Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Man in the Background: Another view of the Duke case

A man stands in the background of the Duke Lacrosse 'rape' case…watching. While the alleged rape of a black woman by three wealthy, white male students remains in criminal court, he is not likely to step forward.

He specializes in civil cases, and a 'victim' who seeks monetary damages in civil court usually waits for criminal proceedings to conclude.

Even at this early stage, however, the accuser's mother is "very much interested" in "getting [him] involved."

Nicknamed "the Giant Killer," attorney Willie E. Gary is a litigator renowned for winning huge settlements. In 1995, for example, Gary won a $500 million verdict against the funeral home company Loewen Group on a contract claim that was worth less than $10 million; the award was almost 20 times the damages requested by plaintiffs.

Perhaps hoping for similar legal magic (according to media reports, all three defendants come from backgrounds of considerable wealth and privilege), the parents of the accuser met with Gary in April. According to Essence — a monthly magazine geared toward black women — the meeting was facilitated by civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Read the rest here

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