14 August 2017

Mueller v. Swift Part IV

A federal jury on Monday found that a former radio show host groped singer Taylor Swift before a 2013 concert in Denver and awarded her $1 in damages. 
The jury also found that neither Swift’s mother nor her radio promotions manager interfered with David Mueller’s employment contract when they reported the assault.
From the Denver Post.

The outcome is unsurprising and well supported by the evidence. The end effect for Mueller is to leave him even worse off than he would have been had he not brought the suit at all in reputation (massively calling attention to his sexual misconduct) and economically. He will be responsible for Taylor Swift's out of pocket litigation costs (but not attorneys' fees) in addition to $1. The ruling also effectively precludes litigation by Mueller against anyone else.

The ruling in favor of Taylor Swift also makes an appeal exceedingly difficult for Mueller to prevail in since there were no real objections to the process related to the counterclaim and that determination is inconsistent with a ruling in his favor.

It is also worth observing that this trial took six full days (and was scheduled for nine, just in case). If it had been a bench trial, it most likely would have take three days, or, at most four days. The time spent on jury selection, preparing jury instructions, instructing the jury and having the jury deliberate would have been absent, and breaks in the trial would have been shorter.

What Origins Do Asian Americans Have?


From here.

Mueller v. Swift Part III

Closing arguments were held in the Mueller v. Swift trial this morning before the case was sent to the jury to deliberate.
“He lost his job because he grabbed her butt and he got caught,” said [Taylor Swift's] attorney 
Douglas Baldridge, referring to Taylor Swift’s claim that former KYGO radio host David Mueller groped her before a concert at the Pepsi Center. “Now he’s trying to save his butt.” 
But Gabe McFarland, an attorney for Mueller, told jurors that Taylor Swift falsely accused him of assaulting her and that accusation destroyed his career. 
“Why would Ms. Swift lie? I don’t know,” said McFarland. “I’m sure she thinks it’s true, but the photograph says otherwise.” 
McFarland told eight jurors that Swift’s mother Andrea Swift, and her radio promotions manager, Frank Bell, used their influence to pressure KYGO into firing Mueller. 
McFarland asked the jury to award Mueller $257,500. Baldridge asked the jurors to reject Mueller’s case and award $1 to Swift in her counterclaim.
From The Denver Post (emphasis added).

A $3 million damages request has been deflated to $257,500 in closing arguments.

Furthermore, the emphasized language by Mueller's attorney, while sufficient to defend against an assault and battery claim if the jury believed it, would not be sufficient to support a claim for intentional interference with contract. If Taylor Swift believed she was wrongfully groped and her mother and her manager believed her, there cannot be liability on Mueller's intentional interference with contract claim, which requires wrongful intent. This is a concession that Mueller's attorney should not have made in closing argument that puts any verdict that might be obtained at risk.

Of course, in all likelihood, the jury is not going to believe Mueller's unlikely tale, will dismiss his two remaining claims, and will find in favor of Taylor Swift on her counterclaims, quite possibly before this afternoon ends.

Jury instructions in the case that were used to charge the jury today are here.