Human Aspects of Craig/Slater Trial

Having followed the Colin Craig vs Cameron Slater High Court trial in Auckland, I’ve come to the conclusion that it should have never been allowed. There are too many weird things that don’t make sense about it and I try to stitch it all together in this post coming out with a real elephant in the [court] room. Human uniquenesses have merged to flashpoint and injustice is probably inevitable no matter the result. It’s a live trial that requires caution from me in saying what I do here, but say it I do . . . it should be stopped, taken from the legal arena; moved back into the human arena; and ultimately that’s in the hands of the Judge. [Read more…]

Betrayal Hurts, But Not Court Hearing

I’ve been following a current hearing in Auckland’s High Court (Colin Craig vs Cameron Slater) quite closely and share here the takehomes from attending the hearing this morning. I just happened to strike the day when Orewa-based lawyer Madeleine Flannagan took the stand and heard her story of how she was the primary source of the events that led to WhaleOil’s posts and subsequent legal challenges. I found the whole experience interesting to say the least. Enjoy another side of the courtroom stories that journalists have been feeding to the world. [Read more…]

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’.

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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…]