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Laxalt Loses Bid to Limit Media Access in Suit

September 22, 1985|Associated Press

RENO — A federal magistrate has ordered pretrial interviews of Sacramento Bee reporter Denny Walsh and Sen. Paul Laxalt (R-Nev.) to be opened to the media.

The ruling Friday by Magistrate Phyllis Halsey Atkins on a CBS-TV request will allow reporters to be on hand Monday in Sacramento when Walsh begins answering questions from Laxalt's attorneys. Laxalt had sought to keep the interviews private.

Laxalt filed a $250-million libel suit against Walsh and the Sacramento, Fresno and Modesto Bees after publication of an article Walsh wrote that described an alleged skimming operation at the Ormbsy House Casino in Carson City.

The story claimed hundreds of thousands of dollars were skimmed from the casino's revenues in the early 1970s when it was owned by the Laxalt family. Laxalt has denied the allegations.

The pretrial interviews are part of the normal discovery process in which attorneys are allowed to question major witnesses involved in civil lawsuits.

Walsh is expected to be questioned for three to five days in the Sacramento Bee building, while Laxalt's deposition is scheduled to be given early next month at a location yet to be determined.

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