Skip to comments.(Civil) Suits endanger lacrosse panel (Duke Lacrosse)
Posted on 08/27/2007 2:36:16 PM PDT by maggief
DURHAM - The spectre of massive civil lawsuits has put the future of a special committee probing the polices handling of the Duke lacrosse case in limbo.
The citys insurance provider advised last week that continued investigation by the panel could provide ammunition for a civil lawsuit, Mayor Bill Bell confirmed Monday.
Falsely accused Duke lacrosse players David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann have hired powerful attorneys in anticipation of suing the city.
Seligmann has retained Barry Scheck, a prominent New York City lawyer whose high profile clients include O.J. Simpson and British nanny Louise Woodard. Evans and Finnerty have hired Brendan Sullivan Jr. and Chris Manning of Washington D.C.
The former players attorneys will meet with City Attorney Henry Blinder and other legal advisers next week.
Based on the outcome of those meetings, City Council members then will decide whether to allow the committee to continue or to suspend their activities indefinitely, Bell said.
The nut of it is theyre suggesting we might want to stop right now, he said.
Durham has a $5 million liability policy with The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania with a $500,000 deductible.
A clause in the citys insurance policy says that there will be no coverage if the city elect[s] a third party to investigate, defend or settle such claims or suits.
(Excerpt) Read more at newsobserver.com ...
He looks around and, to paraphrase, says, Where in the [heck] are all these lawyers coming from?
That ain't gonna cut it.
I read that and thought "Wow, there's a drop in the proverbial bucket."
I hate it for the Durham County FReepers, but I hope these kid’s lawyers leave the city destitute.
** snicker **
City pushed to kill police lacrosse probe
By Ray Gronberg : The Herald-Sun
Aug 27, 2007 : 1:20 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 American Insurance Group Inc. 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 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.
08/27/07 — DURHAM) - The threat of a potential lawsuit against Durham’s police department has put an investigative panel in jeopardy. Sources tell Eyewitness News Reporter Tamara Gibbs that city leaders may have to consider suspending the panel, or risk possibly losing the city’s insurance coverage for a potential lawsuit.
Sources tell Eyewitness News the insurance company, which would pay for a potential lawsuit settlement, threatened to suspend the city’s policy if it didn’t reconsider the Duke Lacrosse Investigative Committee. We’re told the company sent its request by fax last Thursday. The city’s policy would cover up to $5 million in the event of a lawsuit.
Attorneys for the city and the former Duke Lacrosse defendants spoke for the first time last week. They plan to meet face-to-face within the next few weeks. The high-powered talks have forced Durham leaders to hold at least two closed-door sessions.
Isn't it about that time of year for Discovery Channel's Shark Week?
The city is going to have to get Duke to chip in. And Duke will have to tap the 88 who cheered it on. The city can rightfully argue that the PC climate at Duke was probably the biggest contributing factor to Nifong’s misconduct. The interesting thing about mega-million lawsuits is when the perps start pointing fingers and eating their own. Pass the popcorn, please.
Lacking any more funds, sounds like they are going to have to rename the city Evans-Finnerty-Seligman.
This is about to get interesting!!!
I’m mixing up margaritas to watch this one unfold
Can the boys also sue Duke U? After all, the university cancelled the lacrosse program without any evidence. I believe they even did that before the case went on trial.
They settled with Duke.
Wouldn’t Nifong have also had his own professional liability coverage? I know that in some states and some professions those premiums are required to be paid up to 3 years in advance so as to cover claims that might come up after someone has left their profession.
I wonder if the policy is a wasting one - if the cost of defense is subtracted from the coverage amounts. If so, the insurers could spend the full $5 million defending the case.
I really hope some of the attention of the lawyers will be directed at Nifong personally. Drain all of his assets and attach his retirement income, as one of the reasons he kept after the kids was to get reelected so he’d qualify for the fatter DA retirement pay.
I think they will settle with the city, if the policemen involved with the case and the chief are replaced or at least punished and it goes in their files, personally I think the Chief should be fired, you know the old, The buck stops here thing.
Seligmann was an honors student at Duke, a history major who made the Atlantic Coast Conference honor roll in his two years at the university, even though he had to complete his final semester at Duke from home, over the Internet.
He plans to study history at Brown and is considering adding economics as a second concentration. His internship at Bear Stearns has gotten him more interested in business, he says, but his heart, especially after the past year, is in law.
Seligmann knows some resent the three accused players for having the resources to battle the legal system. He is unapologetic about it, but after the Duke case, he realizes more than ever how economics plays a role in law.
Seligmann says he and the two accused teammates plan to one day work with the Innocence Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to exonerating prisoners through DNA testing, or something similar.
His goal, he says, is to work toward making sure that something like the Duke case never happens again, that innocent people never have to go through what he went through, regardless of their financial situation.
At Brown, he promises to start a club related to the Innocence Project, and to devote much of his time to its cause.
When asked if he’s comfortable making a promise, with the Brown community and much of the nation watching, Seligmann doesn’t hesitate to respond.
“They’ll be watching me anyway,” he says.
The Innocence Project is a non-profit legal clinic affiliated with the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University and created by Barry C. Scheck and Peter J. Neufeld in 1992. The project is a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice. As a clinic, law students handle case work while supervised by a team of attorneys and clinic staff.
See post 19.
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