Vic Mignogna Seeks Review on Defamation Verdict in Supreme Court

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Vic Mignogna
Vic Mignogna; Credits: YouTube

On November 14, Vic Mignogna, a voice actor, and his attorneys petitioned the Supreme Court of Texas to appeal the judgment in their defamation case against Funimation, Jamie Marchi, Monica Rial, and Rial’s fiancé Ron Toye. Mignogna has lost appeals before the Texas Second Court of Appeals and the Tarrant County District Court. Still, the voice actor and his attorneys contend that in doing so, the court of appeals apended many components of established Texas law.

Mignogna and his attorneys contend that previous court decisions ignored the rule that specific contracts cannot be overwritten by courts and that Rule 11 agreements, which permit lawyers and parties to any lawsuit to join into such a written contract on any subject material of the case, are analyzed and dealt as contracts. The petition further asserts that the court disallowed Mignogna’s Second Amended Petition as it was submitted in a manner that contravened the revised Rule 11 Agreement.

Vic Mignogna
Vic Mignogna; Credits: Know Your Meme

In addition, the petition contends that the courts erred by finding Mignogna to be a public figure based on insufficient evidence, holding that a party can unwittingly become a constrained media personality by defending himself against slanderous accusations, trying to dismiss Mignogna’s defamation claims, and failing to take testimony into account when the appellate court overturned and resentenced the trial court’s decision to award US$100,000 to Rial and Toy. A response to the petition was not filed by Funimation, Marchi, Rial, or Toye, but they all agreed to do so if the court requested one.

Initial Case

Mignogna, a controversial voice actor, has been accused of sexual misconduct numerous times over his career by both coworkers and fan groups or attendees. In 2019, Funimation ended its collaboration with him as a result of these allegations. Then Mignogna filed a defamation lawsuit against Marchi, Rial, and Toye, Rial’s fiancée, as well as his Funimation and voice acting colleagues. Later, the court rejected these claims.

Mignogna was ordered by the court to compensate the defendants’ attorneys’ US$223,042.42 fees. He had to pay US$238,042.42 in total, plus US$15,000 in penalties, according to the ruling. The verdict also detailed contingency expenses that Mignogna may be required to pay if he decided to appeal, totaling US$287,500.

Vic Mignogna
Vic Mignogna Case Meme; Credits: YouTube

The Texas Citizens Participation Act served as the foundation for the trial court’s judgment. This law was created by Texas, along with several other states, to stop SLAPP cases (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation), which are legal actions used to restrict the rights of others to petition, associate, and speak freely.

Multiple eyewitnesses and potential victims of Mignogna’s unwelcome attention or sexual approaches have come forward during the litigation, including voice actor Kara Edwards, young congoers, convention employees, and business people.

Vic Mignogna Pleads Innocent

The Tarrant County District Court’s ruling against Mignogna on the lawsuit from November 2019 was upheld by the Texas Second Court of Appeals in August. Nevertheless, the judge also discovered that the initial attorney’s fee judgment to Rial and Toye fell short of the amount supported by objectively substantial evidence.

The Tarrant County District Court was therefore mandated by the appeals court to reconsider the awards that Mignogna is required to make to Rial and Toye for their legal expenses. However, the appellate court dismissed all of Mignogna’s arguments and upheld the trial court’s initial judgment. Mignogna was also ordered by the appeals court to cover all expenses of this case.

Vic Mignogna's Famous Roles
Vic Mignogna’s Famous Roles; Credits: Deviant Art

Vic Mignogna’s Famous Roles

  • Edward Elric in Fullmetal Alchemist
  • Broly in Dragon Ball
  • Tamaki Suoh in Ouran High School Host Club
  • Fai D. Flowright in Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle
  • Dark in D.N. Angel
  • Kurz Weber in Full Metal Panic!
  • Zero & Ichiru Kiryu in Vampire Knight
  • Christopher Aonuma in Digimon Fusion
  • Nagato and Obito Uchiha in Naruto Shippuden
  • Ikkaku Madarame in Bleach
  • Rohan Kishibe in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable
  •  Qrow Branwen in RWBY
  • Matt Ishida in Digimon Adventure tri. 
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By Arushi Chadha

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