The High Court has ordered the legal teams acting for myself and Rachel Riley to move onto the next stage of her libel action against me.
This means we have to fill out a ‘directions questionnaire’ containing details including, for example, the names of any witnesses we wish to call.
More interesting, though, is the possibility of “alternative dispute resolution” – meeting with Ms Riley’s legal team in order to end the case without going to trial.
Courts take the view that litigation should be a last resort, and that claims should not be issued prematurely when it is possible for the parties to come to a settlement. If parties refuse to consider this option, then the court may penalise them when determining costs.
This was made clear in the ‘Pre-action Protocol for Defamation’ that Ms Riley’s lawyers sent me, almost a year ago.
But when my own legal team contacted them to discuss the case, they filed proceedings against me rather than take this reasonable step.
I’m still happy to have a chat about it.
It seems silly for Ms Riley to be determined to waste thousands of pounds forcing a trial in which her own behaviour will be dragged into the light, for all to see and condemn.
But, for the time being at least, it seems that is what she wants to do.
She still knows that I can only take the case to trial with your support, while she can rely on her TV-derived riches to, basically, buy a verdict against me.
If you think that it is unreasonable to force a trial when an alternative settlement is available, then please contribute to the CrowdJustice fund.
The only way to discourage Ms Riley from her apparent plan is to convince her that she can’t buy a verdict and faces the possibility of the facts being brought out in court.
Here’s how you can do that:
Please consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.
Email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.
Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.
On Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.
On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.
I’m offering Ms Riley a chance to avoid expensive court proceedings but so far she hasn’t taken it. To me, that seems to show that she is less interested in justice than in bullying a poor person.
If you agree, please give what you can to make sure she is foiled.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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