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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Local Review

Trial Delayed in Lawsuit Against Roger Clinton

November 18, 1998

TORRANCE — A judge agreed Tuesday to delay the trial in a dog bite lawsuit against President Clinton's younger brother to allow the defendant to keep a commitment for a concert in South Korea.

Roger Clinton appeared in court with his lawyer, Kevin L. James, for the start of jury selection in Jeff Klempan's lawsuit. Klempan contends that Clinton's dog bit him and he is seeking compensation for medical bills and lost wages.

"He showed up for trial and all of a sudden Mr. Clinton said he had to go to Korea to play in a concert," said attorney David S. Brown, who represents Klempan.

Municipal Judge William Willett rescheduled the trial for Dec. 7.

James did not return a phone message seeking comment.

Last May, according to the lawsuit, Klempan was walking his Rottweiler, Dakota, on a leash along a sidewalk in front of a Redondo Beach house that Clinton rents. Clinton's unleashed dog allegedly ran out of the house and attacked Klempan's dog, Brown said.

When Klempan tried break up the fight, Clinton's dog bit him, Brown said.

Clinton tried to pull the animals apart but ended up screaming at Klempan, the lawyer said.

"You can't have an unleashed dog in an unfenced area, even if it's your own area," Brown said.

Klempan sued Clinton for a week of lost wages, hospital bills and compensation for pain and suffering. Clinton filed a countersuit for $300,000.

"He wants $300,000 for just watching the dog fight," Brown said. "He's rabid about it, no pun intended."

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