Thursday, January 06, 2011
Bishop Eddie Long Update: Fighting in Court over Depositions - BV Black Spin
Both sides involved in the sexual misconduct suit against Bishop Eddie Long have been fighting over the schedule of depositions. Judge Johnny Panos has stepped in to require that both sides agree to a mediator by January 31 or have one appointed by the court. Mediation would begin on February 14.
One concern for both parties is whether their side is going to be required to give their depositions first. Bishop Long's attorneys have requested that the men who filed suit against him be required to be deposed first. But the plaintiff's lead counsel, B.J. Bernstein, would like for Long's side to go first.
"We just want a fair and balanced deposition schedule," Bernstein told the Associated Press. "Not just one side."
The order of deposition is important in legal proceedings because the side that moves last has more time to ascertain the strength of the other party's case. They can better develop questions for cross-examination and may even change their willingness to settle.
The sexual misconduct suit against Bishop Eddie Long involves four men who've accused the megapastor of using his power and influence to lure them into sexual relationships. The men claim that Long used gifts, expensive trips and his influence to get what he wanted. Long has denied the allegations in legal filings, only admitting that he has shared a room with members of his congregation on a few trips. He claims that there was no sexual misconduct.
Most interesting about the case against Bishop Long is that both sides appear interested in resolving the case very quickly. Resolving the case quickly does not mean that it has to be resolved privately, but I suspect that's what will happen. If the facts are not revealed and Bishop Long returns to the helm of The New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, his position as a spiritual leader will always be under question. It is important that he get the public hearing he seemed to demand in the beginning.