December 15, 2023

On December 15, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia awarded Fulton County Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and Wandrea’ ArShaye (“Shaye”) Moss $148.1 million in damages for the harm Rudy Giuliani caused by spreading lies that they had intentionally undermined the results of the 2020 presidential election. At the close of the four-day trial, the eight members of the jury awarded $75 million in punitive damages, $33,169,000 million in defamation damages, and $40 million in total damages for infliction of emotional distress.

As we said in closing argument, “Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss are heroes. After everything they have been through, they stood up, they said no more. They filed this lawsuit. They opened themselves up to you, and unlike others, testified under oath. They have explained what it’s like to become the target of some of the most powerful men on the planet, knowing full well that those men are still out there targeting them. That is courage. That is bravery. That is extraordinary.”  

A Willkie pro bono team led by partners Michael Gottlieb and Meryl Governski, along with co-counsel at Protect Democracy and Dubose Miller LLC, represent Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss in the case. 

In August, Judge Beryl A. Howell granted Willkie’s motion for sanctions for Mr. Giuliani’s “willful discovery misconduct” and ordered the most drastic sanction: default judgment on all claims—defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, civil conspiracy—stemming from the falsehoods he broadcast about Ms. Moss and Ms. Freeman.

Willkie, along with co-counsel, filed the lawsuit in December 2021, and has devoted thousands of hours to litigating the case, which has been widely covered in the news media, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Washington Post, Reuters, Politico, Associated Press and more.

Ms. Moss and Ms. Freeman are represented by a pro bono Willkie trial team that includes partners Michael Gottlieb, Meryl Governski, and Kristin Bender, Counsel Aaron Nathan, and associates Annie Houghton-Larsen, J. Tyler Knoblett, Maggie MacCurdy, and Perri Haser, legal assistants Ashley Moore and Kashia Adams. Also thanks to Senior Counsel Bart Schwartz, associates Tim Ryan and Logan Kenney, legal assistant Ann Staron, and the Managing Attorney’s Office for all their help in getting us to trial. Also a big thanks to co-counsel on the case Protect Democracy and Von DuBose of DuBose Miller.

Read more about Willkie’s victory in the case here.

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