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Professor Joanne St. Lewis Maintains Demand for Legal Fees from Student

April 5, 2012

The two e-mails below were in response to Joseph Hickey’s April 2, 2012 e-mail to Professor Joane St. Lewis requesting that she withdraw her demand for $3,876.95 for her legal fees, which are paid by the University of Ottawa.

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From: Joseph Hickey
To: Professor Joanne St. Lewis
Cc: Members of Senate, lawyers
Date: April 5, 2012
Subject: Re: Take Down Notice – Prof. Joanne St. Lewis: Please withdraw legal fee demand on student re: court transparency

Dear Professor St. Lewis,

This situation is all the more perplexing, given your highly recognized dedication to social justice, which includes:

● Your opposition to Israeli apartheid and your support for justice for Palestinians;
● Your membership in the International Founding Committee of The Real News alternative media network; and
● Your many other social justice initiatives.

All I wanted in the March 28 motion was 20 minutes to express my arguments for public observation of President Rock’s testimony about the use of public funds in your lawsuit.

Instead of simply allowing the judge to hear me, your lawyers opposed me, using half a day of valuable court time, at everyone’s expense.

The judge found no malice in my attempt to have my say, yet your lawyers insisted on demanding punitive and, in my view, excessive court costs against me (one third of my annual salary).  How your lawyers, who are national leaders in intervening for the media, could have spent 10 hours “researching” how to oppose my intervention is beyond words.

Ms. St. Lewis, I continue to appeal to your sense of justice to call off your lawyers’ demand.

Rather than openly engage in this community discussion, you have chosen to answer through the mouth of your lawyer, with the misrepresentations that one might expect.

Let have an open, respectful, and transparent community discussion about this rather than engage in legal threats.  We need to hear from you Professor St. Lewis.

Sincerely,
Joseph Hickey
M.Sc. candidate, Physics

Graduate Student Representative to University Senate, Sciences section

Cc: Members of Senate, concerned community members, Richard Dearden, Peter Doody, Denis Rancourt

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From: Richard Dearden (lawyer for Joanne St. Lewis)
To: Joseph Hickey
Cc: Members of Senate, lawyers
Date: April 4, 2012
Subject: Take Down Notice – Prof. Joanne St. Lewis: Please withdraw legal fee demand on student re: court transparency

Dear Mr. Hickey:

Re:      Professor St. Lewis v Denis Rancourt

1.               I am writing you regarding the email you sent to my client Professor St. Lewis on April 2nd (“Re: Professor St. Lewis: Please withdraw legal fee demand on student re: court transparency”).

2.               You have communicated with my client directly about a costs application that is pending before Superior Court of Justice Smith (ie. the matter is sub judice). You copied over 70 persons with an email that states Professor St. Lewis will be committing an “unjust action” against you if she does not abandon her costs application pending before Justice Smith. . And most troubling, you published your April 2nd email on your Students-Eye-View blog for the world-at-large to read through the Internet.

3.               Professor St. Lewis’ application for costs against you is sub judice. Professor St. Lewis is entirely within her rights to seek costs against you. I will be informing Justice Smith about your conduct in our Reply to your Costs Submissions that is to be served on me on or before April 17th. In the meantime, I am notifying you to take down your April 2nd publication. I am also notifying you to cease communicating with my client directly. You knew I acted for Professor St. Lewis yet you did not copy me on your email and chose instead to copy over 70 other people. And as a result of your failure to copy me on your email i cannot “reply all” to reach all of the recipients of your email . Accordingly, please forward this response to every person that you sent your April 2nd email.

4.               Your email states that you have “previously attended and reported two out-of-court cross-examinations in this case”. You omitted the fact that Master MacLeod ruled that you had no right to attend those cross-examinations. Paragraph 19 of Master MacLeod’s ruling  of October 6, 2011 specifically dealt with the article you wrote about those cross-examinations as follows:

Mr Dearden also asks for clear direction as to who may attend at the cross examination. The need for that is demonstrated by the exhibit at p. 154 of the motion record. Certain individuals who are not parties to the action attended at the cross examination and refused to leave notwithstanding Mr. Dearden’s objections. One of these observers then posted comments on the internet describing the cross examination and attributing unethical behaviour to Mr. Dearden while also suggesting the plaintiff herself was somehow associated with evidence of wrongdoing at the university.

In paragraph 20, Master MacLeod decided that “it is quite clear that there is no right of the public to attend an examination out-of-court at the office of the special examiner or court reporter”.

5.               Your email makes reference to the fact that Professor St. Lewis is seeking substantial indemnity costs against you. You omitted the fact that I emailed you on March 20th and I notified you that I would seek costs against you on a substantial indemnity basis if you sought leave to intervene in that we would be required to conduct legal research and prepare submissions to oppose your attempt to get personally involved in this libel action to support your friend Mr. Rancourt. Notwithstanding my costs warning you proceeded with your motion to intervene which consumed almost half a day of court time.Your email also failed to mention that Justice Smith informed you of the risk of costs consequences in getting involved in litigation. Actions have consequences Mr. Hickey. I will be dealing with your conduct in Professor St. Lewis’ Reply to your Costs Submissions.

Richard Dearden
Partner
T 613-786-0135
richard.dearden@gowlings.com


Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP
Lawyers • Patent and Trade-mark Agents

gowlings.com

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