Saturday, October 4, 2008

Defendants file reply briefs

The defendants have now filed reply briefs in support of their motions to dismiss the lawsuit brought by the 38 Duke lacrosse players and certain members of their families.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sanctions hearing transcript and order

Back on April 15, Chief Judge James A. Beaty, Jr. of the US District Court in Winston-Salem held a hearing to consider a motion for sanctions by Duke University’s and the City of Durham’s against lawyers for the 38 Duke lacrosse players for holding a news conference and maintaining this Web site about their lawsuit.

Judge Beaty denied the sanctions motion and issued an order which included guidance to both the plaintiffs’ and the defendants’ attorneys about their relations to the news media.

We are now able to post the transcript of the hearing.

Reproduced below is the transcript of Chief Judge Beaty's order as issued from the bench. It begins on page 47 of the transcript:

THE COURT: The Court has considered the motions that have been filed in this case and the arguments of counsel made this date. Early on the Court made mention to Mr. Cowan about the two-part basis of Rule 3.6 and whether or not any statements that might be made by an attorney to the media will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing any of the proceedings, and particularly a jury trial in this case, so that each party would have a fair and impartial hearing before the Court.

The motion before the Court is one by the Defendant Duke University and other Defendants to sanction Plaintiffs for alleged violations of North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct 3.6 and as they may have been adopted by the local rules of this court. The Court has heard the arguments and has taken each of those into account. The Court has reviewed as well both the website that -- the portions that were presented here in the courtroom and as part of the Court's own consideration of this motion. Based upon the arguments and evidence presented, Defendants' motion for sanctions at this time is denied.

However, all of the attorneys in this case are cautioned against making or authorizing any statements that will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing any of the proceedings going forward regardless of what publicity may have occurred in the past. In addition, to the extent Plaintiffs' counsel maintains their website about this case, either directly or through an agent, Plaintiffs' counsel is cautioned that they are responsible for the content of that website and for ensuring that any material contained in, quoted to or linked to on their website complies with the obligation of Professional Rules of Conduct 3.6.

Of course, as presented under the present circumstances, nothing that this Court rules on as a part of this announcement affects or limits any third party, including any member of the media or other persons acting independently of the attorneys in this case.

As this case proceeds, the Court will consider whether any specific protective orders may be necessary to ensure the integrity of the proceedings is maintained and that a fair jury pool is not materially prejudiced.

The Court will deny the motion for sanctions that is present before the Court.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Duke, Durham respond to motion for mandatory discovery conference

Lawyers for Duke, Durham and other defendants filed responses yesterday to the players' motion for a mandatory discovery conference.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Players file motion for mandatory discovery conference

On May 22, lawyers for the players filed a motion requesting that the Court order counsel for the defendants to participate in a mandatory discovery conference.

Read the motion here.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Duke defendants file motions to dismiss

As expected, Duke University and the other defendants today filed motions to dismiss the lawsuit by the 38 players and family members. We post their supporting memoranda and exhibits here:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Court rules on motion

Chief Judge James A. Beaty, Jr. of the US District Court in Winston-Salem today denied Duke University’s and the City of Durham’s motion to sanction lawyers for the 38 Duke lacrosse players for holding a news conference and maintaining a Web site about their lawsuit.

Judge Beatty issued an order which included guidance to both the plaintiffs’ and the defendants’ attorneys about their relations to the news media. We will study the judge’s guidance and govern ourselves accordingly.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Durham answers players' reply to its gag motion

The Durham defendants replied yesterday to the players' reply to its motion silence them about their lawsuit against the City and Duke University. Durham's reply is here. Exhibits A and B.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Opposition to Durham's gag motion filed with court

This afternoon, lawyers for the 38 Duke lacrosse players filed a brief in US District Court in Winston-Salem opposing the City of Durham's gag motion. The brief is here and the exhibit is here.

UPDATE: Here is Durham's joinder motion, an affidavit in support of defendant's gag motion and the brief in support of Durham's joinder motion. These were filed with the court in mid-March while I was away. Apologies for not posting them before now.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Duke files reply in fight over informational website

Duke lawyers filed a reply to the Duke lacrosse players in the ongoing struggle over the players' right to provide information about their lawsuit. Here is Duke's brief and the accompanying exhibits: A and B.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Response to Duke's motion

As promised, here is the response to to Duke's motion complaining about this website and the news conference on February 21. There are three exhibits: A, B, and C.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Statement about Duke's motion to shut down this website

Duke's motion to keep information about this case out of the media is utterly meritless. We will file our response promptly.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Duke files motion to take down this website

Duke and other defendants have filed a motion to shut down this website. Click here to read it.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Complaint now available in a single file

It took some work, but the complaint is now available here in a single file.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

News conference

To play video click on photo above. You will be taken to Google Video. Hit backpage to return here.

Here is the video from the news conference on February 21, 2008. It was held on at 1 p.m. at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The news conference is 49 minutes in length.

Speaking first is Robert Bork, Jr., spokesman for the plaintiffs and their law firm. Second, is Charles J. Cooper, Cooper & Kirk, PLLC, who represents the plaintiffs in this legal action. Third is Steven Henkelman, the father former Duke lacrosse team member, Eric Henkelman. Both are plaintiffs. Finally, there is a question and answer session with members of the news media.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Misquoted by the Raleigh News & Observer

I was misquoted. It isn't the first time and surely won't be the last, but this one is worth noting and correcting.

I was quoted out of context by the Raleigh News and Observer this morning:

The event was at the National Press Building in downtown Washington, a block from the White House.

"This is kind of a media center," said Bork, son of the Supreme Court nominee rejected during the Reagan years. "And Durham isn't. Sorry."

What I said was that we held it in Washington because the law firm representing the players and their families is located in Washington, D.C., many of the families live there and I chose the National Press Club because of facilities that make it a center for media events. Several reporters from North Carolina had complained to me about having to come to DC. So, I apologized by saying, “Sorry.” I never said “Durham isn’t.”

UPDATED, 7:20 pm:

Sorry, another misquote in the same story. I didn't notice it before until a blogger mentioned it this afternoon.

The players chose not to appear at the news conference, said Bob Bork Jr., the group's hired publicist, because they don't want to attract attention.

The blogger thought this was a stupid comment on my part because the players filed a lawsuit that was bound to attract attention. He would have been correct if that was what I had said.

Well, here's the reason I gave for the players' absence. You will see that what the paper reported can't be extracted from what I said.

None of the 38 players who are filing this lawsuit are here today. They considered participating, but many have jobs and some are still students and lacrosse team members at Duke. One is in Army Ranger school preparing to deploy to Iraq.

Know this -- the players are united behind this lawsuit. At the same time that they are understandably concerned about retribution and negative, maybe even slanderous media coverage. Who can blame them after what they endured for 13 months in 2006 and 2007. They are walking a fine line between trying to live normal lives in the wake of an unspeakable trauma and at the same time trying to get answers to questions that remain unaddressed by their university.

They need to have peace to heal, but there can be no healing without accountability.

Steven Henkelman's statement

Steven Henkelman, father of Duke lacrosse player Erik Henkelman, spoke at the news conference yesterday. The full text is available here.

Stuart Taylor on Fox

Here's Stuart Taylor, journalist and author of Until Proven Innocent, on Fox Thursday morning before the news conference discussing the lawsuit.

News conference

The full 50-minute video of the news conference today is being uploaded. We expect to have it on the site tomorrow.

In the meantime, here are a few links to news coverage with video from the news conference:

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The complaint is filed

Sorry for the delay. We had to wait for confirmation that the complaint was filed. Also, it is a large file and I am uploading it in parts.

News Release and Case Summary Posted

A News Release and Case Summary have been posted to the blog. The complaint will be posted as soon as it is filed this morning.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


38 Duke Lacrosse Players to Announce Lawsuit Against Duke University, Town of Durham

On Thursday, February 21, 38 Duke lacrosse players and their parents will hold a news conference at 1 p.m. at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to announce the filing of a lawsuit against Duke University and a number of other entities and individuals.

Charles J. Cooper, attorney for the players will explain the complaint and answer questions from the media.

Only credentialed media will be allowed.

For more information, please email