Monday, 13 September 2010

Cairns blogger Michael Moore lodges defamation defence

Last month, on Friday 13th August, Councillor Alan Blake initiated defamation proceedings against the CairnsBlog, claiming some $350,000 in damages plus costs, interest, and “such further or other relief as the Court deems just."

Along with a number of concerned citizens and readers of CairnsBlog, Bryan Law wrote to Cairns Regional Council CEO Lyn Russell, to insist that Blake not receive any legal or financial support for his case. This followed information that Alan Blake had sought funding to support his legal action.

Last week it was announced that Council would not support the legal action. The 'legal consideration' that the CEO took, concluded that that the motion passed at a March Finance and Administration for Legal Costs indemnity for Council officers, should not extend to such cases as Councillor Blake taking defamation action against a ratepayer.

Bryan Law reviews the action and says he's offended that any politician will interfere in free speech.

Councillor Blake claims to have developed suicidal tendencies, and been less able to attend Council and other public functions because of the comments made about his behaviour on the CairnsBlog.

Apparently his deep disturbance didn’t stop him from asking for rate-payers money to fund his suit – an application refused by CEO Lyn Russell only last week.

Late on Friday afternoon the author of CairnsBlog, Michael Moore, lodged his defence with the Supreme Court [Download]. A copy to Councillor Alan Blake’s solicitor, the splendidly generic “FNQ Legal” of Draper Street, was also served.

In his defence, Mr Moore points out that:
  • “A blog is a mixture of fact, opinion, and comment about contemporary issues of interest to its audience. As well as providing content that, in the opinion of the publisher is worthy of public discussion, it also provides an avenue for that discussion to occur via comments made to and published on the blog”.

  • “A blog is not a newspaper. The language and culture of blogging is more free-wheeling and pungent than is commonly found in a newspaper”.

Central to the public interest in this case is the nature of blogging and its impact on political discourse. Mr Moore is expected to argue that the immediacy, the interactive nature, and the comparative freedom of blogging are what makes it so valuable to our digital society, especially given the failures of mainstream media to give a voice to ordinary Australians.

"You only have to look at the recent Australian election, and notice the strong public participation on CairnsBlog to know that we play a vital and emerging role in debate on matters of government and politics," Michael Moore said, speaking outside the Cairns Courthouse on Friday to this commentator.

"My ongoing attention to Alan Blake’s behaviour is a part of that same discussion. It’s all about how we hold our politicians accountable to the electorate," Michael Moore said.

In his defence, Mr Moore has cited the famous defamation case of “Lange v ABC” in which the High Court of Australia disclosed a Constitutional protection for freedom of discussion about matters of politics and government. While the freedom so disclosed is conditional on reasonable safeguards against malice and defamation, Mr Moore is confident that the Court will find he has acted within those constraints, and that his defences will succeed.

In his Defence, Mr Moore says that his blog must be compared to other blogs when assessing the standards of comment and discussion. Other Australian blogs include Andrew Bolt’s, David Farrar's Kiwiblog, and Tim Blair’s.

In his Plaint, Councillor Blake refers more often to comments than to the substantive threads published. One comment he quotes at length a comment by “Veritas that accuses Alan of “Narcissistic Personality Disorder”.

If you dial up Andrew Bolt’s blog and search it for “narcissistic”, you’ll get 89 hits, and that’s the abbreviated list. It’s used by commenters much more than by Mr Bolt.

No doubt Mr Moore will be relying on the blogosphere context of both his published comments, and those of the commenters who’ve contributed to discussion about Councillor Blake’s behaviour. It’s clear that the context of blogging in Australia includes the regular use of “Narcissistic” personality disorder to diminish the credibility of anyone whose opinions the writer disagrees with.

You may not like that - I certainly don’t. It strikes me as an abuse of psychiatry, but it’s become a regular feature of the blogosphere, and any person participating in blog culture must surely recognise the way it’s used.

It’s not a diagnosis. It doesn’t mean that anyone is actually narcissistic. It’s just an insult. While it’s regrettable that we have a culture of insult in Australian political life, it isn’t surprising, unusual, or defamatory. Even Councillor Blake has been known to insult his political opponents – for example, regularly accusing ex-Mayor Kevin Byrne of “corruption” - in personal conversations with me.

I’m a believer in free speech.

It’s at the heart of our democracy. I plan to watch closely what happens in this matter, and to support as best I’m able the continuing practice of Michael Moore and CairnsBlog to facilitate democratic community discussion at a time of need in Australian political culture.


  • "A blog is a mixture of fact, opinion, and comment about contemporary issues of interest to its audience. As well as providing content that, in the opinion of the publisher is worthy of public discussion, it also provides an avenue for that discussion to occur via comments made to and published on the blog.

  • The defendant admits to publishing the words complained of.

  • The defendant denies that such words carry only their plain and ordinary meaning, in that the words are published in the context of a blog, and must be assessed according to the standards of communication commonly found in many blogs in Cairns, Australia, and the world. For example, Andrew Bolt’s blog, David Farrar’s KiwiBlog, and Tim Blair’s blog.

  • A blog is not a newspaper. The language and culture of blogging is more free-wheeling and pungent than is commonly found in a newspaper.

  • A blog does not seek balancing comment to each “thread” (a blog’s equivalent to a newspaper article) because every person has the ability to respond directly, at length, and in their own words to any material published on that thread.

  • The Plaintiff was at all material times a Cairns Regional Councillor, whose actions as a Councillor are of interest to every citizen and voter in Cairns. The facts, opinions and comments published on CairnsBlog about Councillor Blake’s activities as a Councillor, are a legitimate part of the discussion about government and politics which has implied protection from the Constitution as disclosed in Lange v ABC.

  • CairnsBlog has published many more threads about the Plaintiff’s political activities prior to and after those cited by the Plaintiff in this action, and all of these threads form the basis of my defence.

  • I will be relying on the following defences in this action: Justification; Contextual Truth; Qualified Privilege; Honest Opinion; and Triviality.


Michael Hyams said...

Bravissimo, Michael.

Alison Alloway said...

Good luck Mike. I have a terrible fear that Blake Vs Moore if successful could be the leverage Conroy needs to fully implement a heavy internet filter. This case has again put Cairns under the nternational spotlight.

Che Parabellum said...

Haha, good luck making that defence fly. All that is going to happen out of this is a bunch of lawyers get rich. Michael, transfer the ownership of your house to someone else's name while you still have the shirt on your back.

To prevail in court, you are going to have to prove that Veritas' comments were based on fact. You have to be able to prove those facts in court. Good luck proving what Veritas accused Blakey of.

All your other arguments go by the wayside in the absence of provable truth as the basis for the comments.

And sometimes, the comments can even be true and STILL be defamatory, if there is judged to be no public benefit in publishing them.

As a result, there is no freedom of speech in Australia. Freedom of speech is not enshrined in our constitution the way it is in the USA. Instead, we rely on common law that was set up to protect the interests of 18th century British Lords and the aristocracy.

It is high time this protectionism of those in power was ended in this country.

Maybe we need a revolution like the USA had to have to achieve their freedoms.

Maybe this could be the start of it?

Syd Walker said...

I'll second that! Bravissimo!

prautho of the north said...

And of course, Blake will have to be willing to undergo psychiatric assessment to prove he really is not a narcissist after all and it was just a dirty rumour. Now that should be really interesting!

Leigh Dall'Osto said...

Good Luck Mike.

All of us other bloggers in the Cairns region will be watching this entire proceeding with a bit of nervous angst and a whole lot of goodwill toward you and your team.

We have to acknowledge the fact that blogging and tweeting are the new news media, and are run by everyday people. For that reason, they should be judged differently. We do not condone censorship, we advocate for those ostracised by mainstream media. We don't always agree with comments made, in fact I often disagree with those posted, but that is what this form of debate is for. In posting comments that are intolerant, we are not condoning them and that fact also needs to be recognised.

I watch and wait Michael, and hope for a sensible outcome, for you and all the rest of us in cyberspace.

Leigh Dall'Osto

The Loving Narcissistic Warrior said...

Seems to me that with contemporary usage, the term narcissist has become almost downgraded to a derogatory insult rather than intended as a diagnostic statement - like 'idiot', 'imbecile', 'crazy'...

Only a narcissist would possible take offence at the term in this context...


SLATE: What is narcissistic personality disorder, and why does everyone seem to have it?

MaryO said...

Hey MM,
Do you actually know of any Australian legal precedents where a blog - as opposed to other media types like a newspaper - was subjected to a different, and less onerous legal standard?

For example, with respect to malice and reasonableness?

Che Parabellum said...

Leigh, the defamation laws' basis are hundreds of years old and apply to all forms of "publication" - it makes no difference if the publisher is a newspaper, radio station, Boy Scout newsletter, election poster, TV program, email or blog. Once it is displayed to an audience, the person has been defamed and the defamer has to prove otherwise if they mount a suit.

Blogging may be new, but defaming people is not. No judge is going to say blogs should be treated differently because they are owned by an individual. Some small local newspapers belong to an individual too, as do some country radio stations. They get no special treatment in court because of it. (They might have defamation insurance though, which most bloggers don't.)

The judge might reduce the amount of damages because the audience of the blog is smaller than a newspaper's readership ergo the damage done to reputation is smaller.

But it will still cost you $50,000 - $100,000 in legal fees to get you that far before the judge decides damages, after the case has been thrashed out in court.

This is the exact reason why the USA amended its constitution to guarantee freedom of speech over the right to privacy and the right for a person's reputation to remain unchallenged.

Could MM be Australia's John Peter Zenger?
(Zenger's landmark Libel case is outlined here:

bush liar said...

Che, you may have missed it but a recent posting here covered some of this in comments and I think "truth and public benefit" was modified to enable "truth" alone as a defence in 2005 in Qld with national standardisation? That doen't mean soomething that is not true is necessarilt defamatory if it does not defame?

MaryO said...

Actually, Che Parabellum:

In one High Court case (Dow Jones v Gutnick), the Court recognised that the ‘Internet is such a new and different medium of human communication that it demands a radical reconceptualisation of the applicable common law, specifically with respect to defamation’.

For instance, it has been argued different standards should apply with respect to blogs. Partly because many people don't actually believe much of what is said on the internet (thus, diminishing a publication's defamatory value), and because the internet allows feedback where users robustly critisise and insult others, and etc...

And in Mike's case, there also exists an additional, and vital political dimension, hence the applicability of the The Defence of Extended Common Law Qualified Privilege, which only applies to political communication.

Note that the need to allow freedom of political communication has attracted great attention regarding law reform, particularly when the complainant is a public figure, like a government representative. For e.g., see this article.

Lastly, truth IS a complete defence to defamation. See s 25 of the 2005 Defamation Act, where truth provides a complete defence if the defamatory material is substantially true.

Bryan Law said...

Section 3(b) of the Defamation Act 2005, says one of the objects of the Act is:

“to ensure that the law of defamation does not place unreasonable limits on freedom of expression and, in particular, on the publication and discussion of matters of public interest and importance”;

Section 25, Justification, under the heading “Defences” says:

“It is a defence to the publication of defamatory matter if the defendant proves that the defamatory imputations carried by the matter of which the plaintiff complains are substantially true”.

Section 26, Contextual Truth, says:

It is a defence to the publication of defamatory matter if the defendant proves that—
(a) the matter carried, in addition to the defamatory imputations of which the plaintiff complains, 1 or more other imputations (contextual imputations) that are
substantially true; and
(b) the defamatory imputations do not further harm the reputation of the plaintiff because of the substantial truth of the contextual imputations.

Then we have the defences of qualified privilege, honest opinion, and triviality. Have a read of the Defamation Act of 2005 for yourself if you like.

It’s not surprising that anonymous and unaccountable folk like Che Parabellum repeat the mantras of hopelessness and despair – I think because it exonerates them from applying either principle or courage in their own lives.

Mike needs proper legal assistance, and I really hope a good lawyer will take on his case (on a contingency basis). The underlying facts are that Mike has provided honest commentary needed and wanted by the citizens of Cairns, and we should all be supporting him.

Listen not to the Counsel of Che Parabellum, which means I believe “hopeless fuckwit” in Latin.

Kevin Roberts, Sydney (ex-Cairns) said...

I have to say I'm rather astonished by all this.

I don't live in Cairns - just own property there and therefore pay rates etc... and have some minor interests in a tourism product in the region........ however have had many dealings with the council over the last 6 or 7 years - including Kevin Byrne's ear.

It really amazes me that Blake appears to not have researched this case at all.

It's simply political suicide as if he thinks this will progress his standing in the community - business or otherwise - he's very mislead - or simply has an ego that far out weigh's common sense.

Did the lawyer - who's names are rather obviously missing from their website - dodgy in itself- advise him the ;likely journey ahead? or were they just after their fees? Me thinks the later.

Speaking out about and against a politician is something that we all do. and as Mr Law has shown, it happens everywhere...

This Mr Blake (doesn't earn the title as a councillor in my book) will have his entire persona;l life, phone calls, complaints and codes on conduct, uprooted and exposed before the court.... after all - it is HE that has to prove the allegations that he lied (which politician doesn't lie!!??)

The CEO of Council will also not be wanted the council to be exposed with past dirty laundry to be aired and trapped through a court.

What a narrow idiot if he think he or anyone will gain from this circus.

Muggles said...

Too true, And note that Blake has elected to have this case heard by a jury - as stated in his Statement of Claim. Boggling...

bush liar said...

By the way modernisation of defo laws to national standards including "truth" as a sole defence happened under the auspices of that dastardly fascist and Howard apologist Phillip Ruddock?

greenbottle said...

Just a little anecdote about "narcissists". Many many years ago, well before most of the current City Councillors arrived in Cairns, one of the leading models in Cairns went out on a date with a high profile media male. I was a casual friend of the model who was a very very pretty girl, but shallow and rather vain. I recall asking her about her "date".
"Ohhhh, it was horrible, just horrible," she replied, opening her eyes wide and grimacing. "Why, what happened?" I asked.
"It was all so boring. All he did was talk about himself," she pouted. "he never stopped, and I couldn't say anything about myself!"
Needless to say, she never went out with him again. ROFL ROFL

Dan Daman said...

Good luck Mike, will be rooting for you. Scary thing is our wonderful Mr. Blake was in the paper this weekend, using his position to undermine the Mayor. Now i'm no fan of Val, but it's pretty clear what he is up to. Publicly undermining her and setting up his run for the top spot. The worst thing is that with so many people so unhappy with Val, they might just see anyone as a better option. Oh he'll be a great and approachable mayor, as long as your not criticising him! If you are better have your lawyer on speed dial.

Alison Alloway said...

ROFL greenbottle. I have heard the story as well. Cairns in those days was a small place! The decades have flown by, and another Cairns model whom I knew committed suicide in her middle age. She phoned me about a week before she took her own life, very depressed. "I'm losing my looks," she said tearily. Oh, dear! I just laughed and told her it was a fact of life.
I was so horrified to find that she actually committed suicide within a week of that phone conversation and for a time I blamed myself for being insensitive. Was she a narcissist? I don't know, but perhaps I should have told her something like, "It is a privilege in life to have physical beauty. Be thankful you have had it when so many never have it. Now move on with this stage of your life and learn to become a wise and valuable woman in your community."
I don't know if she would have listened to that. However her death will haunt me forever.

Thaddeus said...

DanDaman, thanks for that interesting bit of info. Now I know why he's cosying up to Entsch.
The Grand Plan is on!

:Kevin-John: Morgan. said...

All the very best Mike.
One thing that has not been mentioned of course, and that is to be VERY careful about using the word "Truth" in a courtroom, or even on paper.
This word has now been officially disqualified by the High Court here, and all Supreme Courts worldwide, as being an opinion!
So too has the word "Truthful".
The 9-word-Masonic-Law which governs ALL courtrooms, all over the world, is a fact that I have come to learn in my 12 years of legal technology studies.
"No Law Or Fact Shall Be Tried In Court".
Suck on that lollypop for a while and try to remember why we lose in court most of the time.
The odds of winning are exactly the same as the casinos...84%/16%.
If you're smart enough, you will be in the 16%, if not, you lose.
$10,000 per day is just NOT good business for the judiciary's running costs and profit margins, it needs to be closer to %50,000+!
Also, when you place your hand on a Bible and "swear" at/to God, you are actually repating an evil Mantra!
"I swear to tell the opinion, the whole opinion, and nothing but the opinion".
Rings with much more honesty than what is already spoken.
The first thing you must also do in a courtroom, is to ask for EVERONE to have their CORRECT NAME to be placed on the records!
That will cause controversy enough to fill the harbour.
A title such as Judge, Magistrate, Constable, etc, etc, is NOT part of their name. Get it right.
Try it! See what happens.
There are also NO lawyers in Cairns, who can read or write, therefore, we can prove they cheated on their BAR exams.
Mike, you have chosen the right thing to do against this scumbag, but, be very wary of that "Big House" down there in Sheridan Street, OK?
If I were you, I would have the case heard in Brisbane, away from local influences.
Treat the case the same way we treat any injuries: "When in pain, catch a plane". DON'T do anything here.

Dan Daman said...

Thaddeus, will just have to hope that Warren can put LNP ties aside and realise that Blake is not someone that will do a good job of representing the people of Cairns fairly or openly.

kate said...

Dear :Kevin-John: Morgan,
Where did you do your 12 years of legal technology studies?

chris forsberg, bayview heights said...

Chris Forsberg tips-in:

Narcisstic Personality Disorder ?

Surely not grounds for a defamation
case - other postings must have raised the plaintiff's ire....

I am inclined to N.P.D. myself -
as are a few other folks I know. Speaking just for myself, I would
find any publicised suggestion that I have (not necessarily suffer from) NPD perfectly acceptable. Fair comment in fact.

But even if I did not have NPD, any
suggestion that I might could hardly be deemed objectionable -
and certainly not 'actionable'.

The greater majority of supposedly
diagnosed "personality disorders"
are nothing more than artifacts of
therapy - inventions of the shrink-
industry. Psychs of every stripe
are just brilliant at creating fancy diagnosis for perfectly normal human conditions....

Whether Narcisstic Personality
Disorder even exists is doubtful -
IF it's in the shrinks' manual
(DSM IV), it's simply a psych's
pseudo-scientific way of saying

Is the plaintiff merely 'vain' ?
Perhaps - but what's wrong with that ? He dresses well, and is suitably well-groomed as befits his

IF the case against
hinges on the claim that a suggestion of NPD warrants a legal
determination, no case exists.

It is to be hoped that other
grievances raised by the plaintiff
are equally trivial. Professional
politicians like the plaintiff
would do well to remember that they
ae offering themselves for scrutiny, and satire, every time they ask the long-suffering public for their vote.

If the plaintiff was not an elected
'public figure' his objections may well be valid. However, once a
'pollie' has won a seat or a division, he/she should recognise
that virtually everything he/she does is a subject of legitimate
'public interest'.

When one considers the vitriol of
the current rash of Bligh-bashing,
and the passionate intensity of
the slurs and snipes during the
recent hung parliment debacle,
the comments made in relation to
the plaintiff seem comparatively

Edmonton Alan P. said...

Blogging isn't the "new news media". It's the product of GenY, who believe nothing requires accountability.

You've made a critical legal error, Michael. You admitted writing the words. The other fluff isn't going to keep you out of trouble.

god help us said...

Edmonton al you dickhead look he said this .
Not that he wrote it ! stuff me cairns is full of dick wits !
You can publish what some other wrote !
"The defendant admits to publishing the words complained of."

:Kevin-John: Morgan. said...

Dear Kate: I notice you have asked a past-tense question, with a tone of assumption that the Law studies were over, which they are not!
I'll try to give you a past-tense answer then.
12 years? Piffle! That's nothing. I could have done another 12 quite easily with what I have been taught, in fact that is what I have decided!
After being fraudulently dealt with by the Local courts and also the Industrial court, I developed a new thirst for the knowledge concerning the fraud and deception within our court systems in this country.
I have witnessed, and been part of cases in the courts of Cairns, the courts of Sydney and now Canberra (High Court), over the past 16 years.
The amount of ingrained corruption and criminal behaviour within the legal fraternity and judiciary of this country, has made damn sure that my Law studies continue on a daily basis, and will continue till ALL criminal activity is completely removed from the realm these bastards occupy.
Now Kate, if you're so interested in people's Law studies, or the how, why, what, where and when of the paths people choose, I'll give you a clue, OK?
Tell me or show me, how to write a sentence or paragraph, without the past or future contained therein?
Whilst you're at it, throw in a there's a challenge.
You won't learn this in any Law school, I can promise you that, it is quite the opposite.
The Cairns Law Club was formed for the purpose of education and training in the reading, writing and implementation of the what is termed Universal Legal Technology, which uses Now-Time-language on each and every contract, or paper vessel, so there is NO ambiguity in the meaning of each word that is written, and most certainly NO falsehood at all.
Quite the opposite of what we have today.
I decided to find out what made Paul Keating say that Australians are basically stupid.
What I found was astonishing to say the least, and it continues right under our very noses 24/7.
But, it is so good to see someone write my name in the correct manner. Thank You.

Gallbelly said...

Kevin-John: Morgan. took all the crap written above to tell KATE he is full of crap and a bush lawyer.

Destiny said...

Many do not survive beyond the 12th year of their Law studies - because it's not till the 13th year one learns that adding colons to one's name is not protection enough.
One must also wear a tin foil hat.

kate said...

Dear :Kevin-John: Morgan,
Thanks for your response. And yes, it's very true. The things you outlined above, is most definitely not covered in any law degree at a university.

But while I actually don't agree with most of your comments, I actually do agree with the guts of your conclusion. That is, there are indeed some tremendous problems with the way in which law is implemented (and accessed) in this nation - like everywhere else in the world for that matter.

However, I believe that the problem does not solely arise from “ingrained corruption and criminal behaviour within the legal fraternity".

In essence, the problem is actually down to endemic apathy (and ignorance) within the larger Australian community.

Hence, why I most ardently support MM and his endeavours here on CairnsBlog. Even if at times, he somewhat expresses himself rather more “pungently” than required in order to convey his messages.

MaryO said...

Hey Bryan,
Regarding the defence of “truth” in a defamation action, note the following comments of Justice Deane in the Theophanous High Court case:

Given that the “broad central proposition of the defamation law is... that a person who publishes an assertion of fact or a comment which injures (or is "likely" to injure) the reputation of another person is guilty... and liable in damages unless he or she can positively justify or excuse the publication in the particular circumstances of the case...”

A “plaintiff may succeed notwithstanding that he or she calls no evidence to establish either that the defamatory statement was false or that the defendant was motivated by malice or was guilty of negligence or some other fault. Proof of the mere publication of the defamatory statement discharges the plaintiff's onus and casts upon the defendant the burden of positively establishing some defence.”

Hence, a “defendant will fail in a defence based on truth unless he or she is able to establish by admissible evidence that each defamatory component of the particular statement is substantially true...”

In other words, “a plaintiff in defamation proceedings bears no onus of establishing either the falsity of the defamatory statement or the existence of malice, negligence or other fault on the part of the defendant..”

Thus, “there will inevitably be cases where problems of proof by admissible evidence result in a defendant being held liable in damages for publishing a statement which was in fact true...”

Plus, to the “disincentive of the publication of even well founded damaging statements must be added the disincentive of the legal costs which a successful defendant will commonly (Even when party and party costs are awarded and recovered, there will commonly be an irrecoverable excess of solicitor and own client costs.) and an unsuccessful defendant will almost inevitably be required to bear.”

Quite “apart from liability in damages, the direct and indirect costs involved in defending defamation proceedings in a superior court are likely to represent a crushing burden for the citizen who is unable to obtain legal aid from some government source. The result is that the informed citizen who is not foolish or impecunious will inevitably be deterred from making, repeating, or maintaining a statement which causes injury to the reputation of another if there be a perceived risk or actual threat that the publication or further publication of the statement or a refusal to retract it will give rise to defamation proceedings. And that will be so even if the defamatory statement is known or believed to be true.”

Most importantly, the "deterrence of the making of even well founded statements which are injurious to the reputation of another... assumes a different dimension within the area to which the constitutional implication is directed, namely, that of statements which constitute, or form a relevant part of, political communication and discussion. Within that area, such a general deterrence of even well-founded critical statements is liable to be subversive of both the basis and the working of our system of representative government...”

Not a bad issue, eh, upon which to campaign in the future for law reform; i.e. reversing the onus of proof, funding etc, etc, etc...

greenbottle said...

Destiny, you wag! You gave me a good laugh then!

Bryan Law said...

Mary O, you are a font of both knowledge and good advice.

I'm impressed by Mike's willingness to take a big risk on this issue. Because all the words complained of relate to the Plaintiff's position as a Cairns Regional Councillor, and because the blogosphere is even now being judicially described and evaluated as a communications technology, I'm sure there are ample grounds for a rational court hearing, as well as for law reform.

I'm also painfully aware of my limitations. i am no lawyer.

Mike NEEDS a well-motivated and competent lawyer to step up and work for him on a contingency basis. You're obviously familiar with legal processes.

Are you able to help establish a "legal committee" to assist, and to search for a good defamation lawyer to do the pleadings? I'll be happy to do some of the admin work.

gallbelly said...

Don't know about you but maryo scares the crap out of me remind me never to piss you off. But I probably already have.

MaryO said...

Dear Bryan,
I do not work in defamation law, (though I do have a law degree). My legal area is native title - an utterly different legal creature to defamation.

And so far, from the very little I have read to date about how defamation law works - and only since MM's legal hassles appeared - I have had to concede that defamation law is exceeedingly and hideously complex. In fact, far, far beyond the likes of me.

Most specifically, with respect to how to successfully evidence the various defences. So like you, I strongly believe that MM requires the VERY best of legal advice and ASAP.

However, your compliments are very nice, and I very much respect what you are doing for MM.

Hey Gallbelly, I would never, ever sue anyone for defamation. Utter load of twaddle in my view, so there's no need to worry about me.

Unless you're in the habit of beating on women, children or animals...

Destiny said...

Bryan Law says "I'm also painfully aware of my limitations. i am no lawyer"

It is disgraceful that we should need a lawyer to be able to comprehend the law of our land.

Our state and federal governments, whatever their political persuasion, seem to delight in writing legislation that is beyond the comprehension of we mere citizens.

Think of the savings and extra productivity if they conducted an audit of all laws and regulations with the aim of cutting the crap and streamlining everything.

If small publishers like Mike cannot be sure where the lines are that can't be crossed, it limits our supply of information to the huge corporations that can afford legal departments and we're left reliant on a drummer marching to a very different beat.

MaryO said...

You're so right, Destiny.

Apparently, it has proved impossible even for very experienced lawyers to conclusively predict, prior to publication, whether or not the published material will fully satisfy the requirements of the various defences.

So what chance then do the rest of us have?

Gallbelly said...

Mary o no chance at all.

But I have beaten all the others you have not named.

:Kevin-John: Morgan. said...

Been away...sorry.
Gallbelly eh? another loser who hides behind a false name!
I do not puport to be ANY kind of lawyer pal, let alone a bush lawyer.
Every lawyer, everywhere, uses the training in the modification of facts (Nouns), meaning there's a change, meaning motion, and motion is VERB!
By using their so-called "Law" dictionaries, they can impose THEIR meanings of words into a contract or prosecutorial event, so that there are now more than 2,458,000 definitions of every word they have just placed on a piece of paper, at a charge of $100 per page no less, makes for a damn good business!
This also means that there can NEVER be an amicable outcome, OR, a much lengthier court schedule, which is ALSO good for business.
You see? It's all just business, except now they've taken our guns away!
Mike, bring the original documents to the rally, I want to show you all something you don't even know that you don't know, especially the latte-drinking, cafe-society intellectuals.

Luigi said...

Good like Mike,
You are the only media in Cairns that is prepared to state things as they are and not afraid when needing to stirrup. We have wasted millions in local council amalgamation now we will spending more money to de-amalgamate all councils. The Qld health crisis, does anyone our local media going to expose or tackle that? offcourse not... Hope all goes well. Long live freedom of speech and democracy