Damages

Rudy has effectively, apparently legally, admitted liability for defamation.

The thing is, in a civil case, once you admit liability, you are on to damages.

That is just how it goes.

What are the damages for these women?

They are far from negligible as Rudy will argue. Damages are huge.

So, what are the damages? And why is Rudy admitting to liability? Does Rudy have no money to be attached?

That is really it, isn’t it? Rudy is admitting he has no money, otherwise would never make this argument.

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81 replies
  1. Jharp jharp says:

    So how does a man like Rudy get involved with a man like Trump?

    Must be something to do with power and influence and fame being quite intoxicating

    And combined with alcoholism…. Voila….Rudy.

  2. jdalessandro says:

    He has to be broke. If Trump won’t pay him, what possible source of funds could he have? Residuals from the last Borat film?
    A loathsome character who richly deserves whatever misfortune could befall him. The best America’s Mayor Story is when, while defending the police murder of Patrick Dorismond, who was killed after refusing an undercover’s solicitation, Rudi said “He was no altar boy, you know.” And someone checked, and not only he had been one, but he had even attended the same catholic school that Rudi went to.

  3. scroogemcduck says:

    Either Rudy wants to tell the judge that he is broke, or he wants to get some rich friends to fund a settlement and make the case go away.

    What about punitive damages? How can these be assessed if discovery isn’t completed? And does Rudy get a “no harm, no foul” for blowing off discovery up to now?

  4. Bears7485 says:

    I hope Rudy was stupid enough to try to hide his money before this admission and Ruby Freeman’s and Shaye Moss’s lawyers find and take it all.

  5. RitaRita says:

    Why is he admitting to liability? Possible answers:

    A. He has no evidence to counter their facts or to challenge them.
    B. He thinks he has such good legal arguments that the facts don’t matter. (But why didn’t he make a motion to dismiss before discovery? Or did he, and lost?)
    C. Having apparently made a proffer to the DOJ, he is now caught between Scylla and Charybdis. Telling the truth to one necessitates telling the truth to the other.
    D. No money to pay ongoing attorney’s fees in all of the legal proceedings.
    E. Doesn’t want to turn over documents. (Picture Toreador Giuliani waving the red blanket in front of Bull Special Counsel. And in front of Fani Willis.)
    F. Judgment proof
    G. Some or all of the above.

    The why is interesting. The effect may be even more interesting.

    • BirdGardener says:

      Per the following Politico article, it’s E:

      Giuliani’s attorney, Joseph Sibley, emphasized in an accompanying filing that Giuliani was not in fact “admitting” to Moss and Freeman’s allegations against him but making a decision to stop contesting them, which he says should end the women’s effort to seek further factual evidence — emails, text messages and other communications — from Giuliani.

      https://www.politico.com/news/2023/07/26/giuliani-trump-election-00108205

        • BirdGardener says:

          Yes, sorry, Marcy! I save your site for last (in my news-reading routine), and hadn’t read your article yet.

          • Fancy Chicken says:

            I realized pretty quickly that I should start my morning read here first even if it means there are posts from the day before. I subscribe to both NYT and WAPO and pay to go to the races here. I have found that starting with Dr. Wheeler makes for a better understanding of the legacy media or MSM I read.

            • engprof733 says:

              Funny enough I do the opposite – I feel like the team here helps me make much better sense of things after reading legacy media

            • Becker0313 says:

              Same. I have the three sites Bookmarked and always go here first. Additionally I always check before bed (EDT) because of the time zone change with MW’s location.

      • !noromo' says:

        Apparently it’s also B. Per the NYTimes:

        But Mr. Giuliani, insisting that he still had “legal defenses” in the case, said that he continued to believe his accusations about Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss were “constitutionally protected” under the First Amendment.

        (Rayne, noticed my comments have been going to moderation. Is it my new username?)

        [It may be your new username. Give the algorithm some time to recognize you. Thanks for your patience. /~Rayne]

        • Peterr says:

          Pleading nolo contendere means “I believe my opponents have enough to prevail in this case, so let’s move on to damages.” I supposed Rudy *can* say “I still had legal defenses” but saying that without adding “but I also admit they are crap defenses” is just Rudy talking out of both sides of his mouth.

          If he keeps this up, the judge may have a few words with him before accepting his plea, a la Emmet Sullivan and Michael Flynn.

    • Charles Wolf says:

      Judgment proof is “blood from a stone” bulletproof.
      But I’d bet he has some property somewhere.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        From a guy who claims he used to “get by” on two or more million a MONTH? Who’s been through three nationally-publicized divorces? Whose dad used to break legs for the mob? I would regard any claim he made regarding having no or few assets as having the same credibility as if it had come from Donald Trump.

        • dadidoc1 says:

          A few years ago, he made commercials for Norton Lifelock. I’m not sure how long that lasted. I complained to Norton that if he remained a spokesman, I would cancel my subscription.

          • Charles Wolf says:

            Norton is more annoying and harder to get rid of than some malware; and not unlike TFG, it is always asking for money.

    • Critter7 says:

      But its also A (He has no evidence to counter their facts or to challenge them), although he has not admitted that.

  6. dks_26JUL2023_0959h says:

    He knows he’s judgement proof in a civil case, and doesn’t want to comply with earlier discovery ordered in that civil case for fear or worsening his criminal exposure in the other criminal cases swirling around him

    [Welcome to emptywheel. Please choose and use a unique username with a minimum of 8 letters. We are moving to a new minimum standard to support community security. Because your username is far too short it will be temporarily changed to match the date/time of your first known comment until you have a new compliant username. Thanks. /~Rayne]

    • Attygmgm says:

      As a plaintiff’s lawyer I love defamation cases. It is hard for them NOT to go to the jury, and I couldn’t be happier than to face a closing argument with a good, intangible injury to ask a jury to value.

      There is a great book titled “The Lost Art” compiled by a federal judge in South Carolina, Joe Anderson, which is full of snippets of actual closing arguments. It is a font of ideas, including for arguing intangible injuries. From which I have borrowed shamelessly.

      But this tactical maneuver is surely driven by the various layers pressing on Guiliani, civil and criminal, as Marcy suspects. To avoid disclosures in one forum that would be catastrophic in another. It might help him in his immediate case, by using it to keep from the jury liability evidence that might enrage them and influence a damages calculation. But my guess, and guess is all it can be, is that considerations outside the immediate case are at play.

      • RitaRita says:

        I can’t imagine plaintiffs being content with this stipulation. Whatever Giuliani is trying to prevent from disclosure would probably serve not only to persuade a jury about liability but also enhance damages.

        • bmaz says:

          Um, why in the world would you “not” stipulate to liability?? It is a civil case, money is is the metric, not bullshit.

          • RitaRita says:

            But he is not stipulating to liability. He is stipulating that he made false statements. What is the factual basis for his claim of Constitutional protected speech? And wouldn’t the plaintiffs have the right to make arguments that he acted maliciously or with reckless disregard for the truth in order to enhance any damages award?

            The attorney for the plaintiff does seem pleased with the stipulation.

      • bmaz says:

        Oh, no, that is me, not Marcy. But, unless you really have no civil pocket to pick, never give up liability. May lose anyway, but never give that up. Ever.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Yep. Never ever ever give up on liability, at least not without getting something in return.

          The Feds don’t have to care about a defendant’s present ability to pay. They can pursue future earnings, if any, and, in some cases, regardless of a formal bankruptcy.

    • Badger Robert says:

      Guiliani hasn’t stipulated to liability. He seems to have agreed to plaintiffs’ prima facie case, while preserving defenses that pose questions of fact and law. He seems his attorneys are trying to run the plaintiffs counsel out of time and money.
      If he is broke, as some have suggested, whose is paying for all of this BS filed on his behalf?

      • bmaz says:

        Don’t think you understand how this works. It is a civil case, and, yes, Rudy has basically admitted just that.

  7. Unabogie says:

    I agree that it is probably related to whatever attempt he made at destroying the devices he now says are “corrupted.” I think there are ongoing efforts by his lawyers to avoid prosecution for destruction of evidence and this lawsuit only compounds his exposure. So in that case, it would be better to remove one set of eyes on what he did.

    At least that’s my take on it.

  8. Mister_Sterling says:

    Rudy had been living at the Mark hotel on the Upper East Side since his last divorce, which was in 2018. He cried “poor!” In that case as well. During the Trump administration, he was reportedly spending $200K per month to live and drink (and drink) at the hotel and hire two bodyguards. He blew all of the speaking money he collected since 2002.

    • Ebenezer Scrooge says:

      Assets and liquidity are two very different things. If you’re the right kind of skel, you can have no net worth and plenty of spending. Ask Donald Trump or better yet his mentor, Roy Cohn. Or for that matter, OJ.

  9. Rugger_9 says:

    At least in CA, losing at a civil trial will also lead to an ‘order of examination’ which is a court-ordered review of financial records. Court ordered damages are also something that is not dischargeable in a bankruptcy in many cases (but IANAL and may be wrong about this point). Rudy does have money and homes to tap. If he ends up in a double-wide in Redneck County Alabama so much the better IMHO.

    • Peterr says:

      You are assuming that Rudy’s financial books are all squeaky clean, with no irregularities. Given the folks Rudy hangs out with, that may be assuming a lot.

      • Rugger_9 says:

        Probably more like a dumpster in a cesspool, but the OEX forces Rudy to disclose his $$$ or face more contempt charges at least. As bmaz noted above, once Rudy admitted he lied WRT to Ruby Freeman, et al the jig was up on liability. The statement made under penalty of perjury (like court filings are) should foreclose any attempt to dodge that he said it and caused damage.

        However, as a wild speculation, let’s say he tries the 1A defense. The problem he runs into immediately is that it is not absolute. Freeman was neither a public figure, nor someone stripped of her right to not be lied about repeatedly on TV. She had to go into hiding so there is no question of damages to her livelihood and reputation.

  10. Alan Charbonneau says:

    “The thing is, in a civil case, once you admit liability, you are on to damages.”
    Bmaz, does that mean there will be no discovery?
    Thanks

      • BirdGardener says:

        A poster on another site who says they’re a lawyer has stated that it’s up to the judge whether or not Rudy still has to hand over the evidence (and that the plaintiffs’ lawyers will get to voice their view of the matter). Is that roughly correct?

  11. obsessed says:

    Could the timing of this be driven by yesterday’s developments on the Bernie Kerik front? Could this help Rudy prevent having the jury consider the contents of Kerik’s submissions when they assess damages? [Also, for what it’s worth (nothing?) Hey Google thinks Rudy has a net worth of $40M]

  12. Rapier says:

    Well Igor Derysh at Salon says it’s so he can end discovery, which up till now he has blown off. Judge Howell seems about to issue sanctions over the destruction or loss of the requested evidence. So with the admission he’s hoping the discovery thing will just end.

    Got me.

  13. Jenny T says:

    For sure, he’s trying to minimize any damages payout, but mostly isn’t he just trying to avoid the discovery process? Sure that would’ve turned up a few things on his & Trump’s dealings in GA

    And Trump & Assoc have to be pleased with that clever legal manuever. Plus, Guiliani only has to eat crow on the “main stream media”. Last I checked, Fox & other stations were certainly not mentioning this development

  14. jdmckay8 says:

    Let’s not forget (I would think) info filling a timeline of Hunter’s Mac shenanigans, is likely on Rudy’s device(s) somewhere.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I don’t think Hunter’s “shenanigans,” with or without a Mac, are the real issue.

      • P J Evans says:

        I think he was speaking about the various changes to accounts and the laptop, rather than about Hunter himself and what he may or may not have done.

        • jdmckay8 says:

          Yep. Thx. Not just what u mentioned, but Isaac said he had communication with Rudy wrt Hunter’s Mac. And probably some Jan 6 stuff as well.

          No wonder he drank too much.

  15. ExRacerX says:

    Insightful post. No $$ makes sense—I can’t think of anyone who’s fallen as far in 2 decades, and he just continues to fall.

    At this point, not only does “America’s Mayor” no longer have any clothes; his legal arguments are thinner than his runny hair dye.

  16. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Bmaz, sorry to be OT but think breaking news – with video – of McConnell possibly suffering something that looks like a petit Mal or TMI is probably a tea leaf worth tracking.
    His backers must be sh!tting their knickers about now.

    • xyxyxyxy says:

      The guy is in his 80s.
      Getting close to mandatory kicking the bucket.
      Can he outlast Kissinger?

    • P J Evans says:

      It was kind of scary watching it.
      My father had a stroke, sitting at the counter on a Sunday mornign, reading the funnies after breakfast. I think “Calvin and Hobbes” was the last thing he saw. And my mother and I had to get him off the chair onto the floor – he was rigid. (“Dead weight” is a description that now means something physical to me.) I can’t keep from remembering that he was sitting there, his fingers moving in a small circle, but he was blank.

      • Matt___B says:

        He was able to keep standing during this 44-second episode. So it’s not like he passed out or collapsed. Just couldn’t talk. Very strange to watch…

      • bmaz says:

        Oh jeez PJ. Was he ok eventually? I hate this stuff. But we all face it with our parents. And too soon ourselves. Ugh.

    • BirdGardener says:

      I don’t understand why he wasn’t taken to the ER; that’s what you’re supposed to do when you suspect someone’s had a stroke, and that’s sure what it seemed like. That distresses me—even though I hate so many of the things he’s done, seeing him standing there, unable to speak, and then learning that he didn’t go to the hospital — I don’t understand. There aren’t many times when you wouldn’t respect someone’s refusal to go to the hospital, but isn’t a suspected stroke one of those times?

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Congress has a well-staffed medical clinic available to members. One might ask whether they used it or other medical services, or just propped him up. The treatment of Sen. Feinstein by her aides appears similar.

        • BirdGardener says:

          So I looked it up, and it turns out my ‘go to ER’ was wrong because it’s not fast enough . Someone should have dialed 911.

          https://www.cdc.gov/stroke/signs_symptoms.htm

          The stroke treatments that work best are available only if the stroke is recognized and diagnosed within 3 hours of the first symptoms. Stroke patients may not be eligible for these if they don’t arrive at the hospital in time.

          Do not drive to the hospital or let someone else drive you. Call 9-1-1 for an ambulance so that medical personnel can begin life-saving treatment on the way to the emergency room.

          If your stroke symptoms go away after a few minutes, you may have had a transient ischemic attack (TIA), also sometimes called a “mini-stroke.” Although brief, a TIA is a sign of a serious condition that will not go away without medical help.

          Unfortunately, because TIAs clear up, many people ignore them. But paying attention to a TIA can save your life. If you think you or someone you know has had a TIA, tell a health care team about the symptoms right away.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            As I said, Congress has a medical clinic on its grounds. Given the average age of many congresscritters, I would assume a brain/heart specialist is on call. He could have received immediate treatment before an ambulance or specialist arrived. The question is whether they sought treatment or just hoped for the best.

            • BirdGardener says:

              I appreciate this; you inspired me to google the treatment, as I had mistakenly thought specialized equipment might be involved. Appears it’s a drug, and as you say, given the age of the members, the medical staff probably have it on hand.

              If you get to the hospital within 3 hours of the first symptoms of an ischemic stroke, you may get a type of medicine called a thrombolytic (a “clot-busting” drug) to break up blood clots. Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is a thrombolytic. tPA improves the chances of recovering from a stroke.

              Thanks!
              https://www.cdc.gov/stroke/treatments.htm#:~:text=If%20you%20get%20to%20the,of%20recovering%20from%20a%20stroke.

  17. e.a. foster says:

    Wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t have any money so it doesn’t matter about damages. On the other hand, how is he maintaining his life style and paying the lawyers. Its unlikely Trump is sending him an allowance.
    Now if he is carrying around hockey bags, he might be laundering money, but thats only in Canada.
    Guiliani most likely has money stashed somewhere. If he father was a “leg breaker”, he ought to know how to do that. Of course guiliani might have thought there was no end to the money.
    Guess we’ll have to wait until the last chapter is written

  18. The Old Redneck says:

    This admission doesn’t amount to much. Rudy admitted he made the statements, that they were false, and that he said this stuff to third parties. These things are easily proven, so to concede them isn’t huge.
    But Rudy is reserving the right to still fight the case on other grounds. It’s still open to him to argue that his statements were constitutionally protected, were statements of pure opinion (statements of opinion cannot support a defamation claim), and finally, that his statements didn’t cause any harm. I don’t think any of that will fly, but those are the only arguments he’s ever had anyway.
    This was really a desperate attempt to shut down discovery of information which is likely to be incriminating and highly embarrassing. I doubt the judge will give Rudy a pass because of it, but as always in litigation, we’ll just have to see.

    • bmaz says:

      No, it is significant. And does not necessarily shut down discovery. Please don’t tell people that.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Rudy’s unilateral attempt to limit the reach of his admission is not likely to fly, which is why it imperils so much. As a former US Attorney, he would know that. But he’s always peddled bullshit.

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