Saturday, February 18, 2012

GOP Redistricting Lawyer Finds, Turns Over, More Emails

On Friday afternoon, a day after a three-judge Federal panel ordered lawyers for Republican legislators and staffers to release to the public 84 emails (some with maps, and attachments), and to lawyers suing over how the secretive redistricting came about and was handled, an attorney for the legislators told the plaintiff lawyers he'd found additional communications and had sent that file  - - email messages, maps and attachments - - to the plaintiff lawyers too.

At first glance, the documents contain strategy, talking points, and legal research that were similar, and in some cases identical to, the first set of records released Thursday.

It is unclear whether there will be an impact from this belated disclosure on the federal lawsuit that is scheduled for trial Tuesday, or on the temperament of the three-judge panel that has already issued stinging orders - - and a forfeiture - - to the legislators' lawyers for having either filed frivolous motions or withholding documents under lawyer-client privilege that the judges said did not exist.

Here is the communication about the disclosure: I will post the file of documents when I can convert it out of the pdf format in which I have seen it.

Wrote Eric McLeod, of Michael Best & Friedrich, in part (some names, email addresses and phone numbers appearing in the communication have been deleted):

Sent: Friday, February 17, 2012 1:56 PM

In light of the Court's order of February 16, we have determined that in all but two instances, the attachments to the emails identified on the privilege log were previously produced in the prior document production from Mr. Ottman and Mr. Foltz.  However, rather than identifying them in the prior production, I am going to re-produce all of the attachments now, so that it is clear what attachment goes with what email.  I will be forwarding those attachments in successive email messages.  Each email from me will separately include the attachment(s) from each email on the privilege log.

Also, after review of the Court's order, we realized that there are additional responsive email communications between counsel and Mr. Ottman and/or Mr. Foltz that were not in the actual possession of Mr. Ottman and/or Mr. Foltz, but which were in the possession of counsel.  Thus, those email communications should, arguably, be produced.  We did not include them previously in the privilege log as our focus was on identifying documents within the possession of Mr. Ottman and Mr. Foltz.  However, in order to ensure that we are fully complying with the Court's order, we are producing those now.  Those items are attached to this email.


Eric M. McLeod
Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
One S. Pinckney St., Suite 700
Post Office Box 1806
Madison, WI 53701-1806


Anonymous said...

For this sort of sloppy work, we paid this lawyer almost half a million dollars -- yes, we, with our state taxes, by order of Scottie Fitzgerald and his Republican minions (read: slavish followers).

I suspect that the mother of all smackdowns is coming from the court. But somehow, knowing that I have made a millionaire of another lawyer working against me, a slap from the court will not be sufficient.

We-the-taxpayers need a class action suit for a refund of his fees -- with interest.

Anonymous said...

So no emails between lawyers and senate leaders or am I missing something.

James Rowen said...

To Anon: I see Scott F. cc'd in an exchange on July 13, 2011, among the lawyers and the staffers about a draft op-ed about the bill that has Scott's name on it, but he does not respond with any edits in the records I have reviewed, and I do not know if the op-ed ever got published.

The rest are nearly all communications among the staffers and the lawyers, with Hispanic representation in Milwaukee a key topic.

Anonymous said...

Their attempt at redistricting is a complete failure and an insult to all citizens of Wisconsin.

James Rowen said...

Imagine having to prepare for a federal lawsuit in just a few days and the other side, with all its resources - - using our tax dollars - - keeps dribbling out records the court has ordered released.

How wrong is that?

Anonymous said...

So MB&F is saying that they didn't fully understand the Court's order until they had read it again, really? Is playing-dumb a routine legal maneuver?

I'm getting the sense that they know the case is lost and are now engaging in damage control by reading the Court's order in a deliberately narrow way.

If I was a Judge I would be very annoyed by this.

A said...

Which Dems are suing and who is their counsel?

Betsey said...

Anonymous, Feb 18, 7:47 pm:

I couldn't agree more. In addition, I'm sick to death of taking days off work, juggling my schedule and lining up day care, senior care and carpools for hearings, informational meetings, or their cancellations, only to arrive, breathless but on time in Madison, Platteville, Milwaukee, or Timbuktu, only to find I'm one of a handful of people who were able to turn out, while the rest of the room is filled with lobbyists, industry professionals, politicians, and staffers all of whom are paid to be there, often by my taxpayer money, to lobby against my interests. And then to get the sinking feeling that my senator or assembly rep has made up his mind already, and is not voting--in fact, never votes--as I would like. I'm willing to win some and lose some, but the odds are no longer even, and the playing field tilted at a mind-boggling angle toward the pit.

James Rowen said...

@Betsey. Amen.

Anonymous said...

Betsey, your comment belongs in a Hall of Fame of excellence for expression of why so many voters do not vote or participate in politics anymore -- and why the response this past year in Wisconsin was amazing:

People like you did not give up.

Please never do.

Your admirer,

Anon 7:47