Washington County Circuit Court Judge Kim Smith has ordered Tom Terminella and Metropolitan National Bank to zip it.
Smith issued a gag order stopping any further comments to the press after a heated back-and-forth of press releases between the warring parties.
The sides sparred over MNB’s statement about its recent agreement with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and how it relates to Terminella’s $25 million lawsuit against the bank, which foreclosed on him in May 2007.
Smith denied MNB’s request for sanctions against Terminella for violating a protective order preventing extrajudicial statements, but told both factions he was sick of the public bickering.
The dispute may move off the news pages, but a hearing Aug. 14 could provide more fireworks. Two motions filed by Terminella’s side are scheduled to be heard. One is a request to revisit Smith’s decision to limit the deposition of MNB owner Doyle Rogers to 90 minutes because of his ill health; the other is a motion to compel discovery.
The Rogers issue is particularly prickly. MNB has accused Terminella of harassing an elderly man who has no knowledge of the matter at hand. Terminella has alleged MNB is not being forthcoming about Rogers’ true condition and has cited several social functions he’s attended in Little Rock since Terminella has been trying to depose him.