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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ceis Not Allowed to Testify

posted by on June 26 at 11:17 AM

Once again (as she did on Friday) Judge Marsha Pechman schooled the city’s lawyers.

This time, the city wanted Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis to take the stand to rebut Team Bennett’s (frankly damning) case that the city was in cahoots—through its lead counsel at K&L Gates, Slade Gorton— with a prospective ownership group to sabotage the Sonics.

After a lengthy presentation by the city seeking to allow Ceis to testify, Judge Pechman said no go, admonishing the city for trying to use attorney-client privilege as “both a shield and a sword,” adding that it was “fundamentally unfair” to Bennett’s attorneys.

Her point—seconding Team Bennett’s objections to allowing Ceis to testify—was that the city used attorney-client privilege to deny Bennett’s attorneys the chance to summon people like Slade Gorton (who could rebut Ceis’s testimony), but also used it to say they could summon Ceis.

It seemed to me another indication that Judge Pechman believes, as Team Bennett argues, that the city went out of bounds when its law firm took up a plan to undermine Bennett’s ownership while also taking them to court.

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the city's (ceis's) shenanigans with worthless wally walker & the balmer "ownership group" have no bearing on the lease.

this trial is about the lease.

what's going to happen is what was going to happen before the trial: the sonics will pay off the city's key arena debt, give up the sonics name, and head out for the dustbowl. this season.

seattleites will just have to ride the mag lev bullet train down to portland after work to root for the trailblazers.

yes that's a joke.

Posted by max solomon | June 26, 2008 11:32 AM

Alternatively, the Judge could believe that "a lease is a lease" no matter how harsh the terms, and is going to rule for the City.

In that event, sustaining Bennett's objection to Ceis' testimony deprives him of an argument he could otherwise make before the appeals court.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | June 26, 2008 11:47 AM

The judge can believe whatever she believes. People say she's good and so I believe she'll follow what she believes the law to be.

Posted by umvue | June 26, 2008 12:47 PM

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