Howard M. Cooper is featured in a Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly article highlighting his defense of Alan Dershowitz in a high-profile defamation case.
Mr. Cooper's client was sued in federal court in New York by a woman who has accused the Harvard Law professor of sexually abusing her as a minor when she was ensnared in a sex trafficking scheme of accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
“This case is about what do you do when you have been falsely accused of something heinous and you are a very prominent, well-respected public figure who has spent a lifetime building up a reputation that potentially may be destroyed,” Cooper told the publication.
Mr. Dershowitz has publicly defended himself by forcefully denying the plaintiff's allegations, and asserting that he never met her and that her accusations are fabrications meant to extort a settlement.
Mr. Cooper, along with Christian G. Kiely of the firm, recently filed a motion to dismiss the defamation case. They argue that the complaint is time-barred by New York's one-year statute of limitations because their client's statements about the plaintiff – first made in December 2014 – are the same as more recent statements to the media and in social media. Under the "single publication rule," the statute of limitations begins to run from the date of the first publication.
They also argue their client's statements in response to the plaintiff's allegations of child sex abuse are protected under the First Amendment and the qualified self-defense privilege.
Mr. Cooper's wide ranging litigation practice includes handling high-profile defamation and First Amendment cases. Mr. Kiely concentrates his practice on business litigation, representing companies and individuals in a variety of disputes.