Thursday, August 15, 2013

Things get nastier and nastier.

I haven't posted for almost three weeks. It's not that nothing's been happening...quite the contrary. It's just that there have been a lot of intricate maneuvers involving myself and opposing counsel, and I didn't want to queer the outcome by spilling things in public unnecessarily.

But hey...what the heck.

When we left off last, I was telling you how I had extended feelers to former U of W Veep John Corlett to see if I could examine him for discovery. Mr. Meronek, counsel for the U, didn't like that at all. He wrote me back, with a copy to Mr. Corlett, using language that I thought implied that I had no business trying to subpoena Mr. Corlett.

I didn't think that was right, and I wrote Mr. Meronek telling him so. Mr. Corlett was my witness, and I was going to have enough trouble to convince him to come all the way from Edmonton  and testify for me without Brian Meronek butting in and questioning my right to examine. (Which is my right.) Anyhow, after telling you all that, it seemed there was nothing left to do but post the actual exchange of correspondence between us. Which I did.

But it didn't end there. In my last letter, I told Mr. Meronek that I though he should write Mr. Corlett back and clear up any wrong impressions he might have left about the way Examination for Discovery is supposed to work. Did Mr. Corlett agree to my request? He did not.

Here is what he wrote back:
Mr. Green;
     I remind you that I was copied on your exchange of emails with Mr. Corlett. I responded to both you & Mr. Corlett as to my position on behalf of the University. I was clear & direct. I cannot prevent you from reading in any innuendo you wish to conjure up, which seems to be your wont. Nevertheless, let me repeat, I will resist any attempt on your part to examine Mr. Corlett as a representative of the University given the fact that he is no longer associated with the University.
    As to Affidavits of Documents & Examinations for Discovery, again let me repeat ,until the Appeal of the decision of the Master is dealt with, we will oppose any attempt at Discoveries. You are incorrect in stating that there are no interlocutory motions outstanding . As you have filed a Motion to strike out the Statement of Defences, you will have every opportunity to argue your position.
    Furthermore, if you think I am intimidated by your threat to lodge a complaint to the LSM, you are sadly mistaken; although from my vantage point, it will be nothing more than another unnecessary distraction. I would also observe that in the absence of such a complaint , it is not appropriate to include Mr. Fineblit in this exchange.
     Lastly, I would ask you to refrain from copying my client, Mr. Morrison, on future communiqu├ęs & leave it up to me to make the requisite contacts with my client.

So Mr. Meronek claims that since he is appealing my victory on his Motion for Summary Judgement, that all other proceedings are on hold until then. Well, I don't think he's right about that. In fact, I went ahead and filed a motion in which I ask the court to compel him to cough up answers to the written Interrogatories which I filed last November, and which were indeed put on hold while his original motion for summary judgement was before the courts. But that motion was resolved in my favor: and according to the Queen's Bench Rules, there is no automatic stay of proceedings pending an appeal of such a motion. And when we appeared before the Master on August 2nd, that's just what the Master told Mr. Meronek. My motion is going fact, that's the motion he refers to in his letter when he says there is an "interlocutory motion outstanding".  It's a strange case of circular reasoning...first, he refuses to respond to the interrogatories; then, when I file a motion to compel him to respond, he says he doesn't have to because there's a motion before the court. Interesting. We'll see how that works out.

Then he accuses me of conjuring up innuendos in my head. Okay, that's fair comment. What innuendos did I impute to his letter? Quite simply, I objected to the suggestion that Mr. Corlett would be under no obligation to testify, even if I should subpoena him; and that there was something improper about my attempts to do so.

I've re-read Mr. Meronek's letter again and again, and I think he does give those impressions. But if I'm wrong...if it's just something I've conjured up...wouldn't it be simple for him to clear the air by explaining to Mr. Corlett that although the University will do its best to prevent him from having to testify, that it is indeed my right under the rules of discovery to name an ex-employee as the university's designate?

But Mr. Meronek is not willing to say that. Instead, he compounds the wrong by saying that I have conjured this up out of thin air "as is my wont". As is my wont?

And then he complains because I sent a copy of my response to Colin Morrison, the Univerity's house lawyer. Well, I don't see how he's entitled to make these kinds of derogatory comments about me and spread them all over the email, and I'm not allowed to respond to the same people. So I wrote him back as follows:

Dear Mr. Meronek:

As you know, I have been trying since last year to examine Mr. Corlett on behalf of the university. Those attempts were temporarily put on hold while your motion for Summary Judgement was before the courts. As you know, that motion was resolved in my favor last month. Accordingly, I contacted your office on several occasions to make arrangements for the resumption of the discovery process. You did not respond to my repeated inquiries.

I therefore took the step of approaching Mr. Corlett directly, and he indicated his willingness to comply with his legal duties, although not surprisingly he did not wish to appear to be taking sides in this dispute. I informed him, to the best of my abilities, as to what I thought were his legal duties; and since I am not a lawyer, I copied the correspondence to your office so you would be able to correct any errors that I might have inadvertently made. I even suggested to Mr. Corlett that you would most likely be willing to advise him on his situation if he so requested.

I was therefore dismayed to see that you had copied him the letter you wrote me on Monday, which seemed to me to suggest that I ought not to be contacting him at this stage of the proceedings, and that he ought not to be appearing on behalf of the University. I expressed this concern to you, and you characterised it as an "innuendo" which I had "conjured up". Perhaps it was; but in that case, it should have been easy for you to dispel that innuendo by advising Mr. Corlett, as I suggested, that I did indeed have the right to name his as the University's designate on discovery.

You did not do so. In fact, your subsequent letter compounded that innuendo. If you believe I am not entitled to call Mr. Corlett as  the University's witness, I urge you to so advise him; in which case I will indeed complain to Mr. Fineblit that you are interfering with my witness. In the meantime, I feel it is an improper innuendo which you ought to clear up in my favor, and you ought to do so immediately.

I am further dismayed to see that you have characterized me as a person who is prone to "reading in any innuendo (you) wish to conjure up". It is perhaps fair comment to claim that I misread the intent of your letter of Monday the 21st (although I do not believe I did); but I cannot for the life of me see how you are justified in telling Messrs. Corlett, Morrison, Fineblit, Bock and Mackwood that such behavior is my "wont". I must therefore insist that you retract this gratuitous and unnecessary allegation.

Once I am satisfied that you have done so, I will remove Mr. Morrison from this distribution, as you requested in your previous email. In the future, if you wish to copy our correspondence in confidence to a third party, I suggest you use the "Bcc" function in your email program, as I do when I find myself in similar circumstances.

Marty Green


  1. I am so angry at what you have had to endure at the hands of the University!!! It makes me sick. These "people" make me sick. Fight on. I hope you win Marty! You would make one hell of a lawyer-the heck with teaching-go into Law.

  2. Thanks, Anonymous. I appreciate the good wishes. It's true that I've been treated very badly; but let's not forget that much worse things happen to people every day, and the vast majority are in no position to do anything about it. The only thing that makes me special is I have the savvy to make a fight of it, and the inclination to see it through.

    If I do make a go of this thing, it could set some pretty interesting precedents. There isn't much in the existing case law to encourage people to take on the universities, but I've got a few new angles on things and I'm looking forward to having my day in court. Of course, I could still lose in the end, but in the meantime I feel like I'm holding my own. We'll have to see how it works out.