Court Cases & Orders

15 Best Quips by Justice Quinn in Pirbhai v. Singh

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Written by Russell Alexander / (905) 655-6335

15 Best Quips by Justice Quinn in Pirbhai v. Singh

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice released the 2010 decision of Justice Quinn in the case of Kalinuddin Pirbhai v. Gurnek Singh on May 7th, 2010.

This is another decision filled with wry quips and comments by Justice Quinn. The background and outcome of the Singh decision can be found in earlier blog Quinn’s Quips Continue: More Quips from Mr. Justice Quinn

Keeping with the 15 Best Quips format we decided to highlight some of Justice Quinn’s more colourful and pointed comments. Justice Quinn’s judicious use of humor and wry quips continue to provide fodder for bloggers and legal commentators.

Here we go:

1. A friend of a friend is not necessarily your friend.

2. In 1999, the plaintiff was in the market for a used, high-end motor vehicle. A friend of his said that he had a friend who could supply such a vehicle. Ten years, and 31 days of trial, later, that transaction is finally completed. The plaintiff ended up with an expensive bargain.

3. The trial was most notable for revealing the defendant, Gurnek Singh (“Singh”), to be unblinkingly dishonest. He shows no aptitude for the truth; he is without a conscience; he is incorrigible.

4. Singh, on the other hand, is a devious man and an unbelievable witness who will do or say anything to advance his position. He was maddeningly unwilling to respond to the simplest of questions and often had to be asked the same question over and over (no doubt using the time gained to visit his pantry of untruthful answers).

5. Indeed, by the end of the trial, if Singh were to have testified that the world was round, I immediately would have sought membership in the Flat Earth Society.

6. Throughout the trial, I patiently waited for a Phoenix-like moment that might serve to rehabilitate his credibility: it never came. All in all, he was an exasperating witness who told untruths too numerous to catalogue and insulting in their breadth.

7. I feel somewhat responsible for this as I must have done or said something during the trial that caused Singh to believe that I was dim-witted.

8. There is no suggestion that Singh was the victim of a rogue employee or that there was a faxing poltergeist bumping about Brampton Auto.

9. Singh deposited the cheque to his personal bank account and thought that his splendid skullduggery had succeeded.

10. the plaintiff took the Lexus for a drive. He noted that the vehicle swayed, swerved, wobbled and emitted unusual noises. He also observed that it seemed to have a number of body parts that did not match [with the endnote] .. Something of an automotive Frankenstein.

11. Singh abandoned the Toyota story, said “Yes,” this document related to the Lexus, and offered an explanation that fell somewhere between a yarn and a fairy tale.

12. Singh’s evidence, in this area of the case, is an example of the elaborate lengths to which he was prepared to go to deceive the court. If lies were clothes, Singh would have been considerably overdressed for the trial.

13. Singh maintained that he did not receive this fax. However, the telephone records of the plaintiff establish that it was sent as he testified. Singh, overestimating the obtuseness of his audience, straight-facedly testified that perhaps the plaintiff had faxed a blank piece of paper. Singh did not produce any telephone records for this time-frame.

14. Singh’s casual and haphazard approach to his business and corporate structure and, more importantly, his fraudulent conduct in this case, vitiate the benefit of limited liability available through the process of incorporation and, therefore, in my opinion, attract personal liability. The corporate veil here was more of a bandit’s mask.

15. I have not said anything about a counterclaim made by Singh and that is because it was advanced with more nerve than merit. At that point in the trial, Singh’s credibility had immolated and the court was up to its sash in falsehoods.

Justice Quinn’s full decision is available at

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About the author

Russell Alexander

Russell Alexander is the Founder & Senior Partner of Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers.