So, just in case you missed it, A jury in Fairfax County, Virginia, agreed with Johnny Depp on Wednesday that Amber Heard defamed him knowingly and maliciously by writing the op-ed, and awarded the actor $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.
Judge Penney Azcarate lowered the punitive damages to the statutory limit of $350,000 in Virginia. The jury also ruled in Heard’s favor in her defamation countersuit, paying her $2 million in compensatory damages but no punitive penalties.
Amber intends to file an appeal. However, you cannot normally challenge a factual finding, because the jury determined that she lied and behaved with malice. Only a legal error can be appealed. The judge, a 20-year trial lawyer, characterized it fairly. I can’t think of a single obvious legal mistake in this instance.
Furthermore, Appellate courts are extremely hesitant to reconsider credibility determinations. One point they may try to appeal is the amount of damages, if it is in disagreement with the law.
In addition, we identified some VERY interesting information about appeals in Virginia courts where this trial was place and where the appeal will most likely be handled:
§ 16.1-107. Requirements for appeal.
A. No appeal shall be allowed unless and until the party applying for the same or someone for him shall give bond, in an amount and with sufficient surety approved by the judge or by his clerk if there is one, or in an amount sufficient to satisfy the judgment of the court in which it was rendered. Either such amount shall include the award of attorney fees, if any. Such bond shall be posted within 30 days from the date of judgment, except for an appeal from the judgment of a general district court on an unlawful detainer pursuant to § 8.01-
This basically means that in order for Amber to file an appeal she must first pay the FULL amount of her bond for the entire amount of the judgment which is millions of dollars.
And if it’s true that Amber is allegedly broke or at least doesn’t have any money after this trial, how could she possibly pay this bond?
Check out the video below that goes into more detail on this breaking news.