Good idea to release Sugarland depositions?

April 17, 2012
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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?

 

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  • 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.

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  1. This is the dissent discussed in the comment below. See comments on that story for an amazing discussion of likely judicial corruption of some kind, the rejection of the rule of law at the very least. http://www.theindianalawyer.com/justices-deny-transfer-to-child-custody-case/PARAMS/article/42774#comment

  2. That means much to me, thank you. My own communion, to which I came in my 30's from a protestant evangelical background, refuses to so affirm me, the Bishop's courtiers all saying, when it matters, that they defer to the state, and trust that the state would not be wrong as to me. (LIttle did I know that is the most common modernist catholic position on the state -- at least when the state acts consistent with the philosophy of the democrat party). I asked my RCC pastor to stand with me before the Examiners after they demanded that I disavow God's law on the record .... he refused, saying the Bishop would not allow it. I filed all of my file in the open in federal court so the Bishop's men could see what had been done ... they refused to look. (But the 7th Cir and federal judge Theresa Springmann gave me the honor of admission after so reading, even though ISC had denied me, rendering me a very rare bird). Such affirmation from a fellow believer as you have done here has been rare for me, and that dearth of solidarity, and the economic pain visited upon my wife and five children, have been the hardest part of the struggle. They did indeed banish me, for life, and so, in substance did the the Diocese, which treated me like a pariah, but thanks to this ezine ... and this is simply amazing to me .... because of this ezine I am not silenced. This ezine allowing us to speak to the corruption that the former chief "justice" left behind, yet embedded in his systems when he retired ... the openness to discuss that corruption (like that revealed in the recent whistleblowing dissent by courageous Justice David and fresh breath of air Chief Justice Rush,) is a great example of the First Amendment at work. I will not be silenced as long as this tree falling in the wood can be heard. The Hoosier Judiciary has deep seated problems, generational corruption, ideological corruption. Many cases demonstrate this. It must be spotlighted. The corrupted system has no hold on me now, none. I have survived their best shots. It is now my time to not be silent. To the Glory of God, and for the good of man's law. (It almost always works that way as to the true law, as I explained the bar examiners -- who refused to follow even their own statutory law and violated core organic law when banishing me for life -- actually revealing themselves to be lawless.)

  3. to answer your questions, you would still be practicing law and its very sad because we need lawyers like you to stand up for the little guy who have no voice. You probably were a threat to them and they didnt know how to handle the truth and did not want anyone to "rock the boat" so instead of allowing you to keep praticing they banished you, silenced you , the cowards that they are.

  4. His brother was a former prosecuting attorney for Crawford County, disiplined for stealing law books after his term, and embezzeling funds from family and clients. Highly functional family great morals and values...

  5. Wondering if the father was a Lodge member?

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