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Attorneys: Don't Consolidate Arizona Abuse Cases

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Copyright 2018 The Arizona Daily Star. All Rights Reserved.

Arizona Daily Star (Tucson)

 

Attorneys for one of two women suing the University of Arizona in connection with abuse by a former football player have objected to a motion to consolidate depositions in the cases.

Last month, attorneys for the UA asked a federal judge to consolidate depositions of common witnesses in the two cases, which allege that the school failed to take appropriate action to protect students from former running back Orlando Bradford.

A campus police report filed by a third ex-girlfriend several months before Bradford's 2016 arrest on domestic violence charges shows that school officials were made aware that Bradford had previously hit and choked the woman.

The UA issued a no-contact order and moved Bradford out of the dorm that the two students shared.

The lawsuits say that the UA didn't take enough action to protect the two subsequent women who Bradford admitted to choking when he pleaded guilty in court last fall. He is currently serving five years in prison.

The women went on to file separate federal lawsuits that claim the UA violated their Title IX rights to an education free from sexual discrimination.

The motion to consolidate cited judicial economy as one of the reasons, saying that because the two lawsuits are based on the same action or inaction by the UA, it's likely that many of the same witnesses will be deposed in both cases.

The response to the motion, which was filed Tuesday, says that while both cases involve a Title IX claim regarding the UA's handling of the allegations against Bradford, the cases are significantly different when it comes to the legal elements that will need to be proven during the trials.

The response says that the consolidation would be prejudicial to the victim because of inconvenience, confusion, unfairness and increased costs.

The Star does not typically name victims of domestic violence.

The only party in the case who would benefit from consolidation is the UA, the response says.

The woman's attorneys have also filed a protective order in the case, which would prohibit the victim and the UA from sharing documents produced during discovery with the other woman's lawyers, the response says.

Should that order be granted, preparation for consolidated depositions would be much harder because many of the documents would not be shareable.

On Friday, attorneys for the UA filed an objection to the protective order.

The response also says that the UA's lawyers have not met their required burden to show that the savings of consolidation outweigh the inconvenience and unfairness imposed on the victim.

"There are many other, simpler, ways to conserve the time of the UA's defense witnesses than requiring (the victims) to consolidate their depositions," the response says.

 

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June 3, 2018
 
 
 

 

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