Thursday, June 4, 2015

In the Interests of Fairness and Jounalistic Integrity We Publish Greg Harney's Correspondence Complaining About this Blog

Greg Harney
Mr. Harney wrote:
Your untruthful defamatory publications continue despite my multiple warnings.
Take it down, all of it, or action will be commenced.
Greg Harney
Shields Harney
602 - 732 Broughton Street
Victoria BC V8W 1E1
Our Editor responded:
Mr. Harney
Thank you for your letter.  
We believe in honesty in reporting and adhere to the highest journalistic standards.
The matter is in the courts and is a matter of public record but, nonetheless, we wish to be fair to you.
Please advise what statements on the blog are, in your opinion, untruthful.
We will review your specific concerns and respond appropriately.
You truly,
Joe Adam
Legal judicial blogs
Mr. Harney replied

John a.k.a. Jack English

No, your reports are not honest or accurate.

No, you do not adhere to the highest journalistic standards, or any standard for that matter.

Most of the blog is untruthful, not in my opinion but in fact.
The court of appeal case is not English against me, but him appealing the judgments in my favour.
I did not “try to rip him off”, and your numbers are all wrong.
There is no criminal conspiracy or anyone controlling my claims but me, as he and his companies owe me about $300K at this point.
The one page attendance report at St. Paul’s says nothing of any serious medical condition.
The court did not force him to attend, but offered the option in advance which he eventually accepted when he attended.
The above are not exhaustive, just examples of your patent disregard for the truth or accuracy.
If you have any integrity, amend the untruths.
Greg Harney
Shields Harney
602 - 732 Broughton Street
Victoria BC V8W 1E1
Ph:   250-405-7616
Fax:  250-405-7619

Editors note: We are publishing the above correspondence in the interests of fairness and journalistic integrity. 

Mr. English continues to hold the opinion that Mr. Harney's conduct was highly unprofessional, that he overbilled for work done, that he did not carry out his original retainer and that he tried to bully Mr. English into approving a "draft" bill for $1.1 million.

The Editors also observe that when Mr. Harney sent Mr. English
the official bill it was for a whooping $536,000 including taxes, for a few weeks of work and that Master Keighly of the Supreme Court of British Columbia found the bill to be far too high and reduced that bill by 50 per cent to $256,000 including taxes. 

Mr. Harney kept no time records.  




    This blog article is a real chuckle. How do YOU know it is a bill for a few weeks of work? I've read the decision.

    That tinfoil hat must be on real tight.

  2. On November 23, 2010, however, on the expiration of the most recent extension of the redemption period, Mission Creek filed a further application seeking conduct of sale. It was at this point that Mr. English and his companies sought counsel from Mr. Harney.

    The Relationship Between the Solicitor/Client

    [22] There are numerous emails from Mr. Harney to Mr. English wherein the former raised the issue of his compensation, suggesting that his eventual bill would be “a big number” and that he required that an adequate fee arrangement be arrived at forthwith. Mr. Harney appeared to have accepted that Mr. English was very hard pressed for funds and could not fund the firm’s representation on an ongoing basis. Although there was no evidence in this regard it seems likely that Mr. Harney expected that his fees would be paid either from the proceeds from the B.C. Hydro settlement, the refinancing of the resort property, or even possibly following the sale of developed lots. Perhaps this is the reason why he did not simply “down tools” when relevant responses from Mr. English with regards to fee arrangements did not seem to be forthcoming. I accept that, from the evidence before me Mr. English was a somewhat “needy” client. His contact either by telephone or email with the solicitors firm was on a daily basis and on any given day might even amount to 10 phone calls, emails or some combination of the two. I am also satisfied that Mr. Harney and Mr. Waller were obliged to devote considerable resources to the management of the Mission Creek and B.C. Hydro files to the exclusion of other work on their respective desks.

    [20] With respect to the Mission Creek matter, Mr. Harney essentially faced two challenges: firstly, staving off the application of Mission Creek for sale of the property, and secondly, endeavoring to assist Mr. English in obtaining refinancing of the Mission Creek debt. Viewed from a present day perspective, it appears that he succeeded on both counts. He was able, following an application before Mr. Justice Betton in Kelowna in September 2011, to obtain a stay of the sale order. I gather that, as at the date of the hearing before me, Mission Creek had taken no further steps to pursue sale of the property.

    I think people should go and read the judgement and make up their minds.

    Mr. English was noted by the judge as being a needy client and sapped time from his counsel....over two thousand emails sent by him to his counsels...for example.

    Hahaha...what a crazy blog.

  3. (e) The time reasonably spent

    [33] I have previously indicated the amount of time estimated by each lawyer with regard to the time spent on these files. From my review of the email materials before me, I have characterized Mr. English as a “needy” client and by this I mean his communications were often unnecessary sometimes counterproductive and certainly excessive. Should a client’s need for communication be factored into a consideration of “the time reasonably spent”? The case of Davis and Co. v. Jiwan, 2006 BCSC 658 (CanLII) suggests that it does. In that case, the client was in daily and sometimes hourly contact with the lawyer. At para. 214 of that decision the Court was moved to say:

    On balance, I accept that Aly was a very “high maintenance” client who insisted on being constantly involved and that this, in turn, consumed a great deal of the solicitors time. Aly must have known this as he received accounts regularly which detailed the telephone calls, faxes, and emails to and from him. He ought to have understood (and I am sure that he did) that his involvement cost money as he understood that the lawyers were billing on the basis of time spent on the file, which included time spent in communicating with him.

  4. [26] I am satisfied that the solicitor has established the basic non-financial terms of his retainer which were to (a) help Mr. English in any way possible to stave off the claims of Mission Creek; (b) assist in negotiating a refinancing of the Mission Creek debt; (c) assist in resolving the claim for compensation against B.C. Hydro. That being settled, I am satisfied that the solicitor is entitled to a fair fee based on a quantum meruit basis.

    [27] In their written submissions directed to me, the parties were at some pains to deal with issues of the end of the retainer: the client categorizing the solicitors conduct as amounting to abandonment and or abuse and the solicitor to the conduct of a client who suddenly became uncommunicative and unresponsive once satisfactory results had been obtained. All in all, I cannot see that the basis for the end of the retainer is, in the circumstances of this matter, of any relevance to me.