Discovery and Innocence Pursuance in Defendence Case Against Abigail Price
Recently by order of the court of public appeals in Austin, Texas, abby vote was ordered to pay back money to her former employer, Mr. David R. Berryman, aka “RJB”. Mr. Berryman had sexually harassed Ms. Abigail Price in his office in 2021. Ms. Abigail filed suit against him and won; Mr. Berryman has appealed the court’s decision to the Fifth Circuit. This appeal is currently pending.
Now abby vouz’s appeal is set for trial in the Fifth Circuit of Texas. Her attorney, Richard R. Ligbes, is attempting to use the testimony of three witnesses, Mr. David R. Berryman, Ms. Abigail Price, and a former landlord, Mr. Arthur N. Frick, Jr., to try and build a case of battery based on an accidental touching of a clothed person by Mr. Berryman without any voluntary intention to touch that person. While Mr. Berryman’s lawyers claim there is probable cause to believe he touched the woman in this manner without her consent, Abigail’s lawyers claim Mr. Berryman’s defense is legally flawed because in order to touch someone, one must know or have reasonable suspicion that the person is consenting to the touching. (TX Civil Code Sec. Sect. 1700.6(b) governs battery by means of touch.)
However, there are several major problems with this argument. First, the fact that Mr. Berryman is now deceased does not change the fact that he touched Abigail Price without her consent. Therefore, despite Mr. Berryman’s claim that the testimony of the three witnesses will tend to negate the negligence of his conduct, I would still affirm the judgment of the jury. Second, even if the jury had a reasonable doubt as to the liability of Abigail Price, they could not have convicted her based on this evidence. In order to succeed on the underlying claim of liability for invasion of privacy, the trier of fact must find that (a) there was a breach of a reasonable expectation of privacy; (b) the breach was such that the victim suffered actual damages; (c) the breach proximately caused actual damages to the victim.
Accordingly, I would affirm the judgment of the jury and enter judgment in Abigail Price’s favor on all counts she is entitled to recover on her civil lawsuit. Assuming for the sake of argument that the testimony of the three witnesses can be considered to support the trier of fact’s conclusions as to whether there was a breach of a reasonable expectation of privacy, there is no support for the conclusion that Abigail was, as a matter of law, given a reasonable chance to defend against what her lawyers characterize as “malicious prosecution.” Neither was she given an adequate chance to present her case. The district court abused its discretion in allowing the state to introduce the testimony of witnesses at trial with respect to both the scope of the evidence and the admissibility of statements made by witnesses. We have not previously required a state to eliminate the possibility of aicial testimony so as to preserve a criminal prosecution.
Pursuant to our research, we are unable to find any instance in which a trial court has ever instructed a jury to disregard a testimonial which arguably bolsters one side of the controversy, or to permit contradictory testimony. Indeed, nothing in the record supports the suggestion that such a result might be inevitable. Accordingly, we are unreserved in concluding that we should recognize a right of cross-examination as a remedy for Abigail’s constitutional rights. Because we conclude that Abigail Price waived her right to cross-examine her purported hostile witness, we also conclude that her claim for damages should be allowed to proceed. In view of the foregoing discussion of the relative merits of her complaint and defense contentions, it is