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The State

August 21, 1986

The state Senate has resumed paying attorneys' fees for a former senator in a $10-million libel suit filed against him by feminist attorney Gloria Allred, it was reported. Allred sued former state Sen. John Schmitz for referring to her as a "slick butch lawyeress" in a 1981 press release. The Senate Rules Committee voted secretly on Feb. 10, 1982, to pay Schmitz's legal bills, despite a resolution by the full Senate deploring the press release, which also referred disparagingly to Jews, homosexuals and abortion supporters. After the vote was discovered, Allred led a yearlong battle to stop the payments. Payments resumed this year, when Schmitz asked Bion Gregory, counsel for the Senate Rules Committee, to renew covering his legal fees. The trial is scheduled to begin today in Los Angeles.

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