News Corp. phone hacking coming to US


Mark Lewis, the UK lawyer who represents the family of phone hacking victim Milly Dowler, says legal action will be launched in the US against News Corp. and has already consulted with U.S. lawyers about bringing a case against the company’s board within the next couple weeks.

Lewis told news outlets that he instructed New York-based lawyer Norman Siegel to get statements from News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch, his son James, the Deputy COO who oversees the company’s international subsidiaries, and other members of the board. He advised Siegel to pursue depositions even before filing papers.

Lewis is already in the process of negotiating the biggest settlement in the hacking scandal, on behalf of Dowler’s family.

This case in the US would likely investigate the hacking of 9/11 victims and bribery of foreign officials. Any such bribery would violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and Lewis told the UK Guardian he would look into the possibility of a class action suit centered around the FCPA.

DOJ has also been looking into claims of both hacking and bribery, and it sent a letter to News Corp. 9/21 seeking more information about the alleged bribery.

News Corp. already faces a lawsuit from shareholders in Delaware, and further legal action in the U.S. News Corp. has consistently denied any hacking links to its U.S. properties.

RBR-TVBR observation: As we’ve stated before, there has been some discussion how the problems of News Corp. might have an impact upon its FCC licenses here in the states if the company is found guilty of criminal offenses in the U.K. If the company is found guilty of any of this level of wrongdoing here in the states, it could present quite a problem. But at this point, only investigations are afoot at DOJ–nothing more. Lewis’ potential case with US lawyers is civil.