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Defamed barrister awarded $630,000

Defamed barrister awarded $630,000

Victorian barrister Dyson Hore-Lacy has been awarded $630,000 in damages after a Supreme Court jury found that former MP Phil Cleary had defamed Hore-Lacy in his book Getting Away with Murder:…

Victorian barrister Dyson Hore-Lacy has been awarded $630,000 in damages after a Supreme Court jury found that former MP Phil Cleary had defamed Hore-Lacy in his book Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of Julie Ramage's Death.

Cleary's book, published by Allen & Unwin, focused on the 2003 killing of Julie Ramage by her estranged husband and the subsequent trial of Ramage on a murder charge.

Hore-Lacy claimed the book suggested that he had manufactured a defence of provocation for James Ramage and that he had done this in combination with a solicitor, Stephen Pica, and therefore perverted the course of justice and committed an act of professional misconduct.

After a deliberation of five hours, a jury of six women found that Hore-Lacy had been defamed and awarded $600,000 in compensatory and aggravated damages, plus $30,000 in exemplary damages.

Commenting to reporters outside the court yesterday, Hore-Lacy mentioned that Cleary and Allen & Unwin refused an offer to settle the case. "We made a formal offer to settle for $50,000 plus an apology about four or five years ago. All I was ever really interested in was an apology and a retraction, and they refused to do it," he said.

Cleary said the verdict was disappointing and that "it wasn't the way I believe the book should be read".

Like this story? Read more:

Book commemorates diamond milestone for WA law society

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

Defamed barrister awarded $630,000
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