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 destroyed at trial if sources are witnesses ... Stephen Murray reports ... more

 

Damages    January 8, 2020

Jensen v Nationwide News Pty Ltd & Anor (No. 13)

WA chief justice Peter Quinlan awards $325,000 in aggravated damages to former federal politician ... Whether the plaintiff had sent a letter to a literary agent ... MP who moved out of his electorate ...?Truth defence unsuccessful ...?The Australian fails on qualified privilege ... Family values and moral standards only indirectly related to public functions ... Publications not reasonable in the circumstances ... Journalist should have made more inquiries ... No malice ... No award for economic loss ... Stephen Murray reports ... more

 


Settlements    January 6, 2020

John Jarratt v Nationwide News

Settlement of actor’s claim against the Sunday Telegraph … Imputation that he “got away with rape” in reports following acquittal on an historic sexual assault charge … Implication that applicant was guilty … Apology … Stephen Murray report … more

 

Journalism    January 2, 2020

The Age Company Pty Ltd v YZ (a Pseudonym)

Victorian Court of Appeal orders reassessment of damages in the post-traumatic stress case against The Age ... The extent to which a duty of care is owed a traumatised journalist ... Avoidance of injury ... Requirements for a reasonable employer ... Breach of duty of care arose after transfer from crime reporting to the Supreme Court round ... Stephen Murray reports ... more

 

Dossier    January 1, 2020

Gordon Wood v Nationwide News

Gordon Wood seeking leave to sue Nationwide News over Daily Telegraph report of his unsuccessful malicious prosecution suit ... Claim that the lawsuit's loss removes "the strain from Caroline Byrne's family" ... Statement of claim ... Deed of release ... Mediation failed ... Stephen Murray reports ... more

 

Damages    December 30, 2019

Tsamis v Victoria (No. 7)

Damages of $90,000 awarded to Melbourne nightclub manager ... Police allegations about drug use in and around the nightclub ... Allegation that the manager approached witnesses in proceedings before gambling and liquor commission ... Split verdict ... Substantially true imputations had a mitigating effect but did not swamp the imputations found for the plaintiff ... Modest amount for aggravation ... Stephen Murray reports ... more

 

Costs    December 24, 2019

Sarah Hanson-Young v David Leyonhjelm

Justice Richard White reserved on costs and injunction ... Application for indemnity costs ... Leyonhjelm's "offensive and insulting" statement in a settlement offer ... "Offer of nothing" ... Failure to consider a "commercial, prudent" settlement ... Hanson-Young reelected ... Leyonhjelm failed at the ballot box ... Stephen Murray reports ... more

 

Costs    December 24, 2019

Wagner & Ors v Nine Network Australia & Ors (No. 2)

Indemnity costs awarded for a portion of the Wagner v Nine proceedings ... Inadequate settlement offers from Nine and Cater ... Ineffective apology ... Separate settlement proposals made by the plaintiffs ... Apology essential to settlement ... Defendants baulked at the word "apology" ... Failure by the defendants to make further offers ... Calderbank principles ... Nine and Cater acted unreasonably and imprudently ... Stephen Murray reports ... more

 

Seminars, interviews & commentary    December 18, 2019

Defamation reform: back to the future

The defamation law reforms of 2005 were heralded as a bright new future for the media ... What happened and can the proposed new reforms get anywhere close to the holy grail of "balance"? ... Memories of David Levine, Michael McHugh and those wide-eyed pundits ... Heavy lifting deferred ... Forum shopping at the Federal Court ... Janek Drevikovsky says the 2020 reforms will still leave plaintiffs ruling the roost ... more

 

Trial reports    December 18, 2019

Roger Bailey v WIN Television & Ors

Sacking of local government manager ... Proceedings abandoned against one of the defendants ... Story put to air after plaintiff did not respond to a request for comment about his termination ... Deadline ... Confusion about which TV station was seeking a response ... Staff survey critical of management ... Evidence from councillors ... Hearing concluded ... Justice Fagan reserved ... Stephen Murray reports ... more