Next Wednesday, 13 February, will see the start of the trial involving fellow blogger Jacqui Thompson and the Chief Executive of Carmarthenshire County Council. It will take place at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, and will be heard by a judge without a jury, as is common practice these days.
As a brief reminder, the dispute dates back to the publication of a letter written by the Chief Executive to the Mad Axeman blog in which Mr James launched a highly personal attack on both Jacqui Thompson and her family. Bearing in mind that Jacqui's children have played no part in Jacqui's campaign for greater openness and transparency by the council, that was a reckless and foolish thing to have done, and unsurprisingly the legal advice received by Jacqui was that she had grounds to seek legal redress.
The whole matter could have been ended at that point in late 2011 with an apology and a settlement. Instead the Chief Executive countered with an action for defamation against Jacqui, funded by council tax payers. The council did so using powers that it had granted itself, claiming that these were "extraordinary circumstances" but without ever explaining what was so extraordinary about them.
This was an extremely unusual thing for a local authority to do, and Carmarthenshire appears to be determined to test the limits of the law where the consensus has hitherto been that government cannot sue for libel.
A victory for Mr James could have enormous consequences for the press, blogs and other media as it would open the way for any council or other branch of government to sue critics by proxy.
Whatever happens, the Welsh Government needs to act to tighten up the rules for council officers and councillors to prevent public funds from being used for pursuing (as opposed to defending) claims for defamation. If a council officer or councillor feels that they have been libelled, they would still have the same right to bring an action privately, just like everybody else.
It is sometimes argued that council officers are like the royals in that they cannot answer back and defend themselves against criticism.
Anyone who is familiar with Carmarthenshire will know that that principle has been turned on its head. Councillors who are criticised, no matter how unfairly, by the Chief Executive in public meetings have no right of reply. And members of the public who have been attacked by the Chief Executive and the council's PR machine in the press have found that the control of editorial policy exercised by County Hall in the case of some of our local papers means that they have no right of reply either.
As a result of all of this significant sums of public money have been squandered, and a threat to freedom of expression remains.
For Jacqui personally this is an extremely stressful experience, and I am sure that most of you will join me in wishing her success in what is a just cause.