Tag Archives: hearing

Riley libel: new statements show she’s flailing – so support Mike

 

Remember that new witness statement that had me concerned about Rachel Riley’s libel case against me?

I have now seen it and it seems I need not have worried so much.

I can’t say much about it because I don’t want to prejudice anything that happens in the hearing on November 6.

This will be her attempt to strike out parts of my case – and mine to strike out a significant part of hers.

I expect to succeed in my bid. Hers is looking less and less likely.

But I still need funds if I am to get anywhere at all. After my last update there was a welcome surge in contributions and we are now within £2,000 of that £100,000 milestone.

Reaching that before the hearing next week would be a huge psychological victory for all of us, so please – if you can afford it in these Covid-ridden times – follow these instructions:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Riley wanted this hearing – pointless as I expect it will be for her. I reckon she thought she could use it to drain my campaign of its funds.

Let’s show her that this was a bad mistake – and knock her off-balance before next Friday’s court hearing.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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November 6 libel hearing: Rachel Riley is submitting a new witness statement

 

The High Court has now confirmed that the hearing of Rachel Riley’s application to strike out part – or all – of my defence against her ridiculous libel claim will be heard on November 6.

I live in Wales and will still be in a lockdown imposed by the Welsh Government, so it will have to take place online.

This is likely to take some of the force out of Ms Riley’s advocates – she may have two barristers, including a QC, but only the QC will be allowed to speak.

Meanwhile her solicitor, Mark Lewis, has indicated that he intends to submit another witness statement. I have concerns about this.

Obviously I don’t know whose statement it will be or what it will contain. More pertinent, though, is when will my team get to see it?

November 6 is only 10 days away. I’m wondering whether Lewis intends to ambush me with a statement delivered late on the evening before the hearing – as the Labour Party did with its skeleton statement of defence against my ‘breach of contract’ case at the beginning of October.

Of course a new witness statement against me means more work for my solicitors and more expense for me, so I must appeal to your generosity again.

The response to my last update was fantastic, meaning we are now less than £4,000 away from the milestone of £100,000! I had not expected to reach that until the end of 2020 at the earliest and it would be a huge psychological victory to manage it with months to spare.

And the closer we get to the £125,000 target, the more obvious it will be to Ms Riley’s advocates that they can’t expect to win by draining my funds. So:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

This case needs to go to court, so all the details – embarrassing as they are – can be heard.

With your help, it will.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Next court hearing in Riley libel case against Vox Political’s Mike: November 6

The clock is ticking again: the next court hearing in Rachel Riley’s long-running libel case against This Site’s writer will be early next month.

The summer break is definitely over.

With the next hearing in Rachel Riley’s libel case against me set to take place on November 6, my legal advisor is warning me to brace myself for mischief.

Her solicitors have already disgraced themselves with a barrage of nonsense attacks and court applications aiming (I think) to drain me of financial resources. The hearing next month arises from one of these.

As the actual trial draws closer, they’ll be getting more desperate. Who knows what else they’ll try?

I’ve said all along that I don’t think Ms Riley actually wants a trial. I reckon she thought she could bully me into giving her some money and that she will struggle to prove her case against me.

So I expect more expensive delaying tactics – and this is why I’m launching a pre-emptive call for more funds.

I know this year has been hard on everybody and there’s not as much money around as there has been in the past, but if you can spare a little, please follow these instructions:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

The hearing on November 6 – Riley’s bid to strike out parts of my case and mine to strike out much of hers – will most likely be decided on the paperwork, rather than on anything said on the day.

But we must be prepared for all eventualities. This is a nerve-wracking time – but you can help make it easier. Please do.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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A small victory as judge in libel case postpones Rachel Riley’s ‘strike out’ bid


Rachel Riley’s attempt to drain my funds – by demanding that the High Court holds an early hearing on her libel case against me – has been foiled.​

She wanted a court to hear her application to strike out part of my defence before the end of July, which would have hugely strained my entirely-crowdfunded budget for the case.

But I argued that the court must treat us fairly – as detailed in my previous update – and a judge has agreed.

The application will be listed in the next term – between October and December.

This means we now have more than two months to raise the money needed to pay for my defence at that hearing.

Please continue donating to the CrowdJustice site – but bear in mind that there is now considerably less urgency and you should (as always) put your own needs first.

Here are the details as usual:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

This small victory shows that the Riley machine can be defeated; she’s not having it all her own way.

And don’t forget that I’m making an application of my own, to strike out a significant proportion of her case against me.

My only immediate concern, now, is that she will dream up yet another vexatious plan to waste my time and our money.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Here’s why it costs so much to fight a lawsuit brought by Rachel Riley

I’ve just had the monthly bill from my lawyer. It clears me out of everything that you have raised and leaves me owing a few hundred pounds – with the huge extra cost of a court hearing looming, possibly this month.

This is the reason Rachel Riley has made her application to strike out parts of my defence against her ludicrous accusation of libel, of course; she knows she doesn’t have much chance of success – but defending against it will cost me a huge amount of your money.

That’s why she keeps making these frankly vexatious demands on court time.

I’m sure she is also hoping that the disappointment of being constantly dragged back to square one will demoralise those of you who contribute to my CrowdJustice fund – put you off helping.

Indeed, one contributor, who donated quite a large amount of cash last month, also questioned why I am paying anything at all – suggesting that if my costs continue to rise I should rid myself of my current legal team and seek pro bono advocacy instead.

That would be a disaster, in my opinion.

You get what you pay for. One of my reasons for choosing the team I have is that I could not be sure of the quality of free legal advice; it would be better to have paid advocates who really know what they’re doing. That’s not to disparage good pro bono lawyers – but how many people can tell the good from the not-so-good?

Also, there is a particular attractiveness about this case, simply because it is crowdfunded. A win for my side will have a significant effect on civil justice in the United Kingdom – and a consequent boost to the reputation of the legal team involved. For that reason, we have been able to negotiate terms that are mutually satisfactory.

And of course it makes no sense at all to stop using my team, halfway through the case, and to try to instruct another in all its intricacies.

So I am left with the task of re-enthusing you, with the possibility that only a few weeks are left until a very expensive court hearing (remember that Ms Riley’s legal team has demanded that it should take place in July). Fortunately, I have a juicy announcement:

I will be making a counter-application to strike out a large part of Ms Riley’s case against me, during the forthcoming hearing.

I’m not at liberty to release the details but I can say that I expect my application to be granted without argument.

I have lodged my application with the court already – all I need now is the opportunity to have it granted at the hearing.

So I’m sure you know what’s coming next. Please…

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via my CrowdJustice page.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

I know it’s a lot to ask. It always was. But the cause is just and the case can be won.

And the consequences for justice – if it isn’t – are dire. It would mean that rich people can buy justice, using the court system to take money from anybody poorer than them, simply for telling the truth.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Riley libel case: she’s trying to buy justice again – will you help me stop her?

Countdown: the clock is ticking, and Rachel Riley is trying to force a court hearing of her duff bid to strike out my libel defence next month. If she has her way, I do not have the funds to fight it.

Rachel Riley seems determined to tell the world that she wants to buy justice – so who am I to get in the way?

Let’s discuss her latest tactic.

You’ll be aware that she has launched a court application to strike out all or part of my defence against her claims. It will cost up to £17,000 for me to defend myself against this part of her court action alone.

The High Court has indicated that it may have time to consider the application in July – meaning I would have less than a month to crowdfund a very large amount of money.

But the members of my legal team have pointed out that it is not possible for them to attend court in July as they have other cases and childcare commitments due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

Here’s the nasty bit:

Ms Riley’s representatives have responded furiously, demanding that the court force a July date for this application to be heard.

They say crowdfunding should not be a reason to delay a libel case and this could establish a precedent.

What they don’t say is that such a precedent would enhance justice by keeping both sides in a civil case on an even footing.

And they say if my legal team cannot attend, I should instruct alternative counsel.

Again, what they don’t say is that this would place an extra cost burden on me.

Rachel Riley is far, far more wealthy than me. She could afford to spend £60,000 on the “meanings” hearing last December alone. Rushing the hearing of this application so that it happens next month would put her at a huge advantage if I am unable to raise the funds to fight it.

Her application itself is drivel. My legal team and I can defeat it – if we get the chance.

We are fighting Ms Riley’s demands, and we have good arguments. Courts should deal with cases justly and at proportionate cost so that both parties are on an equal footing. But the hearing will be listed at a time that best suits the judge.

So I must try to be ready for a court hearing within a few weeks. And that means I must appeal to your kindness again.

I am bitterly sorry that I have to ask you for more help, especially at a time when we are all feeling the financial squeeze of the Covid crisis – but justice is at risk of being bought, and the facts are at risk of being denied.

So, please:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via my own CrowdJustice page.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

This is more vital now than ever before, so I’d like to appeal to you especially to make an effort to encourage other people to donate.

You can tell that Ms Riley’s team are trying to use her huge financial advantage to influence the courts. They want to make sure not only that I fail, but that a precedent is set to ensure that everybody like me, who has to crowdfund for legal action, will fail in the future. It is vital that they be stopped.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Anti-Semitism ‘campaigner’ in racism outrage – and an URGENT APPEAL for help

Tracy-Ann Oberman should be well-known to readers of these updates.

After the teenage girl at the centre of my case was engaged in an argument over anti-Semitism with Rachel Riley – and had been subjected to appalling abuse by her followers, Ms Oberman sent dozens of tweets to her – all on the same (school) day – inviting her to a meal in London (as recounted in this article).

The poor teenager, who suffers from anxiety, was terrified at this unwanted attention, which she could only conclude had an ulterior motive.

When I wrote about it (read the article here), Ms Oberman threatened me with a libel action – but eventually left it to her friend, Ms Riley, to take a case to court.

One has to question the validity of her position after yesterday’s (June 11) interaction with an American rapper who happens to be black.

It seems a rapper known as Ice Cube had made remarks which had been interpreted as anti-Semitic. I pass no comment on that as I have not yet seen those words. Ms Oberman responded:

 

The problem here is that the owner of the Twitter handle @FINALLEVEL is Ice T – a completely different person – and one who was completely bemused by the attention:

 

Ms Oberman apologised… if you can call this an apology:

 

 

Is that an apology? Judge for yourself.

People are drawing the obvious conclusion, though – as follows:

 

“Tracy Ann Oberman tagged the wrong black man in a post about racism because they all seem to look the same to her.”

That’s the “they all look the same” trope – on Twitter, where people are only represented by words, remember.

And it was perpetrated at a time of heightened sensitivity to racism against black people too.

All from a person who once said she was in a “gang” including Ms Riley who had started to speak out against racism.

And Ms Riley is suing me because I stood up for the girl that both she and Ms Oberman targeted – again, on Twitter.

Her current tactic is an application to strike out all or part of my defence. It will take me a day in the High Court in London to defend against this nonsense  – at a cost of up to £17,000.

And that’s cheap – the last application of hers, in December last year, cost me £28,000!

This is where the “URGENT APPEAL” in my headline comes in. This hearing could happen as early as next month (July). If you think individuals like Ms Oberman (and, by association, Ms Riley) should not get away with the behaviour they exhibit on Twitter, then please contribute to my crowdfunder – otherwise I simply will not have enough money.

And that would be a real shame, because my legal team and I have worked out a little surprise that we would love to deliver at that hearing.

Given current unspent funds, we need around £14,000. Here come the instructions, so please:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via my own CrowdJustice page.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

I have a chance to deliver a legally-binding rebuke to these individuals.

But I can’t do it without you. Will you help?

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Riley’s bid to strike out my libel defence is daft. She IS wasting your cash

It seems Rachel Riley is serious in wanting to drag me back to court – but her application to strike out my defence against her libel claims is not.

It’s risible – ridiculous.

You’ll be aware that the core of the case is a dialogue between Ms Riley and a teenage girl who has been anonymised in other recent court actions involving the TV game-player as “R”.

Ms Riley’s complaint appears to be that “R” started an argument, Ms Riley was perfectly pleasant to “R” and Ms Riley cannot be held responsible for the actions of others who tweeted abuse to the girl while the dialogue was taking place and afterwards. Consequently, she says, I cannot prove that she incited anyone to do anything and she does not have to prove that she did not incite anyone.

It is easy to disprove these claims. For one, I’m not trying to make Ms Riley prove anything – quite the opposite, in fact. It is also arguable that Ms Riley’s arguments are unsuitable for a “strike-out” application as they concern matters that should properly be discussed in the trial.

But I will have to go back to court to show this – and soon. The hearing is likely to take place online (due to the Covid-19 lockdown), probably before the end of July.

This means I need to be sure I can cover my legal costs within two months. These are likely to be similar to those of my last hearing – around £13,000-£17,000 if I recall correctly.

It’s cash that I shouldn’t have to spend, but I have no choice if I am to take my case all the way to a trial. Remember that it is Rachel Riley who is forcing me to spend this money  – and her behaviour is just another reason to oppose her.

On the “plus” side, fundraising on the CrowdJustice site has been very good over the last month or so, and this makes me optimistic about raising the necessary amount.

But you know what’s coming next. Please…

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via my own CrowdJustice page.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

This application to strike out my defence seems an act of desperation.

It won’t help Ms Riley – and it offers me an opportunity to make a few changes too.

Please help me take that opportunity to give Ms Riley and her friends a nasty surprise.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Riley launches pointless ‘strike-out’ bid against Mike’s libel defence. Please help defeat it!

Countdown: the clock is ticking but I have no idea how soon Ms Riley’s pointless application to strike out parts of my libel defence will be heard in court. I only know that defending against it will cost a lot of money.

Rachel Riley is dragging me back to court with an attempt to “strike out” some of my defences against her libel claims.

Even if she succeeds in any way (this is unlikely), the application to a High Court judge is procedurally pointless because it is unlikely to narrow down any of the arguments or evidence at trial.

It seems the intention is merely to delay the actual trial and run down the funds that you have so generously donated to help me refute her claims.

(Yet again we see that her case is most strongly based on the fact that she has more money than me and can afford to waste it – and time – on this nonsense, rather than on any factual evidence.)

I knew it might happen. Her legal team advised me that she was planning this move – but I responded with a quite detailed letter explaining why their arguments were not valid.

They have not engaged with any of the points I made; in fact it seems unlikely they even read the letter in any detail as their response makes inaccurate claims.

So now I must prepare for another unnecessary and expensive court hearing – this one likely to last a whole day – because of Ms Riley’s (in my opinion) vexatious behaviour.

And I have to go back to you and ask for more help to pay for it, when you’ve only just made a brilliant response to my last appeal. I was stunned by the generosity of contributions, in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis that has squeezed everybody’s finances, and I want to put my appreciation on the record.

The good news is that the “strike out” hearing is unlikely to happen in the immediate future; the bad news is I don’t know exactly when it will be, so I cannot plan a funding campaign of any length for it.

I can only make the same appeal as ever. So, please:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via my own CrowdJustice page.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, 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 sitting here seething while I’m writing these words.

I think it is outrageous that Riley is doing this right after you have already contributed so much – and when it is hard for any of us to contribute more. It confirms my opinion that this case has absolutely nothing to do with justice.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Don’t expect the papers to report Riley libel trial straight


I finally got round to reading the Daily Mail‘s report of the court hearing in the Rachel Riley libel case on December 11 – and all I can say is: how disappointing!

The result of the hearing was that the judge rejected most of Ms Riley’s claims about the meaning of my article, and the members of her legal team were told to go away and rethink their charges against me.

So why did the author of the Mail report lead on a claim that Ms Riley had been wrongly accused of being responsible for death threats against a teenage girl?

I don’t think I even heard that claim being made in court; it is possible that it was implied – I put the likelihood no higher than that.

In fact, my article stated that I did not believe she had intentionally tried to get her followers to threaten the girl with death. I argued that she had been irresponsible and reckless, in that others seemed to have been encouraged to do so after reading her comments.

The Mail accurately reported that Ms Riley’s lawyers argued that my article portrayed her as a hypocrite – but then, so did my own. That was the opinion my article was presenting.

And the judge, Mr Justice Nicklin, ruled that the article was a classic expression of opinion in that respect.

If this is the standard of journalism I can expect in reports of the case, then I can expect no justice from the mass media.

But then, we won’t need to worry about what they say if I win the case; they will make themselves look foolish.

If you would like to see that happen, then please help my CrowdJustice campaign (or carry on helping, if you have done so already):

Please consider making a donation yourself via my CrowdJustice page – I know the Festive Season is upon us and cashflow can be difficult at this time, but when you are able, all contributions will be appreciated.

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’ve got the evidence I need but now I need to be able to afford the cost of getting it heard in court.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook