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Nifong's attorney asks for reversal of bankruptcy judge ruling

Posted September 30, 2008

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— The attorney for former Durham district attorney Mike Nifong is asking the federal district court to reverse a bankruptcy judge’s ruling that allowed three former Duke University lacrosse players to proceed with a civil rights lawsuit against, according to court documents filed Tuesday.

Attorney James B. Craven wrote in the brief that the three former lacrosse players said they are not looking for money, but accountability.

“They forget, or choose to ignore, that Mike Nifong has been removed from office, has been disbarred, and was a 24 hour guest at the Durham County Jail. Yet now they want him held accountable? They already have all they will ever get from him, and if they don’t understand that, their counsel do,” Craven continued.

Nifong filed for bankruptcy earlier this year in response to David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann's claims that he, the city of Durham and others conspired to keep a weak case alive as Nifong faced election.

The bankruptcy filing meant Nifong was temporarily protected from litigation. Judge William L. Stocks ruled in May, however, the lawsuit could proceed.

Nifong filed for an appeal in June.

In his January 15 bankruptcy filing, Nifong listed a debt of $180.3 million, listing the Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann as unsecured creditors, each owed $30 million.

Nifong won indictments against the three players in Spring 2006 following exotic dancer Crystal Mangum's accusations that she was raped and sexually assaulted at a lacrosse party in March 2006.

The North Carolina State Bar later stripped Nifong of his law license, and he spent a night in jail for lying to a Superior Court judge.

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  • TechRescue Oct 1, 2008

    I depise what Mike Nifong did, but...

    It's a reach to say he "ruined the future" of anyone other than himself. The young men were exonerated many times over. The truth is that once the media gets bored with this case, in six months 99% of the public won't even remember who the boys were. Crystal Mangum has already dropped off the radar, you know why? Because she stopped talking. If these young men were as smart as they claim to be, they would do the same.

    What is driving this unabated public hatred for Mike Nifong? We've seen people wrongly accused AND CONVICTED released after long prison terms, but there is no lobbying effort to go after their prosecutors, most of whom have moved on to higher-paying jobs in our graft- and cronyism-ridden NC government. If you want to impress me (both WRAL and the posters here), take that on as a crusade.

    Mike Nifong is toast. Cook something else for a change.

  • jlh4jdj Sep 30, 2008

    yay news had been boring lately (you know murders, rapes, economy falling apart, etc.). I'm so glad that we have Nifong to save us. I will say this I am all for these guys going after him in court but let's be real this is nothing like real life. This is rich going after the rich, bottom line I don't care.

  • carolinagurl Sep 30, 2008

    He should be made to pay $$. He ruined the future of those guys!!!And Crystal should be made to pay $$ also. Only reason Nifong filed is because of the lawsuites....I say keep going after him...lawsuites are what makes the world go round now a days

  • Krzyzewskiectomy Sep 30, 2008

    North Carolina is not a community property state so they can't go after his wife. This is usually to protect the common working person, but it is benefiting him unfortunately.

  • loudnoises Sep 30, 2008

    "“They forget, or choose to ignore, that Mike Nifong has been removed from office, has been disbarred, and was a 24 hour guest at the Durham County Jail. Yet now they want him held accountable? "

    Easy answer: Yes. Had one of us meek posters done the same? We would have been "guests" for somewhat longer than 24 hours.

  • flyfishNC Sep 30, 2008

    He IS accountable. Why should those who do wrong slide by? Us "regular folk" don't seem to get this privilege. The popular thing these days is for the wealthy people or companies to claim bankruptcy and hope all is forgiven.

  • MarcoPolo Sep 30, 2008

    I also think it would be fair to make them sell one of their multiple houses.

  • MarcoPolo Sep 30, 2008

    I think they should go after the wife's money. He transferred it to her.

  • Rolling Along Sep 30, 2008

    I think that the courts should make sure that Nifong never makes a dime more than minimum wage for the rest of his life. That is what he would have done to the wrongly charged, if he had been able to railroad it through.