The attorneys in the Deshaun Watson case like to talk about how they don't talk.
And one of them is talking again. (Which of course means the other is almost certain to follow.)
"There will not be a settlement, at least anytime soon,'' attorney Tony Buzbee, who represents the accusers in the sexual misconduct case with Houston Texans QB Watson at its center, writes on social media. "The press folks say we’ve gone ‘quiet,’ but the truth is we made clear early on that we wouldn’t try these cases in the press ...''
Of course, in today's media environment, a statement on Instagram is, essentially, "the media'' - because it's a medium, a conduit for expressing thoughts, or, as the dictionary literally writes it, "a means of effecting or conveying something.''
Buzbee is in control of his IG account. But it is nevertheless part of "the media.''
We don't know much about "the press folks'' who say the attorneys "have gone quiet.'' When they say something - Buzbee or Watson's lawyer Rusty Hardin - we report it. We do reserve the right to fair-mindedly parse lengthy addresses; Buzbee's latest missive includes phrases like, "It’s a lot of work!'' and "I have my best people on the case'' and "as the Texas Bar knows, I have rarely lost.''
These catchphrases can amuse or irritate, but they do not inform. They are examples typical of attorneys who say they "don't like to talk'' ... talking.
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But tucked into Buzbee's post - ignoring for a moment the extreme likelihood that it will trigger Hardin into responding, which will trigger Buzbee into re-responding - is a revelation, a crack in the armor.
"There will not be a settlement, at least anytime soon.''
Why not now? Why not "soon''? Why, we can infer, maybe "later''?
Surely this is about what is probably truly at the core of a settlement: The issue of confidentiality for his clients. Hardin's side wants this case to be an open book - Watson getting to know the identity of his accusers, in a sense.
It would be understandable if some of the 22 women who are accusing Watson of wrongdoing want no part of that - but maybe do want a settlement.
We do believe it's been made clear that the possibility of a settlement was in some way privately broached, with subject of confidentiality central to those talks breaking down. "At least anytime soon'' could suggest Buzbee is trying to re-open those conversations ...
Without him saying so, of course. Because if he actually came out and simply said that, he would be bowing to the nasty "press folks'' and "trying this case in the press.''
And you know these attorneys would never do that, right?