CBS says they want the lawsuit against them and former Anchor Larry Mendte to be split into two trials.
Alycia Lane who's computer was hacked by Mendte, when both worked at KYW, is suing both CBS and her former co-anchor.
But now, CBS wants a judge to sever Mendte from the case.
Big Trial writes that in a motion filed last month, CBS asked Judge Frederica Massiah-Jackson to try Lane's case separately against Mendte first. Then, if needed, CBS's lawyers have asked the judge to hold a second trial where Lane would be suing just CBS.
"CBS will be highly prejudiced if [Lane's] case against it is tried at the same time as the case against Defendant Mendte," argued lawyers for CBS and Michael Colleran, a former CBS president and general manager who is also named as a defendant in Lane's suit.
In response, former CBS anchorman Mendte, representing himself, wrote that he found it curious that in eight years of litigating the Lane case, CBS never suggested separating Mendte as a defendant, until he became his own lawyer. If the defendants are tried separately, Mendte has asked the judge to try CBS first.
Mendte, representing himself, wrote that he found it curious that in eight years of litigating the Lane case, CBS never suggested separating Mendte as a defendant, until he became his own lawyer. If the defendants are tried separately, Mendte has asked the judge to try CBS first.
"They [CBS and Colleran] apparently want to use me the way cave workers use a canary," Mendte the novice lawyer wrote. That's because, as far as CBS is concerned, as the canary in the mine shaft, Larry Mendte may have already done too much singing.
In a civil lawsuit originally filed in 2008, former co-anchor Alycia Lane is suing CBS and Colleran for negligence, for allegedly allowing Mendte to hack into her personal computer.
Mendte pleaded guilty to one felony count for hacking into Lane's personal email account. He was sentenced to six months of home confinement, three years probation, and community service.
In their motion to sever, CBS's lawyers argue that Lane "will introduce the details of Mendte's conviction at trial," and those details "are obviously extraordinarily prejudicial to CBS's defense."
However, "The details of Mendte's conviction are not relevant to determining whether CBS, as Lane's employer, had an affirmative duty, or even the ability to detect and prevent any of Mendte's admittedly secret conduct, which allegedly occurred on CBS property," wrote lawyers John M. Elliott, Mark J. Schwemler, John P. Elliott, and Gregory S. Voshell in a motion filed April 12th in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court.
In response, Mendte the novice lawyer wrote, "It is curious that CBS and Colleran are motioning for separate trials now after co-defending the case against Plaintiff Lane for over eight years in several different courts and before several different judges."
"It would seem CBS and Colleran are more concerned about me representing myself than the arguments they presented in the motion, as the alleged prejudice and inconvenience would have existed before now," Mendte wrote. "But since there is no legal basis for severing because I am Pro Se, they present arguments that are suspect at best."
But, CBS's lawyers argue, they may not be able to successfully defend themselves against Lane's suit, if Larry Mendte Esquire is allowed to sit at the defense table.
Mendte concluded his brief, filed May 1st, by saying, "Again, CBS never brought up severing the case until I started representing myself. All of the alleged prejudices, benefits and confusion CBS argued was apparently non-existent until I was without counsel."