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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