Local News

Slander Lawsuit Against Duke Can Go to Court

Posted April 16, 2008

— A judge on Wednesday denied a motion by attorneys for Duke University to force a slander lawsuit by its former lacrosse coach into arbitration.

Attorneys for Mike Pressler had argued that his 2007 settlement with Duke nullified employment agreements that required that employment disputes go to arbitration rather than to court.

Pressler is suing his former employer because, he claims, Duke's senior vice president for public affairs, John Burness, made defamatory statements about him – one being that Pressler was fired because "he had not adequately supervised his team," which was at the center of a high-profile criminal investigation.

Pressler was forced to resign on April 5, 2006, shortly after Durham police began investigating an exotic dancer's claims that she was raped at a lacrosse team off-campus party in March 2006.

In March 2007, he and Duke reached an undisclosed financial settlement, which Pressler claims Burness' comments violated.

Superior Court Judge Howard Manning's ruling Wednesday means the case can be pursued in court.

Pressler is now head lacrosse coach at Bryant University in Rhode Island.

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  • flipper59 Apr 16, 5:48 p.m.

    "Whats his problem? He made a settlement and got his cake- now he thinks he can have the whole bakery? He had his chance, took it and now wants more."

    He had his chance??
    Hope nothing "wrong" happens to you.
    Some of your people have no clue.
    Life must be so easy in your lane.
    but anyhow, since money is all you see.....
    The College broke the silent agreement which was signed by both parties.

  • nodoginthisfight Apr 16, 5:46 p.m.

    This will end when Broadhead and Nifong are both panhandling on the side of the road, the lacrosse team wins a NC and Aleva is gone. Well one out of four has already happened.

  • doodad Apr 16, 5:39 p.m.

    He was also considered guilty before proven innocent. Duke sacrificed him early in order to save face within the nation.

  • gnew46 Apr 16, 5:01 p.m.

    Glad that Coach Pressler prevailed in this and wish him well in his civil suit.

  • superman Apr 16, 4:59 p.m.

    Whats his problem? He made a settlement and got his cake- now he thinks he can have the whole bakery? He had his chance, took it and now wants more.

  • Libandproud Apr 16, 4:48 p.m.

    I hope he prevails. There has really been no accountability.....not from Duke, not fom the Durham police, not from Crystal Mangum, and not ENOUGH from Nifong.

  • orange dude Apr 16, 4:11 p.m.

    Not suprising, they didn't back the kids either.