Welcome. Hear the secretly recorded phone calls that the judges refuse to listen to.

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

I woke this morning to discover that I have already had hundreds of visitors to my website since midnight as a result of a very inaccurate Canadian Press story published yesterday afternoon.

Inaccurate or not, I welcome the CP news story because millions of my fellow Canadians can now read about my legal case for the first time in the mainstream news media. If the visitor trend continues, by the end of today several thousand people will also visit my website, hear the telephone recordings that no judge will listen to and read the court documents that prove the simple truths about what happened to this ordinary Canadian.

Please don’t take my word for anything. I welcome your scrutiny. Examine the court documents, listen to the recordings, read the transcripts and then make up your own mind about what happened with my case. And why it happened.

Why it happened is so important.

If you are one of the tens of thousands of Canadians who have been forced to represent yourself against professional lawyers in family or civil court; if as a self-represented litigant you’ve been subjected to resentment, abuse or anger by judges, lawyers and court staff; if you’ve been denied access to justice or discovered secret backroom deals about your case; if opposing lawyers set you up or lied to the judge; if a lawyer took every dollar you had, accomplished nothing and then walked away without a care when the money ran out… know that you are not alone.

There are thousands of us. We are telling our stories, educating, organizing and advocating for major reforms to the justice system and the legal profession. My story is just one more – but it is a rather powerful one, even if I do say so myself.

The Beginning

While I was traveling in Asia in November 2009, I spoke via telephone conference call with senior partners from some of Canada’s largest law firms. I told them many times during the conversation that I had not received a certain court order that they claimed to have sent to me.

As soon as the call ended, these same lawyers fabricated a false ‘Statement for the Record’ court document and lied to the judge – swearing in writing and later orally in court that I had confessed to them during the telephone call to having received the court order. They swore they delivered the court order to me via courier at a Kingston, Ontario address. They did not know that I was in Asia at the time.

On January 15, 2010 the lawyers placed their fabricated false evidence before the Ontario Superior Court in a rushed hearing that I was unaware of and therefore not present for. No lawyer spoke for me. Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy believed the lawyers’ testimony as Officers of the Court, found me guilty in absentia (in my absence) of civil contempt of court and sentenced me to three months in prison and a fine. The court issued a warrant for my arrest and imprisonment.

Lawyers Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver lied to the court, fabricated evidence.

Lawyers Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver lied to the court, fabricated evidence.

Telephone Recording proves lawyers lied to the Judge.

Unfortunately for the lying senior partners, I had secretly (and legally) recorded our telephone conversation. This is why I can invite you to listen to the recorded conversation, and to read the certified transcript of that recording. Then you can compare that recording and the certified transcript to the false evidence that Toronto lawyers Gerald L. Ranking and Lorne S. Silver provided to the court to obtain my conviction.

Justice Shaughnessy’s dilemma and decision

Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

When I returned to Canada and petitioned the court to set aside my conviction – based upon the telephone recordings and other irrefutable evidence that proved the lawyers had fabricated evidence and lied to the court, Justice Shaughnessy was faced with a dilemma.

If he listened to the recording and considered all the new evidence, he would have to officially deal with the reality that these senior lawyers, Officers of the Court, lied to him to obtain my conviction.

So, Justice Shaughnessy declared that he would not consider any new evidence. He refused to listen to the powerful recording that would vindicate me and said that he was not the Court of Appeal. He said that my conviction would stand and that I should take any new evidence to the Court of Appeal.

I did not have a lawyer at this point although I desperately wanted and needed one. Upon the demands of the opposing lawyers, Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver, Justice Shaughnessy refused to grant me time to find a lawyer, even though it was Christmas and Hanukkah and most lawyers weren’t even returning calls.

I was forced by the court to self-represent in a case being rushed through the system by senior lawyers who had a personal interest in denying me time to find legal representation. They also had a personal interest in suppressing the recording and other new evidence. Against my will, the court forced me to be a self-represented litigant in a serious case where I faced three months in jail and did not want to self-represent.

Justice Shaughnessy did not allow me, a self-represented litigant, to cross-examine the very lawyers who lied to the court and provided the false evidence that convicted me. When Purolator Courier confirmed that the lawyers had never sent the purported package to me with the purported court order, the court denied me the right to demand that the lawyers provide the shipping documents, tracking number, signature receipt and invoice that would prove service. To this day they cannot provide this information because it does not exist. It never has. Purolator says so. Mr. Ranking and his secretary lied to the court about sending me the court order.

Sent to Prison – Denied the right to an Appeal

On May 3, 2013, Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy refused to overturn my conviction. He lifted the stay (temporary hold) on the warrant of committal he had signed on January 15, 2010. I was taken to prison where I eventually served 63 days – all in solitary confinement as I am a former police officer.

PART 2 of this series relates how I was denied an appeal because I could not pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs awarded to the lawyers on the foundation of their fabricated evidence and lies to the court.

To this day, every subsequent court has deferred to Justice Shaughnessy’s original conviction and his decision to not consider new evidence including the powerful voice recordings that vindicate me. No court allowed me to cross-examine the lawyers/witnesses who provided the evidence used to convict me.

Many years later, the courts still deliberately refuse to listen to the telephone recordings that conclusively prove the lawyers lied to Justice Shaughnessy. No judge has ever listened to the recordings – at least officially.

Donald Best


  • Judge Shaughnessy refused to look at the tape recordings and stated to Mr. Best to go to the court of appeal with his evidence. This judge erred. He had rendered the contempt in absenteeism There fore any evidence Mr. Best had when he appeared before the Judge would need to be considered then and there . . Not in a court of appeal. The judge erred and trampled on Donald Bests rights since he had no lawyer. This cannot be tolerated in our justice system. Judges cannot ignore the rights of individuals That is a charter of rights violation and a discrimination issue against SRLs.
    The very fact that these lawyers made up the affidavits that a judge allowed to convict is travesty of justice. They had a vested interest here. Once again lawyers cannot regulate themselves. If that fake private investigator accessed the police data banks then they knew Mf. Best was not in the country.
    Judge Shaughnessy was incompetent. He was rogue and he is a criminal. Accept that fact. His Judicial misconduct is fraud as it incarcerated an innocent man. . He covered up for crooked lawyers and a crooked cop. . He may have used the police to investigate Donald Best and that is criminal conspiracy.

  • Victoria Park

    Civil contempt requires beyond a shadow of a doubt proof that a person ignored the court order and based on the evidence put forth on this website Justice Shaughnessy did not have such proof. In fact the judge ignored affidavits that put the affidavits of the lawyers and the cop Van Allen in a very bad light.

  • Mr. Best you are not alone in your experience.

  • It sounds like a judge protected crooked lawyers and sent an innocent person to jail to do it. You’ve been publishing your story for a long time and naming the lawyers and your story is still here on the internet. they would get it taken down if they could but to do that they would have to start a court action and be questioned and they are not going to do that.

    Keep telling the truth Mr. Best.

  • Victoria Laidlaw

    Sad to have to say…but they were most likely only jealous of your name because you are the BEST having the courage to deal with an inferior justice system.

  • David K. Smith (Guelph ON)

    OK. I believe you the lawyers lied and you went to jail. Why did the TorStar not cover this story before? Libel chill is likely. Best of luck to you sir.