Turn about is fair play – assuming you want to play fair

Like a man who had his own “tea party” before they became talked about in polite conversation really needs another flap – but then again, Louisiana Senator David Vitter must really enjoy flapping because here he goes again!  However, in that light, columnist John Maginnis might want to rethink the title of this week’s  tell-all Landrieu’s Hard Choices to Make. Actually he did – tough choices were in the headline when the column ran in the Times Picayune today.

Since Sen. Mary Landrieu’s re-election in November, the two issues she and her staff have heard the most about from constituents are: card check and Jim Letten…Whether or not the senior senator recommends that the president reappoint the Republican as U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District is a matter of intense interest beyond the New Orleans region.

For many, the career prosecutor has achieved folk hero status as a corruption fighter, whose ultimate trophy was the conviction of former Gov. Edwin Edwards for racketeering in 2000. Letten, then the first assistant, forcefully presented the government’s case at trial.

Letten’s critics acknowledge his competence while questioning his zeal to prosecute Democratic officials primarily. At any rate, they feel that with a change of administrations, it’s time for a new U.S. Attorney, and they expect Landrieu to recommend one.

Letten’s most fervent supporters proclaim that without him, that part of the state will return to its corrupt old ways–“the Louisiana way” as Letten famously dubbed it–and they demand that Landrieu do the apolitical thing and ask the president to keep him on the job. Leading that charge is Sen. David Vitter, who has promised Landrieu a fight if she goes with anyone but Letten.

What Vitter and like-minded others fail to understand is that one man’s trophy case is selective prosecution to another – and both terms reflect the “gotchya mentality” Jim Brown mentioned in his recent column cross-posted here on SLABBED. Continue reading “Turn about is fair play – assuming you want to play fair”

SLABBED Daily – April 22

Another “afternoon edition” but I’ve been “slabbed daily” for time and with Sop still recovering from tax season, I had to chose between SLABBED Daily and the two MRGO posts.

In case you’ve noticed, linked documents have turned themselves into a two-step process.  Yuck! That’s the first thing on my “to do” list for Sop!  Forget what made it start, the problem is that I can’t figure out how to make it stop.  If it irritates you as much as it does me, I’m sorry (for both of us).

I was also sorry to read about the death of Freddie Mac’s David Kellerman.

My last “I’m sorry” is for this very short post – but it’s just been that kind of day!

MRGO April 21: the issue and the Order (part 2) – Resio v Van Heerden

Igor van Heerden’s involvement  in the MRGO litigation was never in doubt.  However, what role he played wasn’t evident until yesterday when Judge Duval issued an Order and Reasons ruling on on the Plaintiffs’ Motion to Strike Supplemental Report of Defendant United States’ Expert Donald Resio and Preclude Derivative Testimony and the related Opposition filed by the USA.

Judge Duval summarized the issues in his Order and Reasons:

Before the Court is a Motion to Strike Supplemental Report of Defendant United States’ Expert Donald Resio and Preclude Derivative Testimony filed by Plaintiffs in the Robinson matter.

In essence, Plaintiffs contend that this “Supplemental Report on Waves and Overtopping Characteristics Along the MRGO” issued by Donald Resio was received by Plaintiffs on March 24, 2009, “long after” his February 9, 2009 deposition was taken. They maintain that they will be unduly prejudiced in the event he is allowed to testify to these findings:

(1) because the materials relied upon should have been produced more than a monthprior to his deposition under Fed. R. Civ. P. 26, and the United States unduly delayed in its production of these materials, Plaintiffs arguing that the “the defendant fought production of these materials consistently. . . until Dr. Resio was educated at his deposition of the flaws in his analysis and a new approach was created” (Doc. 18514 at 8); and

Plaintiffs filed a detailed affidavit of Dr. Ivor Van Heerden in which he opines that it Continue reading “MRGO April 21: the issue and the Order (part 2) – Resio v Van Heerden”

MRGO April 21 – the issue and the order (part 1): Duval got ’em told

If Federal Judge Stanwood Duval had a fan club, with your membership card, you’d get a pocket dictionary and OMG would you ever need one!

Yesterday was not a good day for the government’s attorneys.  Judge Duval just flat got ’em told; and, while plaintiffs’ counsel got off light, they did not escape his pen without a scratch.

No one this far south has ever used the word pellucid to tell somebody off; but, Judge Duval did in the Order and Reasons he issued yesterday – and, given the significance of  a pellucid telling-off, part one of this two-part post looks at the order of the reasons Duval got ’em told.

There is no question that this Court was forced to continue this trial for a second time based on the Government’s need to prepare its defense, making it practically four years since Hurricane Katrina struck this city to adjudicate this issue.

Furthermore, it unquestionably ordered on October 9, 2008 that Defendant’s Expert Reports and computer generated evidence were to be produced on December 22, 2008… The Court further ordered at that time that the depositions of all Plaintiffs’ and Defendant’s Experts were to be completed by February 6, 2009.

From these facts, what is also pellucidly clear is that neither side complied with the deadlines set forth to complete this discovery. Continue reading “MRGO April 21 – the issue and the order (part 1): Duval got ’em told”