In another crazy twist to the Ken Paxton lawsuit, the AG has filed an Answer that essentially admits liability. AG Paxton issued a press release with the Answer that again defames the plaintiffs. Paxton’s Amended Answer comes soon after the presiding judge ordered AG Paxton to appear for his deposition. And, even before that order was the Texas Supreme Court’s order on Jan. 12, 2024 that AG Paxton must sit for a deposition. This chain of events suggests Mr. Paxton wants to avoid being deposed.
Mr. Paxton’s Amended Answer admits to liability. That is, AG Paxton admits he violated the Whistleblower Act when he fired the plaintiffs. The press release reads as if AG Paxton believes this Answer ends the lawsuit. But, admitting liability is just one part of a lawsuit. There still remains the question of damages. So, whatever Mr. Paxton believes, the plaintiffs still have the right to conduct discovery into damages. Such discovery in regard to a state entity may be limited – there just may not be much to discover, but that is a decision for the plaintiffs.
In any event, the Judge’s order regarding Paxton’ deposition still stands. The plaintiffs may need to conduct the deposition just in case another monkey wrench appears later. AG Paxton has made this lawsuit personal from the very start. The plaintiffs likely feel no compunction about conducting a deposition that may not provide a lot of benefit. There is a reason most of engage in trial practice with some minimal sort of courtesy.
See Texas Tribune report here.