Tuesday, February 8, 2011

BingoGate: Federal Court seals documents

Drama Week continues.

Earlier today, US Magistrate Judge Wallace Capel ordered that various motions—by defendants and the government—to file documents under seal were GRANTED.

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Since the release of the wiretap binders (January 18) and the FD-302 forms (January 31), the defendants are reading transcripts of consensual and intercepted conversations between the indicted conspirators.

However, as pointed out here last week, the identities of some of the parties to these conversations are not known to the defendants and, in at least one of the defendant’s filings, the defense is gaining access to information never released to the public.

A CLOSED hearing was held today on the matters raised in some of these filings, including motions by Coker and McGregor to compel identities and a motion by the government to seal the record under a protective order. There is no news yet regarding the outcome of that hearing, and since it was closed, regards matters presented under seal and is the subject of a government requested gag order, it’s not likely that anything official will be released.

Exit question: It’s easy for a lawyer to comply with a gag order. It’s pretty easy to keep the clients quiet, too. It get’s a little more difficult to still the tongues of client families, client friends & associates, client families’ friends & associates, so forth and so on. What are the chances something leaks between now and the anticipated trial date of April 4, 2010?

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