Kinsman Robinson Galleries vs. Ugo Matulic /CV-10-417123/
Kinsman Robinson Galleries - Norval Morrisseau Retrospective 2010
~ This SOLD OUT exhibition had ended just a month prior the Plaintiffs (Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Donald Robinson and Paul Robinson) launched a $1,000,000 SLAPP suit against the Defendant (Ugo Matulic) - CASE WON BY THE DEFENDANT
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) demanded from the court the following:
"(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;"
"(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;"
/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 financial documents, which 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.
In this court case 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).
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.