Damages    February 10, 2020

Cheng v Lok

Supreme Court of South Australia ... Damages of $750,000 to Adelaide solicitor who had been attacked on Google My Business by someone who had not been a former client or acquaintance ?... Default judgment ... Loss of law firm income following attacks ... Past and future economic loss ... Publication viewed more than 1,500 times ... Non-appearance by the defendant ... Indemnity costs ... Stephen Murray reports ... more

 

Damages    February 10, 2020

Poniatowska v Channel Seven Sydney Pty Ltd (No. 2)

South Australian Full Court ... Damages of $280,000 ... Plaintiff accused of being a welfare cheat by Today Tonight ... All defences rejected ... Extent of the broadcast and internet engagement ... Regard to damages in other cases: Duffy, Cornes, Pedavoli, Ali and Wilson ... Economic loss ... Employment difficulties ... No award of aggravated damages ... Stephen Murray reports ... more

 

Dossier    February 4, 2020

The Federal Court’s defamation beat

The evolution of defamation in the Federal Court ... 14 years of cases ... Data on damages, successes, failures, media cases, the most prolific judges and lawyers ... The nature and quality of applicants and respondents ... Success rates for ADR and appeals ... Survey and analysis by Janek Drevikovsky ... more

 

Costs    February 4, 2020

Hanson-Young v Leyonhjelm (No. 5)

Indemnity costs awarded to Senator Sarah Hanson-Young ... Respondent's failure to make a reasonable offer of settlement ... Unsuccessful submission to cap costs to the amount of Hanson-Young's crowd funding ... It is possible to defame a politician ... Application for permanent injunction rejected ... Public interest in free speech ... Court reluctant to be a censor ... Members of the public entitled to comment on the court's judgments ... Interest ... Stephen Murray reports ... more

 

Trial reports    February 3, 2020

Feldman v Nationwide News Pty Ltd & Ors; Feldman v Special Broadcasting Corporation

Feldman trial verdict ... NSW Supreme Court ... Defences of fair report, fair summary and justification upheld ... Rabbi's knowledge of the law regarding child sexual assault ... Child Abuse Royal Commission ... Inaccuracy does not necessarily void the fair summary defence ... Reporting by religious authorities of sexual abuse to secular authorities ... Stephen Murray reports ... more

 

Dossier    February 1, 2020

Melissa Parke v Colin Rubenstein & Ors

Federal Court ... High profile Labor candidate sues Israel lobbyist Colin Rubenstein, the Herald Sun and former ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma ... Statement of claim ... Allegations about Israel as an apartheid state ... Imputations of anti-Semitism, conspiracy theories, fanaticism ... Publication by press release, newspapers and Twitter ... Stephen Murray reports ... more

 

Media Matters    January 30, 2020

Australian Broadcasting Corporation v Registrar of the Federal Court of Australia

Radio National’s?Background Briefing refused access to a recording of court proceedings conducted by Judge Salvatore Vasta … Radio documentary on Judge Vasta and his history of abusing litigants … Open justice principles … Federal Court concerned that publishing excerpts would not give a balanced impression … Full Court findings on Vasta’s handling of the case were “appropriately informed” … Stephen Murray reports … more

 

Truth    January 30, 2020

Eustice v Channel Seven Adelaide Pty Ltd & Ors

Supreme Court of South Australia ... Channel 7 sees off defamation claim by used car salesman ... Justification defence ... The plaintiff said to be "a crook, fraudster and a snake" ... Nissan Skyline misrepresented to customer ... Plaintiff harried by TV reporter turned politician ... "A small and uninteresting used car business" ... Stephen Murray reports ... more

 

Costs    January 29, 2020

Yunghanns v Colquhoun-Denvers (Costs)

Victorian Supreme Court ... Each party ordered to pay costs on a standard basis ... Claim and counterclaim defeated ... Unfortunate litigation with total legal costs well in excess of $3 million ... Internecine conflict in the world of polo ... Plaintiff said that costs would not trouble him ... Acrimony ... Stephen Murray reports ... more

 

Damages    January 29, 2020

Brown v Kirkpatrick

Damages of $3,500 ... South Australian Supreme Court ... Magistrate's finding overturned in gun club administrators' dispute ... Email exchange ... Qualified privilege and triviality defences not made out ... Wider audience did not have an interest in receiving the emails ... Defendant's counterclaim upheld ... Stephen Murray reports ... more

 

Dossier    January 23, 2020

Matters afoot

New Federal Court defamation actions against Rear Window columnist and Channel Nine ... Seven West settles case brought by Yirrkala claimants over Sunrise backdrop footage ... Leyonhjelm appeals findings in the Hanson-Young case ... Stephen Murray reports ... more

 

Sources    January 10, 2020

Roberts-Smith v Fairfax Media Publications Pty Limited (No. 3)

Journalists' privilege ... Protection of sources ... Informants as distinct from eyewitness ... Journalists' promise of confidentiality ... Claim that the privilege had been waived in the outlines of evidence ... Whether the privilege is