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The other Livent courtroom drama

Observers of the ongoing Livent fraud saga got a double-dose of courtroom drama yesterday. While prosecutors laid out their case against Garth Drabinsky and Myron Gottlieb on the first day of the long-awaited criminal fraud trial, civil lawyers for the former Livent executives were in a courtroom just down the street at the Ontario Court of Appeal trying to have a US$36 million judgment against their clients thrown out.

Lawyers for Drabinsky and Gottlieb are asking the Ontario Court of Appeal to throw out the ruling on the grounds that the criminal charges made it impossible for the men to adequately defend themselves in the U.S. civil case. The men couldn’t travel to the U.S. to defend themselves because they would have been arrested. And they couldn’t testify in the class-action lawsuit without giving up their right to remain silent in the face of criminal charges here in Canada.

But Drabinsky and Gottlieb get no sympathy from the opposing counsel: “(Drabinsky and Gottlieb are) effectively saying ‘ because we refuse to face the potential criminal consequences of our actions in the United States, help us avoid the civil consequences of them too.”

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