Gowlings Partner Richard Dearden Suggests the U. of O. is Paying for the “House Negro” Case: St. Lewis v. Rancourt
Richard Dearden’s unethical and aggressive conduct in cross-examining Self-Defended witness, Denis Rancourt in the case of U. of O. Professor St. Lewis v. former U. of O. Professor Rancourt was posted about here on September 11.
On October 6 and 7, I attended the next two sessions in the case, which were hearings on motions submitted by Dearden to force Rancourt to answer questions from the previous cross-examination, delay a motion to impose mediation on the defendant, and quash the defendant’s bid to begin “discovery” (evidence production) on the case (link).
The effrontery of Mr. Dearden leaves onlookers alarmed and dismayed. To observe that this is what a renowned lawyer and Professor of Law behaves like in action is disturbing. Once again, Mr. Dearden strenuously insisted on his intention to use the presence of public observation of his courtroom behaviour cross-examining the defendant for the defendant’s own information as cause for malice and aggravated damages against the defendant.
At one point on Oct. 6, Dearden loudly pointed me out and identified me, a public observer at the court hearing, to the judge, the Court staff, and others in attendance, and stated that my Sept. 11 blog post was a “stunt” and that I was “completely abusing” my reason for observing the cross-examination that he conducted.
Dearden argued for a court-order to prevent observers at his next cross-examination, so that he can “cite them for contempt” when they come.
Dearden and the plaintiff, Joanne St. Lewis were accompanied by two assistants, and were at the court house from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday and from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday. That’s a lot of time (and a lot of money) for a team of lawyers from Gowlings, including partner Dearden.
I’ve asked Allan Rock to state if the University of Ottawa is paying for the case and submitted a formal motion to the University Senate to force him to answer, but Mr. Rock failed to show up the day that motion was set to be debated.
He didn’t say how much this Dearden is costing the University, either.
Interesting that Dearden flies off the handle about how he will use practically every action of the defendant, from simply defending himself on motions to attempting to have fair access to court processes like discovery to argue that the defendant is malicious toward the plaintiff and owes mounting aggravated and punitive damages to her.
Every action, that is, except for when the defendant accuses the University of Ottawa for paying for the litigation — on two subsequent court dates, Dearden made it crystal clear that he’s not going there on this point:
Thursday, the lawyer refused to answer Rancourt’s direct question about whether or not the University was paying, and strenuously attempted to convince the judge that his arguments in another case already proved that it’s not an issue for a university to fund a private litigation against an independent critic. On Friday, in response to Rancourt’s repeated statement that he believed the University of Ottawa was funding the case, Mr. Dearden said that it is “completely irrelevant who is paying Gowlings’ invoices.”
When each day in court costs the equivalent of a student’s tuition for (how many?) semesters of studies, it is relevant if Allan Rock is paying off Gowlings made man Dearden to wage a SLAPP suit against a critic of the institution.
It’s relevant to students, and it’s relevant to the University of Ottawa Senate. So own up, Rock, Ms. St. Lewis.