The Deshaun Watson civil case will be heard for the first time on Friday.
ESPN.com’s Sarah Barshop will have a hearing tomorrow morning asking if the 20 women suing Watson for anonymity will be required to remain anonymous. One will take place at 8:45 AM ET and the other at noon ET.
Lawyer Rusty Hardin clearly requested an emergency hearing as Watson̵7;s deadline in response to a civil complaint is imminent. However, it is more likely that Hardin would use the tactic as a way to bring the matter to a more obvious point to force attorney Tony Busby to the table to negotiate a deal.
Indeed, Watson’s official response to 20 complaints filed under the pseudonym Jane Doe could consist of widespread denial of allegations arising from a lack of specificity in the complaints. But such an approach would not apply immediate pressure to unnamed plaintiffs to reveal their identity. If Hardin can certify the ruling that the 20 anonymous plaintiffs must disclose their names, at least one unnamed plaintiffs. (And probably all) of the 20 unnamed people will take part in more meaningful settlement negotiations to keep their identity private.
For Watson, it is important to resolve these cases sooner than later, providing a platform for trade. But for now there is no reason for Buzbee to cooperate.If the court orders unnamed plaintiffs to disclose their names, perhaps Buzbee will come to the table.
The strategy has nothing to do with Ashley Solis and Lauren Baxley, the two prosecutors who revealed themselves earlier this week.