* SLAPP (Strategic litigation against public participation)
CASE WON BY THE DEFENDANT
>>> To learn more about this lawsuit and reasons behind it, I strongly recommend reading the STATEMENT OF DEFENCE presented BELOW and/or click HERE for the Blog Master's Public Address...
~ In response to Plaintiffs' Notice of Action & Statement of Claim posted on KRG blog on February 27th, 2012-
> The Norval Morrisseau Blog is an educational initiative dedicated to the promotion of one of Canada’s most renowned Aboriginal artists and creation of a digital archive to honour the legacy of his life’s work.
We have published more than 2,000 posts, thousands of pictures, hundreds of documents (e.g. accredited professional Forensic Document Examiner's reports), related to the art of Norval Morrisseau, so that people around the world who regularly view our blog - museum curators, archivists, fine art collectors, academics, educators, and admirers of fine art - can have a better understanding and appreciation of the long career and singular achievements of this landmark Canadian artist, who was hailed as a “genius” at the very first exhibition he ever held at The Pollock Gallery in September 1962.
Norval was also the most prolific artist in world history, having produced well over 10,000 original artworks. We dedicate this blog to the loyal Norval Morrisseau collectors around the world who represent a legion of collectors outnumbering more than any other leading artist. We are thankful for the tremendous support our educational blog has garnered from countless Morrisseau fans around the world.
We will not be deterred from our single-minded effort to continue to publish the information of the artistic record of this phenomenal Canadian artist.
> The far reaching implications if Kinsman Robinson Galleries had silenced my voice would have been felt for decades. This court case Kinsman Robinson Galleries vs. Ugo Matulic, together with Hatfield vs. Artworld of Sherway, enhanced the value of not only Norval Morrisseau's but the future of all First Nations art as well.
The Plaintiffs (Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Donald Robinson and Paul Robinson) in their 'Statement of Claim' filed on December 23rd, 2013 demanded from the court the following:
"(a) damages in the amount of $500,000 for libel in respect of words posted on the Defendant's blog on or about dates set out below, being words that are false and defamatory of and concerning the plaintiffs (the "Defamatory Words");"
"(b) punitive, aggravated, special and exemplary damages in the amount of $500,000;"
"(c) an interim, interlocutory and permanent order enjoining the Defendant from making, publishing, disseminating or broadcasting the Defamatory Words, or words of like or similar effect;"
(d) an order requiring the Defendant to publish a clear and unreserved retraction on the Blog, as defined below, in respect of the Defamatory Words in a fashion that is at least as prominent as the Defamatory Words that appeard on the Blog;"
"(e) an order the Defendant to delete or destroy all electronic and physical copies of the articles containing the Defamatory Words;"
"(f) an order requiring the Defendant to provide the Plaintiffs with the identity of any person or corporation that hosts, publishes, republishes or posts links to the Defamatory Words, including the identity of the Defendant's internet service provider ("ISP");"
"(g) an order requiring the Defendant to send written requests to any person or corporation that hosts, publishes, republishes or posts links to the Defamatory Words, including Defendant's ISP;"
"(h) pre- and post-judgement interest in accordance with the Courts of Justice Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.43, sections 128-130;"
"(i) cost of this action on a substantial indemnity basis, and"
"(j) such further and other relief as this Honourable Court may deem just."
/Source: KINSMAN ROBINSON GALLERIES, DONALD ROBINSON and PAUL ROBINSON vs. UGO MATULIC (CV-10-417123) "Statement of Claim"; Pages: 10 & 11 - PDF/
BLOG MASTER'S COMMENT: I very successfully succeeded in defending this frivolous SLAPP suit and I will continue pursuing our mission of seeking justice for Norval Morrisseau and his art, which is a vital aspect of Canada’s heritage.
IMPORTANT NOTES: I was in the process of submitting a long list of documents they would be required to produce that they have hidden from public scrutiny for the last 13 years. And they knew that is what they would have to reveal. Also, copies of Kinsman Robinson Galleries' financial records from 2008-present, as well as a full inventory/list of Norval Morrisseau artwork bought, sold or auctioned by Kinsman Robinson Galleries from 1999-present. These documents would actually show their profits went up from the Hoax, and not down from my revelations.
The Plaintiffs (Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Donald Robinson and Paul Robinson) signed the Full and Final Release dropping all charges against me as soon as the judgement by Judge Paul J. Martial in Hatfield vs. Artworld of Sherway was announced.
According to Kinsman Robinson Galleries the reason* to settle "was made in order to end the ongoing distraction and cost of a complex litigation process." [KRG blog post 'KRG Accepts Matulić's Offer To Settle'; May 16th, 2013]
The Plaintiffs also claim that "KRG has operated as a fine art gallery for thirty-three years. As longtime members of the Art Dealers Association of Canada, our practices are fully consistent with both the law and accepted standards in the art world. KRG will continue to pursue our moral commitment to protect the artistic legacy of Norval Morrisseau and to preserve the value of genuine works by the artist." [KRG blog post 'KRG Accepts Matulić's Offer To Settle'; May 16th, 2013]
* - to learn more about this lawsuit and the true reasons behind it, I strongly recommend reading the excerpts from STATEMENT OF DEFENCE presented BELOW and click HERE for the Blog Master's Public Address presenting the details of this court case from a factual point of view...
It is important to note that in Hatfield vs. Artworld of Sherway the Plaintiff (Donald Robinson) was stripped of most of the claims he has ever made as a Morrisseau expert and authenticator of Norval Morrisseau's artworks. Judge Paul J. Martial rejected his so-called "expert report”, his analysis, his conclusions, and his abilities as Morellian analyst and a handwriting expert (click HERE for more info or click HERE to read about a failed Jonathan Sommer's appeal on behalf of the Plaintiff in Hatfield vs. Artworld of Sherway on December 17th, 2013).
Note that "The Globe and Mail" article 'Judge upholds decision that found Norval Morrisseau painting to be authentic' is not advertised by the KRG blog editors!?
Ugo Matulić a.k.a. Spirit Walker
The following are excerpts from Ugo Matulic's Statement of Defence (KINSMAN ROBINSON GALLERIES, DONALD ROBINSON and PAUL ROBINSON vs. UGO MATULIC; CV-10-417123) filed in Ontario Superior Court of Justice on September 22nd, 2011:
"The Plaintiffs have actively and deliberately taken action to corner the market in paintings by Norval Morrisseau. They are using their own position, as a former Morrisseau dealer, to inflate the value of their own holdings of Norval Morrisseau's paintings, and deflate the value of paintings held by Matulic, other Morrisseau collectors and art galleries all across Canada, by falsely claiming that many genuine Morrisseaus are forgeries, especially those signed on the back by the artist in black paint using drybrush (DB) technique. However several of these paintings have been positively confirmed for the signature authenticity by three independent forensic document examiners from Ottawa, Toronto and Calgary." (Statement of Defence, Sept. 21st, 2011; ¶ 4, Page 2)
"The Plaintiffs along with other individuals have attacked Matulic's personal and professional reputation in an attempt to devalue paintings from Matulic's personal collection calling them forgeries and abominations."(Statement of Defence, Sept. 21st, 2011; ¶ 5, Page 2)
"Since Matulic created his blog, the plaintiffs have been provoking and disparaging a very large number of pieces of Norval Morrisseau artwork not sold through or by the Kinsman Robinson Gallery, in a concerted effort to corner the public market in Norval Morrisseau's artwork owned by Matulic and others. The plaintiffs' smear campaign is directed in devaluing and stigmatizing the authentic artwork of the late Norval Morrisseau who passed away in 2007."
"All of the blog postings written by Matulic contain statements that are factually accurate or contain statements of opinion based upon accurate facts."
(Statement of Defence, Sept. 21st, 2011; ¶ 7, Page 3)
"Matulic commenced his Blog almost four years ago following false statements made publicly by the Plaintiffs and other individuals who were closely associated with the Plaintiffs regarding the authenticity of many Norval Morrisseau's paintings which these individuals called 'questionable', 'fakes', 'forgeries', 'abominations' and other defamatory attributes. Matulic felt the need to create a platform that would speak for Norval Morrisseau when this privilege to speak for himself was put in the hands of others who were only interested in their personal financial gain all the while putting the Legacy of Norval Morrisseau aside." (Statement of Defence, Sept. 21st, 2011; ¶ 10, Page 4)
"Freedom of expression is guaranteed by s. 2 (b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the "Charter"). It is essential to the proper functioning of the institutions of a democratic form of governance, including the institutions of the courts, the judiciary and an independent professional bar. The law should encourage and permit freewheeling debate in good faith on matters of public interest. The law should not be used to thwart such freewheeling debate by an overtly solicitous attempt to protect a private corporation such as one owned by the plaintiffs. The Matulic postings at issue in this action, demonstrate the vital importance of such a free-wheeling debate. In the particular circumstances of this case, the postings should benefit from constitutional immunity."
(Statement of Defence, Sept. 21st, 2011; ¶ 15, Page 6)
"There are more than 40 galleries and various auction houses and museums across North America which have exhibited authentic Norval Morrisseau's artwork which the Plaintiffs consider fakes and they are in support of individuals who collectively deflated the value of paintings held by Matulic and other Norval Morrisseau collectors all across Canada, by falsely claiming that many genuine Norval Morrisseau's are fakes."
"The Plaintiffs' concerted campaign of online terror in the form of libel chill is a transparent attempt to monopolize the privileged sale of the Norval Morrisseau's artwork and to silence any of their critics."
(Statement of Defence, Sept. 21st, 2011; ¶ 19, Page 7)
"Contrary to the Plaintiffs' assertions, Mr. Joseph McLeod of Maslak McLeod Gallery, the other most prominent expert in Norval Morrisseau's art considers the paintings in question to be authentic."
(Statement of Defence, Sept. 21st, 2011; ¶ 21, Page 8)
"Matulic specifically denies the allegation in the ASOC paragraph 5 that he was actuated by bad faith in "publishing/broadcasting" the words complained of in the ASOC subparagraph 5. Matulic honestly believed his words to be true and posted them in good faith and without malice and without gross negligence."(Statement of Defence, Sept. 21st, 2011; ¶ 24, Page 9)
"Matulic therefore submits that this action constitutes an abuse of process and has been commenced with the vexatious attempt to deter Matulic from expressing his opinions, and as such, this is a strategic lawsuit against public participation intended to interfere with Matulic's right to freedom of expression."(Statement of Defence, Sept. 21st, 2011; ¶ 28, Page 10)
~ Reference material:
1. Defendant's Statement of Defence [PDF]
2. Plaintiff's Notice of Action & Statement of Claim [PDF]
>>> On December 22, 2009 the Supreme Court of Canada has released a very significant decision which affects all media news reporting companies and bloggers in Canada:
"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."
"These rulings have caused a fundamental change in Canada’s defamation law. While journalists, bloggers and others do not have free reign to impugn the reputations of others, the notions of free speech and freedom of expression have been broadened to ensure a more vigorous debate of political and other issues that are clearly important to society."
- Arthur Weinreb
... for more information click HERE and/or HERE.
>>> REFERENCE POSTS
(STRONGLY RECOMMENDED FOR ALL THOSE WILLING TO UNDERSTAND NORVAL MORRISSEAU AUTHENTICITY ISSUES): - Ugo Matulic wins $1,000,000 SLAPP suit against Kinsman Robinson Gallerie s (Part I), - Ugo Matulic wins $1,000,000 SLAPP suit against Kinsman Robinson Galleries (Part II), - Ugo Matulic wins $1,000,000 SLAPP suit against Kinsman Robinson Galleries (Part III), - Law Tips for Bloggers (Part III) /SLAPP Suits/, - Ugo Matulić's response to Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Donald C. Robinson & Paul C. H. Robinson, - Ugo Matulić's response to yet another "Notice of Libel" by Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Kinsman Robinson Galleries threatens SLAPP suit against Ugo Matulić for $ 1 Million (Part I), - Grant v. Torstar and the defence of responsible communication: implications for bloggers and users of other online media, - The Morrisseau Time Machine (Part VIII), - Forensic Document Examination (Part I), - Signatures on Norval Morrisseau artworks certified by Forensic Science, - 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 ). ~