Laura's Story

Laura’s Story

Laura’s comments on a private Facebook page for parents at her children’s school pulled her into legal proceedings with seven other defendants that went on for three years. LawRight assisted Laura with all aspects of her litigation, from helping her draft her defence to preparing for trial. Multiple hearings were required to deal with different aspects of defamation law. The court considered what is needed to establish the defence of honest opinion. Under the Defamation Act 2005 (Qld), the opinion must be “based on proper material”, which the court said requires that the facts on which the opinion is based be stated or referred to in the allegedly defamatory publication. Not many Facebook posts include these types of source notes (including Laura’s), so this defence was not available.

After a four-week trial, the claim against Laura was dismissed on the basis that her statements were not defamatory. The court indicated that even if Laura’s statements had been defamatory, it would have awarded only $2,000 in damages against her, instead of the $150,000 sought by the plaintiff. Laura was very happy with the outcome and glad it was all over – she told us that there was no way she could have gone through all of this without LawRight’s help.

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Sam and Kat's Story

Sam and Kat’s Story

Sam and Kat have four young children, each with a disability. With their small, combined income of $56,000 they bought a house with a clear pest inspection but within a week of settlement, they discovered termite damage everywhere – the house was uninhabitable.

It seemed the real estate agent had known about the termite issues, so Sam and Kat started District Court proceedings against them but could not afford ongoing legal costs, especially when the estate agent joined other parties.

Pro bono lawyers, who first met Sam and Kat at a LawRight appointment, then directly assisted them for many hours to significantly amend the Statement of Claim. After this phase was finalised, Sam and Kat returned to LawRight for help to respond to the Defence and to prepare for mediation. A settlement payment was agreed and LawRight helped them discontinue the proceedings.

They were “incredibly thankful” for LawRight’s help and are now “planning on moving forward and putting all of this behind us”.

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Irene's Story

Irene’s Story

Irene has severe and complex mental health issues which impact her ability to engage in the legal process. She was the defendant in District Court proceedings that started in 2008 and limited progress had been made. The Court asked LawRight to assist and a member barrister took a direct brief to represent Irene at mediation, where the matter finally settled after more than a decade.

Irene appreciated the “kind soul” who gave “some of the professional time to assist the less privilege[d]”.

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B and A's Story

B and A’s Story

State Court Services

B and A were disturbed by their neighbour’s conduct and complained to the neighbour’s employer. The employer held a confidential complaints process but took no disciplinary action. The neighbour commenced defamation action in the District Court about statements made during the confidential meetings.

B and A wanted to settle the dispute but had exhausted their savings on private lawyers with no resolution and an inadequate defence being filed. LawRight’s rostered pro bono lawyers helped B and A amend their defence and make offers to settle and have the dispute mediated. Their neighbour agreed to attend mediation and after further advice and the efforts of a pro bono mediator, an agreement was reached and months of stress for B and A ended.

“We had our mediation today and after working through everything …we have reached an agreement that puts this matter at an end… thank you so much for your support these last few months and also for [connecting is to the mediator].”

– Clients

“I feel incredibly honoured to be a…small part, of the incredible impact…that LawRight continues to make on our community across Queensland… When I [act as a pro bono mediator], it brings me immense satisfaction, beyond monetary terms. … Thank you…for the opportunity to help these parties to reach an agreement”

– Pro bono mediator

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