Happening right now in court in London – Meghan Markle’s legal team is seeking “summary judgment” against the Mail on Sunday. Basically they’re arguing that there doesn’t need to be a trial because the Mail hasn’t been able to present an acceptable defence for publishing a private letter she sent to her father. A decision in the case could come as early as tomorrow. And if the case does go to trial, it’ll be in the fall. Obviously we know what would be ideal for the Markle side: they want this wrapped up this week, and for the court to tell the Mail that they violated her privacy, period, without wasting anyone else’s time at trial.
For the Mail, a trial is the preference, and I’m not sure necessarily that it’s about how much they actually stand by what they did. Rather it’s how they would benefit from the coverage of the trial and what possible content they’d be able to generate out of it. Here’s a good thread from a legal expert about what’s really being argued:
Currently waiting for the latest round of Duchess of Sussex v Associated Newspapers to begin (remotely). She seeks summary judgment I wonâ€™t be live-tweeting for two days but Iâ€™ll be keeping an eye on it.— Joshua Rozenberg (@JoshuaRozenberg) January 19, 2021
My backgrounder (for subscribers to my blog) here: https://t.co/YRhSt5pEDV
Joshua Rozenberg has been live-tweeting all day. If you don’t want to start from the beginning, this is a good section to follow:
This case raises a â€¦ question which does not appear to have— Joshua Rozenberg (@JoshuaRozenberg) January 19, 2021
received the attention of domestic courts since the establishment of the modern law of privacy. The reason for this may well be that the answer is so obvious that no litigant has
thought it worth contesting.
Byline Investigates has been all over this story from the beginning and sums up best what kind of bullsh-t Meghan is up against:
"Anything less than a complete victory for her is certain to be presented by the Mail and allies as a resounding defeat, while if she happens to win on all counts we will probably be told the judge is an enemy of the people and that 300 years of press freedom have come to an end" https://t.co/BhRgZkz1Fa— Byline Investigates (@BInvestigates) January 18, 2021
Interestingly though, Byline covers what hasn’t really made a lot of headlines recently – that over the last couple of months the Mail has been sued and lost several other cases because of their inaccurate and sometimes defamatory reporting which include paying damages to a man “for breach of confidence and misuse of private information; publishing a correction about another story on Prince Harry; paying damages to a politician after “falsely suggesting she helped Holocaust deniers; and compensating a motorcyclist “for unfairly reporting a court hearing”. In other words, they get things wrong all the time and have been called out on it but…
They have the money to keep going! And they are clearly prepared to spend more money on the Meghan Markle case if it means they can keep making money by publishing about it.
A Markle win won’t necessarily stop this cycle, but that’s the bigger goal here for the Sussexes. We’ll have a better idea tomorrow where this fight is headed.