Stormy Daniels Ordered to Pay Trump Nearly $300,000 in Legal Fees

Judge says the sum is reimbursement for money spent defending against a meritless defamation suit

Trump’s lawyer, Charles Harder, and his firm sought a higher payback but Judge Otero docked their request by 25%, faulting the amount of time spent researching motions to transfer and throw out the case. Mr. Harder, who charged Mr. Trump $842 an hour, defended his firm’s hours in court last week and said that when the president is being sued, one errs on the side of being safe.

.. Ms. Clifford continues to press against the president and his former attorney, Michael Cohen, to invalidate a nondisclosure agreement

.. Mr. Avenatti distributed a sketch over social media on April 17 of a man Ms. Clifford said threatened her in a Las Vegas parking lot in 2011, a few weeks after she’d discussed her alleged sexual encounter with the president in a celebrity magazine. Mr. Trump tweeted the following day, “A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!”

Ms. Clifford argued in the defamation suit that the tweet attacked the veracity of her account and suggested she was falsely accusing someone of committing a crime against her.

.. Judge Otero said he declined to impose anything more significant because Ms. Clifford’s “unwillingness to resort to litigation” in light of Mr. Trump’s “continuing use of rhetorical hyperbole” suggests she’s already been deterred from filing more meritless defamation claims aimed at curbing free speech.

Harvey Weinstein’s Media Enablers

.. we’re hearing a lot about how the story of his misconduct was “the worst-kept secret” in Hollywood and New York.

.. The real story didn’t surface until now because too many people in the intertwined news and entertainment industries had too much to gain from Mr. Weinstein for too long. Across a run of more than 30 years, he had the power to mint stars, to launch careers, to feed the ever-famished content beast. And he did so with quality films that won statuettes and made a whole lot of money for a whole lot of people.

.. “The unfortunate reality of Hollywood is that if someone has money, then they can generally find some kind of audience of people who are interested in working with them,” said Kim Masters, the editor at large at The Hollywood Reporter. This was particularly true of Mr. Weinstein, who, she said, was known for having “the golden touch” that produced “Pulp Fiction” and “Good Will Hunting,” “The King’s Speech” and “Shakespeare in Love.”

.. She said she wanted to believe that times were changing, given the number of women who have put their names to the words that derailed the careers of Bill Cosby, who faced criminal charges that resulted in a mistrial this year, and Bill O’Reilly. But she also wondered aloud whether trouble had finally found Mr. Weinstein because he was no longer the rainmaker and hitmaker he had once been.

..Ms. Bloom has attributed his missteps to his status as a “dinosaur” who is now “learning new ways.”

.. there is a long tradition of disgusting harassment of women who try to make it in the movie business. (Jack L. Warner, a founder of Warner Bros. studios, was no saint.)

.. Mr. Weinstein paid off his latest accuser in a confidential settlement.
.. he was allegedly harassing women in five-star hotel rooms across the globe even as his company was distributing films like “The Hunting Ground,” a 2015 documentary about sexual assault on college campuses. He also helped endow a “Gloria Steinem” faculty chair at Rutgers; joined a national women’s march in Park City, Utah, in January; and was a big fund-raiser for and supporter of Hillary Clinton.
.. State Street, the bank behind the famous “fearless girl” statue staring down the Wall Street bull, paid $5 million to some 300 female executives after a federal audit determined it had paid them less than their white male counterparts
.. Mr. Weinstein had his own enablers. He built his empire on a pile of positive press clippings that, before the internet era, could have reached the moon.

.. Every now and then, glimpses of his nasty side spilled out, like when he placed the reporter Andrew Goldman in a headlock and dragged him out of a party in 2000. Someone who was involved in that altercation, Rebecca Traister, wrote in New York’s The Cut on Thursday that it didn’t get the media attention it deserved because “there were so many journalists on his payroll
.. Let’s hope that those in the know did not include members of the Los Angeles Press Club, which this year gave Mr. Weinstein its “Truthteller Award,” calling him an example of “integrity and social responsibility,”
.. Mr. Weinstein has hired the emerging leader of anti-press jurisprudence, Charles Harder, who brought the case that put Gawker out of business last year.
.. what the cost would be and for the editors and reporters who conveniently didn’t bother to look into the tales making the rounds.
.. “I guarantee there are many more rocks to overturn.”

Hulk Hogan’s Lawyers Have Made Suing Gawker Their ‘Bread And Butter’

Harder had made moves to start his own practice. With plans to take some of his clients with him, he teamed up with Mirell, a First Amendment expert who spent 32 years at Loeb & Loeb LLP, and Jeffrey Abrams, a celebrity estates specialist who worked with Harder at Wolf Rifkin.

.. while Harder was the face of Hogan’s Hollywood legal team, Mirell was the brains.

.. Gawker has been sued at least 11 times in federal courts since 2013. Harder’s current firm has worked for Gawker’s opposition in at least five of those lawsuits

.. In an interviewwith The New York Times, Thiel said that he has spent an estimated $10 million to fund lawsuits against Gawker.

“It’s safe to say this is not the only one,” Thiel told the Times, when asked which other cases he has backed.

.. When asked why Harder Mirell would get involved in such a suit despite its focus on celebrity clients, one person who used to work for the firm speculated it was a matter of following the money. Given the involvement of a third party who was financing the Hogan suit, the firm likely had an incentive to find more cases against Gawker.

..

Gawker founder Nick Denton also had his own pointed inquiries, penning an open letter to Thiel with 10 “immediate questions” for the Silicon Valley billionaire. “Is your goal to bankrupt, buy, or wound Gawker Media?” Denton wrote.

Hulk Hogan’s Lead Lawyer Explains How His Team Beat “Arrogant,” “Defiant” Gawker (Guest Column)

We then deposed Denton, Daulerio, several company employees and expert witnesses. Gawker’s counsel did not adequately prepare their witnesses, and Daulerio, among others, made admissions that severely undermined the “newsworthy” defense and would later inflame the jury with their arrogance and defi­ance. Gawker took a “scorched earth” approach, deposing Bollea for three days, Bubba Clem for two days ..

.. Gawker sought invasive questioning regarding Bollea’s sex life with all partners throughout his lifetime, his entire medical history (including eight spinal surgeries) and every financial document in his possession. Judge Pamela Campbell in the state trial court placed reasonable limits on the scope of inquiry. My firm sought and obtained Gawker’s financials, advertising prac­tices, internal emails and chats regarding Bollea, all of the hundreds of cease-and-desist demands received by Gawker Media from the preceding three years, and Gawker’s complex (and dubious) corporate and tax structuring, including a parent company in the Cayman Islands and a sister company in Budapest, Hungary. (The arrangement is peculiar given that the company and its owner, Denton — a dual citizen of Hungary and the U.K. — wrap themselves in the U.S. Constitution to try to evade liability for their tortious activity.)

.. Early on in Bollea v. Gawker, we heard that the person who sent the video to Gawker simultaneously sought to extort Bollea with the same and additional sex tape footage

.. On cross, Denton admitted the Bollea video was “pornography” and testified about his former pornography website, Fleshbot.com, which he sold earlier the same year that Gawker.com posted the Bollea sex video.

.. (1) Gawker.com increased in value by $15 million based on increased traffic to the site during the six months the video was posted there, according to our economist expert; (2) Bollea was entitled to a market-value license fee of $35 million, based on an analysis from our Internet expert that 7-plus million people watched the video on the web (two-thirds of them on porn sites), and the minimum price for access to an authorized celebrity sex video (at VividCeleb.com, the largest of these sites) is $4.95 for a four-day trial membership, thus additional damages of $35 million; (3) emotional distress damage