Tag Archives: Ronald Whitaker

Updated Exhibit F Filed Tonight in LACW/LACAN v. City of LA, CCEA Lawsuit, Includes Detailed List of Weird Lacunae in City’s Discovery Production

California-centralThis is just a very quick note to memorialize tonight’s filing by the plaintiffs in the Los Angeles Catholic Worker and Los Angeles Community Action Network’s suit against the City of Los Angeles and the Central City East Association. Last Wednesday the plaintiffs filed a massive set of declarations and other stuff about ongoing problems with the City’s discovery production in preparation for tomorrow’s hearing (at 10 a.m.) on the plaintiffs’ application to have the City held in contempt. First there is a notice of errata stating that they left part of one exhibit out of the Declaration of Shayla Myers in support of the application for contempt, and then, more interesting, the corrected Exhibit F. Some details after the break.
Continue reading Updated Exhibit F Filed Tonight in LACW/LACAN v. City of LA, CCEA Lawsuit, Includes Detailed List of Weird Lacunae in City’s Discovery Production

City Files Response to Application for Contempt and Sanctions Stating Essentially that they did Hand Over Documents, they are Handing Over Documents, and they Will Hand Over More Documents and the Computer Ate their Homework so it’s not their Fault

California-centralOn Wednesday the plaintiffs in the LACW/LACAN lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles and the Central City East Association filed materials in support of their application for contempt and sanctions against the City of Los Angeles, who, they claim, is not producing discovery materials according to the already-much-extended schedule. Tonight the City filed two documents in response: A declaration of Ronald Whitaker, who’s the Assistant City Attorney handling the case for the City, and a declaration of LeShon Frierson, who is a senior system analyst with the LAPD, and is the Person Most Knowledgeable (PMK) regarding the LAPD’s email systems.
Continue reading City Files Response to Application for Contempt and Sanctions Stating Essentially that they did Hand Over Documents, they are Handing Over Documents, and they Will Hand Over More Documents and the Computer Ate their Homework so it’s not their Fault

Documents Filed Just Now in LA CAN/LACW Suit Against City of LA, CCEA, Ask for Award of $46,568 in Costs and Entrance of Long List of Damning Facts as True

California-centralI reported a couple weeks ago about the hearing on plaintiffs’ motion to hold the City of LA in contempt for failing to produce discovery documents. The order scheduling the hearing also required the plaintiffs to submit pleadings today outlining the status of the discovery requests and also detailing how much in fees and costs they were asking for. Those documents were filed tonight around 6:30 p.m. and I have them for you here:

Shayla Myers’s declaration has multiple goodies in the exhibits, including a full transcript of the deposition of LAPD Information Technologist LeShon Frierson, in which he revealed for the first time in February that the LAPD does in fact use an email archiving product called GWAVA Retain, which, notably, allows keyword searches across mailboxes, something which the City had wrongly denied was possible. I speculated about this issue in December 2015, so it was a treat to find out that they had this capability, and it’s a treat now to read the actual words of LeShon Frierson describing the software and how it’s used. There are beaucoup emails in there too between Myers and Ronald Whitaker, who’s representing the City. It’s fascinating if, like me, you just can’t resist reading other people’s correspondence.
Continue reading Documents Filed Just Now in LA CAN/LACW Suit Against City of LA, CCEA, Ask for Award of $46,568 in Costs and Entrance of Long List of Damning Facts as True

Late Night Declaration Filed by Ronald Whitaker Opposing Plaintiffs’ Application for Contempt and Sanctions in LACAN/LACW v. City, CCEA

California-centralEarlier today the plaintiffs’ attorneys in the homeless property case, Shayla Myers and Catherine Sweetser, filed a massive application for contempt and sanctions against defendant City of Los Angeles due to their (alleged but totally plausible) recalcitrance in complying with the discovery process. Just now Deputy City Attorney Ronald Whitaker filed a declaration in opposition to this application. There’s nothing that new here, although it’s interesting to see that the City is sticking to its largely discredited claim that

in order to search emails, they need the email addresses of each individual LAPD officer. With the help of our investigator, we have tried to identify each of the individual police officers, of which there are over 400, assigned to the Central Division within the relevant timeframe. The LAPD’s IT department requires us to manually match up each officer name with their serial number, as that is how officers are identified in their email addresses. That process is and has been ongoing.

Continue reading Late Night Declaration Filed by Ronald Whitaker Opposing Plaintiffs’ Application for Contempt and Sanctions in LACAN/LACW v. City, CCEA

A Series of Unexpected Events Add Up to Discovery Delays in L.A. Catholic Worker v. City of L.A., Central City East Association Lawsuit Over Homeless Property Confiscations; Trial Now Scheduled for June 21, 2016

People have to sleep somewhere.
People have to sleep somewhere.
Yesterday, Judge Philip Gutierrez issued an order extending the discovery deadline in L.A. Catholic Worker et al. v. City of L.A. et al. until February 19 and moving the trial date to June 21, 2016. This order capped off a week full of filings. First, on Monday, January 11, presumably after the hearing on plaintiffs’ motion to compel discovery, Ronald Whitaker, who supervises the Business and Complex Litigation section of the L.A. City Attorney’s office, filed a notice of appearance in the case. He’s (probably) the boss of Deputy City Attorney Elizabeth Fitzgerald, who has been defending the case for the City.

I didn’t see the significance of this at the time, but it was clarified on Wednesday, when the plaintiffs filed an ex parte (that is, without the on-the-record participation of the defendants) application to amend the scheduling order to continue dates by 30 days. This is an unusual procedure and it seems it must be justified by the existence of exigent circumstances. In this case the first of these is that on Monday the 11th, after the discovery hearing, Elizabeth Fitzgerald had a medical emergency and will be on leave at least through the end of January. At the very least this requires the rescheduling of a bunch of depositions, and is probably why Ronald Whitaker joined the case. Note also that the plaintiffs asked for and received the City of LA’s support of the application and that the CCEA did not oppose it.

Elizabeth Fitzgerald’s illness is only one of the reasons supporting plaintiffs’ request for an extension. The others all have to do with what’s turned out to be a lengthy, drawn-out, painful, inch-by-inch discovery process. It seems that any optimism over the pace of document production, both by the City and by the CCEA, was unwarranted, and I’m guessing it won’t even be complete by February 19, but we shall see, shan’t we? There are some more specific details after the break if you’re interested.
Continue reading A Series of Unexpected Events Add Up to Discovery Delays in L.A. Catholic Worker v. City of L.A., Central City East Association Lawsuit Over Homeless Property Confiscations; Trial Now Scheduled for June 21, 2016