Law Firm Swamped with Calls After 'Update' Joke
By Steve Lipsher,
Denver Post - 10/14/03
Kobe Bryant's Denver law firm
was besieged by telephone calls Monday after a skit on NBC's
"Saturday Night Live" mocked defense attorney Pamela
Mackey for repeatedly mentioning the accuser's name last week
Tina Fey, the comedian who serves
as co-anchor on the show's satirical "Weekend Update"
newscast, took aim at Mackey's slip-ups during Bryant's preliminary
hearing Thursday on a charge of sexual assault.
"The preliminary hearing
in Kobe Bryant's rape trial turned ugly on Thursday when Pamela
Mackey, Bryant's lawyer, accidentally said his accuser's name
in court, violating Colorado privacy laws," Fey said.
"And after being admonished
by the judge," Fey continued, "Mackey went on to repeat
the woman's name five times. Which is really bad, 'cause what
lawyer Pamela Mackey did by mentioning the woman's name, is to
put her at risk of further harassment. A lawyer - like Pamela
Mackey of the Colorado firm Haddon, Morgan, Mueller, Jordan,
Mackey and Foreman, which is probably in the 303 area code -
should know that people can look up a name, like Joe Smith or
Pamela Mackey, on the Internet and learn everything about them."
By early Monday, a receptionist
said the firm had been receiving numerous phone calls; requests
to be put through to Mackey's answering machine were denied outright.
No one at the firm responded
to repeated requests for comment.
Bryant, 25, is accused of sexually
assaulting a 19-year-old employee of the upscale Lodge &
Spa at Cordillera near Edwards on June 30, when he was in the
area for minor knee surgery.
The Los Angeles Lakers guard's
preliminary hearing is slated to continue Wednesday. Judge Fred
Gannett broke off Thursday's proceedings amid a bitter dispute
between attorneys over another statement by Mackey.
At one point, Gannett jokingly
suggested getting Mackey a muzzle.
Marc Leipis, a spokesman for
"Saturday Night Live," declined to comment other than
to say, "The joke speaks for itself."
"SNL" fans, meanwhile,
seemed more interested in the performance of guest host Justin
Timberlake in their chat on show-review websites.
One reviewer using the screen
name Sam on the fan forum at the unaffiliated www.saturday-night-live.com
website, said the joke was stupid.
"The whole time, I, and
probably everybody else, was thinking, 'Anyone could find her
name and contact her anyways without her repeating her name over
and over again.' It made no sense at all. They should have come
up with a better way of making fun of her."
Another fan, who identified herself
in an e-mail response to The Denver Post as Las Vegas
attorney Kelly-Anne Magnusson Figueroa, noted that the joke turned
the tables, since Bryant's accuser previously has been the subject
of death threats.
Thursday's hearing ended abruptly
when Mackey raised the prospect that the woman's injuries could
have been caused by sleeping with "three men in three days,"
sparking an objection from prosecutors and an immediate denial
from the woman's attorney.