News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: Defamation suit against Trump proceeds; 4th Circuit upholds terrorist watch list

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Summer Zervos

Summer Zervos will be allowed to continue her defamation suit against former President Donald Trump, the New York Court of Appeals has decided. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Trump has to face defamation suit

Donald Trump has lost his bid to delay a defamation suit that was based on his status as president. The New York Court of Appeals agreed to dismiss Trump’s appeal on Tuesday, arguing that the issues in the suit by a former Apprentice contestant became moot after Trump left office. The decision by New York’s highest court allows Summer Zervos to pursue her claim that Trump defamed her when he denied her allegations of unwanted groping and kissing. (The New York Times, Courthouse News Service)

4th Circuit upholds FBI terrorist watch list

The Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to require a reworking of the terrorist watch list in a suit by 23 people who say their inclusion on the list has resulted in delays, inconvenience and even arrests at gunpoint. “The right to travel is qualified, not absolute,” the court said. “Neither plaintiffs nor anyone else have a constitutionally protected interest in being able to travel domestically or internationally without incurring some burdens.” The court added that individual cases could be subject to judicial review, however. (The Washington Post, Law360, the March 30 decision)

Ethics charges filed against Girardi

The State Bar of California has filed ethics charges against embattled Los Angeles trial lawyer Tom Girardi, the husband of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Jayne. The bar alleges Girardi kept more than $2 million in settlement funds intended for clients in three cases, including a mass tort case against Boeing that led to an embezzlement lawsuit against him. (Law360,, the March 29 disciplinary complaint)

Reciprocal discipline imposed against Larry Klayman

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has imposed a reciprocal suspension on Judicial Watch founder Larry Klayman that bars him from practicing before the court for 90 days. The suspension follows the 90-day suspension imposed by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals for switching sides in Judicial Watch matters after leaving the conservative watchdog group, where he served as general counsel. Klayman told Law & Crime that he would file a petition for rehearing en banc. He also cited the opinion of a pro bono ethics expert who found that he committed no ethics violation. (Law & Crime via How Appealing, the March 26 opinion)

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