Remember the Fairfax Financial vs hedge funds bit? Five years ago, the Canadian insurer got it in its head that SAC Capital, Kynikos and Third Point conspired together to drive down the company's stock and that part of its plan was to "spread disinformation to business journalists" who, as pawns in their game, would help disseminate the negative news re the neighbors to the north. Anyway, this thing is still going on and last month, Third Point subpoenaed a bunch of reporters though apparently had a change of heart on using their depositions.
Matthew Goldstein reports:
Last month, in a little-noticed move, Daniel Loeb, one of several prominent hedge fund managers sued by Fairfax Financial, served subpoenas on a number of journalists seeking to take their depositions in the now five-year-old litigation...Loeb, however, appears to have had a recent change of heart about the subpoenas, which were sent to columnist Joe Nocera of The New York Times and former Fortune writer Bethany McLean, among others. A lawyer for Loeb told Reuters on Monday the subpoenas were withdrawn. "Third Point has no intention of seeking testimony or documents from any member of the media, and any prior subpoenas issued to journalists have been fully withdrawn," said Loeb attorney Bill Carmody of Susman Godfrey in New York.
But at least one other defendant in the case, which is pending in New Jersey state court, is still seeking to take a deposition of a reporter who once wrote about Fairfax. Seeking to take testimony from journalists is often controversial because it can infringe on protection afforded to the press under the First Amendment. One journalist who may still be deposed is Peter Eavis, a former columnist with The Wall Street Journal. Eavis was served a subpoena by lawyers for Morgan Keegan and Co, another defendant, over columns he wrote about Fairfax when he worked at TheStreet.com.
Lawyers for Fairfax recently said in court filings that they may seek to take testimony from former New York Post reporter Roddy Boyd, now a freelance writer. In court papers, Fairfax's lawyers argue that Boyd wrote a number of critical stories about Fairfax after receiving information from people working for the hedge fund managers. Boyd declined to comment.