Cross-dressing lawyer Rob Moodie has been ordered to pay a former employee more than $130,000 in legal costs.
He now says the huge bill, which comes on top of a ruling awarding Elizabeth Strachan more than $90,000 in unpaid wages and compensation, will probably lead to his bankruptcy.
The Employment Court issued a ruling against Dr Moodie in June, two years after the initial hearing, raising questions over the way he treated former colleague and friend Ms Strachan.
He was found to have "misled and deceived" her about the nature of his legal work. He failed to pay her, made "groundless allegations" about her having no law degree, and accused her of theft.
After she left and moved to Perth in December 2006, he also withdrew a reference he had provided to Child, Youth and Family in support of her application to adopt a child, telling officials she had a "psychopathic personality".
Dr Moodie, who changed his name to Miss Alice in 2006 and wore Alice in Wonderland dresses to work, appealed against the Employment Court's decision but his case was dismissed.
Ms Strachan then applied for costs, which were granted earlier this month.
In his costs decision, Judge Graeme Colgan said an uplift from the usual starting point of two- thirds of costs to 80 per cent was warranted, because of Dr Moodie's "unmeritorious" behaviour during proceedings.
Dr Moodie said the latest decision was outrageous and that Judge Colgan had been unprofessional during the trial.
It was likely he would go bankrupt paying the penalties, but he would continue to fight, he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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