Paul Schabas seeking re-election as Bencher, Law Society of Upper Canada

Law Society Upper Canada

Toronto lawyer Paul B. Schabas, a partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, is seeking a third term as a Bencher in the upcoming April 30, 2015 Law Society of Upper Canada election. Mr. Schabas is also a defendant in the Donald Best v. Gerald Ranking et al civil lawsuit.

According to his biography, Mr. Schabas is one of Canada’s leading media lawyers:

“As one of Canada’s leading media lawyers, Paul has appeared on many recent cases in the Supreme Court of Canada, including Grant v. Torstar, which established a new public interest defence to libel.”

No doubt Mr. Schabas is the ‘go to guy’ for many major news media outlets for libel defence, or for legal advice about whether or not to cover contentious or potentially explosive news stories.

Apparently Mr. Schabas was a bencher when Donald Best sent letters to him and other lawyers on December 1, 2009, alleging that lawyers Gerald Ranking, Lorne Silver and Sebastien Kwidzinski lied to the court in a written ‘Statement for the Record’ they filed as evidence. Mr. Best’s letter can be found here. A summary of the incident is here: Donald Best secretly (and legally) recorded call with lawyers Gerald Ranking, Lorne Silver

Mr. Best also wrote to the Executive of the Law Society of Upper Canada on November 28, 2012, alleging amongst other wrongdoing by lawyers, that:

“There is also strong forensic evidence that a series of threatening and harassing anonymous emails to my witnesses originated from the computer systems of one of the involved large Toronto law firms (Miller Thomson), starting in at least 2004 and carrying on for many years. There is strong documentary evidence that the Miller Thomson law firm was provided with this evidence in writing in 2009 and 2010, yet the firm’s lawyer, Mr. Andrew Roman, withheld the evidence from the judge during my case: all the while arguing that his client and firm were not involved.”

Best’s November 28, 2012 letter can be found here. A summary of the incident can be read here: Court evidence: Anonymous online threats against 82 year old widow originated from Miller Thomson Law Office

Mr. Schabas is the current Chair of the Proceedings Authorization Committee which decides which cases against lawyers should go to a Discipline Hearing. The following excerpts are from his campaign website PaulSchabas.ca:   Read more

Lawsuits allege police and attorneys jointly fabricated evidence, lied to court

Two unrelated lawsuits in the United States and Canada allege that groups of police and lawyers worked together as they fabricated evidence and lied to the courts to jail a person they knew was innocent.

Although the circumstances and people involved in the two lawsuits are entirely unrelated, both plaintiffs’ allegations share similar characteristics: a group of police and lawyers fabricated false evidence, but they didn’t know about secretly-made recordings that documented the truth.

“If there is one thing that can be gleaned from the Douglas Dendinger and Donald Best civil lawsuits, it is that police officers have no monopoly over lawyers when it comes to lying to the courts.”

United States: Douglas Dendinger

Louisiana plaintiff Douglas Dendinger was arrested and charged with battery, obstruction of justice and intimidating a witness after five police officers and two prosecuting attorneys jointly provided false evidence that they saw Dendinger physically assault and intimidate a police officer as he served the officer with legal documents.

Each of the police officers and lawyers fabricated a false story, providing statements or sworn depositions that Dendinger slapped or punched officer Chad Cassard in the chest with “violence, force”, and that Cassard “flew back several feet”.

These police officers and attorneys didn’t know that Dendinger’s relatives made two hidden videos during the service of the legal documents. Those videos conclusively prove that Dendinger calmly handed the legal papers to officer Cassard, who smoothly held out his hand and accepted service in a normal manner.

The group of seven police officers and attorneys jointly lied and provided a false narrative to support charges that could have put Dendinger away for the rest of his life. Dendinger, who spent one night in jail, filed a civil lawsuit against the police and attorneys. The Washington Post reports But for the video…  WLTV reports Charges crumble after cell phone video uncovered

Canada: Donald Best

In the Best v Ranking lawsuit filed in Barrie, Ontario Canada, plaintiff Donald Best alleges that attorneys and police committed various wrongdoing, including fabricating false and deceptive evidence, lying to the court, committing a fraud upon the court by representing a phoney non-existent business entity, illegally hiring a corrupt Ontario Provincial Police officer ‘on the side’ to perform illegal acts and other misconduct.

One of Mr. Best’s allegations is that during a telephone conversation with lawyers on November 17, 2009, Best informed the lawyers multiple times that he had not received a certain court order. The lawyers even cross-examined Best about this very issue.

When the lawyers ended the telephone call with Best, they created as evidence an official ‘Statement for the Record’; falsely reporting to the judge that during the telephone call Best had told the lawyers that he had received and did possess the court order in question.   Read more

(Legally Made) Secret Recording: Ontario Provincial Police Detective Sergeant Jim Van Allen retired in 2010, not 2008. The lie that put an innocent man in jail.

Former Toronto police sergeant Donald Best alleges in his recently filed civil lawsuit that the OPP Professional Standards Unit concealed their fellow officer’s crimes and in February of 2013 falsely told Best that Detective Sergeant Jim Van Allen had resigned from the OPP in 2008.

In fact, Detective Sergeant Van Allen did not resign from the Ontario Provincial Police until October of 2010, a full year after he had illegally worked as an unlicensed private investigator against the plaintiff, Donald Best.

According to Best’s lawsuit, the above (legally made*) secret recording of a December 30, 2013 telephone call with retired OPP Detective Sergeant Jim Van Allen confirms that Van Allen was a serving police officer in charge of the Ontario Provincial Police elite Criminal Profiling Unit when in October 2009 he illegally investigated Donald Best ‘on the side’ to benefit one side of a civil lawsuit in Ontario, Canada.

Van Allen swore a deceptive and false affidavit in October 2009 that was used to convict and sentence the Plaintiff Donald Best to 3 months in jail. Conspicuously absent in the affidavit is the fact that Van Allen was, at the time, a serving OPP Detective Sergeant, who was being paid ‘on the side’ to illegally work as an unlicensed private investigator for a major Toronto law firm.

The Plaintiff, Donald Best, alleges that Mr. Van Allen’s fellow police officers in the OPP’s Professional Standards Unit covered up Van Allen’s crimes even though it meant an innocent man would go to jail.

Mr. Best’s Statement of Claim states:     Read more

Civil lawsuit alleges Canadian police expertise, information and resources illegally sold to major law firms

In Canada it is illegal for police officers to work as investigators for private interests.

The Criminal Code, Ontario Police Services Act, Ontario Private Security and Investigative Services Act and other laws prohibit police officers from working as private investigators. It is also illegal to hire a police officer as a private investigator.

Those laws, however, didn’t stop one senior Ontario Provincial Police officer from illegally working as an unlicensed private investigator ‘on the side’, nor did the laws stop a major Canadian law firm from illegally hiring him.

And those same laws didn’t stop other senior police officers from covering up their fellow officer’s crimes; even though their cover-up would send an innocent man to jail. This according to a recently filed civil lawsuit by a former police officer in Ontario, Canada.

Former OPP Detective Sergeant, criminal profiler Jim Van Allen (public domain photo)

Former OPP Detective & criminal profiler Jim Van Allen (public domain photo)

“According to Best’s lawsuit, James (Jim) Arthur Van Allen was a Detective Sergeant in charge of the elite Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Criminal Profiling Unit when lawyer Gerald Ranking of Fasken, Martineau DuMoulin LLP illegally paid Van Allen $2,699.93 to illegally investigate Best and provide the results to Ranking and other lawyers and their clients”

How can we be confident that our justice system will not be undermined by rogue police personnel taking money ‘on the side’ to perform investigations for business interests or to support one side of civil disputes? If the police and lawyers don’t obey the laws, what is to prevent a divorcing husband or wife from paying a local police officer ‘on the side’ to gather information about their ex-spouse for a family law case?

What is to prevent your business rival from secretly hiring police officers to assist in a civil lawsuit against you?
Read more

Donald Best secretly (and legally) recorded call with lawyers Gerald Ranking, Lorne Silver

In his Statement of Claim filed in Barrie, Ontario Canada, Donald Best alleges that on January 15, 2010, he was convicted of ‘Civil contempt of Court’ in absentia (in his absence) and sentenced to prison on the basis of false evidence presented to the Court by lawyers, including defendants Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver.

Among other falsehoods, the lawyers assured the Judge that Donald Best had told them during a November 17, 2009 phone call that he had received a copy of the Court Order dated November 2, 2009.

Unbeknownst to the lawyers, Mr. Best had secretly recorded his phone call with them.

Compare what you hear in the November 17, 2009 secret telephone call recording with what the lawyers told the Court on December 2, 2009, both orally and in their written ‘Statement for the Record’.

What the Lawyers told the Court about the November 17, 2009 call with Donald Best

On December 2, 2009, the lawyers informed Justice Shaughnessy that Donald Best said during their November 17, 2009 phone call with him that he had received a copy of the Court Order dated November 2, 2009:

From the ‘Statement for the Record’ that Ranking / Silver provided to the Court:

MS. RUBIN: Just to be fair to Mr. Best, my notes say that he indicated that he hadn’t received a copy of Justice Shaughnessy’s November 2nd order, and that he had asked for a copy to be sent to him.

MR. SILVER: I don’t think that is right, actually. I think he said that he got it for the first time last night.

MR. RANKING: Well, I don’t want to really get into… my recollection is similar to Mr. Silver’s, that he, indeed, indicated that he had obtained the court order, and that he, in fact, called the trial coordinator to find out about the material.

(See page 12 of the Ranking / Silver ‘Statement for the Record’ PDF 1.7mb)

Ranking / Silver submissions to the Court, December 2, 2009

On December 1, 2009, Donald Best wrote to the Court and to the lawyers, accusing the lawyers of lying in their ‘Statement for the Record’. Mr. Best’s December 1, 2009 letters are here. (PDF 627kb)

In Court on December 2, 2009, the lawyers rejected Mr. Best’s version of events as detailed in his December 1, 2009 letters, calling his version of the November 17, 2009 phone call ‘defamatory’:

Ranking:  We can’t find Mr. Best and it’s one of those invidious, and I don’t use that word lightly, situations where Mr. Best at his will can write to counsel, can make frankly defamatory remarks about Mr. Silver and I to the court without any affidavit evidence, and yet hide away somewhere and yet then expect us to jump over hoops and bring motions and keep corning back and bothering this court and your valuable time, which is indeed, as I say in my respectful submission, invidious.

December 2, 2009 official court transcript, pages 4/5

After receiving Donald Best’s December 1, 2009 letters containing Mr. Best’s version of the November 17, 2009 phone call, the lawyers assured the court that they rejected Mr. Best’s version of the call. The lawyers didn’t know that Mr. Best had secretly recorded the telephone call, and that Best’s ‘version’ of events was backed up with an accurate voice recording:

Ranking: it goes without saying that we (Mr. Silver, Mr. Ranking and Ms. Clarke) categorically reject Mr. Best’s version of events that day.

December 2, 2009 official court transcript, page 41

What Really was said during the November 17, 2009 call with Donald Best

What did Donald Best really say during the November 17, 2009 call?

As claimed to the Court by lawyers Ranking and Silver, did Donald Best state that he had received a copy of the judge’s order?

Listen to the secret November 17, 2009 recording, read the certified transcript of the recording and then decide for yourself. Here are some excerpts from the certified transcript of the secret recording:

Ranking: The judge ordered you to attend. You have a copy of Justice Shaughnessy’s order dated November the 2nd?

Best: I do not Sir.

Ranking: Pray tell, how did you …

Best: I do not. As a matter of fact, the court reporter told me yesterday that there’s all sorts of documents I don’t have, and..

(Page 4 of Certified Transcript Primeau, YouTube recording starts at 6:55)  Read more

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