Good idea to release Sugarland depositions?

April 17, 2012
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A northern Indiana attorney says he has released portions of the deposition with a member of the band Sugarland to counter what he believes to be inaccurate press releases from the band. But is it a good idea for an attorney to be releasing this information to the press before the matter has gone to trial?

Sugarland band members Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush are being deposed about what they know regarding decisions on whether to postpone their concert at the Indiana State Fair Aug. 13, 2011, due to incoming bad weather. Attorney Ken Allen of Merrillville, who is representing victims in the stage collapse, handed over some of the recorded deposition of Nettles to the press.

According to news outlets in Indianapolis, he says he’s done so to combat inaccurate information coming from Sugarland representatives. He’s also spoken to the press about the depositions, claiming testimony was “cold and calculated.”

Of course, Sugarland’s spokesman Allan Mayer is bothered that Allen has released the depositions, telling CNN, “When you think about it, you can’t really blame these lawyers for attempting to try their case in the press, because if they tried to make those arguments in court, they’d quickly be tossed in the trash, which is where they belong.”

Mayer also claims that the deposition has been selectively edited.

Tell me, attorneys, is releasing portions of a deposition good trial strategy? Is this tactic something that is common in these types of cases? Would it compromise your case in court to release it to the press before hand?

 

ADVERTISEMENT
  • Publishing depostions
    I was appalled. I saw it as either a publicity grab by the lawyer or an attempt to "poison the well" and bias the possible jurors - -neither of which reflects well on our profession. Journalists will do what they do - -we need not answer every volley in return or sink to that level.
  • A Few Bad Apples
    It is no wonder the general public has a negative view of lawyers. Ken Allen should be disciplined for his actions. While I think a good tar and feathering is more appropriate, I woudl settle for a public reprimand.
  • Publishing Depositions
    The actions of all of the plaintiff's lawyers in this matter, particularly Allen and Brizzi, is shameful. They are trying the case in the court of public opinion and getting press for themselves.

    The press reporting on the matter is no better. Sugarland was attacked in the press for "blaming the fans" based on its answer to Complaints in which it simply raised comparative fault - which is the law and they have a right to assert all available defenses.
  • sad
    Lawyers should not be disciplined for doing press releases and playing mass media in an age when mass media predetermines the outcomes of all kinds of important contests.

    At the same time lawyers should save it for the courtroom, and avoid sensational press battles. Generally it seems like a waste of effort and time doing something less productive than a lot of other things that could be done.

    I think its the mark of a superior lawyer who keeps a sensational matter OUT OF THE PRESS. Whenever I see a lawyer avoid commenting to reporters, I think, "class act;" whenever I see a press conference, I think "showman."

    And I apply that same thought to prosecutors, who also should avoid the sensational press conferences and commentary wholly, ahead of the verdict.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

ADVERTISEMENT