Free agent catcher Antonio Brown continues to face a civil complaint for sexual assault and rape. As this case heads towards a trial scheduled for December 2021, attorneys representing lawyers representing the plaintiff are seeking evidence to support the claims.
As part of the large and important “discovery” process that takes place in every civil case, attorneys representing Britney Taylor have issued proposed subpoenas to Brown’s various NFL teams for information regarding his employment. The subpoenas are “correspondence, memos, communications, agreements, messages or any other written material” in the possession, custody or control of the Buccaneers, Steelers, Patriots, Raiders and NFL Properties relating to Brown . Via Matt Baker from Tampa Bay Times, the presiding judge recently ruled that subpoenas can be served against the league, Bucs, Patriots and Raiders. With respect to the Steelers, the judge concluded that the claim was “too broad and beyond the scope of the relevant discovery”.
The decision came in response to an objection from Brown’s lawyers. Individual teams and the league will have separate rights to oppose claims. From a public relations standpoint, however, any effort to obstruct the investigation within the confines of the ongoing litigation against Brown could attract criticism.
It’s unclear whether Taylor’s attorneys are looking for documents that would shed light on Brown’s potential liability or earnings or something else potentially relevant to the claims. The standard of authorized discovery is very broad; any claim reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence is fair game.
Whatever documents are obtained from the League or the Bucs, the Patriots or the Raiders, the bulk of the discovery information will come during Brown’s deposition testimony. If he conducts himself the way he has in multiple depositions in the lawsuit arising from alleged damage to a luxury Miami apartment, the Taylor case will not turn out well for Brown.