The legal battle between Chris Ellison and a former Mineral Resources manager continues with allegations that information had been leaked to media outlets before the official court process started.In the latest fight between Mr Ellison and former Mineral Resources contracts manager Steven Pigozzo, the mining billionaire has claimed Mr Pigozzo, his lawyers from Harmers Workplace Lawyers and media consultant AMC media distributed a document with defamatory material to journalists.Supreme Court Justice Gail Archer today allowed Mr Ellison’s application for the defendants to produce documents relating to the media release allegedly sent to media outlets, citing forensic benefit in producing them for discovery.The orders include any communications among the defendants themselves and to third parties, made on or before June 1, 2022.MinRes filed a federal court action against Mr Pigozzo on May 30 last year, with the latter then filing a separate action against the company on June 1.Mr Ellison, represented by Perth law firm Bennett, alleged a media release containing defamatory imputations and Mr Pigozzo’s statement of claim were sent to media outlets on the same day that Mr Pigozzo filed his federal court action.It is also alleged the media release was distributed before Mr Pigozzo’s statement of claim was sealed by the court and prior to federal court judge Michael Feutrill limiting non-party access to the documents.Mr Ellison’s barrister Steven Penglis told the court today that articles published by The Australian Financial Review and The West Australian on June 1 included details from the media release.The court was also told Business News had published an article about the matter on June 1, but did not include the details.Mr Penglis told the court the defendants took the matter into their own hands and set the cat among the pigeons.“Justice Feutrill made order for non-publication but the cat has been let out of the bag by Harmers Workplace Lawyers,” he said.Mr Penglis told the court that there was speculation the media release had been distributed further than the AFR and The West because of the Business News article published earlier that day.Justice Archer said she was satisfied Mr Ellison did not have sufficient information on the timing of the media release and Mr Pigozzo’s statement of claim being sent to journalists.“In short, the plaintiff wants to know where and when the media release was distributed,” she said in court today.“The extent of the distribution is relevant because each is a separate court of action.”Justice Archer said the timing of the media release being distributed was necessary to determine whether the information was protected under absolute privilege.