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Judge Delays City's Request To Toss Abbate Judgment

By Chuck Sudo in News on Dec 7, 2012 8:30PM

A federal judge has given law professors until Tuesday to detail their arguments against a request by the city to set aside the recent judgment in the Anthony Abbate civil trial in exchange for paying former bartender Karolina Obrycka the $850,000 in damages she was awarded last month.

Earlier this week lawyers for the city asked Judge Amy St. Eve to allow for the speedy payment in exchange for an agreement that the jury’s findings couldn’t be used in other civil lawsuits—in short, the city doesn't want the precedent set in the Abbate judgment to be used against them again. The city and Abbate were found guilty of sing a “code of silence” in an attempt to cover Abbate’s 2007 beating of Obrycka, which was caught on videotape and made international headlines.

City attorney Scott Jebson said Obrycka will receive her settlement regardless, but is looking out for the best interests of taxpayers against “misuse” of the judgment by plaintiffs in similar lawsuits against the city. Northwestern University professor Locke Bowman and University of Chicago professor Craig Futterman argue the city’s proposal is a “shameful” attempt to accept culpability in the Abbate verdict. Abbate juror Dr. Joseph Lentino told Tribune columnist John Kass the proposal is still another attempt to keep the “code of silence” in place and compared Mayor Rahm Emanuel to “a petulant child.”

”He didn't get what he wanted; now he wants it to change. This isn't going to cost the city just $850,000. By changing it, it's going to cost the city respect. As a result of this decision of the mayor, the public will lose the respect of the judicial process. And if you lose that, where are you?"