News

Sick celebrity lawyer given slap down by Noosa court

Harrison Ford's lawyer Stuart Gibson loses case involving a Noosa magistrate.
Harrison Ford's lawyer Stuart Gibson loses case involving a Noosa magistrate. Jordan Strauss

THE Hollywood defamation lawyer to stars like Russell Crowe and Harrison Ford didn't like his verbal shellacking from a Noosa magistrate who didn't simply accept his sick note.

Stuart Gibson was told off when he didn't appear in a Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) matter over a dispute of $14,000 in real estate sales commission with Select Noosa Real Estate on February 12.

So Mr Gibson, who was also known as the "Church of Scientology lawyer", fired back and sought leave to appeal the QCAT decision.

He also accused the tribunal member of "bias" and sought to have her recused from hearing the case after he was told, amongst others, "the court is not at your beck and call".

Mr Gibson claimed in his grounds of appeal the "tribunal snapped at him in open court, acted rudely and abrasively, attacked his credibility and defamed him before hanging up (the phone) on him.

But in a judgement handed down in Brisbane by former Chief Justice Tim Carmody, Mr Gibson lost this bid and his leave to appeal was refused.

The court documents, released this week, highlight details of the unusual case.

Mr Gibson and his elderly parents, Walter and Helen, were alleged to owe Select Noosa Real Estate the $14,053 over the $545,000 sale of their 44 Second Ave, Coolum Beach home in April 2015.

PRDnationwide sold the home, but Select Noosa Real Estate argued they had the exclusive listing.

The case was set down for February 12. Mr Gibson, who works in Melbourne, was given permission to represent his elderly parents over the phone.

But then on February 11, Mr Gibson emailed the tribunal advising "he was going home to bed with a virus" and requested an adjournment as he wasn't likely to be well enough to attend the hearing.

The next day, he again emailed the registry confirming he was "still unwell" and asked for it to be adjourned and provide a mobile contact number.

When the hearing was called at 11am, the tribunal rang Mr Gibson's office and was told "he was, or at least had been, in earlier in the morning but had left for the day and was only contactable via email".

The tribunal told Mr Gibson's office manager the hearing would proceed if he didn't make contact promptly.

At 11.10am, the matter was adjourned, but "because of credibility issues" withdrew Mr Gibson's leave to represent his parents by phone and ordered them to all appear in court.

Two minutes later and Mr Gibson was on the phone to the tribunal, which sparked a retort.

"I'm in the middle of a court. You were meant to appear here or be available by 9am," a tribunal member said.

"I rang your offices, they said you were in, but you were in a meeting. Now, I'm not sure - they said that - that may be mistaken etcetera. It hen rang your mobile. I then got messages. This court is not at your beck and call. And to be honest, I think you are just trying to delay these proceedings."

The court document showed the tribunal also noted Mr Gibson's "alleged pattern of not showing up at hearings and causing adjournments for various reasons, including being sick and having to attend to other court-related matters".

It also alleged "he did not sound sick when contacted by the court".

Judge Carmody found Mr Gibson and his parents didn't have "a right to appear remotely" and the tribunal was "perfectly entitled to reconsider the question of the mode of the applicant's attendance at the adjournment hearing, especially if credit was in issue".

He also found the tribunal's comments "clearly reflected scepticism" about Mr Gibson's reasons for non-attendance, but did not defame him.

It is understood the case is now set down for a date in November.

Both Mr Gibson and Select Noosa Real Estate principal Greg Smith declined to comment.

Topics:  defamation editors picks harrison ford noosa magistrates court qcat russell crowe tim carmody


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Hemp fan reaps what he sows

Stall assistant Bubaloo Fahy at the Hemp Foods Australia stall at Mullumbimby Farmers' Market. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Businessman and campaigner celebrates legalisation of hemp as food

Chance to clean up for dragons

Ballina-on-Richmond Rotarian Col Lee with the washing machines and dryers for sale.

Whitegoods the key to fundraising drive

Matthias transported at age 13

Matthias Isaac Lewis in his later years. He drowned, aged 69, in 1885. PHOTO: ANCESTRY.COM

Convict made the most of his new life in Australia

Local Partners

Refugee 'unfairly' sacked from Byron Bay Superfoods

Fair Work Commission labels company "vindictive” after Sudanese Civil war victim sacked for complaining about being underpaid.

Chicago comes to Bangalow

CELL BLOCK TANGO: Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones in a scene from the 2002 film Chicago.

The next production by Bangalow Theatre Company

A ballet event of lovers and fairies in Byron Bay

ON STAGE: Byron Ballet's 10th anniversary production will be Shakespeare's A Midnight Summer's Dream.

Byron Ballet celebrates 10 years

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor split after 17 years

BEN Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor have called it a day in a joint announcement.

Why The Voice hasn't produced a star

Boy George responds to Brittania Clifford-Pugh's heart-warming message.

It's the industry, not the show, says Boy George

These actors hated their movies and didn’t mind admitting it

Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans in a scene from GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Every year, Hollywood blesses us with plenty of God awful movies.

Miranda Kerr and fiance hang up backyard tent for wedding

The decorators and caterers are arriving for the final preparations for the wedding of Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel. Pictures: Splash

Evan Spiegel and Miranda Kerr are set to marry today

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

I appreciated Freedman's blunt honesty in the book

Chicago comes to Bangalow

CELL BLOCK TANGO: Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones in a scene from the 2002 film Chicago.

The next production by Bangalow Theatre Company

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Here's your chance to carp about feral pests

Carp might by great fun to catch but they're destroying Australia's watercourses.

Science in the Pub looks at carp and coral trees

SNEAK PEEK: What new shopping centre is going to look like

Artist impression of the proposed redevelopment of the cinema and shopping complex on Jonson St, Byron Bay.

Mercato billed as regional NSW's most sustainable shopping complex

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

Slaves in Byron: The dark side of housing crisis

Housing generic.

A darker side to Byron's economy

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!