This is the cutting edge of media law right here folks and Slabbed correctly predicted what Magistrate Wilkinson would do in the circumstances.
Full docket text for document 47:
ORDER AND REASONS ON MOTION of The Times-Picayune to Quash, Record Doc. No. 42. IT IS ORDERED that the motion is DENIED IN PART insofar as it requests that the subpoena be quashed in its entirety such that no production of any kind might be required. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, however, that the motion is GRANTED IN PART, but only in that the subpoena is modified as follows. As issued, the subpoena required production of the requested information by The Times-Picayune directly to defense counsel at his office on February 3, 2014. Record Doc. No. 41. The “Place for Production” and “Date for Production” provisions of the subpoena are hereby modified to require instead that The Times-Picayune must produce, no later than February 19, 2014 at 5:00 p.m., all information responsive to the subpoena directly to me in my chambers for my in camera review. If I determine based upon my in camera review that aircheck and jammer1954 are citizens without connection to the prosecution, their First Amendment right to anonymous speech will outweigh the Due Process rights of the defendant and no further disclosure, production or inspection of the information will be permitted. Otherwise, whether and, if so, how and when the responsive information may be made available to the parties for inspection will be established by further order of the court. Signed by Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Wilkinson, Jr on 2/14/14. (tbl)
How did Slabbed know what the Magistrate would do? (WWMD?) Before I get to that here is the order and reasons for those that want to see a Magistrate Judge being consistent in how he applies the law.
I guess I gave away the answer above. Slabbed has followed Magistrate Wilkinson since the Katrina insurance litigation because we did several posts on the problems we saw with the discovery process, especially the inconsistencies on display across the geographic area impacted by the 2005 Hurricane season, which stretched from Mobile Alabama to Lake Charles Louisiana encompassing five different Federal Judicial Districts. My own opinion was Wilkinson was one of the best Magistrates when it came to controlling the discovery process while letting the lawyers do their thing. To me the key is consistency regardless because a litigant’s legal team should (after doing requisite due diligence or via personal experience) have a good idea how their discovery requests will be treated depending on the Magistrate drawn.
Finally, if you are a lawyer and have not read Making Your Case: the Art of Persuading Judges by Nino Scalia and Bryan Garner you should immediately purchase and read it. I’m not much on Scalia’s political ideology but he writes a good how to book.
Other coverage of this matter can be found via Gordon Russell.