|Jason Forman, of Verizon|
A newly released photo indicates the Verizon "employee" who testified in a deposition for the Burt Newwome Conspiracy Case is not a company employee at all. The photo (see above) portrays the real Jason Forman at Verizon corporate headquarters in New Jersey, That, Newsome says, is not the same "Jason Forman") he questioned for a video deposition. Who is it then? An imposter, a fake, some other kind of fraud -- perhaps an actual actor, as banbalch.com suggests in a post titled "Ready. Set. Action! Actor Allegedly Used in Balch’s Half-Baked Deposition?" Writes K.B. Forbes. Ban Balch publisher:
Unless he grew five inches in height, gained 150 pounds, suffered dramatic hair loss, and saw his skull double in size, the telephony expert in the Balch’s half-baked deposition in 2017 during the height of the Newsome Conspiracy Case was allegedly an actor, a fake, an imposter.
The real Jason Forman is pictured above exiting Verizon Corporate headquarters in New Jersey.
Evidence further suggests Jay Town, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, once worked for Verizon and might have helped the scandal-plagued Balch Bingham law firm orchestrate the bogus deposition.
How outside-the-norm was the deposition? We addressed that in a post from March 2020:
What does the deposition itself reveal about the possibility that a legal proceeding that was supposed to be based on fact-finding actually was an over-the-top example of discovery fraud? The answer is "quite a bit," and Newsome -- who was in Birmingham, questioning "Forman" in New Jersey -- seemed to small something funny early on. (See page 6 of deposition, which is embedded at the end o this post.)
Burt Nwsome (BN): And for the record, Burt Newsome from Newsome Law. We object to this deposition going forward, one, there was never any subpoena issued to Verizon as a non-party, and also, for the other grounds stated in our motion to quash. Plus, this witness, he's not going to be able to see our documents in this format that we have questions about.
Our main objection is that Verizon has never been properly subpoenaed for this witness. I don't know how this witness even knows to appear today.
Another oddity: At the beginning of the deposition, Forman had no attorney present to represent him and object, if necessary. to certain questions. The normal process, as I understand it, is to have an attorney present, who can object to questions and then usually instruct the deponent to answer the question, even if it is found later to be inadmissible at trial. If the dispute is particularly serious, the deposition can be interrupted, with the issue taken to a judge for resolution. But my understanding is that parties usually are encouraged not to let discovery disputes get that far.
That's why deponents generally answer questions, over their own attorney's objections, with admissibility and other issues to be resolved later. In this instance, with no attorney present for Verizon at the beginning, "Jason Forman" (a non-lawyer) essentially made his own objections and steadfastly refused to answer certain questions, especially if they could lead to personal identifiers. Consider this exchange that begins at the end of page 20 of the deposition:
Burt Newsome (BN): State your full legal name, for the record.
Jason Forman (JF): Jason Forman, F-O-R-M-A-N.
BN: Do you have a middle name, sir?
JF: Yes, Eric, E-R-I-C.
BN: So Jason Eric Forman?
BN: Okay. And what's your home address?
JF: I'm not giving you that.
BN: Well, I mean you're under oath here.
JF: There's no reason for you to have where I live, sir.
BN: This is important stuff.
JF: There's no reason for you to have where I live, sir. You can have my office address, which is 180 Washington Valley Road. . . .
BN: What's your home phone number?
JF: I'm not giving you that, either. I can give you our office number . . .
BN: What's your Social Security number?
JF: I'm not giving you that, either.
BN: Okay . . . Let the record reflect he's refusing to answer questions as well, which is another reason that I object to this deposition. . . . And what's your educational background?
JF: I have a degree in criminal justice.
BN: And where did you get that from, sir?
JF: I'm -- you're asking a whole lot of personal information, and it's not relevant to what we're doing here. I'm here to testify to records. I'm not giving you my resume. It's unnecessary.
BN: Your technical background is relevant to the case and to what you're testifying about.
JF: I have been -- I have been a custodian of records for Verizon Wireless since 2003.
BN: Where did you get your degree from, sir?
JF: I'm not answering any more personal questions. If you have records about the case. If you have questions about my office. I'll be happy to answer them. I'm not here to answer personal questions about my personal background. I'm not an expert witness in that capacity.