Criminal defence lawyer Phillip Burn has been in the public eye since he won a $1.5 million defamation suit against the then-chief of staff of Prime Minister John Key.
But the defamation lawsuit was eventually dismissed by a judge in November.
The defamation lawsuit against Mr Burn was brought by Mr Key and Mr Taurasi, former Chief of Staff, on behalf of former MP John Banks.
Mr Burn’s lawyers argued that Mr Key, while a member of the Labour Party at the time, had breached his duties as a public servant by falsely accusing Mr Tausi of taking a bribe.
Mr Key denied the allegations, which the case was dropped in March last year.
In his judgement on Tuesday, Judge Martin Kildare noted Mr Burn’s history of public interest defence work, including cases against the High Court, Federal Court and the High Commission of Inquiry.
He said Mr Burn had shown the jury that his evidence was credible, based on his experience as a criminal lawyer and experience in court proceedings, which included two defamation suits against Mr Key.
He noted the judge had accepted Mr Burn and his team’s argument that Mr Tae should not be awarded any damages, even though Mr Tauni received more than $1 million from Mr Key in damages.
“It is clear from this record of evidence that Mr Burn has a reputation as an experienced and experienced lawyer,” Judge Kildorare said.
“He has also shown the jurors that he is a well-respected and respected lawyer in the bar and it is well-established in the profession that lawyers are required to demonstrate their competence.”
Mr Kildarelare noted that the jury was also shown Mr Burn received a payment of $20,000 from the Government for his work on the case.
“The judge has accepted that Mr Burns was a well known public interest lawyer, that his reputation as a lawyer has not suffered because of the case against him, and that he has demonstrated the requisite expertise in this matter,” Judge Curnell said.
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