Kelly v Slade [2017] QDC 288 (15/1634) Porter QC DCJ 7 December 2017

Catchwords MONEY – PAYMENT – OTHER MATTERS – where the plaintiffs transferred their respective interests in the farm to the defendants as joint tenants – where the terms upon which that transfer occurred were in dispute – whether the defendants agreed to pay $250,000 for the first plaintiff’s share. EVIDENCE – ADMISSIBILITY – ADMISSIONS – WHAT CONSTITUTES – where there is evidence of subsequent conduct – whether that subsequent conduct is properly dealt with as an admission of the terms of the informal agreement alleged by the plaintiffs – whether that subsequent conduct is properly dealt with as an inference that the parties made an informal agreement on particular terms.

Qld Court of Appeal: Kelly & Anor v Slade & Anor [2018] QCA 197 (18/191) Sofronoff P and Morrison JA and Atkinson J [Blue Ocean Law instructed Andrew Skoien of Counsel, second chair Harry Knowlman of Counsel for the Appellants]

Catchwords APPEAL AND NEW TRIAL – APPEAL – GENERAL PRINCIPLES – INTERFERENCE WITH JUDGE’S FINDINGS OF FACT – FUNCTION OF APPELLATE COURT – WHERE FINDINGS BASED ON CREDIBILITY OF WITNESSES – NECESSITY FOR FINDING TO BE CLEARLY WRONG – where the appellants commenced proceedings to recover money which they said was agreed to be paid by the respondents in consideration of the transfer of the appellants’ interests in certain farmland – where in the course of discussions regarding the transfer, two documents were drawn up in lieu of a properly executed contract – where the learned primary judge made findings about the credibility of the witnesses but did so with reference to only part of the evidence – where the learned primary judge failed to take into account the two contemporary documents when testing the veracity of the witnesses – where this failure resulted in the learned primary judge making erroneous findings not supported by the evidence – whether a retrial should be ordered.

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