Doing the Lamberth talk

By | 21st July 2011

Imagine a standup comic who delivers the punch-lines of his jokes first, a plane with landing gear that deploys just after touchdown, or a stick of dynamite with a unique fuse that ignites only after it explodes. That’s what document production after trial is like—it defeats the purpose.

These are the opening lines of the Judgment of US District Court Chief Judge Royce Lamberth in a case called DL and Others v The District of Columbia.

Now I had never heard of Judge Lamberth but getting discovery wrong in his court evidently results in what has been described as a “scathing opinion”.

In his Memorandum Opinion  [PDF, 18pp] Judge Lamberth describes the handling of discovery by the defendants and their attorneys in a six year class action as “repeated, flagrant, and unrepentant failures to comply with Court orders.”  Not that this would ever happen in this jurisdiction of course! 

I am grateful to the e-Discovery Networking Group on LinkedIn and ultimately to The BLT: The Blog of LegalTimes in Washington DC for this information and I am happy to share with you all – “a discovery violation so extreme as to be literally unheard of.” And the defendants were still providing thousands of emails after the end of the trial!  

The judge cannot be accused of mincing his words. It is great stuff!  You don’t get this sort of entertainment in the Supreme Court nor, dare I say, in the courts of His Honour Judge Simon Brown QC or Senior Master Whitaker.

Read and enjoy, as our American cousins might say:

[Judge Accuses D.C. of Discovery Violation ‘So Extreme As To Be Literally Unheard Of,  BLT (Blog of LegalTimes), 10th May,2011]