041408_rather_web.jpgA judge has issued a ruling on CBS’s motion to dismiss Dan Rather’s $70 million lawsuit. In short, some aspects (and defendants) of the suit were thrown out, but the suit will proceed.

Sounds like, in essence, not a lot has changed — but that hasn’t stopped both sides from proclaiming victory:

“We are extremely happy with the results,” said James Quinn, the lawyer for the CBS defendants. “[The justice] has essentially thrown out the core allegations of the complaint with regard to the fraud. He dismissed all the claims against the individual defendants: Les Moonves, Sumner Redstone and Andrew Heyward. What’s left in the case is a garden-variety contract dispute.”

Dan Rather’s side (surprise!) has a different take:

Justice Gammerman issued a decision today which leaves in place the entire essence of Mr. Rather’s lawsuit against CBS and Viacom, including both contract and tort claims. Although not every legal theory of the case survives, as a result of the decision, the Court has permitted discovery and a trial of all of the factual issues that form the basis of Mr. Rather’s lawsuit, including his $70 million claim for compensatory and punitive damages. The defendants’ statement that all that is left is a “garden variety contract dispute” is simply inaccurate.