On August 3rd, Wade Robson’s lawyers served Jonathan Spence with a deposition subpoena, asking Spence to show up for a deposition on August 22nd. After receiving the subpoena Jonathan Spence hired a lawyer and sent an objection. (Document: https://www.scribd.com/document/360297273/Robson-Case-Spence-Protective-Order-Motion)
Spence’s original objection was about the date Robson’s lawyers set for deposition. Spence’s lawyer notified Robson’s lawyer that neither he nor Spence were available on August 22nd and asked if they can have a phone call to determine a new date.
There was a back and forth, with Spence’s lawyer repeatedly asking for a phone call to determine new date for deposition and Robson’s lawyer refusing to take part in such discussion. Then Robson’s lawyer Finaldi responded in the most rude way possible with the goal of threatening Spence.
The abominable way Robson’s lawyer Finaldi treated Jonathan Spence prompted Spence’s lawyer to look into the Robson case further. That resulted in Spence’s lawyer discovering how Safechuck claims were dismissed and how the Michael Jackson Estate have filed a summary judgment against Robson. Based on these information Spence’s lawyer concluded that Robson’s claims will also probably be dismissed.
Based on all this, Spence has filed for a protective order asking his deposition should be moved to a date after summary judgment motion - which means if Estate succeeds on summary judgment and Robson’s case gets dismissed, Spence won’t be deposed.
Furthermore in the protective order, Spence’s lawyer asks the judge to protect Spence’s privacy. This is because Robson is asking for Spence’s medical, psychotherapeutic and sexual histories without showing why it is relevant to the case at hand. Such a request is very intrusive, especially to a non-party, and precedent cases show that there needs to be a VERY good reason to overcome privacy protections for anyone requesting such information. According to this Motion, Robson "merely proffered an argument that such information is generally relevant" and "has made no showing whatsoever that he has a compelling need for information protected by Spence's right to privacy". In other words, it looks like yet another fishing expedition by Robson and his lawyers. In fact, Spence's motion calls it just that: "fishing expeditions that would require the disclosure of private information are not allowed" (page 18).
There is a big irony in all this. Robson and his lawyers demand Spence , a non-party witness, to provide highly sensitive private information that is likely not even relevant to the case, meanwhile they fought against it when the Michael Jackson Estate sought information of Robson’s medical and psychotherapeutic history that IS highly relevant to the case, since Robson is the Plaintiff making allegations heavily related to his medical and psychotherapeutic history.
It is also ironic that Robson’s lawyers show a total disregard of professional courtesy when they refuse to compromise with Spence even on a request to not have to give their alternative date for a deposition immediately but the following week after Spence’s lawyer could discuss it with Spence. Yet, when it was them having issues with the date of a mental examination of Robson by an Estate expert in 2015, they expected the Estate to compromise on the date, which the Estate kindly did. Despite of that, then Robson’s lawyers ambushed the Estate with a surprise scheduling of the deposition of Robson two days after his mental exam without consulting and seeking an agreement from Estate (much like they do now with Spence), and when the Estate objected to that date they refused to return the courtesy of the Estate that they showed re. his mental exam date and refused to compromise on the deposition date. Eventually it was the Judge who had to step in and decide about Robson’s deposition date which was then set in accordance with the Estate’s request. ( Read about it here)
In the same debate Robson's lawyers argued that a person can only be deposed once in a case and only for 7 hours, yet they now they demand Spence to be available for deposition for several days if they wish so. "If for any reason the taking of such deposition is not completed on the date scheduled, said deposition shall continue, day-to-day, Sundays and holidays expcepted, until completed, or will be continued to such other dates and times as shall be designated by the party noticing the deposition." (page 25-26) Spence objected to that as well: "Spence objects to the Subpoena in that it violates the seven hour limitation on the length of a deposition mandated by Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.290. The Subpoena improperly requires that the deposition continue "day-to-day" until completed." (page 33)
Finally Spence asks for the legal fees he incurred for filing the protective motion.
Although in this Motion there is no explicit statement about how Spence might respond if and when asked about whether he was abused or not, there are some clues. Robson’s lawyer calls Spence an “uncooperative witness”. Spence’s lawyer says it’s highly unlikely that a deposition will lead to discovery of admissible evidence. Furthermore Spence’s lawyer says Spence was childhood friends with Michael’s nephews, Spence doesn’t know Robson and have no information about Robson’s claims.
It’s also important to remind you that Safechuck’s complaint was dismissed based on the control issue. Judge’s dismissal ruling in Safechuck case clearly stated that as Michael was the sole shareholder and the owner of the MJ Companies, he had control over the companies and everyone employed by the companies, not the other way around. So nothing Spence can say in a deposition would change the fact that MJ Companies couldn’t control Michael.
So what Robson’s lawyers are trying to achieve here with harassing witnesses is a puzzle. Spence duly calls them out on bullying: "Plaintiff's bullying behavior toward a non-party is inexcusable and speaks for itself" (page 21). In their attempt to find Jordan Chandler and force him to be deposed , they are also harassing Chandler’s sister and girlfriend.
Think about it for a moment. Robson gives media interviews (where it is easy to gain sympathy from people who have no idea of the details of these court proceedings) claiming that his lawsuit is all about awareness, victim advocacy, victim empowerment and what not, when the reality is that he is harassing and bullying people into depositions they don’t want (Chandlers) or is denying them any professional courtesy or compromise regarding the date or circumstances of their depositions (Spence - who does not even claim to be a victim). These are people who Robson obviously tries to claim as additional alleged victims (even if they themselves deny being victims - like Spence). Why does he treat them in this abominable way if he truly believes them to be victims and/or if he himself really is a victim? Shouldn’t he have more empathy and consideration for a “fellow victim”? Especially as he likes to pose in the media as a victim’s advocate. His behavior in this court is surely telling another story than what he is telling in the media - his behavior in court is the story of a guy who is not advocating for anyone, but for his own pocket. And remember, all this aggressivity to “fellow victims” is coming from a guy who now claims that he has been lying under oath at a criminal trial of another boy, obscuring his "justice" and demands understanding for that. Talk about entitlement and arrogance.
December will bring us new developments in Robson case. First on December 5th, there would be summary judgment hearing for Estate’s motion to dismiss Robson’s case. Judge Beckloff generally takes 4-6 weeks to rule on such motions. On December 12th, there will be a hearing about the protective order motions filed by Jonathan Spence and Jordan Chandler’s sister Lily and his girlfriend. Stay tuned, we will continue to bring you any developments on this case.