Strine, the judge in the case, wrote that he "found Black evasive and unreliable" in a 130-page opinion where he held that Black breached his fiduciary duties in agreeing to sell Hollinger for $467 million to Sir David Barclay and Sir Frederick Barclay, brothers who own several U.K. newspapers including The Telegraph. Black's legal troubles have continued, and he's currently serving a sentence in U.S. federal prison in Miami for defrauding Hollinger.
During his time in the pokey, Black has been writing a column for the National Post of Canada, which he founded in 1998. On April 4, he took aim at Strine for "aspiring to establish a personality cult without frontiers, even in Canada," where he had a recent speaking engagement. Strine "fancies himself a crusader for the little person," wrote Black, a former member of the British House of Lords who once owned the Chicago Sun-Times, The Jerusalem Post and The Daily Telegraph. Black also asserted that Strine "pursues the media with the shameless tenacity of a vendor of fake religious relics hustling pilgrims in Bethlehem." Already "an eager go-to default source for the media on any aspect of commercial law," Strine would "expand his repertoire of pontifical opinion to a range as vast as the great outdoors, if asked," claims the incarcerated columnist.
Interesting observations, even though Black has never been spotted at the Tulane Corporate Law Institute, where Strine long ago gained headliner status as a panelist.
Black's jeremiad makes for entertaining reading. He calls Strine "a small, slight, and bespectacled man, and now rather glabrous" and compares him to "the unspeakable megalomaniac Richard Posner as the most tiresomely publicity-seeking judge in America." Posner was one of the three federal appeals court judges who rejected Black's 2008 appeal of his conviction.
Black claims not to be motivated by Strine's decision against him. The judge "followed the proceedings attentively and was perfectly courteous," Black writes, and "his opinion contested my credibility and that of our other witnesses, but he acknowledged that 'a reasonable person' could find otherwise, and he has on several subsequent occasions, verbally and in writing, referred to me quite generously."
Instead, continues Black, a man who ran his companies like private fiefdoms, "[w]hat is bothersome about Leo Strine is the feckless and flippant way he juggles billions of dollars of shareholder value around and comes down capriciously and often unrigorously, apparently in favor of the most decisive and controversial conclusion."
Black cites no other Strine decision in support of his position that the judge "seems to be always addicted to the dramatic swingeing stroke administered among the shower of his sub-Groucho Marx bons mots."
Black sympathizes with Strine's "desire to liven up a field that is as dull as dried parsley" but believes "he should have bells on his head like a medieval leper, to warn the unsuspecting, including all of Canada, of his approach."
Well, Mr. Black, never send to know for whom those bells toll.
Real estate investment manager Clarion Partners LLC hired Kerrisha Jenkins as a vice president in Los Angeles. For other updates launch today's Movers & shakers slideshow.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai are changing Japan. Third Point's Dan Loeb is trying to quicken the pace. More video