Berrigan arrived shortly before 10 a.m., wearing a bright red coat to guard against the chill and drizzle.
Paul Rioux’s story on NOLA.com – Judge tours River Birch offices to help determine if federal raid went too far – reports, “She spoke with attorneys from both sides under an awning for several minutes before entering the former bank building”.
Interesting. Although it’s never “safe” to make assumptions, in this case, it’s safe to assume the physical space was well-suited for a blended operation. Compliance with federally established exit requirements would be particularly important to a bank – and further weaken the Heebe-River Birch argument.
Exit routes must be permanent parts of the workplace. (think the white metal door in the “executive office”)
Exit stairs that continue beyond the level on which the exit discharge is located must be interrupted at that level by doors (another door beyond the white metal door in the “executive office)
Side-hinged exit doors must be used to connect rooms to exit routes…[and]…swing out in the direction of exit travel (the open dark finished door leading into the “executive office with a modular workspace clearly evident on the other side) OHSA Fact Sheet: Exits
According to Rioux’s story, Berrigan responded to a reporter’s question saying only that she “saw a lot of interesting things” – but, what she didn’t see should have been of even greater interest:
River Birch attorneys asked Berrigan to take note of the building directory at the main entrance listing the seven firms with offices on the third floor. The federal agent in charge of the raid has said he didn’t see the directory, but the firm contends it is clearly visible to anyone who uses the entrance.
Meanwhile, the government asked Berrigan to focus on the lack of “separate, independent, identifying labels or placards” for the various businesses sharing common office space.
Rouix also mentions the one of the government’s 140 photographs showed “a half-dozen empty pizza boxes on a counter, presumably from a lunch break during the 11-hour raid”. IMO, Judge Berrigan was far more likely to have noticed the disparity between the table where the module-inhabiting staff ate and the one for used for executive dining (and counting) than a photograph of pizza boxes clearly headed for the trash (sorry, no picture saved).
Employee Dining (common space for common employees)
Executive Dinning (common space for the executives of a common employer)