Saturday, February 7, 2009

Cadman suit dropped

This is interesting. The case is settled without costs (usually suggesting the plaintiff just wanted out) and the announcement is made late on a Friday.

It bears all the hallmarks of a tactical suit brought for a brief advantage and then abandoned when it became awkward. The sort of strike suit big corporations bring to close down dissent.

Well, I suppose Harper needs to be (a little) nice to the Opposition so this suit had to go.

Harper, Liberals settle Cadman lawsuit

National Post

Friday, Feb 6, 2009

The Prime Minister's Office announced that they have settled a lawsuit with the Liberal Party over allegations that the Tories offered the independent MP a bribe.

- Nick Didlick for National Post

OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Liberal Party of Canada have settled their lawsuit over the Cadman affair out of court. In a terse statement late Friday, the two sides said they had "settled all issues" and agreed the case will be dismissed without costs.

James Morton


gingercat said...

Does this mean that the immoral but not illegal statement of "financial considerations" is never to be mentioned again?

Anonymous said...

What exactly does settled with no costs mean? I noticed that CanWest was reporting, in addition to the no costs statement:

"A spokesman for the prime minister, Kory Teneycke, declined further comment. He would not say if any financial compensation was part of the settlement."

And now CanWest has removed the second sentence, and simply say no comment. When they say it was settled without costs, could there still be a confidential financial agreement between the two parties?

Stephen Downes said...

Hm. Liberals vote for the budget, and within days the Cadman suit is dropped. Coincidence?

tdwebste said...

Liberals and Conservatives make peace.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean Harper did know and by failing to quash it, sanctioned it in abstentia?

The Mound of Sound said...

And now, James, the critical point missing from your post. The day before Harper dropped the suit, his then counsel, Rick Dearden of Gowlings, obtained court permission to "withdraw" from the case.

Let's go through that again. A partner at a prominent Canadian law firm, one that specializes in appellate litigation in Ottawa - a lot of that on behalf of the federal government - withdraws, as in "fires" his client, a sitting prime minister of Canada.

SHPM gets new counsel the next day and promptly drops the suit.

Chew on that Professor and tell us what you think. A strange day in solicitor-client relations, n'est ce pas?

James C Morton said...

Agreed to these comments (especially insightful Mound) -- but it is true there could be a secret financial payment not reflected in the Court records. But I suspect the Liberal Party would have to release the information if such payment was made so I doubt it happened.

The Mound of Sound said...

Jim, I was wrong on Dearden. He withdrew last November, shortly after his experts showed that the Harper tape had not been doctored. Not quite as dramatic as the "day after" scenario but it's still hard to imagine senior counsel at a firm like Gowlings ditching a client like a sitting prime minister.

I assume it was no accident that the settlement was announced late in the Friday afternoon news cycle either.

What I'm wondering is whether this episode will leave Harper a little more vulnerable to a rival within the Tory ranks. It'll be hard, even for a control freak like Harper, to keep this story from leaking out.