Barry Hart loses ‘irrelevant’ appeal

RICHARD MEADOWS
Last updated 12:01 06/11/2012
Barry Hart
PHIL DOYLE
LEGAL BATTLE: Barry Hart.

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Disgraced criminal lawyer Barry Hart has had what Justice Raynor Asher called a "redundant and irrelevant" appeal dismissed in the High Court at Auckland.

The former legal heavyweight has been fighting to keep his Auckland house after the ANZ Bank began to call in debts secured against his properties. Hart took ANZ to court to seek damages, arguing it mishandled the sale of several rural properties worth tens of millions of dollars.

A High Court judgment rejected that argument last week and the Tenancy Tribunal ruled there was no residential tenancy agreement covering the home.

There was some confusion about the appeal in the High Court this morning, which turned out to be an attempt to stop a hearing that already occurred some weeks ago. Hart's lawyer Davina Murray arrived 15 minutes late, and said she needed "fuller and greater instructions" as to what the appeal was actually about.

The Court eventually established that it related to a one-line email rejecting Hart's request for a stay of proceedings for the Tenancy Tribunal hearing on October 12.

"The very hearing that this appeal was designed to stop has taken place," said Justice Asher. "I'm not prepared to hold a redundant and irrelevant appeal."

The Judge suggested that Hart might want to focus on his actual appeal of the Tenancy Tribunal's jurisdiction, which will take place in the Waitakere District Court. He said Hart could then pursue it back to the High Court if necessary.

Justice Asher adjourned the Court for a few minutes so Murray could phone Hart and seek his instruction. Hart agreed to withdraw the appeal, and the Judge subsequently dismissed it.

ANZ's lawyer agreed not to seek costs.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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