Legal Analysis: Mayweather Refuses To Show for Deposition in Pacquiao Lawsuit
By Bryanna Fissori
Floyd Mayweather Jr. has presented every possible excuse to avoid facing Manny Pacquiao in the ring, now he is continuing the trend in the legal arena.
In December 2009 Pacquiao filed suit against Mayweather for charges of defamation for statements made asserting that Pacquiao’s success in the ring was due to use of performance enhancing drugs (P.E.D.s) . Other defendants also named include Floyd Mayweather Sr., Roger Mayweather, Mayweather Promotions, LLC., Richard Schaefer and Oscar De La Hoya, though claims against Schaefer and De La Hoya were recently dropped.
Mayweather was ordered by the court to be give testimony on Friday, June 17. The deposition would have required him to submit to oral examination under oath regarding the defamatory statement he made against Pacquiao. Come Friday, Mayweather was no where to be found.
There is no doubt that Mayweather was not going into to the deposition willingly. Earlier in the week Mayweather’s counsel filed an emergency motion to postpone the testimony. His attorney Mark Tratos also sent a letter to Pacquiao’s attorney Dan Petrocelli informing him of the appeal and that Mayweather would not be in attendance. The appeal was denied, meaning that Mayweather was legal compelled to be present. His contention in the appeal was that he needed to concentrate on his upcoming bout against Victor Ortiz on September 17, exactly three months away.
This isn’t the only court date that stands to interfere with Mayweather’s fight schedule. Mayweather faces charges for battery during an altercation with a security guard in which he could face six months in jail. The trial for this case was also postponed and the Las Vegas Justice Court set the new bench trial date for September 1 with a preliminary hearing on October 20.
More importantly Mayweather postponed a hearing scheduled for late April regarding charges of domestic violence against his ex-girlfriend, Josie Harris. Other charges in the case include felony counts of grand larceny, coercion and robbery. Allegations also include stealing her cell phone and threatening two of their children. If convicted on all counts Mayweather could face up to 34 years in prison. The hearing had been moved to July 29 and re-assigned once more to October.
“Mr. Mayweather maliciously leveled false accusations about Mr. Pacquiao. We are anxious to examine him under oath about those statements,” Daniel Petrocelli, Pacquiao’s attorney, said in a statement. “He is just dodging his deposition because he is afraid to testify, but he has no right to defy a court order.”
The objective of a deposition is to obtain background information and evidence on the case and lock in stories from witnesses and parties. Those being deposed do so under oath and any inconsistency from deposition to trial is considered perjury.
The punishment for missing a court ordered appearance varies given the jurisdiction and the issue. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 37(D) regarding discovery sanctions states, “The court in which the action is pending on motion may make such orders in regard to the failure as are just and among others it may take any action authorized under subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of subdivision (b)(2) of this rule.”
(A) An order that the matters regarding which the order was made or any other designated facts shall be taken to be established for the purposes of the action in accordance with the claim of the party obtaining the order;
This means that all of Pacquiao’s statement may be admitted as evidence without contest.
(B) An order refusing to allow the disobedient party to support or oppose designated claims or defenses, or prohibiting that party from introducing designated matters in evidence;
Meaning that Mayweather may lose the ability to contest any of Pacquiao’s claims or introduce any other evidence to disprove Pacquiao’s assertions.
(C) An order striking out pleadings or parts thereof, or staying further proceedings until the order is obeyed, or dismissing the action or proceeding or any part thereof, or rendering a judgment by default against the disobedient party;
Any other motions submitted by Mayweather regarding the matter may be ignored until he is deposed. The court could also issue a default judgment for Pacquiao, which is a motion that Pacquiao’s counsel intends to submit.
Any or all of these ramifications may be imposed on Mayweather for his absence including being held in contempt of court and having to pay sanctions.
Since he supposedly didn’t show because he was concentrating on the Ortiz fight hopefully he at least got a good workout in.