District Attorney Candidate v. TV Station

Summary Judgment
April 2011

Sedgwick obtained summary judgment for our client, a local TV station, in state court in Texas.  This hard-fought defamation case was brought by a candidate for El Paso County district attorney against our client with regard to the station's coverage of her use of a campaign flyer.  The flyer, in an effort to link the sitting district attorney to the decision not to prosecute a teacher accused of sexually assaulting a child, used the teacher’s "docket sheet" as part of the flyer. This revealed charges that had been expunged as well as the teacher's Social Security number, driver's license number, date of birth and other identifying information.  Our client raised issues regarding the legality of the flyer, and the candidate, after losing the election, brought suit for libel "per se" alleging the station falsely accused her of committing a crime.  The lawsuit was extremely contentious with numerous discovery disputes, motions for sanctions, a motion to recuse, a motion to withdraw by the plaintiff's counsel and, finally, victory on the basis of Sedgwick's motion for summary judgment.