Monday, May 27, 2013

Bigger is Better

I told you about my geodesic dome a few weeks ago. I just finished a new one, and it's bigger. You can sit inside and smoke a cigarette or do whatever you want. Here is a picture of it:

I've put it up on Kijiji if you're interested in buying one.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Score: Green 1 - U of W 0

Yesterday I argued another motion before a judge. I told you about how the University filed a motion for Summary Judgement back in January, and we argued the motion last month. We're still waiting for the Master to announce his decision on that one. But yesterday we argued another motion before a different master, and this time he ruled in my favor.

This was my motion to strike out an amendment to their Statement of Defence which I told you about here. Parties are allowed to modify their pleadings but the rules say they have to get the other side's consent. They don't actually need consent for corrections to clerical errors, but they're supposed to get it for substantive changes. I don't know how they got the clerks at the Law Courts to accept their changes without presenting a signed consent form. They usually scrutinize you pretty closely when you come in with documents to file. Somehow they slipped this one in.

On a motion like this, both sides file Affidavits of Evidence, and then they file Briefs where they argue their case, citing relevant authorities. You can read my Brief over here. After both parties file their Briefs, they appear before a Master to set a date for the hearing. That's where we were yesterday. But Master Lee told us he had already read the arguments of both sides, and he didn't see any need to hold a formal hearing before a judge. He was ready to here our arguments and make his decision then and there. He gave us each five minutes to make our case.

Darcy and Deacon tried to make much of the fact that I had said on my blog I "wasn't sure" whether I would have opposed the motion if they'd asked for consent. I said that wasn't the point. They had slipped one past the Court and I had called them on it. It's like Scrabble when someone plays an illegal word. You challenge the word. If your challenge is upheld, your opponent forfeits a turn. If the word turns out to be legal, then you lose a turn. It's simple justice.

After we made our arguments, the Master basically said he agreed with me that they had intentionally tried to slip one past the system, and that there ought to be consequences. So he awarded me $500 in costs against the University. I'm not used to people agreeing with me, especially after making the rounds of the kangaroo courts of the U of W's internal procedures. It's a small victory but for the first time it's one for my side. We'll see what happens when Master Berthaudin rules on the Motion for Summary Judgement. That's a big one.

In the meantime, the University has filed a Motion to Strike on my lawsuit for defamation against Professor Bush. We're scheduled to argue that one on June 24th at 3:00 pm.  We'll see how that one goes.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

How to make a geodesic dome

I made this last week. I'm not going to tell you how but their was a fair bit of geometry involved:

If you want to buy one I've listed it on Kijiji.

EDIT: I thought I had it all figured out but here's a guy who's way ahead of me...

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Trouble in Paradise?

Yesterday was the first round in the actual court arguments of my fight with the University. I've been to court a dozen times already, but those were just formal appearances. Yesterday we argued a motion before a Master. Now we have to wait for the verdict.

This was the University's Motion for Summary Judgement, which they filed in January just days before I was about to begin discovery. A lot has happened since then. On January 11th I went to the home of Professor George Bush to try and serve him with a lawsuit for defamation, and his wife slammed the door on me and called the police. Then the University issued a no-trespassing order which I defied, resulting in them having me thrown in jail. In the meantime Professor Bush had gone to court to try (unsuccessfully) to get a restraining order against me on the basis of the "home invasion" of the 11th. Subsequently, I wrote up a new lawsuit accusing Professor Bush and his wife of defamation against me for claiming I tried to force my way into their home.

That lawsuit has been filed and served, and Brian Meronek of Darcy and Deacon has filed a Statement of Defence. You can read my claim against the Bushes over here; later maybe I will get around to posting the Statement of Defence. It's kind of interesting. Heather Bush denies that she "phoned" the U of W Security office to complain about me, but then goes on to say that whatever she said was justified on the basis that it was the truth. Only she doesn't actually admit that she even said anything. We'll see how that works out.

In the meantime, I was still holding on to the original lawsuit against George Bush...the one that prompted them to slam the door on me back in January. I never did get the chance to serve that one, because I was thrown in jail; and once I was out, the first order of business was to counter the accusation of home invasion. Once that was out of the way, and their Statement of Defence was on record, I then went downtown to Darcy and Deacon and served them with the original George Bush lawsuit, which deals with stuff he said about me in class in front of the other students. You can read that lawsuit over here.

There's one more case I have against the University. I've filed an Application for a Court Order instructing them to give me a grade on Assignment 5 from Professor Metz's course. I've posted the correspondence between myself and the University where Professor Metz claims that I did not complete the assignment, and I prove that I did. The University then said it doesn't matter if I did or I didn't, because they're not responsible for awarding grades to a student after he's been kicked out of school. I'm saying they are, and I'm going to court on that basis. You can read my Application here.

In the meantime, I was also appealing the F that Professor Bush gave me on this assignment. The Departmental Committee "reviewed" the grade and decided it was appropriate. So I appealed to the Senate Committee. After much prodding, I got them to admit that they ratified the F without even reading the paper (!). I was about to stick it to them when suddenly the chair of the Senate Committee, who had provided me with the damaging admission and assured me that I would be allowed to argue my case before his committee,  disappeared and was replaced by someone more sympathetic to the needs of the University. I think they call that "being a team player". Professor Moulaison found that there was no need for me to argue my case, as it was "obvious" that the only thing to do would be to have me re-submit the paper for the Departmental Committee. (So they could read the paper first before ratifying the F!). When I attempted to dispute this ruling, my appeal was abruptly terminated.

I haven't figured out exactly how I'm going to take them to court on this one, but I'm working on it. In the meantime, I'm waiting for Master Berthaudin to announce the his ruling on the Motion for Summary Judgement. I felt pretty good walking out of the courtroom, but you never know which way these things can go.

You may be wondering by now why I titled this post "Trouble in Paradise". It's a small point really, and it's something that came up in passing when Lindsay Mulholland was arguing the University's case. If I heard it correctly, she said something about the teachers (the Gordon Bell defendants, who were not participating in the Motion for Summary Judgement) being "ably represented" by another firm and I think she said that they wanted their part in the lawsuit to be separated from the university's defence.

I'm not able to quote any words to back up my feeling on this, but I got the impression that there was perhaps a disagreement in strategy between the two groups of co-defendants as to how they wanted to fight this case. And it would make a lot of sense. The way I see it, the University wanted to kick me out of the program without the need for a lot of messy procedural goings-on. So they found this clause in the Student Teacher contract which said the Principal had the absolute authority to remove a student from the school with no notice. (Ms. Mulholland made much of this clause in arguing her motion for Summary Judgement.) So they got Principal Arlene Skull to concoct a case against me, culminating in the ambush of Nov 21st 2011 when I was frog-marched to the curb and told never to come back to Gordon Bell.

Why would Arlene Skull participate in this scheme? My theory is that it's because she's a "team player", and if the Dean of Education tells here that this is what they want to do, she's going to do her part. And I have little doubt that if she expressed any reservations, the Dean would have told her not to worry, that they know what they're doing, that nothing can go wrong.

And now she's getting sued, and she doesn't like it. I imagine there's been a fair bit of acrimony between the University players and the schoolteachers over this. There's a certain irony in all this. I don't like it when people say "trust me". Even if they're well-meaning people who are on my side. I've come to believe in following my own instincts, even when people say I'm wrong. There are various reasons why this makes sense for me, and it came out once in a discussion with my colleagues at Gordon Bell, when they said I should "trust them" as to how to deal with a certain problem. I said: "I trust no one: I trust myself." This quote was later held up against me as an example of my bad attitude. But it's actually very good advice.

I'm guessing that there were some people who took part in the conspiracy against me who had some doubts about whether they ought to be doing what they were doing. But someone higher up said "trust me, we know what we're doing. Nothing bad can happen."  And later on, when things started getting sticky, they said: "Trust me. We'll get the case thrown out on summary judgement". Well,, we'll see how that works out. If you ask me, there are times when people should listen to their own internal voice, and follow my advice: Trust no yourself.