Three Parties Supporting Nullification of Bequest to National Alliance Get “Intervener” Status
ST. JOHN, NEW BRUNSWICK. AUGUST 19. Powerful groups seeking to hijack a will leaving a bequest to a U.S. White nationalist group were in court here today seeking “intervener” status.
The controversy surrounds the late Harry Robert McCorkill who died in St. John in 2004. After a long delay. the will was recently probated. Mr. McCorkill, a university professor, left a valuable collection of old coins and artifacts, valued at between $250,000 and $1-million, to the National Alliance, a U.S. White Nationalist group headquartered in West Virginia of which he was a member.
The Southern Poverty Law Centre, an extreme but well funded anti-racist group in the U.S., is seeking to prevent the NA from receiving its legacy. They retained the assistance of Richard Warman, an Ottawa lawyer with whom we have clashed on numerous occasions. He styles himself a “human rights” advocate and has filed numerous complaints under the now repealed Sec. 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act (Internet censorship).
Anyway, soon after Isabelle Rose McCorkill of Ottawa came forth — nine years after her estranged brother’s death. She owns a house in Ottawa but states that she lives on $1,000 a month and is thus unable to post any security. Nevertheless, she is represented by one of Moncton’s best and, one would assume, priciest law firms McInnes-Cooper (Marc-Antoine Chiasson).
In late July, she obtained an ex parte injunction that froze the assets and ordered that they not leave the Province of New Brunswick. The coins and artifacts are in storage in Moncton.
A hearing on the application is set for September 10 in St. John’s. The application seeks, inter alia, the Court declaration that the bequest “is illegal and/or contrary to public policy: …as a result of the failed bequest an intestacy has resulted’ .. the Estate be shared amongst the surviving brothers and sisters; … that costs be awarded to the Applicant.|’ The application is to be heard before the Court of Queen’s Bench of New Brunswick, Trial Division. The case Number is S/M/49/13. Thus, she seeks her “costs” for nullifying the bequest which is the major portion of the estate and, if the application succeeds, walking off with her brother’s assets.
The judge tasked with this matter is Judge Glennie.
However, today’s proceedings were before Judge Grant. The three would be interveners, the Attorney General of New Brunswick, the League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith, and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs were admitted. There was no mention of security for costs.
Indeed, the only previous mention of costs was in Isabelle McCorkell in her affidavit. She said she had limited mans and stated that should there be a requirement of security for costs she could not participate further. There was no mention of security for costs in regards to the three parties granted intervener status today.
John Hughes, lawyer for Executor Fred Streed, sent a letter to Judge Glennie on Friday advising there could be one or two interveners coming forth on behalf of the estate.
A live issue to be argued on September 10 is whether the Isabelle McCorkill motion should be converted into an action. If it is, there would have to be a trial, which would be more costly but which would also, inter alia, permit the cross-examination of Isabelle McCorkell.
The Judge allowed the Estate to pay Revenue Canada from the previously frozen funds. However, a request to unfreeze funds to pay Executor fees, lawyer’s fees, a storage costs in Moncton was turned down.
An interesting sidelight, the lawyer for Isabelle McCorkell was not in court today. When he was finally reached by phone by the judge part way through the hearing, he said he was in another hearing and had not been advised by the court of the date. Whether this was the court staff’s error or a problem at his end remained unclear.