Quash Out

Defense Responds to MPD Oppo to turn over Records

On behalf of the three Swann Street defendants, Price co-counsel Brett Buckwalter and Craig Roswell have finally replied to the DC Attorney General’s opposition to turn over DC MPD records, notes and materials as part of the discovery and depo process.

In a March 1st Motion to Quash Subpoena to Produce Documents and other Information, the DC AG’s office maintained that protecting law enforcement’s privilege, which includes protecting the confidentiality of sources, law enforcement strategies and accumulated evidence, outweighs civil discovery interests. 

They went on to claim that it could have “chilling effect on witnesses,” and would have a negative impact by disclosing identities of people who have given information. 

Those 13 pages alone may have been enough to dissuade the defense from proceeding further, and yesterday, they filed their response.

In short, the defense response was a withdrawal of their January 14 subpoena without prejudice.

This raises a couple of questions:

1. Was the defense subpoena always shot in the dark and a perfunctory filing just to check a box?

1a. If that’s the case – since former DC AG Robert Spagnoletti, is part of the defense team, wouldn’t he have known this subpoena of MPD docs was a fool’s errand?

2.  Was the subpoena filed strictly to protect the defense’s flank for any possible future appeals?

3. Did the defense think they had an actual shot at getting the records until they saw the AG’s mountain of precedent saying, “Back off?”

4. Was a deal struck by the parties that may have given the defense something of value, thus precluding them from going after the MPD?

5. What exactly were in those records that the defense did not see during the criminal trial?  Were they fishing for something to ding the investigation and MPD procedures?

It’s all moot now, as the motion says.  And since they withdrew without prejudice, perhaps there remains the possibility the defense could take another shot at the MPD records department.

The Defense Response to Motion to Quash Subpoena

11 comments for “Quash Out

  1. Clio
    03/16/2011 at 11:34 PM

    For Spag, “a fool’s errand” still means billable hours: those gay cruises in the Mediterranean can be so expensive!! But I do love the Isle of Capri in early spring: perhaps, the debonair Spag can give a motivational seminar there one day, for a fee of course.

    Lawyers, how are Brett and Craig R. rating as counsel? Should they get a collective C plus for literally going through the motions?

    • 03/17/2011 at 9:32 PM

      more like C minus but I’m not a lawyer. LOL

  2. Bill Orange
    03/17/2011 at 3:18 AM

    Again, I have to say that this looks like a big mistake on the part of the criminal defense team. Why didn’t they ask for all of this information in the criminal trial? It was certainly relevant, and they should’ve had a right to the information. If you’ve got clients facing criminal charges, isn’t it Discovery 101 to ask the police for everything related to their investigation?

  3. boofoc
    03/17/2011 at 8:20 AM

    There can be no doubt that the Government supplied defendants with all exculpatory evidence as it applied to the criminal charges then pending at the time of the criminal trial; and defendants have been able to retain that evidence. However, no criminal trial is now pending; no charges are outstanding. And the Government thus has no duty to engage in this civil action in any way; the trouple are not criminal defendants at this time and are entitled to nothing from the Government. The defendants’ attempt to obtain information from the Government for its use in the civil trial was obviously a “fishing expedition,” and the motion to qauash was – as I said earlier – quite properly grounded in the law.

    • Clio
      03/19/2011 at 10:39 PM

      Fishing expeditions and witch hunts: aren’t they usually used by the government to get someone rather than vice versa? By allowing Spag to go through these obviously flawed motions, IMHO, Joe really must have a Machiavellian sense of humor: it is too bad that nobody is getting the joke, even this late in the game.

      Kim M., you may want to switch sides while you still can! Just sayin’.

  4. Craig
    03/17/2011 at 3:18 PM

    For those of you keeping score at home, today isn’t just St. Patrick’s Day, it also marks exactly seven months until the trial.

    • Clio
      03/19/2011 at 7:44 PM

      Well, that may give Mr. Price just seven more months to buy his new Lamborghini before a unpleasantly large civil verdict –“Mercedes, Mercedes, Mercedes” would not apparently do for this intrepid social climber, even in the go-go 1980s!

  5. boofoc
    03/18/2011 at 5:14 PM

    And next Thursday (3/24) is Joey’s & Vickie’s anniversary. How shall we celebrate?

    • Clio
      03/19/2011 at 7:34 PM

      Perhaps, boo, a collective e-card full of sentiments about convenient silences and selective memories might be in order, but, of course, no Sparkly Cats will be mentioned. Rather, elephants and “hippos” in every room that they are in have been their own couples’ logo since August 2, 2006. And those elephants and hippos must be getting uncomfortably large, as their kids are growing up and are probably starting to ask questions about Googled material. Disgraceful!

      • susan
        03/19/2011 at 11:07 PM

        I wonder if J and LD have an anniversary too, and J and the train station guy, J and the alt.com guys, and the design neighbor across the street and any others not otherwise noted here. All these other liaisons would seem (to some, anyway) to dilute any upcoming 3/24 celebration.

      • Bill 2
        03/20/2011 at 10:44 PM

        In the year since their last anniversary, I wonder if Zaborsky has come upon information about Price’s various dalliances that was unknown to him prior to the trial last summer.

        Did he know that Scott Hixson had been crossing the street to hop in and out of various beds at 1509 Swann Street? Did Zaborsky know about the alt.com hook-ups at the time the ads were placed or was that news to him at the trial? Does he read this blog often enough to be aware of Price’s fond farewell to a guy in Union Station a few months ago? At the time of their last anniversary, did Zaborsky know the contents of written notes between Price and Ward or was that news to him at the trial?

        And my next to last question, what kind of total, pathetic loser is willing to be crapped on by a domestic partner, over and over and over, and still stay silent when he can reveal what he really knows about the night Robert Wone was murdered?

        Lastly, while they may be partners on legal documents, how can Victor Zaborsky be so stupid to not realize that he will NEVER be Joe Price’s real-life partner in anything except covering up a murder?

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