CNN is reporting that Bryan Cave litigator L. Lin Wood has been retained to possibly sue the Miami Herald and St. Pete Times over several articles on Jeff Greene that the candidate claims are defamatory:
Greene’s lawyer has demanded the St. Petersburg Times and the Miami Herald publish the retractions to correct three articles the newspapers published earlier this month. The articles were written by St. Petersburg Times reporters and were first printed by the Tampa-area newspaper. The Miami Herald printed the articles shortly thereafter. The papers have a working partnership and often share resources to cover state news.
Times editor Neil Brown said last week that no retraction is forthcoming, and Greene is expected to follow through, potentially as early as Friday.
In one of the stories, first published on August 8, the Times reported that in 2006, Greene had sold California property to Delbert McConville, who is now in jail facing conspiracy and money laundering charges. Greene admits to selling McConville 300 condos, but insists that his connection to McConville ends there and that he was not a party to the dealings McConville engaged in that led him to jail.
In another story, the Times linked comments Mike Tyson made to Sports Illustrated in an interview published on July 28 to time the boxer spent aboard Greene’s 145-foot yacht, describing the activity on the yacht as lavish, teeming with naked, drunken parties. Greene denies those claims.
In an August 16 letter to Miami Herald executive editor Anders Gyllenhaal, attorney L. Lin Wood, said the stories are “replete with false, misleading and defamatory statements of face concerning Mr. Greene.”
Wood sent a similar letter to the top editors at the Times on August 11.
Both papers have endorsed Meek in the Democratic primary.
To paraphrase Steely Dan, Lin Wood is a major dude. He previously represented accused Centennial Olympic Park bomber Richard Jewell, the parents of Jon Benet Ramsey, Howard K. Stern, and has been involved in many other high-profile defamation cases.
I’m not sure if the Herald will retain our own silver fox, Sandy Bohrer, to defend these claims, but if so we are looking at a powerhouse match up.
One question (and no offense to the highly qualified Mr. Wood) but couldn’t Greene hire a Florida lawyer to prosecute these claims?
Some of us could use the work! (I guess Lin will need local counsel).