The federal challenge to Prop 8 goes to trial on Monday, and Legal Pad will be there, Twitter feed in hand. In the absence of a live television broadcast, this is going to be as up-to-the-minute as it gets. In the meantime, check out our curtain raiser about the trial, focusing on how Chief Judge Vaughn Walker is creating a trial record that reaches out and touches Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
As with any case that approaches opening statements, the filings came fast and furious on Friday. The Yes on 8 campaign asked the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to stay Walker’s order allowing a YouTube video upload, and a media coalition opposed that (Friday Update: The Circuit denied the appeal late Friday; Monday: SCOTUS pulls that plug). One of the official Yes on 8 proponents, Dr. Ha-Shing William Tam, filed papers seeking to withdraw from the case, saying his safety has been threatened and, boy, this trial thing turned out to be an awful lot of work. Legal Pad guesses the litigation strategy actually involves some damaging anti-marriage materials Tam wrote during the campaign which invoked the likes of Satan. If Tam is no longer a party, it may make it a little trickier to get those documents into evidence.
No more Satan, alas, but an outraged judge — after the jump.
“That’s ridiculous. I have got to tell you. I have been in so many large litigations, that is completely preposterous,” Spero said. “People — it’s not the case that a person can only log essentially five or 10 documents an hour or can only review five or 10 documents an hour. That is preposterous.”
“Your Honor,” Kirk replied, “a person can review and log somewhere between 50 and 60 documents an hour, not five; 50 or 60.”
“You said 25 in your declaration. That is silly,” Spero said. “I mean, what am I to believe?”
The magistrate ordered the Yes on 8 side to begin producing documents on a rolling basis, with all of them turned over by Jan. 17.
For more weekend reading to get you in the Prop 8 zone, check out our profile of defense attorney Chuck Cooper here, a story about cameras in the court, and a Legal Pad post about the battle of the expert witnesses.
— Dan Levine
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