ATHENS, Texas – LAWFUEL – Press Release Service – A Henderson County, Tex., jury has issued a $500,000 verdict for Athens City Councilwoman Elaine Jenkins following a libel trial against a Dallas-based civil rights organization. It is believed to be one of the largest civil trial verdicts in Henderson County history.
Jurors in Judge Jim Parson’s 3rd District Court in Athens found that the allegations against Ms. Jenkins in a 2002 memorandum authored by the membership president of the Black Citizens for Justice, Law & Order were false.
The jury further determined that the organization libeled Ms. Jenkins with actual malice and specific intent to substantially injure her with “conscious indifference to an extreme danger of risk.”
Ms. Jenkins was represented in the three-day trial by attorney E. Leon Carter of the Dallas law firm of Munck Butrus, and Shelli Morrison of the Weinstein Law Firm in Athens. The verdict was handed down the afternoon of June 15.
“This is an important ruling because the jury found that even public officials are protected in instances where another party acts with actual malice in reporting patently false statements of fact as the truth,” Mr. Carter says.
Munck Butrus, P.C. has carved out a practice devoted to trials, transactions and technology. The firm offers full-service counsel in the areas of commercial litigation, intellectual property management and protection, corporate transactions and securities, employment, and international trade. Munck Butrus represents clients from start-ups to Fortune 500™ companies.