So yesterday I went off to visit room 4D at 180 Queen West for the denouement of Warman Vs. Lemire. I wound up sitting two seats over from Lemire, who once threatened to sue me, and right in front of the Fourniers (Connie and Mark), who once tried to get me fired. The guy who threatened to kill me didn't show up this time, which frankly made the bathroom breaks a little more comfortable.
As for Lemire, let's just say that he's gotten big. Though he's twitchy: sighing, eye-rolling, consulting his notes and passing notes to his supporters. Indeed there was a lot of sighing and eye-rolling during the government side of the presentation. A lot of German accents too, a lot of gray hair. Connie's still hot, but Mark is looking positively dessicated these days. During the break I had lunch with Richard Warman and the gang from B'nai Brith; somebody joked that I was the only person in the court that wasn't a lawyer or a Nazi. Someone else noted that this looked like a sequel to the Zundel trial, with all the players 15 years older.
As to the presentations, they generally went according to plan, with the pro-HRC side arguing that all that should be on the table is the severing of Section 13's penalty provisions. But there were a few interesting twists, or at least arguments I haven't heard before. The young gal from the African Canadian Legal clinic (Moya Teklu) argued that there has been so little analysis of the CHRC's actual behavior that it would have been impossible for Athanasios D. Hadjis (the tribunal chair that had ruled for Lemire last go-round) to know whether this behavior had changed over time--and thus whether it had become less conciliatory, more litigious. She also has a tattoo on the back of her neck, so they clearly aren't barriers to success anymore. Richard Warman argued from the transcripts of the earlier hearing that in fact he had been open to the possibility of settling with Lemire, contra Hadjis' opinion.
Barbara Kulaszka was a rambling disaster, and the judge was quite short with her. The fellow from the CCLA seemed more coherent, arguing that Hadjis did have authority to make a constitutional ruling (something the CHRC contested). Though I don't think anyone made a convincing case that either the Internet or the addition of penalty provisions has changed things so much that a Section 13 repeal was the only available option. But that could be just me. I missed Doug Christie's performance, but did see him parading about outside the court-room in his black cowboy hat, so that is maybe the important thing.
Most of my day was spent staring at the backs of heads suffering varying degrees of hair-loss, so Judge Mosley was by far the most entertaining thing in the room. He is possessed of an excellent poker face, and didn't speak much. You could tell when he was going to, though, because he would start moving his facial muscles, making faces, in effect, several seconds in advance as a kind of warm-up. To me, he appeared to grind far more heavily upon the Lemire side, and criticized the AG's non-appearance and some of Hadjis more obscure lines of reasoning.
To end off, here's a shot of Richard Warman and me in front of the court-house (from the NP story):