Duffy v Google 2016: The Appeal and Cross Appeal
Google lost and my case set the highest global precedent in common law against a search engine. They appealed and we cross appealed.
In South Australia civil appeals are heard by three Justices of the Supreme Court. The Appeal was heard in front of the Full Bench of the South Australian Supreme Court on 4, 5 & 6 May 2016. The full Bench asked for further written submissions from both patties and these were submitted in the third week of June 2016.
I was represented by Paul Heywood-Smith QC and Ted Guthrie of Johnston Withers in Adelaide, South Australia. This law firm has a 70 year history of representing ordinary people (rather than corporate interests). This time I will be happily sitting in the gallery rather than the bar table.
The Defendant failed in its effort to keep trial evidence from Ripoff Report out of the appeal case books based on their ‘too much paper’ letter to the Supreme Court.
It appears that after more then 6 years, three law firms, three barristers and about AUD$1.5- $2 million in legal fees, the extra paper required to include the trial evidence from Ripoff Report in the Appeal Case Book was simply too much for the Defendant.
Since it is clear that the law on publication will be too difficult to overturn (it is not like Ripoff Report is some obscure little blog, unknown to Google) obviously the Defendant was going to try and try to hang me in the Appellate Court on the justification defence.
Needless to say, I was not impressed with these tactics and I tweeted my frustration:
The trial, in which I represented myself, was absolutely horrendous. I could barely stand up from exhaustion and distress on day one against all the expensive legal representation that Google can buy. But the Defendant lost.
I neither asked nor wanted this battle, a fact that the trial Justice made clear in this costs decision. The Defendant laid down the gauntlet, not me. I just wanted the links removed. Yet, Google is still trying to make me go away.
I am NOT ready to back down. I will NEVER back down!
Google does not have the right to come into our country, Australia, or to any other nation for that matter, and ignore our laws, our people and our rights in the untrammelled pursuit of profit! Google are the 21st c Robber Barons.