Pre-Gaming Today’s Motions Hearing
At Tuesday’s 2:00pm motions hearing, Judge Michael Rankin will more than likely hear arguments on one of the most pressing issues that has hung over the civil trial’s discovery process – the plaintiff’s repeated attempts to get the defendants to answer questions (as many as 500) in written form via roggs, or by way of spoken word during those tense and one-sided depositions.
Since this controvery first erupted last November, the tale of the tape shows a slew of posts covering the tidal wave of plaintiff and defense motions that have been filed and bickered over: here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Oh yeah, here too, last week.
The 5th Amendment also came up during the December status hearing.
And they still haven’t gotten this figured out?
Robert Spagnoletti, the summer criminal trial’s top jock on constitutional issues will probably handle the chores today for the defense this time as well, squaring off against Covington’s Ben Razi, lead counsel for the plaintiffs. If their December sparring was any indication, today’s hearing will no doubt leave us with writers’ cramp. (Thanks DC Courts for not allowing recording devices at proceedings!)
What else could be in store today? Another depo – that of former MPD Detective Bryan Waid’s testimony. The new defense opposition was filed that takes strong exception with the DC AG’s argument that the murder investigation’s former top cop is protected by law enforcement privilege. The new filings follow and some other familiar detective names surface too.
“…the MPD has failed to properly assert the law enforcement privilege by governing precedent… MPD’s assertion of the privilege is procedurally insufficient… the MPD is required top [sic] set forth a verified statement that an official with appropriate authority has reviewed the information sought and confirmed that the privilege properly applies to specified information for specified purposes.”
Roswell also says that most of the information sought had already come out in the criminal proceedings and that if the defense does not have access to the information they seek, they may move to exclude MPD witnesses from testifying in the civil.
The other points are worth a read, especially the footnotes, and transcribing portions here does not do them justice. A memorandum of Points and Authorities is also included in Roswell’s filing.
Lastly, the MPD responds with what appears to be additional paperwork to support their Motion to Quash, with a Declaration by Daniel Hickson, Commander of the Department’s Criminal Investigations Division.
Hickson details an extensive list of what’s in the investigative file. He wraps by saying law enforcement privilege trumps the defense requests and that MPD is willing to turn over one slim document, the PD 251, the Incident-Based Event Reports.
We’ll try and update after the hearing adjourns, and of course a complete wrap will be up Wednesday.
Defense Opposition to MPD Motion to Quash
Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support for all that
Daniel Hickson Declaration