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Letter - Tony Bennett to Carter Ruck 5th Jan 2013

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Letter - Tony Bennett to Carter Ruck 5th Jan 2013

Post  Karen on Sun 6 Jan - 11:27

http://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t6211-flagrant-breaches-of-your-undertakings-say-carter-ruck-in-their-letter-of-4-january-in-the-case-of-mccanns-v-bennett-here-s-my-reply-sent-to-them-today

Thanks to Jill Havern site
From: Tony Bennett

Tel: Mobile (07835) 716537

e-mail: ajsbennett@btinternet.com

Saturday 5 January 2012

Carter-Ruck
Solicitors
6 St. Andrew Street
LONDON
EC4A 3AE

Ref: Adam Tudor/Isabel Martorell, formerly Hudson AT/IH/SVL//13837.5

Dear Sirs

re: Your clients Dr Gerald and Dr Kate McCann: McCanns v Bennett

I am in receipt of your e-mailed letter yesterday (4 January).

In that letter, you and your clients take exception to two internet postings of mine, one on the Jill Havern forum (‘Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann’) on 19 November 2012, and the other on the Australian ‘BigFooty’ discussion site on 19 December 2012.

You state in your letter that “These postings clearly breach the undertakings which you gave to the court on 25 November 2009 and which are the subject of the contempt application”.

You give details of extracts from those two postings which, you say, “…undoubtedly allege that there are, at the very least, grounds to suspect our clients of causing the alleged death of their daughter and/or of lying about what happened and/or of seeking to cover up what they had done”.

On page 2 of your letter, you describe these as “flagrant contempts of Court”.

You add on page 3 that: “You have treated your obligations to the Court (in the form of your undertakings to the Court) with the utmost derision…”

You proceed to add that: “…your conduct has caused and continues to cause our clients very considerable distress and upset”. I assume from that passage of your letter that your clients have read the two postings in question which you say have caused them ‘very considerable’ distress and upset.

In response, I will set out in full the two postings which you say have caused distress and upset to your clients, bolding the particular passages to which you and they object, and adding a number beside each significant statement, as I shall refer to them by number below:

The posting on Jill Havern’s forum on 19 November 2012

A question is asked by a relatively new member of the forum, which now has 2,084 members, as follows:

“So I have another two questions for people here. Do you think your discussions and posts amount to harassment of the McCanns?

Is discuss(ing) evidence that suggest(s) they could have some involvement in Madeleine's disappearance close to libellous by inference or innuendo?”

My reply:

“By any standards, this is a unique case - like no other. I hesitate to pronounce about libel law, but as the law stands, whilst you must not defame people by saying 'untrue' things about them, there is also the right to 'fair comment'. The 'fair comment' defence, however, means that you must have a reasonable basis for making the comments that you do.

"Also, to suggest that someone is lying to the extent of covering up a death is indeed a serious accusation requiring a great deal of factual back-up.

"In this case (I'll be brief), we have:

* cadaver dogs who alerted to 11 locations where a body had been [I realise this is hotly disputed] (*1)

* circumstantial evidence (arguably, in spades) (*2)

* an entire police team which pulled in the couple for questioning and made them both suspects (*3)

* the investigation co-ordinator laying out in a 200-page book his basis for suggesting that Madeleine died in G5A and there has been a cover-up (*4)

* despite the McCanns spending tens or hundreds [of thousands] of pounds, the Portuguese Appeal and Supreme Courts (Oct 10 and March 11) unbanned the co-ordinator's book and said that pending the final libel trial, it was OK for the book to be sold, read and discussed.

"In those circumsances, should we write or say nothing? Should we dare to ask questions?”

The posting on the Australian ‘BigFooty’ forum, 19 December 2013

This post explains my continuing interest in the mystery of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance, once described by your clients’ chief public relations officer, Clarence Mitchell, as ‘a complete mystery’. Once again, I shall bold the passages which you claim to be a ‘flagrant’ contempt of court:

“I am replying to an invitation from ‘grizzlym’ here to contribute to this discussion. I have signed up and registered in my own name, as has been my habit ever since I joined an internet forum.

“This is my interest in the case. I have researched it for 5 years. I wrote a 64-page booklet on the case (published Dec 2008) which sold steadily in the UK until the McCanns succeeded in banning it by a restraining order. I have since published a 108-page second book on the case which consists entirely of relevant material from the official police files. Titled: ‘The Madeleine McCann Case Files, Volume 1’, the McCanns want to ban that book as well, but at present I am still allowed to sell it.

“Currently I face prison for continuing to publish detailed research on the case and articulating my doubts, as a result of 'Contempt of Court' proceedings brought against me in the High Court by the McCanns. In the UK, these are classed as civil, not criminal, proceedings.

“I will just say three things about the case.

“First, an entire team of (Portuguese) detectives decided there were grounds for making the McCanns official suspects in the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine. (*5) Their reasons for doing so were summarised in an interim report dated 10 September 2007; (*6) that report is included in my latest book on the case. (*7)

"Second, the senior officer in the case, Dr Goncalo Amaral, wrote a book on the case, titled: 'The Truth About A Lie'. The McCanns have brought libel proceedings against him; the final hearing of this long-running action will be heard in Portugal in January. From September 2009 to October 2010, the lower Portuguese courts banned his book as 'libellous'. But the Portuguese Appeal and Supreme Courts overturned this ban, awarding costs against the McCanns. His book is freely on sale throughout Europe, having been translated into 9 European languages already. It has sold >500,000 copies.

“Third, two British cadaver dogs (springer spaniels), one trained to alert to blood and one trained to alert to the past presence of a human corpse, detected cadaver odour at 11 places associated with the McCanns: (*8) 4 places in their apartment, on 3 items of clothing belonging to them, at 3 places in their hired car and on a soft toy belonging to Madeleine. (*9) The dogs alerted to nowhere else in the village (Praia da Luz) where the family was staying. (*10) The McCanns have struggled to explain these findings. (*11) The dog handler, Martin Grime, is a recognised world expert on the handling of sniffer dogs (*12) and now works full-time for the FBI in the US (*13).

“Given my current legal situation, I had better not say any more right now, but I shall be pleased, if I can, to answer factual questions about the case.

"Finally, I have never suggested that the McCanns deliberately killed Madeleine”.

Your client’s statement about free speech on oath to the Leveson enquiry on press standards, November 2011

Your clients both gave evidence to the Leveson enquiry. They were made ‘core participants’ for the Leveson enquiry because Lord Leveson considered that they had been appallingly treated by the press. This gave them the benefit of being able to have free legal advice and representation at the taxpayer’s expense at the Leveson enquiry and I have no doubt that they took expert legal advice, possibly from yourselves, possibly from other lawyers.

Your clients were elevated within the enquiry to the position where Lord Leveson and even the Prime Minister of the country, David Cameron, felt able to say that Lord Leveson’s recommendations ‘must satisfy the Dowlers and the McCanns’. Your clients and their evidence were prominently featured by the media during the Leveson enquiry and they were much photographed and in evidence in the print and visual media on the day Lord Leveson announced his findings and recommendations and on the day after. All of this followed the Prime Minister bowing to pressure from the Chief Executive Officer of News International, Rebekah Brooks, for the government to set up a review into Madeleine’s disappearance by Scotland Yard without limit of time, and costing an estimated £2 million a year, at your clients’ express request. Asked by Lord Leveson if she had ‘threatened’ the Prime Minister into setting up this review, she said, in terms: “I would use the word ‘persuaded’, not ‘threatened’.”

With your clients thus at the very centre of concerns about the reporting of any aspect of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, it was therefore of huge significance to hear what your client Dr Gerald McCann would state on oath to the Leveson enquiry on the subject.

The following is taken from the transcript of the Leveson enquiry on 23 November 2011, the evidence of Dr Gerald McCann, page 72 of that afternoon’s transcript. This evidence was given eight days before you served me with a box of documents seeking to commit me to prison for things that I had written about Madeleine’s disappearance:

Dr Gerald McCann in reply to Lord Leveson:

“Thank you, sir. I would like to emphasise that I strongly believe in freedom of speech, but where you have people who are repeatedly carrying out inaccuracies and have been shown to do so, then they should be held to account. That is the issue. I don't have a problem with somebody purporting a theory, writing fiction, suggestions, but clearly we've got to a stage where substandard reporting and sources, unnamed, made-up, non-verifiable, are a daily occurrence”.

In the above passage, said on oath by a person who was legally represented, Dr McCann made these seven points:

1. He is not only a believer in free speech, but ‘a strong’ believer in free speech

2. People shown to have been ‘repeatedly carrying out inaccuracies’ should be ‘held to account’ - that is the main issue for him

3. He has no problem with people ‘purporting’ [by which I think he meant ‘propounding’] theories

4. He has no problem with people ‘writing fiction’

5. He has no problem with people ‘writing [making] suggestions’

6. He objects to ‘substandard reporting’

7. He objects to people using ‘unnamed, made-up, non-verifiable’ sources.

It is clear from what your client said on oath that his key objection is to ‘inaccuracies’. He objects to what purports to be fact, but is derived from ‘unnamed, made-up, non-verifiable’ sources.

If you examine the correspondence between yourselves and me over the past three years I can never recollect one occasion on which you have pulled me up over an inaccurate statement. When I published my book, ‘60 Reasons’, on 7 December 2008, I wrote to your client, to Clarence Mitchell and to yourselves, offering to correct any statement I made which could be demonstrated to be factually incorrect. I have never been challenged by your clients on any factual statement that I have made.

Your client told the Leveson enquiry that he did not object to people propounding theories or making suggestions. Yet, contrary to his statements on oath to Lord Leveson, he seeks to have me imprisoned, fined or have my assets seized for publishing facts (which he has never challenged) and for articulating opinions based on those facts.

Quite aside from your client’s stated views on freedom of speech and being able to propound theories, it is a matter of law that the Parliament and courts of this country expressly allow ‘fair comment’ (or what is I think now called the defence of ‘honest comment’ after Spiller v Joseph) if a person’s honest opinion has a reasonable basis in fact.

Your objections to the two internet postings of 19 November and 19 December 2012

Against that background, I turn now to the passages above which you assert constitute a ‘flagrant breach’ of my Court undertakings.

I was careful in both internet postings to deal only in factual matters. I do not think I said anything inaccurate. So far as I can see, the two bolded passages to which your clients and you take exception are factual issues that are not in dispute. Let me refer to all 13 of them:

1. I say that the cadaver dogs brought to Praia da Luz alerted to 11 locations where there had been a body. I expressly add that this is hotly disputed (by your clients). I am not sure how there can be any objection to that statement

2. I refer to circumstantial evidence, viz. that your clients have not told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about what really happened to Madeleine. That such circumstantial evidence exists, e.g. in the form of contradictions and changes of story, surely cannot be denied. It is set out in detail for example in the interim report of Tavares de Almeida dated 10 September 2007 and of course in Dr Goncalo Amaral’s book on the case, ‘The Truth of the Lie’, which has been unbanned now for 2¼ years after your clients lost two appeals against its being unbanned

3. There is no dispute that your clients were pulled in for questioning and made suspects

4. You cannot dispute factually what I say about Dr Amaral’s book. His book states, does it not (as I wrote)“his basis for suggesting that Madeleine died in G5A and there has been a cover-up”?

5. Again, you cannot dispute that an entire team of detectives were responsible for making your clients suspects

6. My reference to Tavares de Almeida’s report of 10 September 2007 is accurate

7. I do include his report in my latest book on the case

8. I refer also to point (1) above. It cannot be denied that Martin Grime took two dogs to Praia da Luz, one of them Eddie, trained to alert to the odour emitted from human cadavers and the other, Keela, to blood. He says explicitly that: “The dogs are deployed as search assets to secure evidence and locate human remains or human blood”. The final report of the Attorney-General, dated July 2008, which your clients themselves exhibit in Exhibit ‘IJH10’ of Isabel Hudson, states expressly (page 4628, ‘IJH10’, page 19) that “The tracker dog ‘Eddie’ (detects cadaver odour) ‘marked’…” [there is then a list of 13 locations where the two dogs alerted to either cadaver odour or blood]. The underlining of ‘detects cadaver odour’ is in the original

9. These are the locations given, inter alia, by Martin Grime himself in his report, by Tavares de Almedia in his interim report, and by the Attorney-General in his final report

10. The fact that Martin Grime’s dogs did not alert to cadaver scent anywhere else in Praia da Luz is a matter of record in both Martin Grime’s reports and in the Portuguese police reports

11. My statement that “The McCanns have struggled to explain these findings” is a simple factual statement which surely cannot be disputed. These are all factual matters that are well evidenced and cannot now be disputed:

(a) the initial reaction of your clients, their extended family and their advisers was to accept the verdicts of the two dogs (i.e. that they had alerted to human cadaver odour and blood) and to search for possible explanations, such as Dr Kate McCann picking up cadaver scent from corpses on which she had been certifying the cause of death, the dogs getting ‘confused’ with the smell of dirty nappies or ‘rotting meat’, and Madeleine having a nosebleed etc.

(b) your clients then switched to doing everything possible to rubbish the dogs’ alerts as simply ‘wrong’

(c) as you will know, they invoked the case of Eugene Zapata in the U.S., where a judge had disallowed any evidence from a cadaver dog handler because of the reported unreliability of the dogs’ alerts. Your client even refers to the Zapata case again on page 268 of the hardback version of her book ‘madeleine’. This is surely a deliberate misrepresentation to the public, as both you and your clients are no doubt fully aware that Eugene Zapata, in making a full and frank confession to murdering his wife, stated that he had moved her body to the precise spots to which the dog had alerted

(d) your client Dr Gerald McCann, despite the rapidly increasing use of sniffer dogs and their obvious reliability in a whole range of fields including the detection of various explosives, drugs and even medical conditions, continues to assert, as he did in the interview he gave to Sandra Felgueiras on Portuguese TV on 5 November 2009, that: “I can tell you that we have also looked at evidence about cadaver dogs and they are incredibly unreliable”, and

(e) in her book, ‘madeleine’, pages 249 and 250, Dr Kate McCann resorts to what is in effect an attack on the professional integrity and competence of dog trainer Martin Grime. She tries to claim, in summary, that all the 11 separate alerts that Eddie made to the scent of a human corpse (or ‘cadaver scent contaminant’) were wrong, because the dog was not alerting to cadaver odour at all, but simply responding to what she says were ‘the conscious or unconscious signals of the handler’ (bottom of page 250.

Against those facts, I hardly think that the Court would disagree with my statement that “The McCanns have struggled to explain the dogs’ findings”.

12. The fact that Martin Grime’s dogs have been used in at least four countries and that he is used an expert adviser and trainer on sniffer dogs’ alerts by the F.B.I. is surely enough for my statement that he is ‘a recognised world expert’ to be accepted[/size]

13. It is my understanding that Martin Grime does now in effect work full-time for the F.B.I., albeit as I understand it through his own company. Is this disputed?

In summary, therefore, the statements I have made which you say have caused your clients a great deal of distress and upset are essentially factual statements not open to serious dispute. Neither the Court nor your clients can surely object to me, or indeed anyone else, publishing factual material relating to Madeleine’s disappearance.

Where it is possible to argue that any of the above 13 statements of mine stray from being merely factual material into comment or opinion, then your client is firmly on the record as stating that he is a strong believer in freedom of speech, only objects to ‘inaccuracies’, and upholds the right of people to ‘propound theories’.

There seems to be an irreconcilable conflict between the statements your client made on oath in response to Lord Leveson and his action just 8 days later seeking to commit me to prison for daring to offer my fact-based comments and opinions on the case.

In conclusion, in your letter you claim that I have alleged that your clients ‘caused the alleged death of their daughter”. Please note the following statement which I posted, as you know, on the BigFooty forum on 19 December: “Finally, I have never suggested that the McCanns deliberately killed Madeleine”. Please do not suggest to the Court or to anyone else that I have suggested that your clients caused Madeleine’s alleged death unless you have solid evidence with which to back up that claim.

Yours sincerely


Tony Bennett

Karen
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Re: Letter - Tony Bennett to Carter Ruck 5th Jan 2013

Post  Not Born Yesterday on Sun 6 Jan - 14:20

This has provoked a very lively debate on the JH forum and I think that non-members can see it.

Never has a firm of solicitors deserved more to be told to go forth and multiply.

Its behaviour is truly appalling.

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Re: Letter - Tony Bennett to Carter Ruck 5th Jan 2013

Post  cass on Sun 6 Jan - 14:28

im just catching up -- ive just comented on fb -- im gonna join jills place was always going to but never did -- its on my to do list

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Re: Letter - Tony Bennett to Carter Ruck 5th Jan 2013

Post  Lillyofthevalley on Sun 6 Jan - 17:29

Good on you Tony Bennet, your day will come for all of your hard work you have put in to get Justice for Madeliene McCann.

I think that Carter Crucks are grasping at straws now, the pressure is mounting, I honestly believe that Tony will win his case and Snr Amaral wins his case also this is when the imo the PJ/SY will take the Mcs on............I dont think the Mcs "Fund" will be able to afford CR anylonger it will be running on empty, the net will start to close in and this IMO is when the McCanns TROUBLES will really start if not already.

Ive noticed on FB and Twitter they really does seem to be more and more people questioning the McCanns then they ever has over the last 5+ years

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Re: Letter - Tony Bennett to Carter Ruck 5th Jan 2013

Post  Krisy22 on Sun 6 Jan - 18:12

Mr Tony Bennet

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Re: Letter - Tony Bennett to Carter Ruck 5th Jan 2013

Post  SteveT on Sun 6 Jan - 18:52

Well done Tony Bennett!

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Re: Letter - Tony Bennett to Carter Ruck 5th Jan 2013

Post  matthew on Sun 6 Jan - 19:02

Go get um Tony,they seem all bothered to me

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Re: Letter - Tony Bennett to Carter Ruck 5th Jan 2013

Post  malena stool on Sun 6 Jan - 19:24

What was the Pink Pimps favourite utterance when unable to give a satisfactory response to a simple question?

Something along the lines of. "I'm unable to comment because of operational policies."

Such a phrase could possibly be required in replying to Tony Bennett's letter...

Well said Mr Bennett.

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Re: Letter - Tony Bennett to Carter Ruck 5th Jan 2013

Post  margaret on Sun 6 Jan - 22:04

CR are p*ssing in the wind. Well said Tony.

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Re: Letter - Tony Bennett to Carter Ruck 5th Jan 2013

Post  whatsupdoc on Sun 6 Jan - 22:54

Thanks for bringing Tony's reply to our attention, Karen.

An excellent reply by Tony which should be produced in court. When his evidence is based on the police investigation findings, I can't see how he could lose in court.

Good luck to TB and GA in their libel trials this month...

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Re: Letter - Tony Bennett to Carter Ruck 5th Jan 2013

Post  jd16 on Sun 6 Jan - 23:44

Who is the mysterious being "I'm such a wimp that I have to hide" paying the carter ruck mccann bills?

Who is the mysterious being "I'm such a wimp that I have to hide" who is the fund manager of No Stone Unturned?

COME ON BIG BOYS...BE BRAVE...BE "REAL MEN"....REVEAL


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Re: Letter - Tony Bennett to Carter Ruck 5th Jan 2013

Post  cherry1 on Mon 7 Jan - 0:32

If the Fund is being run in an open and transparent way they should have no problem in giving out
that information.

Excellent reply by Tony.

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Re: Letter - Tony Bennett to Carter Ruck 5th Jan 2013

Post  Karen on Mon 7 Jan - 7:44

whatsupdoc wrote:Thanks for bringing Tony's reply to our attention, Karen.

An excellent reply by Tony which should be produced in court. When his evidence is based on the police investigation findings, I can't see how he could lose in court.

Good luck to TB and GA in their libel trials this month...

You are very welcome

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Re: Letter - Tony Bennett to Carter Ruck 5th Jan 2013

Post  cass on Mon 7 Jan - 9:31

tony and ga well done also to karen fpr posting it here

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Re: Letter - Tony Bennett to Carter Ruck 5th Jan 2013

Post  AnnaEsse on Mon 7 Jan - 10:34

Who was that celeb who had serious financial problems because of acting on the advice of Carter-Ruck?

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"You can run on for a long time, Run on for a long time, Run on for a long time, Sooner or later God'll cut you down." (Johnny Cash)

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Re: Letter - Tony Bennett to Carter Ruck 5th Jan 2013

Post  almostgothic on Mon 7 Jan - 11:01

Would that be Derek Jameson?

Derek Jameson, as a tabloid editor, had been unwisely advised to sue the BBC over a satirical sketch. Carter-Ruck said Jameson would get £25,000-£50,000. David Eady QC advised Carter-Ruck in writing that Jameson accept the £10 that the BBC had offered in settlement plus his costs. Carter-Ruck concealed this opinion from Jameson. Jameson lost the case and was sent a bill by Carter Ruck for £41,342.50. When he learned by chance of the QC's pessimistic advice, Carter-Ruck told him a string of lies.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2003/dec/23/pressandpublishing.comment

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Re: Letter - Tony Bennett to Carter Ruck 5th Jan 2013

Post  AnnaEsse on Mon 7 Jan - 11:29

almostgothic wrote:Would that be Derek Jameson?

Derek Jameson, as a tabloid editor, had been unwisely advised to sue the BBC over a satirical sketch. Carter-Ruck said Jameson would get £25,000-£50,000. David Eady QC advised Carter-Ruck in writing that Jameson accept the £10 that the BBC had offered in settlement plus his costs. Carter-Ruck concealed this opinion from Jameson. Jameson lost the case and was sent a bill by Carter Ruck for £41,342.50. When he learned by chance of the QC's pessimistic advice, Carter-Ruck told him a string of lies.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2003/dec/23/pressandpublishing.comment

Thanks. That's the one! It seems as though Carter-Ruck sometimes just hope that the weight of their threats will make people keel over and surrender.

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Re: Letter - Tony Bennett to Carter Ruck 5th Jan 2013

Post  margaret on Mon 7 Jan - 11:38

almostgothic wrote:Would that be Derek Jameson?

Derek Jameson, as a tabloid editor, had been unwisely advised to sue the BBC over a satirical sketch. Carter-Ruck said Jameson would get £25,000-£50,000. David Eady QC advised Carter-Ruck in writing that Jameson accept the £10 that the BBC had offered in settlement plus his costs. Carter-Ruck concealed this opinion from Jameson. Jameson lost the case and was sent a bill by Carter Ruck for £41,342.50. When he learned by chance of the QC's pessimistic advice, Carter-Ruck told him a string of lies.

OMG that's outrageous! I hope all involved in that are no longer working for CR

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Re: Letter - Tony Bennett to Carter Ruck 5th Jan 2013

Post  Not Born Yesterday on Mon 7 Jan - 11:39

They seem to have exactly the same calibre of staff now!

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Re: Letter - Tony Bennett to Carter Ruck 5th Jan 2013

Post  almostgothic on Mon 7 Jan - 12:02

Even with changes in personnel, the original ethos and culture of an organisation will sometimes remain the same.
Sadly, this is a prime example ......

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Re: Letter - Tony Bennett to Carter Ruck 5th Jan 2013

Post  jd16 on Mon 7 Jan - 14:32

From the linked article
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2003/dec/23/pressandpublishing.comment


The Carter-Ruck chill
The man who created the modern libel industry was a dedicated liar and a reactionary with a lust for cash

David Hooper
The Guardian, Tuesday 23 December 2003 07.36 GMT

The libel lawyer Peter Carter-Ruck, who died on Friday, had a chilling effect on the media. He was a chancer, out for the maximum fee. And he did for freedom of speech what the Boston Strangler did for door-to-door salesmen.

Until Carter-Ruck got his teeth into the libel law, actions were infrequent and inexpensive. But from the 1950s, Carter-Ruck became the leading libel lawyer and clients sought him out. He honed his menacing letters to encourage socialites to sue for imagined slights and fashion a weapon for politicians to suppress hostile stories. He preferred the bludgeon of the writ to the rather more effective call to an editor preferred by Lord Goodman. He established the idea that libel law was complicated and merited very high fees. In the process he became very rich. "I like to bill the clients as the tears are flowing," he told me.

Libel was good to him: four homes, a Rolls-Royce and a string of yachts called Fair Judgement. But perniciously he built a libel factory, paid for by the media's legal and insurance bills. Carter-Ruck had some novel techniques. You could only settle a libel action by paying his exorbitant fees without any question of the bill being checked by the court. He hit upon the wheeze of Randolph Churchill retaining all the libel QCs to prevent them acting for Private Eye (a practice since banned) and of serial libel actions, as in the case of Princess Elizabeth of Toro (which brought us the term "Ugandan discussions").

His practice had rightwing connections. With Carter-Ruck at the helm, the firm of Oswald Hickson Collier acted for the Conservative party and the likes of Norman Tebbit and Cecil Parkinson.

In his memoirs he praised the rightwing financier Sir James Goldsmith for alleviating the injustice of the lack of legal aid with money from a foundation. He said it let solicitors assess cases in the same way as the Legal Aid Board would. However, the assessor was none other than Carter-Ruck, and his firm was paid, win or lose. The beneficiaries tended not to be widows and orphans but rightwing politicos such as Neil Hamilton, who trousered £20,000 from the BBC for a Panorama programme - Carter-Ruck's bill was £240,000.

The Goldsmith Foundation's other beneficiaries included Brian Crozier, a cold war enthusiast with intelligence links, and an official of the breakaway Union of Democratic Mineworkers who sued Arthur Scargill.

Once described as the Margaret Thatcher of defamation law, Carter-Ruck was a conviction libel lawyer. If he acted for the plaintiff, he thought it the most outrageous libel; if for the defendant, the case should never have been bought. The common thread was to extract the maximum.

Carter-Ruck had one row after another with his partners. In 1977 they tried to boot him out and after four years' litigation were successful when he decamped to another part of the same building to form Peter Carter-Ruck & Partners. Within four years all his founding partners had left, including his daughter.

I left his firm in pure Carter-Ruck circumstances. Heinemann, for whom we acted, was publishing a book about the Ford family, by Robert Lacey. I was told by Carter-Ruck that there was no conflict in our advising. Lacey sent part of the book to Henry Ford for comment. Later I found Carter-Ruck advising Ford that the book was full of libel. He proved unable to give a truthful explanation.

Cases brought by Tudor Roberts, a solicitor, and the journalist Derek Jameson illustrate the Carter-Ruck techniques. In 1985 Roberts was awarded £20,000 damages against Private Eye plus costs on the higher scale. I agreed before I left Carter-Ruck's firm that he would only pay the costs recoverable from Private Eye. Carter-Ruck, however, billed Roberts £60,000. The cost judge allowed only £18,567. My assurance was ignored. Carter Ruck wanted the lot. It was two years before Roberts was reimbursed his damages and the legal costs he had earlier paid.

Derek Jameson, as a tabloid editor, had been unwisely advised to sue the BBC over a satirical sketch. Carter-Ruck said Jameson would get £25,000-£50,000. David Eady QC advised Carter-Ruck in writing that Jameson accept the £10 that the BBC had offered in settlement plus his costs. Carter-Ruck concealed this opinion from Jameson. Jameson lost the case and was sent a bill by Carter Ruck for £41,342.50. When he learned by chance of the QC's pessimistic advice, Carter-Ruck told him a string of lies.

· David Hooper is a media lawyer and was a partner of Peter Carter-Ruck

jd16
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Re: Letter - Tony Bennett to Carter Ruck 5th Jan 2013

Post  tigger on Mon 7 Jan - 16:49

quote I left his firm in pure Carter-Ruck circumstances. Heinemann, for whom we acted, was publishing a book about the Ford family, by Robert Lacey. I was told by Carter-Ruck that there was no conflict in our advising. Lacey sent part of the book to Henry Ford for comment. Later I found Carter-Ruck advising Ford that the book was full of libel. He proved unable to give a truthful explanation. unquote


I was under the impression that this is not only unethical but unlawful. Hmm.

In the centre of Hereford is the Old House. In it is a 17th century wallpainting of two farmers, pulling at either end of a cow.
The lawyer is sitting in the middle, milking it.
Next time I'm there, I should send a postcard of this image to CR, they could clearly use it for their letterhead imo.


tigger
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Re: Letter - Tony Bennett to Carter Ruck 5th Jan 2013

Post  Bobsy on Mon 7 Jan - 17:08

tigger wrote:quote I left his firm in pure Carter-Ruck circumstances. Heinemann, for whom we acted, was publishing a book about the Ford family, by Robert Lacey. I was told by Carter-Ruck that there was no conflict in our advising. Lacey sent part of the book to Henry Ford for comment. Later I found Carter-Ruck advising Ford that the book was full of libel. He proved unable to give a truthful explanation. unquote


I was under the impression that this is not only unethical but unlawful. Hmm.

In the centre of Hereford is the Old House. In it is a 17th century wallpainting of two farmers, pulling at either end of a cow.
The lawyer is sitting in the middle, milking it.
Next time I'm there, I should send a postcard of this image to CR, they could clearly use it for their letterhead imo.


Tigger, I am sure that all this would be of interest to TB.

Bobsy
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Re: Letter - Tony Bennett to Carter Ruck 5th Jan 2013

Post  tigger on Mon 7 Jan - 19:26

Bobsy wrote:
tigger wrote:quote I left his firm in pure Carter-Ruck circumstances. Heinemann, for whom we acted, was publishing a book about the Ford family, by Robert Lacey. I was told by Carter-Ruck that there was no conflict in our advising. Lacey sent part of the book to Henry Ford for comment. Later I found Carter-Ruck advising Ford that the book was full of libel. He proved unable to give a truthful explanation. unquote


I was under the impression that this is not only unethical but unlawful. Hmm.

In the centre of Hereford is the Old House. In it is a 17th century wallpainting of two farmers, pulling at either end of a cow.
The lawyer is sitting in the middle, milking it.
Next time I'm there, I should send a postcard of this image to CR, they could clearly use it for their letterhead imo.


Tigger, I am sure that all this would be of interest to TB.

I think he already knows, I have read this article before but it was good to refresh my memory!
I got the better of a couple of solicitors in my time. The greatest nightmare of a solicitor is someone who replies in person instead of having them hire their own solicitor.
On that count alone, TB is a thorn in the flesh of CR. No barrister to correspond with CR, just TB.

And a Happy New Year to you! Bobsy

tigger
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Re: Letter - Tony Bennett to Carter Ruck 5th Jan 2013

Post  fuzeta on Mon 7 Jan - 20:24

tigger wrote:
Bobsy wrote:
tigger wrote:quote I left his firm in pure Carter-Ruck circumstances. Heinemann, for whom we acted, was publishing a book about the Ford family, by Robert Lacey. I was told by Carter-Ruck that there was no conflict in our advising. Lacey sent part of the book to Henry Ford for comment. Later I found Carter-Ruck advising Ford that the book was full of libel. He proved unable to give a truthful explanation. unquote


I was under the impression that this is not only unethical but unlawful. Hmm.

In the centre of Hereford is the Old House. In it is a 17th century wallpainting of two farmers, pulling at either end of a cow.
The lawyer is sitting in the middle, milking it.
Next time I'm there, I should send a postcard of this image to CR, they could clearly use it for their letterhead imo.


Tigger, I am sure that all this would be of interest to TB.

I think he already knows, I have read this article before but it was good to refresh my memory!
I got the better of a couple of solicitors in my time. The greatest nightmare of a solicitor is someone who replies in person instead of having them hire their own solicitor.
On that count alone, TB is a thorn in the flesh of CR. No barrister to correspond with CR, just TB.

And a Happy New Year to you! Bobsy

I will remember that tip tigger if ever the occasion arises. Plus good for Tony, he knows all their tricks.

fuzeta
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Re: Letter - Tony Bennett to Carter Ruck 5th Jan 2013

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