• $1.6 bln defamation trial delayed by a day
  • Fox looking for attainable settlement -source
  • Choose didn’t present cause for delay
  • Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch set to testify

April 16 (Reuters) – The beginning of Dominion Voting Techniques’ $1.6 billion defamation trial in opposition to Fox has been pushed again by a day, the choose mentioned on Sunday, with a supply conversant in the matter saying the media big was pursuing settlement talks.

The supply, who was not licensed to talk publicly, instructed Reuters that Fox was looking for a attainable settlement. The Washington Put up and the Wall Avenue Journal additionally reported that Fox was pursuing settlement talks, citing sources.

Dominion is suing Fox Corp (FOXA.O) and Fox Information in a defamation lawsuit over the community’s protection of the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

“The Courtroom has determined to proceed the beginning of the trial, together with jury choice, till Tuesday, April 18, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. (1300 GMT),” Choose Eric Davis mentioned in an announcement, with out offering a cause for the delay.

“I’ll make such an announcement tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. in Courtroom 7E,” he added.

Davis had mentioned on Thursday he anticipated to conclude jury choice on Monday and to proceed to opening statements.

Dominion and Fox declined to touch upon the delay.

Davis on Wednesday sanctioned Fox Information, handing Dominion a recent probability to assemble proof after Fox withheld data till the eve of the trial.

The proof consists of recordings of Rudy Giuliani, former U.S. President Donald Trump’s lawyer, saying in pre-taped Fox appearances that he didn’t have any proof to again up the false allegations of election rigging by Dominion within the 2020 race which are on the coronary heart of the lawsuit.

The recordings had been made by a former Fox worker who’s at the moment suing the community.

Davis mentioned he would additionally very doubtless faucet an outdoor investigator to probe Fox’s late disclosure of the proof and take no matter steps essential to treatment the scenario, which he described as troubling.

Fox mentioned in an announcement on Wednesday that it “produced the supplemental data” to Dominion “once we first discovered it.”


The trial is among the most closely-watched U.S. defamation circumstances in years, involving a number one cable information outlet with quite a few conservative commentators.

Murdoch is ready to testify, together with a parade of Fox executives and on-air hosts, together with Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro.

The trial is taken into account a take a look at of whether or not Fox’s protection crossed the road between moral journalism and the pursuit of rankings, as Dominion alleges and Fox denies.

Dominion has accused Fox of ruining its status by airing baseless claims that its machines secretly modified votes in favor of Democrat Joe Biden, who defeated then-President Trump, a Republican, within the 2020 presidential election.

Dominion is asking for $1.6 billion in damages, a determine Fox has mentioned is unrealistic and primarily based on flawed financial modeling.

An skilled report commissioned by Dominion attributed scores of misplaced contracts to Fox’s protection, although a lot of the report stays below seal.

Fox Corp reported practically $14 billion in annual income final yr.

Dominion has mentioned Fox’s conduct was damaging to American democracy and that the community have to be held accountable, whereas Fox mentioned on Friday that Dominion’s lawsuit was a menace to press freedom.

“Whereas Dominion has pushed irrelevant and deceptive data to generate headlines, Fox Information stays steadfast in defending the rights of a free press,” Fox mentioned in an announcement.

The first query for jurors is whether or not Fox knowingly unfold false data or recklessly disregarded the reality, the usual of “precise malice” that Dominion should present to prevail in a defamation case.

Dominion says defamatory statements had been aired on Fox exhibits together with “Sunday Morning Futures,” “Lou Dobbs Tonight” and “Justice with Choose Jeanine.”

Dominion alleges that Fox employees, starting from members of the newsroom to the board of administrators, knew the statements had been false however continued to air them to keep away from dropping viewers to far-right retailers.

Dominion additionally cites proof that some hosts and producers thought the friends spreading the false statements, together with former Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, couldn’t again up their allegations.

Fox had argued that protection of the vote-rigging claims was inherently newsworthy and guarded by the U.S. Structure’s First Modification assure of press freedom.

Davis rejected that argument in a ruling final month on each events’ competing motions for abstract judgment.

Fox has additionally mentioned that Dominion can not pin precise malice on the people whom Dominion says had been accountable for the defamatory statements.

Fox has mentioned Dominion should show {that a} “superior officer” on the community or its mum or dad firm “ordered, participated in, or ratified” wrongdoing. The community has argued that doubts concerning the claims amongst sure people can’t be attributed to the group as an entire.

Reporting by Helen Coster and Dan Whitcomb

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