Fox Corporation’s top lawyer, Viet Dinh, recently criticized Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis for his handling of the election defamation case brought against Fox News by Dominion Voting Systems. Dinh accused Davis of issuing “illogical” rulings that hindered Fox’s defense strategy and undermined the fairness and integrity of the legal system. The case ultimately ended with Fox paying a $787 million settlement to Dominion.
Dinh expressed confidence in Fox’s legal position, stating, “We knew we were right in the law.” However, he claimed that Davis’s decisions during the pretrial phase made it increasingly clear that Fox would not be able to win the trial. Dinh believed that the judge’s errors not only constituted reversible error but also called into question the fundamental fairness and integrity of the Delaware civil justice system.
Dominion sued Fox News and its parent corporation in 2021 after the network’s hosts and guests repeatedly spread false claims on-air that Dominion voting machines had rigged the 2020 election. Fox denied wrongdoing and argued that its coverage was protected by the First Amendment. However, the judge ruled that none of Fox’s on-air statements about Dominion were true and rejected the network’s attempts to have the case thrown out.
Dinh specifically criticized Davis’s handling of the discovery process, where both parties are required to turn over relevant documents. He argued that the judge did not impose sufficient restrictions on what Fox needed to provide to Dominion, resulting in the exposure of private emails and communications that were “completely irrelevant to the case.” Dinh claimed that this allowed the media to sensationalize and scrutinize Fox employees’ private communications, feeding into the “gossip beast.”
The settlement with Dominion marked a significant shakeup for Fox, and Dinh’s departure as chief legal and policy officer at the end of the year was announced shortly after. It is reported that Dinh was a vocal advocate for not settling the lawsuit, and his exit has drawn criticism for his handling of the case.
Fox Corporation is also currently facing a separate defamation lawsuit from Smartmatic, another voting machine company accused of rigging the 2020 election. Smartmatic is seeking over $2 billion in damages, and the case is still in the discovery phase.
The Delaware Superior Court declined to comment on Dinh’s remarks. Fox’s settlement with Dominion and the ongoing legal battles highlight the significant legal challenges faced by media organizations in the aftermath of the 2020 election and the spread of misinformation.
Original Story at www.cnn.com – 2023-10-16 22:02:00