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Jimmie Allen Sexual Assault Accuser Says He’s Delaying Litigation By Changing Lawyers

today01/03/2024

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More than six months after Jimmie Allen was first sued for sexual assault, the country star is splitting with his lawyers — and one of his accusers claims he’s delaying the case by doing so.

In a court filing last month obtained by Billboard, Allen’s lawyers, Jonathan Cole and Katelyn R. Dwyer from the prominent Tennessee law firm Baker Donelson, asked to withdraw from the case, saying the singer had been “unable to comply” with the terms of his representation agreement.

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The filings (first reported by The Tennessean) contained no other details about the reason for Allen’s split with his lawyers. But they quickly prompted a response from his accuser’s attorney, who argued last week in her own filing that Allen had already cycled through three different law firms over the past year — and that he was stalling the case in the process.

“Allen has a track record of moving through attorneys,” wrote Elizabeth A. Fegan, counsel for Allen’s Jane Doe accusers. “These tactics are part of Allen’s continuing pattern of conduct to forestall plaintiff’s right to gather discovery to pursue her claims.”

After nearly eight months of litigation, Fegan argued that Allen had thus far “failed to produce the most basic information” during “discovery” — referring to the legal process in which key evidence is exchanged during a lawsuit. She claimed that Allen’s current attorneys at Baker Donelson are in possession of some materials, but that they “do not intend to produce it” before they withdraw from the case.

A rep for Allen did not immediately return a request for comment on the new dispute.

Allen, a once-rising country music star, was sued twice last year for sexual assault — first by a member of his management team who claims he harassed and assaulted her, then again by a woman who says he assaulted her in a Las Vegas hotel room and secretly recorded it. Both women sued as anonymous Jane Does.

The current filings only apply to the first case filed by the Jane Doe who served on Allen’s management team. Fegan did not oppose Cole and Dwyer’s similar motion to withdraw from the second case over the alleged Las Vegas incident, and that request was granted last week.

Allen has strongly denied all the accusations, saying he would “mount a vigorous defense.” He later counter-sued both women, accusing the management employee of defaming him and claiming that the other woman had stolen the phone he allegedly used to record her.

According to the new filings by Fegan (who represents both Doe accusers), when she first contacted Allen regarding her clients’ accusations, he was represented by Frost Brown Todd LLP, another well-known regional law firm. She said she later corresponded with another lawyer (Andrew Brettler of the firm Berk Brettler LLP) before Cole and Dwyer, the attorneys from Baker Donelson, appeared as Allen’s formal counsel when the lawsuit was filed in court.

Since then, she claimed Allen has “not responded to or provided any information pursuant to any of plaintiff’s discovery requests.” Given that there are “impending deadlines” — including a February cut-off for discovery — Fegan argued that allowing Cole and Dwyer to withdraw from the case would result in “severe prejudice.” Instead, she asked for a court order forcing them to turn over key information about the current status of the discovery process before they leave the case.

“Without this information, Plaintiff is unable to diligently prosecute her claims, meet the Court’s current deadlines, or adequately prepare for depositions,” Fegan wrote.

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