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The latest twist in the Duke University lacrosse case concerns the players’ media strategy, with Duke officials trying to shut down a Web site about the case. Lawyers for Duke University, the city of Durham, N.C., and the Duke University Health System have objected in federal court to the Web site run by the players’ legal and communications team, www.dukelawsuit.com. The Web site is regularly updated with information about the case and includes briefs from both sides. The lawyers have said the Web site, as well as a press conference and media alerts sent by the players’ legal team, violates rules of the North Carolina Professional Conduct and have a likelihood of prejudicing proceedings. New meaning for ‘gall’ In court papers, the lawyers said the Web site “is aimed at attacking the character, credibility, and reputation of the Duke Defendants,” referring to those who are being sued by the lacrosse players. Lawyers for the 38 Duke lacrosse players from the 2006 season have filed an opposing brief, saying the rule does not apply to civil cases and that most of the information on the Web site and revealed at the press conference is available through public records. They said the city officials’ attempt to silence the players “gives a new meaning to the concept of gall,” and said city officials fueled negative publicity about the players when the case surfaced in 2006. The case started in March 2006 with sexual assault accusations against three members of the lacrosse team. In April 2007, all charges were dropped. Mike Nifong, former Durham County district attorney who initially prosecuted the case, has since been disbarred. In February, 38 nonindicted players from the team filed a lawsuit against the university and various city and other officials over a range of complaints, such as deprivation of civil rights and breach of contract. Carrington v. Duke, No. 1:08CV-119 (M.D.N.C.). In late February, Duke and other officials filed a motion seeking to shut down the Web site run by the players’ team. An assistant to Charles J. Cooper of Washington’s Cooper & Kirk, who is representing the lacrosse players, referred calls to Robert Bork Jr., who is handling calls from the media. Bork, president of Bork Communication Group in McLean, Va., declined to comment. He also said a hearing will be held on April 15 in Winston, N.C. Reginald B. Gillespie of Durham’s Faison & Gillespie, who is representing Durham in the lawsuit, said in an e-mail that it is his practice not to comment to the media during pending litigation.

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