WEST PALM BEACH — A drawn out legal affair that began at the end of 2014 with questionable sexual allegations against famous lawyer Alan Dershowitz finally concluded Wednesday in Florida’s 4th District Court of Appeals. Like all other installments in the slowly-unraveling saga, it has resolved in Dershowitz’s favor.
The whole incident stems from accusations made by Virginia Roberts Giuffre that the Harvard Law professor emeritus had sex with her in connection with Palm Beach billionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s string of sexual offenses against her and other teenagers. (It was Dershowitz who defended Epstein and negotiated his plea.)
From the beginning, Dershowitz vehemently denied the charges, and took great umbrage at the actions of Giuffe’s attorneys, Paul Cassell and Florida lawyer Bradley Edwards, in pursuing the matter.
“I won’t rest until these lawyers admit they made it up,” he said, vowing also to see them disbarred.
Dershowitz won his court cases, and though Cassell and Edwards were never disbarred, they were compelled to admit publicly that “it was a mistake to have filed sexual misconduct accusations against Dershowitz.”
This latest legal chapter was perhaps the oddest: Giuffre claimed that she should be able to seek sanctions against Dershowitz because he allegedly revealed confidential information during the defamation suit he filed against Cassell and Edwards.
The court upheld a prior decision in Broward County that Giuffre could not seek the sanctions because she herself was never a party to the defamation suit (though it did arise from her original claims of sexual misconduct).
Dershowitz—who has represented such big names as Mike Tyson, Claus von Bulow and O.J. Simpson—was himself represented by South Florida legal titan Bruce Rogow.
Rogow said the case was “strange” since people can’t just insert themselves into other parties’ lawsuits.
“Alan has had a great reputation,” Rogow went on. “There’s no question he took this to heart in a very hard way and I understand why.”
Although Dershowitz can now put the unpleasant legal brouhaha behind him, parts of the case still rage on. Cassell and Edwards are still at it, and are now suing the federal government over various technicalities related to prosecutors agreeing not to pursue federal charges against Epstein. Additionally, a trial is set for Palm Beach County Circuit Court in December based on claims by Edwards that Epstein filed a frivolous lawsuit against him as a means of revenge over the original legal action.
Certainly a very tangled legal web. One that Dershowitz is no doubt glad to be done with.