I sincerely doubt that the public at large would have paid much attention to a long, protracted legal battle. Scientology just isn't on the radar of most of the people I know, even in Florida. I don't even think that the TB Times would have devoted a ton of space to every single legal maneuver. It's budget time. Local and state governments are fighting and slashing programs. That's what people are concerned with.So 50 objections to 50 interrogatories would not be considered a PR fiasco?
Or is this an overestimation on my part?
So 50 objections to 50 interrogatories would not be considered a PR fiasco?
Or is this an overestimation on my part?
if I recall correctly, there was a post saying per Texas law they had to respond or be in contempt of court. I'm sure DM didn't want to go down that path, they were pretty damning questions. IMO responding to the questions, plus all of the other falderal that would come up in court was definitely something DM wanted to avoid.So 50 objections to 50 interrogatories would not be considered a PR fiasco?
There was another post where a lawyer said that the usual was to do the money settlement before going to court and filing the injunction to tie it all up legally. He said it was common practice in these sort of situations.A secret settlement would be possible because it allowed the cult to save face.
And realize that Scientology isn't special in this regard; only the blandest interrogatories (e.g., corporate office address, name and number of corporate officers) are answered without a hassle by any attorney.
Thanks very much for the detailed explanation, Scott.
As a point of interest, I imagine the question "name and number of corporate officers?" would actually be a very sensitive question in this case, considering that the real-life number is 1. Although proving it would be something else.
Ok Tikk, let me ask this question: Assuming for a moment that Debbie was placed in the hole, was abused, was coerced into signing the NDA, and that her testimony on the subject was true. Isn't that illegal? I know she has not filed charges with the Riverside PD and this is a civil matter, but the exposure of it and having Mr. M or his SO staff testify that it happened, wouldn't that open a door to further legal wrangling? A further PR nightmare?
I understand the points of law as you state them, and the logical conclusion they lead to, which is an unpredictable or unlikely positive result re: the NDA for Debbie. And that the church lawyers know what damaging things she could possibly say.
However, it seems to me there is a side to this that you discount and that is the pr fallout if the case were to continue and more of the same were to be revealed. You cite Marty's blathering, but what has he said of substance? He has never (to the best of my knowledge) gone on record and stated definitely where the bodies are buried. He is at best a side show attraction, what with the token harassment the church mounts against him.
Perhaps, since many Scientologists don't read Scino news in the media, you feel even if Debbie produced a video of DM personally abusing her, they (rank and file staff and public) would never see or believe it, thus that argument has no validity.
It appears to me there are two camps - the "this is the way the law works, you idiots" camp and the "he is willing to pay to make the bad pr go away" camp. You appear to be in the former - but, is that to say there is no validity to the other?
Wouldn't it be in her advantage to play that card for a quick settlement to dodge an uncertain outcome in the NDA dispute?
I was wondering one thing about Debbie's actions after the Feb. 9th hearing. Do you think it was a good idea for her to go on Nightline and talk to other journalists? She also posted something on Marty's blog. I can see why her lawyer told her to go ahead and testify about "the Hole" and other experiences in the TRO hearing because they needed the TRO to be either rescinded or dismissed. But as you said, the NDA wasn't ruled on by the Court that day, so it was still technically binding, at least potentially so until ruled otherwise. So did she perhaps lose some leverage by continuing to be vocal after the TRO hearing but before the actual hearing to determine the NDA's legality?
tikk said:On this same topic, her media spots also had the adverse affect of knocking the floor out from a few of her legal defenses, those which involved arguing that the contents of the e-mail did not constitute a breach. Even if that were found to be true--and I argued here and elsewhere that there were good reasons the e-mail didn't breach--the media spots almost certainly did constitute a breach of the NDA. Scientology may have withdrawn their injunction request (which was largely duplicative of the NDA), but the court never ruled on the validity of the NDA. By doing those media spots, not only did she jack up her calculable damages, she shrunk the number of her available defenses, and accordingly shrunk her negotiating leverage.
What you say is very true, and it makes me wonder - was she that naive to think there would be no repercussions from her NYE e-mail? Perhaps, as a true believer, she hasn't been reading the boards and was unaware of the likelihood it would be rebroadcast through out cyberspace and into the hands of the media. But I find it hard to believe she seriously was unaware of the potential for collateral damage.