Court warns Prince over documents

 

A High Court judge has warned pop superstar Prince and his US lawyers he will not tolerate any prevarication over the discovery of documents sought for a legal action against the artist over the cancellation of his Croke Park gig in summer 2008.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly said today it appeared letters sent from October last by lawyers acting MCD Productions seeking discovery of documents from lawyers for Prince had been completely ignored and he would now make orders compelling discovery.

The documents must be discovered by December 4th next and the trial will go ahead as scheduled in the Commercial Court on February 23rd, the judge said.

The trial may involve evidence by video link from the US.

Counsel for Prince said there was no effort to sabotage the trial and the singer’s Irish lawyers had written to their US counterparts a number of times stressing the importance of making discovery and also stating the documents sought were not unreasonable. The matter had become more complicated as another lawyer, from New York, had come into the case for Prince, he added.

Counsel accepted his side should have informed the plaintiff what was happening and added he would make the judge’s comments known to his counterparts in the US.

Mr Justice Kelly said he did not care how many lawyers were involved and Prince would have to take the consequences if the discovery order was ignored. The court would not tolerate any prevarication by Prince or his US lawyers and the discovery issues would now be made subject of court orders, he said.

There was no excuse for the failure to tell MCD what was happening in relation to discovery with the result they had had to apply to the court to address the problem, the judge added.

The judge was dealing with pre-trial matters in the proceedings by MCD for some €1.6 million damages over the cancellation of the gig set for June 16th 2008.

The action is against Price Rogers Nelson and MCD also joined William Morris Endeavour Entertainment LLC, Beverly Hills, California, and Tony Goldring, alleged agents for Prince, to the case after the superstar said neither had any authority to bind him to the Croke Park concert.

An appearance on behalf of Prince was entered last May by solicitor Gerald Kean, and the star’s lawyers have argued the MCD claim was “greatly inflated”.