Filner's attorney is Harvey Berger who is telling reporters seeking information to a law firm he is working with in Irvine. The name of the law firm assisting Filner's defense against allegations that he sexually harassed his former communications director is, incredibly, "Payne & Fears". No kidding.
According to U-T columnist Diane Bell, an excerpt from the law firm’s website acknowledges:
“At Payne & Fears we take our work seriously, but try not to take ourselves too seriously. Our clients enjoy our unintentionally ominous name. And we confess that sometimes we smile (just a little) when opponents say we live up to it."
In the legal news developments in the case:
Filner's lawyers declared in court filings that they would seek a change of venue to Imperial County for the lawsuit filed by Irene McCormack Jackson. Attorney Harvey Berger said media coverage of the allegations in San Diego County has been "widespread, unrelenting, intense and outspoken."
Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred, who represents McCormack Jackson, said on Wednesday she would oppose the motion.
"We believe that the case should be heard and decided by a jury of Mayor Filner's peers who reside in San Diego," Allred said.
San Diego Superior Court Judge Richard Strauss set a Sept. 16 hearing to consider pretrial motions, including the attempt to have the case heard in Imperial County.
Filner was initially scheduled to give a deposition in the sexual harassment lawsuit filed by his former communications director on Friday. However, it was rescheduled for Sept. 17 after a psychologist sent a letter that said Filner would be unavailable because he was undergoing "an intensive treatment program." Filner started the two-week behavioral therapy program at an undisclosed location on Monday.