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The four top London libel lawyers now lined up to crush a pensioner from Harlow

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Post by russiandoll on 30.01.13 15:53

I reckon this is a last -minute attempt to intimidate TB into backing off.

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Post by tiny on 30.01.13 16:17

@russiandoll wrote:I reckon this is a last -minute attempt to intimidate TB into backing off.

yep sure is.
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Post by PeterMac on 30.01.13 16:39

@tiny wrote:
@russiandoll wrote:I reckon this is a last -minute attempt to intimidate TB into backing off.
yep sure is.
This is classic C-R tactics.

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Post by Smokeandmirrors on 30.01.13 16:42

Let's hope that the presiding Judge is au fait with CR bullying ways and is not very approving. I also hope that the Judge takes a dim view of the inequality of arms, the late delivery of a heap of paperwork, the outsized legal team and the absence of the plaintiffs.

If he is oblivious to all the above, then he/she will need their head examining.

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Post by Ribisl on 30.01.13 16:44

@PeterMac wrote:
@tiny wrote:
@russiandoll wrote:I reckon this is a last -minute attempt to intimidate TB into backing off.
yep sure is.
This is classic C-R tactics.
Classic bullying and intimidation. nah

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Post by russiandoll on 30.01.13 17:20

article on the net

We analyse defamation struggles using a different approach. We start
with the observation that a defamation action can rebound against the
plaintiff when it is perceived as unjust and information about it is
widely communicated to relevant audiences, causing outrage. Such an
outcome can be termed a backfire. Plaintiffs often take actions that
inhibit outrage; defendants sometimes act in ways that amplify it. We
use the term "outrage" to refer to adverse reactions by individuals
against something perceived as unjust or a norm violation. Thus the term
outrage is a surrogate for various emotions including anger, disgust,
disquiet and concern. We use the term "backfire" to refer to the process
by which outrage is turned into expression or action against whoever or
whatever is perceived as responsible for the perceived injustice.

Suing for defamation can backfire if it is seen as
oppressive or unjust - in particular as a threat to free speech - and if
information about it is communicated to significant audiences. Consider
in this regard the five main methods of inhibition.
* Cover-up. Plaintiffs seldom publicise their
actions; in offering a settlement, they often require defendants to sign
a silencing clause. Defence lawyers commonly advise against seeking
publicity, due to the risk of alienating the judge or of this being seen
as evidence of malice.

* Devaluation of the target. Defamation law
encourages denigration of the defendant to overcome claims made by the
defence such as reasonableness and absence of malice. [13]

* Reinterpretation. Plaintiffs describe their purpose as defence of reputation, not suppression of free expression.

* Official channels. Plaintiffs use the law as a
means of attack. The complexity and slowness of defamation law make it
difficult to mobilise outrage against such attacks.

* Intimidation and bribery. Plaintiffs' threats and
legal actions often intimidate defendants, while offers of settlement
can operate like bribes.

In the analysis of defamation actions using the
backfire model, there is one distinct difference from other
applications. In the Sharpeville massacre and other such attacks, formal
inquiries are commonly set up to defuse outrage by giving the
appearance of justice. But in the case of defamation actions, official
channels - namely the legal system - constitute the very means by which
the attack is launched. The existence of defamation law gives, in
advance, a degree of legitimacy to a certain category of threat to free
expression.

We now apply backfire analysis to several cases. The
first case, Lovell, involved numerous defamation actions to prevent
publication. The second, Askin, involved an implicit threat to sue
media. The third, Marsden, involved a solicitor suing a television
station. The fourth, Clark, involved a prominent person who, defamed in
the media, decided not to sue. Finally, we describe the McLibel case,
the most prominent case of backfire from a defamation action. There are
other cases that can be readily analysed using the backfire model. [14]

We have used cases from Australian and British
jurisdictions where defamation law is widely seen as friendly to
plaintiffs and hostile to free speech. [15]
However, the backfire framework should apply anywhere defamation
actions can potentially be perceived as oppressive. SLAPPs (Strategic
Lawsuits Against Public Participation), which are commonplace in the US,
appear to fit the backfire model quite well. [16]
Similarly, the backfire model can be used to analyse legal actions,
other than defamation, that are perceived as oppressive, such as the
many types of legal action classified as SLAPPs.

It is worth emphasising that our analysis looks only
at actions and their effects, not at motivations of the participants.
For example, in looking at the first method of inhibition, cover-up, we
examine ways in which actions taken by participants on one or both sides
have the effect of limiting wider awareness of defamation actions and
their consequences; this examination does not make assumptions about the
motivations of the participants to cover up or reveal the activities.
The very term "cover-up" refers to cover-up as a consequence, not as an
intention. This agnosticism about motivations is a general feature of
backfire analysis, in which the focus is on the effects of actions. This
is compatible with the view that everyone has the best of intentions. [17]

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~John F. Kennedy

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Post by Tony Bennett on 31.01.13 9:58

Received earlier this morning:

Tony,

You don't know me from Adam, but I have for a long time followed the case, your case, and all information on the Jill Havern forum & elswhere on the internet.

What you are doing is commendable, and I personally wish you all the best whatever happens next week.

I know you have many well wishers on the forums, but also rememeber there is many more anonymous/unregistered viewers who have the utmost respect for your hard work, endeavours & taken stance.

I pray for justice, I pray for the little girl & I will be praying for you next week.

Best wishes,

[name withheld]

____________________

Dr Martin Roberts: "The evidence is that these are the pjyamas Madeleine wore on holiday in Praia da Luz. They were photographed and the photo handed to a press agency, who released it on 8 May, as the search for Madeleine continued. The McCanns held up these same pyjamas at two press conferences on 5 & 7June 2007. How could Madeleine have been abducted?"

Amelie Mcann (aged 2): "Maddie's jammies!".  

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Post by C.Edwards on 31.01.13 10:45

I really wish I lived nearer to London so I could come down to the proceedings. I offer you my best wishes in your endeavour to bring clarity and revelation to much of what appears confused and hidden as, in common with most on this forum, I share your view that the McCanns and their extended entourage are being, at best, economical with the truth.

I do have misgivings that the whole purpose of the CR Sledgehammer to crack your nut is to simply ensure that the proceedings stay entirely within their designated playground of breach of undertakings and they have years of experience in doing just this sort of things and preventing people who otherwise may have mitigating circumstances from ever getting those taken into account. I'm almost certain that their entire aim will be to slam dunk the breach of undertakings on the basis that anarchy would reign if anyone was able to breach undertakings, however unfair they may or may not be, entirely because they unilaterally decided they were unfair. Their argument will be (and it's hard to find great fault with it) that if you had an issue with the fairness of the undertakings, you should have applied to have them varied before you actually did anything that could be interpreted as a breach of those undertakings. Even if you were entrapped into doing so.

I have limited legal experience and almost all of it has been frustratingly similar in the outcome whereby otherwise logical arguments are simply blown out of the water by simplicities of legal casework proving a few times that "what's right isn't necessarily what's legal" and the law is, in my experience, most definitely the proverbial ass. It simply seems set up to favour those with the most money and best barristers rather than those that may still be morally right even if legally "in the wrong". I can't see how any judge can look past what seems a black and white breach in your case unless you are able to persuade the court that the undertakings breached were unfair in some way and therefore a full libel trial is needed in order to establish the rights and wrongs of what was said. Viewing that scenario objectively that appears to me to be a recipe for legal meltdown as it sends the message that people can breach undertakings and then try and argue the validity of those undertakings in court and in retrospect. IMO the courts would very quickly get full if this was to happen.

I truly hope that the Judge, even if they find against you, sees that this is all part of a larger picture and suspends sentencing until such time as it can be established whether there was, indeed, any such need for the undertaking you have given and, more to the point, why the McCanns seem intent on their pursuit of you almost exclusively when there are many, many more people out there stating things that appear to be far in excess of what the McCanns appear to be complaining about in your case.
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Post by bobbin on 31.01.13 10:49

@Tony Bennett wrote:Received earlier this morning:

Tony,

You don't know me from Adam, but I have for a long time followed the case, your case, and all information on the Jill Havern forum & elswhere on the internet.

What you are doing is commendable, and I personally wish you all the best whatever happens next week.

I know you have many well wishers on the forums, but also rememeber there is many more anonymous/unregistered viewers who have the utmost respect for your hard work, endeavours & taken stance.

I pray for justice, I pray for the little girl & I will be praying for you next week.

Best wishes,
[name withheld]

Tony, this is so good. It is as I thought to be the case, many more out there than actually posting.
The entire cohesion of society depends upon the 'scales of justice' being balanced.
There are the two pans, one on either side of the 'scales of justice'.
On one side, sits the might and weight of the McCanns, with their unbounded secret financiers, their openly feared CR gurus, with their finely honed nit-picking dependency on the minute detail of 'technical' argument to win their case.
In the other pan, we have the un-bound public.
Free 'apparently' to exercise their freedom of expression, free to question, to analyse and to judge the facts or fictional stories that come forward regarding this case.
In the middle, balancing the scales, we have the man with the greatest responsibility ever, the judge.
May he, Mr. Justice Tugendhat be free to balance the scales justly, with the courage, the perceptive insight and the fairness which he has so often shown, free from fear of retribution or offer of tempting reward from any who would seek to subvert the course of justice.
I pray that he remains the judge for the forthcoming hearing, for there are few as trustworthy as he has, so far, shown himself to be.
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Post by Tony Bennett on 31.01.13 11:05

@C.Edwards wrote:I really wish I lived nearer to London so I could come down to the proceedings. I offer you my best wishes in your endeavour to bring clarity and revelation to much of what appears confused and hidden as, in common with most on this forum, I share your view that the McCanns and their extended entourage are being, at best, economical with the truth.

I do have misgivings that the whole purpose of the CR Sledgehammer to crack your nut is to simply ensure that the proceedings stay entirely within their designated playground of breach of undertakings and they have years of experience in doing just this sort of things and preventing people who otherwise may have mitigating circumstances from ever getting those taken into account. I'm almost certain that their entire aim will be to slam dunk the breach of undertakings on the basis that anarchy would reign if anyone was able to breach undertakings, however unfair they may or may not be, entirely because they unilaterally decided they were unfair. Their argument will be (and it's hard to find great fault with it) that if you had an issue with the fairness of the undertakings, you should have applied to have them varied before you actually did anything that could be interpreted as a breach of those undertakings. Even if you were entrapped into doing so.

I have limited legal experience and almost all of it has been frustratingly similar in the outcome whereby otherwise logical arguments are simply blown out of the water by simplicities of legal casework proving a few times that "what's right isn't necessarily what's legal" and the law is, in my experience, most definitely the proverbial ass. It simply seems set up to favour those with the most money and best barristers rather than those that may still be morally right even if legally "in the wrong". I can't see how any judge can look past what seems a black and white breach in your case unless you are able to persuade the court that the undertakings breached were unfair in some way and therefore a full libel trial is needed in order to establish the rights and wrongs of what was said. Viewing that scenario objectively that appears to me to be a recipe for legal meltdown as it sends the message that people can breach undertakings and then try and argue the validity of those undertakings in court and in retrospect. IMO the courts would very quickly get full if this was to happen.

I truly hope that the Judge, even if they find against you, sees that this is all part of a larger picture and suspends sentencing until such time as it can be established whether there was, indeed, any such need for the undertaking you have given and, more to the point, why the McCanns seem intent on their pursuit of you almost exclusively when there are many, many more people out there stating things that appear to be far in excess of what the McCanns appear to be complaining about in your case.
I accept the validity of much of what you say. I certainly concede that signing an undertaking is effectively equivalent to being injuncted or being bound by a court order. Any breach of an undertaking must be taken seriously, as you quite rightly say, otherwise there would be anarchy - if anyone felt they could breach an undertaking when they felt like it. Apart from that, let us find out next week if there are any usual circumstances about this particular case that might affect the normal rule that undertakings must not be broken without going back to the court

____________________

Dr Martin Roberts: "The evidence is that these are the pjyamas Madeleine wore on holiday in Praia da Luz. They were photographed and the photo handed to a press agency, who released it on 8 May, as the search for Madeleine continued. The McCanns held up these same pyjamas at two press conferences on 5 & 7June 2007. How could Madeleine have been abducted?"

Amelie Mcann (aged 2): "Maddie's jammies!".  

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Post by Tony Bennett on 31.01.13 11:07

@bobbin wrote:
@Tony Bennett wrote:Received earlier this morning:

Tony,

You don't know me from Adam, but I have for a long time followed the case, your case, and all information on the Jill Havern forum & elswhere on the internet.

What you are doing is commendable, and I personally wish you all the best whatever happens next week.

I know you have many well wishers on the forums, but also rememeber there is many more anonymous/unregistered viewers who have the utmost respect for your hard work, endeavours & taken stance.

I pray for justice, I pray for the little girl & I will be praying for you next week.

Best wishes,

[name withheld]

Tony, this is so good. It is as I thought to be the case, many more out there than actually posting...
That's the main reason I posted it up

____________________

Dr Martin Roberts: "The evidence is that these are the pjyamas Madeleine wore on holiday in Praia da Luz. They were photographed and the photo handed to a press agency, who released it on 8 May, as the search for Madeleine continued. The McCanns held up these same pyjamas at two press conferences on 5 & 7June 2007. How could Madeleine have been abducted?"

Amelie Mcann (aged 2): "Maddie's jammies!".  

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Post by Guest on 31.01.13 11:15

@Tony Bennett wrote:
@bobbin wrote:
@Tony Bennett wrote:Received earlier this morning:

Tony,

You don't know me from Adam, but I have for a long time followed the case, your case, and all information on the Jill Havern forum & elswhere on the internet.

What you are doing is commendable, and I personally wish you all the best whatever happens next week.

I know you have many well wishers on the forums, but also rememeber there is many more anonymous/unregistered viewers who have the utmost respect for your hard work, endeavours & taken stance.

I pray for justice, I pray for the little girl & I will be praying for you next week.

Best wishes,

[name withheld]

Tony, this is so good. It is as I thought to be the case, many more out there than actually posting...
That's the main reason I posted it up

For each poster there is atleast 10 ano believers... Most people do not believe Mccann, only a few has the passion and time to read more and debate it..:) What we see her is just 1 % of the non believers :)

You have so many supporterts Tony I see them everywhere , and justice will come for you and for Madeleine ! 2013 - Year of truth - year of justice - never doubt it !! And the best of luck to you Tony !

Her is another supporter for you on FB :

Something we can all do to show our support for Anthony Bennett would be for us to invite friends, family, people in other groups to join us here, and get the link to this place out there. As John Mckinley, a member here said recently, this is OUR battle too and its time to show solidarity for the cause that Mr Bennett has fought so passionately for over the years. Should the McCanns succeed in having this courageous pensioner imprisoned then its up to each and every one of us to carry on and make this group a force to be reckoned with. We ask that EVERYONE who believes in TRUTH AND JUSTICE for Madeleine McCann, to please add their names here. Thanks.
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Post by PeterMac on 31.01.13 11:20

@bobbin wrote:
There are the two pans, one on either side of the 'scales of justice'.
On one side, sits the might and weight of the McCanns,
They have "might", but no "weight".
Their case is built of straw, and on sand. (to mix a metaphor !)

Tony has Weight, but no Might.

A judge has duty to "weigh", not to decide who is stronger.



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Post by jd on 31.01.13 11:26

@PeterMac wrote:
@bobbin wrote:
There are the two pans, one on either side of the 'scales of justice'.
On one side, sits the might and weight of the McCanns,
They have "might", but no "weight".
Their case is built of straw, and on sand. (to mix a metaphor !)

Tony has Weight, but no Might.

A judge has duty to "weigh", not to decide who is stronger.

And the weight is so strong it is totally crushing

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Post by C.Edwards on 31.01.13 11:28

@Tony Bennett wrote:Apart from that, let us find out next week if there are any usual circumstances about this particular case that might affect the normal rule that undertakings must not be broken without going back to the court

Interesting point Tony - is there case precedence for this? I'd be interested to read about it.
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Post by roy rovers on 31.01.13 11:57

I suspect that CR have advised the Mccs that they can win the breach of undertaking argument but the penalty IMHO will be minimal. The state can't afford to go locking up the likes of TB and anyway there will need to be a follow on trial to see if there was a libel in the first place.

I suspect that CR have advised the Mccs that they cannot win any ensuing libel trial unless something to their advantage crops up at the breach of undertakings hearing.

Hence maximum bluster next week then a sneaky retreat as the libel trial approaches. That's my prediction.
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Post by bristow on 31.01.13 12:01

I have read here that the McCanns will not be attending this hearing, can we be sure of this, were you told Tony?

Why wont they be there, do they consider themselves too grand to be there?
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Post by bobbin on 31.01.13 12:51

@C.Edwards wrote:
@Tony Bennett wrote:Apart from that, let us find out next week if there are any usual circumstances about this particular case that might affect the normal rule that undertakings must not be broken without going back to the court

Interesting point Tony - is there case precedence for this? I'd be interested to read about it.

Tony doesn't need precedence on this to pursue his determined course.
But Perhaps Tony's case will become that precedence.
You seem determined to focus on your one same argument without seeing that Tony has answered your question by indicating that he is not letting all of his arguments go on show at the moment.
As he says, 'Let us find out next week'.
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Post by Tony Bennett on 31.01.13 12:53

@bristow wrote:I have read here that the McCanns will not be attending this hearing, can we be sure of this, were you told Tony?

Why wont they be there, do they consider themselves too grand to be there?
I can't really answer 'C.Edwards' point in detail because of time and because I don't really want to declare my hand, but I can at least answer yours, 'bristow'.

It is indeed a remarkable fact that the McCanns are not there to give evidence about the facts that they rely on, and therefore, of course, cannot be cross-examined.

The 'lead' evidence is, instead, being given by one of Carter-Ruck's partners, Isabel Martorell (formerly Hudson). I am entitled to cross-examine her.

I did ask at the original Case Management hearing on 8 February last year for an order that the McCanns attend and give evidence, but Mr Justice Tugendhat refused my application.

In refusing it, he said (I can more or less recall the exact words he said):

"It is entirely up to the Claimants what evidence they bring to the Court. But you are entitled to raise the matter - of the fact that they have declined to give evidence in support of their case - in your closing submissions to the Court"

____________________

Dr Martin Roberts: "The evidence is that these are the pjyamas Madeleine wore on holiday in Praia da Luz. They were photographed and the photo handed to a press agency, who released it on 8 May, as the search for Madeleine continued. The McCanns held up these same pyjamas at two press conferences on 5 & 7June 2007. How could Madeleine have been abducted?"

Amelie Mcann (aged 2): "Maddie's jammies!".  

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Post by Tony Bennett on 31.01.13 13:03

@C.Edwards wrote:
@Tony Bennett wrote:Apart from that, let us find out next week if there are any usual circumstances about this particular case that might affect the normal rule that undertakings must not be broken without going back to the court

Interesting point Tony - is there case precedence for this? I'd be interested to read about it.
C.Edwards - you could look this up for yourself, here's a good website on which to start:

http://www.bailii.org/

If you find anything useful there or anywhere else, please let me know.

But hurry, because time's running out!

____________________

Dr Martin Roberts: "The evidence is that these are the pjyamas Madeleine wore on holiday in Praia da Luz. They were photographed and the photo handed to a press agency, who released it on 8 May, as the search for Madeleine continued. The McCanns held up these same pyjamas at two press conferences on 5 & 7June 2007. How could Madeleine have been abducted?"

Amelie Mcann (aged 2): "Maddie's jammies!".  

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Post by monkey mind on 31.01.13 13:48

@Tony Bennett wrote:
@bristow wrote:I have read here that the McCanns will not be attending this hearing, can we be sure of this, were you told Tony?

Why wont they be there, do they consider themselves too grand to be there?
I can't really answer 'C.Edwards' point in detail because of time and because I don't really want to declare my hand, but I can at least answer yours, 'bristow'.

It is indeed a remarkable fact that the McCanns are not there to give evidence about the facts that they rely on, and therefore, of course, cannot be cross-examined.

The 'lead' evidence is, instead, being given by one of Carter-Ruck's partners, Isabel Martorell (formerly Hudson). I am entitled to cross-examine her.


I did ask at the original Case Management hearing on 8 February last year for an order that the McCanns attend and give evidence, but Mr Justice Tugendhat refused my application.

In refusing it, he said (I can more or less recall the exact words he said):

"It is entirely up to the Claimants what evidence they bring to the Court. But you are entitled to raise the matter - of the fact that they have declined to give evidence in support of their case - in your closing submissions to the Court"
I’m gobsmacked. How on earth can you cross examine someone whose acting on instruction whose evidence would essentially be hearsay? It’s a complete contradiction and evidentially has no value.

Hearsay:-

1. Unverified information heard or received from another; rumor.
2. Law Evidence based on the reports of others rather than the personal knowledge of a witness and therefore generally not admissible as testimony.

The entire purpose of cross examination is to question a person in detail about sworn evidence they have given, to clarify, confirm, negate or elicit new information. In other words to test the veracity of a given statement in open court.

You most certainly cannot do that by questioning a person’s lawyer.
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Post by Bob Southgate on 31.01.13 14:16

@Tony Bennett wrote:
I did ask at the original Case Management hearing on 8 February last year for an order that the McCanns attend and give evidence, but Mr Justice Tugendhat refused my application.

In refusing it, he said (I can more or less recall the exact words he said):

"It is entirely up to the Claimants what evidence they bring to the Court. But you are entitled to raise the matter - of the fact that they have declined to give evidence in support of their case - in your closing submissions to the Court"

That appears to me to be an invitation to make whatever inferences you feel necessary Tony on the failure of the McCann's to attend court in support of their claim and leave themselves open to proper cross examination.

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Post by C.Edwards on 31.01.13 14:16

@monkey mind wrote:I’m gobsmacked. How on earth can you cross examine someone whose acting on instruction whose evidence would essentially be hearsay? It’s a complete contradiction and evidentially has no value.

Hearsay:-

1. Unverified information heard or received from another; rumor.
2. Law Evidence based on the reports of others rather than the personal knowledge of a witness and therefore generally not admissible as testimony.

The entire purpose of cross examination is to question a person in detail about sworn evidence they have given, to clarify, confirm, negate or elicit new information. In other words to test the veracity of a given statement in open court.

You most certainly cannot do that by questioning a person’s lawyer.

I think the point is that these proceedings are for establishing whether there was contempt. It's nothing to do with the veracity or otherwise of anything the McCanns may or may not have said. CR (I believe) want to treat Tony's undertaking as a simple (voluntary) contract (partially, at least, to give Tony less chance of claiming duress I would think) and his alleged contempt is being treated as a breach of that contract. This is pretty much a black and white matter - i.e. the person giving the undertaking stated they would/wouldn't do x,y and z, can it be established that they have/haven't done as undertaken? This isn't a matter of establishing from the McCanns about what did or didn't happen, this is purely a case of (to use a completely unrelated example) "the defendant stated he would paint his face green and walk around in flippers forever more, but he's been seen without his face painted and without flippers on. End of story."

There is simply no need, at this juncture, for the McCanns to attend, it's irrelevant to the proceedings really. Of course by treating the undertaking as a simple contract, they are opening themselves up to the possibility of said contract being deemed unfair and therefore unenforceable and I think it is in that area that Tony has most hope. Obviously CR will fight vigorously against Tony's application to vary his undertakings as otherwise this will result in libel proceedings coming to the fore again and it seems apparent that the McCanns have no wish whatsoever to appear in a court under oath and answering probing questions. I would think it unlikely in the circumstances that any Judge would simply take an argument against the application as "the defendant has no chance of proving he has the right to honest comment as far as we're concerned, your honour" as a basis for denying Tony his application, but even if the application is allowed to go ahead, it will require some pretty detailed legal arguments (arguably precedent-setting ones) to effectively remove the blanket ban that the McCanns appear to treat the undertaking as.

Having read through Justice Tugendhat's judgment again, I do actually feel you have a better chance of coming away from these proceedings with minimal damage than I originally thought, Tony. I wish you well.
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Post by Tony Bennett on 31.01.13 14:51

@C.Edwards wrote:I think the point is that these proceedings are for establishing whether there was contempt. It's nothing to do with the veracity or otherwise of anything the McCanns may or may not have said...
C.Edwards, I can truly say that that is one of the most incredible statements I have ever seen on any forum, certainly about this case, let alone just on this forum. Otherwise, I am just speechless...so will let others give voice...

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Dr Martin Roberts: "The evidence is that these are the pjyamas Madeleine wore on holiday in Praia da Luz. They were photographed and the photo handed to a press agency, who released it on 8 May, as the search for Madeleine continued. The McCanns held up these same pyjamas at two press conferences on 5 & 7June 2007. How could Madeleine have been abducted?"

Amelie Mcann (aged 2): "Maddie's jammies!".  

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