Quarterback Jameis Winston and lawyer David Cornwell have yet to declare their plans for dealing with a lawsuit filed against Winston for rape. Cornwell previously announced Winston’s plan for defending against civil litigation.
“If sued, [Winston] will counterclaim [and] sue [the alleged victim’s lawyers for] defamation & civil extortion. Can’t [be] defendants n counsel. [Alleged victim] will need new [attorneys].”
Winston was not arrested or charged, and he was cleared by Florida State under a proceeding that explored whether he violated the university’s code of conduct. Two weeks to the day before the start of the 2015 NFL draft, Winston has indeed been sued.
For many civil defendants, the knee-jerk reaction to being sued is to file a counterclaim. It actually happens far less frequently, in large part because it’s a very aggressive posture that can alienate a jury once it’s time to go to trial.