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Defamed Profs May Seek Less From Thomson West

PHILADELPHIA (CN) - A federal judge declined to let legal publishing giant Thomson West completely nix a $5 million defamation verdict that a jury awarded two law professors.

The two professors now have the option of either taking $200,000 each or retrying their case against Thomson West.

U.S. District Judge John Fullam found Wednesday that the $90,000 each in compensatory damages awarded by the jury was "quite generous," but not excessive to the point that intervention was warranted.

The $5 million in punitive damages was "undoubtedly excessive," however, and $110,000 each was more appropriate, he wrote in a five-page decision.

Fullam's opinion may be among the last of the judge's illustrious - and sometimes controversial - tenure. The 89-year-old said last week that he would step down after over four decades on the federal bench.


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