Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Duke, Durham Seek Discovery Delay

In motions filed yesterday, Duke and Durham defendants seek to delay discovery in the suit brought by attorney Bob Ekstrand on behalf of 38 members of the 2006 Duke Men’s lacrosse team and some of their family members.

The Duke and Durham motions are here at

Both Liestoppers here and KC Johnson here comment on the motions.

I don’t plan to comment on the motions at this time other than noting the irony of Duke and Durham seeking to delay discovery concerning matters about which both once publicly and repeatedly urged the plaintiffs to tell all they knew.


bill anderson said...

Great comment at the end. Duke openly condemned the players for hiring lawyers and the administrators lied about the cooperation between police and the players.

But, now that Duke is in the dock, we see that the administration is taking a page from the book they condemned. Gotta love these people.

drew said...

Jamie Gorelick is highlighting the weakness of her talents as a litigator,and burnishing her credentials as a political operative. The longer she forces a delay, the closer she becomes (in hopefully only her own mind) a senior official in a Democratic administration.

I suspect that her goals and those of the University are not entirely parallel - she's trying to avoid a loss on her litigaton record while all the time trying to get a cushy seat on the Obama express; at the same time, the University is being subjected to further ridicule in the press and the blogosphere, and potentially a significant adverse effect if the event that any of the plaintiffs can prove any spoliation of the evidence.

Since they are all "educators", I suspect that they think they're smarter than the average bear when they're rinsing out all the damaging e-mails. But I'll always put my money on some nerd with his glasses held together with masking tape when it comes to finding out the dirt on the e-mail trail.

Ms. Gorelick had better be careful - if this case falls in the lap of a judge who really wants to be above the politics involved, he'll bat this motion out of the park, and schedule the conference for the parties. then the Dukies (and the Durhamites) wll be forced to consent to some serious (and probative) preservation of documents, e-mails, notes, receipts, etc.

It might also turn out that this motion will merely further infuriate the plaintiffs, perhaps compelling them to more forcefully insist on a definitive judgement in the case, rather than some sort of negotiated peace. Duke is presumably trying to avoid an actual trial at all costs, since that would expose their perfidy to the public's scrutiny. But by filing motions that suggest the plaintiffs should merely trust their actions in respect of evidence, they might well be pushing the prospect of settlement further and further away.