Marty Singer wants to see a new judge on the bench in the defamation case Janice Dickinson has lodged against him and Bill Cosby. In short and bittersweet paperwork filed Monday, the Hollywood heavyweight lawyer is seeking to have Judge Debra Weintraub removed from the escalating action.
“The judicial officer … before whom the trial of, or a hearing in, this case is pending, or to whom it has been assigned, is prejudiced against the party (or his or her attorney) or the interest of the party (or his or her attorney), so that declarant cannot, or believes that he or she cannot, have a fair and impartial trial or hearing before the judicial officer,” says the document put before the L.A. Superior Court on November 30 (read it here). The filing offers no explanation of why Singer believes Weintraub is prejudicial against him. Then again, under California law, a defendant does have one chance to make such a challenge without having to state the specifics of why.
Certainly the former Cosby lawyer couldn’t have been happy when Judge Weintraub on November 2 ordered him and the much accused comedian to sit for depositions in the former America’s Next Top Model judge’s case. While those legal sit-downs are on hold pending a further decision by California Court of Appeals, Singer formally was named a defendant in the initially May 20-filed complaint in an amended complaint of November 16. Soon after, the pugilistic Singer told Deadline he would be “pursuing claims” against Dickinson and her attorney Lisa Bloom after the defamation matter was dealt with in the courts.
As that legal drama plays itself out, another act is in the wings. On November 12, the 2nd District Court of Appeals ruled down a temporary stay on the depositions of Cosby and Singer in Dickinson’s case scheduled for November 19 and 23. The former supermodel claims, like dozens of other women, that Cosby raped her. While the alleged assault occurred in 1982, according to Dickinson, and hence has since the statute of limitations long since expire, remarks made by the Lavely & Singer attorney and other Cosby reps last year about the model being a “liar” lead to the current case.
An opposition to Cosby’s attempts to stop the depositions was filed by Bloom for Dickinson on November 20. A response from the other side is expected this week. The Appeals Court has said it wants more information before granting Cosby’s motion or backing Weintraub’s ruling of last month.
Of course, by then we could see a whole new judge presiding and the matter moving rather slower.