Brecht v. Hague


08/17/09 – 08/28/09


Defamation jury trial in King County, Washington. The case involved a political mailer distributed in October, 2007, during a King County Council campaign between Richard Pope and Jane Hague.

Paul Brecht had endorsed Pope. The plaintiff claimed that in response to Pope's mailer featuring Brecht's endorsement, Hague sent a mailer to approximately 24,000 households in the Bellevue area stating "Paul Brecht tops Pope's endorsement list. Brecht also tops law enforcement's list with multiple domestic violence arrests and at least one assault conviction." Plaintiff Brecht asserted that this statement was false.

Hague, who won the election, claimed that the arrests and conviction statement was based on, and supported by, publicly available records.

The jury found that the defendants did publish a defamatory statement about the plaintiff, but did not do so with knowledge of its falsity or reckless disregard with respect to its falsity.


The jury found that the defendants had published defamatory statements but hadn't done so with knowledge or reckless disregard to its falsity.


Recording Disclaimer: This proceeding was recorded in full.

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