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.