On May 28 and 29 Joe Karam vs Parker and Anor is scheduled for a two day hearing. This hearing is to settle a second strike out attempt from Karam against Parker and Anor's statement of defence. Karam is trying to strike out the respondents right to defend his claim on the basis of truth and qualified privilege and remove their ability to mitigate damages. On Parker and Anor's part they have put in a preliminary questions application to resolve problems with the meanings applied by Karam to the comments they and their associates made on Facebook, counterspin and Trademe.
Parker and Anor continue to represent themselves, albeit this time with the advice of a legal defamation expert who is preparing submissions and providing examples of legal judgments, in other words, precedents, which are the common currency of legal decision making and which help the judge to make their decision.
According to Parker, "The case has not moved a millimeter in a year. We are still in the same position as we were this time last year, dealing with the same issues. In my opinion, the reason for this is that the claim simply does not make sense. It is too convoluted. There are too many comments cited in the claim and the meanings attributed to them are too many and too defective. There's no way a jury would be able to make sense of it. Last year we failed to convince the court of this, due to technical errors, but there's always the possibility that this year it will be different."
He goes on to say further: "The right to a fair defence is part of my right as a NZ citizen. This is something that Karam himself has battled with for over a decade, yet here he is trying to take that very same right away from us. I sincerely believe that all the things that we are in the ringer for are based on truth and I know that neither myself, Vic or any of the other members of JFRB involved in these proceedings uttered one word in malice. I also believe that we are protected by qualified privilege, because the matter of discussion was a public criminal trial and the very public behaviour of Joe Karam in relation to it."
Parker is still working on a fund raising campaign to help raise funds for the ongoing legal costs. People can donate from this website and help the cause.
Update 7 May: This hearing has been postponed until after a judicial settlement conference which has been scheduled for 2 July 2012.
Could I suggest this blog be deleted as it is no longer relevant.