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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
WEST PALM BEACH DIVISION
HOWARD K. STERN,
CIVIL ACTION FILE
vs. NO. 07-60534
VIDEOTAPED DEPOSITION OF
August 16, 2007
2300 Lyric Centre Building
Lee Ann Barnes, CCR, RPR
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1 APPEARANCES OF COUNSEL
3 On behalf of the Plaintiff:
4 LIN L. WOOD, ESQUIRE
5 LUKE LANTTA, ESQUIRE
6 Powell Goldstein, LLP
7 One Atlantic Center
8 Fourteenth Floor
9 1201 West Peachtree Street, NW
10 Atlanta, Georgia 30309-3488
12 404-572-6999 (facsimile)
15 M. KRISTA BARTH, ATTORNEY AT LAW
16 Law Offices of Eric M. Sauerberg, P.A.
17 200 Village Square Crossing
18 Suite 102
19 Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33410
21 561-776-0302 (facsimile)
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1 APPEARANCES (Continued)
3 On behalf of the Defendant:
4 ROBERT M. KLEIN, ESQUIRE
5 Stephens Lynn Klein LaCava
6 Hoffman & Puya, P.A.
7 Two Datran Center - Ph II
8 9130 South Dadeland Boulevard
9 Miami, Florida 33156
11 305-670-8592 (facsimile)
14 NEIL C. McCABE, ESQUIRE
15 The O'Quinn Law Firm
16 2300 Lyric Centre Building
17 440 Louisiana
18 Houston, Texas
20 713-222-6903 (facsimile)
23 Also Present: Keith Neal, Videographer
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1 Videotaped Deposition of John O'Quinn
2 August 16, 2007
4 VIDEOGRAPHER: The time is
5 approximately 9:10. We're on the video
6 record. Today's date is August 16, 2007.
7 This deposition is taking place in the
8 offices of The O'Quinn Law Firm, 440
9 Louisiana, Houston, Texas 77002. Today's
10 deponent will be John O'Quinn.
11 Would counsel please identify
12 themselves for the video record, starting
13 with Mr. Wood.
14 MR. WOOD: Lin Wood representing the
15 plaintiff, Howard K. Stern.
16 MR. LANTTA: Luke Lantta
17 representing the plaintiff, Howard K.
19 MS. BARTH: M. Krista Barth,
20 representing the plaintiff, Howard K.
22 MR. KLEIN: Rob Klein, Stephens,
23 Lynn, Klein, et al., Miami, Florida
24 representing the defendant, John O'Quinn.
25 SKWRAO: Neil McCabe from The
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1 O'Quinn Law Firm representing
2 Mr. O'Quinn.
3 VIDEOGRAPHER: Thank you very much.
4 The court reporter will now swear in the
6 (Whereupon, the witness was sworn.)
7 (Plaintiff's Exhibit-1 was marked
8 for identification.)
9 MR. WOOD: This will be the
10 deposition of John O'Quinn, defendant and
11 opposite party. The deposition is taken
12 pursuant to agreement and notice as
13 amended which I am attaching for the
14 record as Exhibit No. 1.
15 The deposition is taken for all
16 permissible purposes under the Federal
17 Rules of Civil Procedure. All
18 formalities surrounding the taking of the
19 deposition will be waived. All
20 objections except as to the form of the
21 question or the responsiveness of the
22 answer will be reserved until the time of
23 trial, hearing, or the formal use of the
25 Are those stipulations agreeable for
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1 counsel for the defendant?
2 MR. KLEIN: They are.
3 MR. WOOD: And we would like for
4 Mr. O'Quinn to read and sign and would
5 agree that that can be undertaken before
6 any notary public subject to the
7 reporter's transmittal procedures.
8 MR. KLEIN: That's fine.
9 MR. WOOD: Good to go?
10 MR. KLEIN: Good to go.
11 JOHN O'QUINN, having been first duly
12 sworn, was examined and testified as follows:
16 Q. Would you state your full name for
17 the record, please.
18 A. John O'Quinn.
19 Q. And what is your present residence
20 address, Mr. O'Quinn?
21 A. 19 Shadder Way, Houston, Texas.
22 Q. How long have you resided at that
24 A. Approximately six years.
25 Q. And you practiced law here in
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2 A. True.
3 Q. The O'Quinn Law Firm, is that the
4 name of the firm?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. How long have you practiced law The
7 O'Quinn Law Firm?
8 A. Or some version of that name?
9 Q. I want to try to get that -- that
10 name first.
11 A. That's about two years.
12 Q. And how is that set up? Is it a
13 partnership, is it a limited liability
14 partnership, or you tell me.
15 A. It's limited liability partnership
16 or company. I can't recall the details.
17 Q. Are you a partner in the firm?
18 A. Probably I'm designated as a member
19 of the LLC or a partner of the LLP.
20 Q. Does the firm have a managing member
21 or managing partner?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Are you the person that basically
24 fits that role on a day-in-day-out basis?
25 A. Well, ultimately I -- I have that
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1 role. I try to divide up responsibility for
2 management with other people so that I don't
3 have to -- I like to try lawsuits -- so I
4 don't have to spend my entire day handling
5 management issues.
6 Q. Does the authority, though, at the
7 end of the day, does the buck stop with John
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. And what was the name of the firm
11 prior to the change two years ago?
12 A. O'Quinn, Laminack & Pirtle.
13 Q. And they -- they're down on 12 now,
14 I guess?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. Okay. How many lawyers do you have
17 in your firm at the present time, Mr. O'Quinn?
18 A. Approximately 25.
19 Q. How did you come to be engaged to
20 represent Vergie Arthur?
21 A. She hired me.
22 Q. Can you tell me the circumstances
23 around that in terms of how she contacted you,
24 where you were?
25 A. Vergie is a Texan. Her son is in
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1 the FBI. I knew -- I knew neither of them
2 before the matter in question. Somebody in
3 the FBI gave my name to the son as being a
4 very good lawyer and he made arrangements
5 whereby she could come see me.
6 Q. What was the son's name?
7 A. You know, I don't have that by my
8 mental fingertips right now.
9 Q. Was he a Texan too?
10 A. Oh, yeah.
11 Q. And what was the scope of your
12 engagement for or with Vergie Arthur?
13 A. To help Vergie get the right to bury
14 her own daughter.
15 Q. Anything else?
16 A. To help her have the right to raise
17 her granddaughter.
18 Q. Other than to help her have the
19 right to bury her daughter and to help her
20 have the right to raise her granddaughter, did
21 the scope of your engagement with Ms. Arthur
22 include anything else?
23 A. No, sir.
24 Q. You were not engaged by her to
25 facilitate or arrange or negotiate any type of
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1 media contacts, book deals, things of that
3 A. No, sir.
4 Q. And did you undertake to do so at
5 any time?
6 A. No, sir.
7 Q. What did you understand, in your
8 mind's eye, when she hired you you were going
9 to have to do?
10 A. I wasn't quite sure.
11 Q. Do you know whether the petition had
12 been filed at that time down in Broward County
13 with respect to the issue of custody of Anna
14 Nicole Smith's body in order to bury her?
15 A. Yes. My understanding was the
16 petition was already filed by other lawyers.
17 Q. And did you expect, then, when you
18 undertook to represent Ms. Arthur, that you
19 would be advocating for her and litigating for
20 her in the state of Florida?
21 A. I didn't know. She already had a
22 Florida lawyer.
23 Q. When did you find out?
24 A. Which subject? That she had a
25 Florida lawyer?
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1 Q. No. When did you find out you were
2 going to be litigating for or advocating for
3 her in the state of Florida?
4 A. After talking to her and the Florida
5 lawyer, they asked that I come over there and
6 assist them to the extent I could.
7 MR. KLEIN: John, let me just
8 caution you. You have to be a little bit
9 careful about your communications with
10 Vergie --
11 MR. WOOD: Oh, yeah.
12 MR. KLEIN: -- because we cannot
13 waive privilege. That's her decision.
14 THE WITNESS: I'll be more careful.
15 Thank you.
16 Q. (By Mr. Wood) Who was the Florida
18 A. Steve somebody.
19 MR. KLEIN: Tunstall.
20 THE WITNESS: Huh?
21 MR. KLEIN: Tunstall.
22 THE WITNESS: Tunstall. I always
23 have trouble remembering how to say his
24 last name. Tunstall.
25 Q. (By Mr. Wood) I struggled with it
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1 for a while myself. Don't feel bad.
2 A. Thank you.
3 Q. Where did you first go -- did you
4 have a meeting -- you said you went over to
5 meet with Mr. Tunstall?
6 A. Yes. I went to Florida.
7 Q. All right. Where in Florida?
8 A. Fort Lauderdale.
9 Q. Did you have a written contract or a
10 written engagement letter with Vergie Arthur?
11 A. I don't know.
12 Q. Would it be your normal practice to
13 have a written engagement contract or letter?
14 A. At that point, it wouldn't be a
15 usual practice.
16 Q. I'm sorry. It would be what?
17 A. At that point it would not be a
18 usual practice because I was not being hired
19 to file a lawsuit. I was -- I was being asked
20 to help her, if I could. You know, if an FBI
21 agent asked you to do him a favor, I don't
22 know about your part of the country, but you
23 try do them a favor.
24 Q. Well, I represented Richard Jewel.
25 We're a little bit leery of FBI agents. I'm
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1 not sure it applies to us in Georgia, at least
2 not to me and my client.
3 MR. KLEIN: That's a little
4 different perspective.
5 MR. WOOD: That's a little different
6 perspective, to say the least.
7 THE WITNESS: So I didn't come in
8 this thing to make money. I tried to
9 help this agent and his mother. In a
10 matter, it was very personal and there
11 wasn't going to be any money made off of
12 who got that body, not by me.
13 Q. (By Mr. Wood) So I take it what
14 you're telling me is that you handled this
15 matter for Vergie Arthur on what you would
16 call a pro bono basis?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And have not received any type of
19 fee from her or anyone on her behalf?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. And have no expectation of doing so
22 in the future?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. So when you went to Florida and
25 stayed there for a number of days, going there
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1 you knew you were going to be on your dime,
2 not hers; right?
3 A. Yes, sir.
4 Q. So whatever money you spent down in
5 Florida from an expense standpoint to stay
6 there during the hearing and -- did you go
7 back for the appellate argument?
8 A. I did.
9 Q. So to go down for the hearing which
10 lasted several days?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. And then for the appellate argument,
13 you knew before you left Texas and went to
14 Florida that you were going to be on your
15 dime, spending your personal funds, while you
16 were there trying to advocate or litigate or,
17 as you say, help her out?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. Do you have any idea how much you
20 incurred in terms of your expenses in the
21 state of Florida?
22 A. Hundreds of thousands.
23 Q. For the time period that you were
24 there for the hearing and the appellate
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1 A. You know, I think I've lumped
2 together the Bahamas and Florida. I don't
3 really know how that divides out.
4 Q. Give me the total amount, your best
5 estimate -- when you say hundreds of
6 thousands, I understand you lump them
7 together, the Bahamas and Florida, give me
8 your best estimate as to the total amount of
9 money that you spent out of your pocket, John
10 O'Quinn's pocket, with respect to those two
11 trips or those two locations?
12 A. Okay. I believe it was about
14 Q. $400,000. And you're not able to,
15 as you sit here today, give us any type of
16 reasonable estimate as to how much of that
17 $400,000 would have been incurred in the state
18 of Florida versus in the Bahamas?
19 A. Total guess. I'd have to go look at
20 a bunch of records to try to figure that out.
21 Q. Give me your best guess, if you
22 don't mind.
23 A. I hate to guess.
24 Q. As long as we know you're guessing,
25 then nobody's going to say that you were being
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2 A. It would be a wild guess. I just
3 hate to do that.
4 Q. Well, how long were you in the
6 A. Off and on over a span of -- of a
7 couple of weeks, I think, and I wasn't there
8 day by day by day. So I think it was over a
9 span of a couple of weeks, a number of trips.
10 There were some court hearings, things of that
12 Q. Well, how would that compare to the
13 amount of time you spent in Florida for
14 Ms. Arthur?
15 A. My guess?
16 Q. Best guess.
17 A. Probably more time in the Bahamas
18 than in Florida.
19 Q. How -- did you make -- how many
20 trips to Florida did you make during the
21 course of the hearing before the Judge
22 Sandlin -- did I get that right?
23 MS. BARTH: Seidlin.
24 MR. KLEIN: Seidlin.
25 Q. (By Mr. Wood) Seidlin. The crying
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1 judge. We all know who we're talking about.
2 A. Seidlin. Yes, sir.
3 Q. How many trips did you make, if more
4 than one, to be present at that hearing before
5 Judge Seidlin?
6 A. I think it was two.
7 Q. You think you came home at the end
8 of the week over the weekend and then went
10 A. I think so.
11 Q. Did you travel commercial?
12 A. No.
13 Q. You have your own private aircraft?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And I know you stayed at Pier 66; is
16 that right?
17 A. I can't remember the name of the
18 hotel. It was in Fort Lauderdale.
19 Q. Was it the same hotel on both trips?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And then how about when you came
22 back for the appellate argument, did you stay
24 A. Yes, I believe so.
25 Q. Same hotel?
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1 A. No, we were in Coral Gables or West
2 Palm Beach or some other -- that's where the
3 appellate court is.
4 MR. KLEIN: West Palm Beach.
5 THE WITNESS: So West Palm Beach.
6 Q. (By Mr. Wood) Where did you stay
8 A. Again, I don't recall the hotel
10 Q. Do you have -- do you keep your
11 receipts in order to document your expenses so
12 that if you ask someone in your office to go
13 back and pull the expenses for the Florida and
14 Bahama trips, you could do so?
15 A. That's the normal practice, and I
16 would expect those papers to be in the
17 accounting department.
18 Q. And who would be the person -- if I
19 asked you it tell me who I should talk to in
20 the accounting department that could give me
21 the information about your expenses and the
22 details regarding your expenses, who would you
23 tell me to talk to?
24 A. Mrs. Shelly Kinkle.
25 Q. How long has Ms. Kinkle worked with
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2 A. Over 10 years. Between 10 and 15,
3 as I recall.
4 Q. Describe for me, if you would,
5 Mr. O'Quinn, exactly what you did for
6 Ms. Arthur in Florida in your efforts to
7 advocate for her and to lend her legal
8 assistance with respect to the burial of her
9 daughter and some role in seeing or raising
10 her granddaughter?
11 MR. KLEIN: John, just be mindful of
12 your privilege concerns, please.
13 THE WITNESS: Thanks for reminding
14 me of that.
15 Q. (By Mr. Wood) Yeah. And it's not
16 my place to remind you of it, but I'm not
17 looking for you to tell me something that you
18 contend violates attorney-client privilege.
19 I'm looking to find out exactly what
20 you can describe and what you recall as to
21 what you did for her while you were in the
22 state of Florida.
23 MR. KLEIN: John, the only reason we
24 even bring it up is lawyers have a bad
25 habit of lapsing into discussions with
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2 THE WITNESS: You're entirely
3 correct. I'm sitting here having, in
4 fact, a conversation.
5 Q. (By Mr. Wood) That's what I want to
7 A. I'm not stopping to say wait a
8 second. So let me go a little slower to be
9 sure I don't violate my responsibilities under
10 the attorney-client privilege rule.
11 Well, I went to the court
12 proceedings. I participated in the court
13 proceedings with Mr. Tunstall, questioned
14 certain witnesses, made some arguments.
15 Things of that nature.
16 Q. Well, when you say, "things of that
17 nature," I'd like for you to be precise for
18 me. Give me your best description of your
19 activities in Florida for Ms. Arthur.
20 I understand you went to the court
21 proceedings before Judge Seidlin. You say
22 generally you participated in them in terms of
23 questioning witnesses and making some
24 arguments. What else did you do in the state
25 of Florida with respect to your efforts to
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1 assist Ms. Arthur?
2 A. I think that's about it.
3 Q. That's all?
4 A. I think that's about it.
5 Q. Did you ever --
6 A. Wait a second. You know, when the
7 case was appealed, I talked to Mr. Klein and
8 his -- and his partner about handling the
9 appeal and made the financial arrangements for
10 them to do that. That's part of the money.
11 Q. That's part of the $400,000?
12 A. Yeah. And I did that.
13 Q. All right. Let me make sure if I've
14 got it all.
15 In terms of your activities in the
16 state of Florida on behalf of Ms. Arthur, you
17 physically attended the court proceedings
18 before Judge Seidlin --
19 A. Uh-huh (affirmative).
20 Q. -- and participated in those
21 proceedings in court in terms of questioning
22 certain witnesses and making certain arguments
23 to the Court, and you also spoke to Mr. Klein
24 and his partner and made the arrangements for
25 his firm to handle Vergie Arthur's appeal,
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1 including making the payment to his firm from
2 your own personal funds for the fee; is that
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. Anything else, other than what we've
6 just gone over, that you did in Florida for
7 Vergie Arthur in your efforts to represent her
8 and assist her?
9 A. I tried to handle as much as
10 possible responding to the media, rather than
11 her having to do it.
12 Q. Anything else now? I want to make
13 sure we got it all.
14 A. I'm sure there's bound to have been
15 something else, but that's in the main what I
17 Q. Well, what makes you think that
18 there's bound to be something else?
19 A. There's a lot of activities going on
20 and I'm trying to remember back several months
21 and, I mean, I don't know whether you're
22 asking things like, okay, it's time go from
23 the hotel to the -- to the courthouse and I
24 would make arrangements for ground
25 transportation, you know, or whether you're
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1 going that far.
2 Q. I want to be as detailed as you can
3 be, sir.
4 A. Well, that would be true.
5 Q. In terms of making arrangements for
6 ground transportation for you and Ms. Arthur?
7 A. Yeah, right. Make sure she got
8 there. Make sure -- help her as best I could
9 to help her get through this -- really it was
10 crazy. I don't know if you know what I'm
11 trying to say. Once you got within 50 feet of
12 the front door of the courthouse -- she
13 recalls -- it was literally crazy, primarily
14 because of the media. You had to actually
15 fight to get into the front door. I don't
16 mean you had -- I'm not talking about hitting
17 somebody with your fists, but you had to
18 really struggle to get through this mass of
19 reporters and other people, primarily
20 reporters, just to get in the front door of
21 the courthouse. They were blocking your way.
22 You could be nice to them, whatever
23 you want to do. I want a comment, I want a
24 comment, I want this, I want that. You can
25 say, you know, "I gotta be in court, please
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 24 of 207
1 let me go, let me get through this crowd."
2 Sometimes she and I would lock arms, and I'd
3 just say, "Follow me," and I would somehow
4 make a path for us or whoever was with me
5 helping me, like Mr. Tunstall. And then
6 Mr. Tunstall and I would join arms. Vergie
7 would maybe hold on to our belts, or whatever,
8 just to get into the courthouse and then try
9 to find some court personnel like a deputy
10 sheriff-type person, who were very nice about
11 everything, I want to say that about the
12 staff. They were very nice and they knew the
13 situation. And we'd say, "How can we get from
14 the front door, sir, or ma'am, can you help us
15 to the judge's courtroom?"
16 And that was a struggle. Even
17 though we were now being guided and led by
18 members of law enforcement and -- but they'd
19 get us there. You know, they'd get us on an
20 elevator and get us there and once you got off
21 on the floor where the court was, there would
22 be another mass of people, reporters, wanting
23 us to not go in the courtroom but instead stay
24 out in the hall and talk to them. So it was a
25 struggle even to get into the courtroom.
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1 Now, I didn't go over there to do
2 that, but it turned out that I needed to do
3 that once I assessed the situation, and I did.
4 If that's a service, then that's a service.
5 Q. Well, when you say you "didn't go
6 over there to do that" --
7 A. I didn't know I was going to have
8 trouble getting --
9 Q. Let me finish. That's what I want
10 to find out.
11 Are you telling me the service that
12 you didn't go over there to do but that you
13 did was to help her get through the mass of
14 the media to get into the courtroom --
15 A. Right.
16 Q. -- or are you telling me that it was
17 dealing with the media in general for her?
18 A. Well, also in general, too, but I
19 was talking about just trying to get in the
20 courtroom at this point.
21 Q. Well, when did you -- did you take
22 on the role of basically shielding Vergie
23 Arthur from the media's efforts to contact her
24 and interview her?
25 A. Yes.
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1 Q. Did you tell her that you would do
2 that, you would perform that service for her?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And so did you then give the media
5 your contact information while you were in
6 Florida so that the media knew they could call
7 you instead of trying to make efforts to call
8 Vergie Arthur?
9 A. No.
10 Q. How did they get your contact
12 A. Well, I just said -- without going
13 into any privilege matters, if the media
14 called Vergie, I trusted she would tell them,
15 "Call Mr. O'Quinn."
16 Q. Well, was that your experience, that
17 she, in effect, followed those instructions
18 and that she --
19 A. Well, I don't want to go into any --
20 Q. Let me finish my question,
21 Mr. O'Quinn. You know I've got to answer --
22 get my question out before you answer.
23 Was that your experience that, in
24 fact, Ms. Arthur, while she was in Florida,
25 did refer media contacts or inquiries directed
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1 to her to you, her attorney?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And about how many inquiries did you
4 have to field or deal with over the course of
5 the time you were there?
6 A. Numerous.
7 Q. More than a hundred?
8 A. There were numerous.
9 Q. And you were there the first week --
10 the hearing started on February 13, I believe.
11 Does that sound right?
12 A. I can't recall the date, but it was
14 Q. It went three days the first week
15 and then y'all recessed for a weekend, which I
16 think was President's Day on Monday, and then
17 came back for three more days the second week.
18 Does that sound generally correct to you?
19 A. Generally.
20 Q. Whatever the number of media
21 inquiries were during this time period, while
22 we're talking about your being in Florida
23 dealing with the procedures before Judge
24 Seidlin, do you believe that those contacts or
25 inquiries were made while you were in Florida
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1 as compared to when you were back in Texas
2 between trips on the weekend?
3 A. I believe it's some of each.
4 Q. Again, how would you expect they got
5 your contact information in Texas from -- I
6 mean, the weekend I assume you were at home.
7 If you were at the office, some of us have to
8 come down to the office on the weekends --
9 A. When I'm in trial or in a court
10 proceeding in another place, Saturday I'll
11 have to come back and catch up. I'd be here a
12 lot on the weekend, frankly.
13 Q. Can you give us a breakdown of the
14 percentage of the media contacts that were
15 made to you while you were in Florida versus
16 while you were in Texas?
17 And I'm talking about the time frame
18 of the Seidlin hearings.
19 A. I can't do that.
20 Q. How many interviews did you give
21 while you were in Florida, written or
22 broadcast interviews?
23 A. I believe two.
24 Q. Two broadcast or print interviews?
25 A. I know one was broadcast. The other
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 29 of 207
1 one was -- I don't recall if it was print or
3 Q. The scope of your engagement with
4 Ms. Arthur, to make sure we've closed the door
5 on this, included your participation and
6 attendance at the hearing before Judge
7 Seidlin --
8 A. Right.
9 Q. -- and before the court of appeals
10 for during that argument; true?
11 A. Right, but you understand, I did not
12 make the argument.
13 Q. Oh, no, you paid Mr. Klein or his
14 firm --
15 A. Right.
16 Q. -- but you were there?
17 A. Right.
18 Q. So the scope of your employment or
19 efforts to represent her and help her included
20 helping her with that appeal in Florida?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. And the proceedings in Florida
23 before Judge Seidlin?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. And literally, as part of that,
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 30 of 207
1 having to make arrangements to get to and from
2 where you were staying to the courthouse to
3 literally, sometimes physically, have to be
4 involved in trying to get through the media
5 crush to get her into the courtroom?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. And then you agreed also to respond
8 on her behalf, in effect shield her from media
9 inquiries, to in effect be, to the extent you
10 decided to do an interview, be her
11 spokesperson; is that true?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. Had you ever been involved, in your
14 practice of -- how many years? How many years
15 have you been practicing law?
16 A. Almost 40.
17 Q. I will never catch you, probably,
18 because you'll probably practice 40 more. I
19 don't think I will. I've got 31 under my
20 belt. Some days it seems like 61.
21 A. Me too.
22 Q. Other days it feels like it's just
24 A. It's like that. Life's like that,
25 isn't it?
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 31 of 207
1 Q. It is, isn't it?
2 A. Yeah.
3 Q. And in your almost 40 years of law
4 practice have you ever been involved in any of
5 your cases, in a -- in a high-profile case
6 that had, what I call and I think would agree
7 with it, a media frenzy to it like you
8 experienced with your respects to help Vergie
10 A. No.
11 Q. And I don't mean to downplay the
12 importance or the profile of your other cases,
13 I think the results speak for themselves, but
14 had you ever had any case that you had handled
15 before this representation that you would even
16 begun to say was close in terms of the media
17 attention and media frenzy that you
18 experienced in the Vergie Arthur case?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Had you done any type of advocacy in
21 the -- I call it -- the court of public
22 opinion, had you done any advocacy for clients
23 in other cases where you would make television
24 appearances to do interviews for them or their
25 case or their cause?
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 32 of 207
1 A. On occasion.
2 Q. Give me -- before the Vergie Arthur
3 representation, give me a ballpark figure of
4 how many interviews you would have given. And
5 I'm not limiting you to television or radio.
6 I include in that print interviews.
7 A. 40 years is a long time. I cannot
8 give you any kind of accurate number.
9 Q. Did you feel like you were
10 experienced, though, in dealing with the
12 A. Slightly.
13 Q. Slightly experienced?
14 A. Somewhat, but I'm --
15 Q. Slightly experienced sounds like
16 greatly inexperienced. Which one is it?
17 A. I would say I didn't have a lot of
18 experience. I had some.
19 Q. Did you do preinterviews where
20 they'd interview you before?
21 A. I don't even know what that means.
22 Q. Where someone would interview you
23 before you actually went on the air to give
24 the interview.
25 A. I don't believe so.
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 33 of 207
1 Q. How many interviews did you do, not
2 just limiting that to Florida, but I want to
3 get an idea of how many interviews you gave,
4 print or broadcast, as part of your efforts to
5 help Vergie Arthur, advocate for her?
6 A. I think I did two.
7 Q. Start to finish?
8 A. Oh, no.
9 Q. I'm looking for the total number
11 A. You're talking about even when
12 things shifted from Florida to the Bahamas?
13 Q. I'm talking about A to Z.
14 A. Yes. You're saying yes?
15 Q. Yes, I am, sorry.
16 A. A dozen.
17 Q. And how many of those were print
18 versus broadcast?
19 A. Guesstimate?
20 Q. Best guesstimate.
21 A. Guesstimate, most were broadcast.
22 Q. Any print?
23 A. Probably -- probably --
24 substantially most were broadcast.
25 Q. Do you recall doing any print
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 34 of 207
1 media -- print interviews?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And who do you recall doing those
4 interviews with, the print interviews?
5 A. I just recall that there were a
6 couple that were print. I can't tell you
7 which organization it was.
8 Q. Did you or someone in your office
9 keep any clippings about those interviews?
10 A. I don't believe so.
11 Q. Why not?
12 A. Why?
13 Q. Well, I'm just suggesting that
14 sometimes people do it for their own ego.
15 They like to see their names in print. Other
16 times lawyers want to keep up with it because
17 they want to know what they said so they make
18 sure they say the same thing the next time.
19 There are various reasons to keep them.
20 The question is you say you did not
21 and I take it you didn't make a conscious
22 decision to keep them or not?
23 A. I didn't make a conscious decision
24 to do it.
25 Q. Didn't make a conscious decision to
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 35 of 207
1 keep them or not?
2 A. If my staff kept them, they kept
4 Q. You don't know whether they did or
6 A. No. I don't sit down every day and
7 read my interviews.
8 Q. You think in any given case you've
9 ever done any more interviews than the dozen
10 that you believe you did in the Vergie Arthur
12 A. For a case, no.
13 Q. This would have been the largest
14 case in terms of media interviews?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Most television appearances?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Before you did your first television
19 interview in connection with representing or
20 helping Vergie Arthur, how long had it been
21 since you had been on television for a client?
22 A. In some other matter?
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. I can't recall.
25 Q. Are you thinking years?
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 36 of 207
1 A. No, I don't believe it had been
3 Q. Months?
4 A. I believe that would be more
5 accurate, yeah.
6 Q. So you believe you probably had done
7 an interview in 2006?
8 A. Probably, yeah.
9 Q. Any idea what case that would have
10 been in connection with?
11 A. I know I tried a breast implant case
12 to a verdict in 2006 and I believe there was
13 an interview about that.
14 Q. Local or national?
15 A. Local.
16 Q. You understood how the national
17 television interviews worked, though, as a
18 general proposition, did you not, sir?
19 A. As a general proposition, perhaps.
20 I'm not a technically smart guy about how
21 broadcast works.
22 Q. Well, I don't mean to suggest that
23 you would know the technical aspects of it,
24 but what I do mean to suggest is that I think
25 you would tell me that you are aware that when
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 37 of 207
1 you do an interview with a national network,
2 that you knew that that interview, in some
3 form or fashion, was going to be broadcast on
4 a national basis; true?
5 A. It may be broadcast.
6 Q. Did you have any reason to believe
7 that it would not be?
8 A. I had no reason to believe any way.
9 I know I've given interviews that turned out
10 not being broadcast.
11 Q. Those weren't your good interviews?
12 A. No. It just whoever the news
13 directer was decided they -- you know, news
14 has limited time, not to go with that
16 Q. Did you give any broadcast -- did
17 you participate in any broadcast interviews in
18 connection with the Anna Nicole Smith case?
19 A. Did I do what about them?
20 Q. Did you participate in any broadcast
21 interviews for television in connection with
22 your representation of Vergie Arthur or the
23 Anna Nicole Smith case that were not, in some
24 fashion, broadcast?
25 A. I believe on one occasion, yes.
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 38 of 207
1 Q. Do you know who you gave that
2 interview to?
3 A. I'm not sure, but I believe -- I'm
4 not sure. I recall something -- you know, a
5 lot of these broadcasts are for like 30
6 minutes. They've got a set amount of time.
7 And then they've got more than one story they
8 want to do and then they -- they run out of
10 I remember I was supposedly being
11 interviewed on one broadcast, and so I get
12 there at the right time, you know, I'm there
13 miked and everything and they start talking
14 about some new breaking story, some child was
15 killed or trapped in a mine or something like
16 that, and they went with that story primarily.
17 And by the time we got to the end of the show
18 they said, "Well, we're real sorry,
19 Mr. O'Quinn" --
20 Q. You got bumped?
21 A. Try us again another time.
22 Q. You got bumped?
23 A. Right.
24 Q. You recall it happening one time?
25 A. I do recall that, yes.
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 39 of 207
1 Q. Now, you gave interviews to Larry
2 King, did you not?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You appeared on the Larry King show
5 how many times?
6 A. I would guess three.
7 Q. You knew that was a live interview,
8 Larry King live, it was not taped, was it?
9 A. I believe it was.
10 Q. You believe it was taped?
11 A. No. I believe it was live.
12 Q. On all the appearances on Larry
14 A. I believe so.
15 Q. And did you do any live media
16 interviews on the Greta Van Susteren show, On
17 the Record, Fox News?
18 A. I believe so.
19 Q. How many?
20 A. Now, you're talking about the whole
21 time, even when we're in the Bahamas?
22 Q. Yeah, which you told me you thought
23 consisted of about 12 interviews, print and
24 broadcast total.
25 A. I would say on her show maybe about
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 40 of 207
1 three times.
2 Q. How about Good Morning America?
3 A. One -- none.
4 Q. No interviews?
5 A. Is that the ABC deal?
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. No.
8 Q. The Today Show?
9 A. I don't believe so. Yes.
10 Q. How many on The Today Show?
11 A. One.
12 Q. Who was that with?
13 A. Matt Louder (sic).
14 Q. Where were you when you gave that
16 A. I don't recall.
17 Q. Were you on set in New York?
18 A. No.
19 Q. In Florida?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Was it a phone interview?
22 A. They brought the camera to me.
23 Q. To Texas or Florida?
24 A. One of those places.
25 Q. So it could have been in Florida?
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 41 of 207
1 A. Could have.
2 Q. When you came over to represent
3 Ms. Arthur in the proceedings before Judge
4 Seidlin, am I correct that you understood that
5 the issue that was being litigated in that
6 proceeding was the question of custody of the
7 body of Anna Nicole Smith for purposes of
8 determining where she would be buried?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And that was, in fact, the only
11 issue that was decided in that proceeding;
13 A. I believe so.
14 Q. To your knowledge, was there any
15 other jurisdiction of Judge Seidlin or effort
16 to determine any other issue other than the
17 custody of Anna Nicole Smith's body for
18 purposes of determining where it -- she would
19 be buried?
20 A. I believe the other issues were
21 raised or attempted to be raised but I don't
22 think they were decided.
23 Q. I'm sorry. They weren't decided?
24 A. I don't believe they got decided by
25 Judge Seidlin.
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 42 of 207
1 Q. Did you attempt to raise other
3 A. No.
4 Q. Or are you talking about issues
5 raised the by other parties?
6 A. Others.
7 Q. Vergie Arthur didn't raise any other
8 issues. You were there focused on trying to
9 help her have a role in where her daughter
10 would be buried; right?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. And then ultimately, as it turned
13 out in the Bahamas, your role expanded, did it
14 not, into efforts to help her either obtain
15 custody or visitation with her granddaughter;
16 is that right?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. That was an issue, in terms of the
19 scope of your engagement, that arose after the
20 Florida proceedings; true?
21 A. I believe that they may have arisen
22 while I was representing Ms. Arthur in Judge
23 Seidlin's proceedings.
24 Q. That you would help her out down in
25 the Bahamas on the custody issues?
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 43 of 207
1 A. Right.
2 Q. But the custody of Dannielynn, the
3 paternity of Dannielynn, was not an issue
4 before Judge Seidlin? It was not a litigated
5 issue that you were down there working on, was
7 A. Well, the paternity was an issue
8 that was sought to be raised.
9 Q. But not by you?
10 A. Not by me.
11 Q. Not by Vergie Arthur?
12 A. Not by Vergie Arthur.
13 Q. Someone else sought to raise it, but
14 ultimately it was not an issue to be decided
15 by Judge Seidlin; right?
16 A. That's my memory.
17 Q. Again, the only issue you went down
18 to advocate for, in terms of representing
19 Ms. Arthur in the Florida proceedings and the
20 attendance at the appellate argument, was the
21 issue limited to the custody of Anna Nicole
22 Smith's body for purposes of determining where
23 she would be buried; true?
24 A. I believe so.
25 Q. It was not your intent, going down
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 44 of 207
1 to Florida, to litigate the issue of the
2 paternity of Dannielynn; right?
3 A. Not in Florida.
4 Q. And it was not your intent, going
5 down to Florida, to litigate the issue of
6 custody of Dannielynn or visitation; right?
7 A. Well, things -- things got changed
8 because this gentlemen Birkhead showed up and
9 he was claiming he was the biological father
10 of Anna Nicole's daughter and he was claiming
11 that for that reason, perhaps he should have
12 the say-so in where Anna Nicole was buried.
13 My position, of course, was that
14 Vergie Arthur should have the say-so. So any
15 competing claim that would adversely affect
16 Vergie Arthur, I felt was -- was in my
17 bailiwick to oppose, to the extent that I
18 could legally oppose it. So once he started
19 making that claim, -- I mean, there were a lot
20 of reasons why I didn't think the claim had
21 any merit, don't get me wrong. But at least
22 somebody was there saying, "I'm the biological
23 father of the person who's dead -- of the
24 child of the person who's dead and I want to
25 have some say-so in where she's buried."
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 45 of 207
1 Q. Any other issues that arose --
2 raised by other parties or issues that you
3 thought you needed to address in the Florida
4 proceedings other than what you've told me?
5 A. I believe one line of argument that
6 Stern was claiming was that since he was
7 taking care of the child and since he had this
8 relationship with Anna Nicole, he should be
9 the one to decide.
10 Q. On where the body should be buried?
11 A. Yeah.
12 Q. Do you think he was taking that
13 position because he was a companion of Anna
14 Nicole Smith's and had a relationship with the
15 daughter or were you aware that he was there,
16 sir, as the nominated executor of the estate
17 of Ms. Smith?
18 MR. KLEIN: Lin, this is -- I've got
19 to inquire. We're in a jurisdictional
20 deposition. I don't know what relevance
21 it has to what Mr. Stern's position was
22 or how it was taken or why.
23 MR. WOOD: Yeah. And I appreciate
24 the question. I believe that I'm
25 entitled to go into this area because I
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 46 of 207
1 think I'm entitled to find out what he
2 went there to do, what he did there, what
3 he may have done beyond that all tied to
4 the issue of his reasonable expectations
5 of being haled into a Florida court and
6 being sued.
7 MR. KLEIN: I understand.
8 MR. WOOD: That's why I'm doing it.
9 MR. KLEIN: And I've allowed some
10 latitude for that reason. I don't think
11 that inquiry as to his mental impressions
12 as to what Stern's position was or was
13 not, that it was valid or not.
14 MR. WOOD: I'm not asking that at
15 all. I don't mean to be asking about
16 whether it's valid. I'm just trying to
17 find out, plain and simple.
18 Q. (By Mr. Wood) Didn't you know, sir,
19 going into this proceeding that the petition
20 had been filed and Mr. Stern's role was as the
21 nominated executor of the estate of Anna
22 Nicole Smith?
23 MR. KLEIN: That I don't have a
24 problem with.
25 THE WITNESS: When I came into the
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 47 of 207
1 proceeding initially, I'm not sure I even
2 read the papers to really know, but by
3 the time I got to Judge Seidlin's
4 court --
5 Q. (By Mr. Wood) You knew?
6 A. -- I knew that was the position
7 of --
8 Q. Mr. Stern?
9 A. -- Stern.
10 Q. Okay.
11 A. At least on paper.
12 Q. At least on paper in terms of his
13 filings; right?
14 A. Yeah.
15 Q. And did you file an application to
16 appear in that proceeding pro hac vice?
17 A. I think Mr. Tunstall did.
18 Q. On your behalf?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did you have any type of fee
21 arrangement with Mr. Tunstall?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Did you pay any of Mr. Tunstall's
25 A. No.
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 48 of 207
1 Q. Did you pay any of Mr. Tunstall's
3 A. In a way, because I -- I did things
4 like paid for the appeal.
5 Q. Well --
6 A. I did --
7 Q. That would be Vergie Arthur's
8 expense, I think.
9 A. Did I reimburse him for money he had
10 spent, no.
11 Q. Did you pay for any of his expenses
12 that he had incurred on behalf of Ms. Arthur
13 other than the fee to Mr. Klein's firm for
14 handling the appeal? Assuming that's -- that
15 was his expense. I don't think it was but,
16 nonetheless, I'm going to clear up whether or
17 not you paid anything else for him or not.
18 A. When I took on the job of getting
19 her from the hotel, transportation, into the
20 court, I guess if I had not been in Florida,
21 Mr. Tunstall would have had to do that.
22 Q. Well, I understand that. I mean,
23 that's -- apparently you paid some sort of a,
24 I guess, a limousine service or some type
25 of --
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 49 of 207
1 A. Right.
2 Q. -- to get you-all picked -- was she
3 staying at the same hotel where you were?
4 A. Right.
5 Q. And you were paying for her hotel
7 A. Right.
8 Q. Did you pay for anybody else's hotel
9 rooms, other than yourself and Vergie Arthur's
10 hotel room in Florida?
11 A. On occasions her husband would be
12 with her. On occasions a relative/friend
13 would be with her and they would stay at the
15 Q. Well, I'm assuming that her husband
16 stayed with her?
17 A. I am too but I did not go --
18 Q. You did go in the room --
19 A. But I did not go in the room to see
20 who was in the bed.
21 Q. Okay. That would be asking for just
22 a little bit too much representation, wouldn't
24 A. That was not my job.
25 Q. I'm assuming you didn't pay for an
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 50 of 207
1 extra hotel room for him. I'm looking for any
2 other hotel rooms you paid for for individuals
3 in Florida other than the room for yourself,
4 the room for Vergie Arthur, which may have on
5 occasion been shared with her husband, and
6 then you mentioned another relative, I
8 A. There was a woman who would be with
9 her -- she needed moral support, emotional
10 support. So if her husband could not be with
11 her, there sometimes was another woman who was
12 with her who was introduced to me as a
13 relative and/or friend.
14 Q. What was her name?
15 A. I don't recall it.
16 Q. And did you pay for that relative or
17 friend's hotel room?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Same hotel?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Out of the number of nights you were
22 there, Ms. Arthur was there every night you
23 were there; right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And she stayed the weekend? She
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 51 of 207
1 didn't come back to Texas did she?
2 A. I believe so.
3 Q. Did she stay the weekend in Florida?
4 A. I'm not sure. I just said I believe
6 Q. Did she stay on in Florida after you
7 came back following the ruling of Judge
9 A. I believe so but I'm not certain of
11 Q. Did you continue to pay for her
12 hotel room at all times while she was in
13 Florida, Vergie Arthur?
14 A. Yes. So far as I know.
15 Q. So you believe -- your best
16 recollection and belief is is that any
17 expenses incurred by Ms. Arthur in connection
18 with her presence in Florida -- hotel rooms,
19 transportation, meals, incidentals -- you,
20 John O'Quinn, paid for those; true?
21 A. Probably, but I've not reviewed the
22 expense file of what got paid. I'm speaking
23 from the standpoint I think more likely than
24 not that's true, what you're saying. Now, she
25 may have gone down to the store and bought
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 52 of 207
1 some sundries and paid for them out of her own
2 purse. I've not doublechecked her bills. I
3 really haven't.
4 Q. Did you have arrangements -- when
5 you were not there, had you made arrangements
6 in Florida with the Florida transportation
7 company or the limo service, to continue to
8 provide transportation to Ms. Arthur?
9 A. I made no arrangements.
10 Q. Did you have someone on your behalf
11 make those arrangements?
12 A. Somebody made those arrangements.
13 Now, whether they were to continue to be her
14 car and driver even though I was gone on the
15 weekend, even though there was no court
16 proceedings going on on the weekend, even
17 though maybe she had elected to stay in
18 Florida rather than -- rather than go back
19 home to Texas for the weekend, I don't know
20 how those arrangements got made. I really
21 don't, sir.
22 Q. Did you ask anybody in your office
23 to make those arrangements?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. So someone made those arrangements
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 53 of 207
1 on your -- for you --
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. -- for Ms. Arthur, knowing that
4 we're talking about transportation
5 arrangements in the state of Florida; right?
6 A. If you're talking about while she
7 was being transported --
8 Q. Yes?
9 A. -- in Fort Lauderdale, it would be
10 in Florida. But I did not tell anybody to do
11 what you're describing.
12 Q. Well, how did -- who told them to do
14 A. The -- the staff that works with me,
15 they kind of know what needs to be done. I
16 mean, we've been doing this a long time, and
17 if I'm out of town, I've got to have a way to
18 get from point A to point B.
19 Q. Well, I'm not talking but you now.
20 I'm talking about Ms. Arthur, what you paid
21 for for Ms. Arthur --
22 A. She has to have a way --
23 Q. Hold on one second. I'm trying to
24 make clear, and maybe just a question I want
25 to get to and we can move on to another
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 54 of 207
2 The fact of the matter is that you
3 paid for transportation for Ms. Arthur in
4 Florida at times when you yourself were not
5 physically present in Florida; true?
6 A. I may have.
7 Q. Do you believe that you did?
8 A. I believe I probably did, but I've
9 not verified that. I don't know for sure
10 either way, sir.
11 Q. Who is Don Clark?
12 A. He's an investigator who works for
13 my law firm.
14 Q. Did he spend any time with you in
16 A. I believe so.
17 Q. During the time periods you were
18 there for the proceedings before Judge
20 A. I believe he was there some of the
22 Q. Separate hotel room?
23 A. Sure.
24 Q. Same hotel?
25 A. Probably, yes.
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 55 of 207
1 Q. And paid for by you?
2 A. Probably.
3 Q. Well, probably. Sir, if you had an
4 investigator there working with you in your
5 representation of Ms. Arthur --
6 A. Sir --
7 Q. Let me finish, please, sir. -- you
8 would know, would you not, sir, as a matter of
9 fact that you would pay his expenses?
10 A. He may have flown in there, checked
11 in the hotel with his own credit card and paid
12 the bill and flew out.
13 Q. But you're going to reimburse him
14 for those charges?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. So at the end of day, whether you
17 gave him the credit card, John O'Quinn, don't
18 leave home without it, or whether he used his
19 credit card, the buck came out of your account
20 to pay for his expenses; true?
21 A. That would be usual.
22 Q. And that's what you believe happened
24 A. Only because that would be usual.
25 Q. Right, sir.
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 56 of 207
1 A. I have not gone back and checked the
2 records on any of these points you've been
3 talking about.
4 Q. I go back to the scope of your
5 engagement and that was to participate in the
6 court proceedings, examine witnesses, make
7 arguments, help with transportation, help with
8 physically getting Ms. Arthur in and out of
9 the courtroom and acting as, in effect, her
10 media spokesman fielding media inquiries that
11 were directed from her to you; right?
12 A. Right.
13 Q. And then the other thing you told me
14 was that you were also involved in the efforts
15 to hire counsel for the appeal of Judge
16 Seidlin's ruling; right?
17 A. Right.
18 Q. And that covers the entire scope of
19 your engagement for Ms. Arthur as it relates
20 to Florida; true?
21 A. As best I recall it right now.
22 Q. Why -- why did you have an
23 investigator come to Florida?
24 A. I don't recall.
25 Q. Did you have Mr. Clark undertake any
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 57 of 207
1 investigative efforts into the cause or causes
2 of the death of Anna Nicole Smith?
3 MR. KLEIN: John, let's be real
4 careful here. You've got an ongoing
6 THE WITNESS: Yeah.
7 MR. KLEIN: I want to be careful not
8 to -- any violation of attorney-client
9 work product privileges.
10 THE WITNESS: That would be covered
11 by attorney-client work product
13 Q. (By Mr. Wood) Well --
14 A. To tell you the truth, it would be.
15 Q. But did you authorize Don Clark to
16 talk to Ashley Banfield of CNN about the scope
17 of his investigative work?
18 A. I think that's covered by the same
20 Q. Well, sir, you know he did?
21 A. No.
22 Q. You're not aware that Mr. Clark
23 provided Ms. Banfield with information that he
24 was down in Florida to try to get dirt that
25 might reopen the investigation into Anna
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 58 of 207
1 Nicole's death? You weren't aware that he
2 gave that information to Ms. Banfield?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Well, was he, in part, down there --
5 and I don't -- I'm not asking for the work
6 product now, please. I'm asking for the scope
7 of his assignment which I do not believe is
8 protected by any privilege or the work product
9 doctrine --
10 MR. KLEIN: An investigator --
11 MR. WOOD: The scope of his
13 Q. (By Mr. Wood) Was he in Florida, in
14 part, to investigate any aspect of the death
15 of Anna Nicole Smith?
16 And that's a yes-or-no question, if
17 you don't mind. I'm not looking for a
18 substantive what did he do at the moment.
19 MR. KLEIN: I've got to suggest a
21 MR. WOOD: Okay.
22 MR. KLEIN: You can, I believe for a
23 jurisdictional deposition, we don't have
24 to get into the question of whether or
25 not --
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 59 of 207
1 COURT REPORTER: Can you speak up,
2 please? I'm having a hard time hearing
4 MR. KLEIN: -- that you can answer
5 whether or not Clark was performing
6 services at his request as opposed to the
7 scope of the services that he was
9 MR. WOOD: Well, let me ask that and
10 then we'll -- probably a good time to
11 take a break. Let me ask that and then I
12 can come back, because I don't think that
13 I'm limited, as you have suggested, but
14 let me get this down.
15 Q. (By Mr. Wood) In fact, Mr. Clark
16 was in Florida performing investigative
17 services at your request in connection with
18 your representation of Vergie Arthur in
19 connection with the Anna Nicole Smith matter;
21 MR. KLEIN: That, you can answer.
22 THE WITNESS: Yes.
23 MR. WOOD: Okay. Why don't we take
24 a break now.
25 MR. KLEIN: Sure.
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 60 of 207
1 MR. WOOD: We've been going for
2 about an hour.
3 VIDEOGRAPHER: The time is
4 approximately 10:07. This concludes Tape
5 No. 1. Off the video record.
6 (Thereupon, there was an
7 interruption in the proceedings.)
8 VIDEOGRAPHER: The time is
9 approximately 10:27. We're back on the
10 video record. This marks the beginning
11 of Tape No. 2. You may continue.
12 Q. (By Mr. Wood) Mr. O'Quinn, as part
13 of your representation and efforts on behalf
14 of Vergie Arthur, did you, within that scope
15 of representation, did that include, in part,
16 efforts to investigate aspects of the death of
17 Anna Nicole Smith in Florida?
18 A. I believe so.
19 Q. Did you yourself conduct any
20 investigation in Florida into any aspect of
21 her death?
22 A. Well, we've got this issue about
23 work product privilege.
24 Q. Well, I'm asking about your
25 activities in Florida. And so again that it's
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 61 of 207
1 clear, I'm not asking you at the moment what
2 you may have learned from the investigation,
3 okay, which I -- I will at least concede might
4 fall within an argument about whether it's
5 work product or not, whether I agree with that
6 we have to determine that another time.
7 I'm just trying to find out for the
8 moment whether you yourself engaged in any
9 investigative activities in Florida that
10 related to the death of Anna Nicole Smith?
11 THE WITNESS: What do you think,
13 MR. KLEIN: Whether you personally
15 THE WITNESS: No.
16 Q. (By Mr. Wood) You didn't
17 participate in any interviews of witnesses?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Do you know whether any witnesses
20 were interviewed at your direction and on your
21 behalf as it would relate to the death of Anna
22 Nicole Smith?
23 And I'm referring to witnesses in
25 A. No.
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 62 of 207
1 Q. Did Mr. Clark, at your request,
2 engaged in any investigative activities in the
3 state of Florida related to trying to
4 ascertain information about the cause of the
5 death of Anna Nicole Smith?
6 MR. KLEIN: We have the same problem
7 with work product. I mean, I -- let
8 me --
9 MR. WOOD: Again, I'm not asking him
10 what he found out at the moment.
11 MR. KLEIN: I know, but whether or
12 not and getting into the scope, even, of
13 his investigation may really reveal work
14 product issues and potentially
15 attorney-client privilege issues. Let me
16 make a suggestion --
17 MR. WOOD: Okay.
18 MR. KLEIN: -- because I understand
19 your need for jurisdictional discovery.
20 I think there's a relevant inquiry
21 as to whether or not it was an issue in
22 the litigation and something that would
23 have been within the scope of his
24 services that he was performing, without
25 having to get into the specifics of what
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 63 of 207
1 he did to further those efforts.
2 MR. WOOD: Well, let's do that.
3 MR. KLEIN: Yeah.
4 Q. (By Mr. Wood) And that's the
5 question at the moment.
6 At your request, did Don Clark
7 engage in investigative activities in the
8 state of Florida on the question of the cause
9 or causes of Anna Nicole Smith's death in
11 A. With all due respects, you said it
12 differently --
13 MR. KLEIN: Than I did.
14 THE WITNESS: -- than he did. So
15 now I don't know what to do.
16 Q. (By Mr. Wood) Let me go back and
17 try to see if I can find some happy medium,
18 either by adopting Mr. Klein's.
19 Well, let me go back again. I'm not
20 asking you for the specifics at the moment of
21 what Don Clark did.
22 For example, I'm not asking you who
23 he interviewed and what he learned. But I'm
24 asking you whether at your direction Don Clark
25 did, in fact, engage in investigative
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 64 of 207
1 activities in the state of Florida that
2 related to the cause of the death of Anna
3 Nicole Smith in Florida?
4 MR. KLEIN: And my only suggested
5 correction is at the very end of that
6 sentence. Related to his representation
7 of Vergie Arthur in those proceedings, I
8 don't have a problem with. The moment
9 you get into whether it was Howard Stern
10 and whether he was involved as a cause of
11 her death, that, I have a problem with
12 because now you are getting specific.
13 MR. WOOD: Well --
14 MR. KLEIN: Your issue is whether
15 it's related to the proceedings?
16 MR. WOOD: No. My issue is this
17 lawyer's activities in the state of
18 Florida --
19 MR. KLEIN: I understand.
20 MR. WOOD: -- whatever -- whatever
21 they might be related to.
22 MR. KLEIN: Right.
23 MR. WOOD: But specifically this
24 question is whether there were
25 investigative activities undertaken at
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 65 of 207
1 Mr. O'Quinn's direction in the state of
2 Florida by Mr. Clark related to the cause
3 of the death of Anna Nicole Smith.
4 MR. KLEIN: And that's where I have
5 a problem, is that is very specific as to
6 work product.
7 MR. WOOD: Specific as to scope but
8 it's not specific in any way asking for
9 information that could constitute work
10 product at the moment.
11 MR. KLEIN: Well, how is it any more
12 relevant to the jurisdictional issue as
13 to the specific issues that the
14 investigator was exploring as opposed to
15 he was conducting investigation in the
16 state of Florida on John's behalf?
17 MR. WOOD: Because this man's been
18 sued for comments that he made that we
19 contend accused Howard Stern of
20 involvement in the murder. So I think I
21 clearly entitled to know the scope of the
22 activities of this man or his agents or
23 people agenting on his behalf because it
24 may go to the issue of whether he
25 reasonably expected to be haled into a
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 66 of 207
1 Florida court, and I think I'm right.
2 And I'd like to get an answer today on
3 that. And I won't go into substance. I
4 may just to make the record, but at least
5 at this moment I think I'm entitled to
6 know the scope of Mr. Clark's activities
7 in terms of what he was doing.
8 MR. KLEIN: Let me take a two-minute
10 MR. WOOD: Okay. Sure.
11 MR. KLEIN: Let's talk about that.
12 Obviously I don't want to have him come
13 back here and redo this.
14 MR. WOOD: Not unless the weather is
15 better than it is right now.
16 VIDEOGRAPHER: Off the record at
18 (Thereupon, there was an
19 interruption in the proceedings.)
20 VIDEOGRAPHER: The time is
21 approximately 10:35. We're back on video
22 record. You may continue.
23 Q. (By Mr. Wood) My question,
24 Mr. O'Quinn, is whether there were any
25 investigative activities undertaken at your
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 67 of 207
1 direction within the state of Florida by Don
2 Clark related to the cause of the death of
3 Anna Nicole Smith?
4 A. I believe an issue in the case,
5 legal issue, could be whether Mr. Stern had
6 anything to do with her death, and so in that
7 regard, Mr. Clark did some investigation.
8 Now, whether he did it in Florida or
9 otherwise, I'm not sure.
10 Q. Well, do you believe that he did it
11 in Florida? You know the death occurred in
12 Florida; true?
13 A. True. That's true. Well, actually
14 it involved the death occurred on Indian land.
15 Q. Inside the state of Florida?
16 A. Yes, that's right.
17 Q. And you know that it was
18 investigated in part by members of the
19 Seminole law enforcement agencies and also in
20 conjunction with the medical examiner's office
21 of Broward County; true?
22 A. I've heard that.
23 Q. You don't know that to be true?
24 A. No. I've never talked to those
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 68 of 207
1 Q. You've never familiarized yourself
2 with Mr. Perper's investigative findings?
3 A. No, but I understand Mr. Perper is
4 not the Seminole Indian.
5 Q. No, sir. He's the medical examiner
6 in Broward County.
7 Are you familiar with his findings
8 with respect to his investigation into the
9 death of Anna Nicole Smith?
10 A. Some of them. He's expressed some
11 of them.
12 Q. Well, are you telling me you're
13 familiar with some but not all?
14 A. I don't know all of them. I never
15 took his deposition.
16 Q. Yeah, but what he publicly stated
17 and what was publicly released, are you
18 familiar with that information?
19 A. I'm familiar with some things he
20 publicly released. I may be familiar with
21 everything, but I don't know everything that
22 he publicly released. I can't certify that I
23 know everything that he publicly released.
24 Q. Do you believe that it is likely,
25 given that her death occurred in the state of
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 69 of 207
1 Florida, that Mr. Clark's efforts in some part
2 involved investigative activity in the state
3 of Florida?
4 A. May have.
5 Q. Do you think it's likely that it
6 did, sir? I mean, you've been investigating
7 incidents almost 40 years of law practice.
8 This is a death that occurred in the state of
10 You're telling me that the scope of
11 your engagement included some aspect of the
12 cause of Anna Nicole Smith's death and you
13 tell me that you had an investigator that you
14 were paying to be in Florida that you believe
15 investigated aspects of the cause of her
16 death. Do you believe that it is likely, sir,
17 that he did conduct some investigative
18 activity in the state of Florida at your
19 direction into the cause of her death?
20 A. I don't know.
21 Q. You don't deny that he did, do you?
22 A. Deny he did what?
23 Q. Conducted investigative activity in
24 the state of Florida into the cause of Anna
25 Nicole Smith's death?
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 70 of 207
1 A. I neither admit or deny. I don't
3 Q. Did you ever bother to find out what
4 his investigation involved and his findings?
5 A. Well, that goes back to the
6 attorney-client work product.
7 Q. I'm asking you did you ever bother
8 to find out what he had done and what his
9 investigation had revealed or concluded?
10 MR. KLEIN: You can do that.
11 THE WITNESS: Without getting into
12 the -- what he may have said or the
13 details, the answer to your question is
15 Q. (By Mr. Wood) Did you then learn,
16 not the details, that, in fact, part of what
17 he had done, involved investigative efforts,
18 including interviewing witness, in the state
19 of Florida?
20 MR. KLEIN: Now we're getting
21 specific. You know, I'm trying very hard
22 to avoid --
23 MR. WOOD: And I appreciate that and
24 I'm trying hard not to go into who and
25 what they said.
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 71 of 207
1 MR. KLEIN: Yeah.
2 MR. WOOD: But I think that it is
3 relevant to the jurisdictional issues
4 raised in terms of knowing whether or not
5 Mr. Clark was paid by Mr. O'Quinn to be
6 in Florida and was directed by
7 Mr. O'Quinn while in Florida to conduct
8 investigative activities in Florida on
9 the question of the cause of Anna Nicole
10 Smith's death.
11 MR. KLEIN: Which you've asked and
12 he's answered.
13 MR. WOOD: Well, I don't think I've
14 gotten an answer to whether he's
15 acknowledged that Mr. Clark did, in fact,
16 engage in investigative activities in
17 Florida. That's the question I'm trying
18 to get an answer to on the issue of Anna
19 Nicole Smith's death.
20 MR. KLEIN: And he's told you he
21 doesn't know what he did in Florida.
22 Q. (By Mr. Wood) And you've never
23 learned what Mr. O'Quinn -- I mean, Mr. Clark
24 did in Florida in terms of his investigation
25 is that your testimony?
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 72 of 207
1 A. Never learned includes up to the
2 present time. I would say I think I have, to
3 some extent, been told.
4 Q. Well, did you -- have you ever
5 learned that, in fact, he did engage in
6 investigative activities in the state of
7 Florida on the issue of the cause of Anna
8 Nicole Smith's death?
9 MR. KLEIN: Regardless of whether or
10 not he was in Florida at the time?
11 MR. WOOD: No.
12 Q. (By Mr. Wood) Specifically whether
13 Mr. Clark was in Florida at the time, did he
14 engage in any investigative activities?
15 MR. KLEIN: You're missing my point.
16 MR. WOOD: I probably am.
17 MR. KLEIN: And it was probably
18 obscure. If the question is whether he
19 learned while he was performing services
20 in Florida?
21 MR. WOOD: No.
22 MR. KLEIN: All right.
23 MR. WOOD: No. I'm just -- my
24 question is probably unartfully worded.
25 MR. KLEIN: Okay.
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 73 of 207
1 Q. (By Mr. Wood) Let me try to make it
3 You've got Don Clark in Florida on
4 your dime; right?
5 A. Don Clark works for this law firm.
6 Q. You're paying his expenses to be in
7 Florida working for your law firm in
8 connection --
9 A. Me personally, no.
10 Q. -- with your representation of
11 Vergie Arthur; right?
12 A. Me personally, no. The law firm
13 pays his expenses.
14 Q. I understand that.
15 But the point is, sir -- the simple
16 question is did he, in fact, to your knowledge
17 engage in any investigative activities in the
18 state of Florida as it would relate to the
19 issue of the cause of Anna Nicole Smith's
21 A. While I was in Florida representing
22 Ms. Arthur, I don't know. I don't know
23 whether he was investigating Florida,
24 investigating elsewhere.
25 Q. I'm not asking you, though, -- I
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 74 of 207
1 don't care when you learned it or where you
2 were when you learned it. I just simply want
3 to know as you sit here today, did he do it?
4 Did Mr. Clark engage in investigative
5 activities in the state of Florida into the
6 issue of the cause of Anna Nicole Smith's
8 A. I think he may have after things had
9 switched to the Bahamas. After the legal
10 proceedings switched to the Bahamas.
11 Q. Is it -- is it your best testimony,
12 sir, under oath today that he did, in fact,
13 whatever time that he did it --
14 A. I think time is important.
15 Q. Well, somebody else will have to
16 decide that.
17 I just want an answer to the
18 question now, whether you think it's important
19 or not, did he engage in investigative
20 activities in the state of Florida on behalf
21 of your representation of Vergie Arthur into
22 the cause of the death of Anna Nicole Smith?
23 A. At some point in time, I believe so.
24 Q. When did you meet with Mr. Klein
25 initially to discuss handling the appeal of
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 75 of 207
1 Judge Seidlin's order?
2 A. I don't recall the date.
3 Q. Was it a meeting that took place
4 face to face in Florida --
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. -- at Mr. Klein's law office?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And who was present at that meeting?
9 A. A woman named Roberta who's like his
10 appellate lawyer.
11 Q. Handel or Mandel?
12 MR. KLEIN: Mandel.
13 Q. (By Mr. Wood) Mandel, excuse me.
14 Ms. Mandel, Mr. Klein, John
15 O'Quinn --
16 A. True.
17 Q. -- anyone else?
18 MR. WOOD: You can help him out on
19 that one.
20 MR. KLEIN: You weren't there.
21 THE WITNESS: I wasn't there.
22 Mr. McCabe did it.
23 Q. (By Mr. Wood) Mr. McCabe was there
24 for you.
25 A. Because I'm busy in Judge Seidlin's
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 76 of 207
2 Q. Well, did you have discussions
3 yourself with Mr. Klein about that
5 A. No.
6 Q. Do you know how much you paid for
7 that appeal to be handled?
8 A. No.
9 Q. You knew it was going to be an
10 appeal to be undertaken by the Florida
11 appellate courts?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. By a lawyer that you engaged on
14 behalf of Vergie Arthur?
15 A. My law firm did.
16 Q. And that you paid for?
17 A. My law firm did.
18 Q. Well, while you were out giving
19 media interviews, were you out, in your role
20 as media spokesman, you were acting on behalf
21 your law firm? Is that your testimony?
22 A. Everything I did was -- I was acting
23 on behalf of my law firm which was acting on
24 behalf of Ms. Arthur.
25 Q. And did you have the authority to
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 77 of 207
1 speak for Ms. Arthur? Did your law firm give
2 you authority to comment publicly about this
3 case in the media?
4 A. Yes. Only because she gave my law
5 firm authority to do it.
6 Q. And when it came time to decide what
7 you would say or what you wouldn't say, you
8 had the authority on behalf of your law firm
9 to make that decision, did you not?
10 A. Yes. To a certain extent, though, I
11 might confer with her about how she felt I
12 should be responding.
13 Q. Right. But other than conferring
14 with Ms. Arthur --
15 A. Right.
16 Q. -- in terms of what you, John
17 O'Quinn, decided to say or not say in the
18 media as part of your representation --
19 A. Right.
20 Q. -- you had the ultimate authority to
21 make that decision on behalf of your law firm;
23 A. The ultimate authority comes from
24 the client.
25 Q. Yes, sir. But in terms of acting on
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 78 of 207
1 behalf of the law firm in accordance with the
2 client's direction, you had the authority to
3 make the decision on what you would say or not
4 say on behalf of the client acting for the law
6 A. If the client had authorized the
7 firm to do it, then the rest of your statement
8 is true.
9 Q. Right. And the client did authorize
10 it and you did it; right?
11 A. Did authorize what was said to be
12 said and I did say what was said.
13 Q. And did you have the discussions
14 with Ms. Arthur about what you were going to
15 say while y'all were in the state of Florida?
16 A. Well, now I think we're getting into
17 attorney-client privilege.
18 MR. KLEIN: We are.
19 THE WITNESS: Probably already
20 stepped all over it in answering the
21 other questions.
22 Q. (By Mr. Wood) Well, with all due
23 respect, I don't think that the location of
24 the discussions is attorney-client privilege.
25 I'm asking you, because you're the
Case 0:07-cv-60534-WPD Document 41 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/20/2007 Page 79 of 207
1 one that said you were authorized by
2 Ms. Arthur to make these statements to the
3 media, and I'm asking whether you had those
4 discussions about your authority and what you
5 were going to go out and say with Ms. Arthur
6 while you-all were together in the state of
7 Florida. That's my question.
8 MR. KLEIN: You can answer that.
9 THE WITNESS: Sometimes.
10 Q. (By Mr. Wood) Okay. I think you
11 told me earlier that you think you gave two
12 interviews while you were actually physically
13 in Florida?
14 A. I believe I said that.
15 Q. Tell me about those interviews.
16 A. One was with Greta Van Susteren and
17 the other was with a -- a woman I do not
18 recall the name of.
19 Q. Rita Cosby? Does that ring a bell?
20 A. Could be.
21 Q. But that doesn't ring a bell to say
22 it is?
23 A. The name is kind of in my memory
24 bank. I don't know why it's in my memory
25 bank. It could be but I really don't know for