Judge rules that Deshaun Watson’s accuser must proceed in her name

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The Deshaun Watson litigation has landed in court, and Watson has won the first battle.

Per multiple reports, a Texas judge has ruled that one of the 20 plaintiffs proceeding under a pseudonym must re-file the case with her name attached to it.

The speed with which the ruling was issued suggests that Hardin’s simple, straightforward argument under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure reflects an accurate interpretation of the notion that, for adults who file lawsuits, they must use their names so that the defendant has fair notice of the claims being made and the person who is making them.

Via Mike Meltser, attorney Tony Buzbee opposed the motion to require the use of the plaintiff’s name by arguing that Ashley Solis has received at least 10 death threats since going public on Tuesday. That argument did not prevail, and frankly it could make the 20 unnamed plaintiffs more likely to accept a reasonable settlement in lieu of attaching their names to their claims against Watson.

Ultimately, that was Hardin’s goal, in our view. By forcing the unnamed plaintiffs to reveal their identities, some if not most if not all of them will accept a settlement proposal instead.

44 responses to “Judge rules that Deshaun Watson’s accuser must proceed in her name

  1. So Watson and his lawyer is just trying to get these women to settle instead of having their names released and then harassed/shame put on them?

    Sounds like someone guilty trying to use his money and power to keep these women quite so he can keep on doing the same things to other women and to keep making millions playing a game.

    I hope all the women do put their name on record and the Truth comes out.

  2. I mean, at some point you should be able to know who is accusing you of wrong doing. I understand that it can be hard on the victim and I’m not defending Watson here. He certainly seems guilty of something. But anyone can say anything about you (even if you maybe have never even met them) and if you don’t know who it is how can you defend yourself? The judge can put a gag order on it but of course it would be leaked. But still, the accused have rights also.

  3. I wonder if this means it will take 20 court appearances or can multiple suits be consolidated into one?

  4. “so that the defendant has fair notice of the claims being made and the person who is making them”

    How does any rational person believe that Watson doesn’t know who has filed claims against him? Hardin’s entire intent is to intimidate the plaintiffs.

  5. I don’t want to live in a world where people can be anonymously litigated against.

  6. I hope Buzbee gets his bum handed to him this time around. Been far too long this guy has been making a mockery of the legal profession.

  7. Interesting by no means am I saying Watson is innocent but if anyone buy if anyone making threats to his clients he needs to take some responsibility since he thought it was a good idea to play this out for public opinion.

  8. Definitely not defending Watson but you should know has filed suit against you. I wonder if Buzbee even knew this and explained to all these women that this could and will happen.

  9. But…..Buzbee said it’s not about the money. Yes, they should have to file using their names.

  10. How does any rational person believe that Watson doesn’t know who has filed claims against him? Hardin’s entire intent is to intimidate the plaintiffs.

    probably because he’s done it more times than just those who came forward. cant be incriminating yourself.
    however, yes, if you want to litigate against someone, you should have to provide your name

  11. Whomever is making the death threats should be intensely investigated & prosecuted to the full extent of the law…..
    Watson, right, wrong or indifferent has rights too….
    These keypad fanatics need to be brought under control…. freedom of speech does not allow you to post or say such things without legal reproduction….. social media is DEFINITELY what’s gonna bring society crumbling to the ground!!!!

  12. “I don’t want to live in a world where people can be anonymously litigated against.”

    Do you honestly believe that Watson does not already know the names of all of the plaintiffs? The complaints detail the exact dates and locations of the activities. If Hardin and Watson cannot figure out the identities from that information they need to quit now.

  13. The simple fact is you should know who is making the accusations against you. If you goal is to wreck this mans name and wreck him financially the very least you should do is state who you are.

    They would have had nowhere near the accusers with their names attached.

  14. Not defending Watson, but if you are going to accuse someone of something, it seems fair that your name is attached to it. Watsons name is already tarnished and we don’t know if he’s innocent or guilty

  15. obesewantcannoli says:
    April 9, 2021 at 10:09 am
    I hope Buzbee gets his bum handed to him this time around. Been far too long this guy has been making a mockery of the legal profession.

    —–

    Would you say that if one of these women were you sister or daughter?

  16. As hard as it must be for the ladies involved, I think this is right and just. If someone accuses you of wrongdoing, it’s only fair that the accused should know the name of the accuser so that they may confirm or refute the allegations.

  17. For those wondering why none of these women brought a criminal complaint when the incident occurred, watch and learn. If they ever so much as cheated on an algebra test in 7th grade, the twitter world will know about it 10 minutes after their names are made public. We will see if “innocent until proven guilty” applies to the plaintiffs as well.

  18. xargscutgrep says:
    April 9, 2021 at 10:05 am

    “so that the defendant has fair notice of the claims being made and the person who is making them”

    How does any rational person believe that Watson doesn’t know who has filed claims against him? Hardin’s entire intent is to intimidate the plaintiffs.
    ——————————————-
    What if he knows who 15 of them are, but has no idea who the other 5 are? Should he just include the other 5 in settlements? If they settle all of the claims for $100K each, that’s an extra half million dollars. I have a feeling that his endorsement opportunities are going to be scarce for quite a while, even if he is completely exonerated.

  19. This was the right call. Under the 6th Amendment you have the right to face your accuser. I don’t think anyone should be able to sue anyone else anonymously. Court actions whether civil or criminal are in the public record.
    I think the women are telling the truth and I think they must accept the willingness to put themselves out there if they are seeking justice. Look how many stopped believing Watson once Solis came forward. Anonymous isn’t cutting it.

  20. As for Watson trying to settle
    It doesnt mean he’s guilty or innocent. It’s just smart
    Settle all the cases, take a 3-6 game suspension. Move forward and stop getting massages from not team personnel.

  21. savethebs says:
    April 9, 2021 at 9:53 am

    I mean, at some point you should be able to know who is accusing you of wrong doing.

    ============

    Watson and his attorney already know exactly who is making the accusations. The details in the lawsuits are enough for Watson to know precisely who each plaintiff is.

    This is about one thing only: Threatening the women with intense public scrutiny to get them to cave in and either settle or drop their lawsuits.

    Victims being made victims again. I hope these women call his bluff – we’ll see how good he looks with 22 women going through this humiliation to hold him accountable.

  22. It is an easy decision for the judge. The Sixth Amendment of the constitution guarantees that a defendant has the right to a public trial without unnecessary delay, the right to a lawyer, the right to an impartial jury, and the right to know who your accusers are and the nature of the charges and evidence against you.

  23. I would be worried about other things besides one person’s ID. Not going to go well for the defense team.

  24. I hope the woman has forwarded the threats against her to the authorities so they can find these people and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

    Simply disgusting.

  25. Hardin just played right into Buzbee’s hand. I see a press conference being called soon, and a parade of accusers sitting in front of a microphone telling their story. That will make it impossible to find an impartial jury who hasn’t heard something about this case. Just because they have to have their names released doesn’t mean Watson has won anything. If Hardin thinks he can scare these accusers away he’s sadly mistaken. Can’t wait for the next dominoes to fall it’s not going to be pretty

  26. icouldcareless says:
    April 9, 2021 at 11:47 am
    Hardin just played right into Buzbee’s hand. I see a press conference being called soon, and a parade of accusers sitting in front of a microphone telling their story. That will make it impossible to find an impartial jury who hasn’t heard something about this case. Just because they have to have their names released doesn’t mean Watson has won anything. If Hardin thinks he can scare these accusers away he’s sadly mistaken. Can’t wait for the next dominoes to fall it’s not going to be pretty

    ——————————————————————————————————

    Actually, solely from a tactical standpoint, Hardin’s move is the proper play. Watson has millions in resources, and despite lost endorsement income, he still has a lucrative QB job with the NFL, and likely will (even with a suspension) after this is over. The plaintiffs have to deal with Mr. 33 PerCent (Buzbee), and Federal and State taxes for any settlement payment. The longer this plays out, the more Watson will benefit. Buzbee went for the ‘shock and awe’ blitz to try to go for a fast settlement, and it’s not working. The absence of any criminal charges is very telling. Sure there will be a settlement, but it’s not like he will be banned for football for life.

  27. savethebs says:
    April 9, 2021 at 9:53 am
    I mean, at some point you should be able to know who is accusing you of wrong doing. I understand that it can be hard on the victim and I’m not defending Watson here. He certainly seems guilty of something. But anyone can say anything about you (even if you maybe have never even met them) and if you don’t know who it is how can you defend yourself? The judge can put a gag order on it but of course it would be leaked. But still, the accused have rights also.

    ——————————

    Exactly. It prevents anyone from jumping in anonymously just to collect a quick million, whether he is guilty or not.

  28. Watson may have won this battle,but I don’t think he’ll win the war. There’s just too many women involved,and maybe more that we don’t even know about. What if more of his accusers come out in name? That would be a major backfire for him.

  29. Commenters here may not like the plaintiff’s attorney, but he does not appear to be stupid. I have to believe that he fully expected Hardin to request the names be made public and that the judge would rule that they should be made public. It seems Buzbee and his clients are either prepared to go forward with the suits (and at least 2 criminal complaints) or seek a substantial settlement from Watson. And if settlement talks begin, Watson can likely expect more women to come forward.

  30. This isn’t surprising and Buzbee should’ve prepared all the accusers of this possibility. Obviously Watson should know who is accusing him – otherwise how can he defend himself? Even if they “know”, they still need a concrete identity in order to be able to defend him. They can’t say “Well, we KNOW Jane Doe #4 is such & such, because we know…(wink wink)…”.

    But, again, this is the road Buzbee went down from the start. You can’t stir up a giant hornet’s nest like this and then complain about the results. If he actually had the best interests of his clients in mind he would’ve handled this discretely and without all the bombast. It still would’ve been a big story but the tone of it would’ve been completely different. Now he’s created a situation where there are a million spotlights on the accusers, and they need to make the choice of whether they want to become public figures – and suffer a lot of abuse.

    The holier-than-thou outrage of public opinion will only get you so far. Thankfully we have some form of justice in this country, imperfect though it may be.

  31. If Watson were smart from a PR perspective (and also just a nice/the right thing to do), he should be tweeting out that he’s paying for an investigator to bring the death threat tweeters to justice for Solis and condemn any future death threats. Seriously how do people not think of the obvious things that make you look good? (And again, are the right thing to do regardless)

  32. xargscutgrep says:
    April 9, 2021 at 10:05 am
    “so that the defendant has fair notice of the claims being made and the person who is making them”

    How does any rational person believe that Watson doesn’t know who has filed claims against him? Hardin’s entire intent is to intimidate the plaintiffs.
    ===========================================

    You meet random people in a profession every day. How can one possibly defend themselves against an accusation when you don’t know who is accusing you?

  33. So if you’re a victim of sexual assault by a person in a position of power, the price you have to be willing to pay to get justice is a parade of death threats?

    Seems like a problem, doesn’t it

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