The Johnny Depp trial centered on the allegedly aggrieved former wife Amber Heard and has been one of the highest profile #MeToo cases to have gone to trial, but it has ironically also been a case that has elevated women attorneys into the forefront of trial law, particularly with the emergence of Depp’s key defense lawyer, Camille Vasquez.
The jury found Depp was defamed by Heard when she described herself in an op-ed as a “public figure representing domestic abuse,” but also that she had been defamed by one of his lawyers, too.
The decision follows the UK defamation case in 2020 when Depp was alleged to have put Heard in fear for her life. He lost that case.
The jury awarded Depp $15 million in compensatory and punitive damages, with the punitive damages capped due to legal restrictions, leaving a total of $10.35 million. Heard received $2 million in damages.
The lawsuit accused Heard of defaming him in a Washington Post op-ed in which she referred to herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse” and said she witnessed “how institutions protect men accused of abuse.”
Women Attorneys to the Fore
The elevation to legal star status of Camille Vasquez is yet another woman lawyer who has entered the top ranks of trial attorneys in profile cases, including #MeToo cases.
The Harvey Weinstein case involved profile trial lawyer Donna Rotunno (pictured, right) who appeared in an intense defense of the client who lost and was sentenced to a lengthy jail term.
Top Hollywood lawyer Lisa Bloom was also one to have been a top contender for the Weinstein case, having already established herself as a top litigator unafraid of appearing in #MeToo cases.
The Depp trial also drew the issues of trial tactics and some intense criticism made of Heard’s female attorney Elaine Bredehoft by former Deputy LA District Attorney Emily D Baker, who fumed at the way Bredehoft handled some of the objections and other issues that emerged during the case.
Baker has become a YouTube star commentating on the trial with her trademark purple hair and tinted glasses as she monitored and curated the trial with her take on what was happening – and what should have happened during her live stream commentary which drew audiences that eclipsed some of the main media outlets. At one point she had almost 130,000 live viewers.
Even in the Prince Andrew sex abuse case one of his key UK-based lawyers is top QC Clare Montgomery, who appeared in LawFuel’s ‘Top 13 Feared Female Litigators’ in the UK.
Now the galaxy of leading lawyers has been joined by Camille Vasquez and the victory in a trial that has achieved more publicity and generated more interest than even those that a UK fallen Prince and a US fallen movie producer could provide.