Monday, January 31, 2011

The mesh network!

Hackers' Egypt Rescue Get Protesters Back Online
By Dan Lyons
Dan Lyons is technology editor at Newsweekand creator of Fake Steve Jobs, the persona behind the notorious technology, The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs. Before joining Newsweek, Lyons spent 10 years at Forbes.

With the Internet down across Egypt, Google and Twitter have come up with a way for Egyptians to tweet using their phones. Now, Dan Lyons reports, a group of hackers is close to delivering software that could turn laptops into low-cost Internet routers—and help protesters organize.

Hours after the government in Egypt shut down that country’s access to the Internet, hackers around the world started banding together to craft some kind of workaround. And one group claims to be only a day or two away from delivering a partial solution.

Their initiative is called the Open Mesh Project and it began when Shervin Pishevar, an Internet entrepreneur in Palo Alto, California, posted a message on Twitter calling for help shipping software into Egypt that could turn regular laptops into low-cost Internet routers, forming what’s known as a “mesh network,” where each computer can route messages along to the others.

Since then, engineers from around the world have been spreading the word and kicking in to help. The mesh network would at least let people communicate with others located close to them. The laptops can all talk to each other. If one goes out, messages just find another way to zip through the cluster of machines.

“This would at least let people build an ad hoc mobile network,” Pishevar said. “At the very least, people inside Egypt will be able to communicate with each other and organize.”

Also, if someone in the mesh network manages to obtain a connection to the outside world, that person can share his or her connection with others on the mesh network.

In a similar team effort, engineers from Google and Twitter have figured out a way to let people in Egypt send tweets over any phone, either landline or mobile. The technology converts spoken words in a voicemail message into text messages that can be sent over Twitter.

“You could have a number of these routers in backpacks or in cars moving around the city or mounted on rooftops—and with these you could create a kind of secondary Internet, one that would not be blockable,” Pishevar says.

There are still a few ways to get onto the Internet in Egypt, even though as of Monday the government announced it had shut down Noor, the one ISP that had continued to operate even after last Thursday’s shutdown.

Some people are using landline connections and dial-up modems to call ISPs in other countries and get onto the Internet. Still others are using satellite connections.

Pishevar posted his call to arms on Twitter soon after the Egyptian government shut down the Internet last Thursday, January 27. One of the first to respond was Gary Jay Brooks, who runs a tech company in Traverse City, Michigan.

Brooks put up a website and started fielding messages from engineers around the world. He says he has also been in touch with wireless engineers inside Egypt who could help distribute and install mesh networking software.

A team of engineers in the United States has “pieces and parts” of software that could be put together to create a mesh-networking program that would be easy for regular people to install and use, says Brooks. “In less than 48 hours, we can put a program together and distribute it via CDs or USB thumb drives,” he says.

Mesh networking is an old idea. Oddly enough, the low-cost XO Laptop built by the One Laptop Per Child organization—the so-called $100 laptop—was designed with built-in mesh networking. The idea with the XO machine was that many kids using those laptops would be out in rural areas without reliable Internet access. But they could at least connect with each other. And, if at least one person in a village had an Internet connection, everyone could share it.

(Page 2 of 2)

OLPC has shipped XO machines to Egypt, but a spokeswoman for the group said there is no program taking place now to use those machines to connect people during the Internet blackout.

But there are other ways to make a mesh network without building it into laptops. Pishevar received an email from a team of engineers in Canada who have designed a miniature networking router, about the size of a brick, that contains mesh networking software (emphais ours). “They heard about what we were doing and reached out to us—it’s exactly what I was envisioning,” Pishevar says.

The product they’ve been working on is a mobile router, small enough to fit into a backpack. “You could have a number of these routers in backpacks or in cars moving around the city or mounted on rooftops—and with these you could create a kind of secondary Internet, one that would not be blockable,” he says.

Pishevar said he needs about $1 million in funding to start manufacturing the routers, and could have them ready to go in three or four months. He says he’s already received a funding commitment from a venture capitalist, though he did not want to identify the investor. “It’s all moving so fast. It’s like a startup. It’s all organized via Twitter, and it’s all volunteers,” he says.

Presumably Egypt will have re-opened Internet access before these little routers are ready to go. But Pishevar hopes to build them anyway and distribute them in countries with repressive governments—he mentioned Iran, Syria, and Yemen—to prevent something like the current situation in Egypt from happening somewhere else.

Pishevar, 36, was born in Iran and escaped with his family 30 years ago in the wake of the Iranian revolution. He attended the University of California, Berkeley and became an Internet entrepreneur. He has started several companies and now runs a Web videogame company called Social Gaming Network.

Pishevar says his childhood experience in Iran is what got him motivated to do something about the situation in Egypt. “I’m an American,” he says. “I’m a child of war. I remember Saddam dropping bombs in the Iran-Iraq War. Others have been through much worse than I have, but that defined my ideas around freedom.”

He wants to ship mesh-networking technology into “any country where there is dictatorship,” he says. “My dream is that in my lifetime we can get rid of dictatorships—I want to eradicate dictators from our planet.”

The good news is that thousands of geeks and hackers and engineers from around the planet apparently agree with him.

For inquiries, please contact The Daily Beast at

Hey that's my chair!

Cyberactivists: The faceless social media revolution!

The Law Society of Manitoba disbars a lawyer!

Good Day Readers:

This is a follow up to a Law Society of Manitoba Disciplinary Case Digest we posted recently by The Public Eye.

Truth To Power (;

However, it was a no brainer because Mr. Dolovich had already been convicted of possession and distribution of child pornography. He plead not guilty to conduct unbecoming a lawyer but neither he nor his counsel attended the disciplinary hearing. At least the LSM got this one right.

Clare L. Pieuk
January 31, 2011
Disbarred Manitoba Lawyer Gary Dolovich


TAKE NOTICE that by resolution of the Discipline Committee of The Law Society of Manitoba, GARY PHILIP DOLOVICH was convicted of conduct unbecoming and was disbarred and his name struck from the Rolls of Barristers and Solicitors of the Society.

DATED at the City of Winnipeg, in the Province of Manitoba, this 1st day of December, 2010.

Allan Fineblit, Q.C.
Chief Executive Officer

Save the books before it's too late!

Good Day Readers:

Recently we had occasion to spend time in the library at the Provincial Law Courts Building and frankly we were astonished and appalled ! Time and time again we saw books some dating to the early 1800s and one as far back as 1744 literally disintegrating before your very eyes - spines and bindings falling appart, pages in need of restoration plus covers that required refurbishing. But it didn't end there. A complete lack of security (not even cameras) meant anyone could easily have walked away with any of these priceless works.

Why can't those books requiring immediate preservation at least be placed under lock and key in hermeticaly sealed plexiglas containers before they turn to dust? Once gone they're irreplaceable.

For those who have not yet visited the library we highly recommend you do so if for no other reason than to see the magnificent architecture that dates to the building of the Legislature. Our preliminary research suggests the Law Society of Manitoba is responsible for maintenance and upkeep of the facility.

Clare L. Pieuk

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Why oh why?

Good Day Readers:

The Public Eye has posted the following Law Society of Manitoba Discipline Case Digest.

Truth To Power (;

Upon reading this Digest one is left to ponder after working so hard and spending so much money to earn a law degree why on earth would someone throw it all away with a child pornography possession and distribution conviction? At this stage in life where and what kind of job can a disbarred lawyer with a criminal record hope to find? Sad, really sad!

Sincerely/Clare L. Pieuk


January 29, 2011
Disbarred Manitoba Lawyer Gary Dolovich

Case 10-08

Member: Gary Philip Dolovich

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Called to the Bar: June 20, 1991

Particulars of Charges: Conduct Unbecoming (1 count):

- Breach of Chapter 1 of the Code of Professional Conduct [breach of Sections 163.1(3) and (4) of the Criminal Code of Canada – possession and distribution of child pornography]

Plea: Not Guilty

Date of Hearing: October 7, 2010

- D. Bedford (Chair)
- E. Leibl, Q.C.
- M. Browne

- K. Dangerfield for The Law Society of Manitoba
- Member/Counsel for the Member did not appear

- Disbarment
- Costs of $2,086.56

Conduct Unbecoming


On March 31, 2009 Mr. Dolovich was convicted of possession and distribution of child pornography contrary to sections 163.1(4) and 163.1(3), respectively, of the Criminal Code of Canada. The criminal convictions did not relate directly to any contact or conduct with clients. Mr. Dolovich was charged with conduct unbecoming for failing to discharge with integrity his duties to clients, the court, the profession and the public.


The member chose not to attend the proceedings and no plea was entered by him. Accordingly, the panel proceeded as if a plea of not guilty had been entered.

Decision and Comments

The panel was satisfied that the Committee was properly convened, had the appropriate quorum, had the jurisdiction to hear the Citation against Mr. Dolovich, and that Mr. Dolovich had proper notice of the proceedings. The hearing proceeded in his absence.

With respect to Mr. Dolovich’s criminal convictions, the panel determined that Mr. Dolovich’s conduct was inconsistent with his role as a lawyer and would cause both the other members of the profession and the public to seriously doubt whether he had the integrity to act as a lawyer in accordance with his duties. Though Mr. Dolovich’s convictions were not related to any client matters, they represented private conduct of such an egregious nature that they risked undermining public trust in the legal community as a whole. The panel was satisfied that Mr. Dolovich had failed to discharge with integrity the duties owed to clients, the court and the profession in regard to the matters in question. The panel found that the Law Society had met the onus upon it and found Mr. Dolovich guilty of conduct unbecoming.


The panel considered Mr. Dolovich’s plea of guilty at the criminal trial, and that he had sought and responded positively to treatment by the time of his criminal sentencing. While these factors were construed generally in Mr. Dolovich’s favour, the nature of the offences was such that they did not mitigate conduct which was in violation of the criminal laws Mr. Dolovich was required as a member of the profession to uphold.

The panel ordered that Mr. Dolovich be disbarred and struck from the Rolls of the Society. In addition, it ordered that Mr. Dolovich be required to pay costs in the amount of $2,086.56.

"Free Blackie!" It all starts here Law Society of Manitoba!

"Friend to those who have no friend ..... enemy of those who make him an enemy - that's Blackie!"

Good Day Readers:

Through vaious innovative means we'll be championing Blackie's cause. We've already started by making an easily missed but significant change. Since CyberSmokeBlog came online (March 2006) it's byline has been, "It all continues here David!" a reference to Manitoba Metis Federation President David Chartrand. To explain.

Terry Belhumeur founded during the summer of 2000. It seems the MMF had made the rookie mistake of failing to register that name with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). In what was then termed "cybersquatting" Mr. Belhumeur paid approximately $50 to acquire the naming rights to as he'd also done with 5-other Aboriginal sites subsequently choosing the, "It all starts here David!" byline. Mr. Belhumeur went on to display the Federation's logo but was threatened with legal action by MMF lawyer Murray Trachtenberg if he did not immediately remove it which he did.

Once the site had reached approximately 3,000-4,000 visitors, Mr. Trachtenberg then filed a 107-page 23-tab formal complaint (Wonder what that cost taxpayers?) with ICANN signed April 18, 2001 by current MMF Executive Director Donald Rouletter. Not surprisingly Mr. Belhumeur lost. He could have appealed the decision to the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench but that would have entailed legal costs which he wasn't preparied to incurr. It's interesting to note at the time had he done so it would have made Canadian legal history. No one had court challenged an ICANN ruling. Thus CyberSmokeSignals was born and the, "It all starts here David!" byline lived on.

On March 31, 2005 the MMF filed a lawsuit against In late February of 2006 after failing in an attempt to purchase the registration rights to CyberSmokeSignals Mr. Belhumeur arbitrarily and unilaterally changed the Password and Username thereby denying us access. Our lawyer at the time, Mr. Jeff Niederhoffer, then encouraged and with his technical expertise helped establish CyberSmokeBlog as you know it today. Thus "It all continues here David!" was born.

Fast forward to the present. A lawyer whom we know to be of high integrity and ethics,Blackie, is facing multiple complaints of misconduct launched by a Winnipeg attorney "Mr. Y" ("Mr. Y What a guy!") and his accomplance who has also filed a separate complaint. Organization ZZZ is also mentioned in the Law Society of Manitoba Citation which we recently published because no LSM or Queen's Bench publication ban exists. Further, under the terms of The Legal Profession Act [Section 79(1)] the name of an accused cannot be identified until a disciplinary hearing has taken place and a decision rendered. Therefore we chosen Blackie based on Jack Boyle's famous character of the 1920s-1950s Boston Blackie (books, radio, movies, television) a highly successful safecracker and jewel thief who "graduated" to become a detective.

If you can believe this the actual initals of those involved and that of the organization were used in the Citation. As a further precaution we changed them to Mr. X, Mr. Y and organizaiton ZZZ. As part of our publicity campaign we decided it was appropriate and time to change our byline to, "Free Blackie! It all starts here Law Society of Manitoba."

Blackie is a former LSM member who left a few years ago to practice criminal defence law in another province which he does to this day. He has filed a Motion to have the Law Society lawyer appointed to prosecute him (David M. Skwark - FillmoreRiley; resuse himself on the grounds a few years ago both he and Blackie were on oppsite sides of an alleged employment sexual harassment case. At one point, athough never realized, Mr. Skwark threatened Blackie with a defamation lawsuit which Blackie will argue constitutes a conflict of interest. Both sides have agreed Winnipeg lawyer Grant Mitchell (Taylor & McCaffery) will hear the Motion arguments.

On February 8th there will be a conference call involving the Law Society's Disciplinary Committee and Blackie. It is our understanding Blackie will confirm he has received the Law Society's opposing Motion Brief and a date will then be set for the formal Hearing of his Motion. CyberSmokeBlog will be there covering the meeting although it's expected to be rather short much like the two previous ones we've attended and reported upon.

In the near future we'll begin rolling out our "Free Blackie!" campaign. Please stay tuned it should be interesting.

Sincerely/Clare L. Pieuk

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The return of "O!"

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "The questions!"

OMG, I can't wait to see how long it will take the Canadian government to process your request. All the people Metis and otherwise want to know the "ANSWERS" to your questions.

Go Go Go

Dear O...
As always, thank you for writing. You're still Number One!
As Canadian taxpayers you and others have a fundamental right to this information after all it's your money. Politicians and The Access to Information Act being what they are, we expect we'll have to file follow up requests. That notwithstanding, we'll post any and all repies received concerning this matter.
Clare L. Pieuk

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wonder what the Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi thinks of this?

Read his excellent article:

The Crying Shame of John Boehner - He's a lazy, double -talking shill for corporate interests. So how's he going to fare with the Tea Party?

Who's "Ms G" and where is she?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post. "Deja vu all over again" ..... Yogi Berra"

Hello Mr. Pieuk:

What interesting reading today! It would seem that Vic Populi has found the very Discipline Notice from Alberta that lead to my finding the divorce file when I first read about the second complaint against Douglas.

Apparently, the complaint of Ms. G has been dismissed. The CJC has issued a press release on the matter and you can view it here:

Sadly, it would appear that Ms. G did not have the necessary evidence for the complaint to move forward. Though it would appear this woman has some very stringent ethics! Filing complaints about her own husband and a judge takes some serious backbone and I applaud her efforts to hold them to the "supposed" ethical standards of the profession.

That being said, considering the findings from this hearing, combined with quotes Mr. McIntyre had from court transcripts, (, and finally inclduing the Douglas/King/Chapman mess, it certainly puts the question of whether or not the LSM has any conduct standards for the profession at all!

I certainly will make more effort to get to "coffee" with the boys, and perhaps make it to the Courthouse to find that Forensic Report!

As for my wife, I am not denied my personal vices, she just expects me to remain gainfully employed to support hers! A tolerant and supportive woman, I have no desire nor inclination to trade her in. From what I've seen of the newer models, they seem to be far more expensive and unpredictable! I'm quite content and am lucky to have her.

I continue to seek,


Dear VJH:

As always thank you very much for taking the time to write. Thank goodness for The Public Eye!

Truth To Power (;

Mr. Populi is to be commended. We haven't done the research but he is likely one of the few, and perhaps only, practicing lawyers and bloggers publishing the results from law society disiplinary hearings. While he has featured multiple societies on his site several have focused on the Law Society of Manitoba. We imagine the attorneys he has highlighted and the LSM aren't exactly thrilled seeing this public domain information on the internet.

If one steps back it's interesting to note Douglas-King-Chapman, Ms G's complaint to the Canadian Judicial Council against Lorie Douglas and Winnipeg lawyer Mr. Y (and his accomplice) complaint against Blackie have certain parallels woven together into a bright colourful mosaic. To explain.

Alberta Court of Queen's Bench Chief Justice Wittman in his ruling about Ms G's complaint offers no comment as to what would lead the Complainant to even suggest a "personal relationship" may have existed between Lori Douglas and Ms G's now ex-husband. Was Ms G merely ranting and raving when she made the allegation? Possibly. What was the nature of the alleged "personal relatioinship?" Should Lori Douglas have recused herself from hearing the divorce case from the get go so avoid all appearance of a possible conflict of interest so this could have been avoided? Wouldn't it be interesting to hear Ms G's assessment of the CJC decision but realistically that's highly unlikely to happen.

When Lori Douglas signed the disclosure form that went to the Canadian Judicial Council that rules on the appointment of judges was it full and complete? Did the CJC exercise due diligence in varifying the contents of the disclosure? We raise this question because according to media reports it would appear half of Winnipeg's legal community had known of the Douglas-King-Chapman scandal for some time. It's unlikely we'll ever know.

Now for a parallel. Back to Blackie. There was an obvious conflict of interest in the LSM's appointment of David M. Skwark (FillmoreRiley) to prosecute him. Did the Law Society exercise due diligence in appointing Mr. Skwark as prosecutor? How could they have missed it? Did they care?

Our impression as a layperson of the LSM is it prides itself on being a quasi-judicial body with all kinds of procedual checks and balances to supposedly prevent miscarriages of justice. Its disciplinary committees sometimes appear to be composed of lawyers suffering from "repressed judge syndrome) so this is how they get relief. But in the end after they finish posturing, priding themselves and preening somehow they manage to get it wrong. The Defendant(s) with a note from their doctor walk away with a mild slap on the wrist. We need look no further than the example of Jack King. Maybe Blackie should tender a note from his doctor - you know, he had a headache when he allegedly commited the misconduct of which he stands accused.

What is needed is a public inquiry into the operations of the Law Society of Manitoba. A good place to start would be with it's handling of Douglas-King-Chapman followed by Blackie. Will that ever happen? Not bloody likely.

You'll notice in Chief Justice Wittman's ruling on Ms G's complaint one of the remidies available is to refer the matter to an Inquiry Committee. Why not bundle both complaints against Lori Douglas and do just that?

What all this, in our opinion, is leading to is a re-make of the way the LSM and other Canadian Societies do business. Re-invent yourselves or it will be done for you. Look at the examples of Great Britain and the United States which ceased self-regulation a few years ago.

On the subject of ladies they're such interesting little creatures. It seems you can't live with or without them. Our favourite quotes spoken with tongue in cheek:

"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." ..... Shakespeare

"A woman is only a woman but a good cigar is a smoke." ..... Rudyard Kipling

"No doubt exists that all women are crazy; it's only a matter of degree." ..... W. C. Fields

Sincerely/Clare L. Pieuk

P. S. VJH, time to return to "the coffee shop" to do more sleuthing don't you think?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What's in your wallet?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Get with the program Manitoba Metis change your mind-set!"

If someone really wants to help the Metis people, give them a Metis credit card with a low annual interest rate. Credit cards have annul rates starting at 18% and up to 28%. Give us a low interest Metis credit card with 3%-5% annual rate and you will really be helping the Metis. I can't see the affinity card doing much for Metis. If saving $0.80 at main stream shopping stores when you go shopping turns you on, then by all means spend $30 and get the affinity card. Did the commercial mention that it cost $30 to own one of those cards? I may have missed that. Those are just my thoughts and opinions on this Metis affinity card. What are your thoughts people? Will it work?


Dear Sir/Madam:

Completely agree with your comments.

Here's the commercial again. There's no mention of any membership fee associated with applying for and holding the afinity card. What needs to be examined closely is any agreement(s) that may exist between the company issuing the card and the MMF. This is not disclosed.

There may also be a privacy issue. You'll notice when your card is swiped to get points the information is available internally to the MMF which, if it chooses, can then share it with MEDO and ultimately it could end up in the hands of participating companies, businesses and merchants.

Question. Can you request your information the company responsible for operating the affinity card program does not share it with the MMF, MEDO and ultimately participating businesses? Companies have been know to sell client lists to advertisers. If you allow this to happen what's preventing you from receiving unsolicited mail (electronic or otherwise)? We're all heard about company client lists being hacked. How secure are those of the participants?

If David Chartrand thinks the Affinity Card is the answer to the MMF's financial woes he dreaming in quadruple technicolour - again! More hot air out the back of his shorts?

Clare L. Pieuk

Michele look at the camera!

Starve dummies!

8% of Americans Would Rather Starve Than Get Disconnected
By Graeme McMillan on January 24, 2011 8% of Americans Are Misguided At Best, AdAge, Our Survey Says

Giving up connectivity is hard to do. Apparently, it's especially hard to do for the 8% of participants in a recent survey that declared that they would rather give up eating than give up cable, cellphones or internet.

AdAge commissioned a survey from Ipsos Observer, asking 1000 Americans whether they'd be more willing to give up their cable, cellphone or internet. Aside from the 8% who probably need to leave the house more often, 49% said that cable would be the easiest habit to break, with 37% going for cellphone and only 6% saying internet (Yes, that's right: More people would be willing to give up eating than give up the internet). It's not necessarily the bad news for television companies that it looks like: A quarter of those taking part already watch programming on non-television platforms, and 18% admitted that they considered themselves "likely" to buy a 3D television in the next year.

Clearly, television manufacturers should work on creating edible 3D televisions, thereby helping those who'd rather stay connected than eat, even if it is just for a quick nibble between shows.

"Deja vu all over again" ..... Yogi Berra

Good Day Readers:

A special thank you to The Public Eye for posting this disciplinary hearing result from the Law Society of Alberta where he knew we'd find it. Truth To Power (;

What's interesting are its similarities with the Manitoba Law Society's badly bungled handling of the Jack King file when the Douglas-King-Chapman sex scandal first come to its attention several years ago. Like Mr. King the lawyer in this case also came equipped with a note from his doctor to mitigate possible sanctions.

For sexually harassing two female employees in the law office where he worked Jeffrey Plantje was suspended for 30 days (at the time he was on both the Law Societies of Alberta and Manitoba's inactive list), fined the princely sum of $1,500 made his way back to Manitoba were he managed to find himself practicing law again. You must admit after reading about the Plantje case it makes the LSM's complaint against Blackie filed by Winnipeg lawyer Mr. Y and his accomplice we posted yesterday look like chicken s..t.

But this fellow caught our attention for another reason or should we say his now former wife identified as Ms G in the Law Society of Alberta complaint. Associate Chief Justice Lori Douglas presided over his divorce from Ms G. which by all accounts was very messy to say the least. It is Ms G who has filed a complaint against Lori Douglas currently being adjudicated by the Canadian Judicial Council relating to her handling of the divorce.

VJH one of our regular readers has been looking into Ms G's divorce file and knows a lot more about the particulars than us. Perhaps he'd like to comment.

Sincerely/Clare L. Pieuk


January 26, 2011

Manitoba Lawyer Supspened Alberta Lawyer Jeffrey Pantje


1. On June 28th, 2007 a Hearing Committee of the Law Society of Alberta (LSA) convened at the Law Society office in Edmonton to inquire into the conduct of Jeffrey Plantje (the “Member”). The Committee was comprised of Neena Ahluwalia, as Chair, Douglas Mah Q.C. and Brian Beresh Q.C. The LSA was represented by Michael Penny. The Member was represented by P.G.Lister Q.C.

Jurisdiction and Preliminary Matters

2. Exhibits 1 through 4, consisting of the Letter of Appointment of the Hearing Committee, the Notice to Solicitor, the Notice to Attend, and the Certificate of Status of the Member, established the jurisdiction of the Committee.

3. There was no objection by the Member or Counsel for the LSA regarding the constitution of the Committee.

4. The Certificate of Exercise of Discretion was entered as Exhibit 5. Counsel for the Law Society advised that the LSA did not receive a request for a private hearing. Counsel for the Member confirmed that no request for a private Hearing was being made. The Hearing was held in public. It was decided that any report that is generated by the Hearing Committee would not disclose the names of the two female staff members.

5. Exhibits 6 through 14, contained in an exhibit binder provided to the Committee members and the parties, were admitted into evidence by consent.

6. The following additional exhibits were also entered into evidence by consent:

- Exhibit 15 - Agreed Statement of Facts and Admission of Guilt dated June 28th, 2007 and signed by the Member;

- Exhibit 16 – Letter to Mr. Penny from Mr. Busch dated June 27th, 2007,certifying that the Member has no discipline record.


7. The member faced the following citation:

It is alleged that you engaged in improper sexual conduct with female staff of the firm at which you were practicing which conduct is conduct deserving of sanction.

Agreed Statement of Facts and Admission of Guilt

8. The Agreed Statement of Facts and Admission of Guilt (Exhibit 15) states as follows:

1. Jeffrey Plantje is a member of the Law Society of Alberta, having been admitted to membership on March 30, 2005. He elected to become inactive on June 30,2006, and remains so. At all times relevant to the Citation he practiced with the firm, Prentice Chow with which he is no longer associated.

2. These matters arise during Mr. Plantje’s employment at Prentice Chow, and as a result of interaction between Mr. Plantje and two female employees of Prentice Chow.

3. The Citation and its particulars are:

1. It is alleged that you engaged in improper sexual conduct with female staff of the firm at which you were practicing which conduct is conduct deserving of sanction.

The particulars of this citation include:

(a) you sexually harassed two female staff of the firm at which you were practicing;
(b) you engaged in improper sexual conduct with two female staff of the firm at which you were practicing; and (c) you engaged in other sexually related conduct of an improper nature.

4. On May 18,2006, Plantje, in an attempt to reconcile with his estranged wife, Ms. G., sent a letter to her, in which he confessed to having conducted himself inappropriately with each of two legal assistants at Prentice Chow, “A” and “B” [Exhibit 6, Tab 1]

5. Ms.G. filed a complaint against Plantje with the Law Society on May 25, 2006 alleging “gross misconduct with support staff” to which she attached Plantje’s confessional letter. [Exhibit 6]

6. When Ms.G.’s complaint was brought to his attention, Plantje responded by admitting “to engaging in completely inappropriate behaviour with [“A” and “B”]”. [Exhibit 10]

7. Plantje’s inappropriate conduct with “A” began with his making inappropriate sexual comments to her. These comments developed into explicit conversations about sexual activity, in which Plantje says “A” was a “willing participant”. Plantje acknowledges that in the context of an employment relationship, in which he was “A”’s superior, his actions constituted sexual harassment. [Exhibit 6, Tab 1]

8. “A” was dismissed by Prentice Chow and on October 6, 2006, she sued the firm, its partners and Plantje for damages arising from wrongful termination of her employment. That lawsuit remains unresolved. [Exhibit 13]

9. Plantje’s relationship with “B” began with discussions Plantje characterizes as “flirting” between himself and “B”. Their conversations progressed to explicit discussion of sexual activity, and then engaging in sexual activity in the office and elsewhere. Plantje says again that “B” was a “willing participant”, but again acknowledges that in the context of an employment relationship in which he was “B”’s superior, his actions constituted sexual harassment.

10. On March 17, 2006, when Prentice Chow became aware of Plantje’s activities, they suspended him without pay. Prentice Chow merged their practice with Duncan & Craig LLP, and shortly after, Plantje resigned his employment, and then chose to become inactive.

11. Plantje is a member, currently also inactive, with the Law Society of Manitoba.

12. Mr. Plantje admits that he is guilty of the citation in this matter, with regard to the particulars at subparagraph (a) and (b) above, and acknowledges his conduct is conduct deserving of sanction.

9. Mr. Penny indicated that the particulars with regard to the citation were to be amended to delete subparagraph (c). The Hearing Committee determined that on the Agreed Statement of Facts, the particulars in subparagraph (b) were also to be amended to read as follows:

(b) you engaged in improper sexual conduct with one female staff of the firm at which you were practicing

Other Evidence

10. The Member testified under oath. He is 42 years old. He has one child. He has moved back to Manitoba and is currently looking for employment. He moved to Alberta in 2005 to be closer to his family. He started his employment with Prentice Chow in 2005 and his practice consisted mainly of corporate/commercial work along with some real estate matters. He spent 3 days a week in the Stony Plain office of Prentice Chow and 2 days a week in Drayton Valley.

He acknowledged that his letter to Ms. G. [Exhibit 6 Tab 1] was honest and written at her behest to help her through a difficult time. He related that in March of 2006, there was a decision made to terminate “A”’s employment at Prentice Chow because of her inablilty to get along with other staff members. It was at that time, his conduct became the source of a complaint by “A” to other lawyers of the firm. The Member realized that when other lawyers in the firm went to investigate the complaint, other conduct with another staff member would also come to light. The firm was in the process of merging with another firm and his conduct would become of concern and embarrassment. It was at that time that he resigned from the firm. In June of 2006, he went on the inactive list of the Law Society of Alberta.

The Member stated that he has been seeing Dr. Joseph Rallo since early November of 2006. Dr. Rallo is a registered psychologist in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He sees Dr. Rallo two or three times a month. The Member told the Hearing Committee that he is gaining insight into his behaviour. He told the Hearing Committee that he has identified triggers that lead to his inappropriate behaviour and is able to call upon coping mechanisms and tools to sway him from repeating his mistakes. The Member indicated that one step in his rehabilitative process is to take responsibility for his actions. To that end, he acknowledged that his conduct towards two female staff in his office was inappropriate and that he was admitting his guilt in the citation before the Hearing Committee.

Decision as to Citation

11. The Hearing Committee found that on the Agreed Statement of Facts and Admission of Guilt, the conduct of the Member, as stated in the citation is conduct deserving of sanction.


12. The Hearing Committee heard submissions regarding sanction from both counsel.

13. The Hearing Committee, mindful of the fact that the member had no prior discipline record, directed that the Member be suspended for a period of 30 days. It was encouraging to hear the Member state that he believed that the assistance that he was receiving from Dr. Rallo would ensure that the conduct complained of at this Hearing would not be repeated. The Hearing Committee was of the view that before the member returned to practice, another committee should be satisfied that the Member had taken steps to avoid a repeat of this behaviour. The Hearing Committee also ordered the following condition with regard to the Member’s return to practice:

The Member shall not be reinstated to active practice without a mandatory referral to the Practice Review Committee.

It is noted that the Hearing Committee was not unanimous in imposing this condition. Mr. Beresh Q.C. dissented on this point and will provide reasons separately.

14. Mr. Lister, on behalf of the Member, requested that the Notice of Suspension that is distributed not include the name of the Member. The purpose of this request was to protect the identities of the two female staff members. The Hearing Committee was of the view that, by not identifying the Member in the Notice of Suspension to the public and the profession, the entire purpose of the notice would be rendered meaningless. The request was denied.

15. The Hearing Committee also ordered the Member to pay costs of the Hearing set at $1,500.00. Upon request, the Member was given until December 31, 2007 to pay those costs.

Concluding Matters

16. The Hearing Committee directed that there be no report to the Attorney General with respect to the conduct of the Member in this matter. The Hearing Committee directed that the Mandatory Notice of Suspension of the member be worded as follows:

On June 28, 2007, a Hearing Committee found the conduct of Jeffrey Plantje, who resides in Winnipeg, Manitoba was deserving of sanction in that he sexually harassed two female co-workers, while he was practicing in Alberta.

He was ordered to be suspended for 30 days, having already been on the inactive list for a year, and not to be reinstated to active practice without a mandatory referral to the Practice Review Committee.

17. The Hearing Committee directed that the exhibits, other than Exhibits 6, 10, 12 and 14, be available to the public with the names of the complainant and female staff members redacted.

Dated this ____ day of _______, 2007.

Neena Ahluwalia, Bencher
Douglas Mah Q.C. Bencher

Brian Beresh Q.C. Bencher

(In relation to one aspect of the sentence to be imposed)

I am in full agreement with the other members of the panel as to the appropriate sanction to be imposed in this case with one exception.

I note that the member was an active member of the Law Society of Manitoba prior to joining the Law Society of Alberta. In addition, exhibits filed in court confirm his continuing connection with the province of Manitoba.

Accordingly, my view in relation to reinstatement is that Mr. Plantje is not to be reinstatement to active status without mandatory referral to the Practice Review Committee or until such time as he has become an active member of another Law Society of Canada.

Briefly my reasons for this include that Alberta is a signatory to the National Mobility Agreement and should another Law Society of Canada, in its wisdom, decide to admit him that no further conditions ought to be imposed by the Law Society of Alberta.

A special message for VJH!

Check out the latest posting by The Public Eye which we'll be reproducing shortly!

Go Blackie go! Go Blackie go!

Blackie relaxing in the Law Society of Manitoba "Bar" during a break in his disciplinary hearing!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "The citation!"

Good Evening Mr. Pieuk!

It was with a delightfully evil grin that I read the Citation, and it is with some embarassment that I realized Blackie is none other than ..... .............! While I have not had the pleasure personally, despite my "ahem" connections to the legal community, I do have it on good authority that he is tenacious and borders on brilliant when it comes to the interpretation of legalese and searching out inordinately appropriate precedent in the voluminous data bank that is Westlaw!

It will be with bated-breath and intense interest that I will await the outcome of this particularly embarassing disciplinary action instigated by "Mr. Y" for no other purpose than to impede justice.

This is precisely the type of complaint that the LSM should distance itself from - when lawyers use The Society to punish other lawyers - out of spite, an attempt to distract or outright malice!

I am still seeking information on my other hobby, but have been absent from my "coffee shop" of late, tending to the demands of providing for a wife with expensive tastes - I'm certain you can appreciate - though I have learned the husband with questionable behaviour has recently switched law firms. I can't wait to find out why from the "boys" over coffee.

I remain,

Dear VJH:

Thank you for writing. You are only half correst - think about it for a moment. For those who like to connect dots we've shown the incorrect number.

Blackie is one of the most ethical attorneys of integrity you are likely to meet. Your characterization of the situation is spot on! What the Law Society of Manitoba will come to realize, "in a very public way" (code for CyberSmokeBlog) if it hasn't already, is it has the wrong man it's Mr. Y who should be the subject of a disciplinary hearing. And yes, Blackie has an excellent legal mind which is why he's practicing criminal defence law in another province.

By becoming directly involved rather than inviting Mr. Y to file a contempt of court complaint with Queen's Bench it has exposed itself to the possibility of more public ridicule in the face of its bungled handling of the Douglas-King-Chapman case with Alex Chapman's multiple count complaint against Jack King still to be heard. Definitely not good!

So why did Mr. Y (and his accomplice - yes, he has an accomplice whose name you'll instantly recognize as soon as we can publishl it) choose the Law Society route? Easy. As you well know the standard of proof is much higher in QB where he'd be subject to certain mainstream media attention. Once again not good given his secondary involvement in another upcoming high profile event - we'll be in a front row seat of the public gallery, that is, if there's room . He figures the backdoor approach is safer.

Pray tell our readers more about that husband of questionable behaviour who has changed law firms - you better get back to "the coffee shop."

As for that wife of yours, if you can't enjoy a fine Davidoff cigar, a "smash" of minimum 15-year single malt scotch and a bottle of fine French red wine whenever you like .....

Clare L. Pieuk

The questions!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Ms Suzanne Legault
The Information Commissioner of Canada
Place de Ville, Tower B
112 Kent Street, 7th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1H3

Dear Ms Legault:

The Manitoba Metis Federation is a government funded political organization based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. It is our understanding the vast preponderance (over 90%) of the taxpayer dollars it receives annually (approximately $23 million) comes principally from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada through a series of Aboriginal Human Resource Agreements although other federal agencies are also contributors. The balance comes from the province of Manitoba.
As far as we are able to ascertain, the MMF’s public financial disclosure is extremely limited. For example, its webpage ( provides no information whatsoever such as annual financial statements. Therefore, we are surface mailing an Access to Information Act Request Form, along with the $5 application fee, to Ms Jackie Holden your designated Coordinator for Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. Our request states:

(1) What was the total dollar amount received by the Federation from the federal government for the 2009-2010 fiscal year?

(2) From which federal departments and in what amounts were these monies provided?

(3) To which programs in what amounts were they assigned?

(4) What was the annual salary and expenses of Manitoba Metis Federation President David Chartrand, his expenses and benefits package for fiscal 2009-2010?

(5) What was the amount received in wages, per diems, honorariums and expenses by each provincial Board of Director for the period under consideration (fiscal 2009-2010)

(6) Results of audits for the last 3-fiscal periods, namely, fiscal 2006-2009 inclusive

(7) What is the federal government’s audit policy and schedule for the Manitoba Metis Federation for fiscal 2009-2010?

On previous occasions when we have attempted to obtain financial information on the operations of the MMF our requests have been refused.

Your attention to this matter and co-operation are greatly appreciated.

Yours truly,
Clare L. Pieuk
Blog Master

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ready for ..... "The Questions!" .... Manitoba Metis Federation?

Monday, January 24, 2011

The citation!

Good Day Readers:

As you know we've been closely monitoring the prelude to a Law Society of Manitoba disciplinary disciplinary hearing for Blackie because:

(1) What is the intent of the Complainants? Is it politically motivated?

(2) If they feel so aggrieved by Blakie's alleged misconduct why have they not filed a comtempt of court Motion in the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench?

(3) Does this action represent a misuse of Law Society resources?

(3) Will a Charter challenge of The Society's authority be launched?

We also believe before it's over precedents will be set that could have a significant impact on the way the LSM conducts business in the future.

Section 79(1) of The Legal Profession Act governing its operations prevents us from identifying the Defendant until after a finding of misconduct if indeed that happens. Although we've inquired as to whether this also includes the Complainants we have not received a satisfactory reply. As soon as we're allowed we will identify the Complainants - you'll recognize the names.

So to this end we've identified the Defendant as Blackie after Jack Boyle's enormously successful fictional character of the 1920s-1950s (radio, films and later television) professional safecracker and jewel thief later turned detective Boston Blackie.
"Enemy of those who make him an enemy ..... friend to those who have no friend that's Boston Blackie!"

To date we've attended two brief preliminary sessions at The Society's Offices with a third scheduled for February 8 at which time the LSM will confirm it has filed it's Motion Brief. To explain. Blackie is challenging the appointment of David M. Skwark (; claiming in the past while both were on opposite sides of a lawsuit at one point Mr. Skwark threatened Blackie with a defamation lawsuit. Although no complaint was ever filed, nevertheless, it now places Mr. Skwark in a conflict of interest position.

It should be noted:

(i) to the best of our knowledge no publication ban exists either from the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench or the Law Society of Manitoba preventing publication of this document

(ii) if you can believe this the actual initials of individuals along with that of an organization were used making them readily identifiable. They have been changed to Mr. X, Mr. Y and Organization ZZZ.

A few years ago Blackie resigned from the LSM to practice criminal defence law in another province which he does today

Finally, we plan to attend the disciplinary hearing of Jack King who faces multiple counts in the now infamous Douglas-King-Chapman sex scandal if it's open to the public. We say" if " because there's a provision within The Legal Profession Act by which under certain situations hearings can be held in camera. By comparison Douglas-King-Chapman makes Blackie's case looks like microscopic potatoes.

Clare L. Pieuk
- and -


The Law Society of Manitoba
219 Kennedy Street, MB R3C 1S8
Telephone No.: (204) 942-5571
Facimile No.: (204) 956-0624
C. Kristin Dangerfield
File No.: 10-003-DIS
TO: BLACKIE of the City of Winnipeg, in the Province of Manitoba, lawyer and a member of The Law Society of Manitoba.
TAKE NOTICE that a hearing will be held bya panel of the members of the Discipline Committee established by the Benchers of The Law Society of Manitoba to consider charges laid against you by the Complaints Investigation Committee of The Law Society of Manitoba alleging professional misconduct against you. If you are found guilty of professional conduct, you may be disbarred and your name struck off the Rolls of the Society or suppended from practicing law, or otherwise dealt with by the discipline panel under the provisions of The Legal Profession Act and the Rules of The Law Society of Manitoba. A statement of the charges forms part of this notice and is as follows:
THAT YOU, the said Blackie, called to the Bar in the Province of Manitoba on the 13th day of December, 2004 and registered as a lawyer in the Rolls of The Law Society of Manitoba under the provisions of The Legal Profession Act, and being a member of The Law Society of Manitoba, by your actions, as particularized herein, did commit professional misconduct in that:
1. On or about February 2010, you provided legal advice to a former client Mr. X contrary to Section 20(1) of The Legal Profession Act and without having paid an annual fee pursuant to Section 19 of The Legal Profession Act, and therefore, carrying on the practice of law without a practising certificate without being insured to do so.
2. During the period from January 2010 to March 2010, in your communication with your former client Mr. X , you failed to act with integrity and you failed to encourage public respect for and to try to improve the adminsitration of Justice contrary to Chapters 1 and 13 of the Code of Professional Conduct adopted by te Benchers of The Law society of Manttoba when:
(a) you advised Mr. X how he could publish information in contravention of an Order fo the Court of Queen's Bench issued on May 3, 2006;
(b) you sought and obtained instructions to publish, and did in fact publish information contrary to the said Order; and
(c) you distributed a copy of an unexpunged Affidavit sworn by Mr. X and subject to the May 3, 2006 Order, to various media sources, with accompanying commentary from you to the effect that they were not restricted from publishing same.
3. In correspondence dated February 2, 2010 and February 20, 2010 to your former client Mr. X , you criticized the competence, conduct and advice of other counsel, specifically opposing counsel Mr. Y in ongoing Court proceedings between Mr. X and Organization ZZZ, contrary to Chapter 16 of the Code of Professional Conducted adopted by the Benchers of The Law Society of Manitoba.
AND THEREFORE you did commit professional misconduct.
YOU OR YOUR COUNSEL are required to appear before a panel of the Discipline Committee on Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at 12:30 p.m., at the offices of The Law Society of Manitoba, 219 Kennedy Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, to set a date for the hearing of the charges against you. If you or your counsel do not attend at the said time and place, the panel of the Discipline Committee, in acccordance with The Rules of The Law Society of Manitoba, may proceed to set the date for hearing in your abaence.
DATED at the City of Winnipeg, in the Province of Manitoba, this 23rd day of September, 2010.
Marilyn Billinkoff
Deputy Chief Executive Officer of The Law Society of Manitoba

Where's the beef?

Beasley Allen files lawsuit against Taco Bell on behalf of all consumers
January 21, 2011 Lawsuit alleges Taco Bell misleads consumers with advertisements claiming its products contain "ground beef," when the majority of its meat filling is made up of non-meat extender substances

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA (January 21, 2011) - Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C. has filed a consumer rights class action lawsuit against Taco Bell Corporation. The lawsuit challenges Taco Bell's practice of representing to consumers that its restaurants serve "seasoned ground beef" or "seasoned beef" filling in its products, when in fact a substantial amount of the filling contains substances other than beef. The lawsuit seeks to require Taco Bell to properly advertise and label food items, and to engage in a corrective advertising campaign to educate the public about the true content of its food products.

According to standards established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the meat filling in Taco Bell's products does not meet the minimum standard requirement to be labeled and advertised as "beef," seasoned or otherwise. The substantial majority of the filling is comprised of substances other than beef, and is required to be labeled and advertised as "taco meat filing." Taco meat filling includes ingredients added to increase the volume of the product, such as binders and extenders like "isolated oat product."

"Our government, through the USDA and FDA, provides definitions, standards and labeling guidelines for 'ground beef.' What Taco Bell is representing on their restaurant menu as 'ground beef' does not meet any of those definitions, standards and labeling guidelines," explains Beasley Allen attorney Dee Miles. "This product does not qualify to be considered 'ground beef' and many of the 'seasoning' ingredients are in fact binders, fillers and coloring. These ingredients increase the overall volume of this product, reducing the actual 'beef' content per serving. It is against the law in this country to take someone's money for a product that is misrepresented. This lawsuit seeks to put a stop to that type of conduct and practice," he says.

The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court Central District of California Southern Division (8:11-cv-00101-DOC-FFM) by Beasley Allen attorneys W. Daniel "Dee" Miles, III, and William E. Hopkins, Jr., along with the San Diego law firm of Blood Hurst & O'Reardon, LLP, lawyers Timothy G. Blood, Leslie E. Hurst and Thomas J. O'Reardon, II. Plaintiffs in the case are Amanda Obney, on behalf of herself, all others similarly situated, and the general public.

That's it?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Huff ..... Huff ..... Huffington Post!

Good Day Readers:

Another well-researched and written article from Vanity Fair. During mid-November last year Messrs Daou and Boyse lauched a $350 million lawsuit against Huffington Post naming Arianna Huffington and Kennith Lerer who were instrumental in founding and financing the enormously successful website. Their claim - they too were significantly involved in it's creation but have subsequently been cut out. The Defendants had until January 19, 2011 to file a Statement of Defence.

If you go to the link at the end of the article you'll find a 15-page document the Plaintiffs submitted (Exhibit A) as proof of their early participation in what was to become The Huffington Post.

While not lawyers we are familiar with the concept of "latches" which is to say courts take a dim view of anyone who has a right but doesn't excerise it for a long period of time. Closer to home, we have the Manitoba Metis Federation's land claim which was heavily criticized by a Court of Queen's Bench Justice for not being brought forward years ago. Then there was Alex Chapman in the Associate Chief Justice Lori Douglas-Anthony King scandal who waited more than 6-years before deciding to go public.

In the case at hand, the Plaintiffs waited over 6-years before filing their lawsuit even blogging for the HP during part of that time. This does not bode well for them.

Clare L. Pieuk
Huffing and Puffing
Reminiscent of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Arianna Huffington is being sued by two political consultants, Peter Daou and James Boyce, who claim a critical role in creating her top-ranked Web site, the Huffington Post. So what exactly happened in the fall of 2004 when Huffington, Daou, Boyce, and such liberal lights as David Geffen, Larry David, and Norman Lear discussed a Democratic answer to the Drudge Report? And why did the two men wait nearly six years to claim credit? The author walks back their she-said-we-said collision.
By William D. CohanPhotograph by Julian Dufort February 2011
Right, James Boyce and Peter Daou in New York City. Left, Arianna Huffington. Boyce and Huffington were once rumored to be sleeping together. (They weren’t.) By Robyn Twomey (Huffington); by Julian Dufort (Boyce and Daou).

Democratic political consultants Peter Daou and James Boyce, both 45, reached the point of no return last November 15. On that day, they sued Arianna Huffington, the doyenne of Democratic dish, for failing to acknowledge what they claim was their critical role in the creation of the Huffington Post, her online juggernaut. The two men say their lawsuit, or its timing, had nothing to do with The Social Network, David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin’s brilliant movie about the legal battles over the founding of Facebook, which had hit theaters a few weeks earlier. Both point out that their first communications to Huffington about the matter occurred at the end of August. But the question still lingers: Why then?—since the two men had never uttered a word to Huffington about their claim for nearly six years and blogged for her during that time.

Daou, the former Internet director for Hillary Clinton for President, whom The New York Times once described as “one of the most prominent political bloggers in the nation,” says the dénouement came for him when he picked up a March 2010 Wired magazine profile of Andrew Breitbart, the conservative blogger and agent provocateur, in which Breitbart brashly claimed that he had created the Huffington Post. “I drafted the plan,” Breitbart said definitively. “They followed the plan.” When Wired asked Huffington to respond to Breitbart’s statement, she could barely contain herself. Although admitting that he helped with the strategy, Huffington said that Breitbart “wasn’t present” at the seminal December 3, 2004, meeting at her Brentwood mansion, where the idea for the Huffington Post was hatched—and therefore could not possibly have been the originator.

In her pointed response, Huffington made no mention of Daou or Boyce, who were at the all-day gathering of the 30 or so influential progressives and Hollywood types—including comedian Larry David and his then wife, Laurie, Hollywood mogul David Geffen, movie producer Brian Grazer, screenwriter Sorkin, legendary TV producer Norman Lear, actress Meg Ryan, and David Thorne, a close friend and former brother-in-law of John Kerry and Obama’s ambassador to Italy—trying to figure out how to win back the White House. “Arianna put together this room,” Boyce recalls. “It was a very powerful room. There’s never been a room like that before.”

Daou and Boyce say that they were the ones who conceived of “a Democratic equivalent of the Drudge Report”—a shorthand description of what the Huffington Post is all about—and called it (for the number of days between presidential elections). According to their 15-page November 14, 2004, memorandum about “1460,” which Boyce gave Huffington before the December 3 meeting, the core objective of the Web site was to “use the potential of the Internet to the fullest extent possible to continue the momentum started during the [2004 presidential] campaign and re-organize the Democratic Party from the outside in, not the inside out.” Daou and Boyce say that they presented their general thoughts about 1460 at the December 3 meeting. (Full disclosure: Boyce has worked as a consultant for Vanity Fair.)

The lawsuit has all the makings of the kind of gossipy soap opera among onetime friends that often lands on the digital pages of Web sites like the Huffington Post. There is a delicious Schadenfreude about the dispute, and the questions raised are profound: Did Huffington and Huffington Post co-founder Kenneth Lerer take ideas from Daou and Boyce—ideas the two men call “groundbreaking”—without properly compensating or acknowledging them? Or is this just a case of sour grapes, with Daou and Boyce looking to cash in on the hard work of Huffington and Lerer now that the site is successful and valuable?

There is little question anymore that the Huffington Post is a big deal and has helped Huffington, 60, transform herself from a nationally syndicated columnist and flaky, washed-up 2003 candidate for governor of California into a Washington–Hollywood–New York power broker and one of the most sought-after political commentators on the scene today. In 2009, Forbes named her the 12th-most-influential woman in the media.

The Huffington Post has 26 million unique visitors a month, according to the research firm ComScore, and is one of the top 10 current-events and global-news sites in the United States. In October 2008—not exactly a robust time for the market—The New York Times reported estimates that valued the Huffington Post at $200 million. (These days, the unconfirmed value is closer to $350 million, based on expected 2011 revenue of $60 million.)

Daou says he had stewed for some time about not being credited for his role in the Huffington Post’s creation, and then “I was reading about Breitbart. And I hit that part and I said, ‘You know, damn, this is the last straw.’ [Huffington and Lerer] had claimed credit before and every time it just burned. It was like ‘Really? Are you completely erasing us from so essential a part as to how this whole thing came about?’”

He thought about picking up the phone and calling Huffington or e-mailing her to suggest that they just sit down and talk rationally about what had happened once and for all. “We’ve been friends all this time,” he continues. “Essentially the Huffington Post is our family I mean, these were my people. This was my community. This was a Democratic-activist community. It’s a very small, tight-knit community. I love all those people. They worked their asses off to make this site successful. So, it’s like sometimes you have beef with family, sometimes you have beef with a friend. And this was one of those situations.”

Daou spoke with a few lawyers. “They all said the same thing: ‘You have a legal claim if you want to assert it,’” he says.

He called Boyce, a peripatetic strategist and the founder of Common Sense New Media Strategies, a consulting firm for progressive causes, companies, and candidates. Daou and Boyce had met and become friends on the failed Kerry presidential campaign, for which Daou had been paid to direct “blog outreach” and “online rapid response,” and Boyce was an unpaid senior adviser and the chief of staff to Kerry’s brother, Cam.

“It was a flash moment with James, too,” Daou says. “It’s like ‘Yeah, this thing’s been burning me the whole time.’”

The two men hired Partha Chattoraj to see if they could right the perceived wrong. A graduate of Harvard and Yale Law School and a former associate at Wachtell, Lipton, he had set up a small litigation practice in a nondescript office tower on East 40th Street, in Manhattan, in 2007. “It fully dawned they just weren’t going to do the right thing,” Daou explains. “We needed to go there and say to Arianna, ‘Look, you’ve got to make this right. We can’t let that stand.’ And whatever. The chips will just have to fall. I mean, if this becomes a big confrontation, well, it is what it is. We went in with eyes wide open.”

The Facebook Effect

Hoping to avoid litigation, if possible, they sent a long e-mail to Huffington, which Chattoraj reviewed, on August 30. “As we hope you know, both of us value your friendship greatly,” they began. “We have done everything we can to help promote and provide content for HuffPost from the very early days and to bring as many good bloggers to the site as possible. In the context of our friendship with you, we are writing to find some resolution to an open issue that has been of great concern to us ever since we met with you and Kenny [Lerer] at your house in early December 2004 and conceived the Huffington Post together.”

They then gave their version of the details of their role in the December 3 meeting and the breakfast meeting the four of them had the next morning at Huffington’s home—where Boyce was staying—“to discuss our concrete plans for next steps,” done “with the understanding that we were sharing with you ideas and specific plans that we had spent considerable time refining in the lead-up to that larger meeting the previous day. We were both extremely pleased and encouraged by the fact that over the course of that long breakfast we were able to conceive and plan what has become the Huffington Post.”

(Page 2 of 5)

They went on to describe how “unhappy and deeply disappointed” they were “in subsequent weeks and months” when they discovered they were “not included in the continuing development of our ideas, concepts and plans.” True, for years they had “kept silent about our feelings,” partly because “both of us had relationships with third parties who would be harmed if we were to provoke a dispute over this issue” and partly because, “in our hearts, both of us expected, year after year, that the situation would be rectified, because we genuinely believed that you would do the right thing, recognize our early, crucial role in the creation of the site, and acknowledge the partnership understanding we all had after that critical meeting of the four of us.” They wrote that with their previous professional obligations resolved they could finally share how they had been feeling for years. “All we want is to find closure and an equitable resolution of our belief that the partnership we formed and the ideas and plans we contributed to the genesis of the Huffington Post should be recognized in a tangible way.”

On September 7, after Labor Day, Huffington responded. She was incredulous. “I read your email,” she wrote. “I must say, it left me speechless. Your suggestion, after nearly 6 years, that you understood all along that we were in a ‘partnership’ to create and operate the Huffington Post is stunning. And ridiculous. We never entered into any partnership or other agreement with you—either written or oral—concerning ownership of the Huffington Post. During all these years, you never shared in any financial obligation or risk relating to the Huffington Post. You never participated in any kind of management at the Huffington Post. You never shared in or asked for any financial or management information. Hardly a partnership.”

Two days later, the men wrote Huffington again. “It’s unfortunate that you characterized our good faith effort to raise a sensitive subject as ‘ridiculous,’” they wrote. “We’re approaching you as friends, seeking to find an equitable resolution to something that has troubled us.” They noted that, in Huffington’s response, she did not “dispute” any of the “events leading up to and surrounding the meeting we had in your house. There was a reason we sat down with you and Kenny the day after the larger meeting—to develop the website concept we proposed the day before, where we spoke forcefully and shared our specific ideas about the need for a ‘liberal Drudge.’ You’ve mentioned publicly [in Inc. magazine, in February 2010] that in the meeting at your house [you] ‘discussed creating a platform that would be a combination of 24/7 news and a collective blog. That was the beginning of the Huffington Post.’ Indeed it was.”

They reminded Huffington they were “seeking closure” and “what’s fair and equitable based on our initial idea, our agreement during the meeting, and our contributions. We think given the facts about the conception, creation and launch of the site, that in the spirit of friendship and fairness, there should be recognition of our role in the process.”

According to Daou and Boyce, nearly two weeks went by without a response from Huffington, and the two figured she was busy promoting her new book, Third World America, about the dissolution of the American Dream. (The editor of this magazine was a co-host with Tom and Kathy Freston of a party celebrating the book.) On September 21, Boyce re-sent the September 9 e-mail to Huffington. “Please let us know if you have any additional thoughts past your first response,” Boyce wrote. The next evening, Huffington responded. “I’m so sorry but there is nothing for me to say,” she wrote. She directed them to contact her lawyer, the litigator Leslie Fagen, at Paul, Weiss, in New York. “If this is how you wish to proceed,” Boyce replied to Huffington, “Peter and I will respect your wishes.”

So it was war. Two weeks after the Democrats’ “shellacking” in the midterm elections, Daou and Boyce filed their lawsuit against Huffington, Lerer, and, Inc., alleging breach of contract, idea misappropriation, and unjust enrichment, among other charges. They are seeking both recognition and an unspecified amount of financial damages, although they say any money they end up collecting, after legal fees, will be used “to support progressive causes and citizen journalists and bloggers who are active in support of those causes.” Huffington and Lerer have until January 19 to respond formally to the complaint in court.

Huffington’s informal, out-of-court response to the lawsuit was a simple one: Not so fast, guys. It was classic Huffington. “We have now officially entered into Bizzaro World,” she and Lerer wrote in a statement released to the Web site Politico after the lawsuit was filed. “James Boyce and Peter Daou, two political operatives who we rejected going into business with or hiring 6 years ago, and who had absolutely nothing to do with creating, running, financing, or building the Huffington Post, now concoct some scheme saying they own part of the company. Adding to the weird: first they tried to cash in, demanding we pay them to keep their ludicrous claim quiet. Of course, we refused. Then they said they’d go away for just a little money. Again, we refused. Now they’re saying all they want is a donation to ‘progressive causes.’ How noble. Boyce and Daou’s claims are pure fantasy.”

The “Bizzaro World” statement makes Daou and Boyce apoplectic. We are sitting in Boyce’s cramped room in the nearly hip Roger Williams hotel, on lower Madison Avenue, in Manhattan. An air of righteous indignation fills the room. While the Beirut-born Daou is lithe, with close-cropped hair and perpetual stubble, Boyce, who grew up in Back Bay, Boston, and went to Groton and Duke, has a mane of swept-back white hair and an athletic build. Daou, a former jazz pianist and record-company executive, served in the Lebanese Forces. Boyce, who was involved in the start-up of Slingshot, an early and still-prominent new-media advertising agency, is a golf fanatic and tells stories about playing games of one-on-one horse with Duke basketball players.

Of the two, Boyce is the alpha male. But Daou is no wallflower. “Their statement that we made a financial claim, or a financial demand ‘to keep their ludicrous claim quiet,’ is an absolute lie,” Boyce says. “We made no financial demand. Their claim that we then made a second financial claim that was less is an absolute lie The claim that we had absolutely nothing to do with creating, running, financing, or building the Web for the Huffington Post is false.”

Daou tries to interject a comment, but Boyce cuts him off. “Can we finish this please?” he says to Daou.

Boyce then reads from Huffington’s public statement and dissects each sentence. At the “adding to the weird” line, he exclaims, “That’s defamation. We did not demand anything. You see the letter. There’s no demand. We did not make a demand at all. We asked to speak to her. That is false.” Daou and Boyce want to add a claim for libel to their suit, but for the time being they have decided to remain focused on the alleged offenses at hand.

They are steaming.

Political Connections

There once was a happier time. Boyce says he met Huffington during the Kerry campaign, for which they held fund-raisers at her mansion, and got her into the Kerry-family box at the Democratic convention. “I talked to her all the time,” Boyce says. “She’s the best networker in the history of the world.” She introduced him to Laurie and Larry David and Lyn and Norman Lear. “Only about five people could call her house for whom Arianna was always to be disturbed to take those calls,” he remembers. “I was one of the five people.” Some even thought they were sleeping together. (They weren’t.) “We just hit it off,” he says. “She does think about things the way I do.”

On Election Day 2004, after attending a Bruce Springsteen concert for Kerry the night before, he, the Davids, and Kristen Breitweiser, a 9/11 widow and political activist, were visiting polling places in Ohio before boarding a private jet to fly to Boston. Although the exit polls seemed to indicate that Kerry would win the election, Boyce remembers, David Thorne was pacing the rooms at the Westin Hotel, in Copley Square—where the campaign leaders had holed up to watch the election returns—and complaining, “It’s not closing like it should.”

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Around four a.m., the Kerry brain trust made the decision that Kerry could not win and that he should call Bush and concede. “I walked into the hallway,” Boyce remembers. “I got out my cell phone. First person I called was Arianna. And I called her on her private number at the house, and I just remember telling her, and I was crying.” Huffington tried to comfort Boyce. “Baby, baby, don’t worry, don’t worry,” she told him. “You tried so hard.” Boyce recalls saying over and over, “Yeah, but we lost.”

The memory of the loss still hurts him. “I just remember standing in that hallway talking to her [on the phone]. And it was awful. It was just awful,” he recalls. Boyce says he learned two lessons from the Kerry campaign: Republicans “play the game differently, and the Democratic ‘strategists’ in Washington are absolute idiots.”

After licking his wounds, Boyce got to thinking. “How the fuck did we lose?” he recalls wondering. “I mean, how did that possibly happen? You know what went wrong?” He began reflecting on what could be done differently next time. He says he started talking with Thorne about the campaign’s e-mail list of three million Kerry supporters, a valuable asset. “It was almost certainly the largest political list in the world,” he says. “Definitely the largest Democratic list in the world.” He remembers coming across a statistic—whether true or not is unclear—that in the last 24 hours of the election some 36 million people had visited the Drudge Report. The numbers swirled in his head—125 million voters, 36 million people on Drudge, and the election was lost because of around 100,000 voters in Ohio—and he had his eureka moment: “John Kerry lost that election because he did not have a Drudge,” he says. “That’s why we lost.”

1460 was born.

“The idea was that it was going to be a Web site, and it was going to be a Democratic site,” he says. “I really looked at it like a tool for the Democratic Party. This was going to be our Drudge. And we were going to do what Drudge did, but for the left.” He envisioned a site that was both an aggregator of news and a place where leading progressives—like the Davids, Breitweiser, and liberal lawyer Alan Dershowitz—could share their views directly with the site’s visitors. Ten days after the election, with Daou’s help, Boyce had a draft of the plan for the 1460 Web site.

Boyce says he showed his proposal for the “liberal Drudge” both to Thorne—who had just sold Body & Soul magazine to Martha Stewart’s company for $6 million and had the Kerry campaign’s e-mail list—and to Huffington, his friend with the Hollywood connections. He says he and Thorne discussed how to go about creating the Web site and how to use the e-mail list. Huffington—who, according to the proposal, had “agreed to serve as a Strategic Advisor to 1460 and invest in the company, taking a preferred equity position in exchange for capital and time contribution”—urged Boyce to talk to Lerer, whom he had never met but whom Thorne knew and Daou had spoken with during the campaign. “You’ll love Kenny,” she told Boyce, who then wrote Daou: “Arianna thinks Kenny Lerer will give us the funds we need.”

The next time he was in New York, in mid-November, Boyce says, he met Lerer at his office. He did not give Lerer a copy of the 1460 document or talk about the idea specifically, other than to say that he and Daou had an idea for a Web site. Daou was to meet Huffington for the first time on November 30 in New York City to expand on their thinking for 1460, but Huffington canceled the meeting. By then she had already told Boyce that she was planning the December 3 meeting at her house to bring together “the smartest and best people” in the Democratic Party “to figure out what we should do next.” Huffington’s friends Callie Khouri (winner of the 1991 Academy Award for best screenplay for Thelma & Louise) and Victoria Hopper (the fifth wife of the late actor Dennis Hopper) had suggested the idea for the gathering to Huffington, and they were organizing it together. “Arianna, you’ve got to let me bring Peter Daou and David Thorne,” Boyce recalls he told Huffington when he heard about the December 3 meeting. “It is all about the Internet. O.K.? All about the Internet.”

The December 3 meeting was billed as an opportunity for “Rebranding the Democratic Party,” and the idea was that, “with the right message and the right strategies,” the Democrats could regain power in 2006, much the way the Republicans had done in 1994, “but only if they finally learn from three consecutive defeats (2000, 2002, 2004) and offer a bold alternative vision to the country.” Boyce and Thorne (and two others) were on the agenda, after lunch, to discuss “Reinventing Political Campaigns” by leading a discussion on how “to break the stranglehold of the professional consulting losing class” and how to “use the Internet in a central role—to spread the message, fundraise and build citizen participation.”

Many of the participants seem to remember few of the details of the December 3 meeting, which is not surprising, because, as a transcript of it given to me by Chattoraj shows, it was mainly a gab session for Democratic breast-beating over the Kerry loss and cheerleading for the future. (Of the idea for 1460, Larry David, who is an investor in the Huffington Post, says, “All I remember is Arianna telling me about this on a number of occasions and feeling sorry for her because I thought it was such a terrible idea.”) As Boyce is happy to exclaim over and over, “Kenny Lerer did not say one word in that meeting.” (Lerer would not comment for this article.) That’s true, according to the transcript, but curiously it also shows that Boyce himself said almost nothing and Daou didn’t contribute much more, beyond a few short comments exhorting the Democrats to exploit the Internet, such as “We need to develop a dominant position within the Internet. But Washington doesn’t have a clue. They don’t know what a powerful force has been started.” Boyce and Daou made no presentation about 1460 to the group.

According to the complaint, the movie director Robert Greenwald e-mailed Daou four days after the meeting about his ideas for “our Drudge.” Tom Freston, a founder of MTV (who with his wife, Kathy, had introduced Lerer and Huffington to each other at a restaurant in Manhattan in 2003, but who has never met Boyce or Daou), points out, however, that the idea for a “liberal Drudge” was not the “most innovative idea in the world” at that time.

Creation Myths

The next morning, December 4, Huffington, Lerer, Daou, and Boyce met for breakfast at Huffington’s house and “confirmed in detail,” according to the complaint, “Peter’s and James’ concrete ideas and plans for the proposed website. They agreed that the website should highlight Huffington’s personality more effectively than her then-existing website at ‘’” They spoke about getting “scoops” and “exclusives” from their contacts in the media and the Democratic Party and recommended that “luminaries and public figures should be invited to blog on the planned liberal website.” They spoke about hiring viral-marketing specialist Jonah Peretti. Huffington mentioned hiring Breitbart, then at the Drudge Report, to help, too. (Daou and Boyce recall thinking it strange at the time that Huffington would suggest hiring a conservative blogger.) They had a quick discussion about what the name of the site should be, considering “The Stassinopoulos Report” (Huffington’s maiden name), “Arianna’s on Fire,” and “Arianna Says,” but agreed that a separate session to brainstorm the name should be convened.

According to the complaint, as the breakfast meeting broke up, they “all shook hands,” and Huffington said, “It will be great to work together.” After the December 4 meeting, “Peter and James believed they were partners with Huffington and Lerer in a joint venture to develop the website.”

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For the next three weeks or so, Daou and Boyce worked diligently to perfect their ideas for the new Web site, they say—drafting memorandums and strategic plans and speaking on the phone with Huffington and Lerer. On December 7, Boyce and Daou sent “a follow-up memo” that attempted to set out responsibilities going forward, including what Boyce and Daou would do as the executives of the site. As for Huffington and Lerer, “they were going to kind of be senior partners—they’re substantially older than us,” Boyce explains. After receiving the December 7 document, Lerer began voicing his doubts about Boyce and Daou to Huffington. “We should talk before I get back to him,” he wrote her in one December 7 e-mail. “This doesn’t work for me on many levels.” Boyce and Daou were not aware of Lerer’s views or the timing of his e-mail. (Evidently, Lerer “just dislikes Peter,” Boyce says, because Daou did not pay enough attention to Lerer’s ideas during the Kerry campaign.)

On December 12, according to the complaint, they wrote to Thorne stating “they had entered into a partnership with Huffington and Lerer to develop a liberal news aggregation and blogging website.” They explained the site would be “financed in partnership with Kenny Lerer” and combine “politics, Hollywood, and more in a fun, informative, progressive site that capture’s Arianna’s fiery personality.”

Notwithstanding Lerer’s December 7 e-mail, 10 days later, according to the complaint, Huffington and Lerer asked Daou and Boyce to provide “a refined blueprint and strategic plan for the Huffington Post” and “to begin constructing the site.”

Three days later, Huffington told Boyce that Lerer would fund the site for six months based on the budget and the strategic plan that Boyce and Daou were working on—and which they provided to Huffington on December 22, including an estimate that to run the site for six months would cost between $200,000 and $270,000.

Then the scent went cold. “Meanwhile, Huffington and Lerer took what Peter and James had given them, and over the subsequent weeks and months, used those ideas, plans and materials to raise at least $2 million for the prospective website, without informing or crediting Peter or James,” according to the complaint, “or giving them the opportunity to invest their own resources or raise their own financing for the website.” In January 2005, Huffington and Lerer hired Breitbart away from Drudge and then “caused the website, based on Peter’s and James’ ideas, initial business plan, and strategic insights, to be developed without the participation of Peter and James.” Jonah Peretti was named a “Founding Partner.” Says Daou without equivocation, “The Huffington Post would not exist without James and me.”

Mario Ruiz, the suave media-relations man for the Huffington Post, responds, “According to Boyce and Daou, six years ago they created the Huffington Post but got cut out of the deal. And then did nothing about it. For six years. Six years! If they really thought they owned part of HuffPost, over the last 72 months wouldn’t they have contacted us to complain? Asked us to credit them somewhere on the site? Demanded to participate in the project? Insisted on getting stock? Something? Anything?! In short, wouldn’t they have acted like owners rather than doing nothing for more than half a decade while the real owners did all the work, invested all the money, and took all the risk? Of course they would have. And the reason they didn’t is because they knew then—and know now—that they have absolutely no claim to ownership.”

Huffington declined to comment for this article, and she made no mention of Daou and Boyce and their lawsuit when she was interviewed in mid-December by the Financial Times. There, however, Simon Schama described her version of the birth of the Huffington Post: “She could see ‘how conversation’ about politics ‘was moving online’ and wanted ‘to create a platform’ that would organize its speakers and its audience. But she was also motivated by a strong sense that the old media had betrayed their calling by complaisance.”

For his part, Breitbart said the fighting among the four protagonists amuses him, especially since Huffington fired him after six months. Although he had not read the complaint, he said with barely repressed glee, he stands by what he said in Wired—that he was the creator—as “100 percent truthful,” and he looks forward to “being deposed on this matter. I will set the record straight. There’s a long history that could be found in documentation and e-mails in Arianna Huffington’s possession that will be very helpful and illuminating.” He added that “there is nobody who likes a courtroom drama more than me” and “all I know is what I did and what my role was. I am finding this all to be bizarrely poetic.”

The Huffington Post launched on May 9, 2005, without Daou or Boyce as investors or employees. “The site as it launched implemented all of Peter’s and James’ ideas, even down to the inclusion of specific political celebrity bloggers whom Peter and James had suggested, and including a unique combination of features described in the blueprint,” according to the complaint.

Boyce and Daou’s initial proposal for 1460 is their strongest argument for having had a role in creating the Huffington Post. But to say it was a “blueprint” for the site is an exaggeration. A third of the proposal recounts the successes of the Kerry campaign in using the Internet and the corresponding success of the Republicans with the Drudge Report. Much of the rest merely describes ideas about the Internet that were much in circulation at the time: for instance, news delivered by aggregating stories from Web sites—a clear take on the Drudge Report, but a practice that was seen in the earliest days of the Internet with such Web sites as NewsNow. Several pages were devoted to “a ring of sites that … will become gathering places online”—an idea that seems not to have been incorporated in the Huffington Post. The idea of celebrity bloggers was hardly original, and although a few people Daou and Boyce suggested, such as Alan Dershowitz and Kristen Breitweiser, did make it onto the site, most of the early bloggers, such as Walter Cronkite, Tina Brown, Mike Nichols, Jon Corzine, Ellen Degeneres, David Mamet, and John Cusack, appear nowhere in their proposal.

Both Daou and Boyce have regularly blogged for the Web site, and Boyce—the more frequent contributor of the two—filed his last post on October 7, 2010. When Boyce appeared as a political commentator on cable television, including MSNBC, he would talk up the Huffington Post. In December 2008, The Wall Street Journal observed that Daou’s blog on the Huffington Post attracted readers to the site, especially for his “musings on the role the Internet played in the national elections.”

Indeed, until the August 30, 2010, e-mail to Huffington, neither Daou nor Boyce ever voiced any frustration with her or Lerer about being cut out of the Huffington Post creation myth.

This fact, more than any other, seems to weaken their case. What really gets Huffington’s goat about Daou and Boyce, according to someone who knows her well, is their chutzpah. “The fact that you mention the Facebook matter—the day Facebook went up, you had claims made against it. That’s only human nature,” this person says. “If they really thought they had created the Huffington Post, when the Huffington Post was launched, they would not have said anything? They would not have sent a single letter but kept blogging on the Huffington Post? Can you imagine the equivalent in Facebook? Can you imagine the people who claim they created Facebook creating a Facebook account and then participating in what they thought was stolen from them? It defies human nature. It is the point of all this for which there is no answer.”

Daou and Boyce say they were busy working with clients who might have been offended by a public confrontation with Huffington. They are anxious to drive home that they believe their case is an ethical issue. “At the fundamental level, it is wrong to take someone’s ideas, take someone’s efforts, take someone’s work, take someone’s vision, and then completely claim it as your own and not recognize that those people helped,” explains Boyce as he paces back and forth in his room at the Roger Williams.

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Boyce finally gives Daou some airtime, and the coiled cobra lunges: “We’re basically saying, something happened back then and it was wrong. We came [up] with the idea. We all shook hands. We’re going to build it together. We started presenting budgets. We wanted to reach the point where we operationalize it and put it into writing and incorporate it. We did this thing together. And you just walked away. There was never a rejection.”

“In the end, it’s about doing the right thing,” Boyce says emphatically.