Attorneys from both sides say they have agreed to dismiss a $2.3 million libel suit filed against the Uintah Basin Standard by Ute Tribal Attorney Gary Montana.
The suit was filed last October in Ute Tribal Courts on grounds that a letter to the editor printed in the October 11, 1989, issue of the paper defamed and libeled Montana.As part of the joint agreement disclosed Friday, Montana has agreed to have the suit dismissed with prejudice, meaning that it cannot be refiled later. Also, both parties have agreed to pay their own court costs and attorneys fees.
Montana said the suit was resolved after conversations between himself and the Standard's Salt Lake attorney, Jess Trentadue.
In his suit, Montana had claimed that a letter to the editor signed by Purple Sky said the tribe's attorney acted in "an unprofessional manner both on and off the job."
The letter did not mention Montana by name and mainly questioned actions taken by the Ute Tribal Business Committee on a number of issues.
The Standard made a motion in tribal court last November for dismissal on grounds that it lacked jurisdiction. No further action was taken until this week when both parties agreed to the dismissal.