The Delaware judge presiding over Dominion Voting Systems' defamation lawsuit against Fox News announced Monday that the trial is delayed until Tuesday morning, declining to give a reason for the delay.
Opening statements had been expected to kick off Monday in the historic trial over Fox's broadcasting of falsehoods alleging the voting machine company was involved in a nonexistent scheme to rig the 2020 election. But the court signaled Sunday night that the proceedings would be delayed, with Judge Eric Davis making an announcement in court Monday morning.
The Dominion v. Fox News defamation trial is expected to begin Tuesday. Follow our live blog for the latest updates and expert analysis at msnbc.com/dominiontrial.
Settlement talks could be a reason for the delay, as reported by other outlets but not confirmed by NBC News or MSNBC. Such potential settlement talks on the eve of trial aren't unusual. If anything, it's unusual that the case has gotten to the point of trial, given the damning evidence Dominion has amassed against Fox, including a treasure trove of internal communications suggesting people within the network broadcast falsehoods while appearing to know better.
Nonetheless, the legal standard of "actual malice" that Dominion has to meet at trial, proving that the false claims were aired with knowledge of their falsity or with reckless disregard for the truth, is a notoriously difficult one for plaintiffs to meet. And even if Dominion wins at trial, the amount of damages it would recover is not a certainty.
It’s also not unusual for scheduling issues having nothing to do with the substance of a case to cause delays. Jury selection could finalize on Tuesday, followed by opening statements.