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Hardin Scores One for the Unfriendly Skies

Rusty Hardin, the high-profile Texas trial lawyer known for his work with Roger Clemens and Anna Nicole Smith, can add another notch to his belt. This time Hardin successfully defended Victoria Osteen, wife of television preacher Joel Osteen, against a civil claim filed by Continental Airlines flight attendant Sharon Brown.

Brown's assault claim alleges that Victoria grabbed her, pushed her into a restroom door and elbowed her in the chest because the flight attendant was remiss in cleaning up a spilled liquid from her first class seat, The Houston Chronicle reported shortly after closing arguments this morning.

In her testimony, Brown insisted Osteen attacked without cause and was headed for the pilot next. Hardin wasn't having it:

"I looked in her eyes and realized she was looking at the cockpit," Ms. Brown said. "I positioned myself in front of the cockpit. I still was trying to understand what was going on, because it happened so quick. My main concern was I wasn't going to let this lady in the cockpit."

Ms. Osteen's lawyer, Rusty Hardin, later asked Ms. Brown how she could have known by looking into Ms. Osteen's eyes that she intended to go into the cockpit.

"Can you look into my eyes and tell me where I am going to go?" Mr. Hardin said, to courtroom laughter.

Brown, who had asked for $405,000 in damages, received nothing when the jury unanimously agreed with Hardin's assessment that the story was concocted to land a courtroom payday.

Posted by Nicole White on August 14, 2008 at 05:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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