Just when you think the lacrosse case seems to be winding down, an interesting twist tends to emerge. Here's the latest: with a lawsuit against the city of Durham now immiment, Durham's insurance company, the Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, is telling Durham that they better shut the investigation of how the police department handled the investigation shut down, pronto, or else the Bully City (wow, nice typo, considering the nature of the case...) can pay up all by itself.
Attorneys Brendan Sullivan and Barry Scheck (if that name sounds familiar, you may remember it from the trial of some guy named Orenthal J. Simpson) have contacted the city to let them know a lawsuit is probably coming. They'll meet with the city's attorneys next week and will decide the next twist in this odyssey.
K.C. Johnson posted this statement from the city on his blog Durham In Wonderland:
The City of Durhamâs Attorneyâs Office has been contacted by phone by attorneys retained by the three players to represent them in a pending lawsuit. In a subsequent letter, the attorneys requested that the City retain all documents and communications that may have any relevance to the case. In
response to that request, the City Attorneyâs Office notified relevant personnel of the need to preserve any and all communications, which is standard procedure when there is a possibility of litigation.
As required when the City receives a claim or an actual legal complaint, the City notified its excess insurance carrier, the Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania. The City has since received written notification from the carrier confirming receipt of the notification of a claim stemming from
the Duke Lacrosse investigation. In that communication, the excess carrier further reminded the City of its contractual duties to cooperate under the provisions of the policy, which would include not engaging in activities that might compromise a subsequent defense of an action against the City.
Based on that recommendation, the activities of the Committee to Investigate Durham Police Department in the Duke Lacrosse Case are in a âholding patternâ until after City Attorneys meet with the former lacrosse playersâ attorneys on September 5. On September 6, City attorneys will provide a follow up briefing for city council members in a special closed session meeting.
Incidentally, speaking of Professor Johnson, his book about the case (co-written with Stuart Taylor), which from early reviews appears to be the definitive account, is due out next week. You can order Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case through DBR's Amazon store.