“Ottawa anti-racism campaigner Richard Warman has won a $30,000 libel judgment against a persistent antagonist for defamatory Internet postings he characterizes as ‘an oil spill on my reputation.’ In a ruling yesterday, Ontario Superior Court Justice Monique Métivier ordered Paul Fromm, director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression, to pay $20,000 in general damages and a further $10,000 in aggravated damages for nine defamatory postings about Mr. Warman.
“Mr. Warman, who has had 10 complaints about Internet hatred upheld by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in recent years, sued Mr. Fromm for postings that characterized him, among other things, as an enemy of free speech, a member of the thought police and a ‘high priest of censorship.’ The comments were posted on a site called Freedomsite.org using a server located in the United States. Many were also republished on the Canadian Heritage Alliance site. Both sites espouse far-right views.
“Mr. Fromm’s dominant motive, Judge Métivier said in her ruling, was to attack Mr. Warman personally in retaliation for his use of legal processes to restrain illegal speech.” (my italics)
“She found that Mr. Fromm’s comments were designed to hold Mr. Warman up to ridicule. He published them, she said, ‘either knowing the fundamental falseness of the accusations he levelled at Mr. Warman, or being reckless as to the truth of these.’ This ‘steady diet of diatribe and insults, couched in half truths and omissions’ amounted to malice on Mr. Fromm’s part, she said. ‘Given the instant and possibly global dissemination of messages over the Internet, the damage may continue for years.’ Judge Métivier noted that Mr. Warman is a lawyer, a profession for which a reputation for integrity and trustworthiness is imperative.”