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Baker & Hostetler partner 'spoke words but did not provide answers' in deposition, special master says

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A special master has ordered a Baker & Hostetler partner to sit for a second deposition after finding that he was “an extraordinarily difficult and evasive witness” during the first round of questioning.

The special master, retired Judge Dennis Cavanaugh, said in an April 14 order partner Lee H. Rosebush’s attempt to sidestep questions went beyond the examples cited by the plaintiffs.

Often, Cavanaugh said, Rosebush “interjected statements and asides which had no bearing on what was asked. He regularly maintained that a question had been ‘asked and answered’ and requested that the court reporter read back his answer, rather than actually providing a direct response.”

Throughout the deposition, Cavanaugh said, Rosebush was asked questions that “by any rational analysis, called for a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ ‘I don’t know,’ or ‘I don’t recall’ response—or a reasonable variation thereof.” But Rosebush instead provided what the plaintiffs termed a “rote” response or answered a question that had not been asked.

Rosebush “indeed spoke words but did not provide answers, thereby preventing effective examination,” Cavanaugh said.

Rosebush is a defendant in a lawsuit filed by the Roche Diagnostics Corp. alleging that he aided an insurance fraud scheme for Baker & Hostetler’s then-client, the pharmacy company Alliance Medical Holdings. That suit has been combined with a suit by LifeScan Inc. for discovery. The companies allege that Alliance Medical Holdings billed insurers for more expensive strips packaged for retail sale, rather than the less expensive mail-order strips that it had purchased on the secondary market.

The plaintiffs allege that Rosebush, who was on the board of Alliance Medical Holdings, helped conceal the fraud.

Rosebush had contended that he was harassed with repetitive questions during the seven-hour deposition. He did not immediately reply to the ABA Journal’s email and voicemail message seeking comment.

Cavanaugh directed Rosebush to “provide responsive and concise answers to the questions presented” during the new deposition. Cavanaugh said he would make himself available during the deposition to “telephonically” address issues that may arise.

Publications with coverage of Cavanaugh’s order include and Law360.

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