The Mail’s lawyers claim they have plans to appeal Duchess Meghan’s legal victory
As I’ve said before, my legal expertise comes from Dick Wolf University, which does not make me an expert in British law. Perhaps I should have transferred into Sir Richard Wolf University. So I’m trying to piece through what’s happening today in the Duchess of Sussex’s copyright infringement lawsuit against the Mail. Meghan won the summary judgment last month, and the hearing today is dealing with some of the post-judgment drama, like the actual monetary damages awarded to Meghan. Apparently, Meghan also wants the Mail to turn over the hard copy letter she wrote to her father, and she wants the Mail to destroy all of their electronic copies and notes around the letter too. Whew, here’s some of what ITV is reporting:
She wants the letter back: The Duchess of Sussex has asked the High Court to order The Mail On Sunday to hand over any copies of a handwritten letter sent to her estranged father following her “comprehensive win” last month. At a remote hearing on Tuesday, the duchess’ lawyers asked the High Court to order ANL to hand over any copies of the letter to Mr Markle and destroy any electronic copies of it or any notes made about it.
Application for an injunction: Ian Mill QC, representing Meghan, also applied for an injunction to “restrain the acts of copyright infringement and misuse of private information”. In written submissions, Mr Mill said: “This case is a paradigm example of one in which there is a very real need for an injunction. It is required in order to protect the claimant’s rights and stop the continuing acts of infringement. The defendant has offered no undertaking, the defendant has failed to deliver up copies it has of the letter such that the threat to infringe and further to misuse her private information remains real and, inexplicably, the defendant has still not removed the infringing articles from MailOnline. This is in the face of a judgment which has found, in the clearest possible terms, that the defendant’s acts of publishing those articles infringes the claimant’s rights. Accordingly, at the time of writing, the defendant defiantly continues to do the very acts which the court has held are unlawful.”
Meghan wants a front page story on the Daily Mail about her victory: Mr Mill also sought an order requiring ANL to publish a statement about the duchess’ victory on the front page of The Mail On Sunday and the home page of MailOnline “to act as a deterrent to future infringers”.
Meghan offers to cap her damages: The barrister said Meghan was willing to “cap her damages” for misuse of private information “at a nominal award”, in order to “avoid the need for time and cost to be incurred in debating these issues”. Mr Mill also asked for ANL to pay £750,000 within two weeks as “an interim payment on account” of Meghan’s legal costs in bringing the claim.
The Mail says they plan to appeal though: In written submissions, Antony White QC, representing ANL, said his client planned to appeal against the summary judgment ruling, arguing that it “would have a real prospect of success”. Mr White said Meghan’s withdrawal of her claim for damages, instead seeking nominal damages, was “a radical change of position”. In relation to the duchess’ request for nominal damages, Mr White added: “It is suggested that £1, £2 or £5 would do.”
There’s more from the Mail’s lawyers at the ITV link – the Mail’s lawyers are fighting the court about paying Meghan’s legal bills, and they’re also fighting about returning the letter to her or to her father or something, I barely understood the argument they’re making. The lawyer blew his lid over the demand to feature Meghan’s legal victory on the front page of the Mail too. Which is funny, my God. My guess is that Meghan’s legal strategy is basically to take less money in damages if the Mail promises not to appeal. She doesn’t want to drag this sh-t out forever. And clearly, that would be in the Mail’s best interest too? I mean, the Mail literally has a million other avenues to pursue in their coverage. At this point, does the Mail’s readership even care about Thomas Markle? Come on. Anyway, it does sound like the Mail is going to appeal in some form, which is completely asinine but here we are.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.
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