The CEO of America’s largest privately owned coal company wants to silence HBO host John Oliver while a lawsuit he brought against the comedian makes its way through court.
Robert Murray, CEO of Murray Energy Corp., sued Oliver for defamation earlier this month after Oliver mocked the coal company on his show, “Last Week Tonight.”
According to the Daily Beast, Murray’s lawyers filed a motion in Marshall County Circuit Court in West Virginia on June 28, asking the judge to bar HBO from re-airing the June 18 episode of Oliver’s show, and to prevent the comedian and the other defendants (including the show’s writers) from discussing the lawsuit in public... Murray Energy Corp. has a history of issuing lawsuits against the media, including a recent one against the New York Times for defamation.
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.
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
A lawyer for Roger Ailes, the former chairman of Fox News, has sent a letter to New York magazine suggesting he might take legal action over its reporting about Mr. Ailes.
.. Charles J. Harder, who was Hulk Hogan’s lawyer in his successful lawsuit against Gawker Media
.. Mr. Harder is also representing Melania Trump, the wife of the Republican presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump, in a libel lawsuit filed last week against the publisher of The Daily Mail.