Judge Charles Solomon , New York State Supreme Court judge, ruled this morning that Robert Joel Halderman's contention - via lawyer Gerald Shargel - that he was simply engaging in perfectly acceptable capitalistic behavior when he threatened Letterman with career ruination was - in a word - bunk. 

  My word. Not Solomon's.

  The trial proceeds.

  No date set.

  Outstanding questions: Who will make the first serious move now to settle?

  Halderman?

  Or Letterman?

  (My guess, the former vs. the latter.)

  I still can't see this going to trial...unless, Dave is really looking forward to a steady and unremitting barrage of  "late night talk show hosts nailing interns" jokes from the newly installed host of "The Tonight Show."

   Letterman has absolutely slaughtered Leno night after night after night, and if he genuinely believes Leno is not going to repay in kind at some point, then he  may be mistaken.

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 Outtakes from Solomon's ruling:

  "Since defendant is not being prosecuted for authoring either a book or screenplay, his
constitutional right to free speech has not been impacted."


 "Whether the defendant had a larcenous intent is a question of fact and the evidence before the grand jury was sufficient to establish that element of intent."