Aaron Sapiro filed his libel lawsuit against Henry Ford and his newspaper, Dearborn Independent, in April 1925, and the trial finally got under way in 1927. Both sides used the intervening period, known in the civil litigation process as the discovery phase, to gather evidence and depose witnesses. Sapiro discovered that Ford had no intention of defending his newspaper's anti-Semitic articles, and instead wanted to focus on Sapiro's Jewishness. Instead of trying to vindicate all Jews, Sapiro and his lawyer, William Henry Gallagher, emphasized conventional individual libel grounds. Ford's team, which included Missouri Senator James A. Reed, sought to regain the moral high ground by denying explicit anti-Semitism. For both sides, Sapiro v. Ford was about Sapiro, Jews, and cooperatives.
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