The Eramo / Erdely / Rolling Stone lawsuit

U-Va. dean sues Rolling Stone for ‘false’ portrayal in retracted rape story
By T. Rees Shapiro
Washington Post, 2015-05-12

Rolling Stone Rape Article Results in Defamation Suit
New York Times Business Day, 2013-05-13

[I note this article appeared in the NYT's "Business Day" section,
and not even on the front page of that section,
but rather on page B5!
Where it was only a seven paragraph, 292 word story,
at the bottom of the page, between advertisements.

One wonders why it didn't appear in their "National News" section,
where they put much of their original coverage of this matter,
for example, the 1267 word 2014-11-25 article
“University of Virginia’s Image Suffers After Campus Rape Report”,
which appeared on page A15.
Note the HTML address there is "us", vice "business".
Or, more realistically, one shouldn't wonder about why that is.
Could it be that the NYY editors are not interested in
highlighting news which doesn't support their theology of political correctness?

To show you how brief and uninformative this article is,
here is its full text:]

An associate dean at the University of Virginia filed a defamation lawsuit on Tuesday against Rolling Stone magazine, which she said portrayed her as the "chief villain" in a discredited article about a gang rape on the university's campus.

Nicole P. Eramo, an associate dean of students, is also suing the author of the article, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, and Rolling Stone's parent company, Wenner Media. She is seeking nearly $8 million in damages.

Rolling Stone declined to comment.

The article, titled "A Rape on Campus" described a brutal gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity. It was initially praised for shedding light on the issue of campus rape, and the problems that some students have in pursuing their attackers. But it later emerged that the magazine had not tried to independently verify allegations, some of them explosive, made by one source, identified as Jackie in the article.

On April 5 the magazine retracted the article, and presented a report it had commissioned from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, which described a series of reportorial failings.

The lawsuit, filed in the Charlottesville Circuit Court, asserts that the magazine made defamatory statements about Ms. Eramo, a prominent character in the article, to present a narrative that she had "discouraged the reporting of a violent rape to law enforcement because she was more concerned with protecting the university's reputation than with assisting victims of sexual assault," the statement said.

In an interview, Libby Locke, one of the lawyers representing Ms. Eramo, said that she had begun working on the lawsuit shortly after the article was published last November. Though the First Amendment provides protection to the media and such lawsuits are hard to win, she said, "we are confident in this case."

UVA associate dean Nicole Eramo sues Rolling Stone: an early analysis
By Eugene Volokh
Washington Post blog, "The Volokh Conspiracy", 2015-05-12

Rolling Stone ethically absent
By Caleb Ellis
Duke Chronicle, 2015-05-19


Sabrina Erdely [author of “A Rape on Campus”]’s decision to
forgo key interviews, manipulate facts and even
fabricate information to fit her article’s narrative
is an ethical failure.
It directly incriminated swathes of students and administrators
of having been complicit in a culture of sexual violence.
Moreover, it undermines the credibility of
sexual assault survivors and their stories,
a demographic that perhaps depends on reliability and trust
more than any other on college campuses.
If being an investigative reporter means
upholding standards of truthfulness, accuracy and impartiality,
then Erdely failed in every aspect.


Rolling Stone files motion for protective order in Virginia dean’s defamation case
by Erik Wemple
Washington Post Blog, 2015-09-05

Lawyers for Rolling Stone magazine yesterday entered a motion aimed at limiting the amount of information and documents disclosed in the ongoing defamation case filed this year by Nicole Eramo, a University of Virginia associate dean whose actions were depicted in the November 2014 Rolling Stone story “A Rape on Campus.” That story, which narrated an alleged gang rape at a campus fraternity house, was later exposed as a fraud, prompting a review by the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and a retraction.

Though the Columbia report laid bare the faulty editorial procedures behind “A Rape on Campus,” written by Sabrina Rubin Erdely (a named defendant in Eramo’s suit), Rolling Stone is apparently seeking to limit how much more information can leak into the public realm through this proceeding. “The Parties acknowledge that disclosure and discovery activity in this litigation is likely to include production of confidential, proprietary, or private information for which special protection from public disclosure and from use for any purpose other than prosecuting this litigation may be warranted,” reads the proposed protective order. Though Eramo’s legal team isn’t opposing the order, it comes at the behest of Rolling Stone.

The proposal would secure confidentiality for disclosures that fall into any one of several baskets, including information whose release is barred by statute, trade secrets or “commercially sensitive” information, “unpublished newsgathering materials” and “information of a personal or intimate nature regarding any individual.” For the consideration of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, the Erik Wemple Blog has a great interest in “unpublished newsgathering materials.” We oppose this motion!

The protective order would “survive” the litigation and could be undone only by a court order or a request from one of the parties.

Eramo filed her defamation action in May, after she and her lawyers at the Alexandria, Va., firm Clare Locke LLP had attempted to secure a direct apology from Rolling Stone over how it had treated the dean. She is seeking $7.85 million in damages. The defendants in July responded to the suit by denying they’d defamed Eramo. As we’ve pointed out before, Erdely’s controversial story did contain some positive passages regarding Eramo’s work on sexual assault at U-Va. but leaves a larger impression that she sat on important complaints and otherwise failed to remedy injustices sitting right in front of her. Not to mention that Erdely, in her post-publication comments to the media, hammered U-Va. for how it handled the central anecdote in the story — an anecdote for which a subsequent police investigation found no supporting evidence.

Jeffrey Pyle, a partner in the Boston-based firm Prince Lobel Tye LLP, says he’s “not surprised” to find that the order seeks to protect “unpublished newsgathering materials,” since the legal departments of media outlets are constantly fighting subpoenas and fishing expeditions for such materials. As for Rolling Stone’s quest to get this stuff protected, Pyle says
that one possible motivation would be to “prevent dribs and drabs of information about Rolling Stone’s newsgathering activities from being released in the media and unfairly harming it in the public eye.”

News organizations could intervene with opposition to the proposed order, says Pyle, though it “would probably be better to do so before documents have been exchanged pursuant to it.”

Jackie declines to release phone records for Eramo's lawsuit against Rolling Stone
December hearing to determine record request
by Anna Higgins
University of Virginia Daily Cavalier, 2015-11-19

A hearing scheduled for Friday to request that Jackie — whose story was the center of Rolling Stone’s now-retracted expose “A Rape on Campus” — hand over all phone and text records has been postponed to Dec. 4.

The hearing will be held in Alexandria, Virginia.

Associate Dean of Students Nicole Eramo, who featured heavily in the story, has requested the phone records for her defamation lawsuit against author Sabrina Rubin Erdely, Rolling Stone magazine and Wenner Media LLC.


Eramo originally filed a subpoena requesting Jackie’s phone records in July. Jackie objected, refusing to hand the records over in October on the grounds of ambiguity and lack of privacy, according to court records.

"‘Jackie’ is not a party to this case, nor does Plaintiff allege that any statement made by ‘Jackie’ was defamatory,” lawyer Palma Pustilnik, who is representing Jackie, said in a court document.

Eramo’s lawyers, Thomas Clare and Libby Locke of Clare Locke LLP, asked last Friday for a court order demanding Jackie hand over her records. In the request, they said Jackie’s objections of privacy concerns were invalid.

“The plain fact is that
Jackie chose to make herself and her alleged sexual assault
the subject of an article in a national magazine,”

Clare and Locke said in a court document.
“She cannot now claim that she has maintained this information as private or confidential.”


[University Law Prof. Gregory] Mitchell said that ultimately Rolling Stone magazine and Sabrina Rubin Erdely will likely be required to turn in phone records.

“If there were phone conversations that were recorded — or even just notes made of those conversations made by the author — I think there's a really good chance that the plaintiff will get those kinds of records because those go to the heart of this case,” Mitchell said.

The phone records are integral to Eramo’s lawsuit because they may contain the narrative from which Erdely developed the article and villainized Eramo, her lawyers said. Therefore, the records are necessary to proceed.

“[Eramo] is entitled to seek discovery from Jackie directed at demonstrating that Rolling Stone's claims regarding [Jackie] and Dean Eramo's treatment of [Jackie] were false,” Clare said in a letter to Pustilnik.


Motion to Compel "Jackie" in Rolling Stone Suit
By: Courteney Stuart
Newsplex, 2015-11-19


"Jackie is certainly at risk in lots of different ways, both civilly and criminally," he said.
"That's why she's doing everything she can not to say anything.
In this particular case,
Jackie doesn't want to say anything,
Jackie doesn't want to reveal anything,
Jackie doesn't want to give up anything that could possibly lead to her being added to the suit."

[Quite a change from her talking to the RS reporter.
She sure said plenty to her.]

Eramo's motion notes that she is not using Jackie's full name in legal documents at Jackie's attorneys' request
in an attempt to "cooperate in good faith."

Goodman says that while it's standard to keep the names of sexual assault victims confidential both in legal documents and in media accounts, the circumstances of this situation are quite different.

"In this case, since there has been a full investigation by at least three different organizations including the Charlottesville Police Department that have found there to be no basis for the things that Jackie alleged to the reporter," he said. "I think that anyone would say that her name certainly is fair game and that there's no real reason to not disclose her name."


Hearing in Eramo suit returned to Charlottesville
by Dean Seal
Richmond Times Dispatch, 2015-12-05

ALEXANDRIA — A motion to force a former University of Virginia student to comply with requests in a nearly $8 million defamation lawsuit against Rolling Stone magazine will be taken up in Charlottesville, a federal judge in Alexandria ruled Friday.

Magistrate Judge Ivan Davis said matters in the suit brought by Nicole Eramo, the U.Va. associate dean alleging she was painted as the villain of the magazine’s retracted story “A Rape on Campus,” should be heard by the presiding judge in the jurisdiction handling the majority of the suit.

Thereby, Davis deferred a ruling on the motion to compel “Jackie,” the anonymous student whose heavily scrutinized account of a 2012 gang rape at a U.Va fraternity house party served as the centerpiece for the story, to turn over her correspondence with the story’s author and the magazine to Eramo’s attorneys.


In July, Eramo’s attorneys asked Jackie to turn over her correspondence related to the story, but Jackie’s attorney, Palma E. Pustilnik, responded in an opposing motion that the requests were overly broad, and that disclosing the communications would violate Jackie’s “privacy and dignity.”

But none of those matters was taken up in court Friday. Davis agreed with a motion by Jackie’s attorneys to have the matter taken up in federal court in Charlottesville, where the rest of the case is being tried.

While Eramo’s attorneys tried to argue the point, Davis responded that having the matter taken up in a jurisdiction closer to Jackie was intended to “not unduly burden” her. Because she moved to have it transferred to Charlottesville, it was clear Jackie “didn’t care about that burden.”

Davis added that he had “absolutely no clue” about the case outside of its news coverage, that it was “more appropriate” for a Charlottesville judge to rule on it, and that
the matter was the most “hotly contested” motion to compel he had ever seen.




[A 25-page PDF of Eramo's court filing, courtesy of KC Johnson.
An excerpt from the introduction (formatting added):]

Jackie and her counsel have refused to budge an inch from their astonishing position:
That Jackie, a grown woman who voluntarily made herself
the primary subject of, and chief source for,
an inflammatory national magazine article
that ruined the lives of many innocent people
and has been roundly proven to be demonstrably false,
is somehow completely immune from any discovery
in litigation arising out of that article.
This is, simply put,
an untenable position that finds no support whatsoever in law or logic.
Jackie’s latest Supplemental Response makes clear that the real issue here
is not a concern with protecting Jackie
from having to produce any documents related to an alleged sexual assault.
Jackie freely discussed her supposed sexual assault in great detail
with Rolling Stone magazine,
with a UVA alumni magazine
and, later, the Washington Post,
knowing full well that her accounts would be published.
She told a dramatically different version of her sexual assault—
complete with a named perpetrator who does not in fact exist—
to friends and acquaintances at the University of Virginia.
And she related still another version to the University and the Charlottesville Police Department—
at least until the police attempted to investigate her claims,
at which time she withdrew any cooperation.
In light of these undisputed facts, it is clear that
Jackie’s reluctance to participate in discovery is not based on concerns of privacy
or about being exposed as an alleged victim of sexual assault.
Instead, it is about being exposed as a liar,
and there is no blanket immunity from discovery simply because Jackie fears that
her own momentous and injurious falsehoods will be revealed.

Dean Eramo’s narrowed Motion to Compel is directed solely at
highly relevant documents going to the heart of the disputed issues in the defamation case.
  • were Rolling Stone’s and Erdely’s claims about Jackie’s assault,
    and Dean Eramo’s supposed indifference and inaction in response to Jackie’s assault,
    true or false?
  • Did Jackie herself tell others that the article was accurate or false?
  • Do the documents reflecting Jackie’s communications with Dean Eramo and Rolling Stone
    prove or disprove Rolling Stone’s claims?
  • Did Rolling Stone simply invent the claims that
    Dean Eramo abused Jackie,
    discouraged her from reporting her supposed sexual assault,
    called UVA “the rape school,”
    and sought to suppress Jackie’s sexual assault to protect the University’s reputation—
    or did Jackie actually tell Rolling Stone those things?
  • If Jackie did tell Rolling Stone those things,
    was it negligent and/or reckless
    for Rolling Stone to rely on Jackie as its primary source
    for these defamatory claims about Dean Eramo
    considering Jackie’s obvious lack of credibility?
  • Did Rolling Stone ignore blatant red flags and gaping holes in Jackie’s story
    indicating that she was not telling the truth?
  • did Rolling Stone
    purposefully avoid uncovering discrepancies in Jackie’s account
    about her supposed gang rape and her subsequent interactions with Dean Eramo?
Nothing in Jackie’s Supplemental Filing—
which consists primarily of straw man arguments
and ad hominem attacks on Dean Eramo and her counsel—
meaningfully addresses the fact that
Jackie is a central witness in this case, that
she put herself in that position of her own volition, and that
her documents and testimony are of great importance to the parties’ claims and defenses.


Lawsuit: UVA Student’s Crush On A Friend Was Root Of Fake Rolling Stone Gang Rape Story
by Chuck Ross
Daily Caller, 2016-01-08

[This article (see paragraph 2)
asserts that "Jackie"'s real name is Jackie Coakley.
I have no idea whether that is true or not.]

The former University of Virginia student whose false claim about being gang-raped was published by Rolling Stone is a “serial liar” who– in addition to fabricating the rape story — made up a second identity and lied about having a terminal illness, all so that she could win the affections of a student she had a crush on, attorneys representing a dean at the school claimed in a recent lawsuit filing.

Jackie Coakley posed as her own suitor, a UVA student she called “Haven Monahan,” in an elaborate catfishing scheme aimed at getting her friend and classmate, Ryan Duffin, to like her, attorneys for UVA dean Nicole Eramo asserted in court papers filed this week

Lawyers for U.Va. dean say subject of Rolling Stone rape story is 'serial liar'
Richmond Times Dispatch, 2016-01-08

Lawyers for a University of Virginia dean who has filed a defamation lawsuit against Rolling Stone
say the magazine’s shocking story of a campus rape
is based on a series of lies by its main subject,
according to new court filings.

In documents filed this week, lawyers for U.Va. Associate Dean Nicole Eramo say “Jackie,”
the female student whose account of a 2012 gang rape at a fraternity house
served as the main narrative of the Rolling Stone article,
should not be protected from having to reveal her text messages in the case
because there’s no evidence a sexual assault ever took place.

“What Jackie is refusing to produce
is not evidence of a sexual assault,
but evidence that she lied,”

Eramo’s lawyers wrote in a filing submitted Wednesday in federal court.

The new filings underscore the potential for the events that led up to the article
to be aired in court in ugly fashion
as details of Jackie’s conduct become fodder for legal arguments.
[Precisely what is "ugly" about unmasking lies?
Is it "ugly" to prove that a lie is a lie?]

The article, later retracted by Rolling Stone,
has spawned three defamation lawsuits, none of which names Jackie as a defendant.

The documents have prompted a leading feminist group
to pen an open letter to U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan
crying foul about the court proceedings
and asking the university to intervene.


The new filing from Eramo’s legal team says
having Jackie turn over her communications for the lawsuit
would “require Jackie to admit that
her concern is not being outed as a victim of sexual assault,
but rather being exposed as a serial liar
who invented people, events and text messages.”

Jackie’s attorneys have argued that,
as the victim of an alleged assault who is entitled to legal protections
[Request for clarification:
I understand that real victims of a real sexual assault
are legally entitled to certain "protections",
but does that legal doctrine extend to anyone alleging an assault?
If so, precisely what is to stop people, men and women alike,
from fabricating whatever stories they want to,
libeling whomever they want to?]

and is not a party to the lawsuit,
she should not be forced to divulge private information.
In a sharply worded response, Jackie’s attorneys said Eramo’s court filings are
“the best example to date of exactly the calloused behavior
that she was accused of by Rolling Stone.”

“Above all else,
Dean Eramo’s recent filing continues her troubling treatment of (Jackie)
and should be of concern to sexual assault survivors everywhere,”
[If Jackie is NOT a sexual assault survivor,
why would the treatment of her have any bearing on
the treatment of real sexual assault survivors?
Is claiming to be a victim equivalent to BEING a victim?]

Jackie’s attorneys,
a team consisting of attorneys from
Washington-based Stein Mitchell Cipollone Beato & Missner LLP
and several Charlottesville lawyers,
[Sounds like quite a team.
Wonder who is paying for it.]

wrote in a response filed Thursday.

Jackie’s lawyers also pointed to a letter addressed to Sullivan this week
from the National Organization for Women,
which said the “very troubling pattern of abuse” in Eramo’s court filings
should not be allowed to continue.

“Your dean’s demands recite nearly every false argument made to undermine victims of sexual assault,”
read a letter signed by NOW President Terry O’Neill, Virginia NOW President Diana Egozcue and Charlottesville NOW’s Tannis Fuller.
“It is exactly this kind of victim blaming and shaming
that fosters rape culture,
revictimizes those brave enough to have come forward
and silences countless other victims.”

[If Jackie is not a victim of sexual assault,
how can this be an example of "victim blaming"?
Where is the proof that Jackie is a victim?
Her statements have been proven false time after time.
Why should she be considered a victim of anyone other than herself?
This shows how the term "female logic" became a pejorative in my youth, in the 1950s.]


Eramo’s lawyers have sought documents related to “Haven Monahan,”
a person Jackie told friends was her date on the night of the alleged rape in 2012.
Eramo’s lawyers have suggested Monahan was
a “fake suitor created by Jackie in a strange bid to earn the affections” of another student, Ryan Duffin.

Eramo, represented by the Alexandria-based law firm Clare Locke LLP,
is seeking to compel the production of
Jackie’s communication with Rolling Stone writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely
(the article’s author who’s also named as a defendant in Eramo’s suit)
and any other magazine personnel;
communications with Eramo and other U.Va. officials;
any messages Jackie wrote under the Monahan name or referencing Monahan;
communications with any others about the article;
and any online postings by Jackie about the alleged assault.


Jackie’s attorneys wrote that Eramo’s defamation case does not center on Jackie,
but instead requires her to disprove the article’s suggestion of
a “systemic failure to protect victims.”

“What is tragic about this case is that
Dean Eramo apparently believes she can rehabilitate her reputation
by attacking a student she herself counseled
and whom she referred to support groups and additional counseling
following her report of sexual assault,”
Jackie’s attorneys wrote.

[So Jackie's attorneys admit that Dean Eramo's reputation has been damaged.
A question then is:
If that damage is due in part to deliberate lies on the part of "Jackie",
does that mean that Jackie is in part responsible for
the damage to Dean Eramo's reputation?]

Eramo’s attorney’s said they’ve attempted to be “reasonable and accommodating” to Jackie,”
including by agreeing to identify her in court documents
only by the pseudonym used in the article.

“Jackie and her counsel have refused to budge an inch
from their astonishing position:
that Jackie, a grown woman who voluntarily made herself
the primary subject of, and chief source for,
an inflammatory national magazine article that ruined the lives of many innocent people
and has been roundly proven to be demonstrably false,
is somehow completely immune from any discovery in litigation arising out of that article,”

Eramo’s attorneys wrote.
“This is, simply put, an untenable position that finds no support whatsoever in law or logic.”

Judge calls for Jackie to release documents in Rolling Stone lawsuit
By T. Rees Shapiro
Washington Post, 2016-01-12

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Glen E. Conrad said in court that
he plans to grant most aspects of a motion
from lawyers for U-Va. associate dean Nicole Eramo

In court, Conrad said that he was likely going to call on Jackie
to hand over her communications with
U-Va. administrators and staff,
Rolling Stone and
the author of the article, Sabrina Rubin Erdely.
The judge said that he was still considering other requests filed by Eramo’s lawyers,
including communications from Jackie to friends and family related to the article.


Conrad said that Jackie’s communications with Rolling Stone and Erdely likely would be integral to Eramo’s lawsuit.


A lawyer for Rolling Stone, Elizabeth McNamara, said that Jackie never mentioned the name Haven Monahan to Erdely or the magazine’s fact-checkers.

Jackie ordered to turn over communications in Rolling Stone lawsuit
Judge asks for communications relevant to Eramo's defamation suit, corroboration of accounts
by Thrisha Potluri
University of Virginia Daily Cavalier, 2016-01-28


U.S. District Court Chief Judge Glen E. Conrad officially granted the motion in part Monday,
ruling for Jackie to turn over all documents relating to
her communications between herself, Erdely, Rolling Stone and Eramo,
as well as her communications with the University.
He further specified all communications to be marked as confidential and treated as such.


Law Prof. Robert Turner said he strongly agrees with Conrad’s decision
and that Jackie’s allegations harmed the reputation of the University, the Phi Psi fraternity and its members and Eramo.

“To deny her victims the information necessary to present their cases to seek satisfaction in the courts would be a tragic injustice,”
he said in an email statement.
“I think ‘Jackie’ owes an apology to U.Va., its alumni and students, Dean Eramo and the fraternity.”

Conrad also said in his opinion that
the federal rule protecting alleged victims of sexual assault from turning over evidence
is inapplicable in “defamation action involving statements concerning sexual misconduct,”
especially if the evidence speaks to the veracity of the alleged offense.

“If her case was made in good faith she will have an opportunity to present a defense
and the documents sought will presumably support her case,” Turner said.
“If the requested communications reveal that she fabricated false charges,
she should be held accountable for her wrongdoing.”

According to Conrad’s writings,
Jackie is also compelled to turn over communications between “Haven Monahan” and fourth-year Engineering student Ryan Duffin,
as well as communications between Monahan and other individuals whose names had already been previously provided to Rolling Stone.

[And just how would Jackie have
'communications between “Haven Monahan” and fourth-year Engineering student Ryan Duffin'?
It would seem that Judge Conrad believes the assertion that “Haven Monahan” was really Jackie.]


However, Conrad limited the communications to be turned over to those not containing details of Jackie’s assault and which were initiated by Jackie on or before Dec. 5, 2014, the date Rolling Stone issued a statement refuting the veracity of its story.

Duffin said he thought the decision made sense, even though Jackie and her lawyers have been fighting the motion to protect her privacy.

“This really might be… the only opportunity left to definitely prove what did and did not happen, depending on what’s in [the documents],” Duffin said. “I’m curious to see what kind of insights it offers.”

Duffin was subpoenaed Nov. 24 to turn over documents relating to his communications. He said he believes the communications Jackie is compelled to turn over will corroborate those he was required to submit under the subpoena.

“At this point, I’m expecting I will probably get a subpoena to offer some sort of testimony when they actually run the trial,” he said.

Judge: Jackie Coakley not covered by patient-counselor privilege in ‘Rolling Stone’ defamation suit
The College Fix, 2016-01-28

Jackie Coakley can’t hide her secrets any longer.


Conrad wrote in his memorandum opinion that Coakley’s claimed privilege for being an alleged rape victim doesn’t protect her because federal restrictions only apply to the admissibility of sexual-behavior evidence at trial, not their relevance in discovery, which is what Eramo is seeking.

It is “reasonable and proportionate” for Eramo to obtain Coakley’s communications with Rolling Stone, Erdely and “Eramo/UVA” as evidence of defamation and negligence by the magazine, especially because it has already turned over its communications with Coakley, Conrad wrote.

Perhaps the most notable part of Conrad’s ruling is his dismissal of Coakley’s claim that her counseling sessions with Eramo and Emily Renda (another UVA employee) are protected by “patient-counselor privilege” – a legally dubious claim that nonetheless became a PR nightmare for the University of Oregon in a countersuit against an alleged rape victim suing that school.

Virginia law on the privacy of sexual-assault victims provides an explicit exemption for court orders, Conrad wrote:
The court is unaware of any authority that holds that [the relevant law] creates a patient-counselor privilege,
and the court declines to do so in this case.
In addition, the statutory language permits disclosure of protected information in response to a court mandate,
which provides further support for the court’s finding that the statute does not establish an evidentiary privilege.
Even assuming that the court could find that this statute establishes a patient-counselor privilege,
it appears that Jackie may have waived such privilege by voluntarily disclosing the contents of her communications with Eramo and UVA to defendants.

Communications between Coakley’s pseudonym “Haven Monahan” and her friend Ryan Duffin,
as well as Monahan’s communications with anyone else Coakley gave Rolling Stone before its article was published, must be turned over:
One of the main issues in the defamation action is defendants’ due diligence in relying on Jackie as a source for the Article.
Plaintiff argues that defendants could have interviewed Ryan Duffin and others about Jackie’s story and her credibility as a witness, but failed to do so.
As such, these communications are relevant and proportionate as they will help resolve the question of what the defendants could have discovered about Jackie’s story and credibility if they had interviewed Jackie’s friends.

Only Coakley’s communications about the Rolling Stone article before her last public comment to The Washington Post Dec. 5,
and not the “details of her alleged assault,” must be turned over, Conrad ruled:
The crux of the dispute in the defamation action is
defendants’ portrayal of Eramo and Jackie’s communications with Eramo/UVA.
The specific, graphic details about what may or may not have occurred on the night of September 28, 2012
have no bearing on these issues.

'Jackie' to face deposition in Eramo lawsuit against Rolling Stone
by Dawn Seal
Daily Progress / Culpeper Star*Exponent, 2016-02-19


Judge Glen Conrad said in a court order this week that the case brought by UVa Associate Dean Nicole Eramo against the magazine and one of its writers will go before a jury on the morning of Oct. 11. The trial is scheduled to last 10 days.


Conrad agreed to push the case’s schedule back: fact discovery in the case must be completed by May 13 and expert discovery must conclude by June 10.

Furthermore, the judge ordered Jackie to face a deposition from both sides of counsel on April 5, which is expected to last seven hours. If additional time is needed, counsel will have to request it by March 15.

Jackie ordered to give deposition in Eramo lawsuit
New trial date set for Oct. 11
by Savannah Borders
The Cavalier Daily, 2016-02-22


Law Prof. G. Edward White said delays in the case are normal in these proceedings, and they won’t affect the length of the trial itself or how much publicity the trial might have once it starts.

“The lawyers are just trying to give themselves as much time possible to make defenses, find witnesses and so on,” White said.

White said the trial will be affected by whether Eramo is treated as a public figure or a private citizen.

“If the plaintiff is treated as a public figure, then it’s difficult to win because under the constitutional rules at present you have to show that the statement was not only false, it was made with clear and convincing evidence of actual malice, which means that it was either deliberately false or recklessly false,” White said.

White said this is a “hard burden to meet.”

Meanwhile, if Eramo is declared a private citizen defamed on a matter of public concern — in this case, sexual assault on college campuses — all she has to do is prove negligence on the part of Rolling Stone and Erdely, White said.

White said the court will rule whether Eramo will be treated as a public figure or private citizen after both sides have presented opening arguments, and then the case will be turned over to the jury.

“When you’re an employee of a state university that occupies a relatively visible position you may be a public official for defamation purposes, and if you’re a public official then you’re a public figure,” White said. “It’s not at all clear what kind of plaintiff she’s going to be, so it’s not clear what she’s going to have to do to win the suit.”


Memorandum filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia,

[This 16-page PDF offers a careful and, in my opinion, reasonable argument
for why more than 7 hours may be required to address
the various issues that in fact need to be addressed.

Here are some samples:

from page 12 of the PDF:]

Jackie conducted some ten or more interviews with Erdely and Rolling Stone.
She exchanged numerous emails and phone calls with Erdely.
Erdely’s notes of her interviews with Jackie run to over 100 single-spaced pages.
The tape recordings of just two of those ten interviews run to four hours of audio.
Moreover, Plaintiff will need to question Jackie about
everything she may have told Erdely
that Erdely did not see fit to memorialize in her notes.
A mere 3.5 hours is simply not sufficient time for Plaintiff to fairly examine Jackie
regarding all of these events and voluminous documents
given Jackie’s central role in this case,
and there is therefore good cause for a modest extension of time.

[from page 13 of the PDF:]

Plaintiff’s counsel proposed a short list of high-level factual stipulations
designed to streamline the questioning and allow for fair discovery,
while also showing sensitivity to Jackie’s counsels’ claim that
subjecting Jackie to questioning about the specific details of her supposed sexual assault
would be traumatizing.
Plaintiff thus proposed that Jackie stipulate and testify to
certain facts that did not require such specific questioning
about the details of her sexual assault—
for example, that the description of Jackie’s supposed gang rape published by Rolling Stone was false,
and that Jackie was not in fact sexually assaulted at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity on September 28, 2012.
Plaintiff merely requested that Jackie confirm by stipulation and/or testimony certain high-level facts
that have already been publicized by the Charlottesville Police Department and innumerable media outlets.
This attempt at compromise was flatly rejected.

Given the history with this witness, Plaintiff is concerned that
excessive objections and instructions by counsel not to answer questions
may take up precious record time at the deposition.
If Jackie and/or her counsel are as uncooperative
as they have been thus far in the discovery process,
a mere 3.5 hours of questioning will be insufficient.
For this additional reason,
Plaintiff believes a modest additional allotment of time is warranted.


Memorandum filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia,

[KHarbaugh comment: What a biased, delusional filing, in my opinion.
Consider for example its very first sentence:]

As part of Plaintiff Nicole Eramo’s committed strategy to attack Respondent,
a third-party sexual assault victim,
she now insists that Respondent should sit for
a deposition unlimited in scope.

[Well, if the Eramo legal team is really asking for
"a deposition unlimited in scope",
I can agree with the need to limit its scope.
E.g., "Jackie"'s past sexual history would seem entirely irrelevant to Eramo's complaint.

But consider the earlier assertions in that sentence.
- "Eramo’s committed strategy to attack Respondent"
That is Eramo's goal?
Not apparant to me.
It seems that Eramo, and many others, have a valid justification in finding out
exactly what Jackie said to the Rolling Stone reporter Erdely,
and what, if anything, were her communications with the rest of RS.
Going beyond those absolutely relevant questions,
the issue of Jackie's veracity is both relevant and in question,
based on Jackie's communications with her fellow UVA students.
Were her claims about "Haven Monahan", etc., totally fictions?

- "a third-party sexual assault victim"
I don't know what "third-party" means in this case,
but there is overwhelming evidence that Jackie was not the sexual-assault victim the RS story portrayed.
The burden is on her and her legal team to explain just what is the sexual-assault they are claiming she is a victim of.
The RS story is discredited.
Are they arguing that in fact if is valid?
If so, they need to provide evidence.
If not, they need to clarify what sexual assault they are claiming,
and why it is relevant here.

Anyhow, the memorandum goes on for 17 PDF pages with the most amazing assertions,
along the same lines as the above.
It will be interesting to see what the court makes of this argument.]

Eramo's lawyers request additional time to depose Jackie
Jackie’s lawyers call motion “scorched earth attacks”
by Hannah Hall
Cavalier Daily, 2016-03-17

‘Jackie’ balks: Wants subpoena quashed in Rolling Stone lawsuit
by Lisa Provence
C-Ville (Charlottesville's News and Arts Weekly), 2012-03-23

The young woman at the center of Rolling Stone’s now-retracted 2014 article, “A Rape on Campus,” filed a motion March 15 to quash her deposition subpoena in the defamation lawsuit filed by UVA Associate Dean Nicole Eramo against the magazine and its reporter. That same day, Eramo’s attorneys filed a motion to depose Jackie for an additional three hours.

A U.S. District Court judge already had ordered that Jackie, who claimed to be the victim of a brutal gang rape at a UVA fraternity in 2012, be deposed April 5. (C-VILLE does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault.)

In the latest motion, Eramo’s attorneys asked for more time to question Jackie because the seven hours the court allotted for her deposition would have to be shared with the defendants and because of the sheer volume of notes and recordings reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely had of interviews with Jackie.

“Moreover, the voluminous evidence that Jackie has a well-documented history of making untruthful statements about the very subject matter at issue here is likely to complicate the deposition, leading to further objections by the witness and her counsel,” says an Eramo memorandum.

Jackie had already been compelled to turn over texts and e-mails for “Haven Monahan,” the pseudonym she gave her date the night of the alleged rape. Eramo contends Jackie was “catfishing” to attract another student.

Team Jackie counters that even if she was the central figure in the Rolling Stone article, that’s “entirely irrelevant” to whether she has any factual information on Eramo’s defamation claims.

Her attorneys ask that her alleged assault be excluded from the deposition, while Eramo’s lawyers say that would be easy enough if Jackie stipulated the alleged gang rape never happened.

Every proposed stipulation is “a negative attack” on Jackie, “contains highly personal and confidential information and demonstrates a complete lack of compassion” for Jackie, her motion states.

Eramo plans to use the deposition as “a weapon to inflict harm” on Jackie with utter disregard for the “significant and undeniable psychological harm that will result,” all to further Eramo’s attempt “to extract money from Rolling Stone for reporting opinions about Plaintiff that the Office of Civil Rights has already concluded to be true,” says Jackie’s motion.

That refers to the agreement the civil rights office in the U.S. Department of Education reached in September with UVA following its investigation that found the university created a “hostile environment” for victims of sexual assault. Among other actions, UVA agreed to investigate all complaints heard for three previous years by the Sexual Misconduct Board, of which Eramo was head, to make sure they were handled appropriately.

Jackie cites her “fragile state” as a sexual assault victim as reason alone to quash the subpoena.
But if she must be deposed, she wants to make sure Eramo’s suit survives a summary judgment,
at which point she wants written questions,
an order that prohibits counsel from disclosing the location of the deposition,
no videotaping and the transcript of the deposition sealed under a protective order.

“I’ve never seen that,” says legal expert David Heilberg.
He calls it “the Fourth Estate’s Frankenstein monster,” stemming from the media’s practice of protecting the identities of rape victims so as to not discourage them from coming forward to report sex crimes.
“She’s asking for extraordinary relief,” he says.
“Jackie, as has been reported in the press, is not your typical victim.”

Shortly after the article appeared and other media outlets began to investigate Jackie’s story,
“it became apparent that Jackie’s claims were entirely false,
and that she likely invented the supposed gang rape
in order to gain the sympathy of a man she was romantically interested in
and to cover for her failing grades,”
says Eramo’s motion.

On March 23, 2015, Charlottesville Police concluded an investigation and said it found
“no substantive basis of fact to conclude that an incident occurred”
such as what was described in the Rolling Stone article,
an investigation with which Jackie refused to cooperate.

Eramo says that when she first met with Jackie, the alleged victim “related a version of her supposed sexual assault that was very different from the tale” depicted in Rolling Stone.

Phi Kappa Psi has filed suit against Rolling Stone, as have two fraternity members.

Palma Pustilnik, one of five attorneys representing Jackie, says,
“We’re still maintaining our position of ‘no comment.’”
An attorney for Eramo did not return a phone call.

The limit on the length of time a third party such as Jackie can be deposed—seven hours—
is to protect people who are not named in civil suits, says Heilberg.
“Otherwise Fortune 500 companies would be able to depose people for days on end,” he says.
“You have to convince a judge to allow more time.”
Eramo wants a total of 6.5 hours.

A jury trial is scheduled for October 11.

Attorneys for ‘Jackie’ in Rolling Stone lawsuit protest under-oath deposition, say it could ‘re-traumatize’ her
By T. Rees Shapiro March 30 at 7:00 AM
Washington Post, 2016-03-30

Lawyers representing a former University of Virginia student who claimed she was the victim of a gang rape in a discredited Rolling Stone story have asked a judge to cancel her scheduled deposition in a lawsuit against the magazine, arguing that she would be “re-traumatized” if she is compelled to recount her ordeal in proceedings under oath.


In newly filed court documents, attorneys for Jackie wrote that a deposition could cause “significant and undeniable psychological harm” and have “shattering and potentially irreparable consequences” to their client.

“Forcing her to revisit her sexual assault, and then the re-victimization that took place after the Rolling Stone article came out, will inevitably lead to a worsening of her symptoms and current mental health,” Jackie’s attorneys wrote, citing “extensive support in the medical literature” that shows “sexual assault victims will experience trauma if they are forced to revisit the details of their assault.”

[The reasonable question: What sexual assault?
If there really was one,
why did she refuse to describe it to the Charlotesville Police Department?

But attorneys for Eramo contend in court documents that Jackie is a “serial liar” who concocted her tale of sexual assault in an unusual ploy to win the affection of a male U-Va. student she wanted to date.

“There is no evidence whatsoever that the story that Jackie told her friends, or the very different story she told Rolling Stone, actually transpired,” Eramo’s attorneys wrote. “Instead, it appears that Jackie fabricated her perpetrator and the details of the alleged assault.”

Eramo’s team wants Jackie to detail her interactions with Rolling Stone. In recent court filings, Jackie’s attorneys characterized any attempt by Eramo’s legal team to depose Jackie as a third party in the lawsuit as “persecution.”

“Instead, Dean Eramo continues her scorched earth attacks … in the misguided hope that her unwarranted attacks can distract from the fact that Dean Eramo has no valid claims,” wrote Jackie’s attorneys, who described Jackie as “a sexual assault victim who has suffered repeated revictimizations, including by Dean Eramo in this very lawsuit.”

Jackie’s attorneys argued in court filings that questions posed to their client could inappropriately veer into “deeply personal matters,” such as the intimate details of her sexual assault. They declined to comment on the court filings when reached by The Post.

The deposition is scheduled for April 5, and Jackie’s attorneys have requested that the location of the meeting remain secret and have asked the judge to ban anyone involved with the case to discuss or comment on whatever Jackie might say in the sworn statements. Jackie has never reported her allegations to police; authorities have said that U-Va. officials encouraged her to do so, at one point driving her to a police station.

“Jackie’s lawyers argue that questioning her supposed sexual assault would be invasive and violate her privacy rights. That contention is ridiculous,” said Libby Locke, a lawyer representing Eramo, noting that Jackie openly discussed her rape account with Rolling Stone and The Post.
“The only thing different now is that Jackie’s deposition answers will be under oath and Jackie will be compelled to tell the truth.
Unfortunately, that is something that Jackie and her lawyers have been trying to avoid all along.”

Attorneys for Rolling Stone and the journalist who wrote the article, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, wrote in court filings that they support deposing Jackie in the case, highlighting that her answers could reveal context necessary for both sides’ legal strategy at trial.

In a March 29 filing, Eramo’s attorneys wrote that 11 months ago they approached Jackie’s attorney with a proposal that would have eliminated the need for the student to participate in a deposition, but Eramo’s legal team wrote that the attorney declined.

Eramo’s attorneys also wrote that they offered Jackie the option “to streamline the questioning and allow for fair discovery, while also showing sensitivity to Jackie’s counsels’ claim that subjecting Jackie to questioning about the specific details of her supposed sexual assault would be traumatizing.” Eramo’s attorneys proposed that if Jackie admitted that she “was not in fact sexually assaulted at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity on September 28, 2012,” then the questioning on that matter could be shortened in the deposition. According to court documents, Jackie’s lawyers “flatly rejected” the offer.

Former U-Va. student ‘Jackie’ to sit for deposition in Rolling Stone lawsuit
by T. Rees Shapiro
Washington Post, 2016-04-05

The central figure in a discredited Rolling Stone account of a gang-rape at the University of Virginia
has been ordered to take part in a deposition for a federal libel lawsuit filed against the magazine by an associate dean at the school,
the first time she’ll give a sworn statement about her allegations.


The magazine retracted the 2014 article, called “A Rape on Campus,” after an investigation by The Washington Post, later confirmed by the Charlottesville Police Department and the Columbia Journalism School, found that the account of Jackie’s alleged rape was deeply flawed.
In interviews with The Post, Jackie said she stood by her story.


Conrad ruled that the deposition will take place Thursday [April 7]
with another federal judge, Joel Hoppe, presiding over the proceedings.
The judge also granted requests by Jackie’s lawyers
to keep the location of the deposition secret
and to place under seal her comments during the under-oath proceedings.
CNN Money first reported the new order.

During a court appearance on Monday, Conrad ruled that
lawyers representing Eramo may ask Jackie to confirm under oath
if she continues to stand by the account she gave to Rolling Stone
in an effort to identify inconsistencies in her story,
according to a transcript of the hearing.
But the judge ruled that Eramo’s lawyers
cannot ask Jackie to recount specifics of the alleged assault,
stating that the details are not necessarily relevant to the case.

Jackie has never testified under oath about the alleged attack and never reported it to police, declining to speak to investigators both before and after the Rolling Stone story published. She gave similar accounts of a gang rape at a U-Va. fraternity to Rolling Stone and to The Post and has not publicly backed off her claims.

Court orders ‘Jackie’ deposed in Rolling Stone lawsuit
by Cara Salpini
C-VILLE (Charlottesville's News and Arts Weekly), 2016-04-07


Eramo and Rolling Stone’s attorneys will each get to question Jackie for 3.5 hours. Eramo had requested additional time, and may depose Jackie a total of five hours over two days, and request more time from the court. Any recordings or transcripts of the deposition will be confidential.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,”
says attorney Dave Heilberg.
“It’s a civil case and discovery is getting a lot more attention” than other cases.

And because Jackie never reported her alleged assault to police—Charlottesville Police investigated and found no evidence of the assault she described to Rolling Stone—she does not have the same protections of a victim in a crime that was prosecuted, says Heilberg.

Former U-Va. student ‘Jackie’ deposed in Rolling Stone lawsuit
by T. Rees Shapiro
Washington Post, 2016-04-08 (Friday)


The former U-Va. student known as “Jackie” in the 2014 Rolling Stone article
sat for a lengthy deposition Thursday at an undisclosed location.
A judge has barred lawyers and those involved with the case
from discussing details of what Jackie said under-oath about her account of being assaulted.


In a statement to The Washington Post, Eramo’s lawyers declined to comment on the details of the deposition.

“Although I’m not allowed to speak about the substance of what Jackie said during the deposition,
I can say that we feel that Nicole’s case is very strong,” said Libby Locke, a lawyer for Eramo.
“It got stronger after yesterday’s deposition.
And we expect that it will continue to get stronger
as we pursue discovery against Rolling Stone.”

Lawyers for Jackie did not return a request for comment.

Eramo’s request to toss 'personal attacks' in 'Jackie' deposition called 'ironic'
by Dean Seal
Charlottesville Daily Progress, 2016-04-13


According to recent filings from Jackie, Eramo is now asking that
“personal attacks” Jackie made during the deposition be thrown out of court,
a move that Jackie’s counsel calls “ironic.”

“Dean Eramo chose to bring this lawsuit against [Rolling Stone]
and decided to attempt to prevail by subjecting [Jackie], a third-party sexual assault victim,
to unduly burdensome, overly broad and irrelevant discovery requests,” the motion reads.
“Dean Eramo has sought to use the court and the press as vehicles to attack and re-victimize [Jackie]
and now seeks to censor [Jackie] in connection with [Jackie’s] effort to invoke her rights and enforce the rule of law.”

While Eramo’s motion to strike Jackie’s statements is not publicly available,
Jackie’s filing states that Eramo has not specified which of Jackie’s statements she’d like to have thrown out,
and accuses her of making many of her own “false, hurtful and irrelevant statements” about Jackie in public filings and in the media.


UVa dean’s request to toss 'personal attacks' in 'Jackie' deposition is called 'ironic'
Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2016-04-14

Records: ‘Haven Monahan’ email last accessed at law firm
Posted: Wednesday, May 18, 2016 9:54 pm
Daily Progress, 2016-05-18

Note: This same story was "Posted: Thursday, May 19, 2016 5:25 am"
with the title: " 'Jackie' accused of ignoring court order ".

The University of Virginia associate dean currently suing Rolling Stone magazine
is accusing “Jackie” and her attorneys of disobeying a court order.

Attorneys for Nicole Eramo, the UVa administrator who filed a $7.85 million lawsuit against the magazine last May,
submitted a motion on Monday to hand over supplemental documents that they say show that Jackie, a third party in the suit,
has withheld documents that are being sought as part of a federal court order.


Eramo, an administrator tasked with providing support for student survivors of sexual assault, said her career, reputation and personal health suffered after the highly publicized article inaccurately portrayed her as ineffective and uncaring in her dealings with Jackie, and she filed a defamation suit against the magazine, its publisher and the story’s author a month after the article’s retraction.

While she is not named as a defendant in the case,
Jackie has been a frequent subject of Eramo’s court proceedings since the initial filing.
Eramo has sought to have Jackie turn over all communications related to her alleged rape and to sit for a deposition,
but those motions have been challenged at every step by Jackie’s attorneys,
who have long stated that their client should be excused from participating in the lawsuit,
given her status as a third party and as a[n alleged] victim of sexual assault.

In January, the court ordered Jackie to comply with Eramo’s subpoena
and therefore turn over any requested communications in her possession,
including communications between Ryan Duffin,
a friend of Jackie’s around the time of her alleged rape,
and someone named “Haven Monahan,”
the man identified in the article as having allegedly brought Jackie to the fraternity house and participated in her assault.

The Charlottesville Police Department’s investigation into Jackie’s claims
said authorities never found evidence that Monahan ever existed,
and Eramo’s attorneys have long contended that Monahan is a love interest invented by Jackie.

Since that January order, Eramo’s attorneys say
they still have not received any of the communications related to Haven Monahan,
and that Jackie’s counsel refuses to state whether Jackie did in fact
author any of the Haven Monahan documents that are known to exist.

According to a series of emails obtained through court records,
the two sides of counsel maintained a contentious back-and-forth from mid- to late March about the Haven Monahan documents,
with Eramo’s attorneys insisting they have evidence that Jackie penned the communications and have access to them,
and Jackie’s attorneys maintaining they have fulfilled their obligation to turn over all of the documents in Jackie’s possession.

“But to be clear, this isn’t a negotiation,” states Andy Phillips, one of Eramo’s attorneys, in an email from March 21.
“There is an outstanding, unambiguous court order that requires you to produce certain documents that you and I (and the Court) know exist. …
You have not told me why you have not produced those documents.”

“To be clear, I never stated that I was seeking a negotiation,” Rebecca Anzidei, one of Jackie’s attorneys, replied the following evening.
“As we have already explained, [Jackie] is not withholding any responsive, non-privileged documents.
We continue to believe that any motion filed with the court would be baseless and a waste of time and resources.”

A week after this exchange, Eramo’s attorneys issued a subpoena to Yahoo! Inc. seeking information associated with the email account “haven.monahan@yahoo.com.”
Yahoo responded to the subpoena on April 23, providing Eramo with the IP addresses from which the email was accessed and the corresponding dates and times.

According to court documents, Yahoo showed that
the email account was created in Charlottesville at an IP address “allocated to the University of Virginia” on Oct. 2, 2012, only one day before that same account sent an email to Jackie’s friend Ryan Duffin.

Yahoo further showed that
the Monahan email had last been accessed from an IP address in Washington, D.C.,
that was “allocated to ALTG, Stein, Mitchell, Muse & Cipollone LLP” — the same firm representing Jackie —
on March 18, days before and after Jackie’s counsel stated they were not in possession of the Haven Monahan documents.

Eramo’s attorneys state that the Yahoo subpoena “definitively and conclusively” proves that
Jackie created the email account and that
her counsel has had access to the account all along without telling the court.

Eramo’s counsel reached out to Jackie’s on May 2, providing Yahoo’s findings
and again demanding the Haven Monahan communications.
Jackie’s counsel again responded that they had complied with the January court order
and that Yahoo’s findings “[do] not alter or change the above facts in any way,”
according to a letter from Anzidei sent on May 6.

[????????? Like to hear the justification for that assertion.
We'll see what the court thinks about it.]

Anzidei has not responded to calls for comment on the matter.

In their Monday filing, Eramo’s attorneys said
they believe sanctions against Jackie’s counsel at Stein, Mitchell, Muse & Cipollone LLP are “warranted and appropriate.”
Eramo’s attorneys could not be reached for comment on the matter.

Lawyers in Rolling Stone lawsuit file new evidence that ‘Jackie’ created fake persona
By T. Rees Shapiro
Washington Post, 2016-05-19

New evidence shows that a University of Virginia student who alleged that she was gang raped at a campus fraternity created the fake persona of the alleged ringleader of the attack, according to lawyers representing a U-Va. official who is suing Rolling Stone magazine for defamation.

The legal team representing U-Va. assistant dean Nicole Eramo filed the new evidence Monday in federal court ...
In the filing, Eramo’s lawyers submitted new data from Yahoo concerning an e-mail account linked to “Haven Monahan,”
the man Jackie identified to friends as the perpetrator of her assault.
An investigation by the Charlottesville Police revealed that no person by that name has ever been a student at U-Va.,
and Eramo’s lawyers have presented evidence in court documents indicating that he is a figment of Jackie’s imagination.

Ryan Duffin, a student who knew Jackie at U-Va., told The Washington Post that he believed that the character was created by Jackie in an effort to attract Duffin’s romantic interest, a tactic known as “catfishing.”

Duffin said that Jackie told him and other friends that Monahan was a junior she met through a chemistry class. Duffin said that he exchanged messages with “Haven,” who spent much of his time talking about how Jackie had a crush on a fellow freshman named Ryan. In late September of their freshman year, Jackie claimed that “Haven” assaulted her after a dinner date.

Also, photographs that were texted to one of Jackie’s friends showing the alleged attacker were actually pictures depicting one of Jackie’s high school classmates in Northern Virginia. That man, now a student at a university in another state, confirmed to The Post that the photographs were of him and said he barely knew Jackie and hadn’t been to Charlottesville for many years.

The data from Yahoo that Eramo’s lawyers acquired via subpoena shows that
the e-mail account “Haven.monahan@yahoo.com” was created on Oct. 2, 2012 while connected to U-Va.’s computer network.
The next day, Duffin received an e-mail from “Haven” passing on a letter Jackie had written to “Haven” about Duffin.
In the letter, Jackie confesses her love for Duffin.

After filing the lawsuit, Eramo’s lawyers asked Jackie and her legal team to hand over all documents in their possession related to “Haven.”
In multiple responses, Jackie’s lawyers wrote that they had already given Eramo’s legal team everything they had.

“We have taken the necessary and appropriate steps to collect, maintain and produce documents consistent with our discovery obligations,” wrote Rebecca Anzidei, one of Jackie’s lawyers from the Stein Mitchell Muse Cipollone & Beato law firm. “To be clear, Respondent is not withholding any responsive documents relating to the category identified in your letter.”

In the most recent court filing, Eramo’s lawyers note, however, that the data from Yahoo shows that
someone on the Stein Mitchell law firm’s network accessed the Haven.Monahan@yahoo.com e-mail address on March 18, 2016.
Four days later, Eramo’s lawyers assert in court filings,
Jackie’s lawyers sent another letter indicating
“that Jackie was not in possession of these emails.”


In the new court filing, Eramo’s lawyers write that the data from Yahoo leads to “only one logical conclusion: Jackie is ‘Haven Monahan.'”

Data also shows that Jackie has not complied fully with a court order to hand over everything in her possession for evidence that could be used in the trial for the lawsuit, Eramo’s lawyer wrote. They have deposed her, under court order, regarding the Rolling Stone story, but parties to the lawsuit have been barred from discussing that deposition.


Smoking gun uncovered in Rolling Stone suit about Jackie?
posted at 10:01 am on May 19, 2016 by Ed Morrissey
Hot Air, 2016-05-19


The data from Yahoo that Eramo’s lawyers acquired via subpoena shows that the e-mail account “Haven.monahan@yahoo.com” was created on Oct. 2, 2012 while connected to U-Va.’s computer network. The next day, Duffin received an e-mail from “Haven” passing on a letter Jackie had written to “Haven” about Duffin. In the letter, Jackie confesses her love for Duffin.

In a civil lawsuit, both sides are entitled to full discovery, and Eramo’s team specifically demanded any information Jackie possessed about “Haven.” Her attorneys insisted that they and Jackie have complied with the requirements of discovery. However, this information only recently came to Eramo’s legal team via the subpoena. The data trail on the account suggests that the law firm lied earlier to Eramo’s attorneys about the status of their discovery compliance:

In the most recent court filing, Eramo’s lawyers note, however, that the data from Yahoo shows that someone on the Stein Mitchell law firm’s network accessed the Haven.Monahan@yahoo.com e-mail address on March 18, 2016. Four days later, Eramo’s lawyers assert in court filings, Jackie’s lawyers sent another letter indicating “that Jackie was not in possession of these emails.” …
Data also shows that Jackie has not complied fully with a court order to hand over everything in her possession for evidence that could be used in the trial for the lawsuit, Eramo’s lawyer wrote. They have deposed her, under court order, regarding the Rolling Stone story, but parties to the lawsuit have been barred from discussing that deposition.

Worth noting: Jackie got deposed only after the alleged deception on discovery, as a judge ordered her to do so a couple of weeks after the law firm accessed the e-mail account. A court might find this alleged lack of discovery compliance troubling, especially considering the timing. If true, Jackie’s attorneys didn’t do their homework very well about the data trail that e-mail systems leave. Once they accessed it, they would have had no way to cover their knowledge of the system. Maybe they should take a couple of lessons in data forensics, eh? Or maybe they just got one.

That’s more of a sideshow, though. The new evidence makes it painfully clear that “Haven” not only never existed, but that Jackie deliberately created the persona for the purposes of fraud. (If it wasn’t Jackie who did so, then how did her attorneys access the account in the first place?) She catfished Duffin in an attempt to get his attention, and then everyone else in an attempt to get everyone’s attention with phony allegations of rape and official hostility toward victims, using “Haven Monahan” as the mastermind of the attack. And the saps at Rolling Stone turned out to be easy marks, until others (like Shapiro) did the investigative reporting that Rolling Stone and Sabrina Rubin Erdely pretended to do.

Small wonder Jackie isn’t fully complying with discovery. It will be interesting to see what else she’s hiding.

Attorneys fight over Haven Monahan emails in Rolling Stone lawsuit
By Tomas Harmon
Charlottesville Newsplex, 2016-05-18

Oct. 3, 2012, University of Virginia student Ryan Duffin got an email from Haven Monahan outlining "Jackie's" feelings for him.
Ultimately, "Jackie" would claim Monahan was the ring-leader of her gang-rape at a UVA frat. But police say the rape never happened and Monahan never existed.

In her lawsuit against Rolling Stone Magazine, UVA Dean Nicole Eramo believes Monahan played a key part in the lies she says Rolling Stone published about her. So her attorneys deposed "Jackie" to find out what did happened.

"It's very clear from these new documents that 'Jackie's' deposition was in no way a complete forum for assessing all the evidence the deposition was setup to cover," said Legal Analyst Scott Goodman after reading through the latest court documents in the suit.

Eramo's attorneys say "Jackie" created Monahan to get Duffin's attention. They believe there are documents that prove their theory is correct.

But Goodman says Eramo's attorneys were likely unable to get that information from "Jackie" during her April deposition.

So now Eramo and her attorneys want the court to demand "Jackie" produce the alleged documents concerning Monahan.

"The documents are important because they support the case of the Eramo attorneys, that Rolling Stone Magazine and 'Jackie' defamed them," Goodman explained.

He says Eramo's legal team believes "Jackie" has "information that can help the plaintiffs prove their case," which would include Monahan's communication with other UVA students via email.

In their filings, Eramo's attorneys tried to show that "Jackie" created the fake account and still has access to it.

Attorneys submitted evidence from Yahoo! that shows an IP address at UVA created the email account haven.monahan@yahoo.com just one day before Monahan emailed Duffin about "Jackie's" feelings.

Yahoo! also provided evidence that the account was accessed in March of 2016 by a law firm in Washington, D.C., the same firm that represents "Jackie."

Eramo's attorneys say the evidence proves "Jackie" can provide documents connected to Monahan.

But Goodman says it is in "Jackie's" best interest not to provide those documents if she can find a legal loophole.

"When you're in that situation, and you know there's been some wrongdoing, and you're protecting the wrongdoer, you don't want to give up information that is going to make your client, make your side look bad. So that's what's going on here," Goodman explained.

Eramo says her subpoena was clear: "Jackie" must provide the Monahan emails from the Yahoo! account. In her most recent court filing, Eramo is setting out to make it even clearer that she wants the emails.

Despite her central role in the defamation lawsuit, Goodman says it is very unlikely that "Jackie" herself will be sued. He says that is primarily because Rolling Stone actually published the story about Eramo.

Goodman says it is likely though that "Jackie" does have information that could help Eramo's case against Rolling Stone, author Sabrina Erdely and publisher Wenner Media.

UVA Jackie May Have Just Been Caught In Another Big Lie
[Sic: It was her law firm that was caught in a lie.]
by Blake Neff
Daily Caller, 2016-05-19

New evidence submitted in an ongoing lawsuit against Rolling Stone suggest that the legal team of Jackie Coakley, the University of Virginia (UVA) student responsible for a massive gang rape hoax, has been withholding evidence from an ongoing lawsuit. The withheld evidence offers strong evidence of what has long been suspected: That Coakley’s infamous fake gang-rape was concocted as part of a convoluted catfishing scheme to win a boy’s affection.

As part of their suit, Eramo’s attorneys have successfully subpoenaed Coakley for all the relevant communications she made during the fall of 2012, when her alleged rape supposedly occurred.

Coakley has claimed to have fully cooperated in the case, but on Monday, Eramo’s attorneys filed new evidence in court suggesting Coakley has continued to hide some evidence.

The evidence in question concerns a person by the name of “Haven Monahan” who was central to Coakley’s suppose rape. Coakley claimed she was dating Monahan, a fellow UVA student, and that he was one of the perpetrators in her rape, but an investigation by police found no evidence Monahan even existed. Instead, Coakley appears to have invented him as part of a bizarre scheme intended to win the affections of Ryan Duffin, a boy she had a crush on. Until now, though, all evidence connecting Coakley to Monahan had been circumstantial.

Since Eramo’s lawsuit was filed last year, her lawyers have sought to have Coakley turn over all documents she possessed pertaining to the nonexistent Monahan, in an effort to prove the two were connected. Coakley’s lawyers have responded by saying that all such documents have been handed over.

But the newly-filed evidence indicates otherwise. Eramo’s lawyers were able to subpoena information from Yahoo concerning the email account Haven.monahan@yahoo.com. The account, this data revealed, was created by a computer connected to UVA’s internet Oct. 2, 2012, one day before Duffin received an email from “Haven.” Eramo’s lawyers had requested all the emails from that account, but Coakley’s lawyers had refused to turn them over, on the grounds that Coakley didn’t have access to them.

That appears to have been untrue, however. The Yahoo data filed on Monday included a stunning revelation: The Haven Monahan account was accessed March 18, 2016 via a computer connected to the network of Stein Mitchell Muse Cipollone & Beato, the law firm representing Coakley. This strongly suggests that Coakley has access to ‘Haven’s’ emails, yet on March 22, the filing says, her attorneys once against claimed that she had no such access.

In other words, it appears likely that Coakley (or her attorneys) have had proof the Monahan email was Coakley’s, but denied it and refused to hand over the relevant evidence. If Coakley is shown to have been deceptive, that would almost certainly bolster Eramo’s claim that Rolling Stone let itself be bamboozled by an obvious “serial liar.”

Whether this revelation will be contested by Coakley’s legal team, and what effect it will have on the case itself, remains to be seen. But the new evidence likely shows that Coakley and Monahan are one and the same.

Lawyers for Rolling Stone's "Jackie" may have withheld "Haven Monahan" documents
Eramo’s attorneys file motion to submit brief to compel Jackie to turn over emails
by Caity Seed
UVAA Daily Cavalier, 2016-05-26


On May 16, Eramo’s counsel filed a motion for leave to submit a supplemental brief to compel non-party respondent Jackie to turn over all communications associated with the alias “Haven Monahan.”

Eramo’s counsel allege Jackie — the primary source for the now-retracted Rolling Stone article, “A Rape on Campus,” which led to the defamation suit — created a fake online persona under the pseudonym “Haven Monahan.” The counsel also allege that under this pseudonym, Jackie communicated with Ryan Duffin — a classmate and friend of Jackie in 2012 — in a catfishing scheme. Jackie claimed Monahan was the perpetrator of the alleged Sept. 2012 sexual assault detailed in the article.

In January, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia ordered Jackie’s compliance with the plaintiff's Rule 45 Subpoena, which demanded she disclose or produce all communications between “Haven Monahan” and Duffin.

The Court also ordered Jackie to turn over communications between Monahan and any other individual whose name was disclosed to the defendants, in addition to any communications mentioning Monahan between Jackie and any disclosed individual.

The Court acknowledged the evidence suggesting Jackie had personally authored communications under the alias “Haven Monahan,” yet the alleged communications were never produced to the Court by Jackie or her counsel at the Stein Mitchell Cipollone Beato & Missner law firm.

According to the supplemental brief filed by the plaintiff, Jackie’s counsel repeatedly claimed that “she is not in possession, custody or control of such documents.”

However, Eramo’s counsel subpoenaed Yahoo for records associated with the email account “haven.monahan@yahoo.com.” The subpoena revealed the email account was created at an IP address associated with the University in October 2012 and was also accessed most recently by an IP address associated with the firm currently representing Jackie on March 18 of this year.

“This newly discovered information suggests that Jackie and her counsel have not been forthcoming with Plaintiff or this Court when continually and repeatedly representing that they are not in possession of documents responsive to Demand No. 15 of Plaintiff’s Rule 45 Subpoena, and raises new questions about their failure to comply with this Court’s Jan. 25, 2016 Order,” the brief says.

Libby Locke — a representative of Clare Locke LLP and one of Eramo’s lawyers — said the documents recovered by the subpoena of Yahoo “clearly demonstrates that Jackie is, in fact, Haven Monahan.”


The importance of Haven’s identity is difficult to overstate and calls into question the validity of Jackie’s entire claim, [Ryan] Duffin said.

“At this point I think it’s really, really difficult to look at all the evidence that has come out and think something happened,” Duffin said. “The simplest explanation is usually the right one. I find it difficult to come up with any explanation other than it was all fabricated.”


Lawyers in Rolling Stone lawsuit acknowledge ‘Jackie’ has ties to fake persona
By T. Rees Shapiro
Washington Post, 2016-06-01

Lawyers representing a University of Virginia student at the center of a debunked gang-rape allegation have acknowledged in court papers that the student has ties to a fake persona she once named as the ringleader of the alleged attack.

Filed in federal court Tuesday, the papers are part of an ongoing lawsuit a U-Va. associate dean filed against Rolling Stone magazine, arguing that the magazine published a defamatory account of how the Charlottesville school handles sexual assaults. The legal team representing “Jackie” acknowledged that they had recently accessed a Yahoo e-mail account for “Haven Monahan,” who the U-Va. student alleged had taken her on a date before leading her into a brutal gang rape in September 2012.
The lawyers for Jackie wrote in the filing that they accessed the Monahan e-mail solely for the purpose of confirming that documents Eramo requested for the lawsuit were no longer in Jackie’s possession. Lawyers representing Jackie did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Eramo’s lawyer, Libby Locke, told The Washington Post that the filing shows that “they admit accessing it, which means Jackie is Haven, a point they’ve refused to answer all along.”

[The obvious question is:
How did Jackie's lawyers gain access to "Haven Monahan" 's Yahoo account if it had not been created by Jackie?]


Judge denies Eramo’s request for Jackie’s e-mails
by Melissa Angell
C-Ville, 2016-06-22

A judge denied Nicole Eramo’s request for additional documentation from Jackie in Eramo’s lawsuit against Rolling Stone.

The 46-minute hearing was conducted June 20 [Monday] before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joel C. Hoppe,
who released his verdict the next day [Tuesday].
Hoppe ruled that
“the steps taken by Jackie’s counsel were relatively straight forward
and appear to have exhausted all known areas of inquiry for
responsive communications currently in Jackie’s possession.”

In court, Andrew Phillips, representing Eramo,
expressed frustration at Jackie’s failure to respond to Eramo’s subpoena
ordering Jackie to produce all documents and electronically stored communications
between herself and Ryan Duffin
and between herself and Haven Monahan.


A subpoena was served on Yahoo to investigate the e-mail address of Monahan. Yahoo complied, and said the e-mail account was created one day prior to the day that Duffin received an e-mail from Monahan titled “about u.” The e-mail’s content included a flattering short essay that Jackie wrote about Duffin, according to Eramo’s attorney.

The e-mail starts off with commentary from Monahan: “you should read this. iv never read anything nicer in my life.” The e-mail goes on about Duffin: “He’s gorgeous, but gorgeous is an understatement. More like you’re startled every time you see him because you notice something new in a Where’s Waldo sort of way.” This e-mail from Monahan was sent to Duffin days after Jackie claimed she was raped at Monahan’s fraternity.

“The ‘about u’ message was one of the first things that made me particularly skeptical of Haven Monahan’s identity,” Duffin tells C-VILLE. “It seemed strange to be contacted directly by Jackie’s alleged assailant so soon after the attack. After I received that email, I started trying to find out if Haven was actually a student at the school. My search turned up nothing, but that wasn’t enough proof. It wasn’t shown definitively until the media was able to start making inquiries.”

Phillips told the court that there was heavy underlying evidence based on two known e-mail exchanges between Duffin and Monahan, along with hundreds of texts, that Jackie had orchestrated this communication and authored the messages. Phillips demanded an explanation.


Hoppe concluded in his order that any further explanation of Jackie’s search process was “unnecessary and not calculated to lead to a stone unturned.”


Judge denies motion to compel more cooperation from 'Jackie'

by Dean Seal
Richmond.com, 2016-06-22


Attorneys for Eramo have sought cooperation from Jackie since last July [2015],
but did not receive any until a federal judge ordered Jackie last January [2016]
to turn over all communications related to her alleged rape and to sit for a deposition.

That order has led to a maelstrom of terse emails and strained negotiations between Eramo and Jackie’s legal teams;
Eramo has asked to throw out statements made in Jackie’s deposition,
while Jackie has insisted that she is a third-party to the suit,
as well as a sexual assault victim,
who should be not have to participate in the legal proceedings.

Judge Joel C. Hoppe noted the tension between the legal teams in Monday [2016-06-20]’s hearing,
where he took up a motion from Eramo
seeking documents penned [sic!] from
an email address said to belong to “Haven Monahan,”
a man identified in the article as having
allegedly brought Jackie to the fraternity house and participated in her assault.

In their own investigation into Jackie’s claims,
Charlottesville police said they found no evidence that Monahan ever existed ...


After admonishing each side to be more communicative with one another,
Hoppe said [on Monday, 06-20] he would take time to review the case.
The following Tuesday, Hoppe ruled in favor of Jackie,
denying Eramo’s motion and concluding
“the steps taken by Jackie’s counsel were relatively straight forward
and appear to have exhausted all known areas of inquiry
for responsive communications currently in Jackie’s possession.”

“Plaintiff’s evidence that Jackie may have once possessed documents responsive to Demand No. 15
does not lead the Court to conclude that further explanation from Jackie or her counsel
will to lead to the discovery of additional unproduced documents,”

Hoppe wrote.
“Thus, any further explanation of the Respondent’s search process is unnecessary
and not calculated to lead to a stone unturned.”

UVA Lawsuit: Rolling Stone Believed Jackie Until the Bitter End, New Documents Show
Jackie's obsession with Law and Order: SVU, Sabrina Rubin Erdely's search for missing scars, and more.
by Robby Soave
Reason, 2016-07-04

It was blind faith in her single source—a faith bordering on zealotry—that doomed Rolling Stone contributing editor Sabrina Rubin Erdely to write a false story about gang rape at the University of Virginia.

New documents submitted in court Friday as part of UVA Dean Nicole Eramo's lawsuit against the magazine make clear that Erdely was given plenty of reason to distrust Jackie. Instead, Erdely rationalized Jackie's repeated failure to produce corroborating witnesses by surmising that these were the actions of a true victim and survivor of sexual assault.

The documents released Friday contain hundreds of pages of Erdely's notes, and transcriptions of her interviews with more than a dozen key players, including Jackie, friend Alex Pinkleton, and UVA anti-rape activist (and White House advisor) Emily Renda. Here are five of the most interesting things they reveal about the debacle.

1) Jackie Really Did Seem Traumatized

To be absolutely clear, Jackie's retelling of her subsequent trauma was convincing (even if the story itself was hard to believe). Jackie painted a compelling portrait of a student who had suffered harrowing, ongoing emotional abuse. She described being unable to get out of bed for weeks, failing classes, suffering panic attacks whenever she encountered members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, having suicidal thoughts, and eventually seeking support and counselling.

Anecdotal evidence suggested that this trauma was genuine.
After interviewing Jackie, her then boyfriend, and Pinkleton, Erdely accompanied them to the Phi Kappa Psi house to inspect the scene of the crime.
As they drew near the house, Jackie suffered a breakdown, burst into tears, and ran away.
Erdely witnessed this episode herself, and took it as one of many indications of Jackie's credibility.

[Considering that the her claims about being raped at Phi Kappa Psi
have been conclusively shown to be a lie,
the only conclusion I can draw from the actions of Jackie described above is that,
in addition to being a pathological liar,
she is also an actress.
What other conclusion can be drawn?]

Jackie wasn't always consistent,
but the inconsistencies didn't seem compelling enough to dent Erdely's faith.
In fact,
these inconsistencies largely confirmed to Erdely that Jackie was telling the truth,
since Erdely believed that such behavior was typical of survivors of sexual assault.
It's no mystery why Erdely had come to hold this view:
she consistently relied on the testimony of biased sexual assault experts,
including Wendy Murphy and David Lisak.

["experts"? How about "con artists"?]

2) Failing to Interview Jackie's Mom and Friends Was the Mistake

Erdely made a significant misstep when it came to second-hand sourcing,
and it's one that is well-documented in her notes.
Indeed, if this error had been addressed properly before publication,
the entire story would likely have unraveled.
Instead of seeking comment from the most relevant witnesses—
Jackie's mother, her friend Ryan Duffin, and alleged perpetrator Haven Monahan—
Erdely accepted Jackie's contention that her mother and Ryan wouldn't consent to be interviewed.
And she didn't obtain the name "Haven Monahan" until the story had already gone to print.

Erdely interviewed many friends of Jackie's who could testify to her emotional state in the weeks following the attack.
But Duffin—along with two other friends, Kathryn Hendley and Alex Stock—
encountered Jackie immediately after the rape, and could have given key evidence about her physical state.
Her mother could have confirmed the existence of Jackie's bloodied dress.
To her credit, Erdely repeatedly asked to speak with these people,
but Jackie stonewalled her.
She also refused to give Erdely the last names of Duffin, Hendley, and Stock,
which prevented the reporter from interviewing them herself.

Erdely also insisted that Jackie provide the name of her attacker so that she could reach him for comment.
Jackie adamantly refused, and after consulting with her editors,
Erdely decided that comment wasn't necessary.
But here's the thing—even if she wasn't going to contact him,
Erdely should still have pressed Jackie for the name, if only to confirm his existence.
A Google search would have revealed that no such person existed:
indeed, this is exactly what happened, once Jackie gave up the name after publication of the article.


Erdeley Affidavit : UVA/Rolling Stone
reprinted by K.C. Johnson

Eramo’s status: Public figurehood will determine how lawsuit plays out
by Lisa Provence
c-ville.com, 2016-08-16


Clare’s partner, Libby Locke,
argued that Eramo was a private, not a public, figure
who was not responsible for setting policy at the university.
As an intake official,
Eramo was the one who would get the call from assault victims,
and she was legally precluded from discussing those interactions.
And although she was head of the Sexual Misconduct Board at UVA,
Eramo hadn’t done anything in that role in a year, said Locke.

“She was interviewed 28 times by the campus newspaper and TV stations,”
said Judge Conrad.
“She was the face of the university on sexual assault.”

Conrad said he anticipates the case will go to trial,
with Eramo as a limited purpose public figure,
a designation that requires her to prove actual malice on the part of Rolling Stone.


Judge makes rulings ahead of Rolling Stone lawsuit trial
Daily Progress, 2016-09-15

Just a month before the case goes to trial, a federal judge made several rulings Thursday ...

[O]n Thursday, Judge Glen Conrad resolved some key differences before the case goes to trial next month.

Addressing the “public figure” argument, Conrad sided with the magazine in classifying Eramo as a “limited purpose public figure,” meaning that she was involved in a public controversy within a narrow area of interest. Because the article in question dealt with sexual assault, Eramo could be viewed as having a public position within that controversy as the chairwoman of UVa’s Sexual Misconduct Board.

Eramo’s attorneys previously had argued that their client would not fit this classification, because she never attempted to bring the controversy into the public spotlight.

In a hearing that took place a month ago, attorneys for Rolling Stone further argued that the article and Erdely’s process of writing it did not constitute actual malice, or a reckless disregard for the truth.

In previous hearings and filings, Eramo alleged that Erdely had a preconceived notion of what her article was going to say long before she began investigating Jackie’s claims. They pointed to her long history of reporting on institutional indifference to rape allegations by large organizations, and her original story pitch for what would become “A Rape on Campus,” in which she said she would seek out a top-tier university to show a similar pattern of indifference.

Eramo also has pointed to an email from Dec. 5, 2014, in which Erdely told her editors that she no longer had trust in Jackie’s story. Despite Erdely asking for the article to be retracted, the magazine instead republished the article, this time with an editor’s note acknowledging the inconsistencies in Jackie’s story. According to Eramo, this constituted a disregard for the truth.

Erdely and Rolling Stone’s attorneys have rebuked that notion several times, and stated that Eramo had “mischaracterized” facts in the court record regarding the reporting process and Erdely’s trust in Jackie.

Ultimately, Conrad said he was unsure whether the altered Dec. 5 version of the article could truly constitute actual malice as a republishing, but he ruled that the overall actual malice question in the case should be addressed by a jury, rather than the court.


Finally, Conrad said that while some aspects of the article could be considered hyperbole,
quotes and other factual statements made in the article were actionable in the defamation suit.

The case will have one more motions hearing on Oct. 4, followed by a pretrial conference on Oct. 11. The trial is set to begin on Oct. 17 and run through Oct. 28.

Nicole Eramo v. Rolling Stone Is Going to Trial:
Judge’s Decision a Partial Win for UVA Dean

Whether Jackie's lies and Sabrina Rubin Erdely's mistakes satisfy 'actual malice' is a question only a jury can answer, judge rules.
by Robby Soave
Reason, 2016-09-22

Judge: Rolling Stone case jury shouldn't watch 'Law & Order' despite alleged similarities
Daily Progress, 2016-10-07

With only a week before it goes to trial, attorneys for University of Virginia administrator Nicole Eramo and Rolling Stone magazine are trying to finalize the details of the multimillion dollar defamation lawsuit that the former associate dean filed last year.
In the penultimate pre-trial hearing on Friday, a federal judge made several rulings in the case —
including one ruling to prohibit Eramo’s attorneys from playing an episode of “Law & Order” for the jury.


On Friday, the last of those motions were brought before the court. Most were housekeeping issues related to the admissibility of certain evidence and how that evidence will come into play during the two-week trial expected to start on Oct. 17.

Among many things, the attorneys fought over the admissibility of reports from the Office for Civil Rights about UVa’s handling of sexual-assault cases.
Eramo has moved to exclude the reports, calling them “highly misleading” as they pertain to Jackie’s specific case and their characterization of Eramo.
Rolling Stone stated that the reports specifically call out Eramo and UVa’s ineffectiveness at dealing with sexual-assault cases and investigating perpetrators
and are therefore relevant to the question of whether Erdely and the magazine acted with actual malice in pursuing and publishing the article.

Judge Glen Conrad did question whether the report was truly relevant to Jackie’s case
and if they showed how Eramo’s actions in Jackie’s case were “contrary to the well-established” protocol at UVa.
Ultimately, Conrad said that the report spoke less to Eramo’s actions
and more to the university’s, which are not at issue in this case.

Speaking to that that OCR report and others,
Conrad noted that attorneys for both sides needed to come to an agreement as to whether all of the post-publication reports, reviews, critiques, statements and more could be cumulatively admissible.
Either they all have to be admissible, he said,
or they each have to be relegated to talking points in the case,
rather than being used as explicit pieces of evidence.

Conrad further ruled that Eramo’s attorneys could not play some or all of an episode of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” during the trial.

Eramo had intended to show an episode in which a college freshman is gang-raped at a fraternity house —
in Erdely’s reporting, Jackie had stated that she’d watched the episode with her father sometime between 2013 and 2014.
It was around the same time that Jackie mentioned the episode that she also began to change her story about the alleged gang rape.
Jackie had previously told friends that she’d been forced to perform oral sex on multiple men at the party,
but changed her story to one of brutal gang rape around the same time she had spoken to Erdely about the “Law & Order” episode.

Eramo’s attorneys intended to show that Erdely should have followed up with Jackie by watching the episode.
In doing so, she may have seen the striking similarities between Jackie’s story and the one portrayed in the episode.

Rolling Stone’s attorneys asked Conrad to exclude the evidence of the episode, saying that it would only serve to confuse the jury and serve as a “sideshow” to the broader issues at hand.

Conrad asked whether the Columbia Journalism School had stated in their scathing review of Erdely’s reporting that she should have watched the episode.
Hearing that the review did not make such a suggestion, Conrad said that
exhibiting the episode would be “pretty far out in left field”
and granted the motion to exclude the episode.

Ex-UVA Dean Nicole Eramo Breaks Silence on Retracted Rolling Stone 'Rape on Campus' Article
By EAMON MCNIFF, Lauren Effron
ABC News, 2016-10-13

UVA dean Nicole Eramo "vindicated" but not "healed" after Rolling Stone story
CBS News, 2016-11-22

[Includes a video of Nicole Eramo discussing her reactions to the trial.]


Eramo attorneys spend more than $144,000 on Rolling Stone lawsuit
by Tomas Harmon
CBS 19 Newsplex, 2017-01-22


According to the Bill of Costs, Eramo's legal team spent $144,673.11 on the Rolling Stone lawsuit.

Costs ranged from clerk fees to printing fees and went from just $20 to over $90,000.

Eramo's legal team spent $90,377,69 on fees for printed or electronically recorded transcripts used in the case and trial.

The trial invoice from the court reporter alone was $20,466.88 and the most expensive transcript was "Jackie's" at $6,003.57.

"Jackie's" fees also included a video of her deposition.

Attorneys also spent $33,577.25 on printing, $16,497.50 on copies and $1,513.67 on witnesses.


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