Proceedings At Trial - Tuesday February 6-8, 2018
"At issue in the trial is the challenged authenticity of
Morrisseau’s 1974 painting (or his purported painting)
Spirit Energy of Mother Earth."
On February 6th through the 8th, 2018 trial continued with the intervenors presenting their evidence to contest the plaintiff’s allegations. On February 6th, 2018 Nathaniel Big Canoe and Jim White testified. Paul Bremner and Kenneth Davies were presented as potential Expert witnesses for the intervenors however Mr. Bremner was disqualified for a "late report bereft of methodology or reasoning". On February 8th, 2018 Mr. Davies provided testimony about his verso signature comparison Report after being qualified as an Expert in handwriting analysis.
Superior Court Judge E. M. Morgan is preparing his Judgment on the matter and will render a decision in the near future. The parties were ordered to provide assessments of their Court costs. Read documentary evidence from the case.
Trial - Monday December 4-8, 2017
On December 4th through December 8th 2017 the Hearn v Maslak McLeod Gallery action came to Trial in Courtroom 5 of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice at 330 University Avenue, Toronto.
After days of remarkable evidence provided by an array of notable Plaintiff witnesses Norval Morrisseau expert Dr. Carmen Robertson took the stand to conclude with 'absolute certainty' that in her opinion the Subject Painting, with its painted signature on the verso, is a forgery.
On December 4, 2017 before Trial began intervenor Motions were Heard by parties seeking to intervene to defend the cause of Joe McLeod (deceased) and the Maslak McLeod Gallery. Three parties were permitted to intervene. Read the Decision of Justice E. M. Morgan.
A Plaintiff’s Motion was subsequently Heard requesting permission to film Trial proceedings. Read the Decision of Justice E. M. Morgan on this matter.
Trial was scheduled to continue on February 6th through the 8th, 2018 with the remaining intervenors, 2439381 Ontario Inc., White Distribution Limited, and Nathaniel Big Canoe, presenting their evidence to contest the plaintiff’s allegations. Read More about upcoming proceedings including the continuation of the contempt motion against Ugo Matulic, John Goldi and Joan Goldi.
Intervenor Motion of December 4th 2017
Motions to intervene brought by Allen Fleishman, Auction Network, 2439381 Ontario Inc., White Distribution Limited, and Nathaniel Big Canoe were Heard and Ruled upon. Read the affidavit of Jim White, the affidavit of Nathaniel Big Canoe and the Notice of Motion.
It is a notable coincidence that Trial in this significant matter begins on December 4th 2017, 10 years to the day Norval Morrisseau passed away (December 4th 2007) and nine years to the day of the McLeod et al v Sinclair motion (December 4 2008).
Contempt Motion of Friday December 1st 2017
On Friday December 1 2017 at Osgoode Hall in Toronto a Plaintiff's Motion for Contempt against Ugo Matulic, John Goldi, Joan Goldi and Joseph Otavnik was Heard before Justice Morgan. Aspects of this motion were adjourned until after the Trial however respondents were cautioned and ordered to refrain from certain actions involving expert witness, Dr. Robertson. Read the Decision of Justice E.M. Morgan.
Trial Summary - Monday Oct. 2nd and Tuesday Oct 3rd, 2017
On Monday October 2nd and Tuesday Oct 3rd, 2017 the Kevin Hearn v Joseph McLeod (deceased) and the Maslak McLeod Gallery Ontario Superior Court civil Trial began with several motions. Six parties pleaded for the court's permission to intervene in the Trial, given the contention that defendant Joseph McLeod passed away leaving an estate on the verge of bankruptcy with no one to defend its cause.
John Goldi's motion requesting leave to intervene was rejected. Trial was adjourned until December 4th 2017 to allow the other five parties time to prepare for an Intervenor's Motion scheduled to be Heard before the start of Trial. Jim White, the owner of 2439381 Ontario Inc. and White Distribution Limited, was Ordered to pay the costs of the adjournment.
A plaintiff's Motion seeking permission to film the Trial was also adjourned until the resolution of the intervenor Motion. Read the Decision of Justice E. M. Morgan on the adjournment.
Hearn v McLeod Statement of Claim
Read the Kevin Hearn Statement of Claim
Hearn v McLeod - Statement of Defence
Read Joseph McLeod and the Maslak McLeod Gallery's Statement of Defence
Digital Image of the Subject painting (recto)
View an Image of the contested painting itself.
Digital Image of the Subject painting (verso)
View an Image of the reverse side of the contested painting
Morrisseau's Sworn Declarations
The prevalence of fakes was of deep concern to Morrisseau. In 2005, at his request, The Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society was established to compile a database of his works and to discredit the many prevalent forgeries. In 2005, the Society warned "people are buying in good faith...many will be disappointed to discover they are not Morrisseaus" and again in 2006, "There are many works available for sale to the public that are falsely attributed to Norval Morrisseau". In 2007, the Society cautioned "The market has especially been flooded with fakes in the past five years. Some of the forgeries are sold through galleries and some on the Internet through eBay and other websites".
Morrisseau also engaged in more direct intervention, identifying fake and forged works available for sale, particularly those purported to be painted by him in the controversial 70s-style. More than ten sworn declarations were directed to at least seven dealers and galleries during 1993-2007, requesting that fake and forged works be removed or destroyed. These dealers include the Artworld of Sherway (2003, 2004-1, 2004-2, 2005), Gallery Sunami (2004), Maslak-McLeod Gallery (1993, 2003-1, 2003-2, 2003-3, 2004), Randy Potter Estate Auctions (2004-1, 2004-2, 2005), Woodland Art Gallery (2004) and Bearclaw Gallery (2004, 2005).