DURHAM: NC judge sets 2 trials for lawsuit against Cooper - WNCN: News, Weather

NC judge sets 2 trials for lawsuit against Cooper

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Attorney General Roy Cooper is seeking the Democratic nomination to run in 2016 against McCrory, a pro-business Republican who worked at Duke for more than 28 years. Attorney General Roy Cooper is seeking the Democratic nomination to run in 2016 against McCrory, a pro-business Republican who worked at Duke for more than 28 years.
DURHAM, N.C. -

A judge has decided a defamation lawsuit filed more than a decade ago against North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper by a former political rival should be handled with two civil trials.

Superior Court Judge Osmond Smith ruled Thursday in litigation that's expected to be tried later this month.

Dan Boyce, his father and two former law partners allege Cooper and his campaign libeled them in a television commercial in 2000. Cooper and Boyce were running for attorney general that year.

Smith decided Boyce and his father will be plaintiffs in the first trial, followed by a second trial with the law partners. The judge ruled the Boyces are public figures - meaning they must meet a higher standard that Cooper acted with malice, rather than just being negligent.

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