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Defendants file to stop first settlement in 38 Studios case

Two defendants in the 38 Studios lawsuit have objected to the first settlement in the case on the grounds that the state law which permits it is unconstitutional and unfair.
Today the Providence Journal reports that two defendants in the 38 Studios lawsuit -- former Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation directors Keith Stokes and J. Michael Saul -- have formally objected to the first settlement in the long-running legal battle on the grounds that the state legislation which permits it is unconstitutional. This is notable because it's the very first potential settlement in the 38 Studios case since the suit was filed in 2012. The proposed $4.4 million settlement would be made by the insurance provider of defendants Antonio Afonso and his law firm Moses Afonso Ryan, which is a bond holder in the loan the state's development agency gave to 38 Studios to move to the state and develop its Copernicus MMORPG. Though there are multiple defendants in the case, Afonso and his firm are able to settle independently thanks to a recent amendment to Rhode Island state law that allows a defendant in the 38 Studios lawsuit -- and only in the 38 Studios lawsuit -- to independently agree to a settlement with the prosecution, without thereafter being liable for any judgment made by the court against the other defendants. Now Stokes and Saul are asking a Superior Court judge to block Afonso's settlement on the grounds that the amendment which makes it possible is unfair and will ultimately prevent them from relying on the insurance policies of their codefendants to pay their own legal costs.

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