GZ Civil Case – Judge Debra Nelson Throws Out One Aspect of Zimmerman V NBC Lawsuit… Pondering The Other Three

judge nelson 2

The same judge from the 3/16/12 911 call audio tape release injunction.
The same judge from the Zimmerman trial fiasco.
The same judge overturned TWICE by 5th Circuit court of appeals on pretrial rulings.
… now presiding over the civil lawsuit. Would you really expect anything different ? Really?

I think I’ll limit my opinion of this predictable train wreck to pictures.

SANFORD – A judge on Thursday threw out part of George Zimmerman’s libel suit against NBC Universal and held out the prospect that she may throw out the whole thing.

Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson tossed the allegations related to one of five broadcasts and said she needs to do more homework before deciding about the others. Zimmerman is suing the media company, alleging that it falsely portrayed him as a racist.

He is the Neighborhood Watch volunteer acquitted last year of murdering Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black 17-year-old, a shooting that prompted civil rights rallies.

James beasley

um,…. yer doing it wrong

In December 2012, Zimmerman sued NBC, accusing it of “yellow journalism” for the way it edited his call to police the night of the shooting. Editors cut out key phrases, according to the suit, making it sound as if Zimmerman voluntarily stated that Trayvon was black and that he racially profiled the Miami Gardens high school junior.

The suit also says Zimmerman should be paid damages because the company falsely reported that during that call, Zimmerman used a racial epithet.

NBC’s attorneys contend that Zimmerman has no valid claim.

The most important point, said NBC attorney Lee Levine, is that Zimmerman was a public figure and cannot prove that NBC employees acted with “actual malice” – that they either knew what they reported was false or had grave misgivings about it.

The phrase that NBC employees interpreted as a racial slur, Levine said, was “very difficult to understand or decipher” and other news organizations reported that same thing, he said – that it was a racial epithet.

As for the editing, the network should not be held liable for reporting truthfully what Zimmerman actually said, Levine argued. What NBC did, he said, was use excerpts of the recording, something other news organizations did as well.

The judge on Thursday threw out the claim that NBC and employee Jeff Burnside defamed Zimmerman in a March 19, 2012, broadcast.

Jeff Burnside

2012 – Miami NBC Reporter/Producer Jeff Burnside, picks up National NBC Host Rev Al Sharpton, from Miami Airport along with former New York Governor David Patterson.

Jeff Burnside 3

Local NBC Reporter/Producer Jeff Burnside sits down to discuss the racial aspect of the national NBC strategy with Al Sharpton in advance of editing the 911 call audio.   But according to NBC Zimmerman can’t prove it.   Apparently Judge Nelson agrees.  

Zimmerman can’t claim he was wronged by that report, the judge said, because his letter to the network, one required before a defamation suit is filed, never identified that specific broadcast, and his letter did not include Burnside as an offending party.

The other broadcasts included two on March 20 and one each on March 22 and March 27.

The judge said she would decide later what to do about them.

The hearing started shortly after 10 a.m. and concluded shortly before 11 a.m.

Zimmerman did not attend.

NBC’s attorneys have raised several defenses, some of them technical. In paperwork filed before the hearing, they contended that any harm Zimmerman claims to have suffered were not caused by the NBC news reports that are at issue.

Zimmerman’s attorney, James Beasley Jr., told the judge Thursday morning that it would be a mistake to throw out the case now before he can gather evidence.

LLucianoJeff Burnside desk

He pointed out that NBC apologized for the edits and that two employees, Burnside and Lilia Rodriguez Luciano, were fired. (read more)

*Note the NBC apology was NBCMiami Only… but why let the facts get into a Nelson courtroom now.


NBC Screenshot apology

This entry was posted in 1st Amendment, Conspiracy ?, media bias, Notorious Liars, propaganda, Trayvon Martin, Typical Prog Behavior, Uncategorized, Zim Trial Witness - Deconstruction, Zimmerman Post Trial Threads, Zimmerman Trial Threads. Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to GZ Civil Case – Judge Debra Nelson Throws Out One Aspect of Zimmerman V NBC Lawsuit… Pondering The Other Three

  1. visage13 says:

    Why does it have to be the same judge that presided over the criminal trial? And he was NOT a public figure, they, the media, with some help from others, made him a public figure to further their agenda.


    • czarowniczy says:

      Good point – one would think she’d recuse herself. Most jurisdictions also have a judge rotation and that brings up the question of how she was chosen. Oh hell, it’s all just fringe lunatic speculation anyway as the system and those in it all all scrupulously honest and above board.


      • Coast says:

        Remember, this is the same judge that essentially “bullied” George Zimmerman near the end of the trial, almost twisting his arm, to testify against himself. There is no way she should be involved in this civil case.


    • Daniel says:

      Where I come from criminal courts and civil courts are completely different. This is not true of Sanford? Someone explain to me please?


      • tessa50 says:

        To the best of my memory, she switched from doing criminal trials to doing civil.


      • sundance says:

        Judge Nelson was rotated from the criminal courts to the civil court just prior to the beginning of the Zimmerman trial.

        Coincidentally, or not, this happened the same week the DCA reversed her previous ruling on Attorney Benjamin Crump being subject to deposition. She called him an asst. attorney “of sorts” to the state of Florida – the DCA threw out such a ridiculous assertion and affirmed Crump could/should be deposed.

        Unfortunately the DCA ruling on the pre-trial decision happened on a Friday – with trial scheduled for the following Monday the defense asserted an inability to depose and Nelson -*yet again- refused a delay.

        (*she refused trial delay motions by the defense 5 times – even when she was the cause of the need for delay – she is a total and insufferable idiot on the bench)


        • justfactsplz says:

          Even the whacky judge that presided over the Anna Nicole Smith paternity case comes across as a better judge than her. To think she aspires to sit on the state supreme court is a scary thought.


  2. czarowniczy says:

    Courts are a zoo in general and civil court is frequently where the monkeys fling poo. Look at OJ – found not guilty in criminal court and then bent over the barrel for the same crime in civil court. The reverse can be true also – you can be found guilty of the crime in criminal court and damages are refuse in civil court. I’d like to know if she’s one of those judges auditioning to the liberal judicial hierarchy for a seat in a higher court. If she hangs Zimmerman out she may be looking at Judge Judy’s seat when entropy finally catches up or even a seat in a Federal Court when one of the sitting judges leans to far to the left and injures his/herself falling off the dais.


  3. IAmGeorgeZimmerman says:

    This is Obama’s America, and any one us could be the next George Zimmerman. These people need to be held accountable.


  4. doodahdaze says:

    Back to the DCA.


  5. Murse says:

    Why didn’t his lawyers push for recusal?


  6. Coast says:

    “Zimmerman can’t claim he was wronged by that report, the judge said, because his letter to the network, one required before a defamation suit is filed, never identified that specific broadcast, and his letter did not include Burnside as an offending party”

    Well, ok…just write a new letter and re-file the case. What a load of crap.


  7. benzy says:

    I find it odd that the letter did not mention Burnside specifically (at least according to the NBC lawyers) and yet Zimmerman’s attorney DID mention that Burnside had been fired for the incident. If true, it sounds as though the Beasley lawyers slipped up (since I assume George did not write the complaint to the court on his own).


  8. The All Real Numbers Symbol says:

    Why is this woman still on the bench? As others have said, she is a conflict on interest (and apparently needs to be sent back to law school, having been overturned twice. Somehow, I doubt those over-turnings were for any minor errors in the law or minor points that could have been interpreted differently. I’m inclined to think that these are major screw ups on her part when it came to understanding the law..)


  9. AdukeLAXobserver says:

    Really is anyone here surprised by this? Zimmerman and his team are getting what they deserve for not fighting to have Nelson removed from the case.


  10. jeff B. says:

    What most people (WHITE people) don’t understand is that anyone of us could have been George Zimmerman and/or be the next George Zimmerman when legally defending yourself from a non-white THUG…. Just wait until one of these WHITE apologist to blacks find themselves as the next GZ… Unfortunately when they finally see the light it will be too late…

    Further, GZ had no racist history in his past and in fact he was pro-equality with all his causes he supported but none of that mattered for the BGI lynching party… It’s funny how the 3 black teenagers that were bored targeted a white man jogging and actually hunted him down and murdered him in racist cold blood by being shot in the back but there wasn’t even hint of a public outcry for that heinous crime. Unbelievable…


  11. Yakmaster says:

    What a nightmare for Zimmerman’s civil justice—Nelson’s law bending persona and a poisoned jury pool!! Is there no way to change the venue to Miami since NBCMiami took responsibility for the intentional “editorial judgment” that “could have created” the (wrong) “impression.”??? Or is Zimmerman required to file suit in the county where HE lives? (If so, he should have used this time to establish residence in some other District of Florida, yes?)


  12. Lou says:

    I’d like to hear Andrew Barraca’s (spic) take on this.


  13. justfactsplz says:

    When I heard Nelson was presiding over the civil case I was afraid this would happen. Can they request a different judge? She should not be allowed to preside over this case since she had the criminal trial. She will throw the whole darn thing out. I know her track record. They still are out to destroy George and any chance for him to attain much needed finances.


  14. Attorney says:

    Florida is the most corrupt state, by far, in which I have ever practiced law. I wish I could relay some details to you. The judiciary is absolutely wicked, from the top on down to the bottom. It is a beautiful state, but one reason we moved from there was as a practicing lawyer at the time I could not stand to be involved with these shady characters.


  15. scaretactics says:

    I agree with y’all about Judge Nelson. Pass the Prozac…..

    2 other points: 1. In that apology, NBC is apologizing to it’s VIEWERS….not to George! They should have apologized to both, at the very least.

    But the damage was done. That audio was played over and over ad nauseum ….anyone who watches that “news” heard it. The viewers already had an idea formed in their heads of what kind of person George was. No amount of backtracking, apologizing, clarifying, etc. would make these people think any differently. And that is exactly what the MSM wanted.

    That is why so many people were shocked after George was acquitted.

    2 Sharpton gave an interview to this Burnside guy mere HOURS after his mom’s death? Who does that?


  16. gena says:

    This judge brings shame to the robe. I would not be surprised if she shuts down the whole suit. She made it clear she is against George and NBC has deep pockets.


  17. EmmaKa says:

    If this is thrown out is that it? Can it be refiled? Appealed? Why in the world not motion for a different judge?


  18. This “homework” doesn’t sound fair, if she’s doing internet searches at home to help her decide on her rulings that violates Zimmermans right to a fair trial because none of her “homework” has been presented into evidence and she should make all rulings and decisions based off the facts and not her homework, ie google search. A properly worded FOIA request based off her “homework” comment might reveal a lot and show why she has been so biased in this case…..everyone thinks they are google detectives it’s sad when you see a judge being one on a case she’s ruling on.. 😉


    • arttart1983 says:

      cleaningmygun ~ In all the high profile cases I have followed in Fla., there have been 4, all the Judges “do their homework,” that means they have their legal research done by their para legals/attorneys etc. Most Judges do a lot of the research themselves before deciding on a Motion on all the past cases that have been ruled on in the argument & interpretation of the law. My sister in law is an attorney & works for a Judge, she too does legal research on his existing cases for her Judge along w/para legals & the Judge himself. The reason is: most Judges spend their days in the Court room, not researching arguments. I know this is the first case for many to follow, or follow in Fla., but this is how it’s done in Fla., Judge N is doing what most Judges do in Fla. due to their Court obligations.

      Chief Judge B. Perry, (Casey Anthony trial,) almost always allowed Motion arguments to be heard during the Court Hearings, but, made a decision that would be released to the attorney’s in a week or 2.

      From everything I’ve read, the law cuts a lot of slack to Media, publications, etc. in all areas including slander, false reporting, etc. Its unfair as media ruins reputations especially when they report inaccurately, & in GZ’s case, it was intentional when NBC personnel sliced/edited GZ’s call. For the reason of the law favoring media/etc., we see few suits for defamation/slander etc. even filed & fewer won by the cases filed imo.

      Even though it seemed to be a “technicality,” or was a “technicality,” as to the reason Judge N threw out Burnside from the case, Judge N had the law on her side. Another judge, imo, would have done the same because the law is clear on what is required in a letter, Burnside wasn’t even named in the letter. I agree w/everyone, I can’t stand Judge N, I think she’s incompetent, but GZ’s attorney’s should have made a move in a request for another Judge long before now imo.


      • nivico says:

        Didn’t NBC initially refuse to release the names of those who were responsible for the editing… all they would say is that it had been handled internally.

        I know that with ‘respondeat superior’ you have to go after the employee to get to the employer, but what happens when the company refuses to tell you who the responsible employee was…?

        When Beasley filed suit against NBC back in 2012, had NBC even identified Burnside as the one who had edited the recording?


  19. What is the status of the Kruidbos case against Angela Corey? I think Zimmerman has a better case against Corey’s office (that is the State of Florida) for malicious prosecution and withholding evidence than he has against NBC.


  20. Naomi Blue says:

    This is all so unbelievable. Nelson is the judge in the civil trial too? It is strong evidence that we all now dwell in an alternate universe that, until now, we all didn’t even know existed. (Please, will someone transport us back to the right and sane universe?)


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