A judge ruled Tuesday that a businesswoman vying with Katy Perry to buy a former convent in Los Feliz must undergo a deposition with the singer’s attorneys by the end of February.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephanie Bowick also said that documents Perry’s attorneys want from restaurant owner Dana Hollister in advance of the deposition must be delivered to the lawyers by Monday.
The 31-year-old entertainer’s cross-complaint, filed Sept. 24, names as plaintiff Perry’s company, the Bird Nest LLC. The cross-complaint asks that a judge declare Bird Nest the party with the “sole and exclusive right to acquire title to the property” under a deal she previously reached with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Hollister is a defendant in the cross-complaint along with the archdiocese and the California Institute of the Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Bowick urged Hollister’s attorney, Randy Snyder, to communicate more often Perry’s lawyers so that future such motions can be avoided. Snyder told Bowick he spoke with Perry lawyer Lisa McCurdy five minutes before the today’s hearing, but that he was busy accumulating the documents as recently as Sunday and that he had not had time to have contact with Perry’s lawyers sooner. He also said he was occupied preparing for other upcoming motions in the litigation.
But Bowick said Snyder should have contacted Perry’s lawyers sooner.
“I’m kind of big on communication, even if you send just an email to counsel,” Bowick said.
The judge said talking with opposing lawyers helps avert the chance the other side’s lawyers will walk into a hearing “thinking you’re blowing them off.”
The judge said she is available informally to both sides to help prevent such problems in the future.
McCurdy said after the hearing that the documents sought are wide in scope and deal in many different ways with the disputed transaction. She said the date of Hollister’s deposition is still uncertain because it will be conducted by the singer’s lead attorney, Eric Rowen, who was not in court today.
The archdiocese started the litigation by filing suit against Hollister on June 19, stating that Hollister is considering using the property for a boutique hotel with a restaurant and bar. According to that lawsuit, the archdiocese’s lease of the buildings for a priests’ house of prayer has a remaining term of 77 years.
The sale to Hollister is favored by two nuns who are members of the California Institute of the Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The sale to Hollister was for $10 million, of which only $100,000 has been paid, according to the archdiocese. The proposed sale to Perry would be worth $14.5 million, consisting of $10 million in cash and an agreement to provide an alternative property for the house of prayer worth $4.5 million, according to the archdiocese.
—City News Service
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: