Against the backdrop of the controversy surrounding “Deflate-Gate”, a not so well known story involving partner, Edward O’Donnell, and the head coach of the New England Patriots bears repeating.
In 2007, the Morris County Courthouse was the playing field when Vinnie and Sharon Shenocca squared off for a custody battle involving their two children. Sharon sought permission to relocate with the children to a Brooklyn Brownstone owned by ” a friend”. The friend, she testified, was none other than Bill Belichick. She also testified that Belichick had given her with $150,000.00 while the action was pending.
During the course of the proceedings Belichick’s deposition was sought. As an accommodation to him, O’Donnell agreed that the deposition would be adjourned until the end of the 2006-2007 football season. The season ended and Belichick reneged on the agreement, refusing to attend his deposition.
Belichick’s strategy backfired. Because of his nonappearance at the deposition he was compromised from offering testimony on Sharon’s behalf at trial. The court drew a negative inference against the pair and O’Donnell’s client prevailed. Vinnie was awarded custody and the children remained with their father in Morristown, New Jersey.
Sometimes, it does matter how you play the game.