John Marsden (January 3, 1942 - May 17, 2006), was a prominent Sydney-based Australian solicitor and former President of the Law Society of New South Wales. Events 1431 - Joan of Arc is handed over to the Bishop Pierre Cauchon. Year 1942 ( MCMXLII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (the link will display the full 1942 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Events 1521 - Edward Stafford 3rd Duke of Buckingham, is executed for Treason. Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. Sydney (ˈsɪdniː is the most populous city in Australia, with a Metropolitan area population of approximately 4 For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. A "solicitor" is a term used in many Common law jurisdictions for a lawyer who offers legal services outside of the courts He was known for his high-profile clients, his gay rights activism, and his victory in a defamation action against the Seven Network. Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender social movements share related goals of social acceptance of Homosexuality, Bisexuality and Transgenderism Lesbian The Seven Network is an Australian television network, owned by the Seven Media Group.
Marsden attended St Johns Preparatory College in Campbelltown and St Joseph's College in Hunters Hill before entering a seminary to study for the priesthood. St Joseph's College ( SJC or Joey's) is a Roman Catholic, Secondary, day and Boarding school for boys located in Hunters Hill (also spelt Hunter's Hill is a Suburb on the Lower North Shore of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia After deciding the priesthood was not for him, he completed a law degree at Sydney University, graduating in 1966. The University of Sydney (informally Sydney Uni or USyd) is the oldest university in Australia
After completing his Bachelor of Laws, Marsden established a law firm in Campbelltown in southwest Sydney. The Bachelor of Laws (abbreviated LLB, LLB or rarely LlB) is an undergraduate or bachelor degree in law offered in most Common law For the local government area, see City of Campbelltown. Campbelltown is a Suburb in south-western This firm grew from Marsden as a sole practitioner to among the largest law firms in Sydney. Sydney (ˈsɪdniː is the most populous city in Australia, with a Metropolitan area population of approximately 4 Marsden was a prominent resident of Campbelltown throughout his life and was often quoted as saying "There are two great cities in the world - Rome and Campbelltown. For the local government area, see City of Campbelltown. Campbelltown is a Suburb in south-western Rome ( Roma ˈroma Roma is the capital city of Italy and Lazio, and is Italy's largest and most populous city with more than 2 "
Marsden held a number of prominent positions throughout his career including President of the New South Wales Law Society, President of the New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties and member of the New South Wales Police Board. The New South Wales Police Force (NSW Police Force previously New South Wales Police Service & New South Wales Police is the primary Law enforcement agency in the State of
Marsden's most famous Australian client was serial killer Ivan Milat. A serial killer is a person who Murders usually three or more people with a "cooling off" period between each murder and whose motivation for killing is largely based Ivan Robert Marko Milat (born December 27, 1944 in Guildford New South Wales) is an Australian Serial killer, convicted of the murder Marsden had a long association with the Milat family and had successfully represented Ivan Milat on charges of rape in the 1970s, but shortly after being arrested in 1994 for the backpacker murders Milat sacked him. Rape, also referred to as Sexual assault, is an Assault by a person involving Sexual intercourse with or Sexual penetration of another person The Backpacker Murders is a name given to a Serial killing case that occurred in New South Wales, Australia during the 1990s
In 2005, after falling ill with cancer, Marsden indicated his belief that Milat had had an accomplice, and expressed some regrets about his success in helping Milat avoid conviction on the earlier rape charges.  He recounted an incident that had happened during trial on those charges: after the first day in court, during which Milat appeared likely to be convicted, Marsden - then a closeted homosexual - went to a gay bar and noticed the two alleged victims there. Coming outThe expressions " closeted " or "in the closet " generally refer to undisclosed sexual behavior, Sexual orientation or Gender gay bar (also known as a boy bar if the clientele is predominantly male or conversely a girl bar) is a drinking establishment that caters exclusively The next day in court he outed them as lesbians and relied on the jury's prejudices to attack their credibility and win acquittal for Milat. In the late twentieth century outing became a common term for taking someone "out of The closet "—that is publicising that someone is Gay. A lesbian is a Woman who is romantically or sexually attracted only to other women 
In 2004, Marsden accepted British/Italian lawyer Giovanni di Stefano's invitation to join Saddam Hussein's defence team. Giovanni Di Stefano (born July 1, 1955) is an Italian lawyer who practises occasionally in the United Kingdom. Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti ( Arabic: ar صدام حسين عبد المجيد التكريتي --> April 28 1937 &ndash December 30  Marsden was receiving treatment for stomach cancer at the time, and it is unclear how active his involvement in the case was; the trial was still ongoing at the time of Marsden's death.
In 1994 New South Wales MP Deirdre Grusovin, speaking under parliamentary privilege, accused Marsden of having sex with minors. A Member of Parliament, or MP, is a representative elected by the voters to a Parliament. Parliamentary privilege, also known as absolute privilege, is a legal mechanism employed within the legislative bodies of countries whose Constitutions are based on In 1995 and 1996, the Seven Network's shows 'Today Tonight' and 'Witness' also aired allegations of having sex with minors against Marsden.
In response, Marsden described himself as a "promiscuous homosexual" but denied allegations of pedophilia. Channel Seven produced witnesses who claimed to have sex with Marsden while underage, but many were discredited by errors on points of fact, such as the type of house Marsden lived in and, in one case, whether he was circumcised. Male circumcision is the removal of some or all of the Foreskin (prepuce from the Penis.
In 2001, after 214 days of hearings, Justice David Levine ruled that Seven had failed to prove its allegations of child sexual abuse. Marsden was awarded $525,000 in damages and legal costs, much less than Marsden's actual costs which have been estimated at around $6 million; Seven's own costs at that stage were estimated at $10-12 million. In Law, damages refers to the money paid or awarded to a Claimant (England Pursuer (Scotland or Plaintiff (US following a successful 
Although Levine ruled in Marsden's favour on the allegations of child sexual abuse, his findings were deeply critical of Marsden in other regards. He found that Marsden had lied about several issues in the trial, notably his role in drafting a statutory declaration by one of the witnesses. A statutory declaration is a legal document defined under the law of certain Commonwealth nations  He also found that on the balance of probabilities, Marsden had used convicted rapist and murderer Les Murphy to persuade a witness to change his position, and had probably persuaded two other witnesses to influence another. Burden of proof (onus probandi is the obligation to prove Allegations which are presented in a Legal action.  According to then Sydney Star Observer editor Marcus O'Donnell, Marsden asked the Observer to publish the names of one of the prosecution witnesses, when there was a suppression order given on the grounds that the witness's life would be in danger if the name were published. The Sydney Star Observer is a Gay and Lesbian Newspaper in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. 
Legal commentator Richard Ackland described the case as "probably the biggest piece of civil litigation NSW has seen for many years. . . without doubt the largest, longest and most comprehensive defamation case in the history of Australia. And probably one of the biggest in the history of the common law world. "
In 2002, the NSW Court of Appeal ruled that the compensation payout should have included consideration for hurt feelings, and ordered a new trial on damages.  Marsden and Seven subsequently came to a confidential out-of-court settlement, estimated by various parties as anywhere from $6 million to $9 million. 
Marsden died of stomach cancer while on holiday in Turkey on May 17, 2006, attended on his last night by two Australian Catholic clergy, the Rev'd Peter Confeggi, and the Rev'd Gerald Iverson. Turkey (Türkiye known officially as the Republic of Turkey ( is a Eurasian Country that stretches Events 1521 - Edward Stafford 3rd Duke of Buckingham, is executed for Treason. Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. He had been battling the disease for four years. He was buried, according to his wishes, in a solemn Catholic Requiem Mass at St John's Church Campbelltown - his home city. Five hundred mourners attended, among them former Prime Minister of Australia Gough Whitlam, and the eulogy was delivered by Justice of the High Court of Australia Michael Kirby, who spoke of Marsden as a pioneer for openly gay people in the law. The Prime Minister of Australia is the Head of government of the Commonwealth of Australia, holding office on commission from the Governor-General. Edward Gough Whitlam, AC, QC (born 11 July 1916 known as Gough Whitlam (ˈɡɒf goff is an Australian former politician and 21st The High Court of Australia is the final court of appeal in Australia the highest court in the Australian court hierarchy. Michael Donald Kirby, AC, CMG (born 1939 is a Justice of the High Court of Australia, the highest court in the Australian court hierarchy He left part of his estate to gay and lesbian organisations and to the City of Campbelltown.