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Did Jordan Chandler make a DEPOSITION?

August 22, 2010

Each time I hear that Jordan Chandler made a “deposition” on December 28, 1993 the word makes me wince – the statement made in the name of Jordan Chander was surely NOT a deposition. Let us see what it was and ask a few questions about it in this connection:

  • Was it a deposition?
  • If not, what was it?
  • Was the document authentic?

I won’t pretend that I have full answers to all the above questions but the major part of  the  information is already available to me – so let me share with you what I know for sure now.

WAS IT A DEPOSITION?

To be able to answer the first question we need to know what document a deposition is. Legal encyclopedia (please be patient, this is serious business and top important too) says: http://www.answers.com/topic/deposition

A deposition is the testimony of a party or witness in a civil or criminal proceeding taken before trial, usually in an attorney’s office.

Deposition testimony is taken orally, with an attorney asking questions and the deponent (the individual being questioned) answering while a court reporter or tape recorder (or sometimes both) records the testimony. Deposition testimony is generally taken under oath, and the court reporter and the deponent often sign affidavits attesting to the accuracy of the subsequent printed transcript.

Depositions are a discovery tool – discovery is the process of assembling the testimonial and documentary evidence in a case before trial. Other forms of discovery include interrogatories (written questions that are provided to a party and require written answers) and requests for production of documents.

Depositions are commonly used in civil litigation (suits for money damages or equitable relief); they are not commonly used in criminal proceedings (actions by a government entity seeking fines or imprisonment).

The deposition, because it is taken with counsel present and under oath, becomes a significant evidentiary document. If the case goes to trial, the deposition can be used to impeach (challenge) a party or witness who gives contradictory testimony on the witness stand.

Let us sum up a few things before we go on:

  • Depositions can be used both in civil and criminal procedures, though in civil suits they are used more often (in Michael’s a criminal investigation was going alongside a civil suit, so it could be both) and are usually taken in an attorney’s office (this is important, please make a note of it)
  • The court reporter is to certify that the printed transcript is correct. This is done in a separate affidavit paper which is missing in Jordan’s case, but which we saw earlier as a complete must accompanying all documents of the same kind. Thus even simple declarations (not depositions!) of Tom Sneddon and Ray Chandler always had an affidavit from a court reporter attesting the accuracy of the text (see the documents disclosed in connection with Ray Chandler’s subpoena) .
  • The legal value of a deposition is so high that it can be used in court to represent a witness there or to challenge the testimony of another witness who is giving his testimony ‘live’. So if Jordan had ever given a deposition it could have been used in court, which it wasn’t (because there was none).

But the most interesting points about a deposition are the details of its procedure:

In cases pending in United States federal courts, depositions are carried out under Rule 30 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Prior to taking a deposition, the court reporter administers the same oath or affirmation that the deponent would take if the testimony were being given in court in front of a judge and jury.

To ensure an accurate record of statements made during a deposition, a court reporter is present and typically transcribes the deposition with stenographic equipment.

Thereafter, the court reporter makes a verbatim stenographic record of all that is said during the deposition, in the same manner that witness testimony is recorded in court.

Depending upon the amount in controversy and the ability of the witness to appear at trial, audio or video recordings of the deposition are sometimes taken as well (as it was done with Michael in his Mexico deposition concerning the authorship of his songs).

The examining attorney begins the deposition and may ask the deponent a wide variety of questions. After the examining attorney’s questions are completed, the attorney representing the adverse party in the litigation is permitted to ask follow-up questions to clarify or emphasize the deponent’s testimony.

The attorney who has ordered the deposition questions the deponent  in a so-called “direct examination” (or “direct” for short). Since nods and gestures cannot be recorded, the witness is instructed to answer all questions aloud. After the direct examination, other attorneys in attendance cross-examine the witness. The first attorney may ask more questions at the end, in re-direct, which may be followed by re-cross.

During the course of the deposition, one attorney or another may object to questions asked.

Under the California Civil Discovery Act as enacted in 1957 and heavily revised in 1986, most objections must be given on the record at the deposition or they are permanently waived.

As with oral examination at trial, depositions can become heated at times, with some attorneys asking harassing questions to provoke witnesses into losing their tempers, some witnesses giving evasive answers, and everyone using foul language. In extreme situations, one side or the other may ask the reporter to mark the record, then may suspend the deposition, demand a rush transcript, and file an emergency motion to compel a response, for a protective order, or for sanctions. Some courts have magistrates or discovery commissioners who are on call for such contingencies.

Under FRCP 30(d)(1) and its state counterparts, a deposition normally must take place for no longer than seven hours on one day, unless otherwise stipulated by the parties or ordered by the court. California is the major exception, in that it has no default time limit; depositions can theoretically proceed indefinitely, or at least until the deposition becomes so obviously excessive and burdensome that the deponent is able to move for and obtain a protective order.

After the deposition, the transcript is then published in the form of a hardcopy booklet, which is provided to the deponent as well as to any party to the suit who wishes to purchase a copy.

The booklet will have the case caption (the name of the court, case number, and names of the parties) on the front. Inside, the pages have line numbers along the left margin, so that the parties can precisely cite testimony by page and line in later court documents. Timestamps are inserted into the margin if a videorecording is being made (see Michael’s deposition in Mexico).

The chief value of obtaining a deposition, as with any discovery proceeding, is to give all litigant parties in a contested case a fair preview of the evidence. The process provides a “level playing field” of information among the litigants and avoids surprises at trial (traditionally regarded as an unfair tactic).

Another benefit of taking depositions is to preserve a witness’s recollection while it is still fresh, since the trial may still be months or years away. When a witness’s testimony in open court is inconsistent with that given at deposition, a party can introduce the deposition to impeach (or contradict) the witness.

In the event a witness is unavailable for trial (usually because they are deceased, seriously ill, or live hundreds of miles away), their deposition may be read or played before the jury and made part of the record in the case, with the same legal force as live testimony. In some states, stenographic, audio, or video records of depositions can be offered into evidence even if the witness is available.

Now that we’ve read the details let us make some more conclusions:

  • One of the ideas of a deposition is to ‘preserve a witness recollection while it is still fresh’, so taking a deposition (as well as making a declaration) on December 28, 1993 or three and a half months after the civil suit was filed by Larry Feldman on September 14, 1993,  is ridiculous in the very least.
  • A deposition is to be attended by the attorneys from both sides so that they are able to cross-examine a witness in the same way it is done in court. In case of Jordan’s declaration no attorney representing Michael was present, so any cross-examination was completely out of the question. Actually Johnnie Cochran made it a point that no deposition from Jordan was ever taken – see Lisa Campbell’s book “King of Pop’s Darkest Hour” published in 1994, p. 183: “In a taped interview, Johnnie Cochran stated there was never a deposition taken from the boy”.  And we don’t even need Lisa’s testimony to this effect because everyone knows that Jordan’s declaration came quite unexpected for Michael’s side – which means that none of his people were present there.
  • Declaration of J.Chandler

  • After the deposition is taken a verbatim tapescript is made to record every word of a witness as if he was giving his testimony in court (in a question/answer form). Depositions do not allow any summaries made by a lawyer the way it is done in Jordan’s declaration but should record everything – up to witness’s nod (in the form of a “yes” answer). Jordan’s declaration does not even remotely resemble the above type of a document – it is surely not a transcript (as you see from the picture) and each of its paragraphs is worded by a lawyer as declarations are drawn up by lawyers and are only signed by the declarant.
  • A copy of the deposition transcript should be given to the attorney of the defendant. Over here the Chandlers’ side even outdid themselves as not only did they evidently give it to Michael’s attorney back in 1993 but leaked the document to the whole world on the eve of the 2005 trial to bias public opinion and the jury against him.
  • However it may be interesting to apply the above requirement (to provide a copy) to the so-called Linden affidavit. You remember that it was made in autumn 1993 and served as the basis for the strip search and, according to Lisa Campbell’s book, a copy of it was never given to Jackson’s side in full – they only showed them some pieces with the major parts being blocked out. A thing like that might happen only if Linden’s affidavit was no deposition either – otherwise the attorneys should have been present and a copy of it should have been provided as a complete must for the other side.
  • Let me repeat it here that the legal force of a deposition is the same as that of a live testimony – which means that if Jordan had ever given it they wouldn’t have needed him in court. Which in its turn is proof of the fact that there was never a deposition taken from him.
  • Why not? This would be a highly intriguing question to ask later, but even at this stage it is clear that the Chandlers didn’t want the attorneys from the other side to be present at the deposition and Jordan avoided to answer questions from Michael’s side.

If any of you are still in doubt and are still tempted to call Jordan’s declaration a ‘deposition’, please listen to Ray Chandler complaining to Larry King in an interview that the family “was not asked to testify all through the year 1993” and that is why they “could no longer wait and decided to settle”.

If we are to believe Ray Chandler that Jordan Chandler never gave a testimony during the year 1993 this will make our job even easier as there is no need to prove anything at all now:

KING: Why did they settle?
CHANDLER: Why did they settle?
KING: Why did they settle?
CHANDLER: Oh. Well, you know, the allegations became public in August of ’93. The district attorney never filed a charge or never intended to file a charge. The family was not asked to testify all through the year of ’93. A lawsuit was filed — they got civil lawyers. The civil lawyers said you cannot wait. We don’t know if the DA is going to file, if the DA isn’t going to file…

Source: http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0311/25/lkl.00.html

NOooooooo!

So what was our first question?

WAS IT A DEPOSITION?

And what is the answer?

NOOOOOO, IT WASN’T!

Let us see what answers we can get to the remaining two questions…

(to be continued in due time)

20 Comments leave one →
  1. lynande51 permalink
    July 11, 2015 7:44 pm

    @Vulcan
    This was written in Sept 21, 1994.The part that they don’t tell you is that in May of 1994 just after the Grand Jury was dis banned is when Ralph Chacon of the infamous Neverland Five went to the police with his statement that he had witnessed MJ performing oral sex on Brett. It was because of his statement that Sneddon, Lauren Weiss, Glen Monk and one other police officer flew to Melbourne to question Brett.
    When they got there Mr and Mrs Barnes also denied the charges and Brett again denied that it happened.
    When the prosecution found out that Brett would be testifying FOR Michael in 2005 they met with Chacon prior to his testimony and told him that Brett would be denying it in court. They then allowed him to change his testimony to Jordan Chandler to accommodate his lie and perpetuate theirs. When Zonen had him on the stand he allowed him to say that Brett and Jordan looked alike and that is why for ten years I guess MJ didn’t go to jail because if Chacon had said it was Jordan, Jordan wouldn’t have had to testify.

    Like

  2. t (@wkatriina22) permalink
    July 11, 2015 1:17 am

    Does there exist a graded list of crimes, ie those that can be payed off v. those that have to go to criminal trial?

    Like

  3. paul permalink
    July 11, 2015 12:19 am

    @vulcan

    Just because the families requested and took money doesn’t necessarily mean that the allegations were false. Believe it or not but there a lot of parents who would take millions of dollars in a heart beat rather than pursue justice for their molested child. As we all know, the love of money is the root of all evil. What convinces me of MJ’s innocence is the accusers own contradictory statements, particular Wade Robson.

    Like

  4. t (@wkatriina22) permalink
    July 10, 2015 2:35 pm

    There were mentioned “Jordans psychotherapy” sometimes. I know he was seen By Dr Gardener in NYC and a Dr. Abrahams in California. Now I dont know if the different states have different laws re child sex abuse, but at least in NY there is manatory reporting to a number every professional, social worker ,psycologist or psyciatrist to call in to a given number even when there is only suspicion that such has been taken place. Then child protective services step in. This Jordan-psychotherapy remained very nebulous to me. When, where and who.The number is available even for any citizen.-I think Jordan was seen and sent to a clinic for venereal disease. Strange that they would not have questioned about anal sex, that is what WR now claims happened to him

    Like

  5. vulcan permalink
    July 10, 2015 2:18 pm

    “During the last several months, investigatory efforts uncovered additional allegations of sexual molestation occurring between Mr. Jackson and a second boy. The particular events described occurred solely in Santa Barbara County. Therefore, any filing decision on those allegations would involve Santa Barbara.

    As to those particular allegations, Santa Barbara County declines to file at this time, because of the inability of law enforcement to interview the alleged victim, because that child is beyond the reach of the court process, and because of the child’s prior general denial of any wrongdoing. ”

    Unbelievable. This would be Brett Barnes. Uncovered allegations by who?
    Brett has defended MJ under oath and on TV and defends him to this day but these pigs present him like a victim.
    Just shows that they didn’t give a fuck about facts and they were desperate to find some other victim because they knew it very well it made no sense for a boylover pedo to only have one victim especially when so many other boys were around him.
    Instead of admitting that that one was a liar they concluded that all the others, who unlike Chandler did not have an ulterior motive, were liars.

    The fact that not one but TWO families were not interested in putting the “abuser” behind bar but only getting his money didn’t raise a red flag in their twisted mind either.

    Imagine if something like that had happened in the Sandusky case!
    Parents of the victims just telling Sandusky pay and we won’t testify in a criminal court.
    Everyone would be shocked.
    But when that very thing happened in the Jackson case they act like it’s perfectly understandable.
    Funny this is that if Sneddon or Garcetti or Zonen had been asked if your kids had been molested would you just take money they all would have answered hell no!
    But when both Chandler and Francia answered that question with a “yes I would take the money and then refuse to testify” that somehow does not make them less credible.

    Insane.

    Like

  6. lcpledwards permalink
    July 31, 2011 10:37 pm

    Looks like I have another rebuttal coming soon! I recently checked out Nancy Grace’s 2005 book “Objection! How How High-Priced Defense Attorneys, Celebrity Defendants, and a 24/7 Media Have Hijacked Our Criminal Justice System”. I scanned all of the pages that mentioned MJ, and I see that her M.O. is to give her gullible readers the impression that Jordan Chandler gave a “sworn affidavit” that was 100% credible. Here is an excerpt from page 206:

    “While the boy and his family were taking the heat, no one seemed to be taking a hard look at Jackson himself. After all, he was the one accused of child molestation. Jackson’s career stalled well before the current criminal case surfaced because of bizarre and highly publicied behavior, but in my book that’s the least of his credibility problems. Prior bad acts, known legally as “similar transactions,” are coming back to haunt him. The 1993 child-molestation scandal rebounded like, a boomerang, finally hitting him in court. The sworn affidavit of his first accuser, with whom Jackson setded for millions in order to keep the claims quiet, swears that Jackson kissed him on the mouth, fondled him, and twisted his nipples in bed while the boy’s mom was not around. Remember, this is the 1993 alleged victim under oath.

    I’ll add my rebuttal to this book to my earlier rebuttal of Grace and her partner in crime Sonny Hostin, which I posted last year: https://vindicatemj.wordpress.com/2010/08/17/refuting-the-legal-analysts/

    Like

  7. lynande51 permalink
    September 15, 2010 2:11 pm

    Hey I have the same Declination Statement. Also David have no fear. I will look into the possible copyright infringements if I were to post the video of Tom Mesereau on this website but as you know I am anal about details ( I told you I was fast becoming the Michael Jackson defense librarian) I have the whole interview of course. I’m not a hoarder,I like t0 throw things away when I’m done with them, so I am having some difficulty not removing some of this stuff from my computer, but I will resist the impulse. You never know when we are going to need something. I was thinking of starting to organize a little more but then I got my new book and that idea went completely out of my head as you can imagine.

    Like

  8. visitor permalink
    September 15, 2010 1:48 pm

    Here is the statement of Declination from LA & Santa Barbara offices. I have saved it loooong time ago and I will copy it here:

    Statement of Declination: Statements from LA County and SB County (Sept 21 1994)
    STATEMENT OF DECLINATION ISSUED JOINTLY BY

    THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICES

    OF LOS ANGELES AND SANTA BARBARA COUNTIES

    September 21, 1994

    It became clear at the inception of the investigation into child molestation allegations against Michael Jackson that those allegations involved conduct that occurred in both Los Angeles and Santa Barbara Counties. Therefore, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department, the Santa Barbara District Attorneys Office and the Los Angeles County District Attorneys Office participated in a joint investigation of those allegations.

    After approximately one year, the investigation is now concluded. During the course of the investigation, approximately four hundred witnesses were contacted (some more than once) and additional thirty witnesses were called before grand juries in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. Hundreds of “clues” from the public were probed. Much time was spent pursing potentially exonerating evidence as well as inculpatory evidence. Several leads were explored which later turned out to be false.

    The first alleged victim who came forward and who was the catalyst for this criminal investigation is the same individual who filed and settled a civil lawsuit against Mr. Jackson. The factual allegations underlying the civil lawsuit are identical to those which would support a criminal prosecution.

    However, at the present time this alleged victim has chosen to assert his rights under Code of Civil Procedure section 1219 and has declined to testify. This decision was not communicated to either prosecutorial agency until July 6, 1994. Until that time, the alleged victim had indicated his possible willingness to testify and we continued with our investigation.

    During the last several months, investigatory efforts uncovered additional allegations of sexual molestation occurring between Mr. Jackson and a second boy. The particular events described occurred solely in Santa Barbara County. Therefore, any filing decision on those allegations would involve Santa Barbara.

    As to those particular allegations, Santa Barbara County declines to file at this time, because of the inability of law enforcement to interview the alleged victim, because that child is beyond the reach of the court process, and because of the child’s prior general denial of any wrongdoing.

    The investigation also revealed the existence of a third alleged victim who has been in psychological therapy since his disclosure to police in early November of 1993. He has alleged that Michael Jackson molested him on three occasions. Two of those occasions allegedly occurred in Los Angeles County beyond the statute of limitations, and the third occasion, within the statute, allegedly occurred in Santa Barbara County. In light of the primary alleged victim’s decision not to testify, and because of the third alleged victim’s reluctance to testify and in consideration of his psychological well-being, no charges relating to the third alleged victim will be pursued at this time.

    Another aspect of the investigation involved accounts from several witnesses who allegedly viewed Mr. Jackson inappropriately touching children other than the alleged victims mentioned above. At no time did any of the children named confirm that such conduct occurred, and the credibility of those third party accounts is compromised by the fact that some of the sources of these accounts profited monetarily by selling their stories to the media.

    In conclusion, we decline to file charges relating to any of the alleged victims at this time because of the legal unavailability of the primary alleged victim. We emphasize that our decision is not based on any issue of credibility of victims. Should circumstances change or should new evidence develop within the statute of limitations, this decision will be re-evaluated in light of the evidence available at such time.

    Like

  9. August 23, 2010 6:24 pm

    “In my Treasure Trove of articles from the LA Times one of the articles says that Jordan was never deposed. I think I might have to send it to you to use as confirmation.”

    Lynande, if you can please do, or just post it here in the comments for everyone to see. It is clear even the way it is that Jordan was never deposed – he didn’t want cross-examination which accompanies a deposition, but any additional proof is always welcome.

    The problem is that with talking to haters you won’t have time to narrate a long story like this post and need one short sentence stating the same and a link to a reliable source – that’s all. I am discussing it in such minute detail only to be able to understand what is really behind all those documents to be able to investigate further.

    Like

  10. lynande51 permalink
    August 22, 2010 11:57 pm

    Helena in my Treasure Trove of articles from the LA Times one of the articles says that Jordan was never deposed. I think I might have to send it to you to use as confirmation. If the doubters still want to call that thing a deposition tell them to write to the LA Times and talk to them about it as opposed to their usual tabloid resources.

    Like

Trackbacks

  1. “Hollywood Tonight” (2) | Nonlocal Universe
  2. MICHAEL JACKSON’S 1993 CASE: Jordan Chandler’s declaration, Blanca Francia’s deposition and Tom Sneddon’s leaks to the press « Vindicating Michael
  3. March 7th, 2005 Trial Analysis: Davellin Arvizo (Cross Examination) and Star Arvizo (Direct Examination), Part 3 of 3 « Vindicating Michael
  4. March 2nd, 2005 Anne Kite (Direct & Cross Examination) and Albert Lafferty (Direct Examination), Part 1 of 2 « Vindicating Michael
  5. February 28th – March 1st, 2005 Trial Analysis: Summary of Sneddon and Mesereau’s Opening Statements « Vindicating Michael
  6. Summary and Analysis of the Testimonies of Stacy Brown and Bob Jones, the Authors of “Michael Jackson: The Man Behind The Mask”, Part 3 of 3 « Vindicating Michael
  7. Summary and Analysis of the Lies of Michael Jackson’s Former Maid Blanca Francia « Vindicating Michael
  8. How to Recognize and Refute the Fallacies Used By Michael Jackson Haters, Part 3 of 5 « Vindicating Michael
  9. Refuting the Legal Analysts Who Lied About Michael Jackson « Vindicating Michael
  10. Michael Jackson’s financial success would be the worst punishment for his haters « Vindicating Michael

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