Kerry Stokes’ Capilano Honey and their dodgy lawyers have had a major tactical defeat in their honey laundering operation in the Supreme Court of NSW against beekeeper and journalist Simon Mulvany. In February 2016 Capilano Honey and their CEO Ben McKee instituted injurious falsehood and defamation proceedings against Simon Mulvany at the Supreme Court of NSW in Sydney. Mr Mulvany lives in Victoria and Ben McKee lives in Brisbane where Capilano Honey’s head office is so the choice of court and the state to institute proceedings was a blatant abuse of process and a dirty tactic which some grubby companies use to make it harder for people to defend themselves legally.
Last Wednesday (30-5-18) after more than 2 years of time wasting the matter was transferred to the Supreme Court of Victoria. Capilano and their lawyers fought hard to stop the matter from being transferred to Victoria as they knew they would lose a huge advantage and also likely lose having dodgy judges aid and abet them in their SLAPP lawsuits.
Kerry Stokes is the major shareholder in Capilano Honey with 19% of the shares and it is his lawyers who are running the legal show. Something the business world should ask is how does Stokes control a company with only 19% of the shares.
Click here to read the judgment: Capilano Honey Ltd v Mulvany (No 3)  NSWSC 767 (30 May 2018)
Capilano involved in honey laundering
The biggest issue that Capilano are trying to conceal from the public by suing Simon Mulvany and myself is that they are involved in honey laundering in a major way by importing Chinese honey and mixing it with Australian honey and then selling it via their brands such as Allowrie Honey. (Click here to read more)
SLAPP lawsuits – “Strategic lawsuit against public participation.”
I have written about SLAPP lawsuits before and it is worth revising what SLAPP lawsuits are as that is what the Capilano Honey’s lawyers are running against Simon Mulvany and myself and what Kerry Stokes is well known for and running against many people including multiple frivolous and vexatious SLAPP lawsuits against myself.
A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition. Such lawsuits have been made illegal in many jurisdictions on the grounds that they impede freedom of speech.
The typical SLAPP plaintiff does not normally expect to win the lawsuit. The plaintiff’s goals are accomplished if the defendant succumbs to fear, intimidation, mounting legal costs or simple exhaustion and abandons the criticism. In some cases, repeated frivolous litigation against a defendant may raise the cost of directors and officers liability insurance for that party, interfering with an organization’s ability to operate. A SLAPP may also intimidate others from participating in the debate. A SLAPP is often preceded by a legal threat. (Click here to read more)
Capilano Honey played one last dirty trick to try and make sure the matter stayed at the Supreme Court of NSW
In one final attempt to make sure the matter was not transferred to Victoria Capilano Honey’s lawyers filed a Notice of Motion to have Simon Mulvany charged with contempt only hours before the hearing to have the matter transferred to Victoria. It was so rushed Capilano’s lawyers had only emailed Mr Mulvany a copy of the Notice of Motion only minutes before the hearing which does not constitute service as a party has to be served a hard copy. This was no accident as they wanted to give Mr Mulvany the least amount of time to get advice.
Capilano’s barrister Sandy Dawson argued that the injurious falsehood and defamation matter could not be transferred to Victoria as there were now 2 matters to be dealt with in NSW. And that the contempt matter could not be dealt with in Victoria because it was alleged that Mr Mulvany had breached suppression orders issued by a NSW Judge and only a NSW Court could deal with that. That argument ultimately failed as it was so obvious that Capilano had only instituted the contempt proceedings as a dirty trick to keep the injurious falsehood and defamation case in NSW.
Just so you know companies cannot sue for defamation, so they sue for injurious falsehood which is fairly similar.
How does defamation compare with injurious falsehood?
There are slight differences between the two causes of action in terms of what must be proven in court:
- In a matter of injurious falsehood, the business must show that the publication was actually untrue, whereas in defamation falsity is already a presumption at common law;
- The business must also show that the publication had a malicious intent, whereas in a defamation case it is unnecessary to prove, except to the extent that it may go towards proving damages;
- On top of this, the business has to show actual damage, whereas in defamation cases the damage is presumed at the moment the publication has been shown to be defamatory
All in all, it is more difficult to succeed with bringing a claim of injurious falsehood than a claim of defamation because of the added elements of the offence that need to be proven, as well as the requirement to show actual damage and not simply the potential of damage. (Click here to read more)
What ramifications if any for Capilano Honey’s and Ben McKee’s injurious falsehood and defamation proceedings against me?
Capilano Honey and Ben McKee also started suing me in October 2016 after I wrote about them suing Simon Mulvany. This is the main article that really rattled them and went viral: “Australia’s Capilano Honey admit selling toxic and poisonous honey to consumers“.
I filed an application in May 2017 to have Capilano Honey’s and Ben McKee’s claim against me dismissed for want of prosecution which means they have failed to prosecute the claim in a timely manner and are playing delaying tactics which is a standard tactic for SLAPP Lawsuits.
Justice McCallum said she needed more argument this year to make up her mind and has now promised multiple times to hand down her judgment including a promise to give judgment last week but has continually failed to do so.
The major impact of the Mulvany matter being transferred to Victoria is that is makes it a lot harder for Capilano to try and co-ordinate 2 SLAPP lawsuits in 2 different states and that is why their lawyers were sweating so much in court during the Mulvany hearing.
Justice McCallum had no real choice but to transfer the matter
Capilano Honey’s lawyers have lied and deceived the court dozens of times in their legal proceedings against Simon Mulvany and myself to the point where it has become highly embarrassing to the court. This left Justice Lucy McCallum no choice but to transfer Simon Mulvany’s matters to Victoria which is where it should have been in the first place given Simon Mulvany lives there and Capilano Honey have business operations there.
The only reason the matter was instituted in NSW by Capilano Honey was because Kerry Stokes has his lawyers in Sydney and the judges in his hip pocket and they also knew it would be hard for Simon Mulvany to defend himself in Sydney.
Capilano Honey’s and McKee’s claims have always been frivolous and vexatious and without any merit
Kerry Stokes’ Channel 7 have even run shows on their Today Tonight program outing Capilano Honey as selling “polluted and poisonous honey”. “The claims by Channel 7 went unchallenged by Capilano Honey’s lawyers in court on Thursday (19/4/18) and when you watch the videos you can see why”. (Click here to read more or watch the videos)
The whole point to the legal proceedings is just to cover-up what they are up to. They know they will never win a final hearing unless they have the judge in their hip pocket and that has become a lot more difficult now the Mulvany matter has been moved to Victoria.
It’s not over yet but Capilano Honey are in a lot of trouble legally and their Directors should check that their personal professional liability insurance is current.
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