NY Judge Rules Trump Can be Deposed by Victims

Gloria Allred wins a round in the Summer Zervos lawsuit. The Judge cited the Paula Jones case as one authority for the proposition that a lawsuit can proceed against a sitting President.

The decision by Justice Jennifer Schecter of State Supreme Court in Manhattan paved the way for lawyers to seek depositions from several women who accused Mr. Trump of sexual harassment before he was elected and to subpoena Trump campaign records related to his female accusers.

Justice Schecter rejected Mr. Trump’s argument that a state court has no jurisdiction over a sitting president. She cited a United States Supreme Court ruling that allowed Paula Jones to bring a sexual harassment suit against President Bill Clinton.

“No one is above the law,” Justice Schecter wrote. “It is settled that the president of the United States has no immunity and is ‘subject to the laws’ for purely private acts.”

It was after that ruling that Clinton and Jones settled with no admission of wrongdoing or apology. Will Trump do the same? Would Gloria and her clients accept a settlement with no admission of wrongdoing? My view: Of course. Money usually triumphs over principle.

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    Ain't it funny? (none / 0) (#1)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Mar 20, 2018 at 06:22:05 PM EST
    It all comes down to money.

    As in (none / 0) (#5)
    by linea on Tue Mar 20, 2018 at 07:11:40 PM EST
    wealthy people rarely face legal consequences because of their wealth?

    That and also, many people do have a price. (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Mar 21, 2018 at 06:25:31 PM EST
    And if rich guys like Trump, Steve Wynn and Harvey Weinstein are willing to meet it, well, there you go. Money may not buy happiness, but for many people, it sure as hell can buy their agreement and silence.

    Not Quite (none / 0) (#2)
    by RCBadger on Tue Mar 20, 2018 at 06:47:30 PM EST
    Clinton settled after the case had been dismissed by the original trial judge and then sent back down to the judge for reconsideration by a notoriously anti-Clinton judging panel.  

    I don't think she will (none / 0) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 20, 2018 at 06:51:22 PM EST
    Take the money.  But it certainly possible

    I don't (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 21, 2018 at 03:32:17 PM EST
    think she'll take the money either. First of all we all know Trump has a lot less money than he says. he may have even paid Stormy off with campaign funds. Besides I can't imagine Trump offering her more money than she's probably going to get from books etc. We all have heard all the stories of him not paying.

    I think they want to depose him (none / 0) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 20, 2018 at 07:05:47 PM EST
    Can she do the discovery part and then take the money.

    Or would there be no point?


    Sure she can (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Peter G on Tue Mar 20, 2018 at 07:36:36 PM EST
    In fact, many civil cases are settled after the discovery phase discloses or highlights the strengths and weaknesses of each side's position.

    Would we still get to see (none / 0) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 20, 2018 at 07:37:34 PM EST
    The deposition?

    Not ordinarily. But this is not an ordinary case. (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Peter G on Tue Mar 20, 2018 at 08:14:15 PM EST
    For example, the federal judge who oversaw civil litigation between Andrea Constand and Bill Cosby ordered his deposition released several years later, after he made public statements about his interactions with her that the judge found to violate their agreement, iirc.  

    Several years later (none / 0) (#14)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 20, 2018 at 08:15:28 PM EST
    Just won't do.

    If the defendant violates the confidentiality (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Peter G on Tue Mar 20, 2018 at 08:39:51 PM EST
    agreement that typically comes with settlement -- as might predictably occur with a defendant who just can't refrain from reckless tweeting and other public comments, for example -- the agreement might well be lifted. The "several years later" was just when it happened to occur in the Cosby case, not a requirement.

    Thank you (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 20, 2018 at 08:41:15 PM EST
    If (none / 0) (#6)
    by FlJoe on Tue Mar 20, 2018 at 07:32:58 PM EST
    tRump settles with Zervos. wouldn't the rest of tRumps accusers follow with at least the threats of lawsuit? tRump called all of the accusers liars, so it seems they would all have the same case. If Allred gets a nice settlement, I'm sure that there will be plenty of lawsuits filed. Each and everyone of them will present the same quandary for tRump, face embarrassing years of discovery and a possible loss in court or just pay them all off.

    Maybe he will start (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 20, 2018 at 07:35:53 PM EST
    A defense fund

    They could do fundraisers in churches and stuff


    Peter "Deep Pockets" Thiel (none / 0) (#19)
    by jondee on Tue Mar 20, 2018 at 09:18:21 PM EST
    the libertarian purist with a soft spot for the GOP, and the Mercers have staked too much on their MAGA horse not to kick in a bundle.

    Money triumphing (none / 0) (#10)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 20, 2018 at 07:38:01 PM EST
    over principle.

    Civil lawsuits are about money and not principle.  And, the sooner the participants accept that, the better off and more effective they are.

    Reading this blog lets one learn that criminal defense attorneys are about principle.  J and Peter show that.

    So, you don't buy the (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 21, 2018 at 12:23:02 PM EST
    "it's not about money. I want to make sure this never happens to anyone else."  Or, "I want to send a message."  

    Me neither.


    What if the plaintiff... (none / 0) (#27)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 22, 2018 at 01:20:19 PM EST
    in a civil case refuses to settle?  That would seem to indicate a thirst for some justice instead of just compensation.

    The only thing the civil defendant can do, then (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Peter G on Thu Mar 22, 2018 at 02:05:59 PM EST
    is to make an "offer of judgment" for a certain amount, and if the plaintiff eventually wins less than that, the plaintiff must pay some penalty for not accepting it, such as the defendant's costs for proceeding further.

    What if the Plaintiff donates all the money to a (none / 0) (#29)
    by vml68 on Thu Mar 22, 2018 at 03:37:14 PM EST
    related charity or cause? Wouldn't that indicate that it was not about money but about wanting to send a message?

    There's also the (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by CST on Thu Mar 22, 2018 at 03:44:07 PM EST
    Taylor Swift approach where she sued the guy for $1.

    Is there evidence this has ever happened? (none / 0) (#31)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 22, 2018 at 05:13:40 PM EST
    Yes, you guessed it, I formerly represented defendants in civil lawsuit.

    I have no idea. I was just what iffing :-) (none / 0) (#34)
    by vml68 on Thu Mar 22, 2018 at 09:15:55 PM EST

    Your opinion? To which you (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 23, 2018 at 01:27:54 PM EST
    are entitled. [Snk.]

    Yes (none / 0) (#11)
    by linea on Tue Mar 20, 2018 at 07:42:17 PM EST
    I totally agree with this legal ruling.

    This is from the Paula Jones Wikipedia entry:

    The Jones lawsuit also led to a landmark legal precedent by the U.S. Supreme Court which ruled that a sitting U.S. president is not exempt from civil litigation for acts committed outside of public office.

    Additional important issue ruled upon (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by Peter G on Tue Mar 20, 2018 at 08:35:05 PM EST
    by the NY state judge, not previously decided by the S.Ct. in the Clinton/Jones case: that a President is not immune from suit in State court (nor entitled to a postponement of the case until his Term ends), any more than in federal court, if the suit does not involve the President's official actions. That wold not risk a state court interfering with a federal function in violation of the Supremacy Clause, the judge opined.

    Sorry! (none / 0) (#12)
    by linea on Tue Mar 20, 2018 at 07:51:14 PM EST
    Other people ... (none / 0) (#20)
    by Yman on Tue Mar 20, 2018 at 09:38:15 PM EST
    Seriously, too many people are on the wrong side of history with the apologetics of Bill Clinton.

    Funny how Obama, the most hated man of all time for Republicans, never had ongoing `bimbo eruptions' and accusations of sexual harassment and rape. But somehow women are all liars and it's a giant conspiracy with Bill Clinton. Sorry, but Bill Clinton is an embarrassment and I'm not onboard the whitewash.

    ... are able to distinguish between credible accusations and incredible accusations.  They can also tell the difference between a self-admitted sexual-assaulter and someone who has a consensual extramarital affair.  Probably because they know more about these accusations than what they've read in a Vox article or a Wikipedia entry.

    that comment was deleted (none / 0) (#21)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 20, 2018 at 09:42:35 PM EST
    the facts in the Paula Jones case are off topic. The issue is whether the case can proceed against a sitting President for discovery, depositions and the like.

    What is the over/under (none / 0) (#22)
    by ragebot on Tue Mar 20, 2018 at 10:50:51 PM EST
    on the appeals lasting longer than Trump is in office.  May well go to the USSC, but has to go through state courts first.

    I have to say (none / 0) (#25)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 21, 2018 at 03:35:05 PM EST
    I am laughing. The GOP has no one to blame but themselves for this mess. They are the ones that used Paula Jones and now they are sitting there with egg on their face.

    principle versus money (none / 0) (#32)
    by thomas rogan on Thu Mar 22, 2018 at 08:25:29 PM EST
    Stormy Daniels settled a case for $130000 with a billionaire, indicating that there were no real damages and that the $130000 was nuisance money.  Others also took nuisance money to be silent.  The cases might never make it to deposition because a judge could simply dismiss them without enough probable evidence of damages to bring a civil suit.  You don't get to make allegations and depose someone just because the Gloria Allreds of the world want you to.
    You can make a sitting president be deposed in a civil suit which doesn't get dismissed at the get go.  

    The $130,000 wasn't a settlement. (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by Chuck0 on Fri Mar 23, 2018 at 12:38:22 PM EST
    There was no legal action. It was don't tell money.

    "Nuisance money"? (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Yman on Fri Mar 23, 2018 at 02:02:05 PM EST
    Heh.  Suuuuuuuure. That's what it was.  It was just"nuisance money" to a guy so notoriously cheap he would rather litigate with his subcontractors than pay them what he owed them.  The guy who denies paying her, but whose lawyer claimed he "facilitated" the payment from his own funds.

    BTW - Clifford never settled a suit and isn't seeking  monetary damages, but a declaratory judgment allowing her to speak out.


    I am so laughing (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Mar 24, 2018 at 09:50:13 AM EST
    at all the conservatives now with regards to all these lawsuits. Y'all in your effort and hatred of Bill Clinton brought this all down on yourselves. There are so many cases against Trump I'm not sure how you can comment. The biggest problem conservatives have is that Trump lies about everything. So he's going to lie in every case he is deposed in.

    "criminal defense site"??? (none / 0) (#33)
    by thomas rogan on Thu Mar 22, 2018 at 08:29:45 PM EST
    Shouldn't the headline read "NY Judge Rules Trump can be Deposed by Alleged Victims"???

    Better???? (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 23, 2018 at 05:16:14 PM EST
    "NY Judge Rules Defendant Trump can be Deposed by Plaintiff in Apprentice Groping Defanmation Lawsuit."