Amber Heard has employed new lawyers as she appeals the $10 million verdict awarded to Johnny Depp of their defamation battle — a transfer experts stated may very well be advantageous for the “Aquaman” actress.
Heard, 36, has introduced on David Axelrod and Jay Ward Brown, of nationwide regulation agency Ballard Spahr, who efficiently represented the New York Times in opposition to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s libel lawsuit.
They’ll assist Heard as she fights to overturn the largely unfavorable verdict in opposition to her handed down by a jury following the ex-couple’s bombshell trial in Fairfax, Virginia.
Virginia lawyer Elaine Bredehoft — who repped Heard at trial — might be leaving the staff, in accordance with a spokesperson for the actress.
“A unique court docket warrants completely different illustration, significantly as a lot new proof is now coming to mild,” the rep stated.
Texas civil lawyer Katherine Lizardo — who adopted the trial carefully — stated she anticipated the change within the authorized staff and famous it could profit Heard.
“This is an efficient transfer for her as a result of it could give her a special level of view legally from trial counsel,” Lizardo informed The Post.
Appeal lawyers are a “completely different breed” of attorneys who’re experts within the “nuanced and specialty” subject of regulation, Lizardo defined.
“If Amber Heard didn’t rent an legal professional that was acquainted with the appellate system then she would lose,” she stated.
Lizardo additionally famous that it takes a sure demeanor to argue an appellate case — which in Virginia solely permits for either side to talk for quarter-hour earlier than a three-judge panel.
“Elaine Bredehoft’s model at trial and her time administration points wouldn’t work for appeal,” Lizardo stated. “We noticed when Elaine would ramble on or argue unrelated issues and that might be very detrimental if she argued equally in entrance of the court docket of appeal judges.”
New York civil lawyer William Newman informed The Post that Axelrod and Brown’s maneuvers in Palin’s case in opposition to the Times sign the sort of technique the authorized staff will use in Heard’s appeal.
The lawyers had centered on attempting to show that statements made concerning the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee in a Times piece weren’t made with precise malice — which is the next authorized commonplace utilized to circumstances involving public figures.
“By choosing a lawyer that famously made that argument within the Sarah Palin case — that tells me that [actual malice] goes to be one thing that they will seemingly concentrate on on this appeal,” Newman stated.
Still, Newman stated it’s good that Heard remains to be hanging onto one of her Virginia lawyers from trial, Benjamin Rottenborn.
“I believe it’s choice,” Newman stated of hiring Axelrod and Brown. “Ballard Spahr is a really nicely regarded agency. She is in good fingers.”
“It’s nonetheless excellent to have native Virginia lawyers engaged on it too,” Newman added.
Former California appeals court docket decide and present prison protection legal professional Halim Dhanidina informed The Post that hiring new lawyers for an appeal is routine and has many upsides, together with gaining the experience of an appellate lawyer and getting a recent set of eyes on the case.
A trial lawyer “is sort of too near the problems.” Dhanidina stated. “Whereas an appellate specialist would possibly have the ability to have a look at what occurred within the decrease court docket file and have maybe a special perspective or a special technique of how they is perhaps profitable on appeal.”
“What an legal professional would possibly need to do on the appellate stage is probably second guess some of the methods or actions taken by the trial legal professional and the legal professional who dealt with the trial would clearly not be able to be vital or to second guess their very own actions,” the previous decide famous.
The 59-year-old “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor gained a $10.35 million verdict in June with a jury siding along with his claims that Heard defamed him in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed piece on being a sufferer of home violence.
While she didn’t particularly identify Depp within the essay, his aspect argued at trial that it clearly referred to her allegations that he abused her round their 2016 divorce.
The jury awarded Heard $2 million in her counterclaims that Depp defamed her when his lawyer Adam Waldman known as her claims a hoax.
Bredehoft didn’t return a request for remark Monday.