The U.K. court has denied Peter McCormack permission to appeal October’s sweeping judgment in which the court threw out all but one pillar of the blogger’s defense against Dr. Craig Wright’s defamation suit. Peter McCormack will now proceed to defend himself at trial on the limited basis that though his attacks on Dr. Wright were untrue, they did not cause serious harm to his reputation.
The court also demanded that McCormack foot Dr. Wright’s legal bill with regard to the flurry of filings and applications arising from McCormack’s abandonment and then attempted resurrection of his defense late last year.
These include the costs incurred by Dr. Wright in replying to the abandoned or struck-out elements of McCormack’s defense and Dr. Wright’s strike-out application on January 22, 2021.
Though the total costs are yet to be assessed, the court ordered an interim payment of £90,000 due 21 days from now, by 4 p.m. on December 10, 2021.
The bill is growing for McCormack. The blogger had earlier paid Dr. Wright £18,500 in association with a failed attempted to delay discovery. Though a failure, the attempt turned out to be rational for McCormack, since the discovery process is what eventually led to McCormack withdrawing his defense in the first place.
The costs also don’t yet account for everything, and McCormack is likely to become the subject of further costs orders in the near future. Judge Knowles is reserving the question of costs with respect to seven other applications, including the application for summary judgment argued by Dr. Wright last November, to the trial judge.
What’s left of McCormack’s defense will now be tested at a very limited two-day trial on the serious harm question. Parties are to contact the court to fix a date.
It is somewhat appropriate that the lawsuit against Peter McCormack, chiefly concerned with McCormack’s claim that Dr. Wright is a fraud in his claim to have invented Bitcoin, is barreling towards a decisive resolution at the same time the rest of the world hears weeks of detailed argument in U.S. federal court over almost that very subject in Kleiman v Wright.
There, the question is not over whether Dr. Wright invented Bitcoin (the court already accepts that he has) just whether he did so with a partner, Dave Kleiman. Just this week, the jury heard bombshell testimony from retired Royal Australian Air Force Wing Commander Don Lynam that Dr. Wright handed him a copy of the Bitcoin white paper months before it became public.
If that case is anything to go by, perhaps it’s best that McCormack has spared himself the cost of standing by his accusations in court. Certainly, having Dr. Wright’s claim to the Satoshi Nakamoto name tested in court has gone badly for his critics to this point. Dr. Wright has stacked victory upon victory in his recent legal skirmishes, and whenever the McCormack trial finally takes place, he’s set to chalk up another.
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