520 V O L . 7 5 P A R T 4 J U L Y 2 0 1 7 THE ADVOCATE
He entered the box as an articulate professional with impressive academic
credentials, displaying what appeared to be a sound and comprehensive
recollection of events. When he stepped down, after more than
14 days of withering cross-examination, he was noticeably dazed, his
credibility was reduced to existential confetti and he even appeared to be
physically shorter than when the trial began.
Fridriksson turned out to have a less than credible curriculum vitae.
Where he noted he was a professor, he wasn’t; when he said he was an
adjunct professor, he wasn’t that either. What was he? An unpaid lecturer!
But that was the least of his problems. The court identified a jurist’s
often-troublesome task of determining credibility:
We have no special powers in that realm and, wherever possible, avoid
reliance upon darts, dice and Ouija boards. However, rarely, has a witness
generously offered up so many reasons to be disbelieved. Fridriksson was
an evidentiary gift who kept on giving. He ignored rule number one in
the Litigants’ Credo: “Know thyself, because others soon will.” Enough of
this preamble. Come with me now on a visit to the phantasmagorical
work of Fridriksson. Pack lightly.
And the quips keep coming, like a rushing waterfall:
—“For Fridriksson, truth is like a spandex undergarment: he can stretch
it to fit anything.”
—“Readers must never forget: This is a key witness for a plaintiff alleging
oral fraudulent misrepresentations.”
—“I do not know who enjoyed this cross-examination more, defendant’s
counsel or me. The only thing missing was popcorn.”
—“His testimony deserves a special descriptor, coined for the occasion:
This judgment tickled me so much that I recommend you read all 326
pages. It’s a laugh a minute. Fridriksson was awarded $423 in damages—a
far cry from the $800,000 he sought. Despite Fridriksson’s “win”, Mr. Justice
Quinn ordered him to pay the defendant’s costs, amounting to $1 million.
Needless to say, Fridriksson appealed.2
One last zinger from Mr. Justice Quinn:
Fridriksson has taken everyone on a hideously time-consuming and
obscenely expensive journey down his private yellow brick road to the
outskirts of the Emerald City where, it appears, he has a residence. It was
not a worthwhile adventure.
Mr. Justice Quinn’s wicked humour was also on full display in Bruni v.
Bruni,3 where he presided over a family law trial that made Hollywood’s The
War of the Roses look like child’s play.
Mr. Justice Quinn oversaw a seven-day trial, heard over a period of several
months. The parties, Catherine Bruni and Larry Bruni, were married