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Here’s Why You Don’t Want To Depose Wick Allison

Back in August, I told you about a 4-year-old defamation lawsuit that D Magazine had finally won. At the time, I wanted to share something with you but was advised not to by our wise Haynes and Boone counsel. The five cops who sued us — Jeffrey Nelson, Alfred Schoelen Jr., Timothy Stecker, David Kattner, and Walter Clifton — could have appealed to the Texas Supreme Court. So there was a slight chance that we weren’t done with the matter. Now there’s no chance. I learned yesterday that the Fifth District Court of Appeals issued a mandate affirming the lower court’s judgment. Now it’s really over. Which means I can now share. I’ve been sitting on this for four years.

Following are two excerpts from Wick’s deposition in the case. The man posing the questions is the plaintiffs’ attorney, David Schiller. The Mr. Bloom who periodically raises an objection is Jason Bloom, our attorney.

Q. Okay. What administration did you work in the White House in?

A. President Richard Nixon.

Q. What was your position in the Nixon administration?

A. Flunky.

Q. Flunky? Is that something like step and fetch it?

A. I prefer flunky.

Q. Okay. Who did you report to in the Nixon administration as flunky; i.e., who was the flunky supervisor?

A. Matthew Bald, who is now a retired federal judge.

Q. What years did you work in the Nixon administration?

A. 1970, ’71.

Q. Now, did the flunky job description include going through, oh, other campaigns’ files with flashlights or anything like that?

A. No.

Q. Okay. So you weren’t in any way supervised by Mr. Liddy or any of his folks, right?

A. No.

Q. Okay.

A. Is that meant as some sort of slight against the Nixon administration?

Q. No.

A. Is that a political statement in a deposition?

Q. Were you offended by it?

A. Yes. Thank you. I’m taking a break.

This might have been the point where Wick took off the lavalier mic and threw it on the table so hard that he broke it. Haynes and Boone had to buy a new one. Okay, that first section was just a lagniappe. Here’s the main course:

Q. What other titles have you gone by besides flunky and Specialist Fourth Class?

MR. BLOOM: Objection, form.

A. Those are the two of which I’m most proud, but I have also been publisher and editor in chief.

Q. Were you publisher in May of 2007?

A. I don’t recall.

Q. Well, who would know?

A. I’m sure you can look at the Masthead if you do a tiny bit of research.

Q. Were you editor in chief in May of 2007?

A. I don’t recall.

Q. Well, who would know?

MR. BLOOM: Objection, form.

A. You could know simply by looking at the Masthead of the May 2007 issue.

Q. Are you trying to be difficult in your deposition here today, sir?

A. Yes.

MR. BLOOM: Objection, form.

Q. You are?

A. Yes.

Q. Well, at least an honest answer. Why do you feel compelled to be difficult in answering questions today?

MR. BLOOM: Objection, form.

A. Is that a psychological question?

Q. No. It’s a question I’m asking –

A. Is it a question about the article or about the publication of the article?

Q. No. It’s a question about whether or not you’re going to give us truthful answers and complete answers here under oath, which you’re sworn to do.

A. I — having sworn, I will, and I am. Therefore, let us continue to the point of the deposition, whether you can bring yourself to do it or not.

Q. Can you explain and answer the question, sir, why it is you’re trying to be difficult in answering the questions today?

MR. BLOOM: Objection, form.

A. I have a deep appreciation for the court system of the United States. And I really enjoy, and have enjoyed over the last 35 years, lawyers who attempt to abuse and discredit that system with inane questions that are irrelevant to the purpose of their so-called lawsuits. And knowing that no judge will ever read this deposition and it will never be presented to a jury, I find it an utter waste of time, which, out of respect for the court system and the justice system of the United States, I am perfectly willing to undergo.

Q. Do you think that the Court will not read or see your deposition and so you’re trying to be as difficult as possible? Is that your answer, sir?

MR. BLOOM: Objection, form.

A. Having been through a multitude of lawsuits in this profession over the 35 years that I have been associated with it, I am fairly confident in my statement.

11 comments on “Here’s Why You Don’t Want To Depose Wick Allison

  1. This is money. I literally printed it out and just bought a snack at our office building deli with the copy. Will you post the entire transcript? If not, publicly available? Where?

  2. While I do enjoy saucy deposition repartee, if I were an adviser to Wick, I might advise him that pride goeth before the fall. Getting cute in a deposition can easily result in things getting more expensive.

  3. Whew! That was a close shave with the whole Watergate thing! You dodged a bullet with great aplomb, Mr. Allison.

  4. Wes is entirely correct. After a brief intermission, in which our attorneys made the same point, the deposition became as boring and unquotable as such things are meant to be.

  5. Wick could have been out of that deposition a lot faster if he had just answered those questions. “I don’t recall” is the answer to whether he was editor-in-chief or publisher a year or so before this deposition apparently took place?

    This isn’t standing up to the man or putting a smarmy lawyer in his place. It’s just petulant doucheyness by someone who should learn to pick his battles.

  6. Neal is correct. Shareholders do not like it when your stand-up drains the bottom-line. But this is Dallas, and the world-class-city-promoters seek and embrace that behavior. And it must work, as the thin-lipped, disproportionally-buxom, over-sexed suburb girls that provide relief to these gents can’t resist it.

  7. @WmBTravis: Shareholders? Our company is wholly owned by Christine and Wick Allison. They are the shareholders.

    And the lawsuit was a frivolous one that was filed, in any case, past the one-year deadline for such a claim. It was a waste of time and money, and plaintiffs’ counsel knew that.