Lawfuel – Lead story, from ‘Fortune’ – Talk Show host Don Imus has hired a New York-based attorney who is widely recognized as one of the country’s most able First Amendment lawyers. Time Magazine has called him “legendary, one of the best trial lawyers in the country.” He’s successfully represented the comedian Lenny Bruce. Can he win Don Imus a $40 Million Payday?
Don Imus, the tousled and acerbic radio host whose racial remarks engendered a media storm that triggered a swift upending of his career, is not going away quietly even if the imbroglio has all but disappeared from the national conversation in the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre.
For Imus, who made a career out of operating in the murky space between sophomoric humor and high-brow political talk, there is the little matter of about $40 million left on his contract with CBS Radio – whose boss Les Moonves fired the shock jock on April 12. CBS’ lawyers contend Imus was fired for cause and not owed the rest of the money.
But Imus has hired one of the nation’s premiere First Amendment attorneys, and the two sides are gearing up for a legal showdown that could turn on how language in his contract that encouraged the radio host to be irreverent and engage in character attacks is interpreted, according to one person who has read the contract.