The legal wrangling between former CBS 3 anchor Alycia Lane and the TV station may head into overdrive today when the star plaintiff is expected in the city for her deposition, a key step in her civil lawsuit against her former bosses.
But CBS Broadcasting, the parent company of CBS 3, is looking beyond the two-day deposition, which begins at 10 a.m. at an undisclosed Center City location. The company has filed two motions - one to dismiss the suit and the second to compel Lane, 38, to have a mental evaluation and turn over all her mental-health records.
Lane, now an anchor on the NBC affiliate in Los Angeles, missed a court-ordered deposition earlier this month and has so far refused an Oct. 28 court order to hand over the documents, according to a Jan. 10 motion filed in Common Pleas Court.
Lane filed the lawsuit in January 2008, weeks after her high-profile firing and arrest in New York City for allegedly assaulting an officer. In fall 2008, she added other parties, including former co-anchor Larry Mendte, who had been fired from the station. Mendte later pleaded guilty to illegally accessing Lane's e-mails.
CBS lawyers asked the court on Jan. 10 - the day after she failed to show for her deposition - to throw out the suit because of her "defiant refusal" to cooperate in the case, according to the filing. Team Lane shot back at CBS this week, saying that Lane's attorney, Paul Rosen, "had an unavoidable conflict" on those dates, an anniversary weekend with his wife in New York City, according to a motion filed on Tuesday.
Rosen and his associates tried on "multiple occasions" to schedule the deposition "within four days ordered by the Court," the filing said.
Her attorneys said her "efforts to work in good faith were stymied by the CBS defendants." They said Lane isn't in contempt "because her counsel did not willfully violate the Court's Order."
"There's absolutely no civility from CBS," Rosen said yesterday. "It's the way it is and they don't care what the court says."
He added that Lane has "been begging to have the testimony come out."
CBS 3 didn't respond to a request for comment.
In a separate motion, CBS demands a second opinion about Lane's mental health and asks for her psychological and psychiatric records to defend itself.
Her former Philly-based psychiatrist, Stanford Steinberg, who saw Lane 13 times before she moved to L.A., stated his belief that CBS 3 and Mendte caused her to suffer from "moderately severe major depression," in a report sent to Rosen and included in the motion. Steinberg said her prognosis for full recovery was "guarded."
Lane has also stated in court documents that she has suffered "extreme and severe emotional distress." Her repeated claims of psychological harm have "put her psychological state and history of treatment directly at issue," CBS states in a motion filed Jan. 12.