Unsurprisingly, Larry Klayman's Veiled Threats And Insulting Of Judges Isn't Helping Roy Moore's $95 Million Defamation Lawsuit
from the Klayman-&-Moore-Show-heads-to-Manhattan dept
Roy Moore, alleged sexual abuser of teens and apparent front runner for US Senate seat, continues to sue entertainer Sacha Baron Cohen for ruining his pristine reputation. Moore was duped into appearing in a segment with Cohen in which Cohen pretended to have acquired a “pedophile detector” crafted by the Israeli Army. During the bit, the alarm beeped twice in the vicinity of Moore.
According to Moore’s own lawsuit, this subterfuge and subsequent beeping caused him $95 million in reputational damage because it gave viewers the impression he was, and I quote, “a sex offender.” Unfortunately for Moore, this is an impression many viewers likely already had, thanks to an extended news cycle featuring a line of women accusing Moore of engaging in inappropriate behavior with them when they were teens.
Even more unfortunately, Moore has decided to hire Larry Klayman as his lawyer. I suppose if you’re going to lose, you may as well lose as loudly as possible. The lawsuit is far from over, though. So, that’s going to give Moore the opportunity to pay Klayman repeatedly for irritating presiding judges and otherwise fail to advance Moore’s case.
Right now, there’s an argument over jurisdiction. Moore wants the lawsuit to remain in the Washington DC court, arguing that the “injury” occurred in this location since that’s where the bit featuring Moore was recorded. Cohen wants it moved to Manhattan, since that’s where Moore is legally bound to bring a lawsuit according to the agreement he signed with the defendants (Cohen, CBS, and Showtime) prior to taping.
The judge has decided to move the lawsuit to Manhattan despite Klayman’s protests to the contrary. Klayman and Moore were likely going to lose this jurisdictional decision anyway, but Klayman made sure the loss would leave an impression on both the judge in Washington DC and the judges awaiting assignment of the incoming case. Zoe Tillman has the details at BuzzFeed.
Monday’s hearing didn’t start well for Moore, who was sitting in court next to his wife, Kayla Moore, also a plaintiff in the lawsuit. Klayman, Moore’s attorney, introduced his client as “chief justice,” the title Moore held when he served on the Alabama Supreme Court. [Judge] Hogan noted Moore was a “former” judge, however, and had Klayman acknowledge Moore was no longer on the bench. Moore was removed twice from the state Supreme Court before running for Sessions’ seat.
Klayman had another awkward exchange with the judge later in the hearing. Hogan asked Klayman about an argument he’d made in a brief about Cohen and Showtime preferring New York because they were more likely to get a “left-leaning” judge there. Klayman initially said he didn’t believe he used that term, but walked that back when Hogan cited the page number where it appeared. Federal judges tend to bristle at arguments about their political leanings, perceived or real.
Representing a pretty much defamation-proof client in a $95 million defamation lawsuit can’t be easy. But Klayman is insisting on making it as difficult as possible for both him and his client.
In what appeared to be a veiled threat, Klayman told the judge that but for the fact that Moore was a “gentleman,” Cohen wouldn’t be walking around now. Asked to clarify what that meant after the hearing, Klayman told BuzzFeed News, “He would have been punched out on the spot.”
Yes, that’s what everyone’s always saying about Roy Moore: he’s a gentleman. In this case, though, he’s managing to invert an old adage about legal representation. It’s said the man who represents himself has a fool for a client. In this case, the fools are on both ends of the equation.