A Depo Witness is in Florida. A Defendant is in DC?
It appears that it’s not just the Defendants who want to keep mum during depositions in the Wone civil trial. The DC Attorney General’s Office wants to hem in the testimony of a key witness, former MPD Detective Bryan Waid. A month ago, the AG’s office filed a motion seeking to quash a broad defense discovery request of MPD records, notes and correspondence on the murder investigation.
The argument to quash was to protect the integrity of this ongoing investigation and the larger issue of how the MPD manages cases in the future: Protecting law enforcement’s privilege, which includes protecting the confidentiality of sources, law enforcement strategies and accumulated evidence, outweighs civil discovery interests. The AG claimed it could have chilling effect on witnesses, and would have a negative impact by disclosing identities of people who have given information.
The defense subsequently withdrew their request, perhaps realizing that the chances of getting that trove of documents was somewhere between slim and fat (and Slim just left town on a southbound for Miami Shores).
Now, with Detective Waid’s deposition originally scheduled for today, the AG wants to rein in exactly what the he can speak to and filed a motion. MPD’s Motion to Quash for the Limited Purpose of Asserting the Law Enforcement Privilege During Former Detective Bryan Waid’s Deposition as to Subject Matter Not Previously Divulged by Detective Waid and Law Enforcement.
Using similar arguments with a minor variation, the AG wants tight limits on Waid’s questioning because:
“Undersigned counsel is unaware of the expected topics that counsel intends to cover during the scheduled deposition.
However, to the extent that any participating attorney seeks to explore subject matter and elicit testimony about information not previously divulged during the related criminal investigation, criminal trial, and pendency of the instant civil matter, MPD exerts the law enforcement privilege over such topics and moves to quash any and all questions concerning topics covered by the law enforcement privilege.”
And an indication the AG’s office and defense counsel have been communicating about this:
“However, on April 1, 2010, undersigned counsel had an opportunity to speak to Attorney Buckwalter.
While Attorney Buckwalter was extremely cooperative, he was candid in admitting that there is a strong likelihood that he will explore topics that may not have been covered during the criminal case. He also admitted that he will not voluntarily limit the scope of his deposition to subject matter previously explored during the criminal investigation, criminal trial, and pendency of the instant civil case.
As a result, to the extent that any participating attorney seeks to explore subject matter and elicit testimony about information not previously divulged during the related criminal investigation, criminal trial, and pendency of the instant civil matter, MPD exerts the law enforcement privilege over such topics because they are covered by the law enforcement privilege.”
We should know in the next week or so what becomes of this filing and the Waid depo. Maybe Judge Rankin has ruled on it, or just maybe, Judge Rankin is letting this motion ripen on his desk, along with a few others that await his action. The Legal Beagles can answer this question:
Since Waid’s depo is out of the jurisdiction and was OK’d by a Motion of Issuance, who is in the Sunshine State at his side to insure that the questioning stays within bounds? Does Cov ship an associate down on a southbound train to Florida as well to manage this?
“You talkin’ to lookin’ at me?” While one or more of the defendants may be holed up in Florida, it appears that one may not be, at least as of last night.
If our vision is at all to be trusted, one of the Swann Street trio was seen hailing a cab at the corner of 14th & T Streets, NW around 7pm.
It seemed that the housemate’s haircut looked every bit like that of defense counsel Robert Spagnoletti, close-cropped, nearly shaved on the sides, a high and tight look.
Anyway – we’re too far into this affair to be playing the gotcha game, so we didn’t think it appropriate to snap a pic, but we got one of the taxi as it sped away.
And before he hopped into the white Crown Vic taxi, he gave his least favorite blogger the once over twice. One of us was spotted too.
We’ll just leave it at that. Mr. X, you owe us one.
Ironically, not too long ago, some guerilla grafitti artist spray painted a stencil on the crosswalk paint of that intersection and a photo of it became this site’s masthead. That ghostly image has long since faded away.
MPD’s Motion to Quash for the Limited Purpose of Asserting the Law Enforcement Privilege During Former Detective Bryan Waid’s Deposition as to Subject Matter Not Previously Divulged by Detective Waid and Law Enforcement.