persons.”
  • “It is inconceivable that all the involved lawyers and Judge were unaware that ‘private investigator’ and expert witness Jim Van Allen was an OPP police officer. Considering many factors, including Detective Sergeant Van Allen’s high public profile, the rules and normal vetting practices by lawyers and judges concerning Expert Witnesses, and the fact that Van Allen’s affidavit and redacted invoices were clearly suspect on their face to any ordinary person let alone lawyers and judges, it is unbelievable that nobody in that courtroom knew the truth about Van Allen or otherwise cared to find out.”
  • “I notice that Van Allen’s two redacted invoices are numbers 11 and 12 for the year 2009, which to me raises serious questions about how many other illegal investigations he had performed and which lawyer clients might have retained him previously. Had I known of his transgressions, I would have acted immediately as OPP Commissioner to deal with his rogue conduct.”

Self-Represented Canadians and the Canadian Judicial Council

  • “I have no reason to believe that Mr. Best’s complaints to the CJC were handled any differently than those of other Canadians. I have no reason to believe that the CJC’s apparent arbitrary standards, lack of investigation, lack of transparency and absence of support to an unrepresented person in Mr. Best’s case is unusual for the CJC. I believe that the CJC’s handling of Mr. Best’s case is representative of the standard CJC treatment of unrepresented persons – with one important difference which in Mr. Best’s situation merely supported the imprisonment of an apparently innocent man and that is simply unacceptable and wrong.”
  • “Judicial independence is an important principle in the Canadian Justice System. That is all the more reason why Canadians must feel secure that the Canadian Judicial Council properly performs its function in dealing with complaints. The CJC was created by Parliament to serve the people of Canada and to maintain the integrity and high standards that people expect in their Justice System. It follows that full professional investigations and transparency should be the norm. Publicly defined standards for the CJC that are easy to access and easy to understand are of paramount importance to the mandate it received from Parliament, and for which it is accountable.”
  • “This would include ease of access by all Canadians and, where necessary, assistance by CJC staff trained to accommodate the different cultural, linguistic, and educational factors that are the hallmarks of our multi-faceted Canadian society. Not all Canadians have the skill set, educational background, or writing ability to properly compose a complete account of their concerns and complaints about their experiences in Court and how they are treated by Judges. Accordingly, I wish to contribute to this Court proceeding in evaluating and resolving the matters raised in regard to Mr. Best’s Application.”
  • “While the CJC guidelines as to how Canadians can expect to be treated in Court when they are unrepresented litigants, the CJC does not extend those same considerations to Canadians who complain about their treatment in Courts by Judges. The CJC’s response to (Donald Best’s) complaint emphasizes that this type of assistance and proactive treatment is not extended to complainants to the CJC.”
  • “The lack of assistance and guidance for the complainant adds a layer of mystery and lack of transparency to an already oblique arrangement where it appears that one person, Mr. Sabourin, whose credentials are not known, is the filter for all information that is assessed. This appears incongruous with the very specialized and unique knowledge that are required to review the jurisdiction and actions of judges.”
  • “Other tribunals which are in place to serve the public in specialized benefit from the assistance of fully trained assessors who can assist the aggrieved person and be certain that the full import of the complaint is fairly presented. This type of assistance is all the more important when it comes to Courts and Judges which may be the most important factor or bulwark in the preservation of democracy.”
  • “The CJC did not fully take into consideration that its function is to serve the people of Canada. Not all Canadians are able to fully understand let alone report about the nuances of what happens in Court and the CJC has decided it will give them no guidance. Whereas other tribunals engage investigators and information gatherers who are well versed in the areas under consideration that will interview, review, and generally help a complainant make a full and focused complaint the CJC does nothing of the sort. Apparently, Mr. Sabourin and the Judge are of the view that the CJC can reject a complaint arbitrarily.”

At the time of publication there is no word if Mr. Fantino will appeal the prothonotary’s decision.

Court Documents – Redacted Identity Information (signatures, etc)

In .PDF format for downloading. Size indicated.

1/ Affidavit of Julian Fantino sworn September 28, 2017, Notice of Motion, Written Submissions NO EXHIBITS (72 pages – PDF 8.7mb)

2/ Order of Prothonotary Mandy Aylen released October 25, 2017 (22 pages – PDF 241kb)

3/ Julian Fantino: Full affidavit including exhibits.

Fantino Vol1 with exhibits sworn Sept 28, 2017 (344 pages – PDF 43mb) – very large, will fix soon.

Fantino Vol2 with exhibits sworn Sept 28, 2017 (245 pages – PDF 22.3mb) – very large, will fix soon.

To be added after redacting (probably a day or two):

4/ Justice Shaughnessy: Submissions on Fantino Intervention Motion

5/ Attorney General of Canada: Submissions on Fantino Intervention Motion

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.

Donald Best
Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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

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

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.

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