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fordfixer
09-18-2009, 12:13 AM
Big Ben's attorney wants court to punish accuser's attorney

By Jason Cato, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, September 18, 2009
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 43724.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_643724.html)

A lawyer for Ben Roethlisberger has asked a judge to punish the attorney representing a Nevada woman accusing the Steelers quarterback of rape, claiming he filed a frivolous lawsuit.

In a document filed late Wednesday in Washoe District Court in Reno, attorney John Echeverria accused fellow Reno lawyer Calvin Dunlap of not verifying the validity of the casino worker's accusations before filing a civil lawsuit in July. Roethlisberger's legal team threatened to file the complaint last month.

Nevada law "addresses the unfortunate fact that lawsuits, if not based on allegations supported by actual facts as opposed to fantasy and conjecture designed to stir emotion, will be used as destructive and slanderous weapons of oppression rather than instruments of truth and fair application of justice," Echeverria wrote.

"Unfortunately, plaintiff has welded together false allegations to punish her employer and coerce a windfall from an admired, civic-minded and successful professional football star."

Dunlap could not immediately be reached for comment.

The 31-year-old woman claims Roethlisberger sexually assaulted her July 11, 2008, at the Harrah's Lake Tahoe Hotel and Casino, where she worked as a VIP concierge. Roethlisberger was staying at the hotel while attending a celebrity golf tournament.

The Tribune-Review does not name alleged victims of sexual assault.

Lawyers for Roethlisberger also claimed in court documents Wednesday that the woman concocted the story in part to try to shield herself from possible layoffs at the resort.

Roethlisberger's lawyers say the woman fabricated the rape allegation against the two-time Super Bowl winner, a friend of Harrah's executives, in an effort to prevent Harrah's from terminating her.

Roethlisberger, 27, and the other defendants have denied the allegations. His lawyers suggest the woman is mentally unstable.

Echeverria accused Dunlap of ignoring relevant evidence and using the lawsuit in an attempt to extort money from Harrah's and Roethlisberger.

"Plaintiff's attorney has the duty to not continue prosecuting claims when he becomes aware that his client has fabricated her allegations," Echeverria wrote.

The motion does not specify what sanctions are being sought.

Nevada law requires that "sanctions be limited to what is sufficient to deter repetition of such conduct or comparable conduct by others similarly situated." Judges can impose fines, order that legal fees be paid or make a non-monetary reprimand.

The alleged victim's lawsuit also accuses several Harrah's employees of participating in a cover-up and making false statements about her.

NC Steeler Fan
09-18-2009, 10:16 AM
Looks like Ben's attorney is intent on emptying the clip! :twisted:

I like it. Put the attorney off-balance by putting him personally on the defensive.

And, it's a consistent strategy too...kind of like an all out BLITZ!!! :Beer

SteelCrazy
09-18-2009, 10:19 AM
This should end this fiasco, unless they have enough evidence to go forward.

Oviedo
09-18-2009, 10:29 AM
This should end this fiasco, unless they have enough evidence to go forward.

This won't end because money is the root of all this. This has nothing to do with justice, right or wrong. This is about a lawyer and a nut case seeing two deep pocket opporunities to make a buck.

The nut cases lawyer has already invested significant resources into this and he is probably in too deep to bail out now without a financial and reputation hit.

I highly doubt that he gets sanctioned. Just seems unlikely to me but maybe phillesq can provide some guidance.

Mel Blount's G
09-18-2009, 12:06 PM
I like it. I hope the court takes a good hard look at what Ben's attorney is suggesting here. As I've said before the accuser and her attorney could be setting back years of hard work fof those women who have legitimate cases for the courts to deliberate on. The "boy who cried 'wolf' " kind of effect possibly?

phillyesq
09-18-2009, 01:04 PM
This should end this fiasco, unless they have enough evidence to go forward.

This won't end because money is the root of all this. This has nothing to do with justice, right or wrong. This is about a lawyer and a nut case seeing two deep pocket opporunities to make a buck.

The nut cases lawyer has already invested significant resources into this and he is probably in too deep to bail out now without a financial and reputation hit.

I highly doubt that he gets sanctioned. Just seems unlikely to me but maybe phillesq can provide some guidance.

The Rule 11 Motion for Sanctions sounds great, but in reality, courts almost never hand down sanctions for filing a frivolous lawsuit. This motion is great for shock value, but very unlikely to succeed. Even though their are serious questions about his client's credibility, Dunlap will probably say that he relied on his client's representations to him. Even though the emails discovered now all point in Ben's favor, you don't have to weigh evidence like that before filing a suit. You merely have to determine whether there is a valid cause of action. The bar is set very, very low.

If I filed a motion against Willie Parker, claiming that his performance against Tennessee caused me severe emotional distress, I would likely be sanctioned, because there is no legally recognizable cause of action, or even a reasonable argument. In this case, if the plaintiff claimed that Ben assaulted her on Feb 1 in Nevada, that would likely be sanctionable, because the entire world knows where Ben was that night. :tt1 The circumstances have to be almost that egregious for sanctions.

In this case, there is a recognizable cause of action, and although the facts weigh heavily towards the defense, the claim is not so egregious that Dunlap will be sanctioned. Especially with a he said/she said type scenario, the burden required before filing a suit is relatively low.

NC Steeler Fan
09-18-2009, 02:26 PM
Did I ever mention that legalese is actually kinda sexy to me? :shock:

Oops, sorry! Carry on! :D

fordfixer
09-18-2009, 02:28 PM
When is talk like an attorney day? :lol: :lol:

phillyesq
09-18-2009, 02:54 PM
Did I ever mention that legalese is actually kinda sexy to me? :shock:

Oops, sorry! Carry on! :D

Sorry -- I try to avoid the legalese as much as possible. I'm in the middle of writing a brief, so if I go overboard, please let me know.

In a nutshell, this motion is great for shock value, but unlikely to succeed.


When is talk like an attorney day? :lol: :lol:

Something tells me it won't have quite the popularity of talk like a pirate day. :lol:

RuthlessBurgher
09-18-2009, 03:27 PM
Did I ever mention that legalese is actually kinda sexy to me? :shock:

Oops, sorry! Carry on! :D

Sorry -- I try to avoid the legalese as much as possible. I'm in the middle of writing a brief, so if I go overboard, please let me know.

In a nutshell, this motion is great for shock value, but unlikely to succeed.


When is talk like an attorney day? :lol: :lol:

Something tells me it won't have quite the popularity of talk like a pirate day. :lol:

Sounds like NC Steeler Fan wants a peek inside those briefs... :shock:

Legal briefs, you perverts! :lol: