Lawyer Richard Warman, who lost a lot of my support when I saw a film of him counselling a pie-throwing attack on an obviously insane British writer, is suing Ezra Levant, Kate McMillan, Kathy Shaidle, the National Post and the FreeDominion bloggers.
Here's the statment of claim.
This is a serious case.
If Levant et al can't prove Warman called Sen. Anne Cools a "nigger" and a "cunt" in an anonymous posting on a racist website, they lose $50,000 and costs.
If they can prove Warman made the post, Warman will be ruined as a lawyer and an activist.
It's not a lawsuit about Human Rights Commissions. They're peripheral to the issue, despite the bleats of the right-wingers.
Nor is it a fight over censorship, as I was orginally led to believe.
It's about being able to prove what you say and about the care you must take before you publish allegations that can wreck a person's life and career.
Free Dominion got the ball rolling by making the claim about Warman during the fight over the role of Human Rights Commissions as monitors/censors of journalists. If the claim is true, if Richard Warman did post the most viscious of insults on a web site to plant "evidence" and stir up shit, Free Dominion's post was an important piece of journalism.
But if the allegation is false, they went way over the line. So far, the only "evidence" is the testimony of a white supremacist who claims to know his way around computers.
The National Post will pick up the great bulk of the costs of this suit, unless the paper settles. The bloggers will need some financial help to handle their out-of-pocket costs.
For both sides, this is a winner-take-all.
If it defies the odds and goes to trial, it's going to be quite the show.