The Contingent Lehrer Page
Andy Lehrer has sued the owner of this web site and the Internet service provider it was installed on. He wants a pile of money in compensation for libel and the pages concerning him taken down. The case is quite a long story already, although it is particularly unjust to the service provider, who has had to hire lawyers to defend the claim, but can not get any significant damages from it when Lehrer loses.
This is one reason why Lehrer may believe he has no risks in pursuing this action. He is representing himself. The web sites owner and creator has had a lot of trouble with the judicial system in Ontario. It is an open secret, meaning one that is politically incorrect or "conspiracy theory" to acknowledge, that the courts are controlled by political networks.
These networks want to decide cases in advance according to who is accessing the courts and for what. Some of these judges really hate self represented or "pro se" litigants, although that is the way courts should be operating. Despite this, the owner has had some success in getting justice in the courts. However, Lehrer seems to have the idea and has said as much, that I can never win in court because I am black balled.
I am holding my own in this case despite some problems with blackball judges and manipulations of process, as I will describe below. Lehrer seems to be getting a bit worried. He has been offering to drop the case if I remove the pages, agree not to put them up anywhere, and never say anything about him again. No chance. He also says he is going to take me to criminal court if I keep them up after he gets a ruling that they are libelous.
I do not think there is much chance of that. The courts are too afraid of the consequences of allowing cases such as Lehrer's to succeed. It would be a disastrous precedent. Things are already bad enough for people trying to run web sites that are the remotest bit controversial. Rather than trying to prove libel in court, abusers can simply go after the ISPs, the carriers of the content, who are in a hopeless situation as I said,, and inclined to take a whole web site down on the basis of one complaint, no matter how frivolous.
What has been frustrating Lehrer is that I have found a server ( ISP) with a strong belief in the integrity of the internet and in the concept of freedom of speech. Their lawyer has challenged Lehrer and forced him to modify his claim. This is what Lehrer calls his "settlement" with the ISP. They have agreed to do what they always committed in their terms of service to do; take down the pages if there is a court decision that they are libelous.
My argument all along has been that they are not libelous on four points, grounded in common law. One is that I cannot take from Lehrer a reputation he does not have. As you can see from reading the pages, although you can't at present, he has a huge reputation as a troll, stalker, bully and troublemaker within the "left activist" community. There are more than a dozen contributors to the pages.
The second point is that the matter is true. If there is anything clear and consistent in common law, it is that the truth is an absolute defense against libel. The matter does not have to be true in every point. It just has to be substantially true. The publisher of the material must believe it is true.
The other points are that Lehrer is a public figure and the publication of the information is in the public interest. Especially in the atmosphere created by hyperpartisanship in Toronto, people have a right to know what other people are saying about someone before deciding whether to get involved with them. It is no different from rating a business or a professor.
So, we have a court case going on and it will continue for some time. The defendant, me, has to think tactically about this. Lehrer insists that the material is interfering with his life, making it hard to find employment. He says he has withdrawn from social movement activity in the past two years. He is now married.
He has still been involved in some harassment of people. However, I think it would be a good idea to take him up on that trope. As I suggested with the mediator on the court date last week, I could consider a conditional withdrawal of the web pages as long as he agrees to not just leave me alone but leave everybody else alone, and find something useful to do with his life.
In other words, turn over a new leaf, Lehrer! I have dropped the files of some people on this list who seem to have dropped their involvement in the various political attack networks. If it becomes clear to me that he is doing that, the pages can be removed permanently.
So, to reinforce this, I am taking the Lehrer file down and replacing it with this page. However, this issue is separate from the libels and malicious behaviors Lehrer has directed against me. The irony of Lehrer suing me for libel is that it has finally motivated a few members of the public to come forward with information about Lehrer's libel about me.
To conclude, Lehrer really does need to take this advice. What has all his troublemaking gotten him over the years? He needs to find some good in his life. Time to turn over a new leaf, Andy. That is the way to get this page taken down for good.
But people continue to ask me what is happening with the court case against my website. Below is a modified letter I am also putting up on my blog page.
I think my case is going not too badly. I now have the first written statement about Lehrer's defamations against me. I could use some more.
It is starting to turn into me suing Lehrer for defamation and I am not sure what to call his action of getting me fired from the civic election. My difficulty is that I have trouble getting the "defendant's claim" form filed because I delayed filing it.
I tried the first time but I did not have it finished; there were still things going on. So the motion court judge would not approve, which I do not think is proper. It should be about whether I have good reasons to file late, not the content of it.
So I finished it up and tried again. This time I think I was ambushed. A good sign of that is when the venue changes suddenly. In this case I was not even informed that the case was moved from the usual room where they hear motions, to another one, and an hour earlier.
It was also strange that there were no other cases in that room that day; just this one motion for leave to file. Lehrer did not appear in person but the judge had him on the phone. It is also singular that this judge was so abusive and hostile right off the mark.
I really did not like it when he started ranting about "If you do not stop self representing..." Now, how does he know anything about me at all? And if he does not accept the idea of pro se litigants, he is in the wrong place. This is small claims court.
Then he started the "Why are you so rude to me?" Yeah, right. I headed for the door, so of course he shouted at me to get out or he would call security, to obscure the fact that that I was walking out because of his abuse.
As I went out into the hallway, I met the security beef coming in. They asked me what happened. They had never heard of this judge before. They were actually apologetic about this.
Of course, I could not hang around and get the endorsement, so I did not find out until the trial Monday morning that he had made an order that I could not make any more motions to file a defendant's claim. What sense is that? There will be no trial until it is filed.
However, the case is postponed. The judge that day wanted another try at mediation. Lehrer did not want it but I did. However, this meant it was unlikely the trial could go ahead that day.
We did about an hour of mediation. Lehrer is really hung up about getting the page taken down. He is convinced, or trying to convince himself and me, that he will win hands down. What it boiled down to was that I was willing to take the page down conditionally if he stopped all his nonsense.
Lehrer might be a candidate to have his folder on cause pimps struck. I have removed people who seemed to have retired form the profession of being cause pimps and opportunist assholes. Some people are saying that Lehrer does seem to have dropped out of this sort of thing in the past couple of years.
However, I want some recompense for the crap I have had from him. So, I am going to have to figure out how to get my side of the case back in. It seems to me to be good strategy to take the Lehrer folder down and leave a page there explaining why. You are now reading it.
It seems the fight is moving away from the web site itself and more to my grievances with Lehrer, and with the good old Canadian "justice" system. I have had a very hard time getting cases into court because I am blacklisted by every element of the judicial system, from legal aid which is in the pockets of the NDP, to the court system which seems to be controlled, a least partly, by a network which has me blackballed.
But the ISP can't seem to get away from it. The mediator was concerned that nobody from the ISP showed up at the trial. This messes her up somehow. She thinks it will make it hard to finalize a settlement because we do not have the other defendant to sign off about it.
I could go on for awhile about the issues arising from this. The owner of the ISP is concerned about freedom of speech, an open internet, and fairness to net providers. I am concerned about these too, but I also have a big issue with the hostility of the court system to pro se litigation. And, to the politicized nature of the courts.
This is likely to go on for awhile. I still haven't started moving my web site to Switzerland. I just have been too busy to do it, but also the Swiss currency kept going up against the Canadian dollar, preventing me twice from transferring the funds. ( Oops! Need another dollar again...)
But I have that space now, and I will try it out. I like the innovative way it is set up, and the promise of good technical support, to show me how to run these things. Besides the weaknesses in Canadian law, a reason for moving my site there is that the things I have in mind really require the ability to run discussion lists, which tmy present server can't seem to do.
By the way, I am still looking for witnesses who feel they have been bullied by Lehrer. And especially for ones who would like to testify about him libelling me. TR