Wagatha verdict

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noggins
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Wagatha verdict

Post by noggins » Sat Jul 30, 2022 11:29 am

Following the Wagatha Christie case im struck again by how f.cked up our legal system can be

Rooney claims that “Vardy’s Instagram account” is leaking stories.

Vardy sues for libel.

Justice Warby, being a f.cking moron, rules that because an ordinary Idiot might think this is a direct accusation against Vardy, it therefore is. And so Rooney has to prove that Vardy personally did it, not just demonstrate via he lr impressive Columbo-esque deductions that Vardys instagram account is the source of the leaks.

Then , in a super case of eating your kept cake, part of Vardys case is that someone else eg her agent has access to her Instagram account and could have done the leaks.


Right result in the end but what a palaver.
And if Vardys agent had turned up in court and convincingly said “yep, i did it, without my clients direction or knowledge” would Vardy have won?

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Re: Wagatha verdict

Post by discovolante » Sat Jul 30, 2022 12:12 pm

Tbf I think everyone thought it was Vardy at the time and just enjoyed Colleen's super sneaky sleuthery in just saying it was her account.
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Re: Wagatha verdict

Post by Gfamily » Sat Jul 30, 2022 12:33 pm

The deletion / loss of messages between V and her agent coincident with the demand for disclosure is a very strong indicator that the "without my client's direction or knowledge" is a load of bobbins.
ETA
As for your comment about the interpretation by the Justice, you'll recall the original post was this
EGbTKP1WoAA-ANy.jpeg
EGbTKP1WoAA-ANy.jpeg (111.86 KiB) Viewed 623 times
The 'someone who I trusted ' would not have been V's agent, but V herself, so I think you've been a bit bobbins yourself in that regard.
Last edited by Gfamily on Sat Jul 30, 2022 12:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Wagatha verdict

Post by Opti » Sat Jul 30, 2022 12:40 pm

The judge agreed with your conclusion.


... There was widespread mockery in court of the loss of potentially crucial evidence by Vardy and those around her. Rooney’s lawyers invoked a legal precedent from 1722 to argue that, in the absence of evidence, the judge should assume the worst. ...
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Re: Wagatha verdict

Post by noggins » Sat Jul 30, 2022 12:46 pm

But dont you think that Warbys initial ruling is frighteningly wrong? Its absurd to differentiate between the owner of a social media account and persons that the owner has delegated access to.

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Re: Wagatha verdict

Post by Aitch » Sat Jul 30, 2022 12:49 pm

Oh, where's the man on the Clapham omnibus when you need him?
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Re: Wagatha verdict

Post by noggins » Sat Jul 30, 2022 1:14 pm

Gfamily wrote:
Sat Jul 30, 2022 12:33 pm
The deletion / loss of messages between V and her agent coincident with the demand for disclosure is a very strong indicator that the "without my client's direction or knowledge" is a load of bobbins.
ETA
As for your comment about the interpretation by the Justice, you'll recall the original post was this

EGbTKP1WoAA-ANy.jpeg

The 'someone who I trusted ' would not have been V's agent, but V herself, so I think you've been a bit bobbins yourself in that regard.
Dont be silly. Basic security is part of trust.

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Re: Wagatha verdict

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Jul 30, 2022 1:59 pm

noggins wrote:
Sat Jul 30, 2022 12:46 pm
But dont you think that Warbys initial ruling is frighteningly wrong? Its absurd to differentiate between the owner of a social media account and persons that the owner has delegated access to.
Well, the "someone she trusted" was Vardy, but Vardy could have breached that trust by sharing the posts only with her agent, who then shared them with The Sun (even without Vardy's knowledge) - which I think was Vardy's defense.

Personally I'd say that Vardy would still be culpable in such a situation, and I wouldn't consider it defamatory - but libel law is f.cking weird.
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Re: Wagatha verdict

Post by Gfamily » Sat Jul 30, 2022 3:10 pm

noggins wrote:
Sat Jul 30, 2022 12:46 pm
But dont you think that Warbys initial ruling is frighteningly wrong? Its absurd to differentiate between the owner of a social media account and persons that the owner has delegated access to.
Precisely, which is why Rooney's post was deemed to be pointing towards V.
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Re: Wagatha verdict

Post by noggins » Sat Jul 30, 2022 4:27 pm

Yeah, which is why Rooney should only have been made to prove that the account was the source, not obliged to fathom out whether it was Vardy or a proxy.

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Re: Wagatha verdict

Post by dyqik » Sat Jul 30, 2022 5:25 pm

Gfamily wrote:
Sat Jul 30, 2022 3:10 pm
noggins wrote:
Sat Jul 30, 2022 12:46 pm
But dont you think that Warbys initial ruling is frighteningly wrong? Its absurd to differentiate between the owner of a social media account and persons that the owner has delegated access to.
Precisely, which is why Rooney's post was deemed to be pointing towards V.
The idea that you can libel someone by accusing them of doing something that was actually done by one of their employees, in their name, and in the course of their employment is the problem with libel law and the judgement here.

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Re: Wagatha verdict

Post by sTeamTraen » Mon Aug 01, 2022 1:56 pm

One aspect of the judgement that I enjoyed was the judge's brisk dismissal of the claims that Vardy's laptop was trashed by the process of making a backup of her WhatsApp messages (which the court asked for) and her agent's "accidentally" dropping her phone (which the court had asked for) into the sea. In several scientific fraud cases with which I am familiar, excuses of the form "Multiple dogs broke into my house and ate all of my homework while I looked on helplessly" have been considered quite plausible, or at least there was much handwringing ("Well, they could be telling the truth...").
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Re: Wagatha verdict

Post by IvanV » Thu Aug 04, 2022 1:50 pm

In summary, Vardy should have had no prospect of succeeding in a libel claim. Rooney's statement in the paper looks to have been carefully worded to minimise the risk. And, in the end, Vardy did fail in her suit, even though the judge seemed to be making it strangely difficult for Rooney to defend the case.

So why did Vardy pursue such a case with such poor prospects, and whose loss could only reflect badly on her? Rapacious lawyers egging her on with poor advice? Or an ego that couldn't be persuaded to back down and accept the likelihood of losing the case? Or after publication did Vardy no longer care about her reputation, and decided that the pursuit of a libel case, even if she lost, was a kind of punishment for Rooney? Or did she think that all publicity is useful publicity?

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Re: Wagatha verdict

Post by noggins » Thu Aug 04, 2022 4:46 pm

For reform, what would the downside of shifting the burden of proof to the plaintiff - make them prove that the libel or slander is untrue?

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Re: Wagatha verdict

Post by basementer » Thu Aug 04, 2022 5:00 pm

IvanV wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 1:50 pm
So why did Vardy pursue such a case with such poor prospects, and whose loss could only reflect badly on her? Rapacious lawyers egging her on with poor advice? Or an ego that couldn't be persuaded to back down and accept the likelihood of losing the case? Or after publication did Vardy no longer care about her reputation, and decided that the pursuit of a libel case, even if she lost, was a kind of punishment for Rooney? Or did she think that all publicity is useful publicity?
As the saying goes, never attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
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Re: Wagatha verdict

Post by IvanV » Thu Aug 04, 2022 5:25 pm

basementer wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 5:00 pm
IvanV wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 1:50 pm
So why did Vardy pursue such a case with such poor prospects, and whose loss could only reflect badly on her? Rapacious lawyers egging her on with poor advice? Or an ego that couldn't be persuaded to back down and accept the likelihood of losing the case? Or after publication did Vardy no longer care about her reputation, and decided that the pursuit of a libel case, even if she lost, was a kind of punishment for Rooney? Or did she think that all publicity is useful publicity?
As the saying goes, never attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
I suspect you may be right on this occasion. But malice is such a common reason for libel suits, especially weak libel suits, that we do have to give malice more regard on this occasion than your maxim suggests.

People do regularly sue for libel simply for malice, simply to teach the defendant a lesson. Because even winning a libel trial that you defended, even awarded costs, it is unlikely that it will sufficiently compensate you for the actual costs of defending the trial, both in time and money. That was why Richard Desmond came out of the court smiling at the end of his lost libel suit against Tom Bower, and generally tells people he won. Because he got what he wanted by having the trial - he didn't need to win. He had made it clear to Bower that publishing anything about Desmond (Desmond had a completed manuscript of a book about Desmond - Desmond sued in relation to some brief remarks in a book about Conrad Black) was going to be a bad idea. And he was content even though he had to pay (the court's interpretation of) Bower's costs. Interestingly, on that occasion also, the judge made it hard for Bower to win what he obviously should have won. As with Singh's trial relating to chiropractice and its bogus treatments, with Eady J presiding in each case, the defendants had to appeal various of Eady's rulings within the trial to a higher court to get justice.

Depp's 2nd libel trial in Virginia looked motivated by just that kind of malice. He had nothing more to lose of his reputation, plenty of money he didn't need. And in the US, there aren't cost awards, so Heard would definitely have to bear the cost of defence. And it looked like he would probably lose again. After all, he lost in England, which you'd think was easier to win in. As it happens he won. In part it was lucky that the natural jurisdiction for the trial was Virginia, which is a relatively libel-friendly jurisdiction by US standards. But nowhere in the US is as libel-friendly as England. It wasn't exactly the same suit. In Britain he sued a newspaper, but in Virginia he sued Heard directly. But the essential points seemed to be the same. So you'd have thought he was on a hiding to nothing, and the purpose of the suit was punishment.

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Re: Wagatha verdict

Post by Millennie Al » Fri Aug 05, 2022 1:17 am

IvanV wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 1:50 pm
So why did Vardy pursue such a case with such poor prospects, and whose loss could only reflect badly on her?
Based on the remark in the judgement about self-deception, I think she believed she had not leaked the information - probably because she considered that she just passed the information on to Watt who then passed it on to be published. The reasoning being that if Watt had not passed it on it wouldn't have been published, so she was the leaker and not Vardy. So, filled with righteous indignation, which was especially aggravated by the initial judgement on the meaning of the words, Vardy feels she is in the right and therefore must win - especially once some awkward evidence was safely at the bottom of the sea.

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Re: Wagatha verdict

Post by basementer » Fri Aug 05, 2022 5:43 am

IvanV wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 5:25 pm
basementer wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 5:00 pm
IvanV wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 1:50 pm
So why did Vardy pursue such a case with such poor prospects, and whose loss could only reflect badly on her? Rapacious lawyers egging her on with poor advice? Or an ego that couldn't be persuaded to back down and accept the likelihood of losing the case? Or after publication did Vardy no longer care about her reputation, and decided that the pursuit of a libel case, even if she lost, was a kind of punishment for Rooney? Or did she think that all publicity is useful publicity?
As the saying goes, never attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
I suspect you may be right on this occasion. But malice is such a common reason for libel suits, especially weak libel suits, that we do have to give malice more regard on this occasion than your maxim suggests...
Acknowledged, Ivan.
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Re: Wagatha verdict

Post by IvanV » Fri Aug 05, 2022 8:27 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 1:17 am
Based on the remark in the judgement about self-deception, I think she believed she had not leaked the information - probably because she considered that she just passed the information on to Watt who then passed it on to be published. The reasoning being that if Watt had not passed it on it wouldn't have been published, so she was the leaker and not Vardy. So, filled with righteous indignation, which was especially aggravated by the initial judgement on the meaning of the words, Vardy feels she is in the right and therefore must win - especially once some awkward evidence was safely at the bottom of the sea.
Would have been a very good moment to settle. But as you say, if you are filled with righteous indignation, you don't settle.

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Re: Wagatha verdict

Post by Gfamily » Fri Aug 05, 2022 8:35 am

IvanV wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 8:27 am
Millennie Al wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 1:17 am
Based on the remark in the judgement about self-deception, I think she believed she had not leaked the information - probably because she considered that she just passed the information on to Watt who then passed it on to be published. The reasoning being that if Watt had not passed it on it wouldn't have been published, so she was the leaker and not Vardy. So, filled with righteous indignation, which was especially aggravated by the initial judgement on the meaning of the words, Vardy feels she is in the right and therefore must win - especially once some awkward evidence was safely at the bottom of the sea.
Would have been a very good moment to settle. But as you say, if you are filled with righteous indignation, you don't settle.
Part of the reason for pressing on may have been that Rooney had previously made a settlement offer. So, if Vardy had won, but been awarded a lower amount of damages, she would still have had to pay the additional legal expenses incurred.
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Re: Wagatha verdict

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:15 am

What would her lawyers' advice have been? Presumably they get paid more if it goes to trial rather than settling, but equally if she ends up bankrupted by a duff case it'll be tricky for them to get their money.
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Re: Wagatha verdict

Post by IvanV » Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:15 am

Gfamily wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 8:35 am
IvanV wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 8:27 am
...the initial judgement on the meaning of the words,...
Would have been a very good moment to settle. But as you say, if you are filled with righteous indignation, you don't settle.
Part of the reason for pressing on may have been that Rooney had previously made a settlement offer. So, if Vardy had won, but been awarded a lower amount of damages, she would still have had to pay the additional legal expenses incurred.
Usually the risk of getting an award of less than a settlement offer notified to the court, is a reason to settle, not a reason to carry on. The initial judgment, presenting a setback to Rooney, would normally have provided a basis for Vardy to negotiate an improvement in the settlement offer previously notified to the court.

In fact that makes me wonder. Maybe Rooney had made such a generous settlement offer, in an attempt to stop the case, regardless of Rooney's excellent chances of winning the case, that it made Vardy think that Rooney was expecting to lose. If then no large improvement in offer came after that legal setback, the offer already being generous enough regardless of that setback, then maybe that was what made Vardy think she could do better by carrying on.

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Re: Wagatha verdict

Post by IvanV » Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:23 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:15 am
What would her lawyers' advice have been? Presumably they get paid more if it goes to trial rather than settling, but equally if she ends up bankrupted by a duff case it'll be tricky for them to get their money.
Most lawyers won't work if they think they won't get paid. It's very common for lawyers to make their clients put money into an escrow, which they can then draw down. Equally, putting money into a lawyer's escrow, and then being refunded it, is a known method of money laundering. So lawyers do have to be a little careful about that, as facilitating money laundering in that way is something lawyers can be prosecuted for.

In principle the court can do the same thing, make a litigant pay money into court as security for what they might have to pay to the other party in the case when it ends. Given the number of occasions that litigants end up unable to pay the other party, I don't think they do it often enough.

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Re: Wagatha verdict

Post by Gfamily » Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:29 am

I think Vardy wanted her day in court, to be properly, visibly vindicated and thought that is what would happen.
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Re: Wagatha verdict

Post by discovolante » Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:25 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:15 am
What would her lawyers' advice have been? Presumably they get paid more if it goes to trial rather than settling, but equally if she ends up bankrupted by a duff case it'll be tricky for them to get their money.
They would have got payment on account, and if they weren't total crooks then (based on how badly she lost) they would have encouraged her to settle. Probably given an estimate of prospects of success at trial in percentage terms, but her call in the end of course seeing as it was her money. But maybe they did genuinely give bad advice who knows.
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