Friday’s hearings marked a pair of legal victories for Watson’s legal team, led by Hardin, who argued that Buzbee and his clients have used anonymity as a “sword” to damage Watson’s reputation.
Hardin repeatedly cited the publicity that Buzbee has drawn to the case through news conferences and his posts about the case on social media platforms. He also noted that, at a recent news conference, Buzbee introduced evidence to the media and the public before filing it with the court or providing it to Watson’s legal team. Without knowing the names of Watson’s accusers, Hardin said, it has been impossible for him to investigate their claims.
Buzbee countered that requiring the women to come forward could put their safety at risk, citing threats that Solis has already received. He also acknowledged that Texas statute does not explicitly allow for a victim of assault to file a lawsuit anonymously.
The judges in both hearings ultimately sided with Hardin. The judge in the first hearing, Dedra Davis, acknowledged Buzbee’s desire to keep his clients’ names out of the spotlight.