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4.5 Johnny Depp Amber Heard Lawsuit Timeline

Goals

  1. Become more comfortable using legal English vocabulary to describe a US civil litigation.
  2. Become more comfortable explaining legal English with “everyday” English words.

Instructions

  1. Read each stage of the Johnny Depp Amber Heard Litigation Timeline
  2. Answer the questions.
  3. Write a discussion post.

Timeline

March 2019

Johnny Depps commences a civil action against Amber Heard by filing a Complaint in a Virginia Circuit Court. He claims that Amber Heard defamed him in an article that was published in the Washington Post. Answer the questions below and refer to the Complaint as needed.

April 2019

Amber Heard unsuccessfully asks the Court to dismiss the Complaint. In the memorandum of law in support of her motion, Heard’s attorneys argued that Virginia was an inconvenient forum. Notably, Heard did not ask in this motion for the Court to dismiss the case for lack of personal jurisdiction. That is, in this motion Heard did not claim that the Court did not have power over her because she had no connection to Virginia. But she did argue that the court should dismiss the case because it would be better to litigate the case in California. Answer the questions below and refer to the memorandum of law as needed.

August 2020

Amber Heard files a counterclaim against Johnny Depp. She alleges that plaintiff is liable for defaming her. Answer the questions below and refer to the counterclaims as necessary.

June 2022

The jury awards Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. But the punitive damages are capped at $350,000 because of a Virginia statute.

Heard was awarded $2 million by the jury in compensatory damages for her counterclaim and no punitive damages.

July 2022

Amber Heard files a Notice of Appeal.

December 2022

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard announce they reached a settlement. It appears that Amber Heard paid some money to Johnny Depp as part of the settlement but much less than $10 million dollars.

Write a Discussion Post

Imagine someone asked you how it is possible that a jury decided that both Amber Heard and Johnny Depp must pay each other money at the end of a trial. And then asks you why Johnny Depp would have agreed to accept much less money. And they also want to know why this case was in Virginia.

Write a post with your answers and use some of the legal English terms we studied. Explain legal English words as necessary to make sure everyone understands you.

Write at least 2 – 3 paragraphs.