John Daly Owes Big Money To Freeman

A couple of months ago, we mentioned that John Daly’s defamation case against Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com (and, previously, the Florida Times-Union) had been tossed out like an empty 20-ounce beer can from a golf cart with cigarette burns on the steering wheel.
But there’s a new development.
A judge ruled this week that Daly must pay Freeman and the Times-Union a whopping $271,763.99 for attorneys’ fees and costs.
That’s a lot of Moon Pies.
We haven’t seen the order, so we’re not sure why the court deviated from the general rule that each side should pay its own lawyer fees.  It could be that the judge decided that Daly’s claims were frivolous.
Regardless, justice was done in this case.
We used to worry about being the target of a baseless claim from a millionaire who might like to shut us up by suing us.  Now, we might need to revisit our policy on this point.
After all, who can’t use an extra $271,763.99?
UPDATE:  Freeman has forwarded to us a copy of the order awarding fees and expenses.  As it turns out, Freeman and the Times-Union made a formal settlement offer of $5,000 on April 14, 2008, which Daly rejected.  Under Florida law, Daly’s failure to accept the offer and then his inability to recover more than that at trial required him to pay all post-offer attorneys’ fees and costs incurred by the defendant.  Perhaps more amazing to us is the fact that the lawyers rang up $263,088 in fees from April 15, 2008 through the dismissal of the case in early 2009.  So maybe I shouldn’t be quitting my day job.

18 responses to “John Daly Owes Big Money To Freeman

  1. I recall a rather famous NFL defamation suit, Chuck Noll V George Atkinson. You can look it up in Atkinsons wikipedia entry.

  2. If you’re sailing under the NBC flag aren’t you free from these worries?
    Besides, incorporate this shit already fool.

  3. Florio…You haven’t seen the order but have already decided that justice was done…What BS

  4. @BuckFutter: just in case someone might prematurely declare Terry Bradshaw dead, or something much worse, though in TB’s case it’s hard to imagine what could be better.

  5. Is it just me, or does the “use .99 cents instead of a dollar to make the price look smaller” strategy lose it’s effectiveness here?

  6. jmarv says:
    June 25th, 2009 at 10:23 pm
    What’s with the 99 cents? They couldn’t round up?
    Lawyers apparently price their services same way Wendy’s prices it’s value menu.

  7. Also, Freeman should donate that $.99 to Kiri because she has been hit hard by the economic downturn.

  8. What are the odds that Mike Freeman would be sued for defamation regarding the one thing he has ever written that wasn’t 100% BS?

  9. Lawyers are nothing but lazy, whiny, money-grubbing, bone smugglers…not that there’s anything wrong with that…

  10. Actually, Daly would only have needed to recover more than 25% less than the original offer to avoid paying costs and fees under Florida Law. Therefore, he only needed a judgment for $3,750 to avoid that problem. Of course its a moot point because he didn’t get a dime…but wouldn’t that have been hilarious if the court gave Daly a victory but only nominal damages??
    If you ask me, thats what the judge should have done…Judgment for Daly in the amount of 99cents. Payment to the defendant of $271,763.00. No more complaints about rounding…

  11. Regarding the fact that this isn’t about football: Put it under the “Legal” section.
    Regarding that Florida rule: That rule is crazy! It gives plaintiffs a “settle or die” ultimatum. Many plaintiffs with totally legitimate cases eventually lose in court because liability can be very difficult to prove (esp. in Med Mal cases). So, the plaintiff is posed with a Hobson’s choice, either accept this paltry settlement offer, or face potentially devastating costs later. Congratulations, you’ve effectively shut the court room doors to any low-income plaintiff.
    p.s. – I didn’t read the full text of the rule, so it might operate slightly differently from how Florio and SalaryCapSpecialist have described.

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