New York Times Best Selling Author Scores Complete Victory

Cooley defended best-selling author Michael Lewis and W.W. Norton & Co. in a defamation suit filed in New York federal court by Wing Chau, the president and principal of Harding Advisory, and Harding Advisory. The plaintiffs allege that Lewis included defamatory statements about him in the "The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine," a nonfiction book about the 2007-2008 financial crisis and those who understood the real estate bubble and profited from it. "The Big Short" sat atop The New York Times nonfiction best-sellers list for 28 weeks. After months of intense litigation, the court granted a sweeping ruling knocking out all of plaintiffs' claims and granting summary judgment in favor of our clients. The court recognized that Lewis spent 16 months researching "The Big Short," interviewing 100+ sources and reviewing a vast amount of hard-copy materials, and concluded that "Chau's attempt to shift blame for the negative image now publically ascribed to [his investments in subprime mortgage bonds] . . . to the author and his source in the form a libel suit, is unsupported by law or fact." On appeal, the Second Circuit upheld the lower court's ruling.

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