back to article Welsh baby-kisser's tweet sets him back £53k

A Welsh politician has learned an expensive lesson in libel and must pay a political rival £3,000, plus costs, thanks to a libellous Tweet he posted about the latter. Colin Elsbury has now returned to Twitter to apologise to Councillor Edward John Talbot. Elsbury accepted that his claim that Talbot had been removed from a …

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Bronze badge
Stop

Nice little gravy train

£50,000 legal costs for a £3,000 defamation award? That's absurd. It should have gone to the Small Claims Court. The legal system is turning into a money-making scheme for those on the inside. Simplify the process and cut out the wasteful steps.

My job involves improving business processes through proper use of IT. Often it's clear that the problem lies in the business process, not in the software. The UK's legal system is one business process which needs to be drastically simplified.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice little gravy train

The small claims court is mainly for recuperating financial losses. This was a libel case in which damages were awarded, not at all the same thing and completey unsuitable for the small calims court.

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Libel laws are changing

The new government is putting forward a bill shortly to supposedly simplify the process, limit damages, encourage fair comment and discourage libel tourism. The bill isn't published but here is what the campaigners who spearheaded the change in law would like it to say.

http://www.senseaboutscience.org.uk/PDF/What%20should%20a%20defamation%20bill%20contain.pdf

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Big Brother

@Buzzword

"The legal system is turning into a money-making scheme for those on the inside. "

Where have you been? 'Twas ever thus from its inception!

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Anonymous Coward

Helloooo, Rip Van Winkle?

Whatever do you mean, "turning into"?

Hasn't it always been thus?

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Paris Hilton

Is that an honest price?

Was Talbot actually going to pay 50k to his lawyer if he'd lost his case? Wasn't he going to pay, say, 3-4000? Because then it looks like a big fraud to me.

I have no idea; with a lawyer at 1000/hour, I can't imagine there's 50h work in it. So all in all, I'd ask for an itemized bill and feel the loser is entitled to that.

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That number right there. .....

...... £50k. Thats why this country is fucked. He paid lawyers £50k to clear up the mess of telling 28 people something incorrect. Wouldnt the world be a better place if we gave the 28 people £500 each for misleading them, and let the 'lawyer' drown in his pond?

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Joke

Or ...

Talking of sums of money and drowning lawyers in ponds, what is the going rate for a hit these days?

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Joke

It's a Lawyer...

I'd do it pro bono...

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Heart

But why..

...would you do it on behalf of Bono?

He could afford his own hitmen - especially now the lawyers have got his earnings away from Erin so he pays little tax...

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Both correct.

Both the OP and the first AC reply are correct. The system desperately needs overhauling to get some proportionality into costs. There are so many lawyers being produced every year that, if there was an unprotected system and the laws of supply and demand were in operation, the f***kers would be barely able to command the same amount as a shelf-stacker in Tesco. Indeed, there have been moves to deregulate the legal system through legislation, but it never seems to get through - no prizes for guessing why (hint: which profession is VERY well represented in both Houses?).

Defamation law in this country still revolves around a wholly outdated concept of "inpugned honour", and should have been overhauled years ago, but it makes lots of money for very influential lawyers. Good on the folks who are seemingly getting the lawmakers to bring this stupid law into the 21st Century (well, 20th, anyway).

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Motive

Alternatively he paid £50k to allow him to legally say at the next election that his rival is a liar who can't be trusted to tell the electorate the truth?

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£50k paid by the wrong-doer

If you're 100% certain of winning you don't need to worry about the legal fees. This was one of those cases. The libeler should have settled.

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We ALL have to worry about legal fees

The more lawyers get away with charging fees out of all proportion to the issue, the more we ALL suffer - because hedging your bets becomes a cost to business, and because the risks associated with bringing justifiable legal action become too great.

Sadly, bits of the IT profession also seem to rely on charging totally unreasonable amounts when the customer has no alternative (or is too stupid to realise that they do have an alternative). This, too, is bad for the rest of us - but nice work if you can get it, no doubt.

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Happy

50,000 thousand grands?!

Well that explains the size of your average lawyers house and why they all drive around in the latest reg Mercs!

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Anonymous Coward

Silver lining

"Elsbury boasts a modest 28 followers on Twitter".

Well, at least he has a large and appreciative family...

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Anonymous Coward

Put it on Commons Expenses

Simple...put the £53K cost to the Commons Expenses System....

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