Aquaman actress Amber Heard officially filed a motion on Thursday at the Circuit Court of Fairfax County to appeal the defamation trial ruling she lost to her ex-husband Johnny Depp.
Legal experts, in conversation with Newsweek, said that the Aquaman actress’ appeal is unlikely to be successful.
Attorney Andrew M. Lieb said he agreed with Heard’s team’s moves, but he stressed that her appeal “isn’t a slam dunk by any stretch of the imagination.”
“Amber Heard should 100 percent appeal her defamation trial loss against Johnny Depp because she has an as of right ability to file an appeal with the Court of Appeals of Virginia and failing to make the filing is an acknowledgment that she is stuck with a $10.35 million verdict against her,” Lieb told Newsweek.
“She is arguing improper juror service, but only on a technical basis, and absent a causal showing that the sitting of the juror resulted in bias or prejudice against her, the verdict will not be reversed,” Lieb added. “Simply, it’s a difficult appeal because the Court of Appeals gives deference to the trial judge who already refused an application for a trial on this issue.”
Interest, Lieb called the appeal a “smart strategic play” because it may give Heard “the leverage that she needs to negotiate a reduced judgment with Mr. Depp’s attorneys.”
Brian Wagner, a partner at McLoughlin, O’Hara, Wagner & Kendall LLP agreed that Heard having a successful appeal would be “rare and unlikely.”
“This Notice of Appeal is just a preliminary step, I expect the actual perfected appeal will be much more specific and focused on limited trial issues,” Wagner told Newsweek.
“The difficulty in an appeal is not only proving the court erred but also that the error caused a big enough error that the verdict was likely impacted. In short, that is rare and unlikely in this case.”