Williams v Craig appeal – reserved decision

Not surprisingly the Court of Appeal has reserved it’s decision after a two day appeal hearing in the defamation case between Jordan Williams and Colin Craig.

Stuff:  Jordan Williams might be victim of his own success in defamation case

The Court of Appeal has reserved its decision on his attempt to recapture the $1.27 million award for defamation the jury made against Conservative Party founder and former leader Colin Craig.

It was such a big win  – the largest defamation award in New Zealand, and the maximum Williams had sought – that a High Court judge set it aside, and the Court of Appeal looks unlikely to reinstate it.

After the jury’s award was set aside and a new trial ordered, Williams appealed to have the jury’s verdicts upheld.

The Court of Appeal indicated that the damages probably could not stand.

If damages alone had to be assessed again, it was a question of whether the original trial judge could fix them; whether a jury might do so, based on a more limited body of evidence; or whether the whole case had to be run again.

Williams’ other lawyer, Peter McKnight, said Williams would agree to having the original trial judge fix damages, even though she appeared to have an adverse view about Williams in some respects.

That sounds like an acceptance that a lower award is inevitable, at best, and Williams obviously wants to retain the verdict.

Craig’s lawyer Stephen Mills, QC, said the Court of Appeal had to be satisfied the jury had not reached its decisions through “gross prejudice”.

Craig wants a new trial to have another chance at defending himself.

The original judgment took a long time. The judgment in Slater v Craig is taking a long time – the case was hear in May.

It seems unlikely a decision will be made here before the end of the year.

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2 Comments

  1. Tipene

     /  November 22, 2017

    The media just keep getting it wrong.

    It wasn’t just the damages award that was set aside – it was the entire verdict.

    Williams press release, first line:

    “Lawyers for Jordan Williams are appealing the judgment setting aside last year’s jury verdict in the Williams v Craig defamation proceedings………………”

    See clause 109 of Katz J judgement to affirm same.

    Reply
  2. patupaiarehe

     /  November 22, 2017

    Craig wants a new trial to have another chance at defending himself.

    I suspect that Craig wants a new trial, only because he knows that his opponent will exhaust his funds first.

    Reply

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