No quick ruling seen in trial involving canceled solar energy plant

It could be a while before there is a ruling in the trial concerning the canceled solar energy plant BrightSource Energy once proposed for the Coyote Springs development.

On a Friday conference calls with attorneys in the case, Clark County District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez said part of her decision revolves around whether former developer Harvey Whittemore must testify about conversations with Coyote Springs attorneys. During a break in a Feb. 27 deposition, Whittemore conferred for about five minutes behind closed with attorney James Pisanelli behind closed doors.

During the trial in December, BrightSource attorney Peter Bernhard questioned Whittemore about the meeting while he was on the witness stand. When Gonzalez said she would allow the questions, Pisanelli appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court contending that the question violated attorney-client privilege.

Gonzalez said on Friday that she would write parts of her ruling that do not involve Whittemore, then wait for the Supreme Court to rule on the privilege issue before finishing.

Coyote Springs seeks as much as $183 million for walking out on the 42-year deal early. BrightSouce said it followed the contractual severance procedure and owes nothing.


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