Glutton for punishment

15Stuff reports:

Former Conservative Party leader has served notice of his intent to appeal a judge’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit he took against a blogger for publishing a poem he wrote to his former secretary.  …

“There is no evidence before me of any sort that there is any value in this work or that either of the defendants has derived any income at all from it, from publishing it. It is obvious to me that the plaintiff would fail at substantive trial in establishing that in fact either of the defendants had monetarily profited from their publications of the work.”

She agreed with the argument that Craig had sought to “inappropriately import other grievances that he has against Mr Williams” and said the proceeding had “an element of impropriety”.

“This court does have the inherent power to prevent misuse of its procedure. It would be manifestly unfair to the first defendant or would otherwise bring the administration of justice into disrepute among right thinking people to permit this proceeding to continue, given that I am quite sure that the real argument that the plaintiff has is in respect of breach of confidence and his concern to protect his reputation…

“I consider… that this is a proceeding which involves a deception on the court. I do not consider the process of the court has been fairly or honestly used. It is being employed for an ulterior and improper purpose which I have already named. It is manifestly groundless and without foundation. 

“This is a vexatious proceeding. It has been brought for collateral purpose,” she said. 

The court’s decision was damning of Craig and said his case was essentially without merit. I can’t imagine an appeal will get anywhere. However the strategy might not be to win, but to just force others to keep spending money on legal fees.

On Monday Craig filed notices of appeal with the High Court at Auckland, saying Judge Sharp had failed to give the appropriate weight to the fact he was was representing himself, that she had incorrectly concluded the proceeding was an abuse of process, that she had incorrectly concluded that his claim would fail at a substantive hearing, and that copyright did not apply to the poem. 

Wait a moment. Craig is a multi-millionaire, and the plaintiff in this case. He is not the respondents being forced into court against his will. And he is clearly able to pay to have legal representation. So why should the Court give him leniency for having failed to follow court procedures, when it is all his own choice.

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