Alan Dershowitz: Judge ‘Made a Mistake’ by Tossing Sarah Palin Lawsuit

Alan Dershowitz has warned that the judge who tossed former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s lawsuit against the New York Times has “made a mistake.”

Dershowitz broke his silence on U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff’s decision to toss the case while the jury was deliberating, saying he will help Sarah Palin’s appeal.

“I was very surprised,” Dershowitz, a former Harvard law professor, said.

“I know Judge Rakoff.

“He’s a terrific judge, but he made a mistake here, and the Court of Appeals will discount the jury verdict.

“The Court of Appeals will take this case on the assumption that the judge called the jurors all in and said, ‘oh, by the way, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, while you’re deliberating, I want you to know I’ve dismissed this case, and so what you’re doing is all moot.’

“That’s the way in which the court will deal with it. It will discount the jury verdict because the jury verdict may very well have been influenced.

“And we know jurors were aware of that judgment.

“Now, whether the Court of Appeals will say there was enough evidence to establish malice, that’s the hard question, and that issue may go to the Supreme Court, and we may see a redefinition of the concept of malice.

“The judge should have either dismissed before the jury went into deliberate or wait until the jury verdict came back.

“But the judge wanted to write an opinion, and if the jury verdict came the way it did – in favor of The New York Times – the judge would have no opportunity to write an opinion.

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“So, he wanted to write an opinion, and the only way to do it is in the middle of jury deliberation, because if he did it at the beginning of jury deliberations, then the issue would be a legal one on appeal.

“He wanted to make an edict.

“He wanted to have a verdict in his favor, and he wanted to have an opportunity to write, and it may come back to bite him in the end.”

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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