Sen. Dan Laughlin has agreed to provide additional testimony in his defamation lawsuit against his political opponent Jim Wertz.

Both Laughlin's and Wertz' attorneys reached a consent agreement on Thursday following a hearing at the Erie County Courthouse.

The lawsuit stems from and article written by Wertz in the Erie Reader in July 2022.

The defamation suit claims Wertz falsely accused Laughlin of being on a list of people seeking pardons from former President Donald Trump.

Werts is being represented by serveral lawyers from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

The non-profit agreed to take on Wertz' case before he announced his plan to run for office.

Laughlin's lawyers argue that the team should not be allowed to represent Wertz.

"I think there are legitimate issues over whether a non-profit organization that isn't allowed to by law to be involved in campaigns is impermissably giving free legal work to Mr. Wertz," said Sen. Laughlin's attorney Matt Haverstick. "He's getting free lawyers from an organization that is not allowed to participate in political activity and I think you can't separate at this point, what is legal and what's political. It's all one big ball of wax, so I think it's an important issue that really needs a serious look."

Meanwhile, Wertz' lawyers say it their job to protect his First Amendment rights.

"It's been going on for quite a while and of course, our position throughout the litigation has been that this is protected First Amendment speech," said Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press attorney," Paula Knudsen Burke. "We are going to continue to defend our clients, journalists, and the Erie Reader, and hopefully get a decision that affirms their First Amendment right to publish."

According to Knudsen Burke, under the agreement, Sen. Laughlin must provide additional testimony within 30 days.