A Middlesex Superior Court Judge presiding over the defamation lawsuit brought by Mayor Carlo DeMaria has granted the Mayor’s request for an Order freezing the assets of defendants Matthew Philbin, Josh Resnek and the company which owns the Leader Herald, Dorchester Publications, from transferring any of their assets, at least until a hearing that has ordered to take place on June 26th.
Arguing that the Mayor was likely to succeed on the merits of his defamation claim and pointing out that the defendants’ insurance company had disclaimed any obligation to provide any insurance coverage, and citing evidence that Philbin had fraudulently transferred millions of dollars of his assets in order to evade a judgment in DeMaria’s case, the Mayor’s lawyers asked the Court to freeze the defendants’ assets. The Court originally scheduled a hearing for this month. Philbin’s new lawyer filed an emergency motion to delay the hearing, saying that he needed more time to prepare a response. The Mayor’s lawyers asked the Court to freeze the defendants’ assets and prevent them from being transferred, and the Court agreed. Philbin, Resnek and Dorchester Publications are prohibited from transferring their personal or business assets until June 26th, at which time the Court will decide whether to extend the freeze further.
In a separate development, the Discovery Master appointed by the Superior Court ruled in favor of the Mayor’s motions to compel the appearances at a sworn deposition of Matthew Philbin’s former assistant, Nicole Porcella, and his brother, Andrew Philbin, Jr., and requiring them to produce certain documents they had been withholding. Philbin had hired a lawyer to try to block the Mayor’s lawyers from asking them questions under oath. In an Order issued on Thursday, the Discovery Master required the two to produce certain categories of documents and to show up to give testimony under oath in the Mayor’s lawsuit.