News and Notes

Palin Loses Her Lawsuit Twice in Two Days

Posted by Daniel Ackman | Feb 15, 2022 | 0 Comments

Sarah Palin's libel lawsuit against the New York Times looked like a loser from the beginning. Still, the former VP candidate and laughingstock managed to get the case to a jury. The nub of her complaint is that the Times allegedly tied one of her campaign ads to the shooting of Gabby Giffords. But even at its worst, the link was rhetorical. The Times never said that the ad caused or instigated the shooting. Also, the Times quickly recognized that its rhetoric was off-base and issued a correction.

Over the weekend, while the jury was still deliberating, Federal District Judge Jed Rakoff ruled that the lawsuit should be thrown out because her lawyers failed to produce adequate evidence that the newspaper knew what it wrote about her was false or acted recklessly toward indications it was false. https://www.politico.com/news/2022/02/14/palin-new-york-times-judge-ruling-00008719?fbclid=IwAR3KpfWtoio4TgUmTc_U2DJtYokp6jvmWvrIgefvq4U-Jy69QXtIDsqQY0s Some wondered why Rakoff would so rule before this jury issued its verdict. The reason is that the judge wanted to have the jury render its verdict even though he intended to dismiss the case. That way, if the judge's ruling was reversed on appeal, the appellate court could simply reinstate the jury verdict rather than order a new trial. 

As it happened, the jury also found that the case was bogus and ruled the the Times was not liable.

About the Author

Daniel Ackman

D​​an Ackman focuses on civil rights, administrative and constitutional class action litigation. Perhaps best known for representing New York City's taxi drivers in a series of civil rights class action lawsuits, Ackman's cases have resulted in a half dozen City practices being declared unconstitutional.

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