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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Zavaletta Files Suit Against Cowen

Brownsville attorney and former Cameron County District Attorney candidate Peter Zavaletta filed suit Feb. 12 against fellow Brownsville attorney Michael Cowen for defamation of character.

The suit, filed in the 357th Judicial Court, alleges that an advertisement placed by Cowen in The Brownsville Herald and Valley Morning Star with a headline stating that Zavaletta was a “crook,” defamed him during his bid for Cameron County District Attorney in 2008.

""The truth is an absolute defense to defamation," Cowen said.

The lawsuit further states that Zavaletta was leading the polls prior to the Feb. 15, 2008 ad and that the ad injured Zavaletta in his profession.

Counsel for Zavaletta is Austin-based attorney Brian Turner.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

""The truth is an absolute defense to defamation," Cowen said.

Really? I know you did not learn this in law school. The truth in many cases, has gotten people incarcerated. the truth is not a magic wand.

Monday, February 16, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only surprise here is that he didn't file this case earlier.

Wasn't Mr. Cowen simply stating what he believed to be true? His own personal experience with Mr Zavaletta? How can you sue for that?
Mr. Cowen is a very respected attorney. Why would he wilfully do something he could be sued for?
I believe this is just retaliation. I wonder what Mr. Zavaletta would have done if he had won? Would Mr.Cowen be in jail?

Monday, February 16, 2009  
Anonymous generationnext said...

He never said the truth was a magic wand. He simply stated that the truth is a defense to a claim of defamation.

Its success-rate is another issue.

Monday, February 16, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Cowen (from the tree falls the apple)?????? THE COWENS

Tuesday, February 17, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A statement is not defamatory as a matter of law if it is true. A statement cannot be both true and defamatory. The other problem is that as a candidate for elected office, Mr. Zavaletta was a public figure, or limited purpose public figure. This means that he would have to prove Mr. Cowen had actual knowledge that the statements being made were false.....this is a tough road to hoe unless the facts are right. I doubt Cowen said anything actionable. I predict more mud on Zavaletta's face. Also, this suit opens the door for Cowen to throw anything back at him...the truth is an absolute defense to defamation. It will be interesting to watch the sparks fly.

Atticus

Wednesday, February 18, 2009  

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