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Briefcase Blog

Briefcase Blog – ScreamingLawyer - Who’s Afraid of Miss Alice – “Poor Bill” (Wilson) And Other NZ Legal News

Who’s Afraid of Miss Alice?  - There can be little love lost between the two remaining protagonists in the defamation action, being Dr Moodie and John Upton QC. Moodie initiated criminal prosecution action against Upton and two senior police officers under section 117 of the Crimes Act following his successful representation of former Police Inspector Alec Waugh when 10 fraud convictions, obtained by Upton, were quashed by the High Court several years ago.

“Poor Bill” - “Recusal” has a ring about it, hasn’t it?  It’s become increasingly heard as the courts have come under closer scrutiny and is now highlighted by the unfortunate circumstances involving Justice Bill Wilson.  As we enter the judicial Christmas lunch season you can imagine the judges ‘recusing’ themselves to go to the bathroom before exchanging sotto voce comments about “poor Bill” and what’s to happen now.  “Poor Bill” has been huddling with Colin Carruthers QC and others to decide just that, although of course the decision may not be his to make.   

The Intervener - Since the emerging of the Saxmere case from the primeval slime of deregulation, the redoubtable Sue Grey has held the Supreme Court to the fire in the face of the resolute defence of Justice Wilson in the form of the Solicitor General, Dr David Collins QC.  You’ll recall the earlier skirmish involving the Solicitor General’s telephone call to Sue Grey’s then-employer, the Department of Conservation and which gave rise to a police complaint. 

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Aussie Media Settles in NZ - The Aussie-dominated media, unlike the pureNZ material you’re currently reading, has lead to some legal atrophy in the face of media claims, as I outlined here a couple of weeks ago.  It affects both major media groups, APN and Fairfax, who are constrained to dance to the tune played by their Australian masters, much to the foaming resentment of some of the journalists involved.  Don’t believe me?  Well Exhibit One is the Listener (publisher, APN) with Joanne Black’s “Moodie Blues” article involving unorthodox Rangitikea lawyer Dr Bob Moodie and his stoush with civil liberties barrister Tony Ellis, who fell out badly with Moodie, together with APN and Elizabeth Strachan, a lawyer and former employee of Moodie’s. It appears APN, formerly represented by Bruce Gray QC but with Bell Gully’s Alan Ringwood acting on what were apparently firm instructions from Australia to settle.

Lawyers Strike Back At Dame Margaret - Law Society president John Marshall must be looking forward to feeling the Waimarama sand between his toes as he draws to an end a challenging year, finishing with the Christmas gift from hell in the form of her nuking of legal aid lawyers by Dame Margaret Bazley.  The president sent an email to lawyers partly accepting Dame Margaret’s allegations and equally calling for some natural justice in their “clear breach of natural justice.”


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