Federal Judge Accuses DC of a Discovery Violation ‘of Exotic Magnitude’
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth is making no secret of his displeasure over Washington, D.C.’s admission before trial that it had failed to turn over relevant emails in discovery.
The city had a plan, though. It vowed to release thousands of additional emails on a rolling basis—but after the April 6 trial of a suit claiming a failure to provide special education programs for preschool students. That was too late for Lamberth, according to The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.
“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,” Lamberth wrote in an opinion (PDF) issued on Monday. “That’s what document production after trial is like—it defeats the purpose. … A discovery violation of this exotic magnitude is literally unheard of in this court.”
Lamberth had sanctioned the District by finding it had waived any objections to all of the unproduced email. In the opinion issued on Monday, Lamberth turned down a motion for reconsideration.
“The order is just in light of the District’s repeated, flagrant and unrepentant failures to comply with court orders,” Lamberth wrote.