It started with allegations that Coach Jim Boeheim's long time assistant, Bernie Fine, had sexually abused two former ball boys. Comments the coach made following those allegations now have him and the Syracuse University facing a defamation lawsuit. Lawyers from both sides will be in court in New York City Friday. YNN's Erin Clarke breaks down the case so far and gives us a preview of Friday's proceedings.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Lawyers for Bobby Davis and Mike Lang want their defamation case against Jim Boeheim and SU to be heard in New York City and are asking that information about former basketball players who may live there be handed over.
"They're saying that if we have the names and addresses of these former players, it would show that it makes sense to keep this case in New York City rather than Syracuse," said legal expert Paul DerOhannesian.
Boeheim and SU's attorneys argue they are seeking to dismiss the case and according to the law, that means requests for new information or evidence is not allowed.
"The provision is put in place because why spend the time and money and energy on discovery and getting this info if the case is going to be dismissed," said DerOhannesian.
Furthermore they argue that the release of salacious information about Fine's wife and some of those former players was a tactic to gain media attention. But Davis and Lang's lawyers say those players could be potential witnesses and the information is relevant and needed to defeat an attempt by SU and Boeheim's lawyers to move the case to Syracuse.
The outcome of Friday's proceedings will most likely affect an upcoming decision set to be made on February 21st by an Onondaga County state Supreme Court judge.
"One of the outcomes tomorrow can be a delayed decision, which will delay the decision next week also on whether to change venue. That’s one possible outcome. Another outcome is that the plaintiffs will be told you can't get any of this information now and wait and the other outcome is being told that you can get this information and that the university has to provide it either quickly or within a particular period of time," said DerOhannesian.
The hearing Friday morning will be held at state Supreme Court in New York County.
Boeheim, Davis and Lang are not expected to be there.
The hearing begins at 10 a.m. Friday.