The longest civil trial in British history pitted a part-time bartender and an unemployed ex-postal worker against McDonald’s. The defendants, Helen Steel and David Morris, faced a $20 million legal team with the pro bono assistance of human-rights attorney. At issue was a couple of hundred copies of a pamphlet that made various allegations against McDonald’s. Some of those allegations were later found to be correct by the court; some were determined to be libel. McDonald’s eventually won the case, although by the time they did so neither defendant had a penny to pay the $120,000 judgment.
This all sounds like some typical hippie stupidity, right? Except for one thing: the “McLibel” pamphlet was written by undercover police officers.