Friday, May 23, 2008

Free Dominion's Defence in the Warman Lawsuit

This is a very interesting piece of legal writing. It's the Fournier (Free Dominion) statement of defence in the lawsuit filed by former Human Rights Commission employee Richard Warman against Ezra Levant, Free Dominion, Small Dead Animals and the National Post. There are some challenging ideas about free expression on the Internet that I doubt an Ontario court would agree with. There's also a lot of information -- allegations, for now -- about Warman's "work" on the Internet. If that stuff can be proven, it would be devastating to Warman's case and career. If not, well, the defendants are out $50K and costs. So far, they're pretty low but that will change as time goes on.
It should make for an interesting trial, a real winner-take-all, loser-is-ruined experience. Like I said, it should. But the more I think of this case, the more I wonder about the common sense of the parties involved in getting into this mess in the first place.
One thing to keep in mind: Richard Warman wins if he simply says "prove it" and they can't. The onus is completely on the publishers to prove the statement complained about is true. If they try to prove the claim and they can't, it makes things very much worse for the defendants when the issue of costs somes up.
The work done by Buckets still convincingly calls into question Klatt's IP evidence against Warman. I've run Buckets work past one of my computer nerd friends in Ottawa and he says Buckets is right.
The Fournier statement of defence is much more complex, dealing both with Warman's mischievous behavior, including the pie incident in BC, and with other Internet postings. The bloggers seem to have Warman dead to rights in the pie attack on the poor demented British writer who thinks the Queen is a space alien. They also raise Warman's regrettable attempt to pressure libraries in BC to remove certain books, the reaction of the libraries involved and the decision by the BC government to amend the Libel and Slander Act to protect librarians.
This statement of defence is a much better piece of writing than the National Post defence, which boils down to an attempt to pass carelessness off as sound journalistic practices.

3 comments:

Blazing Cat Fur said...

Loser is ruined? In Warmans case yes I would agree, as for the defendants, no. Regardless of the suits outcome, the good guys win and the cause is advanced.

bigcitylib said...

I have been given the impression that the segments of the Ickes documentary are shown in an order other than strictly temporal.

And buckets (and me) are also right about the whole "hacked wifi" thing being a crock. When the RCMP investigation gets wrapped up, I am praying, PRAYING, that some of the CHRCs employees, who have been accused of criminal activity on several blogs and in Macleans (in one case by name) sue, sue, sue.

Anonymous said...

I thought you were working on global warming bigcitylib. Nice of you to take the time to comment, what with your important work and all. :)~