A California attorney involved in a lawsuit with fallen casino owner Steve Wynn wants an appeals court to re-examine her motion to dismiss his libel suit. This emerges from court files filed on Thursday.
After a three-judge panel from the US 9th Court of Appeals sided with Wynn, an attorney from Lisa Bloom and her law firm asked for a full review of her motion to dismiss Wynn’s complaint.
Las Vegas attorney Marc Randazza, who represents Bloom, cited seven U.S. Supreme Court rulings that he said contradicted the panel’s ruling last month.
“Defendants have been sentenced to prison terms on less evidence than the panel requested by Bloom required them to enjoy the same First Amendment protection as any previous defamation defendant,” wrote Randazza. “Can’t stand that.”
One such case, New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, resulted in a landmark protection of freedom of speech that forbids public figures from suing for defamation unless the authors of the publication act in “actual malice.”
Should Bloom’s motion be approved through an “en banc” review, at least 11 judges out of 29 in the 9th Circle would rule on the dismissal motion, which described Wynn’s libel suit as an effort on his part to “silence his” “Criticism.”
A Wynn attorney did not respond to calls from the review journal.
Wynn filed his complaint in early 2018, asking for $ 75,000 in response to a press release from The Bloom Firm alleging “a new woman charged with sexual harassment and retaliation against Steve Wynn”. This came months after he stepped down as CEO and Chairman of Wynn Resorts Ltd. following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment.
Citing the allegations of staring at female performers in a false attempt to pressure payments, Wynn said he was legally blind at the time.
“Wynn has shown a real dispute over material facts about whether Bloom Defendants actually acted maliciously when the press release was released,” the 9th Circuit Panel wrote in an unpublished statement on March 25.
Randazza disagreed and has argued that Wynn’s eyesight was out of question in relation to the allegations.
“The panel’s decision creates a new standard of actual malice that is trivially easy for plaintiffs to meet and that discourages both reporters from making allegations against powerful individuals and attorneys to testify about pending litigation,” wrote Randazza. “The panel’s decision creates a new requirement that a witness, whether it be a source for a reporter’s story or a client for an attorney’s testimony, must state with absolute certainty that he knows his story is true and that he does has direct, personal knowledge of the truth. or it can be inferred from actual malice. “
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