Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Court of Public Opinion Offers Verdict on Morris Lawsuit

Posted by auroracitizen on July 27, 2011

There has been a flurry of news articles about our wee town as a result of the decision by Judge Brown on the Phyllis Morris defamation lawsuit. In case you might have missed some, they are listed below.

If you see additional articles please add them as comments and we will add the new articles to this post. Don’t forget to check out the comments on the articles. They are also an interesting read.

Why faceless sniping deserves protection
Ivor Tossell, Aug 3, 2011, Globe & Mail
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/digital-culture/ivor-tossell/why-faceless-sniping-deserves-protection/article2118151/

Court grapples with legalities of anonymous online postings
Michael Geist, Internet law Columnist, Sunday July 31, 2011, Toronto Star
http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1032104–geist-court-grapples-with-legalities-of-anonymous-online-postings

EDITORIAL, National Post: Right balance on online free speech
Thursday Jul. 28, 2011, Page A1
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/Right+balance+online+free+speech/5169848/story

Morris ruling could set precedent: lawyer
Jeremy Grimaldi, July 27, Era Banner
http://www.yorkregion.com/news/article/1049287–morris-ruling-could-set-precedent-lawyer

OPINION: Jesse Kline: No pity for spineless politicians who don’t respect free speech
Wednesday July 27, National Post
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/07/27/jesse-kline-no-pity-for-spineless-politicians-who-dont-respect-free-speech/

Aurora ex-mayor’s critics can remain anonymous
Gloria Er-Chua, Staff Reporter, Tuesday July 26, Toronto Star
http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1030974–aurora-ex-mayor-s-critics-can-remain-anonymous

Aurora critics can remain anonymous, judge rules
Reporter Megan O’Toole, Tuesday July 26, National Post
http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/07/25/online-critics-of-former-aurora-mayor-can-remain-anonymous-judge/

Who was that masked man? Court protects anonymity of Internet users
David Elder, July 26, 2011, Strikeman Elliott Blog: Canadian Technology & IP Law
http://www.canadiantechnologyiplaw.com/2011/07/articles/privacy/who-was-that-masked-man-court-protects-anonymity-of-internet-users/

Aurora Bloggers Fight Being ‘Silenced’
Reporter Megan O’Toole, Wednesday June 15, National Post
http://www.nationalpost.com/related/topics/Aurora+Bloggers+Fight+Being+Silenced/4947382/story.html

Locally, The Auroran has also covered this issue and you can look up via the “current issue” or “past issues” link http://www.theauroran.com/

Morris motion thrown out
The Auroran, Week of July 26. Front Page and page 8,

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11 Responses to “Court of Public Opinion Offers Verdict on Morris Lawsuit”

  1. Grace Marsh said

    Sunday Morning Star Article: Lawsuit tests online anonymity – Michael Geist

    http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1032104–geist-court-grapples-with-legalities-of-anonymous-online-postings

    One very glaring error in this article states “After Morris was defeated in the election, she launched a legal action…” I have emailed Mr. Geist, the author, to let him know that in fact the action was launched prior to the election. I commented that had the voters not gotten it right, we could today, having a sitting Mayor, using taxpayer dollars to sue three residents of the Town she desired to represent. Absurd!

    • Grace,

      Thanks for sharing this link. Michael Geist holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law. A quick glimpse of his blog shows how prolific he is in his research when it comes to internet law, it is great to have him weigh in on this issue and hear his views.

      Kudos to you for contacting him and pointing out the inaccuracy of the timeline in his article. I expect that when he recognizes the mistake in his wording he will see that it is corrected.

    • Anonymous said

      Geist’s column has been picked up by The Huffington Post:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/31/online-anonymity-court_n_914201.html

    • Grace Marsh said

      Hi Christopher:

      I did get a very prompt reply to my email, but it was very brief. It simply said “Thanks for the correction. MG”

    • Anonymous said

      A Toronto Star columnist who doesn’t have his/her facts straight. Its something to be expected.
      The response to your note is so typical…

    • Boring said

      It’s time to change the subject.

  2. Sprite said

    The Globe & Mail was here Wednesday. Large photo and article on soccer ! Got their priorities in order.
    Wonder if they even know anything about the town.

  3. ‘Jesse Kline: No pity for spineless politicians who don’t respect free speech’ was a really good read.

    Welcome back.

    Anna 🙂

  4. Perhaps even The New York Times will weigh in revisiting their assessment of Aurora in light of the recent ruling.

    The same one the former Mayor Morris had emblazoned on her campaign website and other materials that read :

    “Aurora is exactly the kind of hip, upscale, well-educated town where conflicting values are put to the test.”

    After reading the articles above it looks as though I’m not alone in my assessment that Morris failed the test on this one.

    I doubt she’s going to have any grater luck passing the other two that await her.

    • Anonymous said

      Morris is of the opinion, so they say, that she is smarter than anyone else, and therefore her opinion is the only one that counts.

      If an appeal is launched it will be interesting to see on what grounds it is based.

      Morris has probably ordered her “legal team” to appeal on “all and any grounds” – or “any and all grounds,” similar wording to that dated September 14, 2010, that launched this infamous legal action in the first place.

      Please bear in mind that citizens of Aurora, having already paid out more than $55,000 to cover her legal fees to December 15, are now having to pay, through their taxes to the province, for extra court costs over a frivolity. ENOUGH!!!

  5. Anonymous said

    Our legal system seems to contain many small steps that have to be climbed slowly, one by one. This may be said to be a good thing, in that it affords the parties several opportunities to capture the brass ring of justice.

    But this is a time consuming and costly process, both financially and emotionally, and there are some who may use this latter mechanism in an attempt to delay unnecessarily an appropriate outcome.

    The public voice has so far spoken out against the former mayor and in favour of Justice Brown’s Norwich ruling. Let us hope that whatever judge who deals with the motion to appeal on October 27 is of a similar mind.

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