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Bush is denied arbitration by judge

August 02, 2008|David Wharton | Times Staff Writer

A San Diego judge Friday denied a motion brought by attorneys for former USC star Reggie Bush to settle a lawsuit against him through confidential arbitration.

The decision by Superior Court Judge Joan Lewis means the suit, brought against the New Orleans Saints running back by would-be marketer Lloyd Lake in connection with a failed business deal, now moves closer to trial.

Lewis' ruling is good news for NCAA investigators hoping to gain access to potential evidence in the case. They want to know if Bush or USC broke college rules.

Lake has alleged that Bush's family accepted free rent and that Bush enjoyed other prohibited extra benefits from start-up marketers while the Heisman Trophy winner was still playing for USC.

Friday's hearing might have been more significant had Lake's attorneys successfully placed their client's former business partner, Michael Michaels, on the witness stand.

Michaels previously reached a confidential settlement with Bush for about $300,000. But Judge Lewis said she did not need his testimony to rule on the arbitration motion.

Bush's attorneys still have the opportunity to appeal the arbitration decision, and both sides will continue to litigate over other issues, but for now the case proceeds toward oft-postponed depositions.

Lake is scheduled to answer questions on Aug. 27-28, Michaels on Aug. 29, Bush on Sept. 9, LaMar Griffin, Bush's stepfather, on Sept. 10, and Denise Griffin, Bush's mother, on Sept. 11.

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david.wharton@latimes.com

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ON LATIMES.COM

David Wharton analyzes recent developments in the Reggie Bush case.

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