*Lawyers for both sides in the sexual misconduct case against Bishop Eddie Long are continuing to bicker over the deposition schedule, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Judge Johnny Panos last month signed an order requiring all parties to agree on a mediator no later than Jan. 31 or the court would appoint one. Mediation of the case would begin during the week of Feb 14, according to the order.
Now at issue is who will give a sworn deposition first. Lawyers for the defendants requested the men, who have accused Long of using his influence, trips and gifts to entice them into sexual relationships, be deposed first. But B.J. Bernstein, who represents the plaintiffs, wants Long and church members to also be deposed early in the process.
“We just want a fair and balanced deposition schedule,” Bernstein said Wednesday “Not just one side.”
Four men — Maurice Robinson, Jamal Parris, Anthony Flagg and Spencer LeGrande — have sued the prominent Lithonia megachurch pastor and the 25,000-member New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in State Court of DeKalb County.
Lawyers for the defendants, who could not be reached for comment, have asked for clarification of Judge Johnny Panos’ order on the depositions, which appears to have Parris deposed first.
Long has denied the allegations. In his responses to the suits, Long admitted occasionally sharing a room with members of his congregation, but in each of the responses, he said, “The plaintiff’s claims of sexual misconduct are not true.”