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phillyesq
04-13-2010, 10:15 AM
Nevada case could keep alleged victim in Georgia from getting closure
Posted by Mike Florio on April 13, 2010 9:49 AM ET
Regardless of whether a confidential settlement has been reached between Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and his alleged victim in Georgia, it's clear that she wants full and complete closure.

She likely won't get it.

An e-mail from a reader and a new report from TMZ regarding the intentions of lawyer Calvin Dunlap to proceed with the civil suit in Nevada have caused us to realize, on a better-late-than-never basis, that the alleged victim in Georgia likely will be subpoenaed to testify at a deposition in the Nevada case. She won't have to actually go to Nevada; Dunlap and the other lawyers would come to Milledgeville and jump through the various legal hoops that apply in Georgia to "discovery" efforts relating to cases pending in other states.

The deposition, which would be videotaped, could then be played at the trial of the Nevada case, if the judge in Nevada ultimately concludes that the Georgia allegation falls within the scope of the evidence rule that permits other specific incidents to be introduced in order to show "motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident." (The Federal Rules of Evidence and the rules of evidence in most states contain that language. We have been unable to confirm that the Nevada Rules of Evidence contain a similar provision; we'd be surprised if they don't.)

Per TMZ, Dunlap also plans to pursue any available portions of the Georgia investigation, including interviews and police reports. These documents, coupled with the alleged victim's testimony, will be critical to Dunlap's effort to establish that Roethlisberger did something he shouldn't have done in that small, five-foot-wide, single-commode bathroom in the back of a Milledgeville nightclub. And Dunlap will need to have solid evidence; many judges abhor this "other acts" because of its potential to create a trial within a trial on the question of whether the defendant is responsible for the other incident that's being used as evidence of responsibility for the incident at issue.

Finally, look for Dunlap to explore aggressively the question of whether a settlement occurred. If -- and that remains a big if -- the Georgia victim opted to request that the charges be dropped as part of a negotiated financial payment, Dunlap will be entitled to know that. Of course, Roethlisberger's lawyers would work just as aggressively to ensure that any such information isn't publicly revealed. If, in the end, the Nevada case goes to trial and the judge decides to allow evidence of the Georgia incident, there's a chance that the settlement would be revealed in public court proceedings.

As a practical matter, that possibility is too far down the road in the Nevada case to have been a factor in whether Roethlisbeger should settle with the alleged victim in Georgia, if that's indeed what happened. Still, the Nevada case could be the only way that this information ever would come to light -- short of the alleged victim suddenly showing up for her college classes in a black-and-gold Ferrari.

I think if Dunlap tries to drag the other girl into this he will lose a lot of standing in the court of public opinion. I'd imagine that attorneys for the girl in GA will fight him tooth and nail to prevent her from having to go through a deposition. I'd also think that Ben's lawyers would try to prevent any of that evidence before the deposition even took place.

As much as I'd like to see Ben's lawyers hammer Dunlap, it would probably be best for everybody if they can reach a quick settlement to make this guy go away.

Shawn
04-13-2010, 11:02 AM
As soon as the co-worker testifies about the accuser claiming she wanted to have Ben's baby...this goes away. I hope Ben doesn't give her a red cent.

BlackJackGold
04-13-2010, 01:36 PM
Boston attorney says he investigated another Roethlisberger incident
Posted by Mike Florio on April 13, 2010 11:13 AM ET
So with the possibility of a Georgia prosecution official gone and only a civil lawsuit in Nevada remaining, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger can exhale and focus only on playing football and not barhopping, right?

Maybe not.

Boston lawyer Harry Manion told WEEI's Dennis & Callahan Show on Tuesday that Manion was involved in an investigation regarding another Big Ben incident.

Said Manion: "[T]here is a history here this is just super troubling."

Manion specifically referred to an incident from 2009, also in Nevada. "Six months ago I was retained by a client of mine and a close friend to investigate allegations against Ben Roethlisberger in a Las Vegas nightclub that were absolutely identical to this Georgia girl's story," Manion said.

Manion believes that, if Roethlisberger ever is going to change his ways, the near miss in Georgia will be the impetus.

"Unless he's totally brain dead -- and we don't know -- he would be scared," Manion said. "Because he has really walked a perilous line here. There's a whole litany here, not only my experience, I have connected with several other people that have experience. And you know, there's only so far that he said/she said will get you. There's only so far that paying hush money will get you, if hush money is paid. And there's only so far that, 'Gee, we're celebrities, we have a target on our back,' will get you. When you see this much smoke, month after month and continuously . . . . It's the scene that he's gotten himself caught up with, and the belief that he can walk, and so far, so good. But it's hurting him. He's hurt. He has been damaged. And the next one, the wrath of God's going to come down on him, if there is a next one."

It's compelling stuff, and we agree with Manion's take. That said, the guy has a set of large brass ones to talk about allegations that never were pursued in criminal or civil court. A certain degree of immunity applies to statement made in conjunction with official legal proceedings. Manion has placed himself at risk for a defamation claim, especially by suggesting that there are incidents beyond the Vegas case that he personally handled.

Then again, the primary injury in a defamation case occurs to the reputation of the plaintiff. Like Pacman Jones threatening to sue ESPN in early 2009 after the network released more information about an alleged Atlanta strip club shooting from 2007, Jones would be able to prove no damage to the manner in which any potential untruths harmed his reputation because his reputation already was horrendous.

Ben faces the same challenge. Suing Manion or anyone else who claims that he has a more extensive history of Milledgeville-style encounters would expose Roethlisberger's entire sexual history and his broader reputation to scrutiny. As Roger Clemens has learned the hard way, nothing good comes from that approach -- especially if hanging in the closet next the devil-face T-shirt is a collection of skeletons.



Dunlap is probably going to be looking to deposition this girl too.