Seamus McCaffery Accuses Inky, Daily News of Libel

Justice Seamus McCaffery and his wife have filed papers in Philadelphia court.

Law 360 (paywall) reports that Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery has announced plans to sue the Inquirer and Daily News for libel. The announcement follows a series of articles that claimed McCaffery’s wife received fees for steering cases to personal injury firms.

The summons filed in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas by Justice McCaffery and his wife, attorney Lise Rapaport, comes in the wake of reports in June 2013 that the couple were under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for 19 referral fees Rapaport had received for cases she steered to several firms in the region.

Justice McCaffery and his wife were the subject of a series of articles in both papers in 2013 raising questions about referral fees Rapaport has received during her 16-year tenure as the justice’s chief judicial aide.

The Inquirer’s reporting said Justice McCaffery had presided over several cases while on the Supreme Court involving firms that Rapaport had received fees from. The reports noted, however, that there was no evidence that he had ever ruled as part of a case his wife had directly received fees from.

After the articles appeared, the court adopted  rules prohibiting judges from hiring relatives or sitting on corporate boards. Law 360 says the defendants in the case are Interstate General Media, the parent company of the papers; Intertrust GCN, the company owned by Lewis Katz, a minority shareholder in IGM; Inky editor Bill Marimow; DN editor Michael Days; and Inky editorial cartoonist Signe Wilkinson. A spokesman for the company declined comment.

UPDATE 9:55 am: This post was updated to include Intertrust GCN among the defenants.

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  • TDD

    His pseudo-honor McCaffery is the poster child of why judges should not be elected in PA. He’s thought of as a horses arse by many of his peers, and those who like him do so for his Yosemite Sam persona, complete with Harley & sidearm. The mere appearance of impropriety in situations like these should preclude someone of his supposed stature from behaving the way he does, but the reality is he’s too arrogant to give a damn. Seamus, you’re a turd. A great big turd. PA doesn’t deserve you; matter of fact, no one does. I have not one doubt that your lawsuit will not prevail, and hopefully you will be publicly scolded were it move forward.

  • PG

    Suing the (Pulitzer Prize-winning) editorial cartoonist? Seriously?

  • Jim Panyard

    Under law, he must prove there was “malice aforethought”, but this IS Pennsylvania, where it is better to know the judge than to know the law.

    • PG

      No, not “malice aforethought” (that’s an element of murder, meaning “in cold blood”), just “malice” (meaning, in this context, knowing that the statement is false, or with reckless disregard as to whether it is true or false). Malice must be proven by clear and convincing evidence.

      • Jim Panyard

        I stand corrected, correctly.

  • mference

    PA judges are bought and sold like stolen merchandise at an outdoor flea market.

  • NEPAMike

    He is such an embarrassment.

  • twopartysystem1

    ‘Memeber when the PA surpremes voted the midnight pay and pension raise illegal for everyone except the judges? That’s all you need to now about the courts in corrupt PA.

  • twopartysystem1

    Look at the trash attracted to that cesspool: Cappy, Castille, McCaffrey, Orie…..

  • balboa316

    The man ruined my life, I should come forward and tell McCoy and the paper all bout the wonderful court system, but I can not. Hope Castille and the FBI get this man, but I doubt it he ruins peoples lifes because he can…

    • Hank

      McCaffery is also a free mason. Shows you what kind of ego-maniacal douche-bags join Free masonry these days.