How $115 led to 200 court appearances

 

You’ve heard people ask questions like, ‘Where were you when… JFK was assassinated, or when… Princess Diana was killed.’ When I hear such questions, I wonder who really remembers such things. Oddly enough, I vividly remember the very minute (and the location) of the incident that sparked the saga that is now chronicled in a book called, One One Five by Alan Manly, Julian Day, and Graeme Brosnan. Not only do I remember it… I was there, in the eye of the storm, on that cursed day when Julian Day and I were walking into the Hilton Hotel and down came THE man. The man who would put Alan and Julian through hell. I felt bad vibes at the time. I felt it in my waters. I saw the collision that would become a train-wreck (in the slowest of slow motions… taking ten years to come to a screeching halt). Oh, and the path of destruction was horrid. As with horrid things, books are written about them. After such agony, why would anyone want to spend another few years writing a book? Publishing is, in itself, agonising. I think that when an agonising experience cuts through to the nerve, one feels compelled to warn others.

This book is a warning. It tells a story about an invoice for $115. A fake invoice that riled Julian Day so much, that he went to North Sydney Police Station to lodge a formal complaint about the man who later became known as the ‘vexatious litigant’. People say that Americans are litigious. Oh dear, the man who fabricated that invoice (for photocopying) dragged Alan and Julian through over 200 court appearances.

One One Five is more than a book about a fraudster who nearly ruined two men. It is a book about how the Australian system of justice, is one crazy maze. It’s a bit like Hotel California where you can check-out any time you like, but you can never leave. Once you become a client of the court, they don’t want you to go. Fill in another form. Attend another hearing. Lodge another appeal. Sorry, he did not show up, so let’s meet again in two months. For Alan and Julian, the months turned into ten years, sucking every cent they had.

If you are considering suing anyone, buy this book and read it slowly!

If anyone has threatened to sue you, buy a copy and post it to them anonymously. They just might lose their appetite for that kind of justice.

After reading this book, I wished I had become a lawyer. It’s like the time I wished I had become a doctor after seeing so many people in pain, unable to afford medical assistance. And like the time I wanted to become a cop to rid the streets of thugs and idiots.

One One Five is published by AKA Publishing. It is a funny book (how sad that we can laugh at other people’s misfortunes). I think that it is made more funny by its turn-of-phrase. The book is well written. As a writer myself, I know how hard it is to tell a story, impart the ideas, make a point, while trying to entertain and captivate the reader. Hard work indeed. Yet it seems that Graeme Brosnan is a master at the turn-of-phrase. On many levels, this book is enjoyable, while being an eye-opener, as well as inspiring. Fight the good fight! Press on. Honour before justice. Principle before pain. Scruples before money. Two ordinary men took-on a system, and despite the scars and bruises, they never gave up. Such stamina. Almost every industry has awards. If the courts had awards, the award for valour would go to Alan Manly and Julian Day. I have to wonder how many judges were talking about the case over lunch each day, for a decade.

I attended the book launch which was held inside the very court building where Alan and Julian had frequented so often, that the staff at the cafe presumed them to be legal professionals. Two hundred court appearances, all over one hundred and fifteen dollars. Goodness, what’s the world coming to!

CHAPTER ONE – THE POLICE STATION

To show you how gripping this book is, let me share with you the first fifteen lines of Chapter One.

‘You can leave a hand grenade in a baby’s pram, or rolling about in the bottom of a fishing boat without a worry in the world. Grenades can be perfectly harmless, until you pull the pin. Remove the safety pin and a spring-loaded striker ignites a four-second fuse. Hurl the thing and your enemies will be blown to smithereens. However, timing is everything. Dither and you will be history. Throw it too quickly and your adversary will pick it up and throw it back. That’s the thing with bombs. Although easy to detonate, they’re not precise weapons and they’re unpredictable as well as deadly.

‘Late on Thursday afternoon, 8 March 1994, my colleague and friend, Julian Day, walked into North Sydney Police Station with a piece of paper as lethal as a hand grenade and set in motion a chain of events which changed our lives forever.’

As a book, One One Five is compelling. As a real story about two ordinary blokes who fell into quicksand, it is heartbreaking. As a lesson in life, it will raise your blood pressure.