The Palin defamation suit against the New York Times isn’t over yet…but the end is in sight. A hearing has been set for next week by the Federal Judge, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, who is presiding over the case. The judge has ordered testimony of the writer of the editorial to determine if the judge would grant the Times’ request to reject the lawsuit before the newspaper is required to turn over documents such as email records that could be used by Palin’s lawyers to develop evidence. Remember, Palin’s attorneys must prove malice, and the writer of the op-ed would be the only person who could testify about her state of mind when writing the article.
The fact that the judge has ordered the testimony of the writer, BEFORE, documents would have to be produced by the Times is an indication that the Judge is likely going to use this opportunity to establish unequivocally that there was no malice.
Federal Judges often have little patience with frivolous lawsuits, so a disinterested observer might conclude that the judge was actually helping the Times by creating a record that would be upheld on appeal that there was no malice!