If it’s a “slap on the wrist” trial, what would Will Smith’s damages be? A Lawyer’s Opinion | FRIDAY DIGITAL

If it’s a “slap on the wrist” trial, what would Will Smith’s damages be? A Lawyer’s Opinion

We asked a veteran local Japanese lawyer who has had an office in California for 26 years

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE
Will Smith being accosted by Bradley Cooper at the Academy Awards.

On April 8, 12 days after the shocking “Oscar slap incident,” Chris Rock, the person involved, appeared on his live tour in California. He said, “I won’t talk about it (the incident) unless I get paid for it,” which has created a buzz locally.

The incident is still being widely reported in the U.S., and social networking sites are filled with criticism of Will Smith and comments such as, “We should file a lawsuit against Chris Rock. In response to Mr. Rock’s statement, some people believe that a settlement has already been negotiated behind the scenes.

The United States is known as a “litigious country,” with a strong tendency to settle disputes in court, and attention is focused on whether Chris Rock will file a lawsuit against Will Smith.

If a lawsuit is filed, how much will Will Smith have to pay?

We asked Atsushi Kajioka, an attorney who has handled numerous litigation cases in the 26 years since he opened his office in California, where the Dolby Theatre, where the Academy Awards ceremony was held, is located, about the compensation for the “slap on the wrist” case.

–How was Will Smith’s slap received locally?

Kajioka: First and foremost, my honest impression is that I was surprised. It was in front of tens of millions of people. Everyone around me was surprised because it was an incident involving Will Smith, who had a strong image as a “man of character.

–Will there be a possibility of a criminal case?

Kajioka: I think it will be a criminal case. It doesn’t matter whether Chris Rock files charges or not; the prosecutor will make the decision. The plaintiff would be the State of California and Chris Rock would be treated as a witness. Since everyone witnessed the act of violence, even if Locke did not take the stand, it would be easy to prove.

In fact, there are many voices from the American public saying that a case should be made. Violence in the presence of children is not acceptable in the U.S. for any reason. I believe that the prosecutors are now considering what to do.

If convicted, he will be fined up to $2,000 and imprisoned for up to six months. However, it is unlikely that he will be sentenced to jail time, and he will likely be placed on probation.

–If Chris Rock sues, how much will he be compensated?

Kajioka: The cost of medical treatment, actual damages for being unable to work due to the shock of the slap, and compensation for the mental anguish he has suffered. Locke can claim these things. However, since he probably did not go to the hospital this time and attended a show a week after the incident, the damages and compensation will not amount to much. In fact, it has been reported that tickets to Locke’s shows have gone up in price.

–Will Smith will have to pay little or no compensation if he is sued in a civil lawsuit?

Kajioka: No. For intentional torts such as this one, you can claim “punitive damages. Punitive damages” are the ones that are called “punitive damages. This is compensation not for the harm suffered by the victim, but to punish the perpetrator.

–How are “punitive damages” determined?

Kajioka: It is determined by taking into account Will Smith’s personal assets and income. It is reported that his personal assets are $350 million and his annual income is $30 million. Therefore, “punitive damages” could range from $20 million to several hundred million dollars. However, this is only the amount that Locke can claim. How much the actual damages will be depends on the judge’s decision. I have been practicing law in the U.S. for about 30 years, and I am not aware of any precedent for a case like this one. The amount of compensation is really hard to read.

–Will Smith has apologized after the incident. Will that be taken into consideration?

Kajioka: Of course, it will be taken into consideration. If there is a lawsuit, Will Smith’s lawyer will probably claim that he was sorry right away. It will be up to the judge to decide on that.

–Kajioka: I wonder if the content of Chris Rock’s jokes will have any effect on the trial.

Kajioka: I think it will have little to do with this. The act itself is the issue. Violence is allowed only in limited cases, such as when self-defense is allowed.

20 million to several hundred million dollars. …… Even if the minimum is $20 million, it is still an astonishing amount of money for the average person. How will the “Oscar slap case,” which has become a worldwide controversy, develop in the future?

  • Photo. REX/Afro

Photo Gallery1 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles