Monday, March 25, 2019

Sixth Anniversary of the Judgement in the Pivotal Court Case Relevant to Authenticity of Norval Morrisseau Artworks...


>>> In a court judgement Hatfield vs. Artworld of Sherway /Court File No. SC-09-087264-0000/ Judge Paul J. Martial stated the following:

"The Court finds that there is overwhelming evidence that Norval Morrisseau signed paintings in black brush paint.” (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: March 25th, 2013 - Page 34)

This important finding by Judge Paul J Martial was completely ignored by member of the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society, Ms. Carmen Robertson in Kevin Hearn Vs. Joseph B. McLeod and Maslak McLeod Gallery Inc. /Court File No. CV-12-455650/

NOTE: Genuine Norval Morrisseau painting involved in this court case was also acquired from Randy Potter Estate Auctions and appraised by the late Mr. Joseph McLeod (1928-2017).

~ The Kevin Hearn's legal counsel, Mr. Jonathan Sommer, represented the Plaintiff in a court case Hatfield, Margaret Lorraine vs. Child, Donna and Artworld of Sherway. This court case concluded with devastating consequences for the Plaintiff Ms. Margaret Hatfield of Sarnia, Ontario costing her $56,894.65 of her retirement money (see below for this landmark court decision* confirming the authenticity of thousands of Norval  Morrisseau paintings).
 
* - the Plaintiff's only witnesses in this curt case were Mr. Donald Robinson of Kinsman Robinson Galleries and Mr. Ritchie SinclairBoth, Mr. Robinson and Mr. Sinclair were discredited by the Paul J. Martial's judgement (see below). The same witnesses where mysteriously removed from list of witnesses in Hearn Vs. McLeod court case!? 

Source (Image): theMorrisseauHoaxExposedBlog.com/courts/
/Comprehensive Study on The Greatest Fraud in Canadian Art History/

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"On June 3, 1993, a day following Vadas’ and Morrisseau’s drive-by in which they saw the supposedly fraudulent Morrisseau work in the Gallery window, Morrisseau wrote a letter to Joseph McLeod. That letter has been produced and is in the evidentiary record. The letter was typed by another gallery owner, Don Robinson – a frequent ally of Norval Morrisseau’s and competitor of Joseph McLeod’s – and complains about the reproduction of Morrisseau works in McLeod’s promotional material. The letter never mentions forged Morrisseau paintings or fraudulent art of any kind; rather, it complains of the unauthorized reproduction of real Morrisseau paintings in McLeod’s brochure."

~ Justice Edward M. Morgan, May 24, 2018 (Paragraph 79); Kevin Hearn Vs. Joseph B. McLeod and Maslak McLeod Gallery Inc. /Court File No. CV-12-455650/

"This history of findings that Sinclair is unreliable undoubtedly provides an answer to why he was not called by Hearn’s counsel to testify about his intervention with the AGO here. At the same time, it fosters considerable skepticism as to whether the AGO’s decision to remove the painting from its exhibit was the right one. If history provides any clue, there is reason to believe that Sinclair was no more correct about Spirit Energy of Mother Earth than he was about Wheel of Life, the Morrisseau painting at issue in Hatfield. The AGO may well have acted in excessive haste and at the behest of someone who has made himself into a figure that is better for the art world to avoid than to rely on."

~ Justice Edward M. Morgan, May 24, 2018 (Paragraph 38); Kevin Hearn Vs. Joseph B. McLeod and Maslak McLeod Gallery Inc. /Court File No. CV-12-455650/





























"Wheel of Life", © 1979 Norval Morrisseau
 /Canvas front & VERSO/


A landmark court decision confirms the authenticity of thousands of Norval  Morrisseau paintings! 

ArtworksHatfield vs. Artworld of Sherway
/Court File No. SC-09-087264-0000/

~ The following is the analysis and decision of Deputy Judge Paul J. Martial's judgement dated SIX YEARS AGO TODAY on March 25th, 2013 and officially issued by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on April 2nd, 2013 (Pages 35 - 39)
 

ANALYSIS – copy of Judge Martial’s Judgment
(Note: For clarity and brevity, we have removed Judge Martial’s lengthy supporting quotes from the trial transcripts, which he added between the paragraphs)

"The Court has considered in excess of some 750 pages of testimony over five days of hearing and reviewed the exhibits and considered the detailed written submissions of counsel.

"The Court finds that there is overwhelming evidence that Norval Morrisseau signed paintings in black brush paint.


"The eye witness testimony of his brother Wilfred Morrisseau who lived with him for substantial periods of time in the North and elsewhere and who saw him sign in black brush paint is convincing and credible.

"The testimony of Marlow Goring supports his testimony in regards to the practise of the artist signing paintings in black brush.

"Wilfred Morrisseau's testimony that his brother painted while in jail and his explanation of his brother's decadent lifestyle and his carefree attitude to life provides a cogent explanation for the lack of receipts to document the provenance.

"The Court adopts Wilfred Morrisseau's testimony that his brother painted a significant number of paintings en masse and it is therefore reasonable to conclude that his production was in the thousands.


"The testimony of Mr. Joseph McLeod is indicative of his care and the detailed efforts to confirm provenance, including the hiring of a forensic expert to examine the signature on the back of the painting indicate that he took his role to provide appraisals seriously.

"His testimony of the origin of the Cree syllabic signature, the name Copper Thunderbird and his interpretation of the painting "Wheel of Life" demonstrates his depth of knowledge of the painter due to his lengthy association with the artist.

"His explanation of the brown more muted colour of the painting compared to the brighter later paintings is credible when considered in the context of pictographs near Lac Seul and in Nipigon where Morrisseau lived and likely the inspiration of the earlier paintings. Such pictographs were also known to exist in the Petroglyphs near Peterborough where Morrisseau formerly resided.

"The Defendants acted reasonably in obtaining one of two appraisals from Mr. Joseph McLeod to authenticate the painting due to his knowledge of and prior dealings with the artist due to the controversy about provenance.


"The Court received the statutory declarations of Norval Morrisseau and letters filed by the Plaintiff in support of the allegation of forgery. This evidence was relevant and although hearsay was admitted since it was relevant to the central issue - Was the painting a forgery?

"In assessing the reliability of that evidence however, the Court notes that since this evidence was not subject to cross-examination it had to be carefully weighed in light of the testimony of all of the witnesses.


"The Plaintiff's own witness Donald Robinson provided viva voce testimony of Norval Morrisseau's inconsistency and difficulty in identifying his own work, and of his unpredictability.

"He agreed that Morrisseau could have memory problems from 2003 to 2006, and of his decline in health due to his illness.

Robinson's admission that he was not surprised that Morrisseau would sign a certificate of authenticity to please also cast doubt on the reliability of the statutory declarations signed by Morrisseau.

"His testimony coupled with the testimony of other witnesses of Morrisseau's Parkinson's disease raises a significant doubt of the reliability of the statutory declarations.

"Although a letter from a lawyer who was present at the signing of the statutory declaration and a doctor's letter were filed at trial, no expert testimony of capacity was proffered by the Plaintiff on such a key issue.

"Mr. Robinson was qualified as an expert in the area of valuation and appraisal. His testimony however overlapped into the area of handwriting and included an analysis of syllabic and English handwriting, areas for which he was not qualified.

"He has no formal training as an expert witness in handwriting analysis and his evidence is rejected.



"Dr. Singla's forensic evidence is preferred in this regard and his finding that it is highly probable that the painting "Wheel of Life" was painted by Norval Morrisseau was supported by his detailed technical analysis of known signatures of' Norval Morrisseau.

"Mr. Robinson also testified as to his personal dealings with Morrisseau paintings. It was his view that there were a large number of forgeries.

"It was also clear that his personal views and business interests conflicted with his professional opinion since it was in his interest along with Mr. Vadas to maintain the price of Morrisseau paintings which would not otherwise be the case if the market was flooded with paintings sourced from Potter auctions.



"The Court rejects his expert report and his conclusion that the Morellian analysis, style, colour, and provenance all pointed to forgery.

"Mr. Joseph McLeod's testimony is preferred to that of Mr. Ritchie Sinclair. Mr. Sinclair's testimony of numerous forgers paid for with drugs although dramatic was not supported by the evidence.

DECISION

"After a careful consideration of all of the evidence, the Court finds that on the balance of probabilities that the painting "Wheel of Life" dated February 1979 is an original Norval Morrisseau and undoubtedly one of his most notorious paintings.




"The painting “Wheel of Life" is not a forgery. The Defendants did not misrepresent the authenticity of the painting.

"The Plaintiff's claim is dismissed with costs fixed at $1,500.00 dollars pursuant to the written submissions of counsel.

"Dated at Toronto this 25th day of March 2013.

Signed

/Paul J. Martial/"


- -



~ This document, issued by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, also includes the introduction, plaintiff's and defence evidence as well as summary of testimonies by Ms. Margaret Hatfield, Mr. Donald Robinson, Mr. Ritchie Sinclair, Ms. Donna Child, Mr. Wilfred Morrisseau, Mr. Kevin Cott, Mr. Joseph McLeod, Mr. Marlow Goring, Dr. Atul K. Singla and Mr. James White.

Source: Deputy Judge Paul J. Martial's judgement
                  /Complete Original Downloadable Document/

                 


            /Complete Original Downloadable Document/

                



ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:


/This is an appeal by the appellant Hatfield from the decision of the Honourable Deputy Judge Paul Martial of the Toronto Small Claims Court dated March 25, 2013./

~ Funded by Canada’s lawyers and notaries for the benefit of all, CanLII provides free access to legal information 


Note: "The Hatfield case was unique in that it represented the first time a Morrisseau authentication joust had proceeded through a complete trial – it required five hearings spanning about two and a half years and resulting in 750 pages of published evidence – and ended with a judicial ruling." ~ 'The Globe and Mail'

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"In a stunning, and incredibly detailed and thoughtful ruling, Madam Justice Sanderson, totally backed up the landmark ruling of Deputy Judge Paul J Martial in the Hatfield v Child case, and dismissed entirely the Appeal of Jonathan Sommer for Ms. Hatfield. Madam Justice Sanderson supported entirely, the right of Judge Martial to dismiss in their entirety, the expertise, the expert reports, and the testimony of both Sommer’s witnesses, Donald Robinson of Toronto’s Kinsman Robinson Galleries and its outreach worker Ritchie Sinclair."



Brian Shiller - Legal counsel for Defendant

Click HERE to continue reading...


>>> REFERENCE POSTS (STRONGLY RECOMMENDED):
- Forensic Document Examination (Part I), - Signatures on Norval Morrisseau artworks certified by Forensic Science- 'A Fabulous Merry Christmas Greeting for Norval & All Canadians from Madam Justice Mary Anne Sanderson', - The Jonathan Sommer's appeal on behalf of the Plaintiff in Hatfield vs. Artworld of Sherway has failed on December 17th, 2013... (Part I)- The Jonathan Sommer's appeal on behalf of the Plaintiff in Hatfield vs. Artworld of Sherway has failed on December 17th, 2013... (Part II)The Jonathan Sommer's appeal on behalf of the Plaintiff in Hatfield vs. Artworld of Sherway has failed on December 17th, 2013... (Part III), - Downloadable Norval Morrisseau Forensic Reports (Part I), - Downloadable Norval Morrisseau Forensic Reports (Part II), - Downloadable Norval Morrisseau Forensic Reports (Part III), - Downloadable Norval Morrisseau Forensic Reports (Part IV), - Morrisseau's artwork in Auction Houses, Commercial Art Galleries & Museums Around the World, - Genuine Morrisseau paintings: Appraised, Authenticated and Forensically Analyzed... /In regards to the Genuine Norval Morrisseau paintings signed by the artist with a dry brush (DB) technique/ - Experts in Norval Morrisseau's Art (Part I) /Ref.: Mr. Joseph McLeod/ - Norval Morrisseau authenticating his artworks /In regards to the Genuine Norval Morrisseau paintings signed by the artist with a dry brush (DB) technique/, - Endorsement by Thunder Bay Art Gallery of genuine Morrisseau paintings from 1970's /In regards to the Genuine Norval Morrisseau paintings signed by the artist with a dry brush (DB) technique/, - Authenticity Statement by Mr. Goyce Kakegamic /'In regards to Genuine Norval Morrisseau paintings acquired from Collections of Mr. Rolf Schneiders and Mr. Gary Lamont/, - Statutory Declaration by Mr. Robert Scott, /' Witnessing Norval Morrisseau signing the paintings with a dry brush (DB) technique'/, - Statutory Declaration by Mr. Deiter John Voss, /' Witnessing Norval Morrisseau signing the paintings with a dry brush (DB) technique'/ - Hatfield, Margaret Lorraine vs. Child, Donna and Artworld of Sherway (Part IV) & - Pivotal Court Case Relevant to Authenticity of Norval Morrisseau Artworks.

~ As per decision of the SUPREME COURT OF CANADA (December 22, 2009), journalists and other media, including bloggers, will be protected from lawsuits if they diligently try to verify information on matters that are in the public interest (click HERE for more information and/or check NORVAL MORRISSEAU BLOG's DISCLAIMER @ the bottom of this page ). ~  

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Why do Kevin Hearn and Jonathan Sommer fear the late Mr. Joseph McLeod and Questioned Document Examiners?


Kevin Hearn Vs. Joseph B. McLeod and Maslak McLeod Gallery Inc.
/Court File No. CV-12-455650/

"SPIRIT ENERGY OF MOTHER EARTH HAS NOT BEEN PROVED TO BE A FORGED OR FAKE MORRISEAU. FROM THE LAW'S POINT OF VIEW, IT IS THEREFORE A REAL NORVAL MORRISSEAU PAINTING."-

~ Justice Edward M. Morgan, May 24, 2018

~ The Kevin Hearn's legal counsel, Mr. Jonathan Sommer, also represented the Plaintiff in a court case Hatfield, Margaret Lorraine vs. Child, Donna and Artworld of Sherway. This court case concluded with devastating consequences for the Plaintiff Ms. Margaret Hatfield of Sarnia, Ontario costing her $56,894.65 of her retirement money (click HERE for this landmark court decision* confirming the authenticity of thousands of Norval  Morrisseau paintings). 


* - the Plaintiff's only witnesses in this related court case were Mr. Donald Robinson of Kinsman Robinson Galleries and Mr. Ritchie SinclairBoth, Mr. Robinson and Mr. Sinclair were discredited by the Paul J. Martial's judgement on April 2nd, 2013 (click HERE). The same witnesses where mysteriously removed from list of witnesses in Hearn Vs. McLeod court case!? 

Source (Image): theMorrisseauHoaxExposedBlog.com/courts/
/Comprehensive Study on The Greatest Fraud in Canadian Art History/

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"On June 3, 1993, a day following Vadas’ and Morrisseau’s drive-by in which they saw the supposedly fraudulent Morrisseau work in the Gallery window, Morrisseau wrote a letter to Joseph McLeod. That letter has been produced and is in the evidentiary record. The letter was typed by another gallery owner, Don Robinson – a frequent ally of Norval Morrisseau’s and competitor of Joseph McLeod’s – and complains about the reproduction of Morrisseau works in McLeod’s promotional material. The letter never mentions forged Morrisseau paintings or fraudulent art of any kind; rather, it complains of the unauthorized reproduction of real Morrisseau paintings in McLeod’s brochure."

~ Justice Edward M. Morgan, May 24, 2018 (Paragraph 79); Kevin Hearn Vs. Joseph B. McLeod and Maslak McLeod Gallery Inc. /Court File No. CV-12-455650/


"This history of findings that Sinclair is unreliable undoubtedly provides an answer to why he was not called by Hearn’s counsel to testify about his intervention with the AGO here. At the same time, it fosters considerable skepticism as to whether the AGO’s decision to remove the painting from its exhibit was the right one. If history provides any clue, there is reason to believe that Sinclair was no more correct about Spirit Energy of Mother Earth than he was about Wheel of Life, the Morrisseau painting at issue in Hatfield. The AGO may well have acted in excessive haste and at the behest of someone who has made himself into a figure that is better for the art world to avoid than to rely on." 

~ Justice Edward M. Morgan, May 24, 2018 (Paragraph 38); Kevin Hearn Vs. Joseph B. McLeod and Maslak McLeod Gallery Inc. /Court File No. CV-12-455650/

Important additional/related information: 


In a recent court case Kevin Hearn Vs. Joseph B. McLeod and Maslak McLeod Gallery Inc. /Court File No. CV-12-455650/ the Plaintiff's legal councel was also Mr. Jonathan Sommer while expert witness for the Plaintiff was Dr. Carmen Robertson. Expert witness for the defendant was a Questioned Document Examiner Mr. Kenneth J. Davies of 'Hawkeye Studios (Grapho-Lab® Services)' (Calgary, Alberta). 

Plaintiff's expert witness, Dr. Carmen Robertson* failed to prove the case of the painting's nonauthenticity. 

Just as with what happened to Mr. Donald Robinson's testimony in Hatfield, Margaret Lorraine vs. Child, Donna and Artworld of Sherway trial when he was accepted as an expert witness but in the end his testimony was rejected.   

"Spirit Energy of Mother Earth has not been proved to be a forged or fake Morrisseau. From the law’s point of view, it is therefore a real Norval Morrisseau painting."

~ Justice Edward M. Morgan, May 24, 2018


* Member of the defunct Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society (NMHS)


THE REASONS BEHIND KEVIN HEARN AND JONATHAN SOMMER'S FEARS:

After eighteen years since National Post article by Murray Whyte "Morrisseau fakes alleged" /National PostMay 18th, 2001/, and three years of investigation by Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Thunder Bay Police Service and after eight court cases over the period of twelve years (see reference posts listed below) nobody has ever been successful in pointing out one case where it was proven that someone made, sold, distributed or even marketed one "fake" Norval Morrisseau painting.

In each of these court cases Mr. Joseph McLeod (1928-2017) of Maslak McLeod Gallery was referenced to or his appraisals were submitted and accounted for: 


1.1 - Otavnik vs. Vadas SC 07-51428-00,
2.1 - Michael Moniz vs. CTV Globemedia Publishing Inc.,
3.1 - Drs. Browne and Witmer vs. Bearclaw Gallery,
4.1 - Otavnik vs. Sinclair SC 09-00082782-0000,
4.2 - CASE SUMMARY: Otavnik vs. Sinclair SC 09-00082782-0000,
5.1 - Hatfield vs. Child SC-09-087264-0000 &
6.1.- Kinsman Robinson Galleries vs. Ugo Matulic CV-10-417123,

7.1.- James White vs. Ritchie Sinclair SC-10-109226-00 
        /Formerly CV-08-00366828*/.

8.1. Kevin Hearn Vs. Joseph B. McLeod and Maslak McLeod Gallery Inc. /Court File No. CV-12-455650/


* - A claim when Joseph McLeod (c.o.b. Maslak McLeod Gallery)James White, White Distribution Limited, Donna Child, Artworld Inc. (c.o.b. Artworld of Sherway)Sun Nam Kim ("Sunny Kim"), Gallery Sunami Inc.(c.o.b. Gallery Sunami), Jackie Bugera and Bugera Holdings Ltd.(c.o.b. Bearclaw Gallery) sued Ritchie Sinclair (Ref.: click HERE).

Note: In January 2011, days before the case was to be officially declared abandoned by the Superior Court, James White reactivated the case. It appears, however, that White was acting alone. On August 5th, 2015 Deputy Judge CW Kilian Found Ritchie Sinclair Guilty & fined him $25,000 plus costs... (click HERE for more information). 
 
~ In all of the above listed court cases Forensic science have been used proving that paintings in question were signed by Norval Morrisseau and nobody else (click HERE).



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"On the other hand, there are those dealers - including Joseph McLeod and collectors like Ugo Matulic and Joseph Otavnik - who believe that the issue of fakes is really a non-issue, a trumped-up conspiracy by Kinsman Robinsonand Gabe Vadas to corner the market."

Armand Garnet Ruffo (NORVAL MORRISSEAU 'Man Changing into Thunderbird2014; Page 290) 

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Dr. Atul K. Singla    Brian Lindblom (ret.)   Kenneth J. Davies


/Canada's top Forensic Document Examiner and Handwriting Experts/

~ From 2002 to 2017 they have analyzed more than 150 various genuine Norval Morrisseau artworks, all alleged to be forgeries by Kinsman Robinson Galleries and their associates, and have found them, without exception, to be paintings signed by Norval Morrisseau.

Image: Courtesy of http://themorrisseauhoaxexposedblog.com/ 

* - Click HERE for the Forensic Reports available for FREE DOWNLOAD (2002 to 2017)

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Margaret Hatfield with "Wheel of Life"
© 1979 Norval Morrisseau
Photograph by: Brent Foster, for the Ottawa Citizen


~ Click HERE to view the inscription on the reverse side of canvas
Source: Randy Potter Estate Auction, Pickering, Ontario


Presented below is Justice Mary Anne Sanderson’s written judgment for the 'Hatfield vs. Artworld of Sherway' appeal:

-------------------------------------------------------------------

CITATION: Hatfield v. Child, 2013 ONSC 7801
DIVISIONAL COURT FILE NO. 209/13
DATE: 2013-12-17

ONTARIO
SUPERIOR COURT OF JUSTICE
Divisional Court

BETWEEN: MARGARET HATFIELD Plaintiff/Appellant
AND: DONNA CHILD and ARTWORLD INC. doing business as ARTWORLD OF SHERWAY, Defendants/Respondents

BEFORE: M.A. SANDERSON J.

COUNSEL: Jonathan J. Sommer for the Plaintiff/Appellant
                    Brian G. Shiller for the Defendants/Respondents 

E N D O R S E M E N T

Introduction

[1] This is an appeal by the appellant Hatfield from the decision of the Honourable Deputy Judge Paul Martial of the Toronto Small Claims Court (“the trial Judge”) dated March 25, 2013.

[2] Hatfield, the plaintiff below, alleged in her action that the Respondents/Defendants (“the Defendants”) had sold her a painting attributed to the artist Norval Morrisseau (“Morrisseau”) that was a fake.

[3] The trial Judge ruled after a five day trial that Wheel of Life ("the painting”) is an authentic Morrisseau and dismissed her claim.

Background Facts

[4] On February 26, 2005, Hatfield purchased Wheel of Life from the Defendant ArtWorld of Sherway for $10,350.

[5] In April of 2009 Hatfield learned that on September 24, 2004, the artist had signed a Statutory Declaration denouncing as fakes a number of paintings, including Wheel of Life.

[6] Assuming mistakenly that the gallery director of ArtWorld, Donna Child (”Child”) had been aware of the Statutory Declaration at the time she had sold Wheel of Life to her, she contacted Ritchie Sinclair (”Sinclair”).

[7] Hatfield did not contact Bremner and/or Mcleod, the authors of the two documents the Defendants had provided to her at the time of her purchase, purporting to authenticate and appraise Wheel of Life. The trial Judge found "essentially she relied on Robinson and Sinclair.

The Trial

[8] Counsel for Hatfield called three witnesses to give evidence at trial: Hatfield, Donald Robinson (“Robinson”) and Sinclair.

[9] Counsel for the Defendants called seven witnesses: Child, McLeod, Wilfred Morrisseau, Dr. Singla, Cott and Goring.

The Appeal

[10] In argument on the appeal, counsel for the Appellant challenged the trial Judge’s finding of fact and his legal conclusions.

Submissions on Errors of Fact

[11] At trial, the trial Judge sorted through much conflicting evidence.

[12] Counsel for Hatfield submitted that the trial Judge acted unfairly in accepting the evidence of the Defendants and rejecting the evidence of the Plaintiff.

[13] In my view there was ample evidence to support the trial Judge's finding that Morrisseau signed the back of Wheel of Life in black paint.

[14] Dr Singla provided a detailed report attesting to the authenticity of Morrisseau’s signature on the back of Wheel of Life.

[15] In reaching his conclusion, it was open to the trial Judge to prefer the evidence of Dr Singla, an independent expert with a PHD in Forensic Science, a diploma in document examination and 30 years' experience in handwriting analysis, that it was highly probable that it was Morrisseau's signature on the back of Wheel of Life, over the evidence of Robinson that Morrisseau almost never [signed his signature in English with brush and black paint]: "Not to my knowledge have I ever seen it."

[16] Counsel for Hatfield submitted the trial Judge acted unfairly and contrary to his own earlier ruling when he ruled that Robinson had no expertise in handwriting and that that ruling deprived Hatfield of the benefit of any expert evidence on the point. I disagree. The trial Judge did consider Robinson’s evidence that Morrisseau did not sign his works in black paint but he preferred the evidence of Dr Singla, as he was entitled to do. In reaching his conclusion on Morrisseau's signature, he also relied on the evidence of fact witnesses Wilfred Morrisseau and Marlowe Goring, who said they had personally witnessed Morrisseau signing the backs of his works in black paint. He was entitled to accept that evidence on that point.

[17] The trial Judge was entitled to consider that in 1990 Robinson had personally purchased 28 Morrisseau paintings, believing they were genuine.

[18] Similarly, the trial Judge was entitled to reject the evidence of Sinclair and to conclude it was unsupported and unreliable. Sinclair could produce no documentary evidence to support his assertion that a well organized forgery ring painted the works auctioned by Khan Auctions.

[19] The trial Judge noted Sinclair gave evidence that he did not view the original paintings before condemning them as fakes.

[20] The trial Judge was entitled to consider and accept the evidence of Cott, an independent witness with no stake in the litigation, when rejecting the evidence of Sinclair.

[21] Therefore, I do not accept the submission of counsel for Hatfield that the trial Judge simply rejected the evidence of the Plaintiff in a wholesale manner.

[22] Further, in my view it was open to the trial Judge on the evidence to have “significant doubt” as to its reliability of Morrisseau’s September 24, 2004 Statutory Declaration. It was open to the trial Judge not to place any weight on the letter from Morrisseau's doctor commenting on his health at the time he signed the Statutory Declaration. The authenticity of the doctor's letter was challenged at trial. Counsel for Hatfield did not call the doctor to give evidence at trial.

[23] There was evidence that Morrisseau painted more than 10,000 paintings over a career spanning more than 40 years and that Morrisseau struggled with chronic alcoholism and drug addiction over many years.

[24] Robinson gave evidence he had observed Morrisseau himself having difficulty telling whether or not his own painting was a fake.

[25] It was open to the trial Judge to accept White’s evidence that he had researched 3 statutory declarations signed by Morrisseau and had concluded they were inconsistent with each other. Robinson had also agreed that Morrisseau was somewhat inconsistent in his identification of fakes. There was also evidence from Robinson, a witness called by counsel for Hatfield, that from 2003-2006 Morrisseau's health was poor. He agreed Morrisseau could have had memory problems.

[26] McLeod was called to defend his appraisal of Wheel of Life. It was open to the trial Judge to find on the evidence before him that McLeod was an authority on Morrisseau and his work, having dealt with his art for over 50 years, that Mcleod was a credible witness and that the Defendants had acted reasonably in relying upon McLeod’s appraisal of Wheel of Life at the time it was offered for sale to Hatfield.

[27] Before he signed the appraisal, McLeod had conducted an independent review, including speaking with members of Morrisseau’s family, and had satisfied himself that Wheel of Life was genuine. He and White had had a forensic expert check the signature on the back. He had tracked Morrisseau to find out where he had been in February 1979 when Wheel of Life was painted.

[28] While I accept the submission of counsel for Hatfield that the trial Judge did not specifically mention the affidavit of Michele Vadas [who did not give evidence at trial], I find it was open to him to prefer the evidence of Dr. Singla, Wilfred Morrisseau and Goring over her evidence.

[29] While I accept the submission of counsel for Hatfield that at the beginning of his Reasons, the trial Judge erred in referring to Morrisseau having Altzheimer's, it is clear that he corrected his mistake later in his Reasons and repeatedly referred to Morrisseau’s health condition as Parkinson’s disease. While I accept that he may have also confused the evidence as to whether Robinson and McLeod were members of the Art Dealers of Canada, I am satisfied that neither inaccuracy affected his overall conclusions.

[30] The law is clear that factual findings of a trial Judge should not be overturned on appeal in the absence of palpable and overriding errors. Housen v Mikolaisen, [2002] S.C.R. 33.

[31] In my view, the trial Judge made no palpable and overriding error in his findings of fact.

Submissions on Errors of Law

[32] Counsel for the Appellant submitted that the trial Judge based his decision upon non-existent or inadmissible hearsay evidence.

[33] In considering this submission, I have noted that this is a Small Claims Court action. Section 27 of the Courts of Justice Act permits documentary and oral hearsay evidence in Small Claims Court trials. That said, I accept the submission of counsel for Hatfield that the Small Claims Court rule must be applied fairly and even handedly. Having reviewed the evidence and the findings forming the subject of his complaint, I have concluded that the trial Judge made no reversible legal error. I have noted generally that some evidence was given about documents that were not entered into evidence. At the same time, that evidence could have formed the basis for objections and cross-examination. In most instances, counsel did not object to the admission of the evidence about which he now complains.

[34] Having reviewed that evidence, I have concluded that the trial Judge did not place much weight on it in any event.

[35] Counsel for Hatfield also submitted the trial Judge relied on evidence that could only have been given by a qualified expert.

[36] I have rejected his submission that the trial Judge was precluded from relying on the evidence of Wilfred Morrisseau on the basis that he gave evidence that only an expert should have been allowed to give. In my view, he was a fact witness who could give important evidence based on his own personal observations. The trial Judge emphasized that evidence in his Reasons, not his evidence on matters arguably properly only within the purview of an expert witness.

[37] Counsel for Hatfield submitted the trial Judge also relied on evidence of McLeod that should only have been given by a qualified expert. I note that McLeod was called as a fact witness because he had prepared an appraisal that had been provided to Hatfield at the time of her purchase of Wheel of Life. His experience and knowledge of Morrisseau's work was relevant to the determination of the reasonableness of the Defendants' actions at the time of the sale. While McLeod did give evidence on the authenticity of Wheel of Life, I am satisfied that the critical evidence on which the trial Judge based his conclusion that Wheel of Life was authentic was the evidence of Dr. Singla [with whose expertise he was satisfied] and the two fact witnesses Wilfred Morrisseau and Goring. As noted earlier, on the properly admissible evidence, he was entitled to reach the conclusions he did and to reject the evidence of Robinson.

[38] The Appellant submitted that the trial Judge failed to provide adequate reasons.

[39] I disagree. He ordered a transcript and reviewed over 750 pages of evidence. He reviewed the exhibits, considered detailed written submissions of counsel and wrote 38 pages of Reasons that in my view sufficiently explained why he reached the conclusions that he did. He outlined why he had concluded (1) that Morrisseau had signed paintings in black acrylic paint; (2) that Morrisseaus’s Statutory Declaration was unreliable; and (3) that the Defendants had acted reasonably at the time of the sale. His reasons permitted effective review. Clifford v Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System 2009 ONCA 670 (CanLII), (2009) 98 O.R. (3d) 210 O.C.A. para 29.

[40] The Appellant submitted the trial Judge erred in law in failing to canvass the law related to cloud on title. In my view that was unnecessary in light of his factual finding that Wheel of Life was authentic. In any event, no authority was provided equating cloud on title with latent defect.

[41] Counsel for Hatfield submitted that despite the finding of authenticity, the trial judgment may not guarantee that the value of Wheel of Life would not have been affected by the existence of the Statutory Declaration about which the Defendants failed to advise Hatfield before she purchased Wheel of Life.

[42] On the evidence, at the time the Defendants sold Wheel of Life to Hatfield they were not aware of the existence of the Statutory Declaration dated September 24, 2004. Despite the information the Defendants did have at the time of the sale, there was evidence to support the trial Judge's finding that the Defendants acted reasonably at the time of the sale. There was no error of law in that regard and that ground of appeal must also fail.

[43] In summary, while the trial Judge made some minor errors of fact, he had a sufficient basis to reach the factual conclusions he did. He made no reversible error of law.

Disposition

[44] The appeal is therefore dismissed, with costs fixed at $7500. 

___________________
M.A. SANDERSON J.


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            /Complete Original Downloadable Document/

                


              /Complete Original Downloadable Document/

                 



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ADDENDUM:
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> This video was originally published by CTV News (Canada AM) on Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014 showing important testimonies of the top international forensics and handwriting expert, Dr. Atul K. Singla of Worldwide Forensic Services Inc. (Toronto, Ontario) & the defendant Ms. Donna Child of Artworld of Sherway (Toronto, Ontario);
/ © 2014 Bell Media All rights reserved/

NOTE: This video has been republished as a matter of significant public interest

Important note: "The Hatfield case was unique in that it represented the first time a Morrisseau authentication joust had proceeded through a complete trial – it required five hearings spanning about two and a half years and resulting in 750 pages of published evidence – and ended with a judicial ruling."'The Globe and Mail'
































"Wheel of Life" examination comparison with  "Soaring Thunderbird" & "Sacred Medicine Bear Changes" by Dr. Atul K. Singla /Click on image for detailed examination of the ILLUSTRATIVE CHART #46 of the May 27, 2011 Forensic Report//


In his “Wheel of Life 1979” supplementary forensic report, on May 27, 2011, Dr. Singla wrote,

Conclusion: Examination and comparison of the questioned and the known signatures as described in detail in the report and illustrative charts lead to the following conclusion:

1. The questioned signatures Q1-Q11 and the known signatures K10 and K11 were written by one and the same person.”

Dr. Singla conclusively proved that all eleven paintings, including the “Wheel of Life 1979,” were signed by Norval Morrisseau.

To download Dr. Singla’s Supplementary “Wheel of Life 1979” (May 27, 2011) forensic report CLICK HERE.



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 >>> In a court judgement "Hatfield vs. Artworld of Sherway" /Court File No. SC-09-087264-0000/ Judge Paul J. Martial stated the following about Mr. Joseph McLeod (1928-2017) of Maslak McLeod Gallery:

“He demonstrated a superior depth of knowledge of Morrisseau…” (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: March 25th, 2013 - Page 25)


“The testimony of Mr. Joseph McLeod is indicative of his care and the detailed effort to confirm provenance, including the hiring of a forensic expert to examine the signature on the back of the painting indicate that he took his role to provide appraisals seriously. His testimony… demonstrates his depth of knowledge of the painter due to his lengthy association with the artist.”
(Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: March 25th, 2013 - Page 35)


"His (Ritchie Sinclair's) methodology in identifying forgeries is clearly inadequate and suspect since he testified that he does not even view the original paintings before condemning them as fakes." (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: March 25th, 2013 - Page 16)


"Mr. Robinson (of Kinsman Robinson Galleries) was qualified as an expert in the area of valuation and appraisal. His testimony however overlapped into the area of handwriting and included an analysis of syllabic and English handwriting, areas for which he was not qualified.

"He has no formal training as an expert witness in handwriting analysis and his evidence is rejected. (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: March 25th, 2013 - Page 37)


"Dr. Singla's forensic evidence is preferred in this regard and his finding that it is highly probable that the painting "Wheel of Life" was painted by Norval Morrisseau was supported by his detailed technical analysis of known signatures of' Norval Morrisseau. (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: March 25th, 2013 - Page 37)


"The Court finds that there is overwhelming evidence that Norval Morrisseau signed paintings in black brush paint.” (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: March 25th, 2013 - Page 34)

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (Other sources):

 The Conspiracy Theorists Lose Court Case Round #7
- “CT Proxy #4” Hatfield (Robinson, Sinclair) (loser) v Artworld (triumphant)
Judge Paul J Martial Part 1: on Margaret Hatfield’s Case
Judge Paul J Martial Part 2: on Norval Morrisseau’s Case
Judge Paul J Martial Part 3: on Donald Robinson’s Case
Source: theMorrisseauHoaxExposedBlog.com/courts/
/Comprehensive Study on The Greatest Fraud in Canadian Art History/

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Additional notes:

Jonathan Sommer's court case (representing Mr. Kevin Hearn) which came with false allegations about Mr. Joseph McLeod's integrity as a Norval Morrisseau expert: Maslak McLeod Gallery sued for selling a genuine Norval Morrisseau painting to Kevin Hearn - Band member of the Barenaked Ladies.

~ Another Jonathan Sommer's court case (representing Mr. John McDermott) which also came with false allegations about Mr. Joseph McLeod's integrity as a Norval Morrisseau expert: "Famed tenor drops suit alleging art dealer sold him fake Morrisseau paintings" by James Adams /Originally published on October 31st, 2014).



Kevin Hearn Vs. Joseph B. McLeod and Maslak McLeod Gallery Inc.
/Court File No. CV-12-455650/

"SPIRIT ENERGY OF MOTHER EARTH HAS NOT BEEN PROVED TO BE A FORGED OR FAKE MORRISEAU. FROM THE LAW'S POINT OF VIEW, IT IS THEREFORE A REAL NORVAL MORRISSEAU PAINTING."-

~ Justice Edward M. Morgan, May 24, 2018


>>> Reference posts:
- Morrisseau's artwork in Auction Houses, Commercial Art Galleries & Museums Around the World, - Genuine Morrisseau paintings: Appraised, Authenticated and Forensically Analyzed... /In regards to the Genuine Norval Morrisseau paintings signed by the artist with a dry brush (DB) technique/ - Experts in Norval Morrisseau's Art (Part I) /Ref.: Mr. Joseph McLeod/ - Norval Morrisseau authenticating his artworks /In regards to the Genuine Norval Morrisseau paintings signed by the artist with a dry brush (DB) technique/, - Endorsement by Thunder Bay Art Gallery of genuine Morrisseau paintings from 1970's /In regards to the Genuine Norval Morrisseau paintings signed by the artist with a dry brush (DB) technique/, - Authenticity Statement by Mr. Goyce Kakegamic /'In regards to Genuine Norval Morrisseau paintings acquired from Collections of Mr. Rolf Schneiders and Mr. Gary Lamont/, - Statutory Declaration by Mr. Robert Scott, /' Witnessing Norval Morrisseau signing the paintings with a dry brush (DB) technique'/, - Statutory Declaration by Mr. Deiter John Voss, /' Witnessing Norval Morrisseau signing the paintings with a dry brush (DB) technique'/ - Hatfield, Margaret Lorraine vs. Child, Donna and Artworld of Sherway (Part IV).

~ As per decision of the SUPREME COURT OF CANADA (December 22, 2009), journalists and other media, including bloggers, will be protected from lawsuits if they diligently try to verify information on matters that are in the public interest (click HERE for more information and/or check NORVAL MORRISSEAU BLOG's DISCLAIMER @ the bottom of this page ). ~