October 12, 2018

In the Media

O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors are happy to assist with your media enquiries. Contact us for interviews, information or expert opinions on criminal and civil matters on (02) 9261 4281 or by email at info@obriensolicitors.com.au. 

Stay up to date with all our news features!

28/06/2019 – William Tyrrell inquest to grill axed detective over his ‘methods’
Former homicide detective Gary Jubelin will be called as a witness at the inquest into the disappearance of three-year-old William Tyrrell, with counsel for various “persons of interest” keen to cross-examine him about his methods. 

The Australian – William Tyrrell inquest to grill axed detective over his ‘methods’

24/06/2019 – Dylan Voller wins landmark social media defamation case
Former Northern Territory youth detainee Dylan Voller won against three media organisations for defamation over a series of claims made about him in the comments section of Facebook posts. Read our media release here

Sydney Morning Herald – Media companies liable for Facebook comments made by others, court finds
SBS – Court rules in favour of Voller defamation case brought against media outlets
ABC – AM Radio – Traditional media reacts angrily to landmark defamation ruling

13/06/2019 – Channel Seven fails to stop Aboriginal group’s Sunrise defamation lawsuit
Residents from a remote Aboriginal community launched a defamation lawsuit against Seven West Media over a controversial breakfast show segment. Channel Seven tried and failed to strike out the lawsuit at a Federal Court hearing in Sydney. Our law firm is representing 15 plaintiffs, including 6 children, from Yirrkala community. Read our media release here

SBS – Channel Seven fails to stop Aboriginal group’s Sunrise defamation lawsuit

26/04/2019 – Dorendahl Inquest
Mother Michelle Dorendahl was pregnant with her second child when her young daughter Eeva lost her life in tragic circumstances that were considered by a coronial inquest. Principal lawyer Peter O’Brien represented Ms Dorendahl at the inquest and always suspected the daughter’s late father Mr Hutchings caused the deaths. Read the full coverage of the Dorendahl inquest below. 

Weekend Australian – Mother’s futile search for answers over Eeva’s death in a system fatally flawed

05/04/2019 – Yirrkala people sue Channel Seven over Sunrise segment
Residents of Yirrkala Aboriginal community have sued Channel Seven for defamation after a controversial Sunrise segment. The program illustrated a story about abuse on Aboriginal children while showing alleged footage of Yirrkala residents. Despite a blurring filter used by the program, adults and children were still able to be seen and identified. Our law firm is representing the residents of the Yirrkala community. Read our media release here.

ABC News – Yirrkala residents launch defamation action against Channel Seven’s Sunrise
News.com.au – Residents of small Indigenous community launch defamation action against Sunrise
The Australian – Blurred footage on Sunrise ‘made Aborigines targets of ridicule’
B&T – Channel Seven sued over controversial and ‘disturbing’ segment of Sunrise

27/03/2019 – Children not returned by parents in custody disputes to be treated as missing, coroner says
A coronial inquest into the deaths of Greg Hutchings, and his 4-year-old daughter, Eeva Dorendahl, has recommended police treat children as missing persons if they are not returned by parents involved in custody disputes. Peter O’Brien represented Eeva’s mother, Ms Michelle Dorendahl, at the inquest and said Mr Hutchings had always been suspected of causing the deaths.

ABC News – Children not returned by parents in custody disputes to be treated as missing, coroner says

 07/03/2019 – Former Seven reporter Josh Massoud launches defamation action
Sports journalist Josh Massoud has taken legal action against more than half a dozen media outles over the coverage of his departure from the Seven Network.  Stewart O’Connell is representing Massoud, who said there was a significant difference between what the parties involved agreed occurred and what certain sections of the media actually reported.

Sydney Morning Herald – Former Seven reporter Josh Massoud launches defamation action

13/02/2019 – Fee structure works as an incentive to delay a case
Private lawyers who are funded by Legal Aid NSW were unfairly criticised last week after research from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOSCAR) was released. Peter O’Brien said a lot of private lawyers do very high-quality work for legal aid clients at what is a fraction of commercial rates.

Sydney Morning Herald- Fee structure works as an incentive to delay a case

Police pursue ‘active’ leads’ into William Tyrrell’s disappearance – 21/12/2018
William Tyrrell disappeared more than 4 years ago without a trace, but the Coroner’s Court heard there is a chance he’s still alive.

The Sydney Morning Herald – NSW Police searching ‘active leads’ into William Tyrrell’s disappearance

‘Cult leader’ ordered to pay blogger’s legal costs – 07/12/2018

The Sydney Morning Herald – Cult Leader uses defamation case to inflict pain on blogger

Front page of The Northern Star. Source: The Northern Star

Senior Lawyer Stewart O’Connell. Source: The Northern Star

Principal Solicitor Peter O’Brien interviewed on Channel 7 news- 07/11/2018

Peter O’Brien speaking at an SBS Forum on Juvenile Justice.   

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in the Newcastle Anglican diocese- 23/11/2016

Peter O’Brien questions former Newcastle dean Graeme Lawrence during the Royal Commission.

Counsel Peter O'Brien for CKA.

O’Brien puts it to Lawrence that others have said he was a paedophile.

“I totally reject that,” Lawrence says.

He denies being questioned in 1997 about allegations against him and has denied the evidence of others that he was the person at the end of a child sexual abuse hotline run by the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle.

“I was not handling a hotline,” Lawrence said.

O’Brien: “You were the fox in charge of the hen house.”


“You were protecting priests from allegations of child sexual abuse.”

“I did not.”

Asked whether he had “any inclination” to either a priest or a complainant” in any matter, Lawrence said: “I don’t recall any approaches.”

Read the full blog from Day 15 of the Royal Commission in the Newcastle Herald here.

Solicitor Stewart O’ Connell featuring in the Serge Benhayon Defamation case- 23/10/2018

Defamation Trial Esther Rockett

Courtesy of The Northern Star

Self-styled healer Serge Benhayon leads ‘socially harmful cult’: jury

SMH – Self-styled healer Serge Benhayon leads ‘socially harmful cult’: jury

Northern Star – Defamation loss for universal medicine founder

Aboriginal boy sues Alice Springs newspaper for defamation

ABC News – Centralian Advocate sued for using Aboriginal child’s photo to illustrate ‘youth crisis’ story

ABC Media Watch – NT newspaper settles after using Indigenous child as the face of youth crime

Media Watch mentions Peter O’Brien during their cover of the Centralian Advocate story.

The Guardian – Centralian Advocate settles out of court over front-age photo of Aboriginal boy

@IndigenousX – NT Defamation Case in Supreme Court

PressFrom – Central Advocate sued for using Aboriginal child’s photo to illustrate ‘youth crisis’ story

Bail granted for client

SMH – Man accused of killing intruder granted bail for second time

Benjamin Batterham, left, leaves Newcastle Local Court with solicitor Peter O'Brien during a previous hearing

Source: SMH

Dylan Voller & Jake Roper’s Civil claim against NT government

SBS News – Don Dale inmates paid $100k for abuse

Interview with Dylan Voller

SMH – Dylan Voller told 60 Minutes he felt he was ‘going mad’ in NT youth detention

Voller's lawyer, Peter O'Brien.

Source: SMH

60 Minutes – Dylan Voller reveals his side of the story that shocked the nation

Northern Territory Royal Commission

ABC News – Lawyers at Royal Commission into NT youth detention include actor, solicitors-general

Sydney Solicitor Peter O'Brien

Source: ABC News

ABC News – Peter O’Brien: Justice reinvestment an opportunity for Australia to be better as a nation

ABC News – Royal Commission: Youth officer ‘indifferent to basic human needs’ of teen inmate

Dylan Voller's lawyer Peter O'Brien

Source: ABC News

Abuse of young people at Don Dale

News.com.au – Dylan Voller, photographed in restraints and a spit hood, was football-loving teenager

Triple J – Same guards in the charge of former Don Dale prisoner lawyer says

Peter O’Brien’s cross-examination of Cardinal George Pell during the Abuse Royal Commission

The Australian – Cardinal George Pell testifies from Rome for Abuse Royal Commission: day four