Judges: Johnny Doc’s Videotaped Deposition Will Not Be Sealed

As part of his defamation suit against Inquirer columnist Karen Heller, John Dougherty has been ordered to submit to a videotaped deposition.

IBEW Local 98 business manager John Dougherty is suing current Inquirer reporter Karen Heller over a column she wrote in 2009. Heller did get the facts wrong in her column — she said electricians charged exorbitant amounts to put up lights in Rittenhouse Square, when in fact they donated their time — but apologized and ran a correction as requested.

Not good enough, says Dougherty’s defamation lawsuit, which alleges an uncorrected version stayed on a third-party website for two years and on Heller’s Facebook page “for some brief period of time.” Hence, the lawsuit. But, as part of the suit, Johnny Doc has been ordered to submit to a videotaped deposition. He doesn’t want it released to the media, and motioned for such. According to the Legal Intelligencer,a judge turned down his request.

In the en banc court’s majority opinion, Judge John T. Bender wrote that Dougherty did not show good cause as to why his video deposition should be sealed or how his privacy is at risk. […]

“Though we need not impose a rigid standard of analysis, it is self-evident that a party seeking a protective order must, at the very least, present some evidence of substance that supports a finding that protection is necessary,” Bender said. “Such evidence must address the harm risked, and not merely an unsubstantiated risk of dissemination, as suggested by appellant here.”

Heller told the court she does not plan to disseminate Johnny Doc’s deposition. Check out the ruling below.

[Legal Intelligencer (subscription)]

Johnny Doc Deposition Won't Be Sealed