Local News

Judge Won't Block Lacrosse Lawyers, Web Site

Posted April 15, 2008 5:49 p.m. EDT
Updated April 15, 2008 8:46 p.m. EDT

— A federal judge on Tuesday refused to sanction lawyers for publicizing a lawsuit stemming from the discredited Duke lacrosse rape case.

U.S. District Judge James A. Beaty Jr. denied a motion to punish attorneys representing 38 current and former lacrosse players who have sued the school, the City of Durham and others.

Duke attorney James Donald Cowen said the players' attorneys violated rules of professional conduct by using a press conference and Web site to promote the lawsuit. The players' lawyer, Chuck Cooper, told the judge the players wanted to get their information out first.

None of the players was indicted. They claim they suffered emotional distress, however, when three of their teammates were falsely accused of sexually assaulting a stripper at a team party in 2006.

The three players were later declared innocent.