A damning post by Peter Aranyi on the Judge’s setting aside of the jury award of ‘excessive damages’ in the Jordan Williams v Colin Craig defamation case: About that Jordan Williams damages award…
This highlights how damning Judge Katz’s ruling was.
Williams nor has some difficult decisions to make. Craig has indicated that he won’t agree to allowing the judge to determine damages, so this leaves three options (that I can think of):
- A new trial
- Walk away
- Appeal Judge Katz’s ruling
Williams and his legal team have incurred large costs that I presume cannot be claimed off his opponent in the trial already held, unless Craig agrees to the judge deciding damages (he understandably doesn’t agree to that) and also costs, or if Williams wins an appeal and gets a substantial damages award plus costs.
If the new trial option is taken then I presume no costs can be sought on the case that has been set aside, so Jordan has an unrecoverable big bill before he starts a new case.
In a new trial a number of claims by Williams can’t (surely) be repeated after Katz pointed out that they were false and that Williams had lied.
So a new trial would have less material to claim on.
And Judge Katz has set a benchmark indication of appropriate costs that are far less than what the last trial jury awarded.
There’s a chance that Williams would lose altogether. Or he could win small – and not get anything like a recovery on his costs over the two trials.
Obviously walking away would also be costly for Williams.
He and his legal team have some decisions to make. The risks of losing are higher, and the chances of coming out ahead financially are doubtful.
And Williams’ reputation has been severely damaged, more so from his own actions than Craig’s.
I expect he will be watching Craig V Slater with interest – and possibly trepidation – before making a decision on what to do.
Dirty politics may have succeeded in killing off Craig’s political ambitions, but it has also resulted in self inflicted wounds on Williams too, in both the political and legal worlds.