Sunday, January 09, 2005

Kate Faber's Lawyer is Pressing Ahead with Colorado Civil Lawsuit Against Kobe

Lawyer: Bryant accuser eager for public airing of lawsuit
By DAN ELLIOTT, Associated Press Writer
Last Updated 5:27 pm PST Sunday, January 9, 2005
DENVER (AP) - An attorney for the woman accusing Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant of rape said Sunday she wants a public airing of her lawsuit in Denver federal court as soon as possible.

L. Lin Wood said his client decided against filing a second, parallel suit in California state court because of fears that legal maneuvers there would delay a trial in the Denver suit.

"We want to get this case in front of the public as soon as possible," Wood said.

"I think that's an important factor in my client's mind," he said.

The woman's lawsuit seeks unspecified financial damages for pain, ridicule and scorn she says she has suffered since her encounter with Bryant in a Vail-area resort in June 2003.

Bryant had faced a charge of felony sexual assault but prosecutors dropped the case in September after the woman said she no longer wanted to participating in the criminal case.

Bryant, who had pleaded innocent to the charge, has said the two had consensual sex.

Wood considered filing a second lawsuit in California because a victory there could have brought a bigger settlement. Colorado law, which will govern the lawsuit in Denver federal court, makes it difficult for a plaintiff to collect more than $733,000. California law places no limit on damages in a civil suit.

Wood said filing a second suit would have given Bryant's lawyers too many opportunities to delay both cases.

"My client has decided she would prefer a trial sooner in Denver as opposed to later," even though it could mean a smaller judgment if she wins, Wood said.

Bryant's attorney did not immediately return a telephone message Sunday.

Wood declined to comment on whether the two sides have discussed an out-of-court settlement. He said the woman's attorneys are pushing ahead with preparations for a trial but said that could be months away.

Wood accused the defense team of trying to delay the case while running up his client's expenses in hopes of driving her out of court.

"We do not intend to allow that to happen," he said.

It is the policy of The Associated Press not to print names of alleged sexual assault victims without their consent. The woman has asked that her name not be published.

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