Smartmatic returns to court in Fox News case for defamation

Defendants in Smartmatic Defamation Lawsuit Lou Dobbs and Sidney Powell at Fox News

After scores of their once-secret communications in the Dominion litigation became public – from Rupert Murdoch’s testimonies to the private chats of their top hosts – Fox News returned to court Thursday to battle with another legal opponent.

Fox’s various business units have filed multi-billion dollar lawsuits against voting machine companies following the 2020 presidential election. In Delaware, Dominion Voting Systems is seeking $1.6 billion in damages, and in New York, Smartmatic is seeking $2.7 billion.

At a hearing in lower Manhattan on Thursday, Smartmatic’s attorney, Nicole Wrigley, complained that Fox News had fought her over disclosures, taking advantage of the Empire State’s sweeping laws protecting journalists.

“To be honest, we have to fight for everything,” Wrigley said.

Fox attorney K. Winn Allen of the law firm Kirkland & Ellis noted that the New York law provides a “mantle of protection for media organizations that is the strongest in the nation.”

Wrigley denies that New York’s shield law is as far-reaching as Fox claims.

“‘Hit-and-run’ journalism has no more protection under the First Amendment than speeding down a crowded sidewalk is permitted with a valid driver’s license,” she said, citing New York precedent Greenberg vs. CBS.

Dominion’s lawsuit has led to by far the most significant revelations of Fox’s coverage of former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overthrow the 2020 election. Smartmatic says the discovery was pretty close for them, dating back to the time of the first alleged airing: October 2020 and up to February 4, 2021.

Wrigley argued that what happened before and after this period may be relevant to her case.

For example, Smartmatic wants information about the establishment of Fox’s so-called “election integrity unit” in September 2020, Wrigley said. She also requested information months after the broadcasts at issue in the case following Lou Dobbs’ firing in early 2021.

“We’re in a big, high-profile case,” she noted. Smartmatic returns to court in Fox News case for defamation

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