Judge Calls post-trial production a “Corrupt Production Strategy”

You don’t have to wait until the end of [the opinion] [] to figure out how Judge Royce Lamberth, Chief Judge of the District Court for the District of Columbia, is going to rule. Of course, waiting until the end is exactly the kind of conduct he is trying to deter in his May 9, 2011 opinion.

>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.

The sanction here was an order to produce all discovery documents within a week after trial — yes, after trial. The District of Columbia, involved in a class action over the education provided to its children, advised Plaintiff’s counsel that it could not produce documents by the date of trial. Apparently, the District imagined that Plaintiff’s counsel could move to amend the trial record with any new documents.

The Court is quick cite the 10th Circuit’s recent opinion, and appears to adopt the three strikes approach used there, but counts the District’s failure to supplement Rule 26 disclosures as the final, inexcusable whiff.

The case is DL v. D.C.,No. 05-1437. HT: Seth Row.

[the opinion]: http://bit.ly/iJsb3e