The former attorney general has suffered a devastating legal blow that could cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Former Attorney General Christian Porter has lost an appeal against a Federal Court ruling barring his lawyer from appearing in his defamation case.
Last year, Jo Dyer filed a lawsuit that resulted in Chief Defense Attorney Sue Chrysant S.K. barred from representing Mr. Porter in his case against ABC.
Mr Porter filed an appeal in April to overturn the court’s decision, which resulted in the couple being ordered to pay $430,000 in Ms Dyer’s costs despite the case being dismissed.
Judge Anthony Besanko ruled on Thursday saying all three judges who presided over the case, including himself, Michael Lee and Wendy Abraham, agreed to dismiss the appeal.
They ordered Mr. Porter to pay Ms. Dyer’s expenses.
Ms Dyer alleges that the defamation lawyer was given “confidential information” about the defamation case against ABC and filed a lawsuit.
Judge Towley sided with Ms. Dyer, forcing the attorney to stop working for Mr. Porter to prevent “possible misuse of confidential information.”
The court was told that between the airing of the Four Corners episode and the publication of the ABC story online, Ms Dyer and Ms Crisantu met in November 2020 to discuss an article that Ms Dyer disapproved of in The Australian.
Three months later, ABC published an article on the Internet that referred to an unnamed cabinet minister accused of rape.
It was later revealed that the minister was Christian Porter, who consistently denied any wrongdoing.
Miss Dyer was friends with a woman who claimed to have been raped. The woman refused to be questioned by the police and committed suicide before the Four Corners episode aired.
Ms Crisanto claimed the meeting lasted less than an hour and in March 2021 she was asked by Christian Porter to represent him in his case against ABC.
Ms. Dyer was a potential ABC witness in the defamation case.
During the appeal hearing, Mr. Porter’s attorney, Bret Walker C.K. argued that information about the allegations against Mr Porter was no longer confidential and Ms Dwyer did not want it to remain confidential when she met Ms Crisanto.
“She wasn’t going to keep them a secret,” Walker said.
“Quite the opposite.
Mr Porter is clearly the one to whom [Ms Dyer] showed a high level of disapproval, [she] wishes him harm, frankly.”
The reasons for Thursday’s Federal Court decision have yet to be made public.
After previous attempts to qualify for the Labor preselection, Dyer is now vying for Boothby’s fringe Liberal seat in South Australia as an independent candidate in the upcoming federal election.
Mr. Porter retired from politics and returned to work as a lawyer in Western Australia.
Originally published as Christian Porter to pay huge bill after losing Federal Court appeal