Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for former U.S. President Donald Trump during challenges to the 2020 election results, exits U.S. District Court after attending a hearing in a defamation suit related to the 2020 election results that has been brought against Giuliani by two Georgia election workers, at the federal courthouse in Washington, U.S., May 19, 2023. REUTERS/Leah Millis
CNN  — 

A federal judge chastised Rudy Giuliani on Tuesday for failing to attend a hearing to prepare for his defamation damages trial next week.

Despite being directed by the court to attend the hearing, Giuliani did not show up. His attorney Joe Sibley told Judge Beryl Howell it was his fault – an oversight – that Giuliani was not there.

Howell expressed her unhappiness with the situation, as she – along with Sibley and six attorneys for Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss – worked through how the case will be presented to a jury next week.

Giuliani was sued as the head of former President Donald Trump’s legal team and a proponent of a disinformation effort that slandered Moss and Freeman and caused them significant emotional distress. The judge has already found Giuliani liable for defamation, and next week’s trial is to determine the monetary damages he must pay.

Moss and Freeman seek tens of millions of dollars in damages from Giuliani. The trial is set to last four days.

The judge said several times during Tuesday’s two-hour hearing that Giuliani should have been in court to agree he understood some of the parameters they were setting for the trial, and that he wouldn’t take issue with them later.

Howell told Sibley that Giuliani must agree in writing by Wednesday that he won’t later split from what his lawyer has done on the trial plans so far, so there won’t be further discussions while the jury is seated.

His lawyer said Giuliani would testify in his own defense,