Alycia Lane's suit vs. CBS3 & Mendte hits speed bump

Alycia Lane and co-anchor Larry Mendte share a laugh in their studio in 2003. Early last month a judge ruled that her lawsuit against her former employer and Mendte needed to be recomposed.
Alycia Lane and co-anchor Larry Mendte share a laugh in their studio in 2003. Early last month a judge ruled that her lawsuit against her former employer and Mendte needed to be recomposed.
Posted: January 12, 2010

A Common Pleas Court judge last month struck down ex-CBS 3 anchor Alycia Lane's lawsuit against her former colleague Larry Mendte and bosses at CBS Broadcasting, but the legal battle wages on.

Judge Matthew Carrafiello simply wanted a shorter version of the filing for the court to read.

The judge ruled Dec. 1 that the complaint filed by Lane's lawyer Paul Rosen be "stricken," according to court documents that the Daily News recently obtained.

"The court finds the complaint fails to state facts in a 'concise and summary form,' " according to notes handwritten on the court order. "And in its present form [the complaint] will impede the responsive pleading process and the trial of issues."

Mendte's lawyer, Julia Morrow, had petitioned the court that the complaint was too "prolix," or wordy, and that it violated civil procedure.

The court gave Rosen 20 days to rewrite and refile the complaint. Rosen was given an extension, but the document does not need to be filed until other motions in the case are ruled on. Carrafiello has since been assigned to Orphan's Court and is no longer overseeing the Lane lawsuit.

Lane filed the lawsuit in January 2008 against KYW-TV and its owner, CBS Broadcasting, weeks after her high-profile firing. In September 2008, Lane's lawyers added other parties, including Mendte, who had been fired three months earlier.

Mendte pleaded guilty in late 2008 to one federal felony count of illegally accessing his former co-anchor's e-mails.

In another legal matter in the case, Morrow last week filed an emergency motion to quash a subpoena from Rosen seeking communications and documents that refer to Lane and Mendte from Banyan Productions, of Philadelphia. The production company and Mendte have been developing a reality show he would host, titled "Coming Clean."

Rosen also seeks all communications between Banyan and Mendte as well as between the production company and third parties. "We want to see who he has marketed this program to," Rosen said.

The request was not well-received in Mendte's camp.

"It's none of Alycia Lane's business what Larry goes on to do with his life," Morrow said yesterday. She "is meddling with his employment prospects and it smacks of bad faith."

Rosen claims that a YouTube video clip of the show, which has been taken down, mentioned Lane. "Every time her name is affiliated with his, it harms her," he said yesterday, accusing Mendte of profiting from his crime.

Morrow argued that Mendte's work with Banyan was irrelevant to the lawsuit, saying that the subpoena was "pure harassment."

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