News Roundup

defamation documents and gavel

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Judge boots Boies from defamation suit against Dershowitz

U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska on Wednesday refused to toss a defamation suit filed against former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz. The plaintiff, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, says she was a victim of Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking ring, and Dershowitz, Epstein’s lawyer, had sex with her when she was a minor. Giuffre says Dershowitz defamed her when he called her a liar. Though Preska allowed the suit to proceed, she did grant Dershowitz’s request to bar the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner from representing Giuffre. Dershowitz has claimed he recorded a phone call with David Boies that casts doubt on Giuffre’s claims. Preska said Boies could be called as a witness in the case, making him ineligible to represent Giuffre. (The Associated Press, Courthouse News Service, Above the Law, Preska’s decision)

Critics say Halloween display by DA’s office was insensitive

The DA’s office in Paulding County, Georgia, has taken down a Halloween display criticized as insensitive to crime victims. The display consisted of a skeleton lying on the ground with crime scene tape around it. (WSB-TV)

Congressman Elijah Cummings dies at 68; he began career as lawyer

U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, died from long-standing health problems on Thursday at the age of 68. The Maryland lawmaker began his career as a lawyer. He has said the career choice was inspired by watching Perry Mason on television. (The Baltimore Sun, the Washington Post)

Sandy Hook dad is awarded $450K in defamation suit

The father of a 6-year-old boy killed in the mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School has been awarded $450,000 in a defamation suit against the co-author of a book called Nobody Died at Sandy Hook. The book had contended the 2012 shooting at the Connecticut school was staged as part of an Obama administration effort to pass tighter gun regulations. A Wisconsin judge had earlier ruled that the father, Leonard Pozner, was defamed by a claim in the book that Pozner had fabricated copies of his son’s death certificate. The defendant ordered to pay the money, James Fetzer, said he would appeal. The other book author reached a settlement in the case. (The Associated Press, the New York Times)