Lawyer for St. Anne’s survivors faces defamation case in courtroom

Lawyer for St. Anne’s survivors faces defamation case in courtroom

A lawyer who has represented survivors of St. Anne’s Indian Residential College in Fort Albany was in courtroom Monday in Sudbury, Ont., together with her lawyer arguing {that a} defamation case towards her needs to be thrown out.

Ottawa-based lawyer Fay Brunning is being sued by Timmins, Ont., regulation agency Wallbridge, Wallbridge, which mentioned feedback Brunning made a number of years in the past amounted to an assault on its attorneys’ skilled reputations. 

The case centres on feedback made by Brunning in emails in 2014 and 2015. On the time, Brunning was representing shoppers beforehand represented by the Wallbridge agency, serving to them to re-apply for compensation beneath the Indian Residential Colleges Settlement Settlement. 

In a sequence of emails, Brunning inquired about recordsdata from an OPP investigation, and requested whether or not Wallbridge had signed an settlement with the federal authorities and the Catholic church to not disclose these paperwork. 

Attorneys argue advantage of case

The Wallbridge case argues that Brunning defamed the agency when she steered the agency had entry to recordsdata and did not use that proof to assist its shoppers. 

In courtroom on Monday, lawyer Lawrence Greenspon, who’s representing Brunning, argued that the case needs to be thrown out on a number of grounds.

He mentioned Brunning’s feedback have been considerably true, and that Wallbridge “by no means clearly denied” the existence of a nondisclosure settlement. 

He additionally argued that Brunning was appearing as counsel on behalf of her shoppers and their finest curiosity, that the feedback weren’t unfold to a large viewers, and that there is no such thing as a proof of hurt precipitated to Wallbridge.

Greenspon mentioned the potential lack of repute — with no indicated hurt — “pales compared” with the hurt precipitated to claimants who have been represented with out documentation that will have bolstered their circumstances. 

“To attempt to put these two harms on the identical scale is, for my part, preposterous,” Greenspon mentioned. 

Lawyer Geoff Adair, representing Wallbridge, argued “in the case of substantial advantage, hurt just isn’t a consideration.”

Adair mentioned the “backside line” is that Brunning’s feedback quantity to “very critical allegations,” and that it is “arduous to think about” her phrases weren’t defamatory. 

Survivors attend courtroom to help Brunning 

Brunning sat within the courtroom accompanied by a number of St. Anne’s survivors.

Marie Sackanay travelled from Timmins to attend the proceedings. 

St. Anne’s survivor Marie Sackanay travelled from Timmins to Sudbury to be in courtroom to help her lawyer, Fay Brunning. (Sarah MacMillan/CBC)

“It is crucial for me to be right here for our lawyer … she’s a really sincere woman, excellent hearted particular person,” Sackaney mentioned. 

Fellow St. Anne’s survivor Angela Shisheesh mentioned Brunning is “the one that basically cares and believes what had occurred in that horrible, horrible establishment.” 

Justice Robbie Gordon, who’s presiding over the case, mentioned he expects to have a choice inside a month. 

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