final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit,
Broward County; Thomas Lynch, Judge; L.T. Case No. 15-000072
S. McCawley of Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, Fort
Lauderdale, and Jon L. Mills, Miami, for appellant.
S. Rogow and Tara A. Campion of Bruce S. Rogow, P.A., Fort
Lauderdale; and Richard A. Simpson of Wiley Rein LLP,
Washington, D.C., for appellee Alan Dershowitz.
Giuffre, a nonparty below, appeals an order granting
defendant Alan Dershowitz's motion to strike her various
motions for sanctions. The order on appeal was entered
following a voluntary dismissal of the case. In the order,
the trial court held that it lacked jurisdiction to consider
Giuffre's previously filed motions for sanctions because
the matter had been voluntarily dismissed and further that
Giuffre lacked standing to file the motions for sanctions to
begin with. We agree with Giuffre's contention that the
trial court erred in determining that it lacked jurisdiction
to entertain the sanctions motions. We affirm, however, the
trial court's correct conclusion that Giuffre lacked
appeal arises from a defamation action. In an action prior to
the defamation action, Attorneys Edwards and Cassell
represented Giuffre, and Dershowitz represented Jeffrey
Epstein. In the action below, Giuffre's attorneys
asserted a defamation claim against Dershowitz based on
statements Dershowitz made in the prior action. Dershowitz
asserted a counterclaim for defamation based on the
attorneys' statements in the prior action that Dershowitz
personally perpetrated criminal acts against Giuffre.
participation in discovery was compelled in the defamation
action insofar as Dershowitz issued a subpoena for her
deposition. As an apparent consequence, Giuffre's counsel
was present for some proceedings in the defamation action,
including Dershowitz's deposition. At his deposition,
Dershowitz sought to reveal communications between himself
and Attorney Boies, who also represented Giuffre. Giuffre
objected multiple times and contended those were confidential
settlement communications. Giuffre and Dershowitz agreed to
raise the issue with the trial court.
then moved in limine to overrule Giuffre's objections,
contending the contested communications were not settlement
communications. To his motion, he attached an affidavit
outlining his meetings and conversations with Boies.
same day that the motion in limine was filed, Giuffre filed
an emergency motion to seal the affidavit, alleging that the
statements therein were confidential settlement negotiations
and alleging that Dershowitz was aware of Giuffre's
ongoing objection to the revelation of the communications at
issue. Shortly thereafter, The New York Times
published an article that included some of the contents of
the affidavit. Thereupon, Giuffre moved to strike the
affidavit and Dershowitz's pleadings and moved to impose
sanctions against Dershowitz.
hearing on the motion, the trial court granted the emergency
motion to seal the affidavit, but reserved ruling on the
motion for sanctions against Dershowitz (and on the
underlying motion in limine).
deposition continued approximately one month later, at which
point he gave testimony that, according to Giuffre's
allegations, again described confidential settlement
negotiations with Giuffre's counsel. Giuffre's
counsel at the deposition objected and then filed a
supplemental motion to strike and for further sanctions based
on the deposition testimony, alleging that Dershowitz
violated the order sealing the affidavit. Dershowitz moved to
strike Giuffre's sanctions motions.
the parties to the lawsuit filed a stipulation of dismissal
with prejudice. At the hearing on Dershowitz's motion to
strike, he contended the court was divested of jurisdiction
when the parties filed the stipulation of dismissal, and,
regardless, Giuffre was a nonparty and lacked standing in the
proceedings. The trial court agreed and entered an order
concluding, "Even if defendant Dershowitz willfully
violated this Court's order, the Court has no
jurisdiction to consider the motion for sanctions, and
further, [Giuffre] lacks standing in this case."
Trial Court's ...