Yesterday Ms. Martin’s counsel filed this opposition to the United States’ motion to file a surreply in Martin v. NCIS, No. 3:10-cv-01879-WQH -AJB.  The opposition calls the motion to file the surreply (which I discussed here) “an unprofessional and baseless smear campaign against Plaintiff and her counsel.” 

The opposition expressly states that neither Ms. Martin nor her counsel instructed Mr. Charles Williams to use any false pretenses during his visit to the MCRD San Diego Law Center.  I addressed that point in my post on Saturday, observing that DOJ counsel accused Ms. Martin and her counsel of acting deceitfully without offering any evidence that was true.  The opposition argues:

Neither Ms. Martin nor counsel “attempted to deceitfully gain entry to MCRD San Diego.” Rather, Plaintiff’s counsel asked Charles Williams, a former USMC officer and attorney, to visit Building 12 solely in order to provide information about recently completed renovations of the building, which relate to matters placed at issue by the government in its Opposition to Ms. Martin’s Motion for a Preliminary Injunction. Discovery is not yet open in this case. Neither Plaintiff nor counsel instructed Mr. Williams to use any sort of false pretenses to enter Building 12, and Defendants offer no evidence whatsoever to the contrary. Nor is Plaintiff relying on information provided by Mr. Williams. In any event, Mr. Williams did not act deceitfully. As Maj. Keske’s affidavit and Capt. Grey’s e-mails make clear, Mr. Williams openly informed Maj. Keske at the first opportunity of his reason for being at Building 12. Moreover, the government does not contend that Mr. Williams failed to follow the normal procedures for access to MCRD by presenting his identification at the gate.

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At most, there is some confusion in the government’s papers as to whether Mr. Williams told the front desk attendant at Building 12 that he was a “witness for Capt. Grey” or just “a witness.” Compare Proposed Surreply Ex. 2 with Ex. 3. However, even if Mr. Williams had intentionally misled the front desk officer, that interchange would be completely irrelevant to the question whether there is sufficient justification to restrict Ms. Martin’s access to otherwise open hearings at the MCRD San Diego courtroom. . . . Defendants have presented no evidence that could impute any such misrepresentation to either Ms. Martin or counsel.

The filing includes a letter from Ms. Martin’s counsel to the AUSA litigating the case for the United States.  The letter suggests the level of ire that Ms. Martin’s counsel perceive is being directed at them by the AUSA.

6 Responses to “Martin v. NCIS: the saga continues”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Now it’s the AUSA directing ire? Hmmm….. Who is the AUSA? Kenneth Starr?

  2. Phil Stackhouse says:

    I asked for a clown car earlier today in an earlier post…now it’s been delievered…

  3. Dew_Process says:

    If this weren’t the USA’s office but rather a “private” civil dispute, the hearing would be on reciprocal Rule 11 sanctions.

    Mr. Stackhouse: I went to Google Maps, hit “satellite” images and went to full magnification – I do believe that you are correct! And if I knew where Bldg 12 was, I’d be looking closely.

  4. John O'Connor says:

    “The filing includes a letter from Ms. Martin’s counsel to the AUSA litigating the case for the United States. The letter suggests the level of ire that Ms. Martin’s counsel perceive is being directed at them by the AUSA.”

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    C’mon, Dwight. All a letter from counsel, a letter that is promptly included in a court filing, shows is that the counsel has a personal computer. Or a typewriter.

  5. ksf says:

    I have learned by experience that when one engages in an ethical finger pointing contest, one is better off subtly relaying facts in writing and letting the judge notice the ethics issue on his or her own. That is, unless, you have an undisputed act of attorney misconduct for which there is no misunderstanding.
    I doubt I would have written such a letter, if I were the Plaintiff’s attorney.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I must agree with ksf. If you make an ethics attack and you can’t support it, it sounds like whining, or worse, like you are trying to chill the other side from working their case zealously; either way you lose massive credibility with the Court, and the Court takes everything you say from that point forward with suspicion.