Cabana accuses judge of bias in Muskrat Falls case

James McLeod
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Brad Cabana

It was another tumultuous day in court for Brad Cabana, as he tried to get the judge to recuse herself from his constitutional challenge of the Muskrat Falls project.

Cabana blindsided lawyers and Justice Gillian Butler when he started Friday afternoon’s proceedings by saying she was in a conflict of interest and should recuse herself from the matter.

Cabana is being sued for defamation by former premier Danny Williams, and his old law firm, Roebothan McKay Marshall, is representing Williams. Butler is married to David McKay, who is a partner at the law firm.

Cabana is representing himself in court in both cases, as well as a third case, where he’s suing Premier Kathy Dunderdale and Tourism Minister Terry French for defamation.

Cabana ran for both the Progressive Conservative party and Liberal party leaderships in 2011, and eventually ran as a candidate for the Liberals in the 2011 election — he garnered 344 votes and failed to win the seat against Progressive Conservative Ross Wiseman.

In court this week, he’s been trying to make the case that certain aspects of the Muskrat Falls projects violate his constitutional rights.

The court was ready Friday afternoon to let Cabana cross-examine Nalcor vice-president Gilbert Bennett, but instead Cabana started off by asking Butler to recuse herself.

On Thursday, Butler ruled against Cabana several times. In one case, she threw out one of the central planks of his legal argument on the grounds that he hadn’t provided proper legal notification to the federal government, as is required by the law.

Cabana argued that because he’s not a lawyer and he’s representing himself, the courts have an obligation to assist him, and Butler wasn’t doing that.

He also said her decision could hurt his case against Williams.

“You have the ability, should I lose this action, to impose damages on me,” Cabana said. “And those damages could render me unable to defend myself in the case involving your husband’s law firm, as it represents Danny Williams and Alderon Iron Ore in that defamation suit.”

Cabana called one of her rulings on Thursday “arbitrary” and said he was “very disturbed” by another of her decisions.

Butler listened to it all, and only interjected once to gently inform Cabana that she is not able to award “damages” against him, only “costs” of the government, Nalcor and Innu lawyers arguing against him.

The case continues in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court Monday at 10 a.m.

Twitter: TelegramJames

Geographic location: Alderon Iron Ore

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Recent comments

  • Marjorie and The Moonman
    February 23, 2013 - 12:04

    We thought the only place to speak nonsense was on the Open Line show but you can go to Court too!!

  • Ray
    February 23, 2013 - 10:57

    Doesn't this guy know he makes a mockery of himself by doing whatever he can for media attention? I can't stand to hear his name.

  • gary
    February 23, 2013 - 10:46

    Brad; Give it up b'y. You are making a show of yourself and just being down right off the wall... What creditability you had is gone right out the door... You caused this all by blowing your mouth in the first place. Now holding court time for this is just madness. Spending tax payers money so you can get your time in the lime light. You are now looking like a desperate man walking on a tight rope. With all this BS you are getting on with, you will never get respect.

  • Whaddaya at
    February 23, 2013 - 09:52

    So, what's the status of Brad Cabana's request that the judge recuse herself ?. Are they going to deal with that or simply ignore it ?. Danny Williams is suing Cabana and the judge who will rule on his case just happens to be married to a lawyer who's a partner in William's old law firm. Any reasonable person can see where there could be a perceived conflict of interest with that situation, but this is Brad Cabana, so the chances of his request being approved are likely slim and none.

  • gerry
    February 23, 2013 - 09:36

    Well, I know if he ever ran again. anywhere, I'd vote for ANYONE else, no matter who was on the ballet....

  • sean rumboldt
    February 23, 2013 - 08:39

    Way to go Cabana cut off enough roots and the tree will die

  • taxpayer
    February 23, 2013 - 07:26

    When is Brad Cabana going to stop wasting our tax dollars with all these law suits that are just foolishness. All he is trying to do is make a name for himself in order to gain a seat in public office where he will likely be a warm body in a chair collecting a fat salary and hoping for a fat pension.