Richard Dearden and ‘Subversion of Justice’ :: Keeping an Eye on Canadian Lawyers ::
I and other members of the public attended the September 6 cross-examination of self-represented defendant, former U. of O. professor Denis Rancourt, by lawyer Richard Dearden. Mr. Dearden acts as counsel for professor Joanne St. Lewis in the St. Lewis v. Rancourt “house negro” defamation lawsuit (link).
Mr. Dearden included my September 11 blog post in his October 6 submission to the court in a motion intended to force the defendant to answer questions from the cross-examination, and he used the post as reason to ask the court Master (judge) MacLeod to order that no one but the plaintiff, defendant, and their lawyers could appear at the next cross-examination.
You gotta wonder, though, how a lawyer for a plaintiff can reasonably be permitted to exclude the public from cross-examination of a defendant’s own personal information that he agrees should be open to any observer, as was the case for the follow-up cross-examination ordered by Master MacLeod for October 14.
As Justice Perell wrote in a decision last April (link – see par. 147), regarding cross-examinations on affidavits:
“In asking for an undertaking, the examining party runs the risk associated with cross-examinations that the answer to a question may not help his or her case, and unlike evidence from an examination for discovery, the examining party does not control what use can be made of the transcript from a cross-examination of a deponent for an application or motion.”
So St. Lewis and Dearden didn’t control the information exposed at the cross-examination, the defendant wanted it public, and bloggers wanted to comment. Sounds fair to me?
Mr. Dearden agreed in principle in 2005, commenting on another case:
What the court says is that ‘All court orders that limit freedom of expression require persuasive evidence that the administration of justice would be subverted without the order,’ and that’s a high test.” – Richard Dearden in The Lawyers Weekly (link)
When will President Allan Rock tell us if the University of Ottawa is funding professors Dearden and St. Lewis to continue saving the “administration of justice” from subversion by critics of the university (link, link)?