Wilmington, Del. — This week’s blockbuster trial in Dominion Voting Systems defamation lawsuit against Fox News was delayed by 24 hours, reportedly due to ongoing settlement talks.
Superior Court Judge Eric Davis said in a statement late Sunday evening, just hours before opening the arguments in the case were slated to begin, that he would delay the start of the trial by one day.
The delay comes as lawyers for both sides are set to meet Monday to discuss a last-minute deal to avoid trial, The Washington Post reported, citing two people familiar with the talks.
The Wall Street Journal reported late Sunday Fox’s lawyers were making an 11th-hour push to strike a settlement deal.
A representative for Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment and a spokesperson for Dominion declined to comment on potential settlement talks.
During a hearing early Monday, Davis said he still expected the proceedings to begin on Tuesday morning.
“This is not unusual, I have not gone through a trial that has not had a delay of some kind,” Davis said from the bench on Monday, before holding a brief sidebar with attorneys for both sides and adjourning for the day.
Dominion is suing Fox for defamation over its coverage of the 2020 election and former president Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud, alleging the network knowingly aired false claims about its software being pushed by Trump and his allies.
Fox has defended itself on First Amendment grounds and has accused Dominion of inflating its financial valuation and “cherry picking” quotes from its employees in recent court filings to drum up press coverage of the case.
Dozens of journalists are stationed near the Wilmington, Delaware courthouse ahead of the expected trial.
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