Monday, April 21, 2008

Time to wake up and smell the coffee Terry Belhumeur!

Interested Legal Observer has left a new comment on your post "$The Murraygate Tapes$ - Episode 2!"

Mr. Terry Belhumeur only has himself to blame. It appears that he has consistently ignored correspondence from counsel for David Chartrand and the Manitoba Metis Federation (Mr. Murray Trachtenberg, I believe is the lawyer’s name) and, despite repeated warnings, has failed to comply with his disclosure obligations under the Queen's Bench Rules.

From Belhumeur's latest comment to his friend and in-law Derryl Sanderson, posted on Sanderson's blog ( - "Terry Belhumeur Distances Himself From Anti-Metis Advocate Clare Peiuk" - April 17, 2008), it is obvious he still doesn't "get it." He talks of "the upcoming trial by judge and jury," but he does not realize that if Murray Trachtenberg is ultimately successful in this motion to strike out Belhumeur's defence, that will be the end of the line for Belhumeur. No trial, no defence, no opportunity to present his side of the case or to cross-examine the plaintiffs.
Because of Belhumeur’s non-responsiveness and reckless non-compliance with the Rules, the plaintiffs now have an excellent chance to knock Belhumeur out as a defendant to this action. If Mr. Trachtenberg and the Manitoba Metis Federation are successful in doing this, they can then note Belhumeur in default of this action, schedule a date for a default hearing – and obtain a default judgment against Belhumeur. Once that happens, it’s game over for Mr. Belhumeur. The plaintiffs will have the right to collect their judgment against him without him ever having had his day in court. And Belhumeur would only have himself to blame.

Although there would be a certain poetic justice in this, it would be a genuine tragedy in a larger sense. From my observations of this lawsuit, it is obvious the one thing the plaintiffs are dreading is having such monstrosity actually proceed to trial. From my own research, I know several of the plaintiffs have criminal records and, shall we say, tarnished reputations, and would be extremely vulnerable if ever exposed to the scrutiny of cross-examination under oath. If Belhumeur cares at all about having the opportunity to present his side of the story at trial and hold these defendants’ feet to the fire, he will proceed forthwith to provide Mr. Trachtenberg with the disclosure he is requesting. No more delays, no more excuses. It is inexcusable that Belhumeur has not taken his obligations seriously to this point.

With all due respect to him, Belhumeur needs to wake up and become actively involved in this lawsuit. It is not sufficient for him to simply do what he is now doing, namely, surface every few months with sporadic complaints about David Chartrand and declarations of Metis ancestry. He ignores his obligations at his own peril. Belhumeur now stands at a crossroads, and only he can determine whether he chooses to do the necessary spadework or whether he will be defeated by his own slothfulness.
Being an outdoorsman, we've added an animated Canada goose from his T.B. Outfitting homepage in the hope he'll notice your comments.
Dear Interested Legal Observer:
Thank you for writing. We'd like to add two comments:
(1) When Terry Belhumeur and I had the same attorney (Then co-defendant Vanessa Everton had tanked and gone into the Witness Protection Program refusing to respond to any of his correspondence later claiming she didn't even know a lawsuit had commenced?), there's a lot a client can do to help their case. It was as though Mr. Belhumeur expected lawyer Jeff Niederhoffer and I to do all the heavy lifting yet he'd be the first in line when we gained an advantage benefiting him as well
According to comments made to me, his wife never really approved of his public criticism of the MMF's leadership. During the first week of February, 2006 without prior consultation involving our attorney (Jeff Niederhoffer) or I, Mr. Belhumeur arbitrarly changed's password and username locking me out. In a telephone conversation he cited his wife's anger as one of the primary factors in the decision. Shortly thereafter he posted a long, rambling tome apologizing all over himself to the MMF presumably in the hope of being dropped as a co-defendant. Obviously it didn't work because he's still a litigant
Mr. Niederhoffer and I became increasingly concerned with his impulsive behaviour so later during February, 2006 I offered to purchase the rights to There's a $200 fee (payable by credit card) to change the registration, however, Mr. Belhumeur's was maxed to the limit on his and I don't use them so I offered to provide a cheque. He agreed but once again did nothing even after being remined on a second occasion. At the time, CyberSmokeSignals had accumulated over 275,000 visitors since it's inception (Summer, 2000) and was averaging over 200 hits daily.
Today it is a moribund shell of what it used to be
(2) In a letter dated December 17, 2007 (recieved the following day) Counselor Trachtenberg tried the same strategy on me as he's now using against Co-Defendant Belhumeur - submit an Affidavit of Document and respond to your Undertakings or I'll file a Motion with the Court to have your Statement of Defence trashed. In my case, he arbitrarily set a deadline of December 28, 2007
The next evening after work I had to leave for London, Ontario to spend some quality time with my then 84 year old Mother who has advanced Alzheimer's Disease and to help my brother-in-law and sister research home care facilitities. Instead I had to spend the next 10 days virtually chained to a couputer preparing a 15 page Affidavit of Documents, a two page response to his request for information on my Undertakings plus 38 pages of type-written interrogatories. These are questions to which he'll have to respond and I'll be able to use at trial
My fondest memory of Christmas Day 2007, sitting at a computer taking time out only long enough to have dinner with my family
Counselor Trachtenberg, I have not forgotten this no will I for a very long time! I will do everything in my power at trial to inform the judge and jury of your ignorant, insensitive behaviour! And yes, I barely met his December, 28 2007 deadline - nice try too bad it didn't work!
He just doesn't get it. There are those of us who must go to work every day to make an honest living while he receives at least $250/hour in Canadian taxpayers dollars provided by David Chartrand to pursue such a frivolous lawsuit. The Plaintiffs have given him a blank cheque which is making him wealthy


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The other issue here is that, for several months, Belhumeur hasn't bothered to maintain his posts on Cybersmokesignals. It's not clear what the motivation was for him to essentially shut down CSS - was it laziness? did he believe there was a deal on the table for him to shut down CSS in exchange for a settlement on the lawsuit? However, this decision by Terry to neuter CSS was singlehandedly his biggest mistake. More than anything, this highlights how maive he really has been about this process. In a lawsuit where public opinion can be your greatest friend, and the plaintiffs smell weakness just as surely as sharks smell blood, passivity is the last thing a defendant should display. Because of this inaction, the Federation and its legal counsel now think that they can kick Terry around and that he won't defend himself.

2:39 PM  

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