The paralegal walloped with a $1.25 million defamation verdict last month by an Alameda County jury is asking the judge for a new trial.
Judge Jo-Lynne Lee entered judgment on Aug. 31 after a lengthy trial at the end of which the mostly female jury sided with Allison Moreno’s former boss, Oakland attorney Thomas Ostly. The award included $100,000 in punitive damages.
In the contentious case, Moreno claimed Ostly pressured her into a sexual relationship and then fired her without reason. Ostly counter-sued her for defamation, claiming that they had been dating and that he never fired her.
In court documents filed this week, Moreno’s attorneys at Oakland’s Siegel & Yee made attorney-client privilege a central issue in their arguments for vacating the judgment or ordering a new trial.
Moreno had a lot of lawyer friends in the East Bay tenant law community in which Ostly practiced, and they argued she can’t be held liable for talking to them or to other friends and family about Ostly.
They also argue that Ostly suffered the emotional distress he blames on Moreno long before their paths crossed.
They’re set to be back in court Oct. 6 for a hearing on Moreno’s post-trial motions in Moreno v. Ostly, RG07339821.