The solicitor who was slammed for making "scandalous and irrelevant" allegations in the sexual harassment case against former parliamentary Speaker Peter Slipper says he should be allowed to appeal the Federal Court's findings as they seriously affect his professional reputation.
Michael Daniel Harmer has applied to the Federal Court for leave to appeal the judgment of Justice Steven Rares, who threw out the case against Mr Slipper and labelled it an abuse of process.
Mr Harmer's client, James Ashby, has already made the same application, because he wants his sexual harassment allegations against Mr Slipper to be tested in court.
But Mr Harmer says in documents filed with the court on Tuesday morning that although he was not a party in the proceedings he was "sufficiently aggrieved" by the judgment to warrant his own application. The judge erred in finding that the purpose of bringing case against Mr Slipper was to pursue a political attack and that Mr Harmer intended to cause him harm by including "scandalous and irrelevant" allegations, his application says.
"Substantial injustice would be caused if leave is refused as the judgment ... contains serious adverse findings impacting upon the professional reputation and standing of Mr Harmer, an experienced practitioner."
The evidence Mr Harmer gave on behalf of his client had been unchallenged in court, and the Justice Rares had drawn inferences contrary to that evidence, it says.
He also complains that he was given little if any warning that the judge intended to make the findings that he did.
The application flags that the appeal will involve questions of how the evidence of legal practitioners should be evaluated and assessed in circumstances where they have been instructed to claim client legal privilege and the professional obligations of solicitors when filing originating applications.
The Federal Court will hear the application on February 6.