The lawyers representing the widow of homicide victim Robert Wone want to speak freely to the public about the family's $20 million wrongful death suit and are urging a D.C. Superior Court judge not to impose a gag order.
Wone's widow, Katherine, is suing three men in a civil action that alleges the defendants covered up the August 2006 murder of Wone, stabbed in a house in Northwest Washington that belonged to defendants Victor Zaborsky and Joseph Price, a former Arent Fox partner.
Price, Zaborsky and their roommate Dylan Ward were acquitted in D.C. Superior Court in June on charges that included obstruction of justice and conspiracy. The authorities have not charged anybody with murder.
The civil attorneys for Price, Zaborsky and Ward recently asked Superior Court Judge Brook Hedge to issue a gag order to prohibit the lawyers in the case from speaking publicly about the pending litigation. The defense lawyers criticized comments to the press from plaintiffs’ lawyer Patrick Regan of Washington’s Regan, Zambri & Long.
Kathy Wone’s attorneys, including Regan and Covington & Burling partner Benjamin Razi, are opposing the defense request for a gag order, calling the proposed restriction on speech “grossly unfair” and unconstitutional.
“It would also be unwarranted. Lawyers on both sides of this case have, at one time or another, presented their view of the case—or aspects of it—to the media,” the plaintiffs’ attorneys said in court papers filed this week.
Razi and Regan said the criminal defense attorneys, including David Schertler of Washington’s Schertler & Onorato, “have actively sought to use the media to convince the public that their clients had no involvement” in the Wone murder and cover-up.
Wone’s attorneys suggested that the jury selection process will be enough to seat an impartial jury.