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Sacha Baron Cohen Wins 'Ali G' Lawsuit With Help of Indian Legal Team

The story of the ill-fated lawsuit against comedian Sacha Baron Cohen by his ex-girlfriend, who claimed he defamed her in one of his "Da Ali G Show" interviews, was already pretty interesting by itself. No stranger to the legal troubles that go hand-in-hand with his particular style of film-making, Cohen won the lawsuit a year ago (in what the THR, Esq. blog called "a victory for the free speech rights of comedians who wish to make fun of ex-girlfriends in the midst of calling Gore Vidal a world-famous hairstylist and questioning whether Denzel Washington lives in George Washington's former Mount Vernon home.") The case is back in the news this week because on Tuesday, a California appeals court affirmed the lower court's dismissal of the case against Cohen and the show's distributor, the U.K.'s Channel Four Television.

Cohen Perhaps just as interesting, however, is the fact that Channel Four has been very publicly defending the case using U.S. law-trained attorneys in India. The Law Without Borders blog reported here that after the case was initially dismissed in April 2009, Channel Four issued a statement that it was "happy not only with the result in the 'Ali G' case, but also with the low legal fees that made the defense possible." It added that the case was being "fought with the litigation support services of SDD Global Solutions, the India arm of Channel 4’s U.S. counsel, SmithDehn LLP, in a groundbreaking case where ‘outsourcing’ has proved to be a creative solution to running a robust defense.” Channel Four noted that SDD Global conducted the legal research and drafted all of the preliminary drafts of court papers in the litigation, including the successful motion for summary judgment.

SDD Global's Head of Operations added that because his team made the defense affordable, the U.S. lawyers were able to focus on "strategizing, supervising, editing, and appearing in court. The implications of this case are huge. With legal outsourcing, baseless lawsuits can be defeated on their merits, instead of settled simply out of fear of legal fees.”

After Tuesday's appellate victory, SDD Global issued another statement again hailing outsourcing as a "creative solution in defending against baseless litigation."

Posted by Bruce Carton on April 9, 2010 at 12:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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