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Sat Aug 3, 2019, 10:18 AM

Overland Park Sen. Denning May Have To Pay $90,000 After Losing Defamation Suit

Kansas Sen. Jim Denning may be on the hook for about $90,000 in legal fees after a judge threw out his defamation claims against The Kansas City Star and former Star guest columnist Steve Rose.

That’s because the Kansas Public Speech Protection Act, which is meant to discourage lawsuits that chill free speech, allows prevailing parties to recover their costs of litigation and “reasonable attorney fees.”

The Star’s attorney, Bernie Rhodes of the Lathop Gage law firm in Kansas City, told KCUR that his tab ran to about $40,000 — although Rhodes said Denning is contesting it, which could drive up his fees even more. And Rose’s attorney, Eric Weslander of Stevens & Brand in Lawrence, told KCUR his fees amounted to about $48,000.

“Sen. Denning should have quit while he was behind and dropped his claim against Steve Rose after the court’s ruling on July 2 granting the Star’s motion to strike,” Weslander said in an email, referring to the court’s ruling earlier this month tossing Denning’s defamation claims against The Star.

Read more: https://www.kmuw.org/post/overland-park-sen-denning-may-have-pay-90000-after-losing-defamation-suit

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