By Denis Rancourt
TABLE OF CONTENT
- Jury awarded damages of $350,000.
- Permanent injunction and take down order
- Plaintiff seeks judicial finding of contempt of court
- Strong case for appeal
- Need financial help and pro bono lawyer for appeal
- Trial judge's ties to the University of Ottawa
- Links to media reports
The last day of trial was June 6, 2014.
The six-person jury found that two 2011 blogposts on the U of O Watch blog were defamatory of Joanne St. Lewis.
The jury awarded $100,000. in general damages (the plaintiff wanted $500,000.), $250,000 in aggravated damages (equal to the amount requested by the plaintiff), and zero dollars in punitive damages (the plaintiff wanted $250,000. and to give half to the University of Ottawa), for a total of $350,000.
After the jury left, the trial judge made an order for a permanent injunction against me. The orders from the trial are HERE.
The judge's court order has forced me to remove my two blogposts complained of, and thus the links to these blogposts no longer exist: HERE, and HERE.
In addition the plaintiff, whose legal costs are paid by the University of Ottawa, orally submitted, through her lawyer, that a "show cause" hearing should be set to make a judicial finding of contempt of court against me, regarding documents published during the trial.
The judge ordered that there would be this "show cause" hearing on September 25, 2014.
The judge said in court that the September 25, 2014, "show cause" hearing could result in a jail sentence against me.
My desire is to appeal the result of the trial. I believe I have a very strong case for appeal. So does Cynthia McKinney who started the petition entitled "Give a Fair Court Hearing To Denis Rancourt": LINK-petition. The petition presently has over 900 signatures and over 200 comments.
I have a strong case because the trial judge cancelled my main ("Jameel") defence while I was trying to present it to the jury (LINK to statement on walking out of trial), and then, in his charge to the jury at the end of the evidence, the judge cancelled all my remaining defences by saying:
"The defendant has not introduced any evidence establishing a defence therefore there is no defence for you to consider."
In fact, the plaintiff had already introduced ample evidence supporting the legal defence of "fair comment", and I had explained this defence to the jury in my opening statement.
I need to raise enough money (approximately $20,000.) to pay for the required court transcripts (one cannot appeal without buying the court transcripts of the trial). And, I need to find a lawyer who will agree to do the appeal on a pro bono basis (i.e., for the public good).
The trial judge has all of his university degrees from the University of Ottawa, and is a regular and annual donor to the University of Ottawa (LINK to recusal motion court documents).
The judge gives money to the university that is using money to finance the plaintiff in the lawsuit; without a spending limit, "without a cap" in the words of president Allan Rock.
Media links in this case are:
LINK--May 15, 2014--Ottawa-Citizen
LINK--May 16, 2014--Ottawa-Citizen
LINK--May 22, 2014--Ottawa-Citizen
LINK--May 23, 2014--PressTV (TV and print)
LINK--May 23, 2014--SUN-News (TV)
LINK--June 5, 2014--Ottawa-Citizen (with video)
LINK--June 5, 2014--Ottawa-SUN (with video)
LINK--June 6, 2014--Canadian-Lawyer-Magazine
LINK--June 6, 2014--Ottawa-Citizen
LINK--June 6, 2014--Ottawa-SUN