Case Law, Australia: Dank v Nationwide News Pty Ltd: Twenty days in Stephen Dank’s defamation trial but Zero Damages – Justin Castelan

5 04 2016

DankSince 2013, the Australian sporting landscape has been dominated, not by any particularly amazing footballer, cricketer or athlete. No, it has been dominated by Stephen Dank – “sports scientist”. He is the man responsible for bringing into the Australian consciousness a range of strange sounding peptides, unknown Mexican amino acids and apparently useful horse supplements. He also brought them into the bloodstreams of elite sportsmen across different footballing codes in different states and for different teams. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Australia: Vakras v Cripps, Artists’ appeal upheld, record verdict set aside and re-trial ordered – Justin Castelan

9 08 2015

Victoria Supreme CourtIn 2014, a gallery owner, Raymond Cripps was awarded a record $420,000 defamation verdict in the Victorian Supreme Court. The verdict was made by His Honour Justice Kyrou against two surrealist artists, Demetrios Vakras and Lee-Anne Raymond. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Australia: Jeffrey and Curnow v Giles, Crushed rock damages award increased on appeal – Justin Castelan

6 06 2015

casacirJeffrey and Curnow were defamed by statements made by Virginia Giles on a website in 2011. The plaintiffs were directors of a company, Casacir Pty Ltd, which operates a quarry in the south of Victoria. The defendant’s company owned the neighbouring property and the defendant planned to retire there. So when the plaintiff applied for a permit to use the land as a quarry, the defendant objected and there was a hearing at VCAT about that. The defendant lost and the quarry was allowed. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Australia: Moran v Schwartz Publishing Pty Ltd, CSI Lismore: German backpacker’s efforts to prevent publication of book all in vain – Justin Castelan

27 02 2015

tobias-moranIn early 2005, the plaintiff, a German National with a working visa in Australia, was travelling along the east coast of Australia in a campervan with his German girlfriend of 6 and a half years, Simone Strobel. By the time they got to Lismore, they had been joined by the plaintiff’s sister, Katrin and another friend from their village in Germany called Jens. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Australia: Polias v Ryall, Defendants go all-in: Plaintiff calls their bluff and wins the $340,000 pot – Justin Castelan

22 02 2015

poliasThe plaintiff and four defendants were poker players used to playing high stakes games: hands worth thousands of dollars. In the middle of 2012, the plaintiff and the first defendant went to Las Vegas for a tournament and shared a room. Evidently for them, what happens in Vegas did not stay in Vegas. Read the rest of this entry »





Australia: Dank’s defamation juggernaut faces first hurdles – Justin Castelan

12 09 2013

Dr DankThe biggest name in Australian sport this year is not a footballer, a cricketer or even an athlete. The biggest name in Australian sport is Dr Stephen Dank, a “sports scientist”.  He is not a medical doctor, but in 2011 and 2012, he was brought in to help at least two clubs: the Essendon Football Club in the AFL and the Cronulla Sharks in the NRL, the National Rugby League. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Australia: Cronulla-Sutherland District Rugby League Football Club Ltd v Nationwide News Pty Ltd, Cronulla’s legal advice on ASADA kept confidential – Justin Castelan

7 07 2013

Cronulla SharksThe biggest news in Australian sport this year has been the investigation by the Australian Crime Commission and the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) into the alleged use by athletes and members of sporting teams of peptides and similar so-called alleged performance enhancing products. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Australia: Sands v South Australia, No tort for breach of privacy – Justin Castelan

21 04 2013

sandsIn a trial that ran for 55 days late last year and concluding in February this year, the plaintiff, Derick John Sands, has lost his claim for defamation, as well as other claims including a breach of confidence and a breach of his right to privacy. Judgment was given on 5 April 2013 ([2013] SASC 44). Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Australia: Gluyas v Best, Emphatic win for Aspergers’ Advocate – Justin Castelan

9 02 2013

vsc1Now 47, Philip Gluyas was 31 when he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. On the one hand, Asperger’s can mean that a person has difficulties empathizing with people and dealing with social interactions that many people take for granted, like non-verbal communication. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Australia, Belbin v Lower Murray Urban and Rural Water Corporation, Water Corporation sent down the river for Aus$295,000 – Justin Castelan

19 01 2013

In the northwest of Victoria sits the orange-picking town of Mildura on the Murray River. To get there from Melbourne usually involves a 6-hour drive or a small flight on a plane with a flip-top lid. But it was there in Mildura where Justice Stephen Kaye and a jury of six heard a defamation trial that ran for 22 days and traversed the many great and wondrous issues that defamation trials can throw up.  Judgment was given on 9 November 2012 ([2012] VSC 535). Read the rest of this entry »