Warman vs Free Dominion and John Does – the Jury Trial (day 3)

Day 1′s events can be read here.

Day 2’s events can be read here.

Today is day 3 of the trial and, I am sad to report, I was not there for most of it.

Before day 2 came to a close, the jury had been excused so that the judge and the lawyers (and Mr. Smith) could discuss some technical details.  Much of it was very technical legalese and I must admit, I had a difficult time following it.

What it did drive home for me was just how physically strenuous being a trial lawyer is!

The first day of the trial had been long and exhausting, but, before they left, the judge gave the lawyers homework:  they were to write a short 1-2 page summary not of the facts, but from what positions they would be arguing the case.

Now, at the close of the second day, the judge gave out more homework!

And this time, it was not just a short summary:  the judge wanted each of the sides to look up precedent law on the technical bit they had been discussing and present him with it before the trial resumed today!

That is a lot of work, paying close attention to all the details of the trial and then having to spend the evening doing more detailed research – as well as work what had gone on in the courtroom into the next-day’s plans…you would have to be not just intelligent, but also have a lot of physical stamina in order to withstand this kind of a highly stressful workload.

But, again, I digress…

So, this morning had been more discussions between the judge and the lawyers and no presentation of evidence to the jury.  And, again, my lack of legal training is a sharp limiting factor on my ability to have followed the crux of it, but…this is the best I could glean.

The jury will be asked to rule if specific – certain, very specific – posts on the Free Dominion discussion forum (they keep referring to it as a message board) – if these constitute libel against Mr. Warman.

The problem is that these specific comments are in different conversation threads in different bits of the site, there are cross-references and soon, the mesh becomes very difficult to navigate.  Time-lines complicate things even more…  Yet, for the jury to render their decisions, things have to be as easy to follow as possible.  So, to the best of my understanding, they were discussing how best to achieve this, how best to organize the material for presentation to the jury.

The court adjourned while the counsel counseled their respective clients on the suggested organizational methodologies.

After all this had been agreed to by all the parties – an amicable process, at least when one watched it from afar, the court re-convened.  And – the judge made an exciting announcement:  we had another question from the jury!

Once they begin deliberating, will they have access to their original binders, with their notes in it?

This warrants a little explanation.

The jurors are permitted to take notes during the testimony, but are not allowed to take them out of the courtroom, for security.  Many of them have, indeed, been taking notes – either on note-pads or right inside the evidence binders, as they were following the testimony regarding the various posts and how they affected Mr. Warman and his reputation.  To the best of my understanding, the jurors were asking if they would have access to these same binders – with their notes in them – while they deliberate, which will, of course, not be inside the courtroom.

Justice Smith smiled and said the answer was yes.  Then, he asked the counsel if they think it would OK for them (judge and lawyers and Mr. Smith) to call the jurors in, give them the answer, but then excuse them until 2pm so that they (the judge, the lawyers and Mr. Smith) could finish going over the details of what and how organized and labeled and highlighted the ‘posts in question’ will be presented to the jury.

All agreed, the jury came in, got their answer, was dismissed till 2 and left.

And, even though my own load in just observing the process is much lighter than that of any other person there, I must admit, I was exhausted.  I am not very healthy and not being able to lie down for this long at a stretch, several days in a row, had taken its toll on me…I was tired, so very, very tired…

Plus my pen ran out of ink…

My backup pen was in the second bag from yesterday, which I had left in the car…

My backup backup pen was in the backup notebook, which I just could not find…

so, ladies and gentlemen, I apologize but, I, too left…

I hope to gather information on what happened after 2 pm from any observers who might have been there, but, up till now, I have not received any.

What I did do, however, was to try to get a perspective on how Mr. Warman behaved on the stand from a non-Aspie observer.  I am, after all, rather blind to social cues and body language, so I know my perceptions of how Mr. Warman performed on the stand are necessarily poor.

What I heard did not warm my heart.

It seems that Mr. Warman’s positioning himself as a victim was skilfully executed and that casually slipping in the ‘damaging’ (to him) information into what he said likely went quite unnoticed by the jury.

Let’s see what tomorrow brings!


UPDATE:  (at 22:22)  I have found my backup notebook with my backup backup pen!

Watch out for Obamazombies!!!


Remembering 9/11

Today, like most people, I spent time contemplating the events of September 11th, 2001.

The wound suffered on that day was horrific.

But, just like with many wounds, the initial injury pales in comparison to the long term damage.

So it is in this case.

Just look back over the last dozen years and see the erosion of freedoms we have permitted to occur as a result of Islamofacist attack!


Very sad…

Warman vs Free Dominion and John Does – the Jury Trial (day 2)

Day 1’s events can be read here

If you want to skip through my rant, please, do scroll down to the un-indented section!

Before I get into today’s events, there are several things I’d like to get ‘out there’.

First and foremost, I am quite sad and a little upset that I appear to be the only person who is coming to watch the trial and is daily reporting on it.  After all, I am an Aspie and, as such, have a non-typical way of perceiving the world around me.

People with Aspergers have, according to the latest research I am aware of, many more undifferentiated cells in our amygdalas (when compared with the neurotypical majority).  As such, we tend to both perceive and process what goes on around us a little differently than most people do.  At least two standard deviations from the mean differently….for most diagnostic norms.

So, I am fully aware that my perceptions and my parsing of what is happening in the courtroom is not how most people are likely to see it.  And, without another report from a more neurotypical person to which I could link for ‘control’, I am afraid that, despite my best abilities, I may not be painting as accurate picture as I wish I could!

So, I beg you to to bear with me as I briefly describe my ‘Aspie lens’ so that you can strip it off my account!

Most of us Aspies are rather blind to appeals to our emotions rather than our rational thought.  To the contrary, what other people perceive as display of emotion, we perceive as attempts at manipulation and are rather repelled by them.  Also, we usually have a very rigid sense of ‘fair play’ and given the choice between ‘doing the right thing’ and ‘helping our friend’ – should those two be in conflict – we will pretty unanimously pick the ‘doing the right thing’.

Of course,  what we consider ‘doing the right thing’ to be depends much on our upbringing and life experience.

I, myself, an am immigrant to Canada.  I escaped from a totalitarian dictatorship, where I was the daughter of a known political dissident and, because of this, I had experienced some rather unpleasant things from early on in my childhood.

Having lived under an oppressive, totalitarian regime, I have become fully aware that ‘a state’ cannot just oppress because that is a political construct.  Rather, it is always the ‘agents of the state’ – flesh and blood people – who carry out the actions of oppression against their fellow citizens on behalf of the state by enforcing the very laws  which restrict human freedoms.  And, these ‘agents of the state’ – more often than not – consider themselves to be upstanding citizens who are protecting society by upholding the laws of the land.  But, I digress…

Thus, I am an anti-slavery fundamentalist and a free-speech absolutist.  Yes, I truly think that even yelling ‘FIRE!’ in a crowded theater ought to be permitted speech, because the damage done by people being afraid to call out when they see some smoke, which later turns out to be a fast-spreading-fire, is potentially much, much greater than if they spoke freely and warned their fellow citizens of a potential danger!!!

Also, English is neither my first, second or third language, so, at times, I may be quite deaf to some linguistic nuances.

These are my biases and limitations – I state them here clearly and honestly.  Please, when you read my report, keep them in mind and try to apply your own lens to neutralize them!!!

The next thing I’d like to raise is (sorry if I come across as whining – I don’t know how to state this without sounding so wussy) the state of my health.

I am not exactly well.  At this point, I have outlived the MD’s ‘best predictions’ by several years already, so I count myself incredibly lucky for every day I am still here.  But, I do have physical problems…and, being out of bed for this many hours, two days in a row, is a very, very serious strain on me.

As such, I have had to take my maximum prescribed pain meds.  There is a saying ‘out there’ – thou shall not drink and blog!  Well, I may not be ‘drinking’ my meds, but that is a bit of a technicality…

Yet, I do know that there are many of you who are eager to read what had gone on in the trial today!!!

And, regrettably, I am the only one who seems to be reporting on this…and thus I do feel a sense of obligation to report what I had observed in the trial…

Unfortunately, I was a little late in arriving at the court-house today:  the jury trial had already been underway for a little over half an hour .  Yet, from what I have understood later, from the comments of others, the very first thing the brilliant Mr. Katz did was to have Mr. Warman clarify the ‘potential misunderstanding’ that Mr. Warman’s testimony of the previous day may have created.


The jury ought to form their opinion on true facts, not accidental mistakes.

The whole day’s testimony before the jury was taken up by Mr. Warman being up on the stand.  I have to say, that would be a physically stressful day!  Yet, he bore it well and the only signs of fatigue I noticed was that, while he had been speaking so fast on day one that one of the jurors had to ask him so slow down, by the end of the day today, he spoke much slower than in the morning.

And, towards the day, as he spoke, he was making more grammatical errors in his sentences.  Minor ones, like who/whom, and so on, but I am a bit of a grammar-nazi (I plead Aspie!), so each one struck me.

Otherwise, he appeared as fresh at 4 o’clock as he had when I walked into the room.

Again, just like yesterday, Mr. Katz talked Mr. Warman through the various threads on the Free Dominion website where Mr Warman explained the context, timing – in relation with communicating with the defendants, too – what he found defamatory and why.  This had the jury flipping from tab to tab in these huge, thicks binders of evidence.

Alas, without one, I could not follow it as closely as the jury, so I’ll not even attempt to go into the details.  Instead, I’ll report on the few instances where this ‘normal’ state of things was interrupted.

For example, when the court convened after lunch, before the jury had been brought in, with an indulgent smile on his face, Justice Robert Smith announced that he had a question from the jury!

He tore open the brown envelope in which it had been delivered and read it out.   At the beginning of the trial, the jury had been instructed not to do independent research on any of the subjects of this trial because it must be judged on what is presented in the courtroom and not elsewhere.  But, this question was not about Mr. Warman or Free Dominion or any of the John Does themselves…

Rather, the juror wanted to know if they could do independent research to learn what the libel laws in Canada actually are.

The judge said it seems like the jurors might seek to know the law in order to have context for the testimony before them. But, it would be difficult to do quickly – the full instruction to the jury is usually at the conclusion of the testimony and is long and complex, and could not really be done at this point.  Perhaps he could give a general idea…

Barbara Kulaszka, the counsel for some of the defendants, thought it would be better for the jurors to listen to all the evidence without this framework, so they don’t accidentally shut information they mistakenly thought was irrelevant.

There was some back and forth between the Judge and the lawyers on this.  Justice Smith ensured that he also asked Mr. Smith’s opinion (as Mr. Smith is representing himself), but Mr. Smith deferred to the judge’s opinion.

In the end, the judge did indeed give the jury a very general framework for what these laws are, but he was cautious to point out that, like in every profession, these terms are all technical terms that have very specific meanings in the legal context, meanings which may differ from the general usage of those terms.

So, he briefly outlined the law and the defenses, but told the jurors that he will not only explain it better later, he’ll give them all the definitions in writing so they will be able to refer to them in their deliberating.

But, I am out of temporal sequence here…

First the question came, the judge and counsel discussed it, and the jury was sent for.  But, instead of the jury, another question came:  now, one (or, perhaps more) juror wanted to know if they may visit the Free Dominion site itself.  This, of course, was a simple ‘no’.

Thus, when the jury did come in and the judge was giving them answers, he answered question 2 first, then the more complex question 1.

One thing that struck me about Mr. Warman’s testimony was that, over and over, he insisted that any claims that he was damaging people’s lives with his actions, were false.  To him (or, so I perceived), this was about personal accountability:  these people were saying things that it was illegal to say and he was a fine and upstanding citizen who simply made sure the laws of the land were applied to them.  It was the duty of righteous citizens, like himself, to protect the society at large from those citizens who speak things that are illegal to say.

I am, of course, describing here how I perceived Mr. Warman’s testimony – these are not his direct words, just my understanding of them.

Yet, this was a recurring reference that he kept making – he was just enforcing the laws!

Therefore, any reference associating him with an agent of a totalitarian state enforcing unjust laws on the citizens, like the Stasi, SS or Stalin’s goons, is completely unfounded.

At one point, he did mention that Section 13 (often referred to in the media as ‘the censorship provision’) of the Human Rights code may have been ‘gotten rid of’ (here, I did not perfectly follow the details, just the bigger meaning, but I think it was gotten rid of because so many people thought it to be unconstitutional), that it is still the law of our land until next summer.  So, it was perfectly proper for him to lay ‘Section 13’ complaints against people who said illegal things and it is not he, but the people who said the illegal things that is the cause of their suffering.

There was one point in particular that stands out in my mind.

He was speaking about some woman (I did not catch the name – my apologies) who said illegal things and whom he had brought a ‘Section 13’ complaint against, but who later claimed that Mr. Warman had ruined her life.  I don’t even know whom he had been referring to, much less what it was she had said that brought this upon her, but it was clearly illegal and Mr. Warman testified that she was no misguided young girl but a full-out baddie who claimed that these illegal-to-say things (I don’t want to repeat the things and accidentally re-publish them, because, from what was said in the trial, this, too, might land me in trouble…thus the self-censorship)….lost my thread, sorry.

So, Mr. Warman testified that this woman said these ‘illegal-to-say-things’ were her deeply held beliefs and formed the core of her self-identity.  So, the Tribunal did what it always does (I do believe the term ‘boilerplate’ was used) and issued a ‘cease and desist’ against her (sorry, lack of legal term understanding here, but I understand it to mean a lifetime gag order).  So, if in the future, this bad woman were ever to say aloud or write the things she believes and which form the core of her identity, she would indeed be jailed.

What struck me was how cold and clinical he was as he said this, as if he did not realize the implications of what he was saying.  He made it seem ‘matter-of-fact’ and ‘normal’.

At this point, my stomach clenched, my head began to spin…

There is more, but I am too upset to type now….perhaps I’ll update more when my hands stop shaking…