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Lawyer loses defamation case after being compared to bumbling film lawyer
21 October 2016
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An Australian lawyer who was compared to a foolish solicitor from the film "The Castle" has lost an appeal for $250,000 in damages.

Brett Smith brought an action against a former in-law, Kenneith Craig Lucht, for refering to him as “Dennis Denuto” several times during a family dispute. Smith launched the $250,000 defamation case arguing that the comparison to Denuto falsely implied he was unprofessional, foolish and incompetent.

When the matter was heard in the District Court last year, the presiding judge described the character of Dennis Denuto as “unprepared, lacking in knowledge and judgment, incompetent and unprofessional”.  Althouth he added that the character is “as likeable and well-intentioned".

The comparison may be unfair since Denuto managed to win his case


The District Court found against Smith in December last year saying that  he was "unlikely to sustain any harm to his reputation" given that the statements were confined to two members of his family who "were able to make their own assessment of the imputation".

Smith appealed the decision, but the Court of Appeal has upheld the verdict of the lower court.


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