The Press: Verdict for the Plaintiff

"There has to be a first time for everything," said Columnist Drew Pearson ruefully one day last week, "and this is the first time I've ever lost a libel suit." That day a jury in federal district court had brought in a verdict in favor of onetime U.S. Assistant Attorney General Norman M. Littell, for $50,000 compensatory damages, plus $1 for punitive damages — the biggest libel verdict ever returned in Washington.

Lawyer Littell charged that Pearson had damaged him by writing in his column: "The Justice Department is casting a quizzical eye on ... Norman Littell. They have reports that Littell...

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