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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Heated Deposition Turns the South Butt Case Into One Giant "Clusterf@#k"

Posted By on Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 11:48 AM

Page 2 of 2

Here's an excerpt from the deposition transcript (Q = North Face lawyer, A = Winkelmann):

Q: Sir please get control of yourself.
A: No. I am out of control.
Mr. Watkins: Why don't we take a break for a second. I want to talk to -- I need to find something out.
A: This is really outrageous. It really is outrageous.
Q: No, it is not, sir.
A: We paid your firm over a half a million dollars, sir, and you're taking that information to prosecute my son.
Q:...I am not using any information that was obtained in prior representation.
A:...How am I supposed to know that?
Q: Cause I just told you
A: You're asking me questions about a dispute. This is really outrageous. What kind of -- all the whole --
Mr. Watkins: Mr. Winkelmann --
A: Look, you don't represent me either. [Watkins was representing South Butt, not Winkelmann personally]
Mr. Watkins: Hang on a second. It might be worthwhile for us to take a short break here so I can find out a little bit of information.
Q:...that's fine. Cause I do think you need to get control of yourself.
A: Oh, you get control of yourself, David [Roodman].
Q: I have control of myself.
A: No. Your law firm is out of control, because, obviously, we can't trust you after representing--
Q: Sir I am asking you questions...I'm using only publicly available information. I'm asking you questions about your businesses.
A: You already have the answers to these.
Q: No, I don't.
A: You represented Huntleigh Financial Services.
Q: I don't --
A: Did Bryan Cave represent --
Q: I have - I have no idea.
A: Oh, come on.
Q: Sir, we have 1200 lawyers. I don't know who represented you.
A: You know what --
Mr. Watkins: Mr. Winkelmann -- Mr. Winkelmann would you join me please for a break?
Several minutes later, David Roodman of Bryan Cave reiterated that his only knowledge of Winkelmann and legal issues involving him came from public info. "If you want to question that, Mr. Watkins, bring it on," he said. "But there's absolutely no impropriety whatsoever."

(Click for Part I and Part II of the deposition transcript.)

The next day, Winkelmann sent a letter to Bryan Cave demanding it surrender any information it has accumulated on him over the years through representation. He also claims that the other firm hired by North Face, Greenberg Traurig, has been "infected" by what he calls a conflict of interest.

More depositions are scheduled for today and tomorrow.

EPILOGUE: The Stalking Thing

As Winkelmann tells it, he was filling one of his ATMs in Clayton on Friday when he spotted one of North Face's out-of-state attorneys, Barbara Kaplan, at the Sheraton Plaza Hotel. On Saturday, he hand-delivered a letter, almost identical in tone and substance to his other letters, to the hotel's concierge to pass along to Kaplan.

Soon, Watkins got a call from a representative of Bryan Cave, who voiced concerns that Winkelmann was stalking the attorney. Winkelmann denies doing so.

Plenty of updates, on all of these matters, to come.

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