“Defendant Gone Wild,” a/k/a how not to behave during ANY legal proceeding

Just as I have suspended my labors at explaining how depositions can go and how defendants can behave, here is an enchanting example from Lowering the Bar, involving a oh-gee-we-all-wish-he-wasn’t-considered-a celebrity:

“He has put a lot of this foolish behavior behind him,” said Joe Francis’s lawyer in 2007, but guess what? He had plenty left.  Back then, Mr. Francis, who some of you may know as the purveyor of “Girls Gone Wild” videos, was about to do a month in jail on contempt charges for yelling obscenities during a mediation.  His lawyer was suggesting that Francis had turned over a new leaf, but that has now been called into question.

On June 11, a federal magistrate judge recommended that a default judgment be entered against Francis in another case, a proposed class action on behalf of young women that Francis allegedly exploited by filming them allegedly going wild.  Plaintiffs there had moved for default on the grounds that Francis was not cooperating with discovery requirements.  The district judge had deferred ruling on that motion to see how things might go at an upcoming deposition.  He told Francis’s current attorney (his third in the case) that “the only thing that is saving your client right now is the optimism I have that your appearance [to represent him here] is going to be a turn for the better and that our old problems are over with.”

Since you are reading about this on Lowering the Bar, you can probably guess how that turned out.

That is only the beginning of the story. Read on for the rest: Defendant Gone Wild – Lowering the Bar. Which will include, at the bottom (that is a pun, as you will learn), a brief description of Mr. Francis’s behavior during a deposition.

 

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