Transcript in Zane Seipler Wrongful Termination Court Hearing – Part 9

Christmas Eve, McHenry County Blog ran the first part of the December 15, 2010, transcript of a Rockford hearing before Magistrate P. Michael Mahoney.

December 25th, the second part was published with the third installment published Sunday. Part 4 went up Monday, Part 5 Tuesday, Part 6 Wednesday, Part 7 Thursday and Part 8 Friday.

Now it is New Year’s Eve Day and time for Part 9. Most discussion is about who gets to be deposed for how long, plus production of a traffic ticket data base which includes voided tickets.

Having finished up arranging for Jill Tutt’s deposition, the Judge tried to wrap up the hearing.

THE COURT (continued): What else you want? When are you going to get all this done by? January 31st? Can you get this all done by January 31st?

MR. HORWITZ: Let me just tell you what else, Judge.

MR. SOTOS: Judge, I could be done tomorrow.

THE COURT: All right. All right.

MR. SOTOS: I’ve been done —

MR. HORWITZ: That’s fine. Okay. I stipulate to him being done tomorrow, no further discovery.

THE COURT: Well, but you can’t be done tomorrow, either.

MR. HORWITZ: Well, that’s different.

THE COURT: Can you get all this done by January 31st, counsel on behalf of the plaintiff?

MR. HORWITZ: Can I just tell you what else there is before I say that?

THE COURT: Aren’t you done?


THE COURT: What else you got?

MR. HORWITZ: All right. The deposition of Ms. Weech, Janet Weech.

THE COURT: I gave you 30 minutes.

MR. HORWITZ: In her deposition she said that there is a complete — remember I’ve been sort of ranting and raving about not having a complete database?

THE COURT: I’ve never associated you with ranting or raving.

MR. HORWITZ: I lodged some pretty serious allegations attributable to that, sent e-mails to defense counsel, and let’s just say I was commenting about it in a zealous way.

So, in that regard she said, “Oh, by the way, there is a full database,” and no, it is not what defense counsel gave us. So, for example, if you talk about the 140 that you saw relative to Bruketta, Judge, it could be 200. It could be 250.

I don’t know. But I have notified defense counsel over and over and over again that the information they gave us is not correct.

So, what Janet Weech said is yeah, there is a full and complete database for the years you’ve indicated. What his associate said in the deposition is “Mr. Horwitz, I will get that to you,” and she said she would get it to me on Monday, and I understand they had a trial going on, and they’ve been busy.

So, maybe it’s in the mail today by Federal Express. I do not know. But she said she would try to do it Tuesday. Memorialize all this by e-mails and whatnot, and what would be really great to have is that information. Now, to be clear, when —

THE COURT: Well, they say they sent it to you on the 8th.

MR. HORWITZ: No, it’s not been sent to us, Judge.

THE COURT: All right.

MR. HORWITZ: And to be clear — so, we want that information. And just so you know, Sieth, who’s a defendant in this case, relied upon a portion of this data and not the database that I received from counsel, not that data, but this data that hasn’t yet been tendered to me, she relied upon that.

Okay? I can explain in great detail, if you want, but she relied upon it in order to determine that there was no racial profiling that took place. So, anyways, I would love to get that data and work with it and then —

THE COURT: What other depositions do you have?

MR. HORWITZ: The other deposition is completing Sieth’s deposition. She produced herself for deposition in my office and then —

MR. SOTOS: My office.

MR. HORWITZ: No, it was my office. Jim, trust me on it. I remember seeing her in my office.

MR. SOTOS: First time. All right.

MR. HORWITZ: Yes. And so, I don’t care where it follows up, that’s fine. I enjoy going to Jim’s office. They’re very hospitable.

Anyways, after I receive the updated database, the actual correct database from the years two thousand — I think

it’s five to 2008, then I would like to take her deposition and talk to her about the actual correct data this time.

THE COURT: All right.

MR. HORWITZ: So, her deposition wasn’t completed.

THE COURT: All right. What about the database?

MR. SOTOS: Last time I was here, I wasn’t in a position to respond. Now I am. They requested in discovery all data concerning racial profiling statistics — by the way, over 9 a year and a half ago — and we gave them what we provided to IDOT, which was the database with all the tickets.

What wasn’t in there was information about voided tickets because for a variety of reasons, deputies sometimes don’t fill out the racial profiling data. When they don’t, the department doesn’t include that in what they send to IDOT. So, we provided them what they asked for a year and a half ago, which was all the information we provided to IDOT, and he’s correct. That’s what Kathleen Sieth relied on when she did her racial profiling investigation.

Now, he took Jan Weech’s deposition, who said — he 20 asked about what about the voided tickets. She explained the situation and says yes, we do have a database that if we wanted to get information about voided tickets, we can. So, we told him, “We’ll get it for you.”

But, you know, the idea that he can stand here and say like we gave them inaccurate information, false information, it’s entirely untrue. We provided them a year and a half ago with exactly what they asked for and exactly what we relied on.

Now we get towards — you know, after all these final discovery extensions, now I want to take depositions based on this other thing that I’m looking into now, voided tickets —

MR. HORWITZ: Jim, I’m sorry.

THE COURT: Now, wait. Wait.

MR. HORWITZ: Okay. I’ll wait. More than happy to wait.

MR. SOTOS: So, we said during Weech’s deposition we’ll see if we can create a spreadsheet. We don’t have a spreadsheet for that because that’s not the information that we provided to IDOT, which is what we create the spreadsheet for. See if we can create one and get that to you. And I don’t know what the status of that was. Her deposition was just a couple of days
ago. With respect to Ms. Sieth —

THE COURT: Well, let’s back up a minute.

MR. SOTOS: Still on the database.

THE COURT: On the database, when do you expect to produce the database as far as voided tickets?

MR. SOTOS: If we can do that, and I’m sure we can, I would hope within seven days or so, maybe less. As soon as we can get it, we’ll give it to him.

THE COURT: All right. So, he should have it by the end of the year.

MR. SOTOS: Oh, definitely before the end of the year. If we can do it, we’ll get it to him before the end of the year.

MR. HORWITZ: I would like it before I take another dep because if it’s 250 or whatever relative to Bruketta —

THE COURT: All right. You’re going to have it before the end of the year. Now, what other depositions do you need?

MR. SOTOS: He said Ms. Sieth.

THE COURT: He says Sieth.

MR. SOTOS: Who he wants to take again.

MR. HORWITZ: No, no, no.

MR. SOTOS: Just so you know, she was at my office last week for her deposition, and she was there all day, but we didn’t get to that because he didn’t get to the office ’til 10:30.

THE COURT: You want Sieth. You want Cundiff, too?

MR. HORWITZ: Yes. I guess I don’t need to address Cundiff’s. I mean, you’re already ordering it. So, I don’t need to.

THE COURT: How long do you want for Sieth?

MR. HORWITZ: Two hours.

THE COURT: Counsel, your input.

MR. HORWITZ: She’s a party.

THE COURT: Counsel, your input.

MR. SOTOS: She’s already been deposed once. She was at my office last week all day for her deposition. The depositions — there were three. They were supposed to go at 9:00, 12:00, and 3:00. He didn’t get there ’til 10:30, didn’t get the system set up —

THE COURT: 10:45 until he got ready.

MR. SOTOS: Right.

THE COURT: I read it.

MR. SOTOS: So, I think that he’s had his opportunity for Ms. Sieth.

THE COURT: You can have an hour.

MR. HORWITZ: Judge, may I on this?

THE COURT: Cundiff.

MR. HORWITZ: That’s the only one I want to push, Judge. I’m sorry. I’m not retaking her deposition. Her deposition never completed. She had to leave when she was at —

THE COURT: You’ve got an hour. Do you want Cundiff or not?


THE COURT: How long?

MR. HORWITZ: He’s a party. What you’ve allowed for parties. I think it’s six hours.

MR. SOTOS: You know, Judge, I understand that you allow six hours for parties. I keep saying the same thing.

We’re over two years into the case, and there’s no reason he couldn’t have taken Cundiff’s deposition.

THE COURT: You can have two hours on Cundiff.

All right. What do you want as a fact discovery cutoff date?

MR. HORWITZ: I’m sorry.

THE COURT: What would you like as a fact —

MR. HORWITZ: Could I possibly talk to you about the amount of time?

THE COURT: On Cundiff?

MR. HORWITZ: On both.

THE COURT: No, you can’t on Sieth. Yes, you can on Cundiff.

MR. HORWITZ: All right. Judge —

THE COURT: I was more arbitrary on Cundiff.

MR. HORWITZ: Judge, I’m sorry.

MR. SOTOS: Judge, I’ll agree to three if it will just —

THE COURT: Three good on Cundiff? Do you want it?

MR. HORWITZ: Judge, he’s a captain. He’s —

THE COURT: Counsel, we’re at the end. Why are we taking all these depositions on an ’08 case with ten minutes left to go?

MR. HORWITZ: The answer is —


MR. HORWITZ: Well, I’ll tell you one meaningful thing that occurred. I actually split with my partner during the middle of this. I just want you to know.

THE COURT: All right.

MR. HORWITZ: So, that was a very meaningful business activity that occurred.

THE COURT: All right.

MR. HORWITZ: And, secondly, we have received, just so you know, thousands and thousands and thousands from the defendants —

THE COURT: How much time —

MR. HORWITZ: — and we analyze them before we take deps.

THE COURT: How much time do you want on Cundiff?

MR. HORWITZ: Okay. I would like the amount of time you provided. Just so you know, Judge, these depositions are not easy, meaning that they’re recalcitrant witnesses. They don’t testify as to what actually takes place. There’s a lot of objections. We’ve done depositions where there’s up to three to 400 objections lodged by defense counsel and other parties. So, I would like —

THE COURT: All right. When are you going to be done, counsel? When are you going to be done with fact discovery?

MR. HORWITZ: Do I get to get back to Sieth? I would really like to address the Sieth issue. It’s very important, Judge. She was —

THE COURT: You already took this one.

MR. HORWITZ: Judge, no, no. I didn’t already take her. I was never given the six hours for Sieth.

THE COURT: How much time —

MR. HORWITZ: I think she came to my office for three hours, Judge.

THE COURT: How long of that did you get?

MR. HORWITZ: Three hours. She left. “I have to go,” her words were. “I’ve got to go right now.” It was either a personal matter or whatever. She was in my office for three hours.

THE COURT: How many hours are you asking on Sieth?

MR. HORWITZ: I think whatever your order provided.

Just so you — Judge, just so you understand, I was never given the data that she relied upon. I told defense counsels over and over and over again —

THE COURT: So, you’re asking for an additional three hours on Sieth. You’re asking for six hours on Cundiff.

MR. HORWITZ: Just the correct amount of time I’m supposed to have for Sieth. In other words, I never asked for her to leave. She left. So, I would like the full amount of time so that I can get into the basis of her opinions.

MR. SOTOS: It was 7:00 o’clock in the evening, Judge.

THE COURT: I understand. What is the date you’re going to be done with discovery, counsel? When are you going to be done?

MR. HORWITZ: Okay. Now we’re moving on to the next question. I would recommend February 15th.

THE COURT: Any objections to that?

MR. SOTOS: Yes, we object, Judge. We think discovery — there’s been three final extensions, and discovery should be closed. I don’t see any reason why this work can’t be done in 30 days, 45 at the outset, but this thing just keeps going on and on, and what’s going to happen is —

THE COURT: I’d agree, but I got the holiday period in here, counsel. I mean, that’s really only 45 days of discovery, if you look at it.

MR. SOTOS: You know, Judge, every time we get into a new discovery period —

THE COURT: Listen. There’s no sense you and I arguing. February 15th is the fact discovery cutoff date. March 15th, 2011, is the dispositive motion due date. You get an hour and a half on Sieth. You get three hours on Cundiff.

That’s it. Anything else?


THE COURT: I don’t think so.

MR. HORWITZ: Well, are you asking a question, or are you withdrawing your question? Because there actually are other things.

THE COURT: Like what?

MR. HORWITZ: All right. Let me gather my notes.

MR. SOTOS: Is that a final deadline, Judge?

THE COURT: I’m not — barring health issues, somebody 2 gets sick —

MR. SOTOS: I understand that.

THE COURT: — somebody gets sick, somebody becomes ill —

MR. SOTOS: I understand.

THE COURT: — I got that. But other than that, I’m not extending it.

More tomorrow.

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