Appeal Hearing Set in Duke Lacrosse Slander Suit

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Duke University officials are appealing a ruling that allows former men's lacrosse coach Mike Pressler to pursue a slander lawsuit against the school and its former spokesman.

Officials will argue the decision made by Superior Court Judge Howard Manning in court Wednesday afternoon. The university argues Manning erred when he nullified a settlement last year between Pressler and Duke. The settlement came after Pressler was fired following a woman's false accusations that three players raped her.

Pressler's lawsuit said Duke violated the settlement when former spokesman John Burness twice made disparaging comments about Pressler to the media. Duke attorneys have said federal law calls for arbitration in such cases and asked the state Court of Appeals to reverse Manning's ruling.

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