Volume 1, Issue 5 (Originally Published 26 March 2012)
Cigarettes might not kill you
The big tobacco companies have attempted to block a number of documents from being admitted to the upcoming hearing on the plain packaging dispute between the plaintiffs and the Federal Government. In a preliminary hearing, council for the plaintiffs pleaded an inconsistent line of reasoning between the companies. While British American Tobacco argues that the documents are inadmissible because the case falls on a constitutional issue rather than on public health, Imperial Tobacco claims they don't agree that smoking is quite as bad for you as the government would like you to think it is. Apparently smoking is only 'linked' to certain diseases, and that link has been erroneously attributed to causing cancers. Guess all this cancer fuss has been a big misunderstanding. In other news, Elvis is alive and working in a milk bar Coburg.
Goddard Elliott v Fritsch  VSC 87 (14 March 2012) - Barristers-to-be, be warned
Bell J, residing over a Victorian Supreme Court case where a man had to pay his lawyers fees despite what was described as 'gross negligence' on their part has urged state and federal Attorney- Generals to abolish the advocate's immunity rule. The man was encouraged into a a property settlement with his ex-wife that resulted in massive fiscal loss, despite his representation knowing he was severely depressed at the time. Bell J was scathing of the hoary rule, decrying a medieval legacy that saw its use-by date in the courts of England in 2002.
Trkulja v Yahoo ! Inc LLC  VSC 88 (15 March 2012) – Bad search = bad reputation
A Melbourne man has been awarded a quarter of a million dollars in damages following a successful defamation suit against Yahoo!. An article that appeared on the search page titled 'Melbourne Crime’ came up with a photo of the man alongside pictures of Tony Mokbel and other well-known criminals. The large photo of the plaintiff's head was accompanied by an article about a convicted criminal with the same last name, who was subject to an attempted murder by a hitman allegedly offered $10,000 for the kill. The man in the photo was in fact a well-respected member of his local community and a church elder, the defendants sheepishly noted that the two men bore something of a resemblance. The plaintiff claimed that following the article's publication his business had markedly suffered and his invitations to community events stopped as people began to associate him with criminal activities. Kaye J awarded damages arising from the impact on his reputation and the ongoing stress caused by the shock of the association. What also caused shock in this case was the finding that some people still use Yahoo!