Judge Brook Hedge’s Lasting Impact
The dust has settled from last Wednesday’s jam packed status hearing. Judge Hedge ruled officially on five pending motions.
Oral rulings in court parlance; there was no paper released on any of her decisions, so the only public record we have of that day is by way of the DC Superior Court database.
And yes, it took a call to the Court to confirm oral meant oral, and no actual paper was produced on her rulings. We’ve come to rely on the DC Court database to track the filings and motions of the case, and in almost all instances, it functions pretty well. It would be far more convenient if the filings catalogued could be downloaded, however. A boy can dream can’t he?
Maybe someday that will happen, but it won’t be under the direction of the woman who chairs the Court’s technology committee, Brook Hedge. Her retirement appears almost certain and while we wait for official word on which judge may end up with the Wone case, we bid a fond farewell to the jurist who made our job tracking this case a little bit easier.
And while the smart money says Judge Michael Rankin gets the Wone duties, that may not be the case. Hedge your bets, as they say in racetrack parlance.
The only record we have of last week’s rulings is this:
2/08/2010 Result: Status Hearing Held on record. O.C.R.: KAREN GEDDES. COURTROOM #517.
Attorney Benjamin Razi, Stephen Rodger, Jason Levine, Brett Reynolds, Patrick Regan for the Plaintiff.
Attorney Brett Buckwalter for Defendant Joseph Price.
Attorney Frank Daily, Sean Edwards for Defendant Victor Zaborsky.
Attorney Ralph Spooner, Robert Spagnoletti for Defendant Dylan M. Ward.
Attorney Charles English for Proposed Media Intervenors Present.
Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Deposition Testimony or Fifth Amendment Invocations by Defendant Ward is-Granted. Plaintiff’s Motion to Intervene by Media is-Denied as Moot. Plaintiff’s Motion to Intervene is Denied as Moot. Defendant’s Joint Motion to Dismiss Counts One, Three and Four of Plaintiff’s Complaint, or in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment as to Counts One, Three and Four of Plaintiff’s Complaint is-Denied. Defendant’s Motion to Enjoin Legal Counsel from Making Extrajudicial Statements Regarding Litigation is-Denied.
12/08/2010 Oral Ruling Denying Defendant’s Written Motion Joint Motion to Dismiss Counts One, Three, and Four of Plaintiff’s Complaint, or in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment as to Counts One, Three and Four of Plaintiff’s Complaint by Judge Hedge in Open Court Entered on the Docket on 12/8/2010. (kt)
12/08/2010 Oral Ruling Denying Defendant’s Written Motion to Enjoin Legal Counsel from Making Extrajudicial Statements Regarding Litigation by Judge Hedge in Open Court Entered on the Docket on 12/8/2010. (kt)
12/08/2010 Oral Ruling Denied as Moot Plaintiff’s Written Motion to Intervene by Judge Hedge in Open Court Entered on the Docket on 12/8/2010. (kt)
12/08/2010 Oral Ruling Denied as Moot Plaintiff’s Written Motion to Intervene by Media by Judge Hedge in Open Court. Entered on the Docket on 12/8/2010. (k)
12/08/2010 Oral Ruling Granting Plaintiff’s Written Motion to Compel Deposition Testimony or Fifth Amendment Invocations by Defendant Ward by Judge Hedge in Open Court Entered on the Docket on 12/8/2010. (kt)
“Standing outside D.C. Superior Court’s blocky midcentury building, you’d never guess the court is a technological leader among its cohorts in the Washington region, particularly if you’ve visited Fairfax County’s “high-tech courtrooms” with wizardry that lets trial attorneys build dazzling visuals in real time.
But here’s the difference between D.C. and most of the region’s other courts: When you visit other courthouses to research a case, there’s a good chance you’ll come up empty-handed. The files could be anywhere — maybe in a judge’s chambers, maybe not. Your guess is as good as the file clerk’s, who, by the way, is pretty sick of fetching your dang documents all day.”
Castro draws distinctions between DC and Maryland jurisdictions when it comes to pulling records, and while far from perfect, DC trumps our neighbor to the north in that regard. Pulling this hefty volume on Michael Price’s Assault II charge last year proved to be an all-day affair out in the lovely suburbs. Don’t go back to Rockville, but if you need to pull criminal records, do it on Wednesdays, the civil days.
Castro quotes Hedge on the challenge in making court documents publicly available:
“People think this stuff is simple because it just goes on the Internet,” said Brook Hedge, a D.C. Superior Court judge who chairs the court’s technology committee. “It’s not.” “
As for Castro, shortly after she filed this story she wrote a WBJ piece on gay marriage and her own personal travails, comparing DC and Virginia laws on the issue. She closes her piece with a proposal, not on the law, but to her partner:
“In the meantime, I almost forgot to ask the most pressing question of all: Jami — will you marry me?”
Judge Hedge may be out in regards to the trial business, but perhaps she can still officiate marriage ceremonies. She did conduct one of DC’s first last spring, after all.