Charleston attorney Akim Anastopoulo wants the state Supreme Court to allow him to sue a fellow lawyer he alleges made defamatory statements against him during proceedings in a 2012 civil case.
Anastopoulo, known as "Judge Extreme Akim" from his time on the nationally syndicated court show "Eye for an Eye," is appealing the dismissal of a defamation suit he had filed in Florence County in February 2012.
The Supreme Court heard arguments in the case Wednesday morning.
Anastopoulo alleges that Myrtle Beach attorney Edward Cole made disparaging and libelous statements about him during a civil case the two attorneys were arguing in federal court in Florence County starting in 2011, according to court records.
Cole's attorney and Anastopoulo said court rules prevented them from discussing the case.
Anastopoulo alleges that Cole made derogatory statements in an email, a motion and three memos related to a lawsuit in which Anastopoulo represented a woman who had filed suit against a car insurance company following a wreck. Cole was representing the insurance company.
Cole made statements in a memo that accused Anastopoulo of making threats and using "outright trickery" in his effort to win the case, according to a brief filed with S.C. Supreme Court on behalf of Anastopoulo.
In other court documents filed in the car insurance suit, Cole stated Anastopoulo and his client were involved in a "shameful course of conduct." He accused Anastopoulo of misleading the court and referred to his conduct as scurrilous, deceitful and perfidious, documents state.
Anastopoulo denied those allegations and went after Cole with a defamation lawsuit.
In August 2012, Cole asked the circuit court to dismiss the defamation case on the grounds that his statements were protected because they were part of the judicial proceedings, according to court records.
A judge granted that request and dismissed Anastopoulo's suit, agreeing that Cole's statements were protected by state law, court records stated.
Anastopoulo is now asking the higher court to consider whether or not the dismissal was proper.
Wednesday morning, both sides had 10 minutes to argue their case before the state Supreme Court justices.
It could be months before the justices hand down a decision.
Reach Natalie Caula Hauff at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.
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