Today we have two cases of the day: In re Application of O’Keeffe (S.D. Fla. 2015), and In re Application of O’Keeffe (D.N.J. 2015). The applicant in both cases, Kate O’Keeffe, is a reporter for the Wall Street Journal. In 2012, she wrote an article about the casino magnate, Sheldon Adelson, that described him as a “scrappy, foul-mouthed billionaire from working class Dorchester, Mass.” Adelson sued her for libel in Hong Kong, where O’Keeffe is based, alleging that the adjective “foul-mouthed” was false and defamatory.
In Florida, O’Keeffe sought discovery from Nikita Zukov, a Palm Beach architect who, she said, “frequently interacted with Adelson while providing architectural services for a project for Adelson’s company.” O’Keeffee claimed that Zukov may have “personally witnessed Adelson use foul or otherwise offensive language.” Zukov, she said, “was terminated from thep roject after approximately nine months and later prevailed in a brach of contract action” against Adelson’s company. Zukov’s dealings with Adelson were in 1989.