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United States v. Woods
United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
April 5, 2018
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PLAINTIFF
JONATHAN E. WOODS; OREN PARIS III; and RANDELL G. SHELTON, JR. DEFENDANTS
OPINION AND ORDER
TIMOTHY L. BROOKS JUDGE
year the parties in this case were embroiled for a while in a
discovery dispute regarding an August 4, 2017 production by
the Government to the Defendants of a very large number of
documents on a one-terabyte hard drive. In a written Order
filed on November 3, 2017, this Court observed that "Mr.
Shelton's counsel asks the Court to 'exclude all
evidence that was not produced prior to August 4, ' other
than 'any required Brady material or exculpatory
and impeachment evidence.'" See Doc. 150,
pp. 2-3. The Court specifically denied this request in that
same Order, explaining that although "the Court does
not believe that the August 4 hard-drive production
would be independently sufficient to satisfy any of the
Government's discovery obligations in this case, "
the Court would not "sanction the Government for giving
(or trying to give) the Defendants more than they are
entitled to, so long as the Government produces the
information to which the Defendants are entitled in
a manner that is compliant with its legal obligations and
reasonable under the circumstances." See Id. at
3-4 (emphasis in original).
pretrial hearing on November 30, 2017, counsel for Defendant
Randell Shelton inquired of the Court about that previous
Order, and the following exchange took place between Chad
Atwell (counsel for Mr. Shelton), Kenny Elser (counsel for
the Government) and the Court:
MR. ATWELL: Your Honor, just briefly. I want to understand
the Court's order on that. On that one terabyte hard
drive, I understand the Court hasn't heard enough about
[it] at this point. But was the Court's ruling that that
one terabyte hard drive will be excluded and all the
information thereon unless previously produced prior to that
August 4th date?
THE COURT: Right. I'm sure there's a better way to
articulate it, that I'm incapable of right now, but
generally speaking, my understanding is that that contained
4.3 million documents of which 500, 000 had been previously
produced. The Court's ruling is if the residual number is
3.8 million that were not produced prior to that date, the
government may not introduce those.
MR. ELSER: Your Honor-
MR. ATWELL: And I wanted to clarify-thank you. I wanted to
clarify, Judge, that that would include if the government
happened to excise bits and pieces as they figured out what
was on there and later produced it.
THE COURT: You're going to have to give me an example. I
don't understand that.
MR. ATWELL: Well, I didn't bring my big terabyte today.
But, for example, obviously understanding that if it was
previously produced and it's duplicated on that hard
drive, then that's coming in if it otherwise comes in
subject to the rules. But if that is out and Mr. Elser stated
in his October letter they weren't going to use any of
that information, then if that information is then contained
in a smaller form disclosure say, yet, another month later,
then it is still being excluded by the Court: It's not
the form of the disclosure; it's the information
contained on the terabyte?
THE COURT: Well, I don't know that I can make a
broad, sweeping ruling like that. For example, documents
have been subpoenaed for trial. I don't know of any
reason why those would not be admissible at trial right now.
I don't know either way, but let's say that those
documents were part of the 3.8 million previously
nondisclosed documents. I can see how there would be an issue
that that wouldn't be subject to the ruling that the
Court has made, but I don't know.
MR. ELSER: Your honor, may we be heard on that?
THE COURT: Yes.
MR. ELSER: So the government's representation, and Mr.
Atwell continues to try to twist it in pleadings and all, and
it was that unless separately produced, the government would
not use anything on ...
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