17 June 2010

Judicial Activism I Can Live With

My interweb meanderings landed me quite a gem this morning. The excerpt below is from a real court document filed in Tennessee district court. The judge in the case came up with a surprisingly savvy, stereotype-stripping solution to review evidence, which in this case is... well, I'll let this quote speak for itself:

Clearly the issue of who took the pictures of the Plaintiff and her friends dancing on the bar is highly relevant...

Background: the plaintiff and her friends went to the Coyote Ugly Saloon and claim they were convinced to get up on the bar and dance. The plaintiff fell and hit her head and filed suit against the bar. The bar unsuccessfully tried to subpoena the plaintiff's friends' photos which were posted on Facebook. Check out the judge's manifestly progressive solution (emphasis mine):

The Defendant’s mishandling of the Facebook subpoena was the cause of a major delay. Plaintiff’s counsel could have helped resolve the matter by clearing up the issue of the various witnesses, who are friends of the Plaintiff, to produce the various photos on Facebook. Their resistance does raise the specter with the defendant that there is something there they want to hide. Clearly the issue of who took the pictures of the Plaintiff and her friends dancing on the bar is highly relevant, and Plaintiff is in the best position to quickly resolve this. The failure to cooperate by both counsel has lead to this unfortunate delay.

In order to try to expedite further discovery regarding the photographs, their captions, and comments,
the Magistrate Judge is willing to create a Facebook account. If Julie K. and Michael V. will accept the Magistrate Judge as a “friend” on Facebook for the sole purpose of reviewing photographs and related comments in camera, he will promptly review and disseminate any relevant information to the parties. The Magistrate Judge will then close this Facebook account. If this option is chosen, Plaintiff is required to notify the Magistrate Judge’s law clerk within fourteen (14) days of this order to set this up and provide the email addresses of Ms. K. and Mr. V. in order to locate their accounts on Facebook.

1 comment:

k said...

i have no comment other than: i like it.

i am picturing this old guy with a bowtie setting up a profile under the name "magistrate judge".