No ruling in Duke lacrosse slander appeal

Jan. 14, 2009 at 5:57 PM

RALEIGH, N.C., Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Lawyers for Duke University told a North Carolina appeals court that slander allegations made by the school's ex-lacrosse coach should have gone to arbitration.

The North Carolina Court of Appeals made no immediate ruling Wednesday after hearing arguments from lawyers for the school and Mike Pressler, who was fired amid an uproar over allegations that a woman had been raped at a team party in 2006.

The (Raleigh, N.C.) News and Observer said Pressler filed a lawsuit against Duke over allegedly slanderous statements made by a university spokesman in violation of a confidential contract settlement reached in 2007.

University lawyers told the court that the agreement with Pressler specified that such beefs had to be handled through arbitration first. A lower court, however, ruled last year that Pressler had the right to sue instead.

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