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Friday, October 19, 2007

Duke Case — Your Pants Please

Duke lacrosse player take Mike Nifong pants----
Today's items - updated:

Anne Blythe / News & Observer:
State won't assist Nifong in defense of lawsuit -- Attorney General's Office rejects request to pay legal fees of former prosecutor in Duke lacrosse case -- Mike Nifong, the former Durham district attorney who lost his law license over his prosecution of the Duke lacrosse case, will not be aided by the state in his legal fight against the three exonerated players.

Grayson Kelley, chief deputy attorney general, informed the disbarred prosecutor this week that the state will not pay his legal bills or represent him.

The state must refuse to pick up the legal tab if the state employee acted fraudulently, with malice or outside the scope of his official duties, Kelley wrote in a letter Tuesday.

James B. Craven III, the Durham lawyer representing Nifong, sent a letter of appeal Thursday. [...]
James CooneyAlec Zadek '08 / Virginia Law Weekly [UVA]:
Duke Lacrosse Attorney Speaks on Vicious “Hoax” -- The Student Legal Forum hosted James P. Cooney ’82 on Thursday, October 11, to speak about his experience representing Reade Seligmann, one of the three Duke lacrosse players indicted for first degree forcible rape, first degree sexual offense, and kidnapping. The lecture entitled, “Anatomy of a Hoax: Lessons Learned from the Duke Lacrosse Rape Cases”, drew over 100 students and faculty to the Caplin Pavilion.

Cooney opened his speech by recounting the ugly facts of the case. He described the hiring of stripper escorts at a party as “colossal bad judgment,” stating that “[the defendants] did a very stupid thing that night.”

He then discussed the overwhelming national response to his client’s indictment.

“Within a month my client was the most reviled person in the country. His picture was on the cover of Newsweek Magazine as not only a rapist but a rapist who participated in a gang rape that was motivated for racial purposes.” Cooney then added, “And ladies and gentlemen, what we know about this situation is it was a hoax.”
Salisbury Post [NC]:
Editorial: No limit to Nifong's nerve -- Have you heard the one about the disbarred DA who wanted the state to cover his legal costs to defend a job-related lawsuit?

Actually, this is no joke. Mike Nifong, the former Durham district attorney who lost his job because of his horribly botched prosecution of the Duke lacrosse case, is now being sued by the exonerated defendants. He asked the Administrative Office of the Courts to provide representation for his defense, arguing that the lawsuit came about through his official actions as district attorney, and as a constitutional officer of North Carolina, he believes himself entitled to a taxpayer-financed attorney. [...]

For Nifong to even contemplate making such a request is either the height of absurdity or the depth of obtuseness — or maybe both. Any reasonable examination of the evidence would show that he alone needs to pay for his own bad judgment. But then, this is not someone who's known for making decisions based on the evidence.

Some NY Post Love
NERVY NIFONG IS BILL-IFIED -- The North Carolina Attorney General's Office has refused former prosecutor Mike Nifong's request that the state represent him or pay his legal bills from a civil lawsuit against him filed by three Duke lacrosse players cleared of rape.

Jessica Lichter / Duke Chronicle:
Durham residents split on suit -- Jim Marksbury, who has lived in Durham for five years, said he has been sympathetic to the exonerated former lacrosse players since the beginning of the case.

He added, however, that Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans, Trinity '06, are essentially hurting many of their original supporters with the civil lawsuit they filed Oct. 5.

"Many people in this city supported [the players], and now they are being asked to pay the damages," Marksbury said.

The lawsuit names the city of Durham as well as 13 individuals, including a group of police officers, former Durham district attorney Mike Nifong and those involved in the DNA laboratory that withheld exculpatory evidence in the case [...]

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