The Australian Law Association has defended its decision to remove the Australian Law Society (ALSA) as a defendant in the legal action against disgraced former football coach Michael Cheika.
Key points:The Australian Law Institute said it is not “unanimous” in its decisionThe Law Society said it was “not unanimous” in removing the AFL and ALSA from the caseIt said the Law Society had no legal authority to “informally approve” a change of venueThe Australian Bar Association, the country’s largest barrister body, has announced it will take legal action to remove all defendants in a defamation case against former AFL coach Michael Chesterfield.
The Australian Lawyers Association said it had no “unanimity” in the decision.
The legal action in the Federal Court of Australia, lodged by the Law Societies Legal Action Centre, has been moved to the High Court in Sydney, and is due to be heard on Tuesday.
The Law Socutions Legal Action Center is a legal organisation representing clients in defamation cases against former Australian Football League (AFL) and Adelaide Football Club (AFC) chairman, Peter Beardsley.
The law firm is currently representing a number of plaintiffs including the former AFL player and Adelaide Adelaide Footballers Association (AASA) president, Stephen Moore.
The AFL has said that the law firm’s decision to intervene in the case was a “mistake” and that it was a decision that had been made in good faith.
The High Court will hear the case on Monday.
The lawyer who represented the AFL, Mr Michael Cheiba, said it would have been “an inappropriate way” to conduct the case.
“The AFL did not make the decision to withdraw.
The Law Society was not the one to make the change of location, which would have meant the AASA would not be involved in the matter,” he said.”
There was no unanimity amongst lawyers about this decision.
The law firm would not have made the decision had they known the decision was going to be made this way.”
The Lawyer for Mr Moore, Stephen Lough, said that it would not surprise him if the AFL made a similar decision.
“It’s not uncommon for a group of lawyers to take legal actions, particularly in an area of great litigation, such as the law of defamation, to try and ensure that the case goes forward,” he told AAP.
“I would certainly expect the AFL to make a similar move in this case.”
Mr Cheiba said that while the AFL was happy to assist the Aas and AFLSA in their legal efforts, the law firms decision to take action was “unfair”.
“It shows a lack of concern and is unhelpful, and it shows that the AFLPA is not taking their duty of care for the players and players’ supporters seriously,” he added.
Mr Lough said that he would not “give up” his legal representation of the AFL.
“At this stage, I have a very good understanding of the legal process, and I know I am not going to give up any of my client’s interests or concerns, because I want to see this case through,” he noted.
Mr Cheika has faced a barrage of criticism over his behaviour, including from former AFL players and supporters.
The case has been adjourned until Monday.
Topics:law-crime-and-justice,courts-and–trials,australia,aesthetics,courthouses-and-$,aussie,sydney-2000,sydney-3000,vicTopics:australeague-2330,victoria-2080,vic,act,law-parliament,federal—state-issues,aussies-union,law—society,lawyer-general,court-and/orry-belmore,nswFirst posted January 22, 2019 12:35:59Contact Andrew BaileyMore stories from New South Wales