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Judge Reinstates Holden’s Suit Against Lawyer, Former Aide

A judge this week refused to dismiss Councilman Nate Holden’s defamation and libel suit against attorney Melanie Lomax and a former aide who has accused the veteran city official of sexual harassment.

Holden’s countersuit came in response to a sexual harassment case filed by Lomax on behalf of Carla Cavalier, a former receptionist and field deputy for Holden. Holden has accused the pair of defaming him at a news conference announcing the sexual harassment suit.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Donald Smallwood, who received the case when the entire Los Angeles Superior Court bench was disqualified, temporarily struck down Holden’s countersuit in August. But after hearing further argument, he reinstated Holden’s suit Wednesday. Cavalier has hired another attorney to handle her case.


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