Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Last Words on Rolah McCabe?

Wednesday, 11 December 2002

Despite the fact that the Court of Appeals has overturned Justice Eames' ruling in McCabe vs BAT, it's not all over yet. Commenting on these remarks by BAT spokesman John Galligan on the conduct of Melbourne law firm Slater & Gordon yesterday, Peter Gordon indicated to Jon Faine that he would be seeking legal advice on one or two of Mr Galligan's comments which weren't reported in yesterday's Oz. In the Melbourne Age, Jonathan Liberman (a lawyer who advises the VicHealth Centre for Tobacco Control and Quit Victoria) puts his view of the Court of Appeal's decision which, unsurpringly, is pretty much the opposite of Janet Albrechtsen's "Rah, rah justice at last for the poor oppressed corporate lawyers of the world" take on the issue. If the thought of polluting your mind with an article printed in the Fairfax press is too ghastly to take, try reading Ken Parish's considered post on the case or Matt's at Bright Cold Day.

Meanwhile, BAT's claim for costs against the McCabes is going through taxation (the process where costs are examined by the court to ensure that the amounts claimed are fair and corect), which is expected to cut the costs bill by a mere $2 million or so. Although Jonathan Liberman raises the possibility of a further appeal to the High Court with $2 to $2.5 million in adverse costs already clocked up, I suspect that the McCabe family might feel it's wiser to heed the words of ex-Animal Alan Price, in one of his songs on the sound-track to Lindsay Anderson's O Lucky Man:

We all want justice, but you've got to have the money to buy it,
You'd have to be a fool to close your eyes and deny it.

It's a great album, I've got it on vinyl somewhere. I'll have to get it out and play it again soon.

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