Many of you likely already know about Chris Hand of Zeke’s gallery and his recent legal troubles. For excellent synopsis’ of the situation and the turn of events see this article by Steve and this blog post by Hugh. Hugh’s post also has a very good discussion about it in the comments.

Very briefly, Chris wrote a post based a couple newspaper articles that indicated that another gallery had sold phony paintings to Loto Quebec. In the newspapers, another man who had links to the mafia was also mentioned in connection with the matter. Unfortunately in Chris’ post, it could be construed that the owner of the gallery had links to the mafia. So the owner of the gallery decided to take legal action against Chris. It has now escalated to the point that Chris has voluntarily taken down his blog and may face $25,000 in charges. Again, see the pieces written by Steve and Hugh for a better synopsis. And for commentary about freedom of speech here in Canada, see Hugh’s comment stream. Personnally, I feel the other gallery owner is being a jerk. He’s put himself in a bad position and is now lashing out at Chris for something quite petty. But the legal action he has taken is likely hurting him more due to all the negative publicity it has generated on the internet.

I’m kinda endebted to Chris. Without him this blog would have gone nowhere. I likely would have lost interest due to lack of readership and given up. He introduced me to YULblog and the Montréal blog scene. It has really enriched my experience up here since I’ve met people outside of my family and work sphere.

Very shortly after hearing how this had escalated, I asked if there was anything I could do to help. Even starting a blog campaign to spread the word of what this jerk is trying to do to Chris. But I got gun-shy. You see, I found myself in a slightly similar situation last summer. I was involved in a road rage accident with a celebrity lawyer. He caused the accident by trying to cut me off and was quite belligerant afterward. Insurance-wise it was settled before it began due to Canada’s no-fault policy (Thank God!) I would have not been in a very good position to fight someone in that position and he doesn’t appear to be someone of upstanding character. (Look at the back of your phone book and Google him. His website shows all of the tabloid covers that he has been on. And the one that starts ‘les avantages’ chronicles one of his cases calling him a lizard.) And a couple weeks before our accident he was found to have underpayed his taxes to the tune of 835,000 dollars.

Seeing that he was essentially an attack dog with the means and methods to do a world of hurt. And that he was likely with his back against the wall. I chose not to mention the accident here and I still won’t mention his name or link to his website. Him and any trouble he could cause are just not worth it. (Yes, I realize that I’m kinda contradicting myself with what I wrote above.)

But Chris is worth spreading the word about this predicament. I hope he can come out unscathed. Best of luck, Zeke.


~ by Frank on June 20, 2007.

4 Responses to “Zeke”

  1. One note: He isn’t the gallery’s owner. In fact, one of his demands to Chris is that he remove any mention of the guy owning this gallery.

    He’s an agent representing the gallery.

    And that makes all the difference.

  2. When I looked through Chris’s papers at the Yulblog, it seemed that the court didn’t really understand fully the English used. I hope he is exonerated from this frivolous action.

    I once was in an accident with an insurance fraud investigator. She said I was lucky to have hit her, as her job was to filter out fraudulent claims. Then she called two days later to say she had soft tissue damage and was suing me for 100,000 dollars. Yeah, I felt lucky all right.

  3. Howdy!

    Thanks tons! No need to apologize, and you are making me blush.

  4. This is one complicated case. I am trying to read it all, but I am bit lost here. I was never good with legal mumbo-jumbo.

    Ciao Gino

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