Palagi Principles vs Samoan Relationships

Construction of Le Vaisilika Funeral business a failed business investment started but not finished with Tuigamala from Faleasiu. Now subject to a Supreme Court case in Samoa.

Construction of Le Vaisilika Funeral business (a failed business investment) started but not finished with Tamapaa Vaisilika Tuigamala from Faleasiu. After six years of nothing, it is now subject to a $22k civil case before the Samoan Supreme Court. Cross-cultural issues are involved.

This post explains the core cultural differences between the Western (Palagi) ways/value-systems/culture and the Samoan ones. It’s an understatement to say that they’re different cultures. They are vastly different and in many ways at the opposite ends of the spectrum. I use the example of two recent legal conflicts I’ve been involved with to show how racism interferes with natural human relationships. My take is that both cultures are guilty of arrogance (pride is the root of racism) hence the dearth of genuine, meaningful cross-cultural relationships here in Paradise. [Read more…]

Saying Sorry, Samoan Style


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I received an apology letter today from a lawyer who agreed to write it as part of a settlement in the Supreme Court of Samoa. I explain the context of the letter; analyse the contents and describe the Samoan style of saying sorry. I end with a mini sermon and commentary. Foreigners wishing to learn and understand the Samoan culture should read this post VERY carefully, for Samoa REALLY knows how to say sorry, and we, in the West, have a lot to learn about diplomacy. The lawyer involved is the first person in six years to offer me a full and genuine apology and while it would have been better if he had no need to apologise, I issue my first digital bouquet to Pau Tafaogalupe Mulitalo, a man who clearly understands the true spirit of Faa Samoa. Enjoy! [Read more…]

Samoan Court returns SWAP vehicle

A Tour Guide in Samoa

SWAP can now go back to ‘business’ with the return of the SWAPmobile vehicle by Supreme Court agreement.

I am pleased to now report on the successful return of the SWAPmobile into SWAP custody. Following a year-long court wrangle SWAP’s Toyota Prado Regn 15414 has returned home thanks to a judge that, in his own words, “wanted resolution of the matter” and [hint; hint] “today”. It happened today, thanks to everyone ‘doing their bit’.

[Read more…]

Politics in the Samoan Judicial System

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” . . . we are all hopelessly mired in selfinterest. All we can do is try to evaluate the idea rather than its source.” My take is that Judge Fisher should be cognisant of his own advice when sitting in Samoa.*

This post is an initial ‘whack’ at reporting my observations of the politics within the Samoan legal system. Judges and lawyers with conflicts of interest, bias and personalisation of business matters in a small fiercely proud island state are par for the course it seems. Knowing how corruption pervades Samoa in other strands of Samoan society, I’ve been expecting, perhaps even dreading revelations of the same within the Samoan legal system. My take is that indeed it’s not much different. [Read more…]

Dealing With Dodgy Samoan Lawyers

dd-3dI’ve had a good day in court today but my blood is boiling. Here the Palagi Samoan blogger shares three stories of more dodgy Samoan lawyers – first the one that I’ve charged with a crime of dishonesty; then a guy who got roasted by the judge and misrepresented his client badly but shamelessly let his clients love him to bits who thanked him profusely for doing whatever he tried to do; then yet another Samoan lawyer suing her sister for defamation when she told the truth . . . oh yes, and the judge . . . well he’s their cousin! OMG, could it get any crazier? OK Samoa, get ready for gossip . . . here we come! [Read more…]

Dismissing a Crooked Samoan Lawyer

samoa-supreme-courtIn December 2015 I appeared before the Samoan Chief Justice who gave me until Monday this coming week to prepare a Motion to Dismiss a Samoan Lawyer whom I had charged with a crime of dishonesty. Here are the documents, the MOTION, my AFFIDAVIT and the EVIDENCE. Enjoy! [Read more…]

Samoa Supreme Court Happenings

samoa-supreme-courtToday I stood before a judge of the Supreme Court of Samoa taking a matter I first lodged in the District Court to the next level. Doing something in the Supreme Court was another first for yours truly – a little scary in some ways but I had done the preparation work and have got used to standing in a Samoan Court so I wasn’t overly worried. Nervous but not worried. Observers said to me, “You were ‘good’ [in court]!” and when asked to explain they said, “You got what you asked for!” [Read more…]

Samoa’s ‘First’ Private Prosecution

samoa-private-prosecutionToday I lodged an “Information” with the Samoa Supreme Court, which I believe is Samoa’s first private prosecution*. The man I charged is a lawyer, Pa’u Tafaogalupe Mulitalo from Aniu’u Law Firm and I charged him under Section 141 of the Crimes Act for Conspiring to Defeat Justice. The guts of it is that he lied in court. I challenged him in court at the time and out of court after the hearing. He later confessed and promised to correct the record but he didn’t, and today he still hasn’t. As far as I’m concerned he’s committed a crime, lawyer or not. The case is scheduled for the first day the courts are open January next year, 2016. Golly, another first! [Read more…]

MEDIA RELEASE: Samoa Observer Sues: $2m

MEDIA RELEASE: Samoa Observer sues Blogger for $2m

DATE ISSUED: 7 October 2015


MEDIA CONTACT: Dennis A. Smith
+685 777-9999

Documents filed in the Supreme Court of Samoa, reveal that Samoa Observer, Samoa’s largest independent newspaper is suing Investigative Blogger, Dennis A. Smith for $2m (WST) and legal costs.

Claiming defamation, the Statement of Defence and Counterclaim states that the Blogger “has defamed [them] and Mr Malifa” and “has caused much embarrassment, distress and inconvenience”. As a result of the claimed defamation Samoa Observer is asking the court to award $1.5m (WST) in compensation and “exemplary and punitive damages in the sum of SAT$500,000”. [Read more…]

Suing Samoa Observer

samoaobserver-gunsightsThis post is one in a series about the shady conduct of Samoa Observer. I step forward with an offer of practical help to anyone who has been ripped off (past events or in the future). I’ll help you sue them. Not only will I do that – I’ll do it for no commercial benefit for myself. And the reason? I’m so p*ssed off at the shame that they’ve brought to the industry I work in and the country I live in that I want to do any and everything I can to rectify the matters. [Read more…]