My Horror Story
In an effort to mitigate, even the damages of those responsible, I have changed the names of various characters and the name of their business establishment.
I sold my business, Westside Refuse Collection, in
1991. My Realtor, Dell Arens of Sutton Group, referred me to
Marc R. B. Whittemore, to act as my solicitor in the sale. Mr.
Whittemore explained to me that the $72,000.00 that I would be
financing in the sale would be secured by acceleration clauses
which were provided in the sales contract.
I later learned that acceleration clauses are not
a form of security and are in fact, redundant without properly
registered security in place.
Needless to say
the purchaser defaulted.
I took my problem
to Quarry Law Partners, a law firm in Bedrock and Mr. Slate assured
me that Mr. Whittemore was responsible for failing to secure
the financed portion of the sale price. He agreed to represent
me in pursuing both the purchaser, Valley Waste Systems, and
their parent company, Consolidated Accord Capital, as well as
in filing a writ against Mr. Whittemore for breach of fiduciary
duty, among other things.
Mr. Slate assigned Barney Rubble, a junior lawyer in the firm,
to deal with the work and to be overseen by Fred Flintstone, a
more senior laywer with the firm.
trial was set for February 6, 1995 and in spite of the fact that
the writ against Mr. Whittemore was filed a year later than than
the writs against the purchasing company and their parent corporation,
and there was still no trial date set for them.
On February 2, 1995, Quarry Law Partners
withdrew as my counsel and submitted their bill of some
$ 14,000.00. That same morning, Fred Flintstone told me that there would be 5 cents remaining from a 7,500 dollar counter-offer, after paying their bill. Later that same morning, Barney Rubble explained
that the reason that I could not get a laywer was because I was suing a lawyer and that they had to do business together on a daily basis. They also informed me
that if I wanted my file I would have to pay their bill first.
I obtained a court order
from Justice Hamilton of the Supreme Court of British Columbia,
who agreed with me that withholding my file would "prejudice
my ability to proceed with a matter that was already imminent
before the courts" and ordered that my file should be turned
over to the Bedrock Registry so as to allow me access to it.
Indeed Barney Rubble was correct when he informed me that in
suing a lawyer, I would not be able to find counsel. The trial
was rescheduled for June 26, 1995 where I represented myself.
When I went to retrieve a copy of the default judgment, it was
not filed and the copy in Quarry Law Partners's file had disappeared.
After I made a fuss about someone pilfering the file, the file
clerk returned with a copy of the court clerk's notes, which
I copied and submitted as proof that the default order existed.
During the trial, Jeffery
Scouten, defense counsel for Mr. Whittemore argued that I hadn't
pursued the purchaser to the best of my ability and I argued
that I had a default judgment against the purchaser but their
parent company had, as Mr. Rubble explained to me earlier,"properly
raided their subsidiary". This resulted in a "dry judgment"
or no relief for me.
Justice Hunter, the Supreme Court Justice who presided over the
matter explained that I had referred to a document and unless
I could also produce it, he would, by law, have to disregard
that portion of my testimony. I explained that I learned of the
judgment while perusing my file that Justice Hamilton ordered
to be turned over to the Bedrock Court Registry and I would certainly
produce a copy.
Dell Arens, called as a witness for the defense, testified that
I signed a "Subject Removal Form" removing the subject,
"Subject to the Vendor's Solicitor's approval by April 1,
1995." Mr. Arens futher testified that the only copy of
the "Subject Removal Form" was buried in the Mainline
Real Estate Board Archives and so he was unable to produce a
Justice Hunter wrote in paragraph 7 of his decision that, given
the circumstances, he believed Mr. Arens and concluded that I
had waived my right to my solicitor's approval by signing the
Subject Removal Forms, I've learned, are triplicate documents,
with further copies to be made for every other party to the subject.
Mr. Arens should have also made a copy for the Gvnt. Agent that
governed his office and that Gvnt. Agent would have made yet
another copy for the Mainline Real Estate Board to lose in their
archives. No less than six copies of this document should exist
if Mr. Arens was telling the truth. Mr. Arens actually misled
the court by insinuating that a subject removal form is a singular
Justice Hunter contradicts himself "as to law" by referring
to Mr. Arens testimony in his decision. He should have, as he
stated, by law, disregarded that portion of testimony, as Mr
Arens could not produce the document that he referred to.
Justice Hunter further contradicted himself as to law, by accepting
and referring to Mr. Whittemore's testimony without Mr.Whittemore
having to produce documents to verify his testimony.
For instance; when a lawyer advises his client on a matter and
the client refuses to follow the lawyer's advice, the lawyer
must put his advise in writing and have his client read and sign
acknowledgement of said advice before the lawyer can act any
further in the matter. Failing to obtain the client's signature
on the letter of advice, the lawyer must withdraw. This letter
is commonly referred to by lawyers as a C.Y.A. (Cover Your Ass)
Whittemore had no letter to verify that he advised me appropriately,
as he alleged; signed by myself or otherwise.
When a lawyer agrees to do or refrain from doing something on
someone's behalf, it is referred to as a "Solicitors Undertaking"
The Canadian Bar Association states that a "Solicitor's
Undertaking should be written or confirmed in writing."
The bar goes on to say that "if a solicitor does not intend
to take responsibility for the undertaking, he should state this
quite clearly in the undertaking itself. In the absence of such
a staement, the person to whom the undertaking is given is entitled
to expect that the lawyer giving it will honor it personally."
Whittemore had no written undertaking, let alone anything in
it, specifying what he would not be responsible for.
Whittemore further alleged in his defense, that he followed my
"specific instructions." As he had no written undertaking
defining his responsibility and he had no "C.Y.A.",
the very least that he or any other "prudent lawyer"
should have done was to get my alleged "specific insructions"
This would make a total of 4 times that Justice Hunter contradicted
himself "as to law" regarding the production of documents.
On January 13, 1995, Marc Whittemore filed a 72 page affidavit
in support of a motion to have the matter dismissed prior to
trial. In paragraph 11 of his affidavit he swore
that the realtor, Dell Arens told him "that this deal, by
it's terms would be subject to the vendor's solicitor's approval." Justice Hunter wrote in paragraph
7 of his decison that "Whittemore gave evidence that no
one told him of this clause."
The 1st copy of this affidavit that I recieved was contained
within a "Motion Brief", a compilation of Notices of
Motions and their supporting Affidavits, supplied by defense
counsel, Jeffery Scouten. After appearing at a preliminary hearing,
I realized that I had misplaced the motion brief. I inquired
at the Registry the next day to see if I had forgotten it at
The clerk that I spoke with
was in attendance at the hearing the previous day. She told me
that she thought she saw Mr. Scouten put a stack of books on
top of a book like the one I described, which was sitting on
the podium. He picked up the pile and put them all in his briefcase.
I wrote Mr. Scouten a letter, explaining that I had misplaced
the brief and asked for a new one. The one he sent to replace
the first one, excluded the Jan. 13 affidavit. I wrote back,
asking specifically for the affidavit. He complied.
On July 29, 1995 my home was burglarized. My neighbor (who wishes to remain anonymous)woke up to his dog barking and the sounds of clinking
beer bottles. He went out onto his porch and shone his flashlight
on 2 suspects crossing his property, onto mine. When they got
to my front door, he asked them what they were doing and they
dropped what they were carrying and ran off.
My neighbour phoned 911 and described what he saw and in about 10 minutes,
the R.C.M.P. had picked up 2 suspects that my neighbour had described.
They did not take anything of any great value but I immediately
noticed that my day planner was missing. Later, I could not find
the 72 page affidavit. (They also stole about four dozen of my
home-made beer, that my neighbour found in a field a few doors further
past his home. )
At the trial of the 2 suspects, my neighbour testified that he shone
his flashlight in their faces as they stared back. He said "it
was like having deer in the headlights". The arresting constable
testified that the suspects were the only ones that the police
had seen in the neighborhood, on foot or otherwise. The article
that my neighbour had seen them drop at my front door was a suitcase
that belonged inside my home. At the end of the day the judge
said that he saw "no evidence to put them at the scene of
I went back to the Bedrock Law Courts to get another copy of
Whittemore's affidavit, only to be told that it didn't exist.
Later, I was told that it was "missing" and I was invited
to look for myself. After a thorough look for myself, I filed
a written complaint at the Bedrock Law Courts concerning the
Four months later, Gene Watt, the District Registrar, invited
me to see him concerning the documents. He said that there was
not 1, but 2 copies of the missing affidavit and he had also
found a copy of the missing order.
Mr. Watt explained that the order had been drafted incorrectly
and referred to a note stapled to the top left corner of the
single page order. The note said that the last paragraph wasn't
there. There was also a circle in the center of the bottom of
the page with the words "checked by" inside. There
were initials inside of the circle but the initials were obscured
by pen strokes.
Mr. Watt also gave me a copy of the order that had been re-written
and filed just days before, explaining that this new order would
replace the old erroneously written order. The new order was
2 pages long but read, verbatim to the original. I asked Mr.Watt
if he could see a difference and he admitted that he couldn't.
I never got an explanation as to what happened to the original
order that went missing from the file that Quarry Law Partners had turned
over to the registry.
Justice Hunter wrote in summation to his decision that I "failed
to prove to" his "satisfaction" that Whittemore
was negligent He dismissed my charges, ordering also, that I
pay the costs. I believe that I only had to prove neglegence
"to the satisfaction of the law".
I filed a motion to tax Quarry Law Partners's bill, stating among other
things that they had abandoned me, had admitted to prejudice,
acted with prejudice and were not prepared to go to trial, contrary
to a letter they sent me that stated that they would "see these matters to trial for a global figure of 10-15 thousand dollars".
At one point in the taxation, Master Bishop, the arbitrator in
this matter, ordered a psychiatric examination of my ability
to conduct a taxation. Rather then wait for the courts to appoint
a psychiatrist, I asked my family doctor to recomend a psychiatrist
and he referred me to Dr. Gary Lea, a Bedrock psychologist.
On my first visit with Dr. Lea, I left him with a large affidavit
that I'd written so that he could better understand my comprehension
of my legal matters. He agreed to read the material and instructed
me to set up a second appointment with him for one week later.
Two days after my 1st visit wth Dr. Lea, I was arrested by the
R.C.M.P., taken from my home, told that I was charged under the
Mental Heath Act, with schizophrenia. I was admitted to Bedrock
General Hospital's McNair Unit, I.C.U. ward were I was administered
a dose of what the nurse said, was Haldol; enough to cause my
knees to give out, leaving me sprawled out on the floor. About
30-45 minutes later, someone came into my room and asked me a
series of questions.
It was Friday afternoon when I was arrested and the following
Monday, I was released to the general population of the psyc.
ward. My diagnosis had been changed to "manic depressive"
and my medication was changed from Haldol, Rispiridone and Lithium,
to just Rispiridone and Lithium. I also learned that my subsequent
appoinments with Dr, Lea had been canceled by a Sandy Hildebrand
of the Schizophrenic Society.
It was explained to me
that Master Bishop denied ordering a psychiatric exam. He apparently
claimed that it was merely a passing comment, on his way off
I re-instated my appointments with Dr. Lea and he completed his
In Master Bisop's decision, he refers to his order for a psychiatric
exam and also relies on Dr. Lea's report but Dr. Lea, to this
day has not been paid for his work. The most recent excuse for
this that I've heard is that the courts do not have funds to
pay for that sort of disbursement.
Dr. Lea stated in his evaluation
that I understood these matters well enough to insruct counsel.
He also stated that my frame of mind was that of depression over
the events that had transpired but was not a clinical depression.
In Master Bishop's decision, he makes note of Dr. Lea's comments
about my frame of mind, stating that while I was somewhat disturbed,
he felt that I was capable of representing myself. He ordered
that I pay Quarry Law Partners $ 11,815.00 for the work they did
up until the day they quit.
Quarry Law Partners has filed their judgment against the title of my
home and is now moving for an order from the court for the sale
of my home to pay the judgement. My next appearance is January
5, 1997 at 9:45 AM.
Mr. Flintstone wrote a letter to my legal aid lawyer, Kirby Grant
on Oct. 31/97, which was received and forwarded to me on Nov.3/97.
I received it on Nov.5/97. Mr.Flintstone wrote that they would
be prepared to take $7,500.00 as an all inclusive settlement
if I could raise it by Nov.10/97. Beyond that, I would have to
pay their "significant disbursements, including the cost
of a psychological assessment that the Court directed of Mr.
I have contacted Dr. Lea's office twice since receiving this
letter to see if he's been paid; the second time after my Nov.10/97
hearing when Ms. Kirby told me that Mr. Flintstone claimed that
$ 900.00 dollars was disbursed to Dr. Lea. (The bill was $ 652.00).
Dr. Lea's office assures me that they have not been paid.
Mr. Flintstone concluded his letter with, "We would again
ask that you convey to Mr. Thomson, our serious concern that
he is engaging in a program of slander against this firm by the
facsimile barrage that he is sending out to all kinds of businesses
and professions. If he does not cease in that progam, it may
well be that the damages that he is liable for will completely
eliminate any equity he has in his residence." He was referring to a 3 page version
of this letter, that I faxed to every fax listing (over 2,000)
in the Bedrock section of the white pages, from "A"
to the "Sch"s.
I responded to Mr. Flintstone's letter, quoting
from The Concise Oxford Dictionary, the definition of the word
Never before in my life have I experienced or witnessed so much
contradiction; all from an institution that is supposed to "set
the example for the rest of society to follow". This is
I have written to the Law Society of B.C., our Ombudsman, to
both former Attorney General Colin Gableman and Ujjal Dosanjh,
Glen Clark, Gordon Campbell, former Justice Minister, Allen Rock,
Jean Chretien, Canadian Judicial Affairs and many other agencies.
Both former M.L.A. Judy Tyabji and M.L.A.'s John Weisbeck, Sindy
Hawkins and Geoff Plant, Justice Critic to the Attorney General's
office. All have been well informed and none appear to want to
participate in any program to correct the matter.
If everyone who agrees that our court system needs cleaning up,
wrote a letter to their M.L.A. about their concerns, theoretically,
it should invoke some concern with them. If copies were sent
to various other administrations and political offices, senators
even, it could become a "barrage" that might get some
attention. Most certainly, our courts (and they are ours)
need cleaning up!
We live in "the age of communication". We are literally,
just a few keystrokes apart from each other. Let's get together
on this and send out a loud enough message that cannot possible
From the response I've gotten, I know that there are others out
there with equally horrendous stories about the courts. Eddy
Hamour, who owns Castle Haymour in Peachland, now, published
a book about his experiences.
If something like this is or has happened to you, write out your
story, chronologically, as I have, naming all of the parties.
So long as your claims are valid (you can prove it) and you stick
to the truth, there is no law to prevent you.
Document , document, document. Never give up your originals!
Make and use copies. Keep the original documents any other evidence
in a safe place.
End your letters with "Let
me hear back from you by letter." What you're really saying
is, "Put your thoughts on paper & send them to me so
that I can save them up and use them as evidence against you,
later." Throw a little Latin back at them; "c.c....
I have discovered that people DO CARE and you are not alone.
One person faxed me saying that they'd e-mailed Quarry Law Partners,
stating that they thought that it was not fair for Quarry Law Partners
to bill me as they did not complete the work that they agreed
to do. This helped, I'm sure. Write your story so people can
David Hunter Thomson
725 Franklyn Rd.