Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: A Kink in the Pants

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    OK, so we've got to be careful what we say about the man who painted a dead woman as a kinky little twist who, I guess, just forgot that the safe word was 'aubergine' but...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    OK, so we've got to be careful what we say about the man

    I've got to be careful. Should this column engender mass fuckwit-calling, I'd hardly be responsible for that.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4328 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Sure, the defence needs to aim for reasonable doubt. But there's a line where you go from putting up your client's side of the story to actively creating a bullshit fantasy all by yourself - Mr Comesky isn't just bordering on that, he's through Customs and ordering a Mai Tai by the pool

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1720 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Huzzah! But the horrble thing is that everyone accused of murder is entitled to a defence, but does the 'dirty skank brought it on herself' line have to come out as easily as a well-lubed butt-plug during a fit of mega-flatulence? And. yes, I think Chris Comeskey knows exactly what dogs he whistles for at any given moment.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Has he forgot that Nai Yin Xue told his daughter (her words) that mummy was just tired and sleeping,that his car was parked up outside their house the entire time before he was gone (in her car before flying off ). We would drive past and suggest the cops should look in the boot along with photographers and news stations and onlookers, all over it.If someone else had his car before then he should know who that person was, but no mention of that. Who had the keys to his car? That would help to know how the lady was in there.He didn't come across as generous so can't imagine him offering his keys to some boyfriend to take her on a date.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5923 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    And. yes, I think Chris Comeskey knows exactly what dogs he whistles for at any given moment.

    Such as 'vigilantes', P-heads and medal thieves? Who next, Allen Stanford?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4060 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    does the 'dirty skank brought it on herself' line have to come out as easily as a well-lubed butt-plug during a fit of mega-flatulence?

    I don't think my day would be complete without reading at least one of your brain-exploding similes.

    That said, agree totally with your underlying point.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1549 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    And. yes, I think Chris Comeskey knows exactly what dogs he whistles for at any given moment.

    Yes, I'm doing the man the favour of assuming he's malicious, not stupid.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4328 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    It's hard to imagine, given the paucity of the defence case, that Nai Yin Xue could appeal successfully.

    Quite, but what you are asking is that the defence case be non-existant or at least against the wishes of the defendant. Nai Yin Xue's defence was that his wife was having kinky sex with other men and died as a result. If his lawyers refuse to make this argument then Nai Yin Xue has grounds for appeal.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Mrs Skin,

    Thank you Angus.

    In that situation Comesky would be in breach of Rule 13.3 of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008:

    ...a lawyer must obtain and follow a client’s instructions on significant decisions in respect of the conduct of litigation...

    The consequences for the lawyer can be severe.

    This sort of breach would be a serious matter in terms of the rule of law regardless of the situation, but it is of particular significance in a criminal case where there is so much at stake for the individual defendant.

    the warmest room in the h… • Since Feb 2009 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Quite, but what you are asking is that the defence case be non-existant or at least against the wishes of the defendant. Nai Yin Xue's defence was that his wife was having kinky sex with other men and died as a result. If his lawyers refuse to make this argument then Nai Yin Xue has grounds for appeal.

    Actually, what I'd like is if the lawyer sat down with his client and said, 'look, dude, there's no evidence to support this position, and it's my advice to you that an appeal would be unsuccessful'.

    We're never going to know what goes on between a lawyer and their client, and we shouldn't. And I do believe that even the 'obviously guilty' are entitled to the best defence they can get.

    As a non-legal-person, I have a dilemma, as Craig touched on above, where that right becomes a right to blame the victim for their own death or to make extremely distressing person comments about them.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4328 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Yes, I'm doing the man the favour of assuming he's malicious, not stupid.

    I'm assuming he just loves all the attention.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    "Nai Yin Xue's defence was that his wife was having kinky sex with other men and died as a result. If his lawyers refuse to make this argument then Nai Yin Xue has grounds for appeal."

    That doesn't explain his continued propagation of that line after the case, when speaking to media. Make the case if you must; then accept the verdict and move on - or appeal.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1122 posts Report Reply

  • Mrs Skin,

    Actually, what I'd like is if the lawyer sat down with his client and said, 'look, dude, there's no evidence to support this position, and it's my advice to you that an appeal would be unsuccessful'.

    We don't know that he didn't. A client is under no obligation to take their lawyer's advice.

    the warmest room in the h… • Since Feb 2009 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    OK, so we've got to be careful what we say about the man

    I've got to be careful. Should this column engender mass fuckwit-calling, I'd hardly be responsible for that.

    Yay! Free for all fuckwit calling with Emma's approval!

    Where to start...

    Seriously, I have some sympathy for the line that Comeskey had to do the best he could with pretty much nothing. If his client maintains he's innocent, Comeskey has to do his job. But as I indicated above, I found his comments to the media after the case unnecessary. Surely if there's a good chance they'll appeal, a 'no comment' would be more judicious?

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1122 posts Report Reply

  • Mrs Skin,

    That doesn't explain his continued propagation of that line after the case, when speaking to media. Make the case if you must; then accept the verdict and move on - or appeal.

    Are you talking about the client or the lawyer? The client can say what they like. The lawyer is not allowed to substitute their own views for the client's instructions.

    the warmest room in the h… • Since Feb 2009 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    Actually, what I'd like is if the lawyer sat down with his client and said, 'look, dude, there's no evidence to support this position, and it's my advice to you that an appeal would be unsuccessful'.

    We're never going to know what goes on between a lawyer and their client, and we shouldn't. And I do believe that even the 'obviously guilty' are entitled to the best defence they can get.

    As a non-legal-person, I have a dilemma, as Craig touched on above, where that right becomes a right to blame the victim for their own death or to make extremely distressing person comments about them.

    As I've said the "extremely distressing person comments" are legit in court if they're part of the case you're lumped with, but he should have dropped it after the verdict (and pending possible appeal).

    I wonder if your dilemma isn't related to a concern I've had for a while now: maybe our adversarial system isn't the best option?

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1122 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    Are you talking about the client or the lawyer? The client can say what they like. The lawyer is not allowed to substitute their own views for the client's instructions.

    Sorry, should have been clearer: the lawyer. Comeskey commented to direct to the media further about the defense case after the trial, instead of just saying "no comment" or commenting only generally. It would be different if he said something like: "my client continues to maintain his innocence, and we are looking at an appeal".

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1122 posts Report Reply

  • Mrs Skin,

    His client is maintaining his innocence and has indicated he'll appeal. Where's the bit that says the lawyer should disregard this and drop it?

    Steve I think the point you make about the adversarial system is the discussion we should be having here. Discomfort with its manifestation is valid, but perhaps only symptomatic.

    the warmest room in the h… • Since Feb 2009 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Yeah, I'm wiith you Mrs Skin, or even why trials need to be held in the public domain. If this had been behind closed doors, it would have been a non issue.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1295 posts Report Reply

  • Mrs Skin,

    Sorry, should have been clearer: the lawyer.

    After I posted I realised that the client is probably in no position to be talking to the media. I haven't been reading the papers lately; I'm studying for a legal ethics exam.

    Comeskey commented to direct to the media further about the defense case after the trial, instead of just saying "no comment" or commenting only generally.

    My point is that it may not be his choice. His client may have instructed him on this element too.

    the warmest room in the h… • Since Feb 2009 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • Mrs Skin,

    why trials need to be held in the public domain. If this had been behind closed doors, it would have been a non issue.

    eek!

    the warmest room in the h… • Since Feb 2009 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • Eddie Clark,

    Cases like this: Reason number 7,347,213 I won't touch criminal law with a barge pole.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 270 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    It's also worth remembering that there's a whole lot of people who don't necessarily see these 'aspersions' as a flaw at all.

    The whole 'aspersions' angle sounds like it was cooked up by Xue Nai Yin (if I may) misguidedly under the impression that this kind of witch damning would wash in a sexually enlightened country like Aotearoa. From that angle Comeskey could just be a disingenuous messenger.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1295 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    eek!

    I hear your eek!, but to me it seems to come down to how much you really trust the democratic system more than anything, if you trust the system, then I see no problem with that at least until trial is over, by which time Mr Xue's accusations could be conveyed in some context.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1295 posts Report Reply

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