Jury in Sarah Palin's New York Times libel suit received push notifications of judge's decision

Jury in Sarah Palin’s New York Times libel suit received push notifications of judge’s decision

Jurors deliberating in the Sarah Palin libel case against The New York Times received breaking news on their phones saying the judge had dismissed their case, which appeared to bolster Palin’s lawyers’ determination to appeal.

Five women and four men insisted that the news had not changed their thinking.

However, Judge Jed Rakoff, who shocked the court on Monday by dropping the case while the jury was deliberating, acknowledged that legal groups may have questions about the events.

“If either party believes they are in need of any assistance based on the foregoing, the attorney should immediately initiate a joint phone call with the court to discuss the advisability of further proceedings,” Rakoff wrote in a court filing on Wednesday.

Sarah Palin walks out of court Tuesday after a jury ruled against her in her libel case against The New York Times.  It now appears that jurors learned in deliberation that their case had been dismissed.

Sarah Palin walks out of court Tuesday after a jury ruled against her in her libel case against The New York Times. It now appears that jurors learned in deliberation that their case had been dismissed.

Judge Jed Rakoff appears in court on Monday as Palin watches as he briefs the jury.

Judge Jed Rakoff appears in court on Monday as Palin watches as he briefs the jury.

Palin is seen in court in Manhattan as the jury returned its verdict, despite the judge dismissing the case the day before.

Palin is seen in court in Manhattan as the jury returned its verdict, despite the judge dismissing the case the day before.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff defended his decision to close the case because Palin's legal team failed to present evidence that The Times acted with

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff defended his decision to close the case because Palin’s legal team failed to present evidence that The Times acted with “genuine malice” when it published factual inaccuracies about the former Alaska governor in a 2017 article under the name “America”. Deadly Politics

In his two-page statement, he explained, “Late last night during such an investigation into this case, in which jurors confirmed that they fully understood the instructions and had no suggestions for juror instructions for future cases, several jurors volunteered. court clerk that prior to the jury’s verdict in this case, they became aware of the fact that this court decided under rule 50 on Monday to dismiss the case on lawful grounds.

“These jurors reported that although they diligently followed the Court’s instructions to avoid media coverage of the trial, they unwittingly received “push notifications” on their smartphones that contained the essence of the decision.

“The jurors repeatedly assured the clerk of the court that these notices did not affect them in any way or play any role in their deliberations.”

Jury in Sarah Palin's New York Times libel suit received push notifications of judge's decision Jury in Sarah Palin's New York Times libel suit received push notifications of judge's decision

Rakoff’s decision to close the case before sentencing was met with surprise by legal experts, with some of them pointing out that the judge did not need to announce his decision before the jury had finished its work.

Mitchell Epner, who has advised the media on First Amendment and copyright issues, told Law and Crime: “I expected the judge to wait for the jury to reach their verdict before ruling on the petition for sentencing under the law.” . because there was no urgency in issuing this decision.

“Nothing would have changed if he had waited for the verdict to be announced or for the jury to say they couldn’t reach a verdict.”

Palin claimed the newspaper hurt her career as a political columnist and consultant with a gun control editorial published after U.S. Representative Steve Scalise, a Republican from Louisiana, was injured when a man who had previously opposed the Republican Party opened fire on a baseball Congress. team training in Washington.

In an editorial, The Times wrote that prior to the 2011 Arizona mass shooting that severely injured Giffords and killed six others, Palin’s political action committee contributed to a climate of violence by distributing a constituency map showing Giffords and 19 others Democrats were in custody. stylized crosshair.

The Times acknowledged that the editorial incorrectly described both the map and any reference to the shooting, but said the error was not intentional.

The court sketch shows a sullen Palin sitting in court wearing a mask and looking at James Bennett, the former editorial page editor for The New York Times, being hugged by his lawyers.

The court sketch shows a sullen Palin sitting in court wearing a mask and looking at James Bennett, the former editorial page editor for The New York Times, being hugged by his lawyers.

Judge dismisses Palin NYT lawsuit but allows appeal

A federal judge will dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin against the New York Times after she and her legal team allegedly failed to prove the newspaper acted with “genuine malicious intent.”

The decision to dismiss the case is subject to a legal technicality known as a “waiver of relief claim”. This means that even if all of the allegations they presented were true, they did not provide sufficient evidence to justify remedies such as a conviction or a fine.

U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff, who delivered the ruling in his courtroom in Manhattan on Monday, said the case did not meet the “very high standard” set by the law for malicious intent.

He used his prerogative to drop the case after he said the burden of proof had not been met in the former vice presidential candidate v. Times.

Simply put, he said that the Palin team had failed to prove that the New York Times error was a malicious error, not a bona fide error.

The case is currently pending jury trial and is not officially closed. Even if they deliver the Times’ verdict, no verdict will stand.

But Rakoff admits that an appeal is likely to be filed and says he wants the jury to wrap up their deliberations so that the judges who are being asked to consider the appeal have enough information to make a decision.

He referred to the 1964 Supreme Court case – New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, which set a precedent for protecting journalists from liability for “honest mistakes” made in covering government officials.

A 1964 case involving the same newspaper found that the so-called standard of actual malice meant that reporters could only be held liable for defamation if they knew the statement or information was false when they published them, or if they showed “reckless disregard”. for its falsehood.

Rakoff argued that Palin and her lawyers did not provide sufficient evidence to prove that former New York Times editorial page editor James Bennet knew the statement was false, or that he intentionally avoided learning the truth.

The judge said that “careless, irresponsible or negligent reporting” is not enough to prove malice.

“My job is to enforce the law. The law here sets a very high standard for actual malice, in which case the court finds that the standard was not met,” Rakoff said at the courthouse, according to Buzzfeed News.

“The standard is very high and the same standard applies here.”

Major media outlets rarely defend their editorial practices in court, as the Times had to do in this case.

Palin said that if she loses in court, her appeal could challenge the US Supreme Court’s 1964 New York Times v. Sullivan decision setting the “actual malice” standard for public figures to prove defamation.

The judge said she did not prove “real malice”.

“I think there is one significant element that the plaintiff failed to address, which is the actual malice part of believing in a lie or recklessly disregarding a lie,” he said on Monday.

“My job is to make decisions according to the law,” he continued.

“The law sets a very high standard, the court finds that this standard has not been met.”

According to Eric Wempl of The Washington Post, he argued that the case involved negligent journalistic activity, and not knowingly writing false information to humiliate a public figure.

The lawsuit at the center of the case involved a June 14, 2017 editorial titled “America’s Deadly Politics” that spoke about gun control and lamented the rise in inflammatory political rhetoric.

This was written on the same day as the shooting at a Congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, where Scalise was injured.

One of Bennett’s colleagues prepared a draft that mentioned the January 2011 parking lot shooting in Tucson, Arizona, where six people were killed and Giffords was wounded.

Bennett inserted language saying that “the link to political incitement was clear” between the Gifford shooting and the map previously circulated by Palin’s political action committee, which the draft editorial said put Giffords and 19 other Democrats at gunpoint.

Times attorney David Axelrod asked Palin at her Feb. 9 trial about a map released by her PAC, SarahPac, in 2010 that put the crosshairs on congressional districts for Democrats she wanted to topple.

Palin initially referred to the weapon symbols as “emoticons”, but admitted that a “reasonable person” might interpret them as a rifle scope.

Axelrod asked Palin about a tweet she sent in March 2010 urging her supporters to “Don’t back down, reboot.”

He asked, “Reload is a word that is often used in connection with firearms.”

Palin replied, “I’ve used that word all my life.”

In her earlier testimony, Palin claimed that a tweet she sent in March 2010 telling her supporters to “don’t back down, reload” was not about guns but was intended as a motivational speech.

She said: “My dad was a coach for many years. It was a motivational statement, one of the few.

“That meant not backing down. My parents were marathon runners and used this (saying) for themselves.

“Don’t back down, shake it up, fuel up, get back in there and try harder.

“We were all obsessed with sports, so things like that were commonplace.”

Axelrod asked if she posted that tweet even though she had already been criticized for the crosshair map and she confirmed that her PAC did.

This PAC Palin map came out months before the 2011 shooting that killed six people and injured spokeswoman Gabby Giffords.  It was used in a 2017 NY Times editorial to link Palin to the shooting.  Palin sues publication for defamation over article

This PAC Palin map came out months before the 2011 shooting that killed six people and injured spokeswoman Gabby Giffords. It was used in a 2017 NY Times editorial to link Palin to the shooting. Palin sues publication for defamation over article

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