When a federal judge uses words like "careless," "lack of diligence" and "failed entirely" to describe your argument, well, that's probably not good for your case.
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly smacked down a request by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to extend the discovery period in CAIR's civil lawsuit against the authors of a 2009 book based on information gathered by an informant who posed as a Muslim to secure an internship with the Washington-based Islamist group.
CAIR quickly sued author David Gaubatz and his son Chris, who went undercover in CAIR headquarters and took internal documents with him, for breach of contract and trespassing. Chris Gaubatz also secretly recorded conversations with CAIR officials. Among the book's claims, CAIR officials actively block law enforcement investigations; and grossly exaggerate the depth of their membership and their domestic financial support.
Kollar-Kotelly gave both sides until January 18 to gather all their information for the case, but CAIR attorneys filed an 11th-hour request for more time to depose two more people.
The judge was not pleased, as her order signed Friday shows. The two witnesses haven't been deposed because they were not served with subpoenas. But CAIR knew that at least two weeks before the discovery deadline, yet "inexplicably failed to file the instant motion until the day discovery closed," the judge wrote. The request for more time "failed entirely" to justify why more time should be granted for the more than two years after CAIR filed the lawsuit.
CAIR's "lack of diligence is alone sufficient grounds to deny the requested," the judge wrote.
Attorney David Yerushalmi, who represents the authors, seized on the order to say it's a reflection of CAIR's overall case. "Judge Kollar-Kotelly's ruling demonstrates that the Court is aware of CAIR's unprofessional tactics, which in turn speaks to the failure of CAIR to meet its burden of proof and provide any probative evidence of wrongdoing by any of the defendants," Yerushalmi said in a statement.
"This litigation has been ongoing since October 2009," he added. "As such, there is nothing to be gained and much to be lost by re-opening and extending discovery. This case is ripe for summary judgment."
The two sides are scheduled for mediation next month.