Hunter Biden must appear in all court hearings concerning his Arkansas paternity case, including one scheduled for May 1, Independence County Circuit Judge Holly Meyer ruled Monday.
Meyer expressed frustration during a Zoom hearing Monday with attorneys for Biden and Lunden Roberts.
“From now on ... I want both of your clients at every hearing I conduct," Meyer said. "I will no longer allow us to excuse clients ... because it is interfering with the progress of litigation, which is taking way too long to get over simple points."
Meyer made the comments after Brent Langdon, who represents Biden in the paternity case, mentioned a laptop computer that Biden reportedly left at a repair shop.
Langdon said Garrett Ziegler, a potential expert witness in the case, professes to be an expert on the contents of the laptop, which reportedly contains some income-tax records.
"There has never been, to my knowledge, an acknowledgment that this so-called laptop — he continuously calls it Hunter Biden's abandoned laptop ..." Langdon began.
"Well, let's clear that issue up right now," said Meyer. "Is it your client's laptop or not?"
"Your honor, I'm not involved in all of that stuff," said Langdon. "It's not my client's laptop as far as I know."
Meyer said she holds clients to what their attorneys say in court.
"Is it your client's position, you're representing to this court, that it is not his laptop?" the judge asked.
"Your honor, I am not in a position to even begin to answer that question," Langdon said.
Meyer denied to issue a restraining order requested by Langdon.
Meyer scheduled an in-person hearing for 9 a.m. May 1 at the Independence County courthouse in Batesville.
Lunden has a 4-year-old daughter. The child, initially referred to in the case as “Baby Doe,” was born in August 2018. A paternity suit followed in May 2019.
A DNA test showed, “with near scientific certainty,” that Hunter Biden is the girl’s father, Meyer declared in a January 2020 order. That month, the parties agreed on temporary child support until the issue was resolved.
In March 2020, Biden and Roberts reached an agreement to settle their paternity and child-support suit. His request to have his child support payments adjusted re-opened the case last year.
In December, Roberts’ attorneys filed a motion to change the child’s last name to Biden, saying “the Biden name is now synonymous with being well educated, successful, financially acute, and politically powerful.” A four-page rebuttal by Biden’s attorney demanded “strict proof thereof that such request is in the best interest of the child.”
Discovery is the formal process of exchanging information between the parties about the witnesses and evidence they’ll present at trial, according to the American Bar Association.
Meyer has scheduled a bench trial for July 24-25 in Batesville.