Details of Internecine Fight at Philadelphia Inquirer In Court Spotlight

By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — After 2½ days of arguments and testimony, the Philadelphia Inquirer owners’ spat that spilled from the boardroom to the courtroom will take a break until next week.

Publisher Bob Hall wrapped up his testimony by saying that he had obtained a legal opinion bolstering his view that he had the authority to terminate editor Bill Marimow’s employment in October.

Attorneys representing partners Lewis Katz and Gerry Lenfest contend the opinion came from the law firm Cozen O’Connor, which has a business relationship with co-owner George Norcross, who leads a rival faction of partners that wanted Marimow out.

Katz’s backers argued that Hall once told workers the current lawsuit represents the “Allies versus Axis powers,” and they “can’t be Switzerland and sit neutral in the middle.”  Hall then reportedly said he’s “on the Norcross side.”

Judge Patricia McInerney, who denied a request by the Katz-Lenfest side to remove Hall, also ruled that she would take under advisement their second request to reinstate Marimow as editor.  That means she will wait until  Norcross testifies next week.

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