Pershing Park Case: Nickles Attempts To Prevent Detective From Testifying
Last Friday, Pershing Park case lawyers had arranged to depose Detective Paul Hustler. All was going according to routine. Hustler showed up. The OAG lawyers showed up. The day before, he had been prepped by the OAG's team. But just as the deposition was about to start, Hustler made an unusual request.
Hustler wanted his own attorney present.
The deposition had to be put off. OAG lawyers used this speed bump to immediately filed a motion in U.S. District Court to bar Hustler from giving his deposition.
The detective was at Pershing Park during the mass arrest incident. It is unclear what he would have said under oath.
Whatever Hustler was going to say, OAG lawyers argued, it was going to be old news. Therefore, he shouldn't be deposed.
But then they write this: "Federal courts have broad authority to limit discovery as necessary to 'protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense.'"
Plaintiffs lawyers have filed their own response with the court:
"The District's current motion is a particularly striking example of how openly baseless the District's recent actions have become. The District seeks to stymie Plaintiffs' good-faith discovery efforts on the grounds that the District is unsure whether the deposition is based on the production of late evidence despite the fact that the District was told by both Barham and Chang counsel that he will be questioned on such evidence. It is noteworthy that the District did not raise a similar objection when Detective Hustler was properly noticed by the Barham plaintiffs on November 4, 20009."
They go on to write: "In fact, if the District's sudden alarm is any indication, Detective Hustler appears to be a key witness to the protests and arrests on September 27, 2002."
One other interesting note: Mark Tuohey, former D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey's lawyer, had shown up popped up graced everyone with his attendance attended Hustler's deposition as well.