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Charles Herbster can add to defamation lawsuit but can’t muzzle Slama lawyer, judge rules

Charles Herbster
Posted at 10:40 AM, Aug 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-01 11:40:01-04

OMAHA, Neb. (Nebraska Examiner) — Former Nebraska gubernatorial candidate Charles Herbster will be allowed to add more examples to his defamation lawsuit against State Sen. Julie Slama, a judge has ruled.

As a result, Slama’s attorneys must wait until after Herbster updates his lawsuit before deposing him for Slama’s counter-lawsuit.

Johnson County District Judge Rick Schreiner resolved those issues and more from a June hearing in a two-page ruling Thursday involving dueling lawsuits between Herbster and Slama. Herbster sued Slama after she and seven other women alleged that he groped them. Slama countersued, alleging that he had sexually battered and defamed her.

Schreiner also ruled that Herbster cannot muzzle Slama’s attorney from defending her publicly.

Schreiner ruled that Herbster’s deposition could wait for the amended lawsuit. One issue not resolved in Thursday’s ruling is whether Herbster could be sanctioned for missing his first deposition date in May.

The judge did not grant a protection order that Herbster’s attorneys had sought to silence one of Slama’s lawyers, Dave Lopez, who spoke on her behalf before the Herbster lawsuit or counter-lawsuit were filed.

Schreiner said he would use an Aug. 15 hearing in Tecumseh to hear arguments involving the Slama legal team’s effort to force Herbster’s political team to turn over records sought in her lawsuit.

Herbster’s legal team has filed motions seeking to limit the scope of Slama’s subpoenas. Both sides have been negotiating, at the judge’s urging, a narrower range of documents.

Herbster has denied wrongdoing. He argues that the allegations against him were political. Slama alleged that Herbster touched her inappropriately after reaching up her skirt during a 2019 fundraising dinner in Omaha. The Nebraska Examiner reported the allegation in an April 14 article.

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