British attorney Mark Lewis will arrive in the US today as he prepares to speak on a panel at UC Berkeley titled: “The Murdoch Effect: The News At Any Price?” He’s also expected to begin legal discussions that could lead to several lawsuits being filed over alleged phone hacking by employees of News Corp’s UK press arm, News International, The Daily Beast reported. Those suits would constitute the first to be filed in the US, where News Corp has thus far limited its exposure to the ongoing investigations in Britain. Lewis will be working with his NY-based legal partner Norman Siegel to examine details of US law as it applies to hacking, according to The Guardian. The Independent adds that lawyers in California are also being lined up to aid in potentially filing three separate suits within the next few weeks. The lawsuits are said to relate primarily to celebrities whose phones may have been hacked while they were visiting the US. At least one of the cases, Lewis told The Daily Beast, involves allegations that the phone of an American citizen was hacked. If it can be proved that phones were hacked by News International employees, it could constitute a violation of US telecommunications and privacy laws. The UK media has speculated that the 3 victims in question are soccer star David Beckham, Princess Diana’s former butler Paul Burrell and an associate of Jude Law. Law himself is one of the celebs who may have had his phone hacked while at JFK, although The Guardian says he is not specifically one of the people whose cases is being explored. The US Department of Justice has been investigating News Corp under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act which makes it a crime for US companies to profit from bribes to foreign officials. Several employees of News International’s The Sun newspaper have been arrested in relation to alleged payments to public officials. Lewis has been deeply involved in the phone hacking scandal in the UK, representing the family of Milly Dowler, the murdered schoolgirl whose phone was hacked by the now-shuttered News Of The World. “We’ve only seen the documents that exist in respect to News International in England, and there’s been no process of discovery in respect of News Corp,” Lewis told The Daily Beast, adding, “That could be the next thing that we have to find out.”
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