Update 20 September 2014.
On the 28 May Justice Martin handed down his decision against Steve for the first trial which ended in February 2014. Steve has now appealed this decision which will be heard later this year or next year.
Justice Martin yesterday handed down his decision on costs from the first trial lifting the normal restraints on cost limits for much of what had been claimed by Michael Baxter’s lawyers. The total claimed was $804,000.
He also rejected Steve’s lawyers requests for further information concerning the liability that Baxter had to pay his costs. Steve’s lawyers contended that there were numerous public statements by the Pastoralists and Graziers Association that they were contributing to Baxter’s legal costs and that no legal expenses showed up in Baxter’s tax returns of 2012 and 2013. They contended that Baxter may not have paid his legal costs.
Media reporting of this decision indicates Steve may be able to apply to stay the costs pending the outcome of his appeal of the original decision which is due to be heard later this year or early next year.
If Steve wins the appeal it is expected that the costs order will be reversed. We anxiously hope that Steve can stay the costs pending the outcome of the appeal. To force him to sell his farm before the appeal decision is handed down woudl be unconscionable.
Please support Steve’s appeal against the first trial decision by donating now.