Here’s a tip on S.F. Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer’s drink of choice.
In a lively jurisdictional discovery discussion Friday morning in a CalPERS suit against the country’s biggest credit rating agencies, the complex litigation judge kept the funny exchanges coming.
The lawyers disputed whether redacted material in 18,000 pages of documents should be produced. Evan Davis, a partner at Cleary Gottlieb in New York and a lawyer for Fitch Ratings, said he was concerned the request was just “a backdoor way of doing merits discovery.”
Kramer said he hesitated to offer it, but he was willing to do an in camera review of the documents. “I may ask for the assistance of a gentleman named Basil Hayden,” he added.
So, Kramer’s a fan of the lightest-bodied bourbon whiskey in the Jim Beam family of small-batch bourbons.
There was also a dispute over the importance of locating a possible contract between CalPERS and Fitch from 15 years ago.
When Davis suggested the plaintiff lawyers were making “a federal case out of the fact that we can’t find a document that may never have existed,” Kramer replied:
“Around here, when we talk about making a big deal out of something, we call it a state case.”