Well, that was quick: “A judge Wednesday dismissed ethics complaints against prominent attorney Willie Gary and his partner. Circuit Judge Brian Lambert didn’t offer a reason for throwing out the case against Gary and Madison McClellan on the second day of a three-day hearing, although he had been considering several motions for dismissal, including one arguing there was a lack of evidence.” (see Jan. 5 and Apr. 1-2, 2002). “Judge dismisses ethics case against Willie Gary”, AP/Palm Beach Post, Jan. 7). (Note: this is AP’s corrected account, replacing an earlier version which affirmatively attributed the dismissal to lack of evidence.). More on the dismissal from Law.com: Harris Meyer, “Florida Judge Dismisses Ethics Case Against Willie Gary”, Miami Daily Business Review, Jan. 8. Update Sept. 5, 2005: underlying case and related litigation settle for sum upwards of $120 million.
In related matters, Evan Schaeffer, a plaintiff’s attorney practicing in fabled Madison County, Ill., links to our coverage of Gary and also recommends (as “antidote”) a Jonathan Harr New Yorker profile (PDF) which takes a rather more favorable view than we do of the Stuart, Fla.-based lawyer’s successes. And the St. Petersburg Times analyzes Gary’s recent $18 million win against Gannett in a “false light” defamation case (see Dec. 23; Mar. 30, 2001). The interesting thing about the “false light” doctrine is that it lets a publication be held liable for defamation even if all of the individual facts it printed were correct. (Stephen Nohlgren, “State: Case’s verdict shows truth no certain shield for media”, Jan. 4).