They call me Ovadia QC
THERE’S a perception in the legal world that if you hire a bigname lawyer, the judge might let the one percenters fall in your favour. But Lindsay Day couldn’t afford a barrister so he took a punt on a different kind of recognisable name to argue his case in court: Channel 7 reporter Robert Ovadia.
Snitch was shocked and amused recently when we walked into court 3.1 of the Downing Centre District Court to see Ovadia on his feet at the bar table arguing a case in front of Judge Paul Conlon.
Mr Day is a cameraman for Channel 7 and had been pulled into an AVO dispute after a neighbourhood renovation stoush. We’re told he agreed to the AVO terms to avoid an expensive court battle but was still facing a costs hearing where the other side was arguing for him to pay $18,000 for legal fees.
Mr Day figured his colleague Ovadia was a dab hand at a live news cross so asked if he would act as his lawyer to avoid the crippling legal bill. The result was Ovadia going toe to toe in court with highly regarded barrister Michael Coroneos, who pulled the newsman up several times for not adhering to the court’s rules of engagement.
“I just couldn’t get past the injustice of it,” Ovadia said. “My friend and colleague was being bullied by the weight of money. He couldn’t afford legal representation so I insisted on representing him. I wasn’t intimidated … and I was probably more aggressive in court than I needed to be, but I needed a degree of passion to make up for my lack of legal expertise,” he said.
So, how did he go? The $18,000 in costs the other side was asking for was reduced to $4000.
“Other barristers now call me ‘Ovadia QC’,” he said. “They find it amusing.”
POLITICS IS A DRUG
Guess which aspiring politician was actually living a double life as a high-level drug dealer? Snitch was set to reveal the details of the case but a nonpublication on his identity has gotten in the way.
What we can tell you is that he has pleaded guilty to multiple drug supply charges after a police investigation in which he was caught supplying 731 grams of amphetamines and 28 grams of heroin.
However, police claim they are confident he had sold multiple kilos of drugs.
The man was a frequent fixture at political functions and has been pictured with former prime ministers. During the investigation, police found $210,000 under a couch in his father’s living room. His father was not charged and said he had no knowledge of the money.
A RING OF TRUTH
In the course of trawling the city for news, Snitch is often exposed to yarns that don’t necessarily translate into news stories. This particular gem has to be one of our favourites. We’re told the setting was a boozy Friday afternoon at a CBD pub many moons ago where two lawyers had several schooners’ headstart over their copper mate who was late to arrive at the get-together. As the beer flowed, one of the lawyers steered the conversation towards his favourite topic: that his drinking partner had fat fingers that look like chipolatas.
Incensed, the other lawyer slipped off his wedding ring to prove a point. His tormentor picked up the ring and suggested he use a shower curtain ring instead. He then slam dunked it into a full beer that had been bought for the police officer.
In their drunken state, the lawyers forgot about the ring and the cop arrived soon after. The cop was a seasoned drinker and poured the beer down his throat. The ring was never seen again.
The postscript was the lawyer’s angry wife ordered him to buy a cheaper replacement ring made of sterling silver, figuring he was short odds to lose it again.
A SMOOTH CRIMINAL
Crims are a vain lot these days, with a good portion spending more time in beauty parlours than tattoo parlours. So guess which one was caught on police surveillance attending a twohour appointment at a Bondi cosmetic clinic?
We’re told the cops were following our crim when he ducked in for an 11.30am appointment. We don’t know what procedure our man was partaking in but it’s probably safe to say things have changed in the underworld since the days when Neddy Smith was doing his complexion the world of damage by knocking back 30 middies a day.
After a 10-year career as a NSW Supreme Court judge in which she locked up murderer Simon Gittany and the husband of PR queen Roxy Jacenko, Justice Lucy McCallum (above) has been promoted for her efforts.
Justice McCallum was this week elevated to sit on the NSW Court of Appeal, where she will still lock up bad guys but also point out mistakes of her fellow judges. Attorney-General Mark Speakman said Justice McCallum will start her new gig in January and will replace retiring Justice Ruth McColl.
THE REAL SNITCH
We hear there’s another snitch who has been wrongly accused of being our snitch. Jimmy Thomson, known as The Inspector, published a book titled Snitch in 2010 that offered an insider’s account into Kings Cross in its particularly grimy heyday. This Snitch is reliably informed Thomson has been getting heckled that he is the brains behind the column. And while we’re definitely not for disclosing sources, we can confirm Thomson hasn’t been spilling any state secrets our way. If he wants to, though, he knows where to find us.
Channel 7 reporter and part-time ‘legal eagle’ Robert Ovadia.
Justice Lucy McCallum.