Amber Heard Hires New Lawyers for Johnny Depp Trial Verdict Appeal; Philly Firm defeated Sarah Palin in recent NYT defamation battle

Amber Heard replaces most of her legal team and leans on the Constitution as she prepares to appeal Johnny Depp’s multimillion-dollar libel verdict.

Not entirely unexpected, the Aquaman actress’s decision to release her lead attorney, Elaine Bredehoft, follows weeks of legal maneuvering by Heard and Depp to open the courtroom with notices of calls expected. After seeing her ex-husband Depp receive $10.4 million by a Virginia jury on June 1 after an often bitter and explicit six-week trial, Heard has now hired David L. Axelrod and Jay Ward Brown to represent her bid. to annul the trial. . Ben Rottenborn of Virginia-based Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black will remain co-counsel.

The weighty decision to bring in Philadelphia-based attorneys Axelrod and Brown from Ballard Spahr was made public Monday in an Old Dominion court filing. The composition of the new defense team shows that Heard’s appeal will focus on the First Amendment aspect of his legal dispute with Depp.

“We welcome the opportunity to represent Ms. Heard in this appeal because this is a case with important First Amendment implications for all Americans,” Heard’s new attorneys said in a statement this morning. “We are confident that the Court of Appeal will correctly apply the law without deference to popularity, overturn the sentence against Ms. Heard, and reaffirm the fundamental principles of freedom of expression.”

In the diary. In the quickly corrected story, the NYT originally linked the Republican vice-presidential candidate’s Political Action Committee to a 2011 mass shooting that tragically killed six people, and then Rep. Gabby Giffords was seriously injured. Although he is likely to be appealed, Palin’s lawsuit was unanimously dismissed by an Empire State jury and the judge hearing the case on February 15.

Amber Heard Hires New Lawyers for Johnny Depp Trial Verdict Appeal; Philly Firm defeated Sarah Palin in recent NYT defamation battle

Former Pirates of the Caribbean star Depp sued his ex-wife Heard in March 2019 for $50 million over a late 2018 Washington Post op-ed under Heard’s byline. In the article, the American Civil Liberties Union ambassador spoke of becoming a “public figure representing domestic violence.” Although Heard never mentioned Depp by name in the Jeff Bezos-owned broadsheet, the controversial former Oscar nominee insisted the op-ed had “devastated” his already tarnished career. Although Depp didn’t say anything during Heard’s 2016 divorce with a restraining order, in her paperwork Depp said it was actually he who was abused in the couple’s relationship. The actor repeated this statement on the stand during the trial in Virginia.

Unable to dismiss the case or move it to another jurisdiction, Heard countersued Depp for $100 million in the summer of 2020. That countersuit came months before Depp’s case. him a “wife beater”. turned out to be a dramatic flop in November 2020. Strangely, the seven-person Virginia jury also awarded Heard $2 million in compensatory damages on June 1 in one of their conflicting counterclaims, evident with the $15 million they handed over to Depp.

With the exception of Rottenborn’s closing argument on May 27, the palpable First Amendment motives were almost conspicuously ignored at trial. Instead, even with Heard on the stand multiple times, Bredehoft allowed the defense to get caught up in a “he said, she said” with Depp’s shrewd Brown Rudnick attorneys. Facing an avalanche of derision on social media, it was clearly a losing proposition for Heard, who said she was “heartbroken” when the verdict was handed down.

Preparing to file an appeal just hours after the verdict was announced earlier this summer, Heard gave formal notice to the court on July 21. As was the case during the media-saturated trial, Travelers Commercial Insurance is footing the bill for Heard’s legal team through the actress’ homeowners insurance policy. In this legal chess game, Depp filed his own notice of appeal on July 22. He is still expected to post the $8.3 million bond required by Virginia law to contest the verdict. Heard’s attorneys have a Sept. 4 deadline to file his appeal.

This means this case could be back in front of the judges and a new jury when the Warner Bros. sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, starring Heard, hits theaters on March 17, 2023.

Whether or not Sarah Palin appeals her loss to libel to the Times, we’ll know at least Tuesday whether the former Alaska governor won the special election to fill the final months of a vacant congressional seat in the home state. her. At the same time, Palin is also on the ballot for a full two-year term in the House beginning next January.

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