City Ceis Not Allowed to Testify
posted by June 26 at 11:17 AMon
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.