Sticks and Stones

This web site has gotten right up Rogers' nose. And now it's cited prominently on the Wikipedia pages devoted to Ted Rogers, Rogers Wireless, and Rogers Communications. Rogers and are now deeply linked.

No doubt, if I were a lawyer, something could be done about it. An attempt could be made, for example, to discipline me through the law society. Tea party though this web site is, it's perhaps a wee bit rude and gossipy, maybe not entirely becoming of the dignity that lawyers would like to have attributed to the profession. I've told my students, qua future lawyers, not to try this at home. They might raise the Law Society of Upper Canada's hackles: the Rules of Professional Conduct.

In fact no doubt, if I were a lawyer, I would be sufficiently worried about my reputation within the community that I wouldn't venture to flout the conventions of decorum and the established norms of courtesy that constrain the profession from making a public display of itself.

It's no secret that vexes Rogers. Rogers repeatedly entered written pleadings complaining about this web site into the court record; and Rogers' lawyers have made several oral attempts to complain to the court about its content and existence. These oral attempts have been met by judicial pronouncements on their irrelevancy in law - none more categorical than at the very end of the trial.

After Rogers had lost on every substantive issue in the trial, the court turned its attention to the matter of costs. At this juncture, Rogers' motions lawyer timorously stood up (his client having just been whacked with a humiliating punitive damages order against it) and suggested that, as the judge was going to reserve her reasons on costs, might she take into account the fact that I had set up a web site in which I had made derogatory comments about both Rogers and the lawyer's law firm.

Did the plaintiff say some not nice things about Rogers on her web site? Judge Thomson asked sarcastically. Has she not been loving and kind?

Judge Thomson speculated in response that I might well have made derogatory comments about her as well on the web site. She never stooped to look at it. She had seen the numerous references that Rogers had made to this web site in written pleadings to the court record. She didn't really care about the existence of a web site. "That's the difference between you and me," she told the lawyer.

The motions lawyer, brave soul, gathered the courage to draw the judge's attention one more time to this indecorous virtual tea party: "If you would just take that into consideration when you're reserving your judgment on costs. May I pass them up to you? I've printed copies of her web pages."

"No," retorted the judge. "I saw them somewhere in there and I have not read them. And I will not."

At this point, she turned to me and (I thought I detected a wink) said she had no interest in reading what's on this web site: "I might get MAD!!"