By Sam Gringlas, For the Daily
Published September 20, 2012
In the latest twist in a long series of legal proceedings, Bloomfield Hills lawyer Deborah Gordon requested a court-ordered mental examination of Andrew Shirvell, the former Michigan assistant attorney general.
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The federal court filing, submitted on Monday, is in response to an ongoing defamation lawsuit filed by Shirvell against Gordon. In August, Shirvell was ordered to pay $4.5 million in damages to Chris Armstrong, a University alum and the first openly gay president of the University’s student government. Gordon represented Armstrong in his case against Shirvell, which was filed in response to a blog he authored attacking Armstrong’s “radical homosexual agenda.”
Shirvell appealed the case filed by Armstrong, and proceeded to file a defamation lawsuit against Gordon, claiming that Gordon’s statements to the media were defamatory. Gordon stated Shirvell was “delusional” and a “troubled and immature young man,” according to the Detroit Free Press.
By requesting a medical examination, Gordon said she hopes to prove her opinions are true and disprove the defamation suit. Shirvell said he believes the purpose of requesting the examination is to encourage him to drop his lawsuit against her.
“I think it’s frivolous,” Shirvell said in an interview. “She is completely out of control. Deb Gordon is viscous. She is mean spirited. She’s got a vendetta against me. She has made me an object of her obsession.”
Shirvell said he would undergo the examination if ordered by the court, but until then he is under no obligation to do so.
Gordon said she believes Shirvell’s argument for the defamation suit clashes with the defense in the Armstrong case, noting that though the first amendment protects opinions, it doesn’t allow people to lie. According to Gordon, Shirvell’s blog statements included lies passed off as facts.
“He’s so illogical and it’s shocking because he’s a lawyer,” she said.
Though Armstrong is not involved in the current defamation lawsuit, Gordon said she believes Shirvell’s motives are rooted in the original case.
“He’s hell-bent on convincing the world he’s right,” she said.
Shirvell said his appeal of the Armstrong decision, in addition to a civil service appeal to get his job back in the attorney general's office, will continue as long as necessary.
“I will see this through to the very end,” he said. “I know in the end I’ll be successful, even if it goes to the Supreme Court.”