THE ADVOCATE V O L . 7 5 P A R T 4 J U L Y 2 0 1 7 519
THE WIT AND WISDOM OF
MR. JUSTICE QUINN
By Georgialee Lang
Mr. Justice Joseph Quinn of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice
well deserves his international reputation as a clever
intellect, a raconteur of immense talent and a really funny
scribe. For those of you not acquainted with his literary talents,
I offer three of his learned judgments that are my personal favourites.
The first is The Hearing Clinic (Niagara Falls) Inc. v. 866073 Ontario Ltd.,1
where his acerbic wit shines as he records his fond memories and legal findings
of a 72-day trial, spread over three years, that dealt with the allegedly
fraudulent sale and purchase of a hearing aid business in Niagara Falls,
The star witness in the case was Stefan Fridriksson, an audiologist who
purchased a hearing aid business from the corporate defendant. While his
lawyer referred to him as “Doctor”, Mr. Justice Quinn put an end to that designation
upon learning that the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language
Pathologists of Ontario prohibit the title.
Blessed with an orderly mind, Mr. Justice Quinn set out a table of contents
in his reasons with headings that include:
—“Is there a Doctor in the house?”
—“Fridriksson plays Lieutenant Columbo with Inspector Clouseau
—“All the madness that’s in your head”
—“… nor Hell a fury like an audiologist scorned”
—“Fridriksson the Fabricator”
While counsel usually turn to the back page of reasons for judgment to
see the results of a trial, in this case, the table of contents gave it all away.
The trial got off to a shaky start, described by Mr. Justice Quinn in his
Leave an untruthful man in the witness box long enough and he will
reveal himself to the world. Here ends the lesson, but not the story.
Unfortunately, the first witness was Dr.—no, make that Mr.—Fridriksson,
who, according to Mr. Justice Quinn, “sub-let the witness box for 26 days”
with dire results: