The Mail’s lawyers claim they have plans to appeal Duchess Meghan’s legal victory

Upon conclusion of the Commonwealth Service, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle will meet school children in the Dean's yard before attending a Reception.

As I’ve said before, my legal expertise comes from Dick Wolf University, which does not make me an expert in British law. Perhaps I should have transferred into Sir Richard Wolf University. So I’m trying to piece through what’s happening today in the Duchess of Sussex’s copyright infringement lawsuit against the Mail. Meghan won the summary judgment last month, and the hearing today is dealing with some of the post-judgment drama, like the actual monetary damages awarded to Meghan. Apparently, Meghan also wants the Mail to turn over the hard copy letter she wrote to her father, and she wants the Mail to destroy all of their electronic copies and notes around the letter too. Whew, here’s some of what ITV is reporting:

She wants the letter back: The Duchess of Sussex has asked the High Court to order The Mail On Sunday to hand over any copies of a handwritten letter sent to her estranged father following her “comprehensive win” last month. At a remote hearing on Tuesday, the duchess’ lawyers asked the High Court to order ANL to hand over any copies of the letter to Mr Markle and destroy any electronic copies of it or any notes made about it.

Application for an injunction: Ian Mill QC, representing Meghan, also applied for an injunction to “restrain the acts of copyright infringement and misuse of private information”. In written submissions, Mr Mill said: “This case is a paradigm example of one in which there is a very real need for an injunction. It is required in order to protect the claimant’s rights and stop the continuing acts of infringement. The defendant has offered no undertaking, the defendant has failed to deliver up copies it has of the letter such that the threat to infringe and further to misuse her private information remains real and, inexplicably, the defendant has still not removed the infringing articles from MailOnline. This is in the face of a judgment which has found, in the clearest possible terms, that the defendant’s acts of publishing those articles infringes the claimant’s rights. Accordingly, at the time of writing, the defendant defiantly continues to do the very acts which the court has held are unlawful.”

Meghan wants a front page story on the Daily Mail about her victory: Mr Mill also sought an order requiring ANL to publish a statement about the duchess’ victory on the front page of The Mail On Sunday and the home page of MailOnline “to act as a deterrent to future infringers”.

Meghan offers to cap her damages: The barrister said Meghan was willing to “cap her damages” for misuse of private information “at a nominal award”, in order to “avoid the need for time and cost to be incurred in debating these issues”. Mr Mill also asked for ANL to pay £750,000 within two weeks as “an interim payment on account” of Meghan’s legal costs in bringing the claim.

The Mail says they plan to appeal though: In written submissions, Antony White QC, representing ANL, said his client planned to appeal against the summary judgment ruling, arguing that it “would have a real prospect of success”. Mr White said Meghan’s withdrawal of her claim for damages, instead seeking nominal damages, was “a radical change of position”. In relation to the duchess’ request for nominal damages, Mr White added: “It is suggested that £1, £2 or £5 would do.”

[From ITV]

There’s more from the Mail’s lawyers at the ITV link – the Mail’s lawyers are fighting the court about paying Meghan’s legal bills, and they’re also fighting about returning the letter to her or to her father or something, I barely understood the argument they’re making. The lawyer blew his lid over the demand to feature Meghan’s legal victory on the front page of the Mail too. Which is funny, my God. My guess is that Meghan’s legal strategy is basically to take less money in damages if the Mail promises not to appeal. She doesn’t want to drag this sh-t out forever. And clearly, that would be in the Mail’s best interest too? I mean, the Mail literally has a million other avenues to pursue in their coverage. At this point, does the Mail’s readership even care about Thomas Markle? Come on. Anyway, it does sound like the Mail is going to appeal in some form, which is completely asinine but here we are.

Update: According to Omid Scobie, Justice Warby has ordered the Mail to pay for 90% of Meghan’s legal costs. And now the judge says that the Mail can’t appeal!!

BRITAIN LONDON ROYAL MEGHAN EXHIBITION

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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52 Responses to “The Mail’s lawyers claim they have plans to appeal Duchess Meghan’s legal victory”

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  1. MsIam says:

    Not any kind of a lawyer, British, TV or otherwise, but don’t most cases have the right to appeal? And just because you appeal doesn’t mean you win. Its the Mails legal bill, its their dime and their time.

    • Merricat says:

      Lol. Their case had no merit, and they know it. This noise is just to distract from what’s coming for them–what’s that sound, what’s that bright light? It’s the Oprah train coming to run them down, with receipts aplenty.

    • Julie says:

      Either way they win, because whatever happens they’ll be able to cover it feverishly and that means more eyeballs and engagement on their crappy tabloid. And I can’t imagine that the courts will impose damages of sufficient of value to take away the profits they make off this. And even if the judgement is brutal against them, they’ll editorialize it as the “end of the free press” and that alone is enough to win the court of public opinion over and over again. This is why I was opposed to Meghan suing.

      • Midnight@theOasis says:

        “This is why I was opposed to Meghan suing.”

        And yet she won her case convincingly. Comments like this always chill me because it takes the victim’s voice and agency away. Yeah, go ahead and allow yourself to be brutally abused and vilified but don’t dare stand up for yourself. Ever. Nah, fck that shit. Win or lose…fight the battle and stand up to the assholes.

        The Fail will run negative commentary regardless and the only “court of public opinion” the Fail wins is those right wing nut jobs who live for the Fail’s garbage. This isn’t about what happens solely in the U.K. This is about H&M’s global/international rep.

      • Cecilia says:

        So meghan should’ve just sat back and let them abuse her without putting up any boundries? No meghan was right to sue. And im happy. Because when history will talk about this woman they have legal documents they can refer to instead of nonsense tabloids

      • pottymouth pup says:

        this is one of the reasons she’s demanding front page coverage that she won the case and they lost

      • Ginger says:

        So if someone bullies you are you not going to fight back? Do you sit and take it? I’m THRILLED Meghan sued and won. Good for her. What they did was wrong and they deserve what they got. Always fight back.

      • ABritGuest says:

        Good thing she listened to her top lawyers not naysayers as she won her case based on existing law. And the high court has just rejected the Mail’s summary judgement appeal.

        And the case exposed quite a lot. It exposed the abandoned her father stories as well as those made up stories about Frogmore, being from Compton etc. Also exposed fact her and her friends weren’t allowed to defend/comment on stories& why her friends were worried enough to go to People, royal household colluding with the Mail.

      • L4frimaire says:

        Julie, why even bothers with laws? Yes stuff like copyright and privacy are boring but are there for a reason. I don’t think the Mail feel Ike they’re winning today. Yes they’ll be vindictive but they’ve been sued, lost, and have to pay a lot of money. Bitching and moaning is not a legal strategy. So glad she won. This is why they’re freaking out about this interview.

      • CrazyHeCallsMe says:

        It’s tiring hearing victims be told “no, don’t challenge your abuser.” People always want victims to muzzle themselves and never stand up to the bullies. Especially when it comes to black women. Black women are always supposed to just take the Sh!t dished out at them and keep it moving . Hell no. Enough of that crap.

    • anotherlily says:

      The Mail has lost its appeal against the decision made in February but it has the right to go to the Court of Appeal. Also, there is still an outstanding matter which wasn’t dealt with in the earlier hearing and which will be heard in April or May. The decision today means that Meghan can be awarded costs and she has been awarded 90% of the £1.5million claimed because she has won 90% of her case- the other 10% being the outstanding matter. The Mail has been ordered to pay £450,000 of the costs within two weeks. Meghan has asked for nominal damages at this stage because she intends to pursue a claim for the profits made from the Mail’s unlawful use of her letter.

      If the Mail pursues this to the Court of Appeal, AFAIK , it won’t involve Meghan having to appear. It will be an appeal against Lord Justice Warby’s decision.

      One of the outstanding issues concerns the ‘Palace Four’ and their claim, if any, to joint copyright. There is no information yet about how they responded to the Judge’s order that the Mail’s lawyers write to them inviting them to apply to join the case as co-claimants or co-defendants. There will be another document issued to explain today’s ruling.

  2. Amy Bee says:

    I guess no one from KP has claimed copyright. They had until today to do so. Meghan is also asking for the profits from the articles. I hope she gets what she has asked for.

  3. Ariel says:

    I am not versed in British law either, but in the US, summary judgment is a really difficult thing to win. There has to be NO legal wiggle room. Nothing at issue at all. It is a high standard.
    To have lost summary judgment is a big deal.

    And i think they do want to string it out, all publicity is good publicity for them- unless the damages are so great they actually bankrupt them.
    That would be nice.

    • Emile says:

      “… summary judgment is a really difficult thing to win. There has to be NO legal wiggle room…”

      This is why I’m so interested in reading the court docs the Mail submitted today and to see what arguments they intend to bring forward on appeal — because Judge Warby’s judgment left them with very little wiggle room.

      • Nic919 says:

        I have not read what the Mail submitted, but for an appeal to be successful they will need to show that Warby was incorrect in applying the law and mistook the facts and there is usually a high level of deferral that an appellate court places on the trier of fact because they are the ones with direct contact with the evidence.

  4. L84Tea says:

    Woowee, they messed with the wrong Duchess!

    • Amy Bee says:

      Yeah, they thought she would act like the rest of the Royal Family and do nothing. Good for her. All those people who said she shouldn’t sure look like fools now.

  5. Emile says:

    @Kaiser, do you know where we can access the legal docs submitted in court today?

  6. Jules says:

    This is never going to end…

  7. Sunday says:

    They know they have no chance of winning, they just want to drag this out as long as possible so they can keep cashing in on “coverage” of the trial and continued bashing of Meghan. Truly disgusting.

  8. Snuffles says:

    Judge just ordered the Mail to pay 90% of her legal fees.

  9. BayTampaBay says:

    @Kaiser – When you attended Dick Wolf University, did you attended classes at the main NBC Campus or the Wikipedia Campus?

    • HeatherC says:

      I attended mine on the WE (WeTV) campus. The marathons helped give me the legal skills to…kinda argue my way out of a speeding ticket? I think Kaiser had more complete curriculum.

  10. TheOriginalMia says:

    Just saw Omid’s tweet about her legal fees. If Meghan is awarded a % of profits, whoo hoo!

    As for the appeal, I just don’t see what wiggle room they have to appeal. They took her letter. Cut and pasted parts of it to hurt her and create a narrative about her that was injurious.

  11. aquarius64 says:

    Oprah’s interview is going to address this lawsuit.

    Why is the Fail fighting to turn over the hard copy of the letter and the electronic record? The rag knows its useful idiot Thomas Markle would not have a copy of the letter and is no good to them as a witness even with written testimony. Can’t wait for the decision.

    • HeatherC says:

      Because they don’t want to turn over any notes either staff may have made about the letter or with Thomas Markle regarding the letter.

  12. Cecilia says:

    The fact that they have to pay 90% of the legal costs sounds to me like its pretty final and the appeal that the mail wants to claim will be denied. Also, they couldn’t even get the palace 4 to come to their defense and claim fellow copyright. how do they think this would turn out if they appeal the case? Meghan would still win and they would have to pay her even more

  13. As Meghan discusses with Oprah the vilification of the Royal Rota, her comprehensive win against The Mail on Sunday and MailOnline will strongly lend credence to her claim that the British press bullied and harassed her incessantly and may gain her more public support. This favorable judgment by the High Court will strengthen her credibility and reputation. On the other hand, there are those hardcore who wouldn’t like her no matter what. Like the RF and the RR and maybe some. But they are done with them already and couldn’t care less anymore. The Sussexes are now looking at a global market for their brand. They’re moving past them and moving ahead.

  14. Edna says:

    The thought/action of obeying the court ruling is anathema to the Fail. The public admission and capitulation to the court’s ruling would break the manager’s and owners brains.

  15. Snuffles says:

    Judge denied appeal

  16. Gabby says:

    I suspect that many of us might be Dick Wolf University alums, and I think we should have reunions or something.

    • HeatherC says:

      Some place warm. I’m in NY and I want some warm weather. And tropical adult beverages.

      • Lexistential says:

        I’m also in NY! Ugh, today’s weather is windy and cold, and I miss the beach!

  17. Nic919 says:

    Being awarded 90% in costs is quite high and I suspect there was an element of punitive costs in that amount. Full costs are rare in litigation and so this sends a clear message.

  18. Shoo fly says:

    The Mail can still appeal to the Court of Appeal and ask them to take the case. What Warby refused to grant them was instant permission to do so. Judge will grant immediate permission if they know the decision was close or if the issue was a novel one. Highly suggests Warby is very confident in his decision.

  19. aquarius64 says:

    If there is justice Bad Dad should pay the remaining 10% of her court costs.

  20. L4frimaire says:

    Surprisingly ( not),the Rota is silent on this while going on about how talking to Oprah will kill Phillip. I wonder what the copyright violation costs will be. Love how she insists they post this on the front page and in the same font as the original articles. Whether or not she gets the full amount requested, I hope they at least state what it could be, even if she just takes a token amount. Honestly, the Mail should be forced or pay up in full because as long as Meghan Markle is out here, they will profit off her. She could go full-on hermit as they say they want her to do, but they’ll find a way to make money off that story as well. We’ve heard the expression “Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel”, but what if they’re the one firing shots? She stood up for herself and had the law to back it up.

  21. Saucy&Sassy says:

    I think the Daily Fail made a mistake. They should have taken down the articles immediately. Meghan asked for all copies of the letter and for them to destroy any electronic copies and notes. She doesn’t want them to continue to use that letter in anyway. Since the Fail hasn’t done anything, I think the Court is more likely to grant the injunction. Which means, if they do anything else with this letter, they will be answering to the Court. I love the strategy behind this. You go, Meghan!!!!

  22. Well Wisher says:

    The last time a British newspaper was repudiated in this manner was in 1970 as stated by the New European news. Both editors had to resign in that instance and notice the contrast with this, Daily Heil owner is on record as saying they should have settle the case, goes to show how empowered they felt to minimize her humanity, her right to privacy. Interesting.

  23. anotherlily says:

    The Judgement made on 1st March is here https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Duchess-of-Sussex-v-Associated-judgment-1.pdf
    This will be followed by the official Order which will direct the Mail to publish the Court’s decision. In the case of the MailOline it will have to publish this for seven days with a link to the full Judgement. Failure to comply with this Order would be ‘Contempt of Court’ which is a serious offence and could lead to the Mail’s editor being jailed for 14 days.

    The Mail probably will apply to the Court of Appeal but the application for an appeal could be refused if the Court decides there are no credible grounds to appeal. They seem desperate to involve the Palace Four but the only way of doing this is through a claim for joint copyright and this wouldn’t assist the Mail’s case. If the intention is to claim that Jason Knaufe gave the Mail permission to publish what it wanted from the letter then this will rebound on Knaufe himself and on the Palace. It could give Meghan grounds to sue Jason Knaufe.