A lawyer recognised for representing Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) in a string of unsuccessful defamation fits towards media organizations and parody Twitter accounts has been sanctioned and purchased to spend over $21,000 in attorneys’ costs to CNN.
U.S. District Choose Richard Bennett identified that an amended model of a lawsuit submitted by attorney Steven Biss on behalf of Nunes’ senior aide Derek Harvey late final yr was “frivolous,” in accordance to court paperwork attained by Law & Crime. The amended match was dismissed “with prejudice” on March 31 just after the judge determined that it did not make any new statements. “With prejudice” is a legal term that signifies the lawsuit are not able to be filed yet again.
The first lawsuit was thrown out by Bennett in February, when the judge described its statements as staying “only devoid of benefit.” Biss persisted and submitted an modification that prompted the most up-to-date ruling on Tuesday. Biss and Harvey ended up sanctioned and ordered to shell out CNN $21,437 in attorneys’ fees and another $52 in costs. Nunes was directly included in the go well with.
The lawsuit included claims similar to former President Donald Trump’s to start with impeachment and qualified CNN, former Rudy Giuliani affiliate Lev Parnas and his attorney Joseph Bondy. The fit arrived following a November 2020 CNN report professing that Parnas was ready to testify that Nunes met with a former Ukrainian prosecutor as section of an effort to dig up “dust” on then-Democratic presidential prospect Joe Biden. Harvey claimed that suggestions that he was concerned in the alleged plan were being wrong and defamatory.
Although the primary match claimed that CNN built 20 false claims about Nunes, the amended variation involved only 5 alleged falsehoods. Bennett remained unconvinced.
“This Court identified Harvey and his counsel engaged in bad faith perform in submitting the last-minute Amended Criticism in this situation, becoming a member of a ‘chorus’ of courts sanctioning one of the Plaintiff’s attorneys, Steven Biss,” Bennett wrote in Tuesday’s ruling.
The Virginia-dependent Biss “has a history of working with questionable techniques in litigation,” according to a January 2020 article printed by The Fresno Bee. In 2008, he was banned from practising regulation for a yr after the point out bar observed that he experienced “fully commited a deliberately wrongful act that reflects adversely on his fitness to follow law.”
Newsweek reached out to Biss for remark.
A lawsuit identical to the a person associated in Tuesday’s ruling was dismissed by a distinctive judge in February. It experienced been brought versus CNN by Nunes himself and sought above $435 million in damages. Nunes has also filed unsuccessful lawsuits in opposition to media shops which include Fresno Bee operator McClatchy, Esquire and The Washington Article. Biss has represented Nunes in at the very least six fits.
Biss famously litigated Nunes’ beef with Twitter over an account dubbed “Devin Nunes’ cow.” The congressman demanded to the learn the identification of the man or woman who ran the account, one particular of numerous parody accounts centered on mocking him. The lawsuit from Twitter was dismissed by a decide very last summer time, with the authorized effort to uncover the identity of the continue to-energetic account’s operator also failing.