Judge cuts Borislow’s discovery request in half, but WPS’s to-do list is long

This order, released with no fanfare March 9 and not posted to the court site until a few days later, is one of the simplest documents in the long saga of Dan Borislow’s court case against WPS. It boils down to one sentence:

The Court overrules Defendant’s Specific Objections as to Requests No. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 and the Court sustains as to Defendant’s Specific Objections to Requests No. 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10.

The document has the feel of something that was rushed. For one thing, the second “as to” in that sentence is misplaced. For another, if you look at Page 2, the identifier at the top says “Order Granting Plaintiff’s Motion for Temporary Injunction, Page 2 of 11.” This is not an order granting such a motion — to my knowledge, no such order has been made, and the original injunction request is hardly the issue any more — and the document is two pages, not 11.

Here’s the order in question:

In case you hadn’t memorized Requests 1-10, check WPS’s prior motion. This is actually two documents combined; start on p. 3 of the second one, with the header SPECIFIC OBJECTIONS:

I’ve had to re-read the order multiple times to be sure I’m reading it correctly. WPS has to produce the following:

  1. All documents relating to the decision to suspend the 2012 season.
  2. All documents relating to the proposed settlement, including “Defendant’s decision not to comply with settlement terms.”
  3. All documents relating to efforts to resume play in 2013.
  4. All documents relating to the Jan. 30 press release in which the league announced it was suspending the season, including drafts, markups, etc.
  5. All documents relating to the Jan. 30 media conference call — basically, whatever notes WPS CEO Jennifer O’Sullivan and board chairman Fitz Johnson had.

Then the judge sustains WPS’s objection to discovery on the distribution of Borislow’s bond money for the 2012 season.

As always, lawyers’ input is welcome. But this discovery seems to be less about settling the dispute and more about deciding whether WPS was operating in bad faith when league officials negotiated with Borislow in January.

For a league that has already said its legal fees (which are NOT subject to discovery) and this ongoing court case had choked out the 2012 season and threatened its continued existence, this ruling surely isn’t a welcome development.


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