Free Speech

Certain Documents Unsealed in Nunes v. Lizza


I wrote last month that I had moved to intervene and unseal certain documents in Nunes v. Lizza; though plaintiffs didn't consent to the lawsuit, they ended up not opposing, and the court yesterday agreed to release largely unredacted versions of the documents. (I had no objection to the redaction of the names of employees and possible journalistic sources, so those remain redacted.)

I'm at a conference today and tomorrow, and was traveling yesterday, so I haven't sorted through the material yet, but if any of you folks are interested, you can see defendants' motion to compel (and compare it to the original redacted version), defendants' supporting memorandum (original redacted version), plaintiffs' resistance (original redacted version), and defendants' reply (original redacted version). I hope to blog more about this myself next week.

NEXT: Paycheck Protection Program Exclusion of Nude Dancing Establishments Likely Constitutional

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  1. The documents — and some observations from federal judges, on the record — indicate that Devin Nunes and Steven Biss are a good pairing, seemingly meant for each other.

    Mr. Biss’ litigation record and Mr. Nunes’ expertise (and degree) in cow-milking indicate this is one worth watching.

    I sense Mr. Biss may be eligible for honorary membership in Republican-Trump Election Litigation: Elite Strike Force.

    1. As usual the bigoted Artie can’t resist his taunts, but swallows the reporter’s story with wholehearted abandon as he seeks more confirmation bias.

      1. To which reporter do you refer, you racist, disaffected, no-count hayseed?

        Artie was banned by Prof. Volokh* for making fun of conservatives. I am Arthur.

        * As was his right. Right-wing hypocrites and faux libertarians masquerading as free speech champions have rights, too. His playground, his rules.

      2. As usual, no arguments and no evidence from him, just ad hominems. Boring.

      3. He cited to Mr. Biss’s “litigation record”, which you can learn more about from the hyperlinked documents conveniently placed in this post.

        Do you disagree with Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland’s characterization?

        1. I have a hunch the average* Volokh Conspiracy fan is a big fan of Steven Biss.

          * “Average” can be misleading in this context without the qualification that the average fan is a below average person.

  2. Attorneys like Steven Biss, and the conduct recounted herein, give the entire profession a terrible name.

    1. The fact that Biss still has his license shows how much of a joke attorney regulation is. Go read up on how he got his license suspended.

      1. The record you seem to disparage, Mr. Nieporent, seems to be the factor that draws Mr. Biss and Rep. Nunes together so frequently.

        As I indicated, a fitting match. And deserving of consideration for the Republican-conservative legal dream team.

  3. “though plaintiffs didn’t consent to the lawsuit” – consent to the intervention?

    1. I think he meant to say they didn’t consent to the motion to unseal.

  4. So, what are the odds that any of the six witnesses ever actually get deposed?

    It’s clear that NuStar and Bliss would like to see them testify that they are legally employed, even if it means lying. Granted, there is the possibility that they are legally employed, but to believe that you have to come up with some reason why their attorney (now ex-attorney) counseled the first deponent to take the fifth.

    If they can’t arrange that, the next best outcome would be to prevent the witnesses from testifying at all.

    My understanding is that the court is supposed to ignore the fact that a *defendant* took the fifth, but I don’t think it has to ignore that a witness took the fifth. Correct me if I’m wrong here. So, having the witnesses take the fifth when there is ample evidence (e.g. the numerous SSN mismatches) suggesting that they are not “legal aliens” would seem to be a bigger setback for the plaintiffs than having them simply not show. And as some of them are employed by the plaintiff, there is considerable leverage to make that happen.

    1. If the defendant in a criminal trial takes the fifth, the jury is supposed to be given instruction not to make any adverse inferences from that.

      In a civil trial, adverse inferences based on someone exercising their fifth amendment rights are allowed, and perhaps encouraged. And if holds for witnesses, plaintiffs, and defendants

    2. My understanding is that the court is supposed to ignore the fact that a *defendant* took the fifth,

      Only in criminal proceedings. In civil proceedings, the fact that a defendant took the fifth can be acknowledged and used against said defendant.

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