Issuing a short statement about the postponement, the Dunn family's spokesman Radd Seiger told the PA news agency: 'By mutual agreement, the depositions of Mr and Mrs Sacoolas scheduled for next Tuesday and Wednesday have been postponed.Notice that he is unable to go into any further detail except, that is, for the further detail he had already gone into, which was that rather odd statement about how the family is now focusing on the nonexistent UK criminal case. I say nonexistent because there is no prospect of any prosecution so long as the USG continues to refuse to waive the driver's diplomatic immunity.'The family accordingly are now remaining in the UK and in the meantime they are once again focusing their attention on securing justice in the criminal case.'We are unable to go into any further detail at this time.'
So, what's up with the civil suit? We know the presiding judge has remarked that the case should have been settled long ago, and we also know the plaintiff's lawyer responded to that remark by, essentially, pleading that the family's highest priority is the emotional satisfaction they would derive by going through the civil process. Would you deny the mother her long-sought opportunity to be face to face with the driver in a small room?
I would think that the last moment before the two principal characters go face to face might also be a great moment for the defendants to offer a settlement. Did the insurance company make an offer, and did the family's lawyers - meaning the real ones on this side of the Atlantic, and not that retired ambulance chaser and neighbor who the family is in thrall to - strongly advise accepting it?
Stopping the civil process short of its emotional climax would surely go against the family's wishes, but recall that the family is now on its second set of American lawyers after a mysterious blow-up with the first set, and perhaps they decided they can't afford to reject legal advice a second time. Maybe they need to take stock of what they really want here.
Taking a payout and then turning their full time and attention to the futile pursuit of a criminal trial might be their best course.