Lindsay Shepherd’s self-inflicted wounds

29 December 2018

2 Wilfrid Laurier U profs sue Lindsay Shepherd – say she’s responsible for any damage to Jordan Peterson’s reputation

Under the heading of ‘least surprising news ever’, two Wilfrid Laurier profs who were secretly recorded by former teaching assistant Lindsay Shepherd have reportedly
cross-sued Shepherd in response to a lawsuit by dubious U of T prof
Jordan Peterson. Shepherd secretly taped Wilfrid Laurier University Profs Nathan Rambukkana and Herbert Pimlott criticizing Peterson and expressing concern to Shepherd that she had shown a video of Peterson in class where she was a TA. Shepherd then shopped the audio to media.

Peterson, unhappy with the criticism, launched a libel action against Wilfrid Laurier University and their academics.

When Wilfrid Laurier issued a press release confirming the filing of their statement of defence and its contents, Peterson the Petulant free speech advocate then filed another libel action against the University.

In this article and others about the original or subsequent lawsuits, counsel for both Peterson and Shepherd derides Wilfrid Laurier’s defence that Peterson should sue Shepherd for any damages given she’s the one who secretly recorded the meeting, broadcast it to the world through the media, and also reportedly consulted with Peterson before publishing the audio in which the academics criticized Peterson. Peterson and Shepherd’s lawyer is also reported as wondering why Rambukkana and Pimlott wouldn’t cross-sue the media who reported on the audio as well as Shepherd for publishing the defamatory remarks.

These arguments by counsel for Peterson and Shepherd demonstrate a weak understanding of the law of defamation given that Shepherd was the one responsible for publication of the audio to the media, and that any republication by the media would likely be covered by the defences of qualified privilege and/or responsible communication.

Lindsay herself admits that she was responsible for the media republishing the audio saying that after she shopped it to them, Global News posted excerpts and the National Post posted the full clip.

Lindsay Shepherd
Global News first released an excerpt version, and actually never asked me if that was OK. Then National Post released a full version on Soundcloud and copies were uploaded after by various accounts to Youtube. 6:55 PM – 31 Aug 2018

To be honest, it beggars belief for someone in a university graduate studies programme to claim they couldn’t figure out that the media might publicize an audio recording you give them to help publicize your case. In any event, lawyers for Wilfrid Laurier University have brought a motion to dismiss the action by Peterson as Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation.

More to follow undoubtedly but in the meantime…