Selected Case Profile

Mr. Danson has had the privilege in representing people and/or organizations such as: equestrian Olympic gold medalist and world champion Eric Lamaze, equestrian Olympic Gold Medalist and Gran Prix Champion Steve Guerdat, hockey superstar Bobby Hull (the golden jet), Paralympian gold medalist and world champion Jeff Adams, former Colorado Avalanche hockey player Steve Moore, track and field superstar, Olympic gold medalist, and world champion Carl Lewis, the families and estates of Kristen French, Leslie Mahaffy, Christine Jessop, Christopher Stephenson and Holly Jones, the Toronto Police Association, the Canadian Police Association, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, the Canadian Chiropractic Association and the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association and many more.

Tim Danson represents many professional athletes, more than 30 such athletes in the AHL and NHL alone, but primarily NHL. Mr. Danson has also been consulted by General Managers, Coaches, Referees and other officials. This representation is highly confidential and sensitive, and therefore handled very discretely and out of the public spotlight.

Below are selected case profiles (click each category for more details):

Personal Injury / Medical Malpractice

Mr. Tim Danson has represented many hundreds of people who have suffered serious injuries as a result of accidents, medical malpractice, and deliberate acts of violence. Mr. Danson also represents a number of major insurance companies, including medical insurers, and therefore has developed a unique perspective and expertise in litigating personal injuries cases from both the perspective of the injured plaintiff and from the perspective of the defending insurance company.

Mr. Timothy Danson has worked closely with some of the top epidemiologists and medical experts in the world to develop a unique expertise and insight into preparing expert witnesses so that they are able to explain complex medical issues in a simple and convincing manner for a lay jury. Mr. Tim Danson’s work with these experts has also provided Mr. Timothy Danson with a unique expertise and insight into discrediting opposing experts, undermining the premise and foundation of their theories, and in many cases, exposing the fact that their reliance on studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals are nothing more than case studies that are irrelevant to the question of causation. Approaching in-chief examination and cross-examination of expert witnesses with a detailed knowledge of the scientific requirements for the study of causation (i.e. Level 1: Randomized trials; Level 2: Cohort analytic prospective studies; Level 3: Case-control retrospective studies; Level 4: Case-series; Level 5 Expert opinion), significantly enhances Mr. Danson’s ability to achieve excellent results for his clients.

Fraud / Fidelity

Mr. Danson has considerable experience litigating civil and criminal fraud cases, both for those who have been defrauded and those charged with white collar crimes.  Mr. Danson works closely with some of the most distinguished forensic accountants in North America both to prosecute and defend fraud claims and to uncover sophisticated attempts to hide assets and money.  He also represents corporations with fidelity bond insurance policies and insurers who are also victims of fraud.  As a result, the Canadian Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, whose membership is the Canadian insurance industry, retained Mr. Danson to work with it to combat what was then an annual 1.3 billion dollar insurance fraud problem which existed in Canada.

Sunday Shopping

Mr. Danson represented hundreds of retailers in the Province of Ontario challenging the constitutional validity of the Retail Business Holidays Act between April 1982 and June 1992.  Some of his clients included A & P, Dominion, Miracle Food Mart, Loblaws, Oshawa Group, Dylex, Bi-Way, Hy & Zel’s, Paul Magder, Future Shop, The Kitchen Table and the Committee for Fair Shopping.  On June 3, 1992, Sunday Shopping was legalized in Ontario.  Mr. Danson argued countless Sunday shopping cases at the trial level throughout Ontario, including a number of appeals before the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada, including the seminal case of R. v. Edwards Books & Art Ltd. [1986] 2 S.C.R. 713.

Pension Reform

Mr. Danson represented Alex Gerol in the mid-1980’s. Mr. Gerol was the point man in a constitutional challenge brought by senior citizens concerning the validity of the provisions of the Income Tax Act which forced senior citizens to roll their RRSP’s into an annuity or a RRIF upon the attainment of 71 years of age.  The financial consequences of this forced rollover were punitive.  As a result of this challenge, the Government of Canada amended the Income Tax Act by materially amending the definition of a RRIF to make it a reasonable rather than a punitive vehicle for a retirement investment and income.

Law & Order / Justice Reform

Mr. Danson represented the families of Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy at the  trial of Paul Bernardo who was charged with first degree murder, aggravated sexual assault, kidnapping, unlawful confinement and committing an indignity to a dead human body by dismemberment.  The families were successful in preventing the media from gaining access to and seeing the videotapes depicting the sexual assaults upon Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French, which were introduced into evidence at the Bernardo trial.  The families were also successful in having the television monitors in the courtroom turned away from the public gallery when the videotapes were played for the jury.  Mr. Danson continues to represent the families and the Estates of Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy in law reform matters to ensure that no judge in similar circumstances can exercise his or her discretion in favour of public access to child and coerced pornography.

Mr. Danson continued to represent the families during the prosecution of author Stephen Williams and Mr. Bernardo’s first lawyer, Ken Murray and other related proceedings, where access to sensitive material was in issue.  Mr. Danson represented the families in their efforts to detain Karla Homolka in prison until her warrant expiry date (last day of sentence), thereby denying her parole at her mandatory parole release date at the two-thirds point of her sentence.  Mr. Danson was instrumental in having the Bernardo videotapes, autopsy, and crime scene photographs, as well as other sensitive materials destroyed on December 20, 2001.  Mr. Danson was tremendously assisted by his co-counsel, Professor Kathleen Mahoney of the Faculty of Law, University of Calgary, and his expert witness, Professor Catherine MacKinnon, Professor of Law, University of Michigan.

–  Mr. Danson represented the Estates of Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy and their respective families, and Jane Doe in their efforts to persuade the government to bring an application pursuant to section 810.2 of the Criminal Code of Canada, to have imposed on Karla Homolka conditions upon her release from prison in the hope that they would diminish the serious threat that her release posed to public safety.  Ms. Homolka argued that she was the victim of battered woman syndrome and represented no threat to public safety.  Mr. Danson’s argument exposed the fallacy of Homolka relying on battered woman syndrome.

–  Mr. Danson represented the Canadian Police Association and two of Canada’s largest victims groups, CAVEAT and Victims of Violence, in response to an action brought by Denis LePage, an individual in confinement under the custodial authority of the Criminal Code of Canada after being found not guilty by reason of insanity on a number of serious criminal charges.  This was a very complicated case involving numerous constitutional issues including Mr. LePage’s unsuccessful attempt at a judicial proclamation of the unproclaimed capping provisions of the Criminal Code.  The case was argued before the Supreme Court of Canada in June 1998 along with Winko v. Director, Forensic Psychiatric Institute of British Columbia et al, with a favourable ruling rendered by the court on June 17, 1999 (LePage (1999) 135 CCC (31) 205 SCC; Winko (1999) 135 CCC (3d) 129).  The Supreme Court of Canada agreed that capping was unnecessary to maintain the constitutional validity of the impugned legislative regime. Apart from being successful in the Supreme Court of Canada, this case was likely the first case in Canada not involving sexual assault records, where intervener status was granted to third party interests in a criminal proceeding at the trial level, with the right of full participation, calling witnesses and full cross-examination.

–  Mr. Danson represented the Canadian Police Association, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and CAVEAT before the British Columbia Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada in R v. Sharpe [2001] 1 S.C.R. 45, which dealt with the constitutional validity of the child pornography provisions of the Criminal Code.  On January 26, 2001 the Supreme Court of Canada allowed the appeal from the British Columbia Court of Appeal and upheld the constitutional validity of the impugned section.  The CPA, CACP and CAVEAT presented critical argument and evidence to ensure that the Court did not draw a legal distinction between child pornography that used real children in its creation and child pornography that took the form of written materials, sketches or drawings.  Further, the CPA, CACP and CAVEAT presented critical evidence on how child pornography devalues, degrades and marginalizes children as a class by portraying children as objects for the sexual exploitation and entertainment of adults, thereby violating the quintessential core value of equality rights protected under The Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms.

–  Mr. Danson represented the Toronto Police Association, the Baylis family (whose son Todd, a police officer, was murdered in the line of duty on June 16, 1994), and Todd Baylis’ partner and friend, Mike Leone, who survived an attempted murder on his life during the same confrontation that led to Todd Baylis’ murder, and the Leimonis family (whose daughter Georgina was murdered in the Toronto restaurant, Just Desserts, on April 5, 1994) in two lawsuits against the Government of Canada and the Department of Immigration for negligence in failing to deport the accused, who were under deportation orders as a result of their violent criminal activities in Canada.  The Baylis/Leone et al case settled just months prior to the commencement of the trial.  The terms of the settlement only permit the plaintiff’s to say “The claim has been resolved to the satisfaction of the Baylis and Leone families and the terms are confidential.” (see comments of the Baylis/Leone family in testimonials below)

–  Mr. Danson represented Jim and Anna Stephenson in a negligence action against the Federal and Provincial Governments as well as represented the Stephensons in a five month inquest which examined the entire Canadian correctional/parole system and the provincial mental health system.  The Stephenson’s son, Christopher, was abducted from a Brampton mall in June of 1988 by Joseph Fredericks, one of Canada’s most dangerous psychopaths, homosexual pedophiles and sexual sadists.  Christopher faced significant indignities and was then murdered by Fredericks. Many of the Stephenson jury recommendations have been implemented and the inquest represents a fundamental turning point for reform of the justice system to protect the public at large.  Mr. Danson continues to be Canada’s leading advocate for the implementation of a dangerous sexual predator law and fervently argues against those who assert that such a law would be unconstitutional.  The inquest produced the following outcome: (i) The Ontario government enacted Christopher’s Law which has resulted in a registry for sexual offenders, (ii) The Federal Government established a national sex offender registry, (iii) The unproclaiming capping provisions of the Criminal Code (s. 672.4 and 672.5), a matter dealt with by the Supreme Court of Canada in LePage and Winko, have been abandoned by the Federal Government, (iv) The Federal Government established a national DNA data bank for offenders,  (v) The Federal Government enacted long term offender legislation, (vi) Critical administrative changes have been made allowing for the sharing of information between federal and provincial correctional facilities and mental health agencies.  Following the Stephenson Inquest, in what is likely the first time in Canadian judicial history, the Inquest jury convened a news conference demanding that the Federal Government cover all of Mr. Danson’s legal fees on the basis of his extremely hard work, his relentless cross-examination which exposed fundamental flaws in Canada’s criminal justice/mental health systems; his passionate advocacy for change and because the jury knew the Stephensons did not have the financial means to pay Mr. Danson who had been working for free.  The case settled shortly after this unprecedented news conference.

–  Mr. Danson represented the family of Joe MacDonald, the Sudbury police officer who was murdered in the line of duty on October 7, 1993, by individuals with lengthy violent criminal records who were out on parole.  Joe left a wife and two young children.  The action was against the Provincial Parole Board and Joe’s murderers, and resolved favourable to Joe MacDonald’s widow and children.

–  Mr. Danson represented a number of the victims of the Grandview Training School who were sexually abused while residents of Grandview.

–  Mr. Danson was counsel to the family of Christine Jessop at the Inquiry into the Proceedings Involving Guy Paul Morin.  This inquiry focused on the conduct of the investigation into Christine Jessop’s death, the conduct of the Centre for Forensic Sciences in relation to the maintenance, security and preservation of forensic evidence, and into the criminal proceedings involving the charge that Guy Paul Morin murdered Christine Jessop.

–  Mr. Danson is counsel to real estate agent Wendy Carroll, who was brutally attacked and left for dead by two men, who were out on parole for double murders and who were in breach of their parole. Notwithstanding Canada-wide warrants were issued for their arrests, the warrants were not enforced at the time Ms. Carroll’s throat was slashed and left for dead.

–  Mr. Danson was counsel for Tammy Crawford who was sexually assaulted by a Mr. David Walker, a dangerous offender who was previously found to be criminally insane and considered a serious risk to public safety, but nevertheless released from the Whitby Mental Health facility on an unescorted day pass.  Ms. Crawford sued the Ontario Government for negligence.

–  Mr. Danson was counsel for the family of David Rosenzweig who was murdered on July 14, 2002 while assisting his son changing a tire.  Investigations were underway concerning the criminal background of the accused; the extent to which he was known to the corrections/parole system, and whether the murder was motivated in whole or in part by anti-semitism.  Mr. Danson assisted the Rosenzweig family before the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.

–  Mr. Danson was counsel for the family of Holly Jones and assisted them throughout the investigative and prosecution stage of the proceedings leading up to the conviction of Holly’s murderer. Mr. Danson provided direction to the family on Holly’s Law, a law intended to deal with legislative changes to Canada’s child pornography laws, Canada’s DNA Data Bank regime and Canada’s national sexual registry.  Holly’s Law will also address the need for a dangerous sexual predator law.

–  Mr. Danson represents the family of the late Michael Sweet, a Toronto Police Officer murdered in the line of duty on March 14, 1980 by Craig Munro.  After serving almost 30 years of his life sentence, Mr. Munro sought parole on February 26, 2009.  He also sought parole on March 16, 2010 and March 30, 2011.  As counsel for the Sweet family and the Toronto Police Association, Mr. Danson assisted his clients in making the case against Mr. Munro’s release.  Mr. Danson is currently assisting his clients in developing substantive legislative reform with respect to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act.  Specifically, Mr. Danson is marshalling the case against convicted murderers being allowed to use the federal Privacy Act to assert a privacy interest on their institutional records, thereby preventing public access to the very documents the offender relies on to support his release.

Conservation

As legal counsel to the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters for over 25 years, Mr. Danson has been involved in numerous cases and issues concerning conservation, both in and out of Court.  In the case of Her Majesty the Queen v. Howard [1994] 2 S.C.R. 299, Mr. Danson, on behalf of the OFAH, was successful in his legal argument before the Supreme Court of Canada wherein the constitutional validity of the 1923 Williams Treaty was upheld.  In this case, the most comprehensive evidence and argument concerning conservation principles and their affect on priority allocation of natural resources were argued before the Court by Mr. Danson.

–  Mr. Danson represented the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters in the case of Her Majesty The Queen v. Powley (2003) 177 C.C.C. (3d) 193 before the Supreme Court of Canada.  The threshold issue in Powley was whether the Métis have the same section 35 Constitutional rights as First Nation peoples.  The implications for conservation and Canada’s multi-billion dollar tourist industry are unprecedented.

–  Mr. Danson, as counsel to the Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters, was involved in the challenge to the decision of the Ontario government cancelling the spring bear hunt, a decision that was made without regard to the social and economic repercussions to the people of central and northern Ontario or on their culture, traditions and heritage.  The cancellation had nothing to do with conservation since Ontario enjoys the largest and most sustainable black bear populations in the world.  In deciding to cancel the hunt, the government repudiated fundamental principles of conservation, and resource/wildlife management and therefore the principles and legal issues engaged in the case were vitally important to all aspects of hunting and angling and the social/economic fall-out therefrom. This resulted in increasing not only a serious black bear over population problem and a serious nuisance bear problem in central and northern Ontario, it also dramatically increased the number of bear cubs that are either orphaned and/or killed, producing precisely the opposite result than the one given to justify the cancellation of the hunt in the first place, an inevitable result when principles of conservation and resource/wildlife management are ignored.  Witnesses from Canada’s aboriginal community provided important evidence supporting the OFAH’s case.  The case dealt with critically important issues vital to the traditions, culture and heritage of the non-aboriginal hunting and angling community.

–  Mr. Danson successfully represented the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters in the case of Jackson v. Ontario (Minister of Natural Resources, [2009] O.J. No. 5166 (C.A.).  This case dealt with critical issues of conservation management of the fishing industry on Lake Erie and the legal dynamic of competing interests between Ontario and four U.S. states – Michigan, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.  The case also focused on the interplay between the Convention on Great Lake’s Fisheries, the inter-governmental Lake Erie Committee, the Lake Erie Management Unit, the federal Fisheries Act, the federal Ontario Fishery Regulations, the provincial Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act, and the Ontario Fishery Regulations.  In this case the commercial Lake Erie fishing industry was challenging the reduction of fishing quotas, and was unsuccessful in its many legal challenges, including arguments relating to inter-governmental delegation.  The court agreed that the argument that the delegation from the federal government to the provincial Ministry was invalid because it constituted a delegation of legislative power rather than administrative power was misconceived.  The court agreed that the delegation of any kind of power, legislative or administrative, to Parliament or a provincial legislature was not permitted, however a delegation of any kind of power, even a legislative power, to an official or to a body other than Parliament or a legislature, was permissible.

Other Cases of Public Interest

Mr. Tim Danson represented international track and field athlete Carl Lewis in a libel action against the German magazine Stern, as well as other defendants. He also represented Carl Lewis’ interests at the Commission of Inquiry into the Use of Drugs and Banned Practices Intended to Increase Athletic Performance (The Dubin Inquiry).

Mr. Tim Danson represented Conrad French in an estate matter. Conrad French is in fact the individual from whom author, Ian Fleming developed the character, James Bond.

Mr. Tim Danson, along with Morris Manning and Edward Greenspan, represented the Canadian Coalition on the Constitution in its constitutional challenge to the Meech Lake Accord. The Accord collapsed prior to the expiration of litigation.

Mr. Tim Danson made a legal presentation to the Parliamentary Committee examining the Meech Lake Constitutional Accord in Ottawa, providing a critical analysis of the Accord and worked closely with former Prime Minister Trudeau in developing and articulating the case against Meech Lake, the appreciation letter of which is attached hereto. In short, Mr. Danson felt that the Accord played to Canada’s weaknesses rather than to its strengths.

Mr. Tim Danson was one of the counsel retained in the challenge to then Prime Minister Mulroney’s decision to stack the Senate for the purposes of implementing the GST.

Mr. Tim Danson is regularly consulted by various levels of government across Canada concerning constitutional and other questions pertaining to government legislation.

Mr. Tim Danson was part of the Justice Subcommittee for the Advisory Group on Developmentally Delayed Individuals Manifesting Sexually Inappropriate or Abusive Behaviour.

Mr. Tim Danson was invited by the Honourable Herb Gray, then Solicitor General of Canada and the Honourable Allan Rock, then Minister of Justice for Canada, to participate and provide expert opinion, at a special forum on Post-Sentence Detention of High Risk Offenders held at the Conference Centre in Ottawa on May 12 and 13, 1995, subsequently, resulting in significant amendments to the Criminal Code.

Mr. Tim Danson represented Eric Lamaze, a member of the Canadian Olympic Equestrian Riding Team who tested positive for a banned substance just prior to the Olympic Games held in Atlanta, Georgia U.S.A. and again just prior to the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Mr. Lamaze is one of the most accomplished equestrian riders in the world and has demonstrated incredible strength in character in over-coming a past where his first contact with illicit drugs was as a fetus. Eric’s mother was a drug addict and a drug trafficker. He never knew his father, was brought up by his alcoholic grandmother in outrageously impoverished circumstances, and then left entirely on his own to fend for himself by the time he reached his teenage years. When Mr. Lamaze fell on hard times, he was effectively abandoned by everyone except for Mr. Danson who believed in Mr. Lamaze. Mr. Danson was successful in having Mr. Lamaze reinstated on both occasions following his Category II Reinstatement Hearing presided over by Professor Edward Ratushny, Q.C. Mr. Lamaze proudly represented Canada at the 2008 Beijing Olympics where he won an individual gold medal and a team silver medal. Mr. Lamaze is ranked the number one equestrian rider in the world.

Mr. Tim Danson was the first lawyer contacted by representatives of Ben Johnson following his positive drug test at the Olympic Games held in Seoul, Korea in September 1988. After approximately four days of consultation, Mr. Danson declined the retainer.

Mr. Tim Danson represents former NHL super-star Bobby Hull on a variety of legal matters, including a multimillion dollar libel action against the Toronto Sun and the Moscow Times.

Mr. Danson was retained by the Canadian Police Association to provide a constitutional analysis of Bill C-3, dealing with the establishment of a national DNA Bank. Mr. Danson was actively involved on behalf of the CPA to improve this legislation before it became law, including making submissions before the appropriate legislative committees.

Mr. Tim Danson represented Russian tennis player, Larisa Neiland who at the time was one of the top women’s double tennis players in the world in a hearing before the International Tennis Federation in London, England. That case went before the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the legal division established by the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland. Ms. Neiland tested positive for caffeine at the Australian opening in 1999.

Mr. Tim Danson was a participant in the Canadian Department of Justice Workshop on Victims Rights in April 2001 where the government brought together experts from across the country to discuss legislative reform in this area.

As counsel for the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association, Mr. Tim Danson litigated the jurisdictional and constitutional validity of Toronto’s new food inspection program which in fact is nothing but political window dressing, misleads the public, and damages the commercial viability of the restaurant, hotel, and motel industry.

Mr. Tim Danson, as counsel for the chiropractic profession in Canada, represented the Canadian Chiropractic Association and the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College at the Inquest into the death of Lana Dale Lewis, which is still before the courts. The inquest undertook a detailed review of the relationship, if any, between chiropractic neck adjustment and stroke.

Mr. Tim Danson, as counsel for the Toronto Police Association over the past 25 years, represented the then 7,200 members of the Toronto Police Service (now 8,000), in a libel class action against the Toronto Star which accused the Police Service as whole of being racist and engaging in systematic racial profiling. The case focussed on the difference between legitimate fair comment and opinion based on fact, and purported fair comment and opinion based on junk science, but masquerading as legitimate empirical research and analysis.

Mr. Tim Danson, as counsel to the Toronto Police Association, represented the Association in response to the decision of the Toronto Police Service to implement a regime of mandatory drug testing for police officers.

Mr. Tim Danson, as counsel to the Toronto Police Association, represented the Association in response to the Toronto Police Service and the Toronto Police Service Board’s decision to prosecute police union officials under the Police Services Act for endorsing political candidates.

Mr. Tim Danson is counsel for former Colorado Avalanche hockey player, Steve Moore against Todd Bertuzzi and the Vancouver Canucks as a result of the career ending injuries sustained by a sucker punch from behind rendering Moore unconscious, a broken neck and a severe head injury.

Mr. Tim Danson is counsel for Canadian Paralympian Jeff Adams in response to allegations of doping. He successfully argued the case before the Court of Arbitration for Sport. This enabled Mr. Adams to represent Canada at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing China. Litigation is continuing addressing pressing issues of sport law including whether doping infractions are strict liability offences or absolute liability offences and whether Canadian athletes can use the Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms as a defence to doping prosecutions.