Hayne Sues

Saturday, November 1st, 2008

Dr. Steven Hayne filed a defamation suit against the Innocence Project last week.

He’s apparently using a College of American Pathology panel’s decision not to take action against him as conclusive proof that he’s vindicated, and that all of the many doctors, forensic experts, and current and former colleagues who have questioned his practices and professionalism are wrong.

Here’s a copy of the suit.

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23 Responses to “Hayne Sues”

  1. #1 |  Adam W. | 

    Oh I REALLY hope this goes forward; I’d LOVE to see “Dr.” Hayne get even more humiliated (any chance we can include “Dr.” West as well?) :)

  2. #2 |  Michael Pack | 

    I’m not so sure he thought this through.This opens up discovery and he will have to testify under oath.I’m sure the Innocence Project is looking forward to both.

  3. #3 |  Cynical In CA | 

    You get your subpoena yet, Radley?

  4. #4 |  Ahcuah | 

    Maybe Hayne should ask Oscar Wilde about this tactic . . .

  5. #5 |  Robert S. Porter | 

    Yeah, when are you going to get sued, Radley?

  6. #6 |  John Jenkins | 

    Interesting case. It’s almost certain that Dr. Hayne will be considered a “public” person in his capacity as a medical examiner for the state, so he will have to meet the N.Y. Times v. Sullivan standard of “actual malice” (publication of a falsehood “with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not”).

  7. #7 |  chance | 

    Let’s see…suing an organization filled full of lawyers. Defense lawyers. Defense lawyers with experience. Experienced defense lawyers with tons of evidence to back up their claims. Riiiight…

    Hayne is even less bright than I thought.

  8. #8 |  daten | 

    r.b.- if you do get named, do we use the regular donate button or a different one for you defense fund? will reason be stepping up with any moolah to put this guy down if he comes after you for outing him or no?

  9. #9 |  John Jenkins | 

    They won’t defend the claims themselves. Tort defense is a whole different game than criminal defense. The procedural rules are different, the burden of proof is different and even the rules of evidence are somewhat different.

    I am wondering what amount of damages he is claiming. I am also embarrassed for my profession at the quality of that pleading. I can only assume it’s a form that has been in use for many years and those who use it don’t bother to think through how it should be modified for the specific case. Sad, really.

  10. #10 |  SusanK | 

    This is a double-edged sword. Michael Pack is right about it opening up discovery and possibly shedding even more light on his questionable practices. However, it is sad that the Innocence Project, which does such a good job, is forced to spend precious resources defending this suit.

  11. #11 |  Judi | 

    Think I’ll stock up on popcorn and Pepsi, prop my feet up and watch this SOAP OPERA in comfort!

    Hayne’s ‘acting’ skills should win him an OSCAR…

    Hell, he’s FAKED everything else!

  12. #12 |  Lloyd Flack | 

    It seems as if Hayne is blind to how others might see his actions. I think he has labeled himself as a good guy and hence thinks that anything that he or his side does nust be right. In actual fact he seems to have shut down moral self-criticism. He literally does not understand why people are condemning him.

    The self-righteous and willfully blind can be relied on to condemn themselves out of their own mouths. Amusement ahead!

  13. #13 |  Andrew | 

    I’m not so sure he thought this through.This opens up discovery and he will have to testify under oath.I’m sure the Innocence Project is looking forward to both.

    Bingo. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Innocence Project was hoping this would happen. I see this as a good thing.

  14. #14 |  SJE | 

    I don’t agree with SusanK’s contention that it is sad that the Innocence Project will have to spend its resources fighting the suit.

    This is probably the best thing that could have happened for IP in a while. Rather than fighting for an individual prisoner, they get to show the rottenness at the CORE of the system, in open court.

    Now, can some of the other lawyers opine on what sort of discovery (if any) is available in this sort of case, in the jurisdiction. This is out of my area.

  15. #15 |  Cynical In CA | 

    Just so we’re clear, by subpoena I meant being called to testify in the lawsuit, not to be named as a defendant. My money’s on the latter not happening.

  16. #16 |  Sky | 

    I think Hayne just bit off a lil more than he could chew. In fact, I’d make book on it. ;)

  17. #17 |  John Jenkins | 

    Cynic, it depends on the purpose of the whole deal. A subpoena is not particularly intimidating, particularly as a state court subpoena from Mississippi has as much power in Virginia as a nice letter.

    My guess is that the reason Radley hasn’t been served with a petition as yet is that they can’t find a way to get proper jurisdiction over him, but that the next time he is in Mississippi for any reason (other than testifying), he will be handed a petition and summons in this case or another one, at least if this is a tactical lawsuit attempting to shut people up.

    The intent is probably not to actually win a judgment, but to force people to back off so as not to have to spend money to defend the suit. The problem they will have is that, just among his readers here, Radley probably has more people who have given more significant thought to defamation and first amendment issues than Hayne’s entire law firm (probably a run-of-the-mill mid-size plaintiff’s firm that doesn’t take a particularly scholarly view of the law).

    Open source legal defense. Now THERE’S a concept.

  18. #18 |  Frank | 

    Let’s see…suing an organization filled full of lawyers. Defense lawyers. Defense lawyers with experience. Experienced defense lawyers with tons of evidence to back up their claims. Riiiight…

    Hayne is even less bright than I thought.

    He’s hoping to have the same courts that railroaded all those innocent people on his side, as they have been for decades. That would be betting on the wrong horse this time around.

  19. #19 |  TBoneJones | 

    @John Jenkins , you said “the intent is probably not to actually win a judgment, but to force people to back off so as not to have to spend money to defend the suit.”

    One of the most disgusting thing about lawyers/judges is that among them this is considered a legitimate strategy. I say bring back “tarring and feathering.”

  20. #20 |  John Jenkins | 

    @TboneJones: There are a lot of times where the most efficient outcome is not through litigation, but the only way to force the other side to the negotiating table is to file a lawsuit that could result in a large judgment. I wouldn’t say that this case is one of those, but the tactic has its place in certain disputes (most notably contract disputes: a lot of the time you can’t even get people to focus on why they ought to make a deal until after they get a summons).

  21. #21 |  Frank | 

    #12 The courtroom scene at the end of A Few Good Men comes to mind…

    #13 It wouldn’t surprise me either. I’d be willing to bet that IP was planning the contingency from almost the very beginning.

  22. #22 |  justin cook | 

    It’s on. Where do I send money?

  23. #23 |  Lorraine Sumrall | 

    I wholeheartedly agree with Michael Pack who posted on 11/1. I was thrilled to hear of the lawsuit for the simple fact that it will produce more fodder that can then be used against Hayne. Hayne’s arrogance will no doubt produce more outlandish statements in discovery, and since the man obviously can’t stop himself from lying it can only help those whose lives have been directly impacted by him and who may needlessly be serving time. I can’t wait until this man gets what’s coming to him.

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