It had recently come to light that author Kirstie McLellan Day is suing hockey legend, Lanny McDonald, over his decision not to proceed with the publication of a book on which they were collaborating. Despite a complete breakdown in his relationship with author Kirstie McLellan Day, hockey icon Lanny McDonald has agreed to arbitration in their fight over his unpublished memoir.
Lawyer Gary Befus on Friday told the court that the former Calgary Flame would enter into dispute resolution in a bid to settle his disagreement with McLellan Day. But Befus told Justice Corina Dario the relationship between the hockey icon and author may be irreparable. “There’s a fundamental breakdown in trust between these two parties,” Befus said, before agreeing with McLellan Day’s lawyer Jason Holowachuk to seek judicial dispute resolution or some other form of third-party mediation. It’s impossible to expect that they are somehow going to work together and work this out.”
McLellan Day filed an originating notice, which will have to be converted to a statement of claim, seeking a court order to have McDonald release the final draft of the book they have co-authored for publisher HarperCollins. After nearly a year of McLellan Day writing the book, McDonald in May refused to approve the completed memoir, titled Call Me Lanny, to be sent for publication.
The lawyer said McDonald never wanted a book about his hockey life, noting a memoir published in 1987, called Lanny, covered most of his career on the ice. He said McLellan pursued McDonald to let her write the book despite his reservations. “It was Ms. Day who sought out Lanny McDonald to do a memoir and initially Mr. McDonald was resistant to that,” Befus told the court.
Dario left it for the lawyers to determine if they could go to judicial dispute resolution, which would have a judge try to iron out an agreement between the parties, or an independent mediator. She also suggested neither side should be speaking to the media about their dispute. McLellan Day was seeking a court order that McDonald was acting unreasonably in not releasing the manuscript and order it go to the publisher. McDonald wants a new author to come in and completely rewrite the book. If an agreement is reached, it likely won’t be made public.
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