[The series Lawsuit Breakdown will attempt to highlight the main points of the lawsuit filed on 12/18/07 by attorneys for Ryan McFayden, Matt Wilson and Breck Archer with a focus on Duke University's involvement in the scandal.]
Ekstrand alleges that after the failure of the plan to orchestrate the mass interrogations without council in which Duke Officials endeavored to deliver the lacrosse team into the trap set by Durham Police, Executive Vice President Tallman Trask then "immediately demanded meetings with team members for the purpose of forcing them to effectively waiver their First, Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights" (p. 155). In the meeting, attended by Trask and other Duke Administrators as well, Trask demanded, "'tell us what happened'" (p. 156). After the team members declined as they had been advised to do by their legal counsel, Trask falsely told them that the conversation was protected from disclosure by a student-educator privilege that does not exist.
Ekstrand then explains that, "fearing their status as students was in jeopardy" (p. 156), the students were compelled to tell Trask what happened and emphatically denied the allegations. By demanding the full story, Trask and other administrators were leveraging the University's disciplinary power over the lacrosse players "to coerce what was effectively the waiver of their asserted First, Fifth, and Fourteenth amendment rights" (p. 156). Moreover, Trask and the other CMT members also intentionally "subverted their right to counsel by insisting the team members speak in the absence of counsel" (p. 156).
As we already know, soon after falsely telling the students the discussion was protected, Trask, Brodhead and several other administrators were brought in (to avoid subpoena) to testify to Durham Police about their discussions with the players, as the lawsuit mentions. To our knowledge, they all brought lawyers with them.