“So, Probably I’ll Sue Her, Because It Would Be Fun”

by George M. Wallace on December 21, 2006

In many if not most cases, lawsuits that are held up to scorn on this site are filed by people who, in their heart of hearts and however misguidedly, believe in the justice of their cause.   Those people can and should be criticized when their cause is misguided, or when it camouflages some other agenda, or when their only real impact is the introduction of unjustified costs, frictions, and obstacles in to the path of valuable and legitimate economic or creative activity (not to mention the unjustified enrichment of a small class of my fellow attorneys). 

Worse than these, though, in many ways, are wealthy and/or powerful egotists who use the legal system on a whim, as their personal payback mechanism or as a means of venting their pettiest grievances.   At the risk of fatally lowering the tone of Overlawyered and of prematurely ending my tenure as a guestblogger, I note the latest example, a tiff between two deeply unpleasant but inescapable self-anointed celebrities: Rosie O’Donnell and Donald Trump (MSNBC, "Trump to Rosie O’Donnell: You’re sued!", Dec. 21).

Earlier this afternoon Trump announced he is filing suit against the TV talk show host. ‘She says things that come to her mouth, she’s not smart, she’s crude, she’s ignorant and to be honest I look forward to suing Rosie,’ he told our cameras. ‘I’m gonna sue her and I look forward to it.  She’s really very dangerous for the show.’

Trump declined to elaborate on the details of his proposed legal filings, but added O’Donnell will understand his reasoning.  ‘Rosie will find out what we’re suing her for.  She knows what we’re suing her for,’ he said adding the lawsuit is already in the works.  ‘It’s something I look very forward to,’ he added.

If ever there was a case for "loser pays," this is it.   Trouble is, with relentlessly meaningless suits like this one gumming up the works, we’re all the losers.

Of Related Interest: The scurrilous Los Angeles gossip site, Defamer, has the Trump video from which I have drawn the post title (Dec. 20).   Not that I would recommend watching it, of course.

{ 8 comments }

1 SmooveB 12.21.06 at 12:12 pm

One should never try to stand between Donald Trump and a TV camera.

2 Jim Collins 12.21.06 at 12:25 pm

I kind of have to agree with Donald Trump on this one. These talk shows think that they can say anything about anybody and get away with it. If she made these comments about a person who wasn’t as famous or rich as Trump would your view still be the same?

3 Rufus 12.21.06 at 1:30 pm

Trump isn’t going to sue anyone. He’s just engaging in some self promotion because his show is going to air again in January. Stirring up the public interest. Oooh, let’s watch the new season of the Apprentice because maybe Trump will say something about Rosie or Miss USA. If we would ignore publicity whores like Trump and Rosie they might actually go away.

4 Todd 12.21.06 at 3:05 pm

Ditto to Rufus’ comment. This is PR, plain & simple. Where’s the tort?

If I were to gamble, I would put money on the notion that Trump called up Rosie days in advance to pitch this idea to her. Trump’s a business person, this is what biz-people do.

I am surprised that unlike Miss. USA, Tara Conner, Trump didn’t give Rosie a second chance. Maybe if Rosie were perhaps a little easier on the eyes???

5 Supremacy Claus 12.21.06 at 6:47 pm

If his attorney has any ethics, the first question he will ask Donald will be, “What specifically were your damages?”

Even after damages are found, a public figure has hurdles to leap.

http://writ.news.findlaw.com/hilden/20060103.html

6 wavemaker 12.22.06 at 9:17 am

After his well-publicized difficulties trying to rescue his casino, I think he’s barking up the wrong tree if his primary claim is that her assertion that “he went bankrupt” constitutes slander.

It’s hard to determine which of these people is more petulant, arrogant and ugly (inside and out).

7 J.T. Wenting 12.24.06 at 3:48 am

Without knowing what he’s actually going to sue her for, it’s not fair to Trump to call the thing baseless at this stage.

It probably will be (pure statistics, the majority of lawsuits should never have been filed) but that doesn’t make it a certainty.

8 Mary Ann Jachna 12.26.06 at 12:43 am

Perhaps the “Donald” needs a few extra bucks to pay the $250/day fine he is facing for his zoning infractions that were publicized yesterday. They are all publicity hunger and crazy as bed bugs.

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