As the mediation phase of Israel Folau’s case against Rugby Australia pauses before resuming on Wednesday, a lawyer with experience in cases before Timothy Luxton, the Court Registrar involved in the Folau case, speculates on what is happening:
“Typically mediation goes one-to-two hours [failure] or they work,” he says.
“Twelve hours and a commitment to come back is a sign of something very serious.
“I have had mediations in front of Registrar Luxton. He is very ‘tin tacks’. Something is happening. One side or the other has had a huge hole pointed out in their case. Maybe both sides.
“The lawyers are looking at that today. If they think that the Registrar is right, they will concede and settle.”
Our legal friend adds: “Registrar Luxton made almost emergency orders for discovery [meaning: he was keen to get the mediation under way] – so he was anxious to cut through the crap and have them available for mediation.” Luxton’s orders gave very short times for the ‘discovery’ of documents. His order can be viewed here.
Late mail is that Registrar Luxton has been replaced, with two new registrars.
The court documents can be found here.
Folau’s “amended statement of claim” is at the top of the list, and it gives a good indication of how radically the former rugby player changed what he asked for originally. These include his claims about earnings (upping his claim to $14 million) and his career possibilities, his claims that a member of the Rugby Australia tribunal had commitments towards LGBTI causes, and that 15 members of the Wallaby team or coaching staff had given him messages of support and/or urged for his return to the playing field.
For the avoidance of doubt, this story is not based on a leak from either side in this dispute.