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Friday, October 5, 2007

Duke Case — Justice Marches On — Lacrosse players file suit against Durham and the hoax conspirators

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Evans, Finnerty, and Seligmann v. Durham - lacrosse players $30 million lawsuit-----
Today's items - updated:

Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty, and Reade SeligmannJoe Neff / News & Observer:
Duke lacrosse players file civil rights suit -- The three former Duke lacrosse players wrongly accused of rape filed a sweeping civil rights lawsuit today against the city of Durham, a host of police officers, former District Attorney Mike Nifong, and the DNA laboratory hired by the disbarred former prosecutor.

The 162-page lawsuit called the case "one of the most chilling episodes of premeditated police, prosecutorial, and scientific misconduct in modern American history, which resulted in charges brought and maintained against three innocent Duke University students and lacrosse players over a period of more than one year. "

The three former lacrosse players - Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann — were charged with raping an escort service dancer at an off-campus lacrosse team party in March 2006. After taking over the investigation earlier this year, the state Attorney General said no crime occurred and declared the three men innocent.

Durham officials vowed to defend the city and its employees against the suit. [...]

The News & Observer and other media have previously reported that the three players told city officials that Durham would have to pay $30 million to settle the lawsuit.
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News & Observer:
What do the exonerated players want? -- The players want a judge to issue an order that:

i. appoints an independent monitor (the "Monitor"), to be determined by the Court, who shall oversee certain activities of the Durham Police Department for a period of ten (10) years, and who shall report to the Court on an annual basis regarding Defendants' compliance or non-compliance with the terms of the Permanent Injunction;

ii. authorizes the Monitor to establish, review, and enforce all policies applicable to the management of the Durham Police Department;

iii. provides the Monitor with the authority to hire, fire, and promote all Durham Police officials, including the Chief of Police;

iv. establishes an independent citizen Police Review Committee, composed of three members selected by the Court, which shall review and hear publicly complaints of misconduct by Durham residents against Durham Police personnel and make recommendations to the Monitor as to discipline or innocence;

v. orders that all eyewitness identification arrays, lineups, and similar procedures conducted by the Durham Police Department, whether formal or informal, and/or of suspects or "witnesses," conform to the provisions of General Order No. 4077 and be recorded by videotape; [...]
discussion:
LieStoppers forum: Case filed- Durham N.C.City et al
FreeRepublic: Duke lacrosse players sue Nifong, city
TalkLeft: Civil Suit filed
DBR: Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Imminent

KC Johnson [has semi-returned to the building]:
Lawsuit Demands

related:
Lawsuit filed by former Duke lacrosse players [pdf, N&O}

David F. Evans, Collin Finnerty, and Read Seligmann v. The City of Durham, North Carolina, Michael B. Nifong, Mark Gottlieb, Benjamin Himan, David Addison, Linwood Wilson, Steven Chalmers, Beverly Council, Ronald Hodge, Jeff Lamb, Steven Mihaich, Michael Ripberger, Lee Russ, DNA Security, Inc., Richard Clark, and Brian Meehan, [pdf, 155 pg, ABC]
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From left: Maj, L.A. Russ, Maj. S.M. Milchaich, Capt. C.M. Allen, Maj L.M. Bjurstrom, and Maj. B.J. Council (summer 2007)
via krdDurham / LieStoppers forum [photo caption error, it's Maj. Lee Russ]
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AP/CNN:
Cleared Duke players sue disgraced prosecutor, police -- The lawsuit charges the defendants with conspiring to keep alive a pitifully weak case as Nifong faced a tightly contested election in the Democratic primary for district attorney.

Herald-Sun:
LAX civil rights suit names city, ex-DA, lab -- Three men falsely accused of rape in the Duke lacrosse case have filed a federal civil-rights lawsuit against the city of Durham, a DNA lab and the law-enforcement personnel who orchestrated the charges against them [...]

New York Daily News, NY
Duke lacrosse players falsely accused of rape sue

AP / ABC-11/TV:
Durham to fight lawsuit filed by Duke lacrosse players

LieStoppers blog:
Explosive details In Lawsuit -- The lawsuit charges that the first Durham PD investigator, B. Jones, concluded there was no evidence and decided to close the case on March 15th . However Gottlieb took it over on that same day while working "off Duty" at City Hall.

1. Gottlieb Takes Over the Investigation

80. On March 14, 2006, responsibility for investigating Mangum's rape claim was assigned to Investigator B. Jones. On or about March 15, 2006, Jones concluded that there was no evidence to proceed with a criminal investigation and that the file would be closed.

81. At that point, however, Durham Police did not close the investigation, but instead reassigned the investigation to Defendant Mark Gottlieb. [...]
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WRAL:
Ex-Lacrosse Players File Sweeping Federal Lawsuit Against Durham -- Three former Duke lacrosse players falsely accused of rape have filed a federal civil lawsuit against several defendants, including former District Attorney Mike Nifong and the city of Durham.

The 155-page complaint filed Friday morning does not mention a specific amount for damages, but does ask for numerous reforms to the way the Durham Police Department handles criminal investigations, inluding the appointment of an independent monitor to oversee the department for 10 years. (Read a summary of the lawsuit.)

A city spokewoman said the city's attorneys will conduct a "full and thorough review" and fight the complaint. [...]
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ABC11-TV/WTVD:
Evans, Finnerty, and Seligmann have filed suit against the city of Durham -- Evans, Finnerty, and Seligmann have filed suit against the city of Durham, former DA Mike Nifong, Mark Gottlieb and David Addison from the Durham police, along with private investigator Linwood Wilson and several other member of the Durham police department.

Sources close to the case say the lawsuit asks for reforms in the Durham Police Department and state law as well as 30 million dollars in damages, 10 million for each plaintiff over 5 years the lawsuit is 155 pages long and can be reveiwed by clicking on the attached PDF in the related links.
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Ray Gronberg / Herald-Sun [reg. req.]:
Lacrosse lawsuit filing expected -- A two-hour City Council closed session ended Thursday with no sign that officials would be able to prevent the filing of a federal civil-rights lawsuit against the city over their handling of the Duke lacrosse case.

Lawyers for falsely accused lacrosse players David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann had given city leaders until today to engage in "meaningful discussions" about an out-of-court settlement.

But as of Thursday, there was no indication that any talks had occurred. Multiple sources familiar with the situation now say they expect lawyers for the three players to file the suit.

"Watch the courthouse," one said Thursday when asked whether officials would fight or settle.

Other sources indicated that the city's insurer, the American International Group Inc., has lined up a Washington law firm, Steptoe & Johnson, to help mount a defense. Famed litigators Brendan Sullivan and Barry Scheck lead the players' legal team.

The only public comment city officials offered on the lacrosse case Thursday came in open session from Mayor Bill Bell, City Manager Patrick Baker and two city councilmen, and focused on the emergence this week of a previously undisclosed timeline of the early stages of the investigation. [...]
discussion:
LS forum: Civil Lawsuit Expected!
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LieStoppers blog:
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John in Carolina:
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Duke Chronicle:
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Letter to Herald-Sun:
Hoping for $300 million

At long last Duke's President, Richard Brodhead, apologized for his despicable role in the premature persecution of the lacrosse players. But where is the apology from his Gang of 88 professors for their vitriolic rant in Duke's student newspaper? Have they no remorse? No shame? And where is the long overdue apology from The Herald-Sun, which had the opportunity to calm misdirected community outrage but instead stoked its fires?

I wholeheartedly agree with those letter writers who argue that Durham should not settle the lawsuit for $30 million. I fervently hope the case goes to trial, where, if there is any justice at all, the award will be in the nine figures, instead of just eight.

A strong message must be communicated that subversion of the judicial process by officers of the court, academics of influence, and media types seeking to advance their leftist agendas rather than the truth will absolutely, positively not be tolerated. I believe $300 million will make that point quite nicely.

DAVID HIGHLANDS
St. Petersburg, Fla.
October 5, 2007
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