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Federal judge: Laurie Fine entitled to Syracuse U. documents for her libel suit against ESPN


SYRACUSE, New York — A federal judge has ordered Syracuse University to disclose several documents related to its investigation into child-molesting claims against former assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine.

U.S. Magistrate Judge David Peebles ruled last week that Fine's wife, Laurie Fine, is entitled to some documents from 2005 for her libel suit against ESPN.

The university had claimed it could withhold the documents because they were their lawyers' work in anticipation of a possible lawsuit. Peebles reviewed the records and determined they were prepared during the ordinary course of business.

Unless the university appeals, Peebles said it has to produce the documents within three weeks. He also plans to review all other documents the school claims can be withheld because they're privileged under attorney-client confidentiality.

Documents sought include draft witness statements.

Bernie Fine was never charged.

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