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Common sense vs. litigators as the Rao case goes back to court

By johnboy - 16 July 2009 30

The Canberra Times has the unfortunate news that Cube stabbing case is going back to court despite Justice Malcolm Grey finding last March that the club owner Maurizio Rao acted in self defence when David Nato Seuala received fatal stab wounds outside the Cube nightclub at 4.30 in the morning on 15 July 2006.

Seula’s partner and mother of his two children, Patricia Soledad Gaete, is trying to see if the civil courts will compensate where the criminal court would not convict.

    But Ms Gaete’s lawyers Blumers claim the club was responsible for Mr Seuala’s death for allowing Mr Rao, who they claim is technically an employee of holding company XL Enterprises, to brawl with patrons or prospective patrons.

    Blumers also claim that XL failed to provide a safe entertainment venue, failed to train its security staff properly and allowed one of them to carry a knife.

    Lawyers for XL have lodged a defence with the court, denying any negligence or liability for Mr Seuala’s death.

    XL’s lawyers Deacons further allege that it was Mr Seuala’s negligence that resulted in his own death and that he was engaging in illegal activity when he instigated the fight.

One would hope that, having refused the gentlemen entry, XL’s requirement to provide them with a safe entertainment would be moot.

I’m just guessing here, but I’d imagine that Blumers have taken this case on a contingency basis. Anyone want to speculate what percentage of any final payment they’re going to walk away with.

What’s Your opinion?


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30 Responses to
Common sense vs. litigators as the Rao case goes back to court
wishuwell 12:04 pm 16 Jul 09

A law firm will have a good idea about how much damages awarded in dollars a particular action if won would be worth and then apply their percentage but not call it that. For example whiplash ($20,000 less 20%)they may suggest the cost of representation might be in the $3,800-4,500 region give or take a fee extra expenses, medical/witness evidence phone calls photocopying etc but don’t worry we will take it out of the final amount.

johnboy 11:56 am 16 Jul 09

orangegirl said :

No. No win no fee works to the advantage of the client, not the solicitor.

Do you think they should be banned?

I think “costs” are actually paid and highly profitable work.

I’d like more regulation in the area, or more ideally, a less expensive legal system.

toriness 11:47 am 16 Jul 09

orangegirl – how is the fee worked out then? genuinely interested.

orangegirl 11:31 am 16 Jul 09

No. No win no fee works to the advantage of the client, not the solicitor.

Do you think they should be banned?

johnboy 11:29 am 16 Jul 09

From the Blumers website:

If you don’t win… you don’t pay”.

johnboy 11:27 am 16 Jul 09

Agreed they can’t work to a proportion of the payment. But is no win – no fee also banned?

pug206gti 11:23 am 16 Jul 09

LEGAL PROFESSION ACT 2006 – SECT 285
Contingency fees prohibited
(1) A law practice must not enter into a costs agreement under which the amount payable to the practice, or any part of that amount, is worked out by reference to the amount of any award or settlement or the value of any property that may be recovered in any proceeding to which the agreement relates.

orangegirl 11:21 am 16 Jul 09

“I’m just guessing here, but I’d imagine that Blumers have taken this case on a contingency basis. Anyone want to speculate what percentage of any final payment they’re going to walk away with.”

It is illegal in the ACT for any solicitor to act on a contingency basis.

Do your research.

housebound 10:28 am 16 Jul 09

The law firm wouldn’t have taken it on without assessing the prospects first. There must be some reasonable basis in law, however obscure it may seem to us mere mortals.

PBO 10:09 am 16 Jul 09

Patricia Soledad Gaete would have better luck going up against the ACT Government (Should be funny) because it technically happened on Government property. XL Enterprises only have authority from the club to their doorway, although there may be patrons outside the club anything beyond that door is not their concern.

David Seuala would still be alive today were it not for his stupid, drunken actions. His children would have a father had he have stayed home and looked after his family.

One could lay blame on his friends for not being responsible enough to stay out of trouble.

But the real reason that he is dead is that he and his friends could not hold their alcohol. They could not act responsibly and now one of them is dead and they are looking for a scapegoat other than themselves.

If you want to blame someone Patricia, start with his friends.

wishuwell 9:42 am 16 Jul 09

I can see civil court action becoming the modern day equivalent of the roadside memorial.

Hells_Bells74 9:33 am 16 Jul 09

If you want money when your other half dies, maybe take insurance out next time. Fair enough if he was murdered by conviction, but alas not.

chewy14 9:21 am 16 Jul 09

Well at least 50% of nothing is still nothing.

toriness 9:19 am 16 Jul 09

they do not deserve a cent.

PBO 8:52 am 16 Jul 09

One would think that there is little to go ahead with as the incident happened outside the club. Also with the victim being one of the instigators, they would not really have a leg to stand on. XL completed their duty of care by not letting that group through the door. What happened after was the fault of the victim.

They are clutching at straws.

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