In a unanimous opinion filed on December 18, 2018, a three-judge Court of Appeals panel affirmed the $6.12 Million Dollar jury verdict Mr. Johnson and associate Chynna Smith won on behalf of their client, a former state firearms examiner, Beth Desmond, in her libel case against the Raleigh News & Observer and reporter Mandy Locke. The actual jury verdict was over $9 Million but was mandatorily reduced by statute. Oral arguments before the Court of Appeals were heard on September 5, 2018. Mr. Johnson argued on behalf of Ms. Desmond. The Court of Appeals opinion was written by The Honorable Judge Donna Stroud. The Honorable Judges Valerie J. Zachary and Hunter Murphy concurred in the opinion. Because it was a unanimous decision, the Defendants do not have an automatic right to appeal to the NC Supreme Court. However, the Defendants have filed a Petition for Discretionary Review with the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has not yet determined if it is going to accept the case for review.
Attorney: Jim Johnson
Date: February 11, 2019
(Cases referenced do not represent the firm’s entire record. Each case is different and should be evaluated on its own merits. The outcome of a particular case cannot be predicated upon a lawyer’s past results.)