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  1. #1
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    Wrongful Death Suit filed Nov. 13, 2013 in California, #4

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  2. #2
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    Thank you, Bessie! The old thread was taking a really long time to load.

    Thanks for a fresh, clean thread!

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    Thanks, Bessie!

    From the previous thread, IANAL, but it appears discovery hearings are a time when the judge reviews the discovery process to date, to see if all rules have been followed, etc. It's also a time when many civil cases are settled, once both sides have the opportunity to review the products of the discovery process. If the plaintiffs choose to proceed with a trial, it moves to that phase, no? That's why hearings are scheduled in February, they're the first steps in moving towards the trial phase. I'm sure AZLawyer can explain it better.

    So far, the case is moving along in the standard way.

    I suppose the next question will be whether Dina will participate in her deposition before the Nov. 6 hearing or if she will try to use other delaying tactics at that time. It will also be interesting to see if any of the parties move towards an out of court settlement after the Nov. 6 hearing.

    Questions for AZLawyer (apologies in advance if you've answered these before):

    Will the discovery hearing be public?
    Will any information from the discovery process be revealed at that time?
    Is it possible for any of the defendants to engage in any further tactics to stall the case and if so how would the judge likely view such efforts?

    Thanks, again, for all your kind assistance and expertise!
    All statements are my opinion only.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Betty P View Post
    Thanks, Bessie!

    From the previous thread, IANAL, but it appears discovery hearings are a time when the judge reviews the discovery process to date, to see if all rules have been followed, etc. It's also a time when many civil cases are settled, once both sides have the opportunity to review the products of the discovery process. If the plaintiffs choose to proceed with a trial, it moves to that phase, no? That's why hearings are scheduled in February, they're the first steps in moving towards the trial phase. I'm sure AZLawyer can explain it better.

    So far, the case is moving along in the standard way.

    I suppose the next question will be whether Dina will participate in her deposition before the Nov. 6 hearing or if she will try to use other delaying tactics at that time. It will also be interesting to see if any of the parties move towards an out of court settlement after the Nov. 6 hearing.

    Questions for AZLawyer (apologies in advance if you've answered these before):

    Will the discovery hearing be public?
    Will any information from the discovery process be revealed at that time?
    Is it possible for any of the defendants to engage in any further tactics to stall the case and if so how would the judge likely view such efforts?

    Thanks, again, for all your kind assistance and expertise!
    I think the "discovery hearing" in this case was scheduled to address a specific discovery motion that was filed. I don't believe it will be a general review of the discovery progress or compliance. I also don't think it is a likely opportunity for settlement discussions.

    The case will go to trial if it doesn't settle and is not resolved as a legal matter on motions. The hearing in February was scheduled to hear argument on summary judgment motions, but as far as I know none have been filed yet. The judge won't hear summary judgment arguments unless someone files a motion.

    I keep hearing people say that Dina is delaying her deposition, but I don't know where that came from. Does anyone have a link for that?

    To answer your questions:

    Yes, the discovery hearing should be public.

    I doubt the public will learn much about the substance of discovery from that hearing. Both parties already know everything about the discovery, and the judge doesn't need to know unless it relates to a pending motion.

    Again, I'm not sure what you mean by "further" tactics to stall, because I haven't seen anything to suggest there has been any stalling thus far.

    "It would seem to me that June 16, 2008 was the last time that the victim was viewed by her grandparents. It became quite evident that from the OS of the Defense that the 16th was a date of great importance and that a so called time line of activities dealing with CA, LA, GA and ICA on the 16th and what, if any, activities took place on the 15th, 16th and 17th of June on 24 hour cycles would have been, at least, of a minimal requirement of review. I take it at some point you had a computer expert look at that data?" HHJP, 6/21/11
    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...139910&page=94

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZlawyer View Post
    I think the "discovery hearing" in this case was scheduled to address a specific discovery motion that was filed. I don't believe it will be a general review of the discovery progress or compliance. I also don't think it is a likely opportunity for settlement discussions.

    The case will go to trial if it doesn't settle and is not resolved as a legal matter on motions. The hearing in February was scheduled to hear argument on summary judgment motions, but as far as I know none have been filed yet. The judge won't hear summary judgment arguments unless someone files a motion.

    I keep hearing people say that Dina is delaying her deposition, but I don't know where that came from. Does anyone have a link for that?

    To answer your questions:

    Yes, the discovery hearing should be public.

    I doubt the public will learn much about the substance of discovery from that hearing. Both parties already know everything about the discovery, and the judge doesn't need to know unless it relates to a pending motion.

    Again, I'm not sure what you mean by "further" tactics to stall, because I haven't seen anything to suggest there has been any stalling thus far.
    Thank You So Much AZlawyer for sharing your expertise I would never understand the legal aspects of these cases otherwise I really appreciate you.

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    Thanks, AZLawyer, for your reply.

    The stall tactics I was referring to had to do with Dina's earlier attempts to ask RZ's family to answer a long list of questions before giving her deposition. I'm getting ready to leave for a trip out of town, so don't have time to go back and retrieve some of the other problems encountered earlier this year, but I recall there was at least a couple of other attempts to slow down or stop the process.
    All statements are my opinion only.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Betty P View Post
    Thanks, AZLawyer, for your reply.

    The stall tactics I was referring to had to do with Dina's earlier attempts to ask RZ's family to answer a long list of questions before giving her deposition. I'm getting ready to leave for a trip out of town, so don't have time to go back and retrieve some of the other problems encountered earlier this year, but I recall there was at least a couple of other attempts to slow down or stop the process.
    Hmmm, I remember something about a dispute about interrogatories (the questions you mention), but not about Dina's deposition being delayed due to that dispute.

    "It would seem to me that June 16, 2008 was the last time that the victim was viewed by her grandparents. It became quite evident that from the OS of the Defense that the 16th was a date of great importance and that a so called time line of activities dealing with CA, LA, GA and ICA on the 16th and what, if any, activities took place on the 15th, 16th and 17th of June on 24 hour cycles would have been, at least, of a minimal requirement of review. I take it at some point you had a computer expert look at that data?" HHJP, 6/21/11
    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...139910&page=94

  8. #8
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    bourne is offline "The truth shall set you free." ~JUSTICE FOR REBECCA ZAHAU
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZlawyer View Post
    Hmmm, I remember something about a dispute about interrogatories (the questions you mention), but not about Dina's deposition being delayed due to that dispute.
    HI AZlawyer, is there a time limit by which Dina and Nina have to give their depositions? Adam had given his a long long time ago...

    I'm wondering what the hold up is? How does this deposition process work? Must the plaintiffs be subjected to numerous interrogatories by the defendants before the defendant to the WDS give their depositions?
    "The truth shall set you free." ~JUSTICE FOR REBECCA ZAHAU

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bourne View Post
    HI AZlawyer, is there a time limit by which Dina and Nina have to give their depositions? Adam had given his a long long time ago...

    I'm wondering what the hold up is? How does this deposition process work? Must the plaintiffs be subjected to numerous interrogatories by the defendants before the defendant to the WDS give their depositions?
    There may be a time limit, but I haven't seen any comprehensive scheduling order in this case. Certainly I haven't seen anything to suggest that the time limit has passed, or that Dina or Nina's depositions were ever noticed. If they had been noticed and Dina/Nina didn't show up, we would have seen a motion from the plaintiffs. If they had been noticed and Dina/Nina wanted to delay, we would have seen a motion from the defendants. Basically, I don't see why we've concluded that there is any "hold up" at all.

    Normally, interrogatories seek knowledge from the person to whom they are sent, so taking the deposition of the person who sent them wouldn't be of much help in answering the questions. So unless the judge has set up the scheduling order this way, there's no reason one of those things would have to happen first.

    "It would seem to me that June 16, 2008 was the last time that the victim was viewed by her grandparents. It became quite evident that from the OS of the Defense that the 16th was a date of great importance and that a so called time line of activities dealing with CA, LA, GA and ICA on the 16th and what, if any, activities took place on the 15th, 16th and 17th of June on 24 hour cycles would have been, at least, of a minimal requirement of review. I take it at some point you had a computer expert look at that data?" HHJP, 6/21/11
    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...139910&page=94

  10. #10
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    Motion to Compel Answers from Plantiff Mary Zahau

    IMO, it appears the delay in Dina's deposition is connected with Mary Zahau's refusal to answer the deposition questions that were asked by Dina's lawyer, and Kim Schmann filed a Motion for an Order Compelling Plantiff, submitted 10/13/2015:

    TO THE COURT, ALL PARTIES AND THEIR ATTORNEYS OF RECORD:
    PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that Defendant, DINA SHACKNAI ("Defendant"), submits this Separate Statement pursuant to California Rules of court, Rule 3.1345 in support of her concurrently-filed Motion for an Order Compelling Plaintiff, MARY sun ZAHAU-LOEHNER ("Ms. Zahau-Loehner"), to Answer to Defendant's deposition questions.

    On January 23,2015, Ms. Zahau-Loehner was produced for deposition, pursuant to a Notice of Deposition, and examined by counsel for Defendant. Ms. Zahau-Loehner was represented by counsel, Keith Greer.

    During the deposition, Ms. Zahau-Loehner was instructed over 68 times not to answer based on either the attorney-client privilege, attorney work product protection, the marital privilege, and/or the right to privacy. The objections and instructions were improper as set forth in the moving papers and herein:

    In this Motion for an Order Compelling Plantiffs, it is discovered that (my comments in parentheses)

    -Rebecca did not tell Mary about her shoplifting arrest. (Didn’t Mary state in the media that Rebecca told her everything?)

    -Z only sees her Mother, Pari, every 2nd weekend

    -Pari is 55, so would have been a child of 14 or so when she married a man almost 30 years her Senior.

    -Pari lets X live with Mary “so she could go to a better school.” (She would let her child live with Mary for that?! That is usually not legal and I f the school finds out, X will not be allowed to attend there anymore.)

    -It appears Mary told Pari that Neil once tried to strangle Rebecca.

    -Jonah paid for the Zahaus hotel in Coronado after Rebecca’s suicide. (They first seemed to blame Jonah for Rebecca’s death so why would they take money from him?)

    -Mary says she thought about suing Jonah.

    -Mary took Rebecca’s phone out of the country, which is considered tampering with evidence.

    -Rebecca never told Mary about Jonah and Dina’s altercations when they were divorcing, which leads me to believe Jonah never told Rebecca. (as much as Rebecca seemed to like to gossip about Dina to Mary, it's logical to believe he did not tell her).

    -From the questioning, it seems obvious that Dina did not know Max was fatally injured when Rebecca committed suicide, and it appears Jonah gave a statement stating such.

    JMO

    https://roa.sdcourt.ca.gov/roa/faces...5284635524.pdf
    Last edited by LuckyLucy2; 10-20-2015 at 01:14 AM.


  11. #11
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    Deposition Questions Mary Zahau Refused to Answer - Part 1

    Questions and Answers from The Order to Compel Plantiff.

    (Note, statements and questions are asked by Kim Schmann, Attorney for Dina Shacknai, and answers are from Plantiff Mary Zahau - unless otherwise noted.)


    Did you talk to him (i.e. her brother) about posting this kind of photo on Facebook? (Him refers to her brother, Solomon) (LL2- Goes by “Solo”)

    Answer: Awhile back, yes. I talked about posting anything on Facebook, period.

    And what did you tell him about posting this photo with him with a handgun pointed at the camera?

    Mary - Refusal to answer

    Who is in control of running the case, the case that we're here for as between you family members?

    Statement by Counsel Greer:
    Object, that's going to invade attorney-client privilege.

    How can it be attorney-client privilege? Who between -- who between the family members are running it?

    Statement by Counsel Greer: Because that's going to be --I am going to make the decision about who I'm going to be talk talking to about which different things, and I make that decision. I'm running the show. be talk talking to about which different things, and I make that decision. I'm running the show. Because that's going to be --I am going to make the decision about who I'm going to be talk talking to about which different things, and I make that decision. I'm running the show.

    You -- you can't run the decision of who between the family members is running it.

    Statement by Counsel Greer: I decide who runs it. They don't.

    Who--

    Statement by Counsel Greer: And that would disclose who I am contacting and who I'm dealing with and who I'm deciding I talk to the most; so it's attorney-client privilege and I instruct her not to answer.

    Okay. So who approved the various statements that your lawyers have made in the press, you or your mom?

    Answer: The lawyers did.

    The lawyers approved it themselves? You were not any -- you didn't have any part in approving what they said in the press?

    Answer: We discussed it with them; so we didn't make--

    Did you approve for your lawyer to say in public that my client had killed your sister?

    Mary - Refusal to answer

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    Deposition Questions Mary Zahau Refused to Answer - Part 2

    (Note, statements and questions are asked by Kim Schmann, Attorney for Dina Shacknai, and answers are from Plantiff Mary Zahau - unless otherwise noted.)


    Did Rebecca ever tell you that she was busted for shoplifting?

    Answer: No.

    Question: Have you heard about it until today?

    Answer: I'm not answering that question

    When did you first find out that she had been arrested for shoplifting?

    Mary - Refusal to answer

    Okay. And why did you take over the guardianship of Xena?

    Mary - Refusal to answer

    When you filed for the guardianship of Xena, what was the basis?

    Statement by Counsel Greer: I object to this as right of privacy and instruct her not to answer.

    I mean we're talking about two plaintiffs in this case --

    Statement by Counsel Greer: You have –

    Pari and Mary?

    Statement by Counsel Greer: You have -- you had three: You have the father's estate, Mom who's alive, and the estate of Rebecca; and -- and Mary is the representative for Dad's estate and Rebecca's estate.

    Correct, but if there are certain things in the guardianship filings that relate to her capacity to be a plaintiff, I need to know. I'm entitled to told know what's in that guardianship filing.

    Statement by Counsel Greer: That pertains to whose? Mary's standing as a representative? Xena is not a party.

    Correct. Pari is.

    Statement by Counsel Greer: Oh. Okay. Let's take a short break.



    When you filed for the guardianship of Xena, what was the basis?

    Statement by Counsel Greer: Okay. And that's -- answer it. You can.

    Answer: I thought guardianship was the same as power of attorney. I only have power of attorney. I don't have guardianship.

    Statement by Counsel Greer: And the power of attorney is for who?

    Answer: For my mom and dad.

    Statement by Counsel Greer: Okay.

    Question: So you don't have guardianship over Xena?

    Answer: No.

    Question: Okay. Then why does she live with you?

    Answer: Because we live in a better school district, and we want them to go to the better school.

    Question: How old is your mom?

    Answer: My mom was born in '59; so she would be 55 this year. No, hold on. Yeah, 55 this year.

    Question: Why does Xena only see her every other weekend?

    Answer: She sees her -- she used to see her every weekend. She did -- sees her now every other weekend on an average because Xena has a job now. She's 16 years old; so she works on weekends.

    Is their relationship strained?

    Answer: No.

    Is it a good relationship?

    Answer: I think so.

    You haven't discussed it with Xena?

    Answer: We talk about it if she has -- Greer instructs her not to answer further and she does not.
    Last edited by LuckyLucy2; 10-20-2015 at 01:19 AM.

  13. #13
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    Deposition Questions Mary Zahau Refused to Answer - Part 3

    (Note, statements and questions are asked by Kim Schmann, Attorney for Dina Shacknai, and answers are from Plantiff Mary Zahau - unless otherwise noted.)


    Are you aware of any investigators that work for this case, for you?

    Mary - Refusal to answer

    Did you two discuss whether it was appropriate for him (i.e. her husband) to meet with your --with Xena and Joey?

    Mary - Refusal to answer

    Have you ever told your mother that Neil (Rebecca's ex-husband) tried to strangle Rebecca?

    Mary - Refusal to answer

    Why did you not sue Jonah?

    Mary - Refusal to answer

    Did you ever think about suing Jonah?

    Mary - Refusal to answer

    Do you still believe that Jonah should have protected Rebecca?

    Mary - Refusal to answer

    What evidence do you have as a plaintiff that you believe prove that my client killed Rebecca?

    Mary : I know Dina hates Becky, so -- and that was a fact for the entire time she was dating Jonah. There was frequent issues with it. Becky would frequently call me because there were incidents, such as school programs where Max would want Becky to go and Dina didn't want Becky to go, and issues about that. Dina lost temper several times. Apparently, at school she was trying to hurt Becky. I don't know to what extent, but I was not there. And the day Max fell, the first thing Becky said was that "Dina's going to kill me. I don't know what I'm going to do. Dina is going to kill me." And I will never forget that.

    "Is this the first time you've ever heard that Dina and Jonah were told by the medical providers that Max probably had a heart attack had a heart attack and that's why he fell?"

    Mary: Yes.

    You do not -- you have never heard or seen anything wherein the doctors describe or explain that their initial belief was that he had a heart attack?

    Mary - Refusal to answer

    When you filed this lawsuit, did you know or attempt to investigate and find out when, in fact, Dina realized that or was informed by doctors of his actual medical condition?

    Mary - Refusal to answer

    What factual investigation did you do before you decided to sue my client?

    Mary - Refusal to answer

    Are you aware of any witnesses that you believe will be able to testify to the claim that my client hit your sister?

    Mary - Refusal to answer

    So you -- is it correct that you decided to file this lawsuit solely based upon those opinions (i.e. that her sister would not commit suicide given that Max was doing better, she had to stay strong for Jonah and she would see her Dad in a couple of months)?

    Mary - Refusal to answer
    Last edited by LuckyLucy2; 10-20-2015 at 12:36 AM.

  14. #14
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    Deposition Questions Mary Zahau Refused to Answer - Part 4

    (Note, statements and questions are asked by Kim Schmann, Attorney for Dina Shacknai, and answers are from Plantiff Mary Zahau - unless otherwise noted.)


    As you sit here today, are you aware of any witnesses who will testify that any of the defendants were present with Rebecca at the house after midnight on the morning that she was found?

    Mary - Refusal to answer

    Do you have any evidence or know of any witnesses who place any of the three defendants at the house within six hours of Rebecca's death?

    Mary - Refusal to answer

    Did you ever ask your husband to do any investigation due to his access as a police officer?

    Mary - Refusal to answer

    So the complaint alleges that my client struck Rebecca multiple times on her head
    with a blunt instrument, correct? What evidence do you have to support that allegation?

    Mary: No, I'm not answering the question.

    Okay. Do you understand that if I have to go to court and file a motion to compel and if it should be granted, that you will have to be deposed again and that the court could issue sanctions that you would have to pay, which could include all of the attorneys' time and airfare? Do you understand that?

    Mary: Yes.

    And you're still not going to answer?

    Mary: No

  15. #15
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    LL2, thank you for posting that. I didn't have time to go through all the pages right now--was there something in there about a request to delay Dina's depo?

    "It would seem to me that June 16, 2008 was the last time that the victim was viewed by her grandparents. It became quite evident that from the OS of the Defense that the 16th was a date of great importance and that a so called time line of activities dealing with CA, LA, GA and ICA on the 16th and what, if any, activities took place on the 15th, 16th and 17th of June on 24 hour cycles would have been, at least, of a minimal requirement of review. I take it at some point you had a computer expert look at that data?" HHJP, 6/21/11
    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...139910&page=94

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