Legendary Actor/Comedian Bill Cosby is presented with (2) major legal victories within back-to-back weeks leading into the Christmas Holiday. On Wednesday, December 14, 2016 The Third Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed Renita Hill's defamation suit against Mr. Cosby. Hill claims she was defamed by statements made by Mr. Cosby, his wife, and his attorney defending against her public accusation that Mr. Cosby had assaulted her decades earlier. The opinion explains that in "responding to the media firestorm in which several women (including Hill) had made public accusations of serious wrongdoing against Cosby," his then attorney's characterization of "the accusers' claims as unsubstantiated, fantastical, absurd, ridiculous, and uncorroborated" was not defamation since his opinions were supported with disclosed facts "that allowed the recipient to draw his or her own conclusions."
"This is the correct outcome," said Angela C. Agrusa of Liner LLP. "The defamation claims against Mr. Cosby are contrary to established law and to fundamental First Amendment rights. It is essential in a free society to be able to proclaim one's innocence when accused of a crime, and today's decision affirms that basic concept. We are confident that the Third Circuit's decision eventually will be echoed in the other defamation cases we are actively defending on Mr. Cosby's behalf," states Ms. Agrusa.
One week after receiving a dismissal in a major defamation case (Hill v. Cosby) on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 Bill Cosby was awarded another major legal victory in the Green et al. v. Cosby case. Judge Mastroianni denied Attorney Joseph Cammerata's effort to stay discovery of plaintiffs and witnesses pending the criminal case against Mr. Cosby. Mr. Cosby opposed the request, as such a stay would have put on hold Mr. Cosby's ability to gather further evidence necessary for him to prepare his defense against the plaintiffs' claims. In its swift decision, the District Court agreed with Mr. Cosby and denied the plaintiffs' request, noting that discovery should "progress as much as possible." The Court also stated that Mr. Cosby should not be precluded from taking discovery that "is sought in good faith and is specifically relevant for purposes of this case," regardless of the criminal proceeding.
"These women have come forward and filed lawsuits with serious accusations against Mr. Cosby, said Angela C. Agrusa of Liner LLP. "The Court's decision confirms that Mr. Cosby should not be denied the ability to use the discovery process available to all civil litigants to obtain evidence to defend himself against these claims, regardless of the separate, and unrelated criminal proceeding. We intend to continue to seek justice for Mr. Cosby in a fair process that holds accusers to the requisite evidentiary standard necessary to prevail in court," states Ms. Agrusa.
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