Monday, August 27, 2007

Durham Statement

Here is the official statement from the City of Durham on the potential lawsuit:

The City of Durham’s Attorney’s Office has been contacted by phone by attorneys retained by the three players to represent them in a pending lawsuit. In a subsequent letter, the attorneys requested that the City retain all documents and communications that may have any relevance to the case. In response to that request, the City Attorney’s Office notified relevant personnel of the need to preserve any and all communications, which is standard procedure when there is a possibility of litigation.

As required when the City receives a claim or an actual legal complaint, the City notified its excess insurance carrier, the Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania. The City has since received written notification from the carrier confirming receipt of the notification of a claim stemming from the Duke Lacrosse investigation. In that communication, the excess carrier further reminded the City of its contractual duties to cooperate under the provisions of the policy, which would include not engaging in activities that might compromise a subsequent defense of an action against the City.

Based on that recommendation, the activities of the Committee to Investigate Durham Police Department in the Duke Lacrosse Case are in a “holding pattern” until after City Attorneys meet with the former lacrosse players’ attorneys on September 5. On September 6, City attorneys will provide a follow up briefing for city council members in a special closed session meeting.

69 comments:

Jack said...

There is nothing inappropriate about Durham’s response to its insurance carrier. As most people will view the suspension of investigations and inquiries into the handling of the lacrosse case cynically, it is, in fact sensible and pragmatic.

Evidently Durham is self insured, or part of some risk retention group or municipal pool, as the insurance carrier is characterized as an excess carrier, providing a policy limit in excess of some form of deductible or underlying coverage.

By the way, having the Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania as a carrier could not be worse for the taxpayers of Durham. The company is member of the AIG Group, and their reputation is well known: they are NOT in the business of paying claims.

inman said...

Jack, yes AIG is not the biggest because it folds early and often.

But, the risk to reputation makes this a different story.

Front page ... Wall Street Journal, column A, with a picure of AIG's LOGO

... the insurer who stood with police corruption and judicial bad faith and civil rights violations...etc. etc. etc.?


I'd play the reputation risk card for all its worth. My bet, AIG doesn't think its wise to play this out in the media. They'll fold post haste.

Jack said...

A Public Official Errors and Omissions policy very clearly excludes wrongful acts. I do not think any insurer would have difficult time making that case here. And surely AIG does not want to pay for the wrongful, corrupt acts of any public official. I think paying such a claim would be more supportive of the violations than would a denial.

inman said...

Oh and should I contact my editor contact at the journal to let them know about developments?

Anonymous said...

Hoax Done Sign My Name.

no justice, no peace said...

"...the attorneys requested that the City retain all documents and communications..."

Sweet irony, the confiscation of lacrosse team members email and their subsequent release to the media led to huge misunderstanding and possible FERPA privacy violations.

One can only hope we get to read/see the email exchanges and text messages exchanged.

Again, I would also be interested to know how many of these messages violate open meetings law.

Anonymous said...

I disagree, Jack. I did a quick spin through the comments to the earlier post and did not find a citation to Federal Rule of Evidence 407. It provides:

RULE 407. SUBSEQUENT REMEDIAL MEASURES

When, after an injury or harm allegedly caused by an event, measures are taken that, if taken previously, would have made the injury or harm less likely to occur, evidence of the subsequent measures is not admissible to prove negligence, culpable conduct ....

FED. R. CIV. EVID. 407

Everyone knows the suit is going to be in federal court and except for pendent state claims (i.e. defamation), it will be based on federal law. Even a federal judge who hates what Durham has done (and there are probably quite a few of them) would find these committee meetings to be a subsequent remedial measure.

Additionally, what the insurance company is doing smacks of a violation of public policy. How does the insurance company have a right to stop a city from trying to stop illegal police practices?

This is really disgusting, and I will not look the other way. Big smokescreen.

________________

Actual SAT question: Urine is to Sanitation Processing Plant, as the Gang of 88 is to __________?

A. Really big Sanitation Processing Plant;
B. Cheap Trick;
C. K.C. Johnson;
D. Queer Theory.

MOO! Gregory

no justice, no peace said...

Inre: 7:39 "Urine"

You remain too kind MOO! Gregory.

Ex-prosecutor said...

I have dealt both with Brendan Sullivan and Barry Scheck. Both are among the best few lawyers in the US, especially for a case such as this. Williams and Connolly is one of the premier law firms in the country. The firepower they bring to this case is awesome. The defense lawyers will face the most agressive, brilliant and determined lawyers they have ever faced they have ever seen.

In this case, the real question, in my mind, is whether, on the basis of the depositions to be taken, the federal judge will find the defendants are liable for damages, leaving the only question for the jury to be the amount of damages. I'd love to watch the depositions as they are taken, for these two lawyers will wear the defendants out.

It'll be interesting to see how the insurance company lawyers proceed in this case. If they refuse to settle, they can be liable to the city of Durham for a judgment in excess of the policy limits. So, there may be a fight between the city and their insurance company.

Also, it will be interesting to see if the insurance company provides a defense to Mr. Nifong.

For those of us who have been waiting for the second shoe to drop, this is it.

Michael said...

I like the fact that Addison's name is being mentioned
a lot in Prof Johnson's previous post about all of the
happenings today.

Cpl. Addison spewed a lot of libelous slander early on.
Wasn't he partially responsible for the vigilante
Crimestoppers poster that endangered the lives of
the LAX players? (He was listed as a contact on the poster.)

It concerned me when Joe Cheshire told the Whichard Cmte
that Himan and Gottlieb were the only two policeman
associated with the case from their vantage point.
He didn't mention Addison by name. Addison's
behavior was malicious and atrocious.

I think someone should recommend to the
families that the lawyers hire Prof Johnson as a
consultant to help them with
who to question and what questions to ask.

Anonymous said...

Durham elected Mike Nifong despite what was known about his blatant dishonesty at the time of the election. Let the taxpaying majority pay for it's mule-headed mistake. Hooray!!!

Anonymous said...

"...the attorneys requested that the City retain all documents and communications..."

I wonder how many city employees, after Nifong asked that he be removed from the case, searched their emails to delete any embarrassing messages . . .

gs said...

Wait until the un-indicted players also file suits. The DPD "wanted posters" slandered all of the team as well as placed then in danger of some crazed fanatics acting against them based on those DPD posters and police false public statements.

Jack said...

I can only go on what I have seen in such cases previously, some familiarity with professional liability coverages and many years of swimming in the same waters as AIG. One thing is highly probable, if not certain – AIG will issue a denial, followed by a lot of wrangling by both parties. Much depends upon how the underlying coverage responds. If it is just a Self Insured retention, it may be a million or two, then Durham has only one party to battle with over collection. If they are part of a pool or some risk retention group, they will not necessarily have a standard policy, but some sort of coverage document that outlines what is or is not covered. If wrongful acts or intentional acts are excluded, as is common practice, and AIG is a following form excess, Durham is screwed. It has nothing to do with public policy or negligence – in fact, if it were only negligence, the coverage would be more readily available. Intentional acts, wrongful acts – check your homeowners’ policy, same thing. These are fairly basic provisions throughout the industry. For the poster that raised the public policy issue, that is not the point. In nearly all fifty states, it is against public policy to insure wrongful acts, which creates a moral hazard all insurers attempt to avoid. It is also against public policy to insure punitive damages, particularly in NY State, where AIG has already been spanked.

Anyhow, we can kick this around all we want, but at the end of the day, a $5,000,000 insurance policy won’t be but a band aid.

inman said...

8:01

If they deleted any messages, they are guilty of obstruction of justice.

Judge Rufus Peckham said...

A warning bell to all municipalities gripped in the fear vice of political correctness: start doing what's right, and stop cowering to the special interests of political correctness just because they make the most noise. And you, Mr. and Ms. Durham, take heed: These innocent boys your police abuse could cause your taxes to go wa-a-a-a-y up this year. You need to start watching your police better.

Anonymous said...

No matter what happens now, you can be sure that cities across the US are going to be much more skeptical of the claims of rape made by many women.

Well done Durham, Nurse Levicy, Brodhead and the Gang of 88, and not to mention, Nifong. Real rape victims will have you to blame, now.

no justice, no peace said...

Inre "...I wonder how many city employees, after Nifong asked that he be removed from the case, searched their emails to delete any embarrassing messages . . ."

If they did, they're in for added problems. The servers should still have the messages and a forensics team should be able to recover the emails.

Intentional manipulaiton of data is a big problem. Those that attempt it will face criminal charges and those that have already done it (delete/modify) should consider coming forward with their hats in hand before they are discovered.

Any lack of controls by the City and DPD will further compound their problems.

Further it may expose the certification organization.

This is going to be fun, especially since the insurance company has differing goals than the others.

Game on.

As mentioned the City Council is also subject to open records law. Any test messaging and emails they exchange regarding this may violate those laws.

Anonymous said...

KC If the insurance company does not settle, any negative reaults for the City will depend upon a DUrham jury. I do not see a guilty verdict for the city happening. Barry Scheck is a genius, but he was part of OJ's defense team and never commented on the Lax case to heop the team or boys.

Anonymous said...

ABC-11 Reporter Gibbs reports that the city of Durham policy cover up to $5 million in the event of a lawsuit. Is that 5 million per lawsuit? If so, what if they file individual lawsuits? Does the policy cover each lawsuit for 5 million?

One Spook said...

"...the attorneys requested that the City retain all documents and communications..."

Gosh I sure hope that Hinman didn't accidentally erase Gottlieb's 44 page straight-from-Pinocchio-three-month-after-the-fact memo!

Spook

no justice, no peace said...

Inre: prior post's Floyd sez: "...Residents-call your real estate agent NOW..."

The indirect cost will likely include a hit to Durhams bond rating which will mean the cost to borrow will increse, which means Durham citizens will pay more for the same thing.

This rating and subsequent tax implications will not be lost on those doing or considering doing business in Durham. Durham will be at a self-imposed economic disdavantage relative to other cities.

That economic duress will lead others to move their companies and some employees will too move.

So fewer buyers, means lower prices. It may be time to sell as Floyd suggests.

I love Capitalism...water finding the correct level.

Anonymous said...

There is a fair amount of evidence that suggests that Durham authorities conspired with Duke officials, at some level, to deny the lacrosse players their constitutional rights to due process. Under the legal concept of " joint enterprise " both Durham and Duke would be liable for these unlawful activities. Because of the settlements reached between the 3 indicted players and Duke, it may well be the unindicted players who pursue this legal action.

Debrah said...

Here's what's on the H-S website:


City pushed to kill police lacrosse probe

By Ray Gronberg : The Herald-Sun
gronberg@heraldsun.com
Aug 27, 2007 : 2:03 pm ET

The insurance company that supplies Durham's liability coverage wants an independent investigation of the city Police Department's handling of the Duke lacrosse case shut down.

Representatives of the insurance company told city officials late last week that they're worried the investigation headed by former N.C. Supreme Court Justice Willis Whichard will cause problems as the city gears up for a prospective lawsuit by three former Duke lacrosse players.

Sources say that the firm hinted strongly that it might cancel the city's policy if officials don't go along with its request.

The city's next move, however, will await a meeting between the city's lawyers and the two high-profile attorneys representing the lacrosse players in the prospective federal civil rights case, Brendan Sullivan and Barry Scheck.

That meeting will occur next week, likely on Wednesday. City Council members have scheduled a closed-door consultation the next day to be briefed on the results of the meeting.

Until then, they've advised Whichard to avoid making any major moves or decisions.

"We're going to wait and see what discussions our attorneys have with the attorneys who are representing the [former] defendants," Mayor Bill Bell said.

Whichard said Monday that he was "not in a position to confirm or deny" the behind-the-scenes maneuvering.

But he added that he's "known from the beginning" that a civil lawsuit by the players could overlap with his investigation.

Whichard's 12-member investigation committee has held only one meeting so far, a July 20 session with the criminal defense attorneys who represented lacrosse players David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann.

The trio was indicted last year on false charges of rape, kidnapping and sexual assault. State Attorney General Roy Cooper exonerated them in April.

Whichard's committee hasn't scheduled a second meeting. Its staff, former trial court Judge Wade Barber and fellow Pittsboro lawyer Jeremy Falcone, have been reviewing key documents.

Barber, Falcone and Whichard also met last week with the prosecutors from Cooper's office, Jim Coman and Mary Winstead, who did the leg work that shaped the attorney general's decision to exonerate the players.

The four-hour session "answered some questions but raised others" about the case, Whichard said.

The special prosecutors have "got a whole room with documents, charts and files," Whichard said. "They expressed willingness to be available to us further if we need them to be."

City officials learned recently that Sullivan and Scheck – famous for their representation of former Marine Corps Lt. Col. Oliver North and football star O.J. Simpson, respectively – were working for the players and are preparing a civil lawsuit.

Sullivan's office confirmed on Friday that he's representing Evans and Finnerty, and that Scheck is representing Seligmann.

The city has a $5 million liability policy. It is not clear whether a lawsuit by the players would count as one claim under it, or three.

It is also not clear whether the players are willing to settle. City officials believe at least one may want a day in court.

Debrah said...

This is on the N&O website about the upcoming suits.

Anonymous said...

Deleting emails doesn't do much good. There's too much forensics capability out there--much smarter folks around than Nifong and his cronies. Word has it some federal agencies can read through up to 100 deletions.

Other than that, I'm popping the popcorn and pulling up a chair. It's going to start getting interesting pretty soon!

Anonymous said...

Wondering what is happening with the un-indicted players and remedy with Duke and broadhead. Have not heard a thing. Sure makes it easier for them to take action once the 3 major players have softened up the opposition. Same thing should happen for the 46 and durham's civil responsibility. Anyone want to predict an outcome. $1 000 000 for each player from Duke and durham? I mean some of the players who were slandered were not even in town. this sure is getting exciting again. GO DUKE LACROSSE >>> GO DUKE LACROSSE

Anonymous said...

I commented on another post a few down (re: the potential City/players settlement) that a likely outcome would be the insurers "tendering their limits"; i.e., paying over to the City the full limits of their policy, in the hope of avoiding a judgment against the insurers in excess of the policy limits. A commenter above (on this post) references the type of Hobson's Choice that AIG has. If they refuse to settle within their limits, they can be exposed to damages in excess of their limits.

A company like AIG (which is well-known for their hard-ball treatment of claimants and loose-cannon clients) will be very mindful of the financial ramifications of their actions. If they sense a major loser, they'll write a check to the city and cut off the defense expenses immediately. Furthermore, by doing so, they will preclude any bad faith judgment against AIG for amounts in excess of their policy.

The AIG policy is, however, likely only the bottom policy in a tower of policies, comprising total limits well in excess of $5MM. Each carrier, in turn, will carefully consider their own exposure to loss, and the ability to stop the bleeding by tendering their limits.

I suspect that at the end of this little daisy chain will be the uppermost-layer insurer, who (after tendering their limits) will quietly skip off into the mist while the City Council wonders what to do with the money they've taken in. Based on the Council's past actions, they might do something monumentally stupid and spend it on something other than a settlement. Of course, why should they care? The city will likely be going bankrupt anyway, and they might as well have a blowout party to celebrate.

Or maybe a Toga Party, or a Road Trip to Dickenson (a la National Lampoon's Animal House). In the immortal words of (I think) soon-to-be Senator Blutarsky "my advice to you is to drink heavily..."

You can rest assured that the insurers in this case will be acting with their financial interests first and foremost, which is actually the right thing to do. They will be paying out significant sums of money, but you can be certain that they won't be wasting it in order to look like good corporate citizens to the residents of Durham or the idiots on the Duke Board or its faculty. They're going to vote their pocketbooks, and Durham is going to go down hard.

drewski

Anonymous said...

No doubt, lots of stuff has already been deleted, but what is already public is indefensible and massive, inexcusable, and insurmountable.


I'd like to see CGM testify that she was pressured into maintaining her "crock". I'd like to see the insurance carrier decide it is not worth spending any money to defend and just writing a check for the policy limits, leaving those responsible to defend a suit for damages above this amount. I'd love to see the slime balls in the DPD, DA's office and government turn on each other in an attempt to shield themselves from personal liability.


Even with all the opportunity to put a stop to things, all anyone could manage was an incompetent exercise in hole-digging. I really hope the entire world gets to see just how bad this whole affair has been. Of course, the press will ignore this, or report this with the maximal amount of slant and distortion.

Goatleeb, Will-sin, Nofing, Peterson, the day of reckoning draws nigh.

haskell said...

gregory 7:39 pm

"How does the insurance company have a right to stop a city from trying to stop illegal police practices?"

sigh -- only in wonderland. YCMTSU. New abbreviation to save everyone time.

Anonymous said...

Re the 7:08's "I'd play the reputation risk card for all its worth. My bet, AIG doesn't think its wise to play this out in the media. They'll fold post haste."

In my experience, insurance companies care very little about the public image consequences of denying claims. Consider the very well publicized example of Sen. Trent Lott, who, along with many others, had to file a lawsuit against his insurance company over damage from Hurricane Katrina. (Unfortunately, I can't remember the outcome! -- maybe someone else does)

Ken Duke

Anonymous said...

KC,

Looks like you should have some new buyers for your book! If I were a Durham taxpayer/voter I'd want to know what the he11 just happened.

-RD

mac said...

Looks like Mordor is crumbling, Mount Doom is about to explode, Sauron has already been toppled and the Orcs...are waiting expectantly for their turn to perish.

Movie magic - replayed in the City of Durrhh.

Gollum, on the other hand, is still President of Duke University.

Gary Packwood said...

Debrah 9:12 said...
...This is on the N&O website about the upcoming suits.
::
“I think after a while the city may end up feeling like General Custer at Little Bighorn,” councilman Eugene Brown said.

LOL
::
GP

inman said...

9:48

Yes, you make a good point. But each of the Katrina claims were small by comparison. And the claims involved an act of nature ... not police corruption, bad faith judicial acts and civil rights violations ... frankly, Durham would be better off if Katrina were its only problem.

This story still has legs. Very long legs that strike at the heart of many, many different interest groups in America.

Anonymous said...

My goodness, standard procedure . . . there hasn't been anything resembling standard procedure sense this thing began. Is the Department going to reprocuce the notes "left" on the dry erase board? If ever a police department needed to have a new a------ burned for them these people do. Had they followed procedure . . . and this should be required by any police department . . . none of this would have continued in the way that it has . . . if the Group88 had their way there would have been just the lynching. Instead of their attempts at scholarship, they should be made to read (re-read?) Animal Farm and 1984 (1948).

Debrah said...

When you read what a snail's pace this so-called Committee has employed so far, it's clear to me that old Whichard knows he's there for window dressing for the imbeciles in Durham.

Typical greasy lawyers.

This is such a farce.

Anonymous said...

10:13 PM

What sound advice you have written. I myself am going to Amazon.com . . . parden me while I bang my pot . . . er, pots as I am priviledged to have more than one. I have two . . . one for . . . and used with a window, which will be one more pot or window than Durham has or will have or ought to have after the lawsuit.

bill anderson said...

Well, well, well. We sure don't see all the swagger from the Durham city officials now. Last year, they wanted us to know they were above the law.

It seems now that Durham and justice are going to meet.

Anonymous said...

JACK WROTE: "In nearly all 50 states, it is against public policy to insure wrongful acts, which creates a moral hazard all insurers attempt to avoid."

CAVEMAN: "What?"
_____________

Haskell: It took me approximately 2 minutes to decipher your code. Now we can sink the rest of the U-boats! Also, the stuff One Spook, Inman and I write about K.C., well, it's all true. Because, YCMTSU!
_____________

Mac & 10:36 - That was your best ever! Bravo! I especially liked the ending.
_____________

No Justice - I am amazed at the understatement, patience and badger-like qualities exhibited by K.C. over this long period of time. He can still be subtle, and he's even nice to TROLLS!
_____________

"You won't believe what they pay for a vial of K.C.'s hingano in Tokyo!" Overheard in Osaka (Nov. 15, 2006). MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

In other words, shall I understand that there will be no meeting of the Committee on the 30th of August, as decided on July 20?

scott said...

There will be no loss to actual fact-finding and determining appropriate remedies should this sham of a committee be closed down.

Their report would either be a complete whitewash, like the committee that recently recertified the DPD with a rating of A-OK, or would have made a token mention of some minor items that need to be corrected. Even in the unlikely event they found major wrongdoing, what power does this committee have to enforce any changes or dismiss anyone? None.

So tell Willis and his gang to pack their bags and let's get on with the main event. One where there will be a price to pay in the form of real money, the way people keep score in the real world. I want to see Durham taken for everything they've got and for Chalmers, Hodge, Ripberger, Gottlieb, Himan, Addison, Michaels, et. al. to have to live in infamy forever from the fallout their actions caused.

Why? Because Durham is a filthy toilet. Mr. Clean (Sullivan) and the Tidy Bowl Man (Scheck) will be arriving soon. The city and its citizens should be preparing to get flushed.

Anonymous said...

I almost wish, once the money is sucked out of Durham, the decent Durhamites (like John in Carolina, etc.) could sue those Durhamites (the 88, Ubuntu, the DPD, etc etc etc) more directly responsible for the mess to make up for whatever costs they'll have to bear.

Anonymous said...

10 grand each and you
can have baker, bell and
chalmers as houseboys.

final best offer or come
get some.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
No matter what happens now, you can be sure that cities across the US are going to be much more skeptical of the claims of rape made by many women.

Well done Durham, Nurse Levicy, Brodhead and the Gang of 88, and not to mention, Nifong. Real rape victims will have you to blame, now.

8/27/07 8:39 PM

==============

Very true. But look, we saw what these jokers really thought of civil rights, justice, due process, etc. They really do not care about woman.

Anonymous said...

Dan Rather and M Mapes are still defending themselves (and insist they were right about the Bush National guard story).Luckily they were fired so no one lsitens to them.

The Duke 3 have to play this thing out somewhere --otherwise the left will rewrite history in 10 years.

Please reread the last few pages of Bonfires of the Vanities.

Anonymous said...

How could Durham have sat silently, and allowed Nifong, Gottlieb, Addision and their enablers to inflict such damage on the City.

The leadership of Durham should be ashamed of itself for failing to stand up in defence of civil liberties. They are now about to learn the cost of allowing Nifong, et. al., to hijack Durham's reputation, and its liability.

Anonymous said...

To inman and others who state that if Durham officials previously deleted emails they would be guilty of obstruction of justice, this is not true. There is nothing that requires one to keep emails or correspondance on the chance that they may be the subject of future undisclosed litigation. Rather one is permitted to delete emails (and throw away correspondance) until one is on notice that a criminal investigation is underway. Then if you delete or destroy, you can be liable for obstruction of justice. Here the case is a civil case. If despite being warned to retain emails and correspondance Durham officials delete or destroy stuff, it would not be obstruction of justice. Instead it would be a violation of discovery rules and the court would fashion a remedy. The remedy could be anything from the strict (for example, holding Durham liable as a matter of law in the case brought by the players and just holding a trial on damages) to the lenient (paying the plaintiffs for the increased costs of discovery necessitated by the officials' actions).

Anonymous said...

But [Whichard] added that he's "known from the beginning" that a civil lawsuit by the players could overlap with his investigation.

So why didn't he express this concern at the start of this process rather waiting for the inevitable to happen? While the civil suits and insurance companies ability to limit the committee's work may not have been foreseeable by Durham, Whichard surely saw it. What a waste of time and effort.

inman said...

8:15

Thank you for the explanation.

But does intent have anything to do with the extent to which deletion of an e-mail could be considered obstruction of justice? If one anticipated the possibility of a criminal charge and then destroyed or deleted evidence relevant to that potential charge, would that be obstruction, even though a notice of investigation had not been received?

ginger said...

Generally "educational" institutions are exempt from local property taxes...leaving the public service bills to the homeowners and businesses. Some of the better known universities (for sure Princeton and Yale) make "voluntary" contributions to the local jurisdictions, and some years those payments are almost equivalent to what the real estate taxes would have been.

Does anyone know if Duke, thinking of itself as an Ivy League university, follows that practice?

Surely any settlement expenses endured by the Durham tax payers should be shared by the coconspirators at Duke.

Ralph Phelan said...

"No matter what happens now, you can be sure that cities across the US are going to be much more skeptical of the claims of rape made by many women.

Well done Durham, Nurse Levicy, Brodhead and the Gang of 88, and not to mention, Nifong. Real rape victims will have you to blame, now."

If "skepticism" means not accepting obvious bullshit at face value and using the judgement and common sense you would for any other crime, I don't think real victims will have anything to fear.

I find it alarming how many people are worried about the potential side effects of false claims not being tolerated. It makes me suspect that a lot of innocent men are in jail for rape.

Anonymous said...

What a hideous embarrassment for all Durham officials, clearly declaring that any real investigation would demonstrate their palpable misconduct and their financial liability.

This humiliation, by their own insurance companay, says a lot more about Durham's utter corruption and indefensible criminality, than the Whilchard report itself ever would have.

And of course, all potential jurors will hear about it on TV and in the news. Nice move, AGI -- you pinheads!

Ralph Phelan said...

To those in the know about such things -

Is it common for cities to make sealed settlements for undisclosed amounts the way Duke did, or do they have to disclose the amounts of settlements to the voters or because of public records laws?

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Durham (City and County) have bulled their way through the whole case, until very recently, doing things 'their way'. That included spokesbloke Addison's mendacity, all the creative DPD actions that 'just this once' didn't quite fit standard procedure, conniving with Duke for access to the players' dorms and emails, and of course the crooked but starring role of Mike Nifong.

It's almost unbelieveable that the skulking anons who actually run DPD didn't figure out, about last December, that some embarrassing questions might come their way. And to purge their records of all items that might embarrass the good old boys and girls under questioning strikes me as very much 'their way', and I shall bet symbolic sums that this purge has already occurred.

It is disappointing to think that the entry of Durham's insurance carrier into the party now puts them into alignment with the forces that wish to suppress forever any public knowlege of the actual events inside the City administration. That's not good for a society that wishes for open government in order to head off such travesties in future - and for sure it's not good for the Chowder and Gossip society in which we all meet each morning to see what new amusing antics have turned up out of Duke/Durham.

Dang it, I want a real Investigation, with Discovery and supoena powers and testimony under oath - and enough outside reporters of the DIY sort to keep the NYT and Durham's good-old-gang from spinning said Investigation, as they tried with the LAXers, into a politically correct version of the Three Wise Monkeys.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody except me have a problem with the same guy who DEFENDED O. J. Simpson representing our INNOCENT LAX player?

I'm all about the innocent going free, and the guilty going punished.

But somehow it just feels funny to me. Of course, this is outside the fact of legal brilliance, which is great, whether you are innocent or guilty as charged.

Help me out here.

Anonymous said...

inman: I don't know the answer to your specific question but I would think it would be hard to show obstruction of justice on the basis that a particular individual felt that a criminal investigation might occur and destroyed stuff. It usually takes actual knowledge of a criminal or regulatory proceeding for destruction to equal obstruction.

Anonymous said...

Re: 10:00's "Is it common for cities to make sealed settlements for undisclosed amounts the way Duke did, or do they have to disclose the amounts of settlements to the voters or because of public records laws?"

In North Carolina, settlements involving public money cannot be sealed. If we settle (I live in Durham) we'll know how much were paying.

Ken Duke

Anonymous said...

Re: 10:54's "Dang it, I want a real Investigation, with Discovery and supoena powers and testimony under oath...."

Look's like that's what we'll get if a lawsuit is filed. The Whichard Committee would be replaced by the Sullivan - Scheck Committee.

*******

Re: 9:13's "Deleting emails doesn't do much good. There's too much forensics capability out there--much smarter folks around than Nifong and his cronies. Word has it some federal agencies can read through up to 100 deletions."

So how come when my computer has a glitch resulting in the loss of a document I've labored over, the computer-store people tell me there is absolutley nothing to do to restore it? ;-)

Ken Duke

Anonymous said...

to 3.12am

Add Tawana Brawley and all the reporters who still don't challenge her on her "rape" to your list. Well, at least she can't travel to NY, but it's amazing how she is welcomed by black audiences even today. She continues to repeat her mantra.

Lurker said...

Hi, First Time Caller, Long Time Listener...

You have been discussing the City of Durham, but waht is the County's liability? And what is their coverage? Wasn't Nifong a county employee?

Anonymous said...

Re: 12:57's "You have been discussing the City of Durham, but waht is the County's liability? And what is their coverage? Wasn't Nifong a county employee?"

District Attorneys are State employees. The State of NC would be liable if Nifong's official actions are deemed unprotected by sovereign immunity.

Ken Duke (Atty)
Durham, NC

Lurker said...

Thanks.

So to recap the baskets of money are:

City of Durham
Duke University Medical Center
Individual Actors (Gotlieb, Levicy, Nifong, etc...)
State of NC

Settled baskets are:
Duke University, and all employees.

No likelyhood of liability for:
The Press
Neighbors of the "Lacrosse House"
The County that Durham is in.

Correct? Am I excluding/including anyone?

Ralph Phelan said...

Lurker:


A basket you missed - the NAACP, which might be at risk for a defamation claim.

Who is still in play:

There is continued debate as to whether the DUMC was covered by the Duke deal. My impression is that it is.

I don't know of any county involvement in this fiasco, but my knowledge of this case is nowhere near complete.

Likelihood of action against the media is guesswork. Taking on the New York Times is tough, but the Herald-Sun might be easier pickings, as might be individuals such Wendy Murphy and Nancy Grace.

Duke is not out of the woods yet.

Duke & employees have settled with the three indicted players. They have not settled with the other 46. If the discovery in these cases produces evidence that any Duke employee was involved in the release of the McFayden email, Duke can expect to shell out a lot more money.

Once the city of Durham has been assessed damages, it's theoretically possible for them to claim that part of the damages were Duke's fault, and that therefore Duke should reimburse them for that part. No agreement made with the indicted three can preclude Durham from making such a claim.

Anonymous said...

The real irony is that many of the Duke lacrosse players were portrayed as "rich white boys" when they were not, and now thanks to the blundering of many, when all is said and done they may well be. But at a price that no one should ever have to pay.

Anonymous said...

11:53 AM
"Does anybody except me have a problem with the same guy who DEFENDED O. J. Simpson representing our INNOCENT LAX player? ...
Help me out here."

-----------

He's a lawyer -- a good one. And I think he managed to walk away from the OJ trial without impugning his own credibility.

Criminal defense lawyers, and plaintiffs' lawyers, tend to share a certain anti-establishment, us-against-the-world attitude, but there are also considerable differences between these specialized arts and crafts.

So I don't expect Scheck to be lead counsel, or to make closing arguments -- he's much too New Yawk. But, I want him there when Durham (or its insurance company) produces some dirtbag DNA "expert" who will piously swear that all the filthy DNA parts crawling in and out of Crystal's orifices were "not probative".

Any cross-exam, Mr Scheck? Oh yeah, just a few questions, yer honor.

It's too often forgotten that in law, as in other professions, there is no substitute for knowing what you're talking about. And Barry knows DNA.

Anonymous said...

This is all just so utterly fantastic. I can't wait for this puppy to roll out.

As someone once remarked about attending high school reunions: "Success is not enough; others must fail." Here, declarations of innocence are not enough; Durham, Duke, G-88, etc. must pay, pay dearly, and pay through their teeth.

The Lax 3 are simply going to *own* the Bull City, and I mean literally own it when this is done.

Ralph Phelan said...

I forgot one other potential target:

Meehan and his employer, DNA Securities.

Anonymous said...

What does it say about our soceity that people are still referring to this case as the "Dook Lacrosse investigation?"

Does that fact need any substantial investigation? It seems to me that Dook in fact has a lacrosse team, and that they do in fact play lacrosse, and they do so openly and notoriously.

Are we big enough people to stop calling the case by that name and start calling it the "Investigation launched solely on the Stripper's Race-Baiting Lie" yet?