A federal judge on Wednesday set a Dec. 11 trial date to determine how much former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani must pay two Fulton County, Ga., election workers for defaming them after the 2020 election.
The judge previously found Giuliani automatically liable for defaming election workers Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss after Giuliani resisted turning over discovery in the case.
The trial will only be held to determine how much Giuliani owes in damages, and the judge had asked both sides to submit three proposed trial dates between November and February.
In a joint filing submitted Wednesday, the parties proposed the trial begin either Dec. 11, Jan. 8 or Feb. 20. They said the trial would last between three to five days.
Hours later, the judge chose the December date in a brief order.
“Plaintiffs’ strong preference is for the trial to take place at the earliest possible date, and in all events, before the end of 2023,” the filing states. “Unfortunately, given counsel and witness schedules, the parties were able to find only one week in November or December of 2023 in which the parties could be available.”
Freeman and Moss sued Giuliani after he made a series of statements in the wake of the 2020 election about Freeman and Moss’s work at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, where ballots were counted.
Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City turned Trump attorney, and others baselessly claimed the two workers committed election fraud by processing “suitcases” of illicit ballots.
U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell, who is overseeing the case, last month found Giuliani civilly liable by default for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and civil conspiracy after he refused to turn over discovery.
Howell suggested Giuliani may have resisted doing so to avoid legal exposure in other cases. He was indicted alongside former President Trump in the Georgia election subversion case last month. They pleaded not guilty.
“Perhaps, he has made the calculation that his overall litigation risks are minimized by not complying with his discovery obligations in this case,” Howell wrote. “Whatever the reason, obligations are case specific and withholding required discovery in this case has consequences.”
Howell ordered Giuliani to pay nearly $90,000 and his businesses to pay more than $43,000 to reimburse legal fees the election workers incurred in their attempt to compel Giuliani to turn over the materials.
Giuliani has appeared to face a cash crunch in the wake of his legal battles. His ex-lawyers sued him earlier this week for unpaid legal bills.
This story was updated at 6:59 pm.