Case of the Day: In re O’Keeffe

The case of the day is In re O’Keeffe (D.N.J. 2015). Kate O’Keeffe was a Hong Kong-based reporter for Dow Jones & Co. She wrote an article, published in the US, European, and Asian editions of the Wall Street Journal, that described casino magnate Sheldon Adelson as “foul-mouthed.” Adelson, displaying some pretty thin skin for a billionaire in my opinion, sued O’Keeffe for libel in Hong Kong. O’Keeffe brought an application under § 1782 for leave to serve a subpoena on Kirk A. Thorell, formerly the auditor for one of Adelson’s companies. The WSJ had previously reported that Adelson’s “demeanor” was one of the reasons Thorell’s firm, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, no longer audited the company. She suggested that Thorell might have information to support her assertion, in her article, that Adelson was “foul-mouthed.” The magistrate judge granted the application ex parte, and Adelson then moved to quash.

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