Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Day One: Defence = 1 Plaintiffs = 0

Tansi/Good Day Readers:

Yesterday's highlights:

(1) Upon entering Courtroom 213 for the opening of the trial I sat in a chair directly behind Counselor Trachtenberg who immediately challenged me. He suggested he didn't want anyone looking over his shoulder and I should re-locate by lawyers for the Defendant. I inquired whether it was his prerogative to assign seating. Mr. Trachtenberg then advised if I didn't move he'd raise the issue with the Justice. Reluctantly, I agreed but respectfully notified him this would be reported on my blog. He did not look amused!

Then I got to thinking what is accepted protocol in such situations? I'm going to do a little research - first stop The Law Society of Manitoba

(2) During the day several spectators spent time in the courtroom. Those I recognized included: Lionel Chartrand,Will Goodon, Frank Godon, Dave Charette, and Grace/Walter Menard

(3) Justice Perry Schulman was selected to hear the case. However, Counselor Trachtenberg immediately objected citing His Honour's involvement in Yvon Dumont's January 2004 Court of Queen's Bench victory (overturned results of 2003 MMF Presidential election) asking His Lord to recuse (disqualify) himself. It was agreed and Justice Menzies took over

(4) There is much which could be written but my highlights:

(i) The outstanding performance of the Defence team

(ii) Certain documents had not been made available to the Defence. Mr. Trachtenberg undertook to try to rectify the situation by today providing certain of them to Mr. Bruun. For his part, Mr. Chartier agreed to attempt to secure for the Defence an initial draft copy of the terms of reference for the Governor of the Metis Nation's job description

(iii) A letter introduced into evidence by Anders Bruun written by lawyer Lionel Chartrand to Metis Nation of Alberta President Audrey Poitras. In it, Mr. L. Chartrand was clearly acting as Mr. Dumont's attorney. Regan Thatcher had been listed as the only solicitor of record for the Defendant on all previous documents filed with the Court in this case

(iv) Mr. Trachtenberg cross-examined Clem Chartier and was followed by Anders Bruun after which Counselor Trachtenberg asked to re-examine the Metis National Council President. Shortly into his questioning, Justice Menzies had to interject to advise Murray Trachtenberg he was, in fact, conducting a de facto re-cross-examination again of his witness. With very little further comment Mr. Trachtenberg fell silent and quickly sat down

(v) Chance encounters of the worst kind: Upon exiting the Courthouse perchance there stood Messrs. Chartier, David Chartrand, Will Goodon and Don Roulette. The Honourable Yvon Dumont being ever the gentleman stopped to exchange pleasantries. I even got to shake President Chartrand's hand (A first and yes counted my fingers afterword!). Being at a loss for words, I offered how I was one of the "Blogger Chickens" to which he referred on radio last Saturday. He reiterated we're "Chickens." So Derryl Sanderson, Randy DeLaRonde, Darcey Jerome, Terry Belhumeur - you're all "Blogger Chickens!"

(vi) Score? Based on a very strong performance by The Defence Team; Anders Bruun's silk-like performance featuring his mastery of the facts; and the, at times, shaky testimony of Chem Chartier:

Defence = 1 Plaintiffs = 0

Mr. Trachtenberg indicated he will be calling witnesse(s) today. One of the big questions: will David Chartrand be subpoenaed to testify? Please stay tuned.

Clare L. Pieuk


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