Friday, September 26, 2014

Oo, Oo, Weckerly Woman -- PART 3

We now have a couple of reports on today's hearing.

Very interesting.

A few observations:

(1)  Defendants' attorneys repeatedly condemned the lawsuit as "lies."  Of course, a defendant who denies the truth of a pleading is going to take that position.  But as I've noted, the court is not going to assess the truth of the complaint at this point so that isn't going to get the Cowboys/Jones anywhere.  And it sounds like it didn't get defendants anywhere today.

(2)  Weckerly's lawyer made the argument that the statute of limitations should have been stopped during any period that the defendant is out of the state, as he alleged in the original complaint.  Defendants' lawyer argued that the law didn't apply because Jerry is very well-known and could have been found at any time, in or out of the state, to be served.  The judge was skeptical of this argument, suggesting that Jerry was arguing that he should be treated differently from any other defendant. 

Score one for Weckerly.  However, I don't see how this overcomes the Cowboys' statute of limitations argument.  The corporate "person" of the Cowboys never left the state.

(3) This site suggested in an earlier post that a better argument for stopping the statute of limitations involved the concept of "duress," illustrated by the allegations that Weckerly was subjected to a variety of pressures from defendants to keep quiet, which would prevent her from taking advantage of the court system while the statute was running.

Judge, it's like Dirty Harry said in Magnum Force:  "A man has got to know his limitations."

Now, Weckerly has explicitly made that argument.  From the account in the Observer "Weckerly, Bowers said, accepted the money, which she didn't want, under duress and without a lawyer.  'Having just been a victim of sexual assault, she was coerced by forced payments and threats,' Bowers said. 'We've got a mountain of intimidation and threats.'"

 (4)   Weckerly's lawyer has also added conspiracy allegations.  I don't know too much about this.  I don't think Jerry can conspire with the Cowboys, which is why Weckerly has now added the Cowboys' lawyer as a defendant.   (I'm not sure whether a lawyer can be held liable for conspiracy for actions in the course of representing his client.  Maybe, under particularly outrageous circumstances.  No idea on this one.)  The point of the conspiracy allegations is to allow Weckerly to argue that the statute is extended for an additional period measured from the last act of conspiracy -- in this case, the alleged forced payments.
Another hearing is set for October 16.  The judge said that the parties could argue the facts at that time.  It sounds like it may be an actual mini-trial limited to the limitations issue, where sworn testimony will be presented.  This seems a bit premature -- I would have thought that the parties would have been given the opportunity for discovery on the limitations issue, but sworn testimony is sworn testimony, I guess.  Might also be presented via affidavit.  Again, no idea on this one, although I would think that the pretty short hearing date might marginally favor Jerry.
It's hard to say, and we'll see what Weckerly can prove or credibly testify to on October 16.  On balance, I'd say this round went to her.  The judge could have ruled that even if Weckerly proved her allegations the statute would still have run out and he would have dismissed the case.  But it appears to my unschooled eye that the judge thinks that Weckerly's legal theories on the limitations issue are correct, and that if she proves what she's claiming factually -- the case will proceed.


The Plainsman said...

This post was prematurely published before it was finished. Early readers might have found that it ended rather abruptly.

Anonymous said...

She was forced to take money that she didn't want?

Was she also wearing a dress with 20 petticoats and carrying a parasol?

The Plainsman said...

1238, it does seem an unusual argument. If there truly were threats of reprisal or other unusual pressures on her not to blab, including even false statements of what would happen if she talked, etc., that would be enough to stop the statue for a long-enough period to get her past the limitations problem, I would think.

I'm not sure where it gets her to tie her "stop the limitations statute" argument to the peculiar proposition that (1) she didn't want free money, and (2) the receipt of this free money caused -- no, forced -- her not to sue within the limitations period.

However, it does suggest that she may have really good evidence that payments were made, and maybe this argument is how she's going to get that evidence into the press at this early stage of the case. Which would itself show Jerry/Cowboys to be liars.

But even liars and men who grope and get fellated by s-faced young women are entitled to the benefit of the statute of limitations, so again -- I'm not sure why she's making this unsympathetic argument. Maybe her argument of ACTUAL coercion -- duress -- is weak.

Anonymous said...

You would think a stripper from Oklahoma would have experience dealing with aggressive men.

cactusflinthead said...

Are we about to be graced with TC doing tickers for middays?

For all my anti-TC sentiments in the past I kind of like him in that spot.

October 9

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