Judge Kessler’s Status Hearing: What a Difference a Month Makes…

June 30, 2015 12:22 pm by Gene Borio

June 30, 2015. At the 20-minute hearing this morning, Judge Kessler wanted 2 issues addressed in light of the May 22, 2015 Court of Appeals ruling which struck down the self-vilifying language in the preambles of the corrective statements (The PDF is Here):

1. The new language; and

2. The formatting/placement, display, fonts, etc. (If in the final version, the sentence is shorter that before, for example, the DOJ would want the text in a newspaper ad, say, to expand to fill the same amount of space.)

Kessler began the hearing expressing her desire to have the parties’ briefs submitted by Aug. 1, hopefully preceded by the parties getting together to agree on most issues.

However, both sides had their own ideas of how to handle the issues, the DOJ’s taking one month or more, the Defendants’ taking 3 months and involving Special Master Levy.

Finally, seemingly fed up with the time the case has taken already, and with pleas about the rigors of adhering to a “summer schedule” ringing in her ears, Judge Kessler had pretty much heard enough. She said, basically, “Look, it’s ONE SENTENCE, you’re all lawyers, you could get this done in a DAY.”

So what happens now? Good question. Expect an order soon.

PS: All this would be precluded, of course, by any surprise appeal by the higher-ups at the DOJ (last date to appeal: Mon, 7/6).

PPS: Judge Kessler did mention one other “very complex” issue that has yet to be dealt with. Intervenors’ lawyer Howard Crystal noted that that issue was undoubtedly the Point of Sale displays of the corrective statements–which the convenience store industry is up in arms about.)

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