DSK’s Lawyers Working on Bronx Strategy

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Photo: J.B Nicholas/Splash News

Even though the criminal charges against him have been dropped, Dominique Strauss-Kahn's New York–based troubles are not over. Accuser Nafissatou Diallo has filed a civil suit with the State Supreme Court in Bronx, where she is seeking unspecified monetary damages from the former IMF chief. So, having secured their client's freedom, how do his lawyers plan to do the potentially much tougher job of holding on to his significant assets? Well, for starters, they're trying some flattery on potential jurors, many of whom might be inclined to side with Diallo, a working-class Bronx resident, over a wealthy French banker. Said DSK attorney Benjamin Brafman:


“I doubt very highly that any jury in any forum is going to find [Diallo] to be trustworthy or credible, including a Bronx jury ... And to suggest otherwise would be offensive to the people of Bronx County.”

Other options include attorney William W. Taylor III's idea, which is to get the hell out of the Bronx altogether. The legal team could request to have the case transferred to a federal court in Manhattan, but that move would bring its own set of problems:


But one disadvantage for the defense of moving the case to federal court is that federal laws are more flexible in allowing prior, unrelated accusations of sexual misconduct to be entered as evidence, said Stephen Gillers, a professor at New York University Law School. That means that the testimony of other women who claimed that Mr. Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted them may be permissible in a civil case in federal court.

Then again, they could try to settle before the case goes to trial. Given his projected level of Bronx appeal (somewhere around zero) and his seemingly endless piles of dirty laundry, it seems that DSK's best bet would be try to meet Diallo halfway. Or maybe two-thirds of the way? Three-fourths ... ?

Money Is Now at Fore of Strauss-Kahn Case [NYT]