Federal appeals court rules against ex-Michigan state attorney in anti-gay defamation lawsuit

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ANN ARBOR, Michigan — An appeals court says a fired lawyer for the state of Michigan should not be granted a new trial in a defamation suit filed by a gay former University of Michigan student government president.

The decision released Monday by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati also reduced the jury's award to Chris Armstrong by $1 million to $3.5 million.

Andrew Shirvell was fired as assistant attorney general in 2010 for an anti-gay campaign against Armstrong, who accused him of stalking and defaming him on an anti-gay blog and elsewhere.

The federal jury ordered Shirvell in 2012 to pay Armstrong $4.5 million.

Shirvell directed questions for comment Monday to the Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based nonprofit legal support group. The Associated Press left a message with the group.

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