Thursday, August 6, 2015

Bill Cosby Ordered to Submit to Deposition

A Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge has ordered Bill Cosby to submit to a sworn deposition in the lawsuit filed by Judith Huth alleging sexual assault dating back to 1974.  Cosby has made several attempts to have this lawsuit dismissed and these have been to no avail.  (See story here).

Under California Civil Procedure laws, a deposition of a party is usually set by the mutual agreement of the attorneys and a simple "Notice of Deposition".  Having to be ordered to appear is not usual and means that Cosby has refused to attend and a "Motion to Compel" his attendance had to be filed.  Under CA law, Cosby will be required to answer all questions asked with the only exception being questions where his attorney instructs him not to answer.  His attorney may make legal objections to the questions being asked but, should not instruct his witness not to answer except on the grounds of privilege or privacy.  These are fairly limited grounds.  Despite these rules, however, depositions in cases like these, in my experience, can get very confrontational.  Often times, defense counsel in sexual assault cases.

California has a new rule that requires most depositions in personal injury claims to be completed within an 7 hours.  If the parties get contentious and objections and instructions not to answer certain questions are made, I wouldn't be surprised if the plaintiff asked for additional time and/or to compel certain questions to be answered.  I will continue to follow this story.