McMaster Montgomery, Fleury and Co.
Barrister, Solicitirs &c.
Canada Life Building, 44 West King St.
July 16th, 1917
G. H. Muirhead, Esq.
Land Titles Office
Osgoode Hall, Toronto
Re: Addison & Grand Valley
Dear Mr. Muirhead,
I am returning you herewith Dr. Addison’s letter.
The Doctor misconceives his position entirely. This is not his private litigation, but is litigation that I am conducting for the whole body of bondholders out of funds subscribed by quite a number of people residing all over the country, and paid into the Bank of Ottawa, in trust, and in respect of which Dr. Addison lent his name, and I have no doubt, contributing his share.
I do not think the other bondholders would be of Dr. Addison’s opinion, and if they were I would quickly put the proceedings out of the office, as I will not keep any proceedings in the office that are not entirely under our control. As soon as any client thinks his judgment is better than his legal advisor’s, it is time for him to get another legal adviser.
If the suit had been handled as Dr. Addison wished it to be handled, apparently, and brought to trial some six months ago, it would have been disposed of and disposed of adversely to his interest before this. The only hope of getting it disposed of favourably to his interests is to handle it as I am handling it, and as I intend to handle it, The case has made much progress since Doctor Addison seems to have heard of it, and is on the list for trial and could have been tried, but I have deliverately put it over, because I am not ready to have it tried, and I do not intend to have it tried if at all possible until I am ready.
It is perfect nonsense talk about going on with a case like this as if it were a division court case. It is also perfect nonsense to talk about going on with it without having the minute books or some substitute for them. The Minute books vanished in the most mysterious way, or the action would have been tried long ago, and I am gradually piecing together and getting in the information that we would have had in the Minute books.
I also (and this is stricktly between yourself and myself intend to keep this action over until after the one that Mr. Brewster and I are interested in the respect to the issue as to the ownership of the $60,000 in court is disposed of, if I can possibly keep it over that far, because I think that I will have a substantial opportunity when that case is going on the examine some of the gentlemen whose conduct is called in question in the case and that facts may be developed there that will be very useful to us in this case.
Then, as to what Dr. Addison says about Verner and about his having dropped out of the suit, and about the substitutional service that could have been obtained on his son, and a whole lot of things of that sort, that is all surely in my discretion. I have no intention of spending even twenty cents to have Verner served, substitutionally or otherwise. I suppose at a cost of $40 and $50 we could have got an order to serve Verner substitutionally, but as Verner is not worth $40 or $50, what is the use? I am told he is not worth a cent, and from all that is the fact. I have not bothered about Verner. What we want to trouble about is some of the substantial man here.
Now just to put it very shortly. I intend to bring this case on when I think it is the best in the interests of the litigants for whom I am acting. Otherwise, I intend to keep it off as long as possible. We lose nothing by it, and every bit of information that leaks out in any other proceedings will be to our advantage.
The other side know the facts. We have to dig them out. How far the other side are prepared to go in keeping back the facts, one cannot say, but it is awfully different to keeo the facts, one cannot say, but it is awfully different to keep one’s mind from running to the conclusion that somebody interested in or associated with the other side, could tell where these minute books were, if they chose.
I have no objection at all to your sending this letter right on to Dr. Addison. It is just as well that he should know my view of the matter, and that it is entirely different from his.
It is easy enough to get lawyers that will rush the litigation to trial, but what the bondholders want is somebody that will make sincere effort to win the case. Of course, it may or may not be possible to win it, but what is the use of going into it at all, unless you are going to do what you think best?