Thursday, July 26, 2007

Posner & Trachtenberg not even mentioned!


Murray Norman ("Happy") Trachtenberg
Tansi/Good Day Folks:
In the July/August issue of the Financial Post Business (National Post), The 2006-2007 Best Lawyers in Canada list compiled by The Legal Post is reproduced. It looked at the following 55 areas of law:

1. Aboriginal Law

2. Administrative and Public Law

3. Advertising and Marketing Law

4. Alternative Dispute Resolution: Hill Abra Dewar
David G. Hill

5. Appellate Law

6. Aviation Law

7. Banking Law: Aikins, MacAulay & Thorvaldson
G. Bruce Taylor
Financial Institutions: Filmore Riley
Timothy S. Dewart
Edward D. Brown
Thompson Dorfman Sweatman
P. Michael Sinclair

8. Bet-the-Company Litigation

9. Biotechnology Law

10. Class Action Litigation

11. Communications Law

12. Competition/Antitrust Law

13. Construction Law: Aikins, Macaulay & Thorvaldson
Betty A. Johnson
Campbell Marr
David I. Marr
Fillmore Riley
Robert A. Simpson
Thompson Dorfman Sweatman
William J. Burnett

14. Corporate and Commercial Litigation: Campbell, Marr
David I. Marr
Hill Abra Dewa
David G. Hill
Douglas G. Ward
Thompson Dorfman Sweatman
E. William Olson

15. Corporate Governance

16. Corporate Law: Aikins, MacAulay & Thorvaldson
James A. Ferguson
Richard L. Yaffe
Thomas J.D. Kormylo (Finance)
Taylor McCaffrey
Douglas E. Finkbeiner
Norman F. Snyder
Thompson Dorfman Sweatman
Chrys Pappas
P. Michael Sinclair

17. Criminal Defence: Brodsky & Company
Gregory G. Brodsky

18. DEFAMATION and Media Law:
Pitblado Robert P. Sokalski

19. Derivatives Law

20. Director and Officer Liability

21. Employee Benefits Law

22. Energy Regulatory Law

23. Entertainment Law

24. Environmental Law: Thompson Dorfman Sweatman
John D. Stefaniuk

25. Equipment Finance Law

26. Family Law Mediation

27. Family Law: Taylor McCaffrey
James M. Stoffman

28. Franchise Law

29. Health Care Law

30. Immigration Law: David Matas
David Matas

31. Information Technology Law: Aikins, MacAulay & Thorvaldson
David M. Carrick
Fillmore Riley
Ronald S. Ade

32. Insolvency and Financial Restructing: Aikins, MacAulay & Thorvaldson
G. Bruce Taylor
Filmore Riley D. Wayne Leslie
Pitblado Douglas G. Ward
Thompson Dorfman Sweatman
Donald G. Douglas

33. Insurance Law: Aikins, MacAulay & Thorvaldson
Rod El Stephenson (Litigation)
Campbell, Marr David I. Marr (Litigation)
Fillmore Riley Robert D. Mcdonald (Litigation)
Charles A. Sherbe (Litigation)
Hill Abra Dewar Robert A. Dewar (Lititgation)
David G. Hill (Litigation)
Thompson Dorfman Sweatman
E. William Olson (Litigation)

34. Intellectual Property Law

35. International Arbitration

36. International Trade and Finance Law

37. Labour and Employment Law: Aikins, MacAulay & Thorvaldson
J. Milton Christiansen (Management)
Kristin L. Gibson (Management)
Gerald. D. Parkinson (Management)
Chemiack & Cherniack
Lawrie Cherniack (Union)
Filmore Riley
Robert A Simpson (Management)
Myers Weinberg
Paul R. McKenna (Union)
Garth H. Smorang (Union)
Tracy Epp (Management)
Taylor McCaffre
Grant Mitchell (Management)
Jeffrey J. Palmar
Thompson Dorfman Sweatman
Dunlop H. Kells (Management)
Robin M. Kersey (Management)
E. William Olson (Management)

38. Legal Malpractice Law

39. Maritime Law

40. Mergers & Acquisitions Law

41. Mutual Funds Law

42. Natural Resources Law

43. Personal Injury Litigation: Aikins, MacAulay & Thorvaldson
G. Tobb Campbell (Medical Negligence Defendants)
Helga D. Van Iderstine (Medical Negligence)
Campbell Marr
David I Marr (Product Liability)
Hill Abra Dewar
David G. Hill (Product Liability)
Pollock & Company
Harvey I. Pollock (Medical Negligence Plaintiffs)
Tapper Cuddy
Robert L. Tapper (Medical Negligence)

44. Project Finance Law

45. Public Finance Law

46. Railroad Law

47. Real Estate Law: Aikins, MacAulay & Thorvaldson
Charles L. Chappell (Property Development)
Herbert Peters (Tax Municipal)
Fillmore Riley
Timothy S. Dewart (Property Development)
Morton L. rosenberg (Property Development)
Deward D. Brown (Property Development)
Thompson Dorfman Sweatman
Richard H.. G. Adams (Property Development)

48. Securities Law: Aikins, MacAulay & Thorvaldso
Richard L. Yaffe
Thomas J. D. Kormylo
Thompson Dorfman Sweatman
P. Michael Sinclair

49. Sports Law

50. Structured Finance Law

51. Tax Law: Fillmore Riley
Cy M. Fien (Corporate)
Norm Promislow (Corporate)

52. Technology Law

53. Transportation Law

54. Trusts and Estates: Aikins, MacAulay & Thorvaldson
Joel A. Weinstein
Filmore Riley
Cy M. Fien (Litigation)
Norm Promislow

55. Workers' Compensation Law

Over the years, Posner & Trachtenberg, as well as, Duboff Ewards Haight & Schachter have had significant billings with the taxpayer funded Manitoba Metis Federation, however, neither were cited in any of the categories.

Of particular interest was Defamation and Media Law where Pitblado LLP was the only Winnipeg law firm singled out. Not surprisingly, no mention of Posner & Trachtenberg. A little unusual Aikins, MacAulay & Thorvaldson's Jonathan B. Kroft who has represented the Winnipeg Free Press was not on the list. Campbell Marr received four honourable citations.

Clare L. Pieuk

Distribution List:
Allan Fineblit, Q.C.
CEO, Law Society of Manitoba

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Where are they now?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Controversial case to be heard!"

Thank you Anders and Jeff for successfully defending our Hounourable W. Yvon Dumont!

Who are the current Directors on the MMF's Provincial Board of Directors? Do they include Darryl Montgomery and Darrel Deslauriers?
Dear Anonymous:

When we went to we could not find such basic information. Talk about public disclosure for a federal-provincial taxpayer funded organization!

As for Messrs. Mongomery and Deslauriers, our information is the former, for whatever reason(s), decided not to run in the last election - wise choice! Regarding the latter, he's listed as Chair, Housing Managers of Manitoba.
Can anyone out there answer such a simple question - who are the Provincial Directors?

Darryl Montgomery

Darrel R. Deslauriers
Clare L. Pieuk

Monday, July 23, 2007

Controversial case to be heard!

Battle Heats Up Over Barley Monopoly
Canadian Wheat Board Takes Ottawa to Court This Week over Conservatives' Move To Open Up Market

By Joe Friesen
The Globe And Mail
Monday, July 23, 2007
Page A6

The Canadian Wheat Board is taking the government to court this week in a last-ditch attempt to preserve its monopoly on barley sales.

The Board's lawyers will argue at a sitting of the Federal Court Wednesday in Calgary that the Conservative government ignored sections of the Wheat Board Act that require the passing of legislation before changes are made to the monopoly.

The government maintains it is making a regulatory change, which doesn't require a vote in the House of Commons and doesn't run the risk of being defeated in a minority Parliament.

"We live in a country where the rule of law is fundamental, and there's a right way and wrong way to do things," said Ken Ritter, the CWB's elected chairman.

"Our case is based on the fundamental premise that you have to go through legislation rather than regulation to accomplish what the government is trying to do."

The battle over wheat and barley sales has raged for the past 12 months, ever since Agriculture Minister Chuck Strahl announced the Conservatives would deliver on a promise to create an open market.

The move was strongly criticized by the opposition parties and major farm associations in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, who argue the CWB provides a competitive advantage in an industry dominated by multinational grain companies.

The Board's single-desk structure has been the subject of a number of trade challenges by farm groups in the United States, who say it distorts the market in favour of their Canadian competitors.

Deanna Allen, the CWB's Vice-President of Communications, said the process has been surprisingly fast.

"When we first met with the Minister, he said this process would be evolutionary, not revolutionary. But we soon found out it wasn't a question of whether [the monopoly would be dismantled], but about how and when."

In October, Mr. Strahl slapped a gag order on the Wheat Board, banning if from publicly advocating for its continued existence. In the middle of elections for the farm-elected Board, the Ministry removed 16,000 voters from the lists. In December, the Minister fired CWB CEO Adrian Measner for continuing to oppose the government's plan to dismantle the organization.

And in March, the government held a plebiscite on barley that has been criticized by a pro-Wheat Board group as lacking "nearly every safeguard essential for a fair and transparent vote."

The Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board, a group that is also part of this week's court challenge, says the plebiscite lacked a clear question, public voters lists, a guarantee of ballot secrecy, controls on election spending and pre-determined winning conditions.

The ballot which was mailed to registered barley growers, contained three options. It asked whether farmers wanted to maintain the Board's monopoly on barley sales, end its role in barley sales, or create a dual market where farmers could sell to either the Wheat Board or any other buyer (an option a government task force told the Minister was unworkable).

No option won more than 50 percent of the vote, but the government declared victory after 38 percent voted to keep the single desk, 14 percent voted to scrap it, and 48 per cent chose a dual market.

"All Canadians - whether or not they believe in farmers' rights to work together to maximize their returns from the market - should be embarrassed by the undemocratic actions of the federal government," the Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board wrote in a recent op-ed piece.

The battle over barley is seen as a dress rehearsal for the coming war over wheat, a much bigger industry with stronger emotional and historic ties to the Wheat Board.

Ms. Allen says it's important to establish whether farmers or the government will decide the Board's future.

Amendments to the Wheat Board structure in 1998 placed the Board on a more independent footing, but that independence has counted for little under the current government, she said.

The court challenge is expected to run until Friday, and it's not known when a decision will be handed down.

The market for barley is scheduled ot open on Aug. 1.

Anders Bruun

Anders will be acting for Friends of the Wheat Board at the upcoming Federal Court of Canada hearing. Many of you may recall he and Jeff Niederhoffer successfully defended The Honourable W. Yvon Dumont in the Metis National Council Secretariat/Metis Nation Council/President Clement Chartier's ill advised and conceived taxpayer funded lawsuit.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Check it out!

Tansi/Good Day Folks:

The following link was sent by Fortunat Guiboche.

Clare L. Pieuk

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Thank you Jeff!

Tansi/Good Day Folks:

Unfortunately, dear friend and CyberSmokeBlog supporter Jeff Niederhoffer recently suffered a serious slip and fall accident. We're thrilled to report he's doing really great!

This is the same gentlemen who you'll recall last Christmas offered to notarize legal documents at no charge for Winnipeg's low income residents. How many attorneys can you name in this town who would do that? He also represented Terry Belhumeur, Vanessa Everton and I during the early stages of the MMF's beyond ridiculous taxpayer funded alleged defamation lawsuit against

More recently Jeff and Anders Bruun successfully defended The Honourable W. Yvon Dumont in yet another taxpayer funded beyond asinine lawsuit brought by Plaintiffs The Metis National Council Secretariat/Metis National Council/MNC President Clem Chartier.

If you'd like to express your appreciation to Wendy and Jeff they can be reached at Thank you Jeff!

Clare L. Pieuk

Friday, July 20, 2007

Thank goodness for the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation!

City Finds $20 Million Unused In Accounts
By Shannon Vanraes
Winnipeg Sun
Friday, July 20
Page 4

City Council may have the opportunity to crack open some piggy banks they didn't even know they had.

Reports indicate nearly $20 million in unused funds is sitting in city accounts, some of which was originally allocated for events that took place years ago.

More than $120,000 was apparently located in an account for the 1996 Winnipeg Winter Cities event, and recently transferred to another area.

"We have identified some potential money that is sittng in some accounts," Mayor Sam Katz said last night.

"We believe some of that money will definitely be needed, some of it may not be needed, which means we can use it for other projects."

Katz said the issue was brought forward by Coun. Justin Swandel, then investigated further.

He added Council will be working with the City's new Chief Financial Officer and administration to make sure the money is actually ssurplus before making any moves.


"Let's just be happy that the elected officials are aware of it now," he said.

One person who wasn't pleased with the discovery was Adrienne Batra, Manitoba Director of the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation.

"Why has it taken so long to reveal this surplus of taxpayer money which has accumulated at city hall," she said." Surpluses are over-taxation."

Batra said the CTF will watch the situation as it develops, noting there are more questions to be answered.

"Why didn't administration come forward with the surplus funds when Council was saying they were scraping the bottom of the barrel" she asked.

Katz said Council will wait for a thorough report before commenting on what money might be available, adding any extra funding would be one-time only.

"This is ASAP. It's not like we're setting a deadline, but we have certainly made this a priority," he said.

Ms Adrienne Batra
Provincial Director (Manitoba)
Canadian Taxpayers Federation
212-428 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 0E2

Telephone: 1-800-772-9955
Cellular: 1-204-227-5561
Facsimile: 1-204-982-2154

"Riding a dead horse? ... Dismount!" Describe your workplace?

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to generation, says that when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

In modern education and government, however, a whole range of far more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:

1. Buying a stronger whip

2. Changing riders

3. Threatening the horse with termination

4. Appointing a committee to study the horse

5. Arranging to visit other countries to see how others ride dead horses

6. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included

7. Re-classifying the dead horse as "living, impaired"

8. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse

9. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase the speed

10. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse's performance

11. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse's performance

12. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead, and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses

13. Re-writing the expected performance requirements for all horses

14. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position

Presumably these principles apply equally to flogging one.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

We're number 5! We're number 5! See!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Is Canada going to pot?"

: Top 5Camada ? :( alrady been affected.Canada ya! :)
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing. This is exactly how your e-mail arrived. Have you been toking - yet again?

Clare L. Pieuk

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Why not?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Now posted on!"

How do we get taxpayers to pay attention - you would think the ruckus going on in Ste. Rita would open their eyes.

This leader is a ..... and an expensive one at that. Like the lawsuit against you what a crock! He thinks he is the only one who can speak everyone else should shut up, nod, and agree.

Well the time has come to let all Manitobans know what he is all about, but in the same breath HOW? Do you have any ideas because I know a lot of people who stand behind you.
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing. You're going to love this - easy, start a combination online/offline petition a signature is a signature. Remember, the MMF gets over 95% of its funding from the federal government. Open it not only to our Manitoba Metis citizens but ALL taxpaying Canadians.

Look what it did for the good residents of Ste. Rita - it got national coverage! We have much to learn from them!

About time!

Wigs, Gowns StayIn British Criminal Courts, But Shucked In Civil, Family

National Post
Friday, July 13, 2007
Page A3

Judges and lawyers are to keep their wigs and gowns in criminal courts in England and Wales. Lord Phillips, Britain's Lord Chief Jusitce, said the 18-century-style horsehair wigs and flowing gowns would stay, although there would be some seasonal variations to judges' robes in the higher courts.

But from Jan. 1 next year, Judges and lawyers will ditch their hairpieces in civil and family courts. The changes come as a result of consultations on the reform of legal attire. A survey of 1,600 members of the public and 500 court users suggested more than 64% thought court dress should be modernized. The idea has met with disapproval from some lawyers who feel the wigs give them an air of authority as well as anonymity.

National Post News Services

A spade is a spade!

Disparaging The Kelowna Deal Amounts To A Snub
From Ottawa, Leaders Say

By Oliver Moore (Halifax)
National Post
Friday, July 13, 2007
Page A4

Native leaders reacted with dismay and anger yesterday upon learning a representative of Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice had dismissed the Kelowna accord as "an expensive press release."

The comments added to a sour note caused by Mr. Prentice's absence from he 28th annual meeting of the Assembly of First Nations that wrapped up n Halifax yesterday. Rick Simon, a Mi'kmaq Chief from Indian Brook First ation, said it was a "snub" that showed how important the Minister considered native issues.

The government said that Mr. Prentice was in Belgium helping to honour Corporal Francis Pegahmagabow, Canada's most-decorated aboriginal soldier, at a ceremony marking the 90th anniversary of fighting at Passchendaele.

Appearing here in place of Mr. Prentice was his Parliamentary Secretary, Manitoba MP Rod Bruinooge.

Mr. Bruinooge was uncontroversial in in his prepared remarks but, while meeting with reporters, he was asked about the Kelowna accord. It was then he made the comment later called "irresponsible" by AFN National Chief Phil Fontaine.

In his remarks closing the meetings yesterday, Mr. Fontaine notd that it took 18 months of work before agreements aimed at improving the lives of natives were finalized in November 2005, only days before the Liberal government of Paul Martin fell.

"We deserve beter from the government," he said. "To suggest that this was just something that was crafted on the back of a napkin ... [I'm] really disappointed in Mr. Bruinooge."

Echoing a comment the day earlier by Nova Scotia Premier Rodney MacDonald, Mr. Fontaine likened native displeasure with the stillbirth of the Kelowna accord to anger on the East Coast over the Atlantic Accord.

"They've experienced the same disappointment that we've experienced," hs said. "A deal is a deal ... when someone makes a deal, the deal must b e honoured."

Saying that "we deserve better from government," Mr. Fontaine spent a good part of his wide-ranging closing remarks discussing the problems facing native communities. Touching on suicide, poverty, the lack of housing and the unreliability of drinking water, he argued that such conditions would never be tolerated in non-native communities.

Speaking later to reporters who asked him about Mr. Bruinooge's characterization of the Kelowna accord, Mr. Fontaine reiterated that it was "much more" that a press release. "It's unfortunate that it's taking this very political turn," he said.

Asked what such comments would do to the AFN's ability to work with the government, he acknowledged that the relationship has alreaday abeen strained.

But he also commended the Tories for advancing several files, singling out for praise the residential schools agreement and the prposal for a tribunal to assess so-called specific claims.

Mr. Bruinooge was unruffled by the response his comment had received.

"I did refer to it as an expensive press release by the Liberal Party in their dying days," he said by telephone from Toronto later in the day. "I'm the kind of guy who calls a spade a spade."

Mr. Bruinooge said he believes that the $5-billion plan has been afforded undue status for political reasons.

"It's begun [to be seen to have] qualities of an accord, a signed ageement," he added. "It was a goal-based document ... this Kelowna press release does not have an accord
behind it."

Rod Bruinooge
Member of Parliament
Winnipeg South, Manitoba

Parliamentary Address

House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Telephone: (613) 995-7517
Fax: (613) 943-1466

Constituency Address

2855 Pembina Highway, Unit 27
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 2H6
Telephone: (204) 984-6787
Fax: (204) 984-6792
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Now posted on!"

Just want to correct a comment in this article. There were not 26 signuteres in support. There are still others that want to sign. If we were collecting signuters in support there would have been around 10.

It is funny because on Monday the Local here had a special meeting, David was there. He snuck in. Why wouldn't he come to a regular town meeting and educate us? Probaly because he is chicken. Isn't that what he called us before? He needs to educate his Local here on respecting others.
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing. The MMF's handling of the Ste. Rita situation has been a huge, unmitigated public relations disaster all because it won't remove one word - "government."

Monday, July 16, 2007

Is Canada going to pot?

The True North, Stoned And Free
The Numbers Are In, And We're Quite High On The List
So What's Behind Canadians' Enthusiasm For Marijuana?

By Rebecca Dube
The Globe and Mail
Monday July 16, 2007
Page L2

Listen Canada, we need to talk.

It's about your little pot habit.

Just look at these numbers from the United Nations. More people smoke in Canada than in nearly every other country. More than the Netherlands.

Dude, that has to tell you something.

Do you want to end up like Papua New Guinea or Micronesia?

Stop giggling. They are two real countries.

Canada is a naton of stoners. According to the United Nation's 2007 World Drug Report released last week, Canadians lead the industrialized world in marijuana smoking. Canadians are four times more likely to have smoked pot in the past than residents of nearly every other country: 16.8 per cent of Canadians aged 15 to 64 use marijuana compared to a global average of 3.8 percent.

Why so high?

While experts aren't concerned about Canadians pot-smoking habits - they worry about abuse, not recreational use - they agree that the country's fondness for weed says somethig about our national character.

But opinions very widely on what, excactly it says.

"That's a reflection on our national accountability," says Albert de Golas, Director of the Toronto-based Prometheum Institute, an adddiction counselling Centre.

Dr. de Golas says the pot-smoking rates don't bother him, and he rearly sees people seeking treatment for marijuana dependence. But he thinks it's symptomatic of a collective lack of ambition.

"We have a very progressive economy and a tendency to be over protective of personal rights, much more so than other countries. We have a tendency to feel we have a right ot get everything without really having to earn it.
Some pot smokers, however, say Canada's high rate of recreational use is not because we're a nation of slackers, but merely a side effect of the country's go-getter work ethic. Canadians work hard and, unlike Europeans, don't get 10 weeks of vacation or two-hour lunches - so we find other ways to unwind.

"You're putting in way too much hours at work, you just want to go out and relax," says one user, a business owner and married father of three who smokes pot severat times a month. Marijuana, he explains, allows busy professionalss to "maximize your leisure time."

Who's Lighting up?
Percentage of the population aged 15-64 who have used marijuana withinn the past year.

Papua New Guinea 29.5
Micronesia 29.1
Ghana 21.5
Zambia 17.7
Camada 16.9

OTHER Countries
United Statis 12.6
Jamaica 10.7
England 8.7
Netherlands 6.1
Mexico 3.1
Source: 2006 World Drug Report, UN Office on Drugs and Crime

"You go to a bar, you're hanging out with friends - if you're stoned, everybody's funnier," he says. "If you're not sure about a movie? Get high, you'll like it better.

Pot's mainstream popularity shows how far Canada has progressed (or drifted, depending on your perspective) from its strait-laced roots. While siill illegal, marijuana has gained widespread social acceptance in Canada.

"Canadians have come far and fast from the kind of pasty white Protestant culture of the early post-War period to a much more diverse society founded on indivudual freedom," says Rudyard Griffiths, Co-founder of the Dominion Institute. "Soft drugs are probably part of that.

In 2001, Canada became the first country to legalize medical marijuana. In 2003, Jean Chretien's Liberals tabled a Bill to decriminalize marijuana possession, but the legislation died in 2006.

Still, 55 per cent of Canadians believe marijuana should be legal accourding to an Angus Reid poll conducted this June.

And many smokers aren't letting the current laws stop them.

Canadians are more likely to smoke pot than people in the Netherlands, where cannabis is legal yet only 6.8 per cent of the population had used it in the past year. The only countries more likely to spark up are Papua New Guinea, Micronesia, Ghana and Zambia.

Canadians are no slouches when it comes to other mind-altering substances, either. Alcohol use is 30 per cent higher than the global average, and Canada ranks fourth, after Spain, England and the United States, for cocaine use - 2.3 percent of the population tired cocaine in the past year.

But Canadians' laissez-faire attitude has limits, Mr. Griffiths says. Fore example, attitutes about pornograpy are much more conservative here than in Europe. And lighting a tobacco cigarette earns you more dirty looks in some circles than lighting up a joint.

"I don't think we're slouching toward Gomorrah," Mr. Griffiths says.

While some pin Canada's penchant for pot on social liberalism, others say it's just the opposite -the illegality of marijuana actually boost its appeal.

"The more somtehting is prohibited, the more it becomes appealing to some people," says Benedikt Fischer, a drug policy expert at the University of Victoria and a senior scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto.

"We're a very prohibitionist society when it comes to psychoative drugs, or fun, or anything that has a flavour of imorality," Dr. Fischer says. "This is a cultural knee-jerk reaction, the rejection of unaccepted norms."

Robin Ellins, proprietor of the Friendly Stranger, a head shop in Toronto, agrees.

"Consumption would go down if it was legal," he says., as shoppers browse among ornate bongs and hemp clothing. "That's definitely a big part of the attraction."

Mr Ellins thinks Canada's commanding lead in the global drug survey might be traced to a positive national trait: honesty.

Whereas some countries keep their reefer madness quiet, Canadians are proud pot smokers.

"We have a willingness to admit that we actually do partake," he says.

Now posted on!

Monday, July 16, 2007

The story in today’s Winnipeg Free Press (reprinted below) is once again a clear example of a ruthless and blind attempt by CEO, Mr. Chartrand to once again lead his people down a path which has no possible chance of helping Metis people achieve anything good in today’s society.

It is time that non-Metis people stand up and tell this person and his entourage that they are tired of paying for his ego. And you are paying. He is still fighting with expensive lawyers to sue his own people if they dare step out of line. After letting the dust settle on his lawsuit against Terry Belhumeur and Clare Pieuk, he has once again instructed his lawyer to begin again. It has been over a year since any real action in this case. I suppose the heat generated from the public was to0 hot to continue at the time and now he proposes to continue.

Those of you who read this site even though I have not updated it in months could now make it hot for him again. For the good of all Metis and non-Metis taxpayers, it is time to expose the truth about what is transpiring. I have nothing to hide (I never hid the fact that I own and revenge by a group for no possible gain will come back to hurt those who seek it. I read that somewhere.

E-mail me to let me know what you think of this whole thing. Maybe it is time to revive cybersmokesignals. That's a shame since peace is a far better tool to achieve success.


Ste. Rita Residents Reject Métis Welcoming Sign
Petition Demands New Wording

By David Kuxhaus
Winnipeg Free Press
Monday, July 16, 2007
Page B3

THE majority of people living in St. Rita have given the thumbs down to a controversial sign erected by the Manitoba Métis Federation welcoming visitors to the community. Ninety-six people have signed a petition demanding that the wording of the sign be changed. Failing that, they said it should be removed.

There were 26 signatures in support of the MMF sign.

The sign - which reads Local Metis Government Welcomes You to St. Rita - has emotions running high in this community, about 50 kilometres east of Winnipeg. Earlier this month, the bottom portion of it was torched. Police are investigating the vandalism but have made no arrests.

The councillor for the area said the results of the petition are a clear message to the MMF that something needs to be done.

"The sign received very little support," said Andy Pelletier.

Pelletier said the sign is a problem because it gives the impression the community is governed by the Métis. He said there are concerns that it could discourage potential development. Pelletier said others in the community fear the MMF is gearing up to take over their property as part of a land claim.

Pelletier said the issue has nothing to do with racism, adding that 21 of the 96 people opposed to the sign indicated on the petition that they were Métis. A copy of the petition has been forwarded to the MMF.

David Chartrand, president of the MMF, hasn't seen the petition but said it won't persuade him to take the sign down.

"I don't know what people are afraid of," said Chartrand. The MMF said the sign was put up as a show of Métis pride and to acknowledge the Métis people as a nation.

Chartrand, however, said the MMF would never displace residents in order to settle a land claim.

"There's no way we would ever put someone through what we went through," said Chartrand.

He added that there's no evidence to show that the sign will hurt business or hinder development in St. Rita."

This is all just fear-mongering," said Chartrand. He said the damaged sign, which is located on private property, will be replaced shortly with the wording intact.

The MMF is looking to put up similar signs in a number of communities.

Pelletier said the controversy would go away is the MMF would just get rid of the word government. He noted that when the sign was originally proposed, he was told it would read: St. Rita Métis Local Welcomes you to the Town of St. Rita. Pelletier said that wording would be acceptable to the community.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Wonder how large Al Gore's family carbon footprint is - VROOM, VROOM!

Al Gore's Son Arrested For Drugs, Speeding In Hybrid
July 4, 2007 at 1:33 PM EDT
LOS ANGELES — The 24-year-old son of former Vice President Al Gore was arrested for drug possession on Wednesday after he was stopped for allegedly speeding in his hybrid Toyota Prius, a sheriff's official said.
Al Gore III – whose father is a leading advocate of policies to fight global warming – was driving his environmentally friendly car at about 160 kilometres per hour on a freeway south of Los Angeles when he was pulled over by an Orange County sheriff's deputy at about 2:15 a.m.
A subsequent search yielded a small amount of marijuana, along with prescription drugs including Valium, Xanax, Vicodin and Adderall, said sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino. There were no prescriptions found, he said.
Mr. Gore was arrested on suspicion of drug possession and booked into the Inmate Reception Center in Santa Ana, about 55 kilometres south of Los Angeles, on $20,000 bail, he said.
Former US Vice President Al Gore, his wife Tipper centre, son Albert Gore III, right, and daughter Kristin Gore arrive at the 79th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California, in this February 2007 file photo. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)
It was not Mr. Gore's first brush with the law. He was arrested in 2003 for marijuana possession and in 2002 for suspected drunken-driving.
Mr. Gore was still in custody as of mid-morning and was sharing a holding cell with an unknown number of people, said Orange County Sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino.
"There are no special privileges," he told Reuters.
Mr. Gore co-operated with law enforcement as soon he was pulled over and quickly identified himself as the son of the former Vice President, Mr. Amormino said.
A spokesman for the elder Gore said he was travelling and could not immediately be reached for comment.
As if that were not bad enough, a few hours later one of Albert Gore III's sisters arrived in a V8-400 horsepower Maserati Quattroporte (13-18 miles/gallon or about the same as a Hummer) to pick him up at jail after he was freed on bail. Anyone know the cost?

Why must it always be racism? Maybe Ste. Rita residents simply didn't want the sign foisted upon them!

Tansi/Good Day Folks:

Below are two versions of the Ste. Rita sign debacle. You be the judge.

Clare L. Pieuk
Federation Sign Out Of Line
The Carillon
Steinbach, Manitoba
July 5, 2007

There is good reason for many people living in Ste Rita to be upset about a new sign erected at the entrance to their community east of Anola. Someone, in fact, was angry enough to burn down the sign a few days ago. What angers some people is that the sign read "Our Local Metis Government Welcomes you to Ste Rita," which they say suggested the Metis organization is a government presence in the area.

There is good reason to be upset over any such suggestion. While the Manitoba Metis Federation is a long-established lobby group in Manitoba, it has no powers of a government: it has no defined areas over which it has influence, it cannot issue permits or approvals and it certainly has no powers of taxation, all of which are powers granted to governments, like the RM of Reynolds which includes Ste Rita. MMF president David Chartrand views this as an insult to his group, suggesting the protesters may be racially motivated. The fact many of the people attending a meeting last week to deal with the issue are themselves of Metis descent seems to have escaped him.

The Federation could easily get around any controversy by simply removing the word government from the sign. That, however, is not likely to happen precisely because of the inference Chartrand wants to leave. He, like many other Metis leaders, believe they should have a measure of self-governance in certain areas and may feel erecting signs all over the province will leave that impression. The signs are misleading at best. To a stranger driving through the area, they could suggest an actual Metis government presence.

There is nothing racist about objecting to the sign, or more particularly, the word government. Instead of attacking the critics, Chartrand and his colleagues should sit down with people in affected communities (centres like Marchand, Woodridge, Richer and La Broquerie could well be next) and discuss how the signs could be modified.

The Federation, in actuality, has little more power than say, the Irish Folk Association of Winnipeg, and does little beyond lobbying governments for more money. Indeed, its principal success lies in its ability to pry ever more cash from the public purse to fuel its agenda and feed its bureaucracy. With that money, it should stick to cultural and educational programs and stop posturing that it has any powers of a government.

- P.D.
Racism Rears Its Ugly Head
Grassroots News
July 10, 2007
Page 1

During the night of Friday, June 30, 2007, or possibly during Saturday's early morning hours, the Manitoba Metis Federation's Local Metis Government sign in Ste. Rita was set on fire. This violent act took place two days after a Ste. Rita town hall meeting where the idea of Metis Government was denied and denounced in racist and discriminatory language.

Designed to welcome travelers as they are entering Ste. Rita, the sign is private property and the persons are persons who set fire to the sign trespassed on private land to reach it. Despite the lawless vandalism, according to MMF President David Chartrand the sign will be replaced and similar signs will be built across the province.

The sign which reads, "Our Local Metis Government Welcomes You to Ste. Rita," has created a controversy apparently focussed on the word "Government." There has been heated debate with some people denying that the Metis have a government. Some are going so far as to say business will suffer because of the sign. Others say if a new sign is put up they will burn it down.

Denying claims that the reaction to the sign is racially motivated, in media interviews a representative of the Municipality of Reynolds suggested that using the word "Government" will deter development and discourage buying and building in the Ste. Rita area, as well as confuse people about who's in charge and who they need to pay their taxes to.

"How is this possible? Give the people the facts," replies MMF President David Chartrand. "They can't show us how the sign will hurt the town's economy because it's untrue. These are very weak excuses. It's a smokescreen. It's not about economics, money, or business. It's not even really the word 'government.' It smacks of intolerance."

The Metis are hardworking taxpayers. They've lived in this area and throughout Manitoba for over two hundred years," said President Chartrand. "What ridiculous excuses are they going to come up with next? Will they suggest their property values are going to decrease because there are Metis people living in the neighbourhood?"

"It is a sad day when people resort to such hateful acts," said President Chartrand. "It's people acting out their fears of what they don't understand, or who refuse to accept and deny Canada's Constitutional realities. The Metis are Founders of Manitoba and Partners in Confederation. Metis Government is an existing Aboriginal right protected by section 35 of Canada's Constitution."

"It is more than the burning of a sign. It is not just about a piece of property or the word 'Government' " President Chartrand explained." It is an attack on each and every member of our community. It's a stab at the heart of our nation."

"There is a small group of people out there who believe 'as long as you are quiet, keep your eyes down, and be good little Metis we will leave youi alone,' " President Chartrand went on to say. "But as soon as we start making progress in our programs, services, and governance they say ''ve gone too far...get back in your place."

Metis from across the Province quickly reacted and recalled the racism many of them had experienced during their childhood. An Elder from St.-Ambroise shook her head repeatedly and sadly said that the burning was not right. Another Elder, from the Southeast, said he would camp out in front of the sign throughout the summer, if asked, to protect it from further attacks.

"This attack on the Metis People is unacceptable. It is like the Dark Times of the late 1800's and early 1900's when the Metis were denied jobs and education and called half-breeds and traitors," said President Chartrand. "The Metis lived as second-class citizens. Many lived on road allowances. We were denied our right to self-determination. The MMF will never let this happen again."
The following appeared in the comments section of ("St. Rita Councillor Andy Pelletier Lays Down The Truth" - July 6, 2007)

Hi Derryl,

Nancy here. Just thought I would let you know that I presented our RM with the pettion that contains 96 out of 120 names. Not the 30 or so David claimed. We are going to continue our battle here in Ste. Rita and we will not back down.

There was a really good article printed in "The Carillon" paper on the 5th of July read it if you can otherwise I can send it to you. I sent a copy of the pettion to David (as if he will care) but at least he can read for himself. I also sent different levels of goverment a copy. We are going to keep this issue very strong here and stand for our right for RESPECT.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

We salute Fleury & Comery, LLP!

Tansi Good Day Folks:

While recently doing a Google search for some unknown reason (Wasn't looking for anything related to the law?) turned up on the list.

Edward R. Fleury, Q.C.
Gregory E. McConnell, M.A., LL.B.
Stephen P. Fleury, B. Sc., LL.B.
Peter Sialtsis, B.B. A., B.A., LL.B.


Ed founded this practice in 1957 after his call to the bar that year. Some of his first and enduring clients were patrons of his father’s tavern business at the old Glen Eagle Hotel, where Ed himself had worked part time to support himself in law school.

While initially Ed took on any kind of case, he quickly began to specialize in real estate and corporate/commercial matters after Bill Comery (now retired) became his partner in the firm in 1960.

Ed has been active in local affairs over the years, including a term as Chairman of the Scarborough Centenary Hospital where he remains an active board member. He is also an avid golfer and is a long standing member and former president of the Scarborough Golf Club. Ed’s favourite kind of case involves municipal and administrative matters including appeals to tribunals such as the Ontario Municipal Board and the Assessment Appeal Board.

Fleury, Comery, LLP 215 Morrish Road, Suite 104, Scarborough, Ontario, M1C 1E9 Office: (416) 282-5754 Fax: (416) 282-9906 E-Mail:

This site had a very good feel about it so we decided to spend a few minutes navigating it. The firm deserves a Public Service Award! If you go to the Client Memos link at the top of their home page, 39 topics written in layman's language appear:


We have the following client memoranda available at this time. A new memo is issued about once every two months, sometimes more frequently. We value your suggestions on topics that could be appropriately treated in this format.

1. New Child Support Regime

2. What is 'Quality in Legal Service?

3. New Simplified Procedure

4. Are Lawyers 'Deal Deal-Killers?'

5. There's Been a Death in the Family: What Do I Do?

6. Your Small Claims Court Claim

7. Fees for Permanent Resident Card Applications

8. Examination for Discovery

9. Offers to Settle - updated 2004

10. Your Will

11. Your Power of Attorney

12. What is Creativity for Lawyers: - E.R. Fleury

3. Are Lawyers Less Ethical Than Other People?

14. Joint Ownership: Is It Good Estate Planning?

15. A Second Marriage: Some Things to Consider

16. How Much Does It Cost For a Simple Divorce?

17. The Lawyers at Cleury, Comery

18. Anatomy of a Personal Injury Case

19. Should I Incorporater My Business?

20. Your Motor Vehicle Accident Claim

21. Is Reconciliation Possible in Your Case?

22. Stationer's Wills - A Recipe for Estate Litigation

23. Issues Under the Child Support Guidelines

24. Construction Liens: A Summary of the Procedure

25. Construction Liens: Some Issues

26. Our Obligations Under New "Money Laundering" Legislation

27. Property Division on Marriage Breakdown

28. The Difficult Client

29. Affidavits, Statutory Declarations & Declarations

30. Some Typical Affidavits & Statutory Declarations

31. Closing Matters - Residential House Purchase - W.F. Comery

32. Closing Matters - Residential House Sale

33. Closing Matters - Condominium Purchase

34. Duties of Estate Trustee

35. Bill 198 - An Act to Implement Budget Measures

36. Common Issues in Estate Litigation

37. Financial Productions in Matrimonial Cases

38. Auto Insurance Updatre - No More "DACS"

39. Your Affidavit Documents

We randomly selected and reproduced (below) 8. Examination for Discovery and 39. Your Affidavit Documents because they looked interesting.

It's obvious Mr. Fleury is not only an outstanding attorney but a superb educator as well.

Clare L. Pieuk

Distribution List:


Each side to a law suit has the right to take the discovery deposition of the opposing party. This memorandum is intended as a quick orientation to the process in anticipation of your own attendance for discovery by the opposing party.


The opposing party has served on us an appointment which requires you to appear at a specified time and place and give your testimony, under oath, which testimony is taken down by a court reporter and typed out for future use in the lawsuit.


The basic rule of evidence is that questions asked must be relevant to the case. Most of the evidentiary objections available at trial are not available on discovery. I attend with you to ensure that the opposing counsel's questions are relevant, but basically you do the talking in answer to his questions.


Opposing counsel wants to find out what our case is, and hopefully obtain admissions which will assist his case. Opposing counsel also takes this opportunity to meet you and gain an impression of your strengths and weaknesses as a witness at trial. It is important that you make a good impression upon opposing counsel and his client and you should appear at discovery dressed as you would expect to dress if you were actually going to court to appear before a jury.


If your action is a personal injury action, you should come prepared to describe in a very clear and unambiguous way all of your injuries from head to toe, all of your symptoms, and the length of time which your symptoms and injuries lasted. In addition you should have all the facts and figures with respect to your time lost from work, the amount of wages lost, your Doctors' bills, your hospital bills and all other monetary damages. For this purpose you should review very carefully any medical reports which I have sent you.


The main thing is to listen carefully to the question asked. The opposing counsel is entitled to a full and reasonable answer to each of his questions. He is not entitled to anything more, and extra "explanations", "comments", or "opinions" are to be avoided.


1. Tell the Truth

2. Never lose your temper.

3. Speak slowly and clearly.

4. If you don't understand the question, ask that it be explained.

5. Answer all questions directly, giving concise answers to the questions, and STOP TALKING.

6. Stick to the facts and testify to only that which you personally know.

7. Do not magnify your losses. Do not exaggerate.

8. Testify only to "basic facts" and do not attempt to give opinions.................unless you have good reason for knowing such matters.

9. If you don't know, admit it. Some witnesses think they should have an answer for every question asked. You cannot know all of the facts and you do yourself a disservice if you attempt to testify to facts with which you are not acquainted. It is IMPERATIVE that you be HONEST and STRAIGHTFORWARD in your testimony.

10. It is not our purpose to give the opposing party any more information than we have to. This is no time to convince the other side of the value of your case. We will do that at another time.

11. Don't guess or estimate time, speed, or distance unless you are sure that the estimate is correct, and then make certain that when you answer that you state that this is your estimate.

12. Many cases are lost because the witness tries to hide something. Tell the whole truth on these depositions.

13. If we object to a question, stop talking and we will instruct you after we object to either answer the question or not to answer it.

14. After the depositions are over, do not discuss anything in the presence of the opposing lawyers or the reporter.

15. Perhaps the most important aspect of your lawsuit is YOU and the appearance you make. If you give the appearance of earnestness, fairness, and honesty, and if in giving your discovery deposition you keep in mind the suggestions herein made, you will be taking a great stride toward successful and satisfactory completion of the litigation in which you are involved. WHAT YOU DO at the deposition can help you or hurt you depending upon your attitude, truthfulness, and appearance.



In all civil legal proceedings there is a requirement to exchange relevant documents. In most courts, this involves delivering sworn Affidavits of Documents. The purpose of this memo is to emphasize the crucial importance of doing this properly.


Form 30A used in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice is the most common format for the Affidavit of Documents. It is divided into three parts, or “Schedules:”

A: documents you have and will produce
B: documents you have, but object to produce
C: documents you no longer have

Under the Simplified Procedure (see memo#3) there is a further Schedule D, being a list of persons with knowledge of the matters raised in the proceeding. In the Affidavit, you certify that you have never had any other relevant documents in your possession, control, or power - a sworn statement that could haunt you at trial if incorrect. In Small Claims Court, where an Affidavit is not required, nevertheless all trial documents are required to be produced to the other side at least 14 days before trial.


The Rules of Civil Procedure technically require an Affidavit of Documents to be delivered “within ten days after the close of pleadings”, i.e. ten days after the last Claim or Defence has been served. Counsel generally allow an indulgence for a reasonable time thereafter. You cannot, however, require the attendance of the opposite party on examination for discovery if you have not served your Affidavit of Documents. If new documents are produced before trial, e.g. an up-to-date medical opinion letter, you must either amend your Affidavit or deliver a supplementary one.


You must allow the opposite party the right to inspect the documents in Schedule A, and it is the usual practice to serve a book containing copies of these documents when serving the Affidavit.


Schedule B requires you to list any privileged documents, such as your lawyer’s investigation file, and letters between us. if such documents are not described adequately, the other side can ask for a court order requiring more specificity - and the costs of such a proceeding are going to be payable by you.


Basically, anything which could be used at trial to support either side’s case, that is not oral testimony, is a document. Photos, maps, accounts, and computer data are documents.


Data, being a “document” must be listed. This rather new kind of production must be taken very seriously. If you have relevant accounting data, E-mails, or word processed documents on you computer, you must conserve that evidence and allow inspection of it. It is becoming common to look at the “metadata”, being the hidden information relating to a computer document, such as its creator and date of creation. E-mails, for example, have a header of information, not usually seen. We should discuss how to conserve electronic evidence immediately upon our retainer.


If you want to use documents at trial, you had better include them in your Affidavit. The trial judge is not likely to allow you to use them, or, if he does, he will probably assess a costs penalty. If you fail to produce documents that are known to be available, the trial judge will presume the content was against your case. Under the Simplified Procedure, you cannot call a witness you have not listed in Schedule D - including yourself!


We ask our clients to give us THE ORIGINAL COPY of any relevant documents as soon as we are retained. Please put them in good order (chronological is usually sensible), to reduce our time spent and, accordingly, your legal bill. Try to mount bits of paper, like receipts or photos, on a clean 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper for ease of photocopying. A descriptive list and numbered tabs are also helpful. For E-mails, we suggest you save each e-mail to a separate printable file, then edit and print each message on a separate piece of paper, deleting the extraneous “original message” text from replies; but do preserve the data in its original format on the computer. Above all, please consider the issues and deliver to us ALL possibly relevant documents.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "OIY VEY - he's back!"

What the heck is the problem now! Why?

Comrade Anonymous:

Chek-aty! Chek-aty! Chek-aty! ("Wait/Patience" - OR ELSE!). It's about to get a lot more interesting - stay tuned!

Uncle Joe

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

OIY VEY - he's back!

Or as Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz would say, "Well, guess what folks!"

To our many Russian/Ukrainian readers, "It's Oiy, Yoi, Yoi, Yoi, Yoi time!"

Last word to Uncle "No people no problem no problem no people!" Joe:

Dobry Den ("How's it going eh?") Ste. Rita, Manitoba Comrades:

This is not good! Start another petition to save CyberSmokeBlog. Erect a fireproof sign:

"Welcome to OUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT - We support CYBERSMOKEBLOG in it's struggle against MMF provocation!"

..... OR ELSE!

Da! Da! Canada!


Monday, July 09, 2007

Perhaps the lady shouldn't be smiling so smugly - BUSTED!

Spike In Pot Arrests Tied To Bill's Demise
Globe And Mail
July 9, 2007
Page A6

OTTAWA - The number of people arrested for smoking pot rose dramatically in several Canadian cities last year after the Conservatives took office and killed a bill to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijauna.

The spike in arrests for simple possession of cannabis appears in data compiled by The Canadian Press from municipal police forces through interviews and Access to Informatioin Act requests.

National statistics will be released next week, but preliminary figures suggest the number of arrests jumped by more than one-third in several Canadian cities.

Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and Halifax all reported increases of between 20 and 50 per cent in 2006, while Montreal and Calgary saw their number of arrests dip a few percentage points from the previous year.

As a result, thousands of people were charged with a criminal offence that only recently was within a whisker of extinction. Every Party in the House of Commons except the Conservatives supported a bill to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, but the Liberal government that sponsored it never brought it to a final vote.

Severeal police officials say the trend is directly linked to that proposed legislation, which died as a result of the 2006 federal election.

Terry McLaren, President of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, said many forces simply stopped laying charges after the Liberals first introduced a deccriminalization bill in 2003.

"Everybody was waiting for what was going to happen. There'd be no use clogging up the court system with that decriminalization bill there," he said.

"When that was defeated, I'd say it was business as usual."

The number of people charged plunged from 26,882 in 2002 and remained relatively steady at about 19,000 for the three years that decriminalization was being debated.

The bill would have made possession under 15 grams a non-criminal offence punishable by fines starting at $150.

Canadian Press

Sound like your workplace? Better yet it describes your manager!

Office Jerks Finish First
Being An Office Bully Can Do Wonders For Your Career

By Patrick White
The Globe And Mail
July 9, 2007
Page L1

Picture an office where you're surrounded by decent human beings. Your co-workers share responsibility in good times and bad. They listen, they co-operate, they keep the office kitchen clean.

Sound much like your office?

Not likely. Nearly three-quarters of us face rudeness and condescension at work, researchers at the University of Illinois say. Jerks lurk behind the cubicle walls of every office.

Organizational psychologists call them extreme personalities. Human-resources departments call them problem employees. The author of a recent bestselling book - along with much of the working world - uses another name.
"For me, more polite synonyms, such as bully, abuser, despot or tyrant, don't quite capture the pain and anger that these creeps provoke in others," says Robert Sutton, author of The No-Asshole Rule, which has sparked a movement among such companies as Google, Mozilla and Southwest Airlines to purge workplaces of all varieties of jerk.

But is the jig really up for the office jerk? Don't count on it, many experts say. For better or worse, office jerks get noticed.

In other words, if Dr. Sutton's tag describes you, perhaps you should keep doing what you're doing.

"They do it because it works," Toronto-based career coach Alan Kearns says.

"They are bold, they take risks, they have a sense of mission. They can also be very charming."

What's worse, that brazen charm often comes off as a sign of intelligence.

"When people are engaged in dominance behaviour, others see them as smarter and more competent," says Larissa Tiedens, who teaches interpersonal and team dynamics at Stanford University's business school.

In one study, Dr. Tiedens played for subjects one of two clips that showed former U.S. president Bill Clinton responding to the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

In one clip, a fiery Mr. Clinton defended himself and demanded that impeachment proceedings be dropped wth forceful hand gestures and strong speech. The second clip showed a more remorseful, apologetic Mr. Clinton. Those who watched the furious Mr. Clinton were much more likely to say his actions were beyond reproach.

"We think of these people as deserving even more status," Dr. Tiedens says. "Not only do they have it, but they should have more."

Jerks are scrappy by nature. They see co-workers as incompetent rivals rather than colleagues. The office becomes a Royal Rumble.

In place of pile drivers and body slams, these workplace grapplers have visual and verbal moves that researchers have identified. They tend to stand with an open posture, speak in deep, loud voices, gesture wildly, impinge on co-workers' personal space and stare directly at others.

A researcher at Harvard University, Teresa Amabile, has traced the outcomes of jerk-type behaviour. In a comparison of book reviews, Dr. Amabile found that authors of negative reviews where seen as more intelligent than authors of positive ones.

That "brilliant-but-cruel" effect is a strong incentive for biting criticism in the workplace.

Even Dr. Sutton's book includes a chapter on the virtues of being the workplace jerk. He shows that, while being an office pest may not be good for your status in the eyes of co-workers, it could do wonders for your career.

"The academic evidence generally says that if you need to establish your position in the office, then glaring at people, may be insulting them, maybe fighting are actually going to be quite constructive," Dr. Sutton says. "If you're an office pushover, sometimes you just have to fight back."

Career coaches don't wholeheartedly encourage taking on the persona of a jerk just to get ahead, but they do agree with Dr. Sutton that office pipsqueaks shouldn't let others kick sand in their faces either.

If I'm coaching someone who lacks assertiveness, the office doormat so to speak, I might want them to start weighing into conflict more often," agrees Dr. Stephane Brutus, a career coach and organizational psychologist at Montreal's Concordia University.

"Whenever a conflict arises even a small one, you have to get in there. It could even be in the line at the grocery store."

While Dr. Sutton doesn't advocate picking picking up jerk traits, he says that in some workplaces it may be unavoidable if you're ambitious: "In some cultures, though, being tough is necessary. It'll still make you an asshole, but a necessary asshole."

Some workers ride the jerk impulse all the way to the corner office. In fact, narcissistic employees, nasty as they can be, comprise some of the most visionary of business leaders, according to Narcissistic Leaders: Who succeeds and Who Fails, an influencial book by psychoanalyst Michael Macoby published in 2003 and reissued in May.

Dr. Macoby finds that the most revered business leaders in the United States - Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Jack Welch, Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos among them - are driven, above all, "by power and glory."

Narcissistic can be "emotionally distant and highly distrustful." Dr. Macoby says. "Perceived threats can trigger rage. Achievements can feed feelings of grandiosity."

Sound like anyone you know?

There are well-documented drawbacks to picking up career tips from narcissistic jerks, of course.

"They may get promoted, but nobody is loyal to them," Mr. Kearns said. "Because of that they're not sticky in an organization. Good people with friends get the benefit of the doubt if they screw up."

But for the rest of us- the non-jerks, of course there's at least one good reason to tolerate them, Dr. Macoby says.

"If you hitch to them at the right time, you'll get rich. You could come out a multimillionaire."

"But you've got to be careful not to fall in love with one who's got no moral compass - just look at Enron."

Fortunately, contrary to what Dr. Sutton and some of his colleagues are suggesting, you don't have to be an ....... to to succeed in the business world. Nice guys don't always necessarily finish last

An instructive case study is that of Jack "NUCLEAR" Welch mentioned in the article.

Welches Reach Divorce Settlement Before Trial Starts
By Del Jones, USA TODAY

Jack and Jane Welch avoided their divorce trial scheduled to begin today by agreeing to a settlement and sidestepping more embarrassment to themselves and to the General Electric company that Jack led for 21 years.

How hundreds of millions of dollars were divided went undisclosed. Both sides declined comment beyond confirming that the divorce was final.

"It certainly takes a problem off of your list of problems," says Donald Trump, who had his own highly publicized divorce from Ivana in 1990.

The Welch divorce was shaping up to be one of the business world's most publicized split-ups in years until Thursday's settlement reduced it to a one-sentence statement.

The divorce, Jack Welch's second, ends his 13-year marriage to Jane, who is 17 years younger.

Jack Welch, 67, became involved in a romantic affair that began almost two years ago with then-Harvard Business Review editor Suzy Wetlaufer, now 43.

Wetlaufer resigned under pressure from the business journal in April 2002 for compromising journalistic ethics by getting involved with an interview subject.

Jack Welch and Wetlaufer live together, mostly on Nantucket Island, Mass., during the summer, according to someone who knows Wetlaufer.

They recently attended the 40th wedding anniversary party of Bob and Myra Kraft, owners of the New England Patriots, according to the society page of the Boston Globe.

Jan Bobrow, whose divorce from former Ernst & Young CEO Richard Bobrow was settled in November, says divorces involving CEOs leave wives hurt, but they carry on. "The man's life does not change, because the majority of the time, he has someone new living with him," she says.

When divorce negotiations stretched out, Jane Welch disclosed that Jack was getting sizable retirement perks from GE, including an apartment and the use of a GE jet. Welch agreed to pay $2 million a year for their use.

The Securities and Exchange Commission launched an informal investigation to determine if the lucrative retirement package was disclosed in filings. GE referred questions about the matter Thursday to the SEC, and the SEC declined to comment.

Early in the divorce proceedings, Jane Welch's lawyer William Zabel promised to keep dirty laundry out of the media by reaching a quick settlement. But that ended when the sides could not agree in valuing the fortune. Jane's lawyers believed it was worth $800 million, Jack's lawyers said it was $450 million.

The discrepancy revolved largely around Welch's GE stock options. But there were other issues unique to the Welch divorce.

Jay Fishman, a business appraiser who determines the value of future speaking engagements and product endorsements of entertainers and athletes, says few CEOs have celebrity value, but Welch would be an exception.

Clare L. Pieuk