Day 5 will be written up later, as writing it up may affect the trial…
If you read the account of Day 6, you will have read that I struggled with traffic and lack of parking…
Well, today, on Day 7, I left plenty of time, altered my routes, but… as the trial started later than yesterday, more parking lots had filed up!!! As a result, I had to park even further away… and, if I may be blunt, I am not too good at walking.
I kept calming myself by the thought that in this particular court case, every morning, before any ‘real action’ starts, there are ‘procedural matters’ to take care of, so I was hoping not to miss much. Yet, as I burst into courtroom #33 just a few minutes past 10 am where and when the court was due to resume, Dr. Baglow was already on the witness stand, being cross examined by ‘the CCLA guy’.
‘The CCLA guy’:
‘The CCLA guy’s’ name is Steven G. Frankel: and, despite having admitted during a conversation yesterday that he is 30 years of age, I maintain that he does not look a day over 15!!! That is a statement on his youthful good looks – not his ‘presence’: when he opens his mouth, you can feel he is an alpha male, with all that this implies! And brilliant!!!
If you are a fan of the legal ‘scene’, I would recommend keeping an eye on Steven G. Frankel – I predict that one day, he WILL head up the Supreme Court of Canada!!!
Here, I am going on both his presence in the courtroom and also from observing him in consultations with other, much older/more senior lawyers: this guy is brilliant, quick and self confident. Hands down, he is the most brilliant young lawyer I have ever (in my admittedly limited experience) seen!!!
Plus he is a fan of Zelda – just like my kids!!! How much more awesome could one get?!?!?
Yesterday, during Day 6, when the self-represented Connie Fournier was having trouble phrasing a question properly, he just could not help himself, jumped up and, when the judge acknowledged him, offered a re-phrasing…. I think the judge really likes him, as he is intervening as a ‘friend of the court’ and in my never-humble-opinion, madam justice Polowin relies on his advice. I suspect she sees in him the same brilliance I do….
But, I am getting ahead of myself!!!
As I got off the elevator on the 3rd floor, rushing towards courtroom #33, I could not help but be a little bit slowed down by what I saw just outside the courtroom: a whole pile of people, some sitting down with a protective hand on huge protective plastic crates, many others milling about nervously, wearing police uniforms – bulletproof jackets and all!
For a moment, I thought I had landed in alternate reality!!!
Note to self: cut down on playing RPG games – it trains the imagination to go too far!!!
Then I realized that the metal detector ‘doorway’ and armed security guard was in front of courtroom #34 – not #33!!!
Later inquiry showed that in courtroom #34, Justice McKinnon was presiding over the criminal case of Regina (Crown) v. Ahmed, Misbahuddin (case # 10-30345) and that the hearing was in the 3rd of 8 scheduled weeks of hearings….
Is there not at least a touch of irony for this civil case, in which Dr. Baglow is suing everyone in sight for defamation for a 7-word exclamation that he was ‘a vocal supporter of the Taliban’, was being held right next door to the criminal case of a highly trained medical professional being tried for Islamic terrorism?
Back to the case in hand…
I burst into the courtroom with notebook and pen in hand, so as to cause as little disruption as possible.
Aside: if, through reading my accounts, you have formed the impression that I have difficulty being on time – you would be absolutely correct!!! After all, I had started a small business and ran it for a decade before my kids’ needs became great enough for me to sell it and become a stay-at-home-mom – the best, most rewarding career ever!!!! But, I have been told that only people who completely underestimate how long ANYTHING will take would be foolhardy enough to start a small business….hence, I always underestimate how long it will take me to get anywhere….
Moments after I settled into a central seat (so as to offer me the best view of ‘everything’, I had shed my blazer. it was warm -so warm in there! The word ‘pressure-cooker’ came to my mind: how much worse it must have been for all the lawyers and judge: not only were they all clothed in black, they also wore the heavy woolen robes that differentiate lawyers, judges and court officials from the rest of us ‘unwashed masses’!
How glad was I of my plebeian status – I could shed my outer shell of clothing and reduce my heat-suffering…
While on the topic of clothing…
Connie Fournier wore a very feminine, short-sleeve blazer in spring green which was adorned by a broach made of the same navy-blue-cloth-with-tiny-spring-green-dots that her flattering dress was made of.
Mark Fournier looked fine in his blazer, black slacks and striped shirt/tie. He was bristling with energy!
Dr. Baglow (by the way, his doctorate is in poetry – thank you, Dr. B., for letting me know) was elegant in his black suit, another open collared blue shirt and, of course, his signature spic-and-span riding boots! A man in his prime.
For all his elegance, Dr. Baglow looked a bit flushed as I walked in – as I missed the bit that caused this, I cannot report on it – my apologies. Mr. Frankel was in full swing!!!
Oh, how I wish I could have observed Mr. Frankel’s face as he worked his cross-examination! But, the way the courtroom #33 is set up, there is one table for the attorneys/parties, and they sit with their back to the audience. The judge faces us all, as does the witness, but the lectern for the attorney speaking is facing the witness box, not the audience… Still, Mr. Frankel was dynamic and projected a presence that is hard to describe – just throw all the positive attributes you can think of at it and it will partially paint the picture.
As Mr. Frankel is intervening as ‘friend of the court’, he was suggesting different ways to help madam justice Polowin ‘get’ the blogosphere and message forums and the whole milieu. Perhaps hooking up some visuals to the screens in the courtroom, demonstrating how things work (as madam justice repeatedly asserted she will never ever herself visit the blogosphere)… Madam justice seemed quite happy about that suggestion and recommended this take place during the next block of days of hearings in this case.
Mr. Frankel was in full stride, getting the witness to explain the difference between blogs and a discussion forum, successfully describing in great detail just how many layers of menus one has to drill down through before one can actually see ‘comments’. In my never-humble-opinion, this was groundwork for establishing just how nested – and difficult to come across accidentally – the ‘comments’ on various threads on Free Dominion were.
Jumping ahead – way ahead, to re-direct: Mr. Burnet, Dr. Baglow’s lawyer, tried to neutralize this during the re-direct (when the lawyer gets to ask his client questions to neutralize the cross examination): Mr. Burnet went to ‘hyperlinks’ and just how easy it is to embed them into text – and that they will take you to the precise page, without all the nesting…. It took madam justice Polowin a lot to try to understand this – much back and fort, questions, answers from lawyer, plaintiff (witness) and all that – until Mr. Frankel pointed madam justice to a section in his own submission which deals with the jurisprudence on hyperlinks and explains the mechanism.
A bit of humour: Mr. Frankel used the example of Montreal Canadiens hockey team for this – as a true-born Montrealler! Madame justice responded that though she, too, is a born Montrealler, she is a Boston Bruins fan – as her longtime boyfriend was from Boston…. Yes, it was an illustrative example – but it also injected a bit of humanity into the hearing….
Much of the next bit of cross examination was designed to demonstrate to the judge just how internet forums worked. The post ‘Yokels with pitchforks’ was used as an example…
More coming later today…