SLRC DEMANDS ADMISSION OF EVIDENCE WITHHELD BY BURLESON DEFENDANTS
Friday, April 04, 2008
DALLAS, TX – The SLRC has filed a series of motions aimed at forcing attorneys for Burleson Independent School District to surrender a crucial piece of evidence they did not provide during the case’s discovery process late last year.
At issue are an e-mail the school’s principal sent to faculty and staff regarding the case, and some responses to that e-mail. “Obviously we can’t go into detail about this material, but it is definitely a smoking gun and would seriously compromise the school’s main argument as to why they banned Confederate symbols,” said SLRC Chief Trial Counsel Kirk Lyons. The Burleson case centers around two Burleson High coeds who were suspended for coming to school with Confederate flag-patterned purses they had received as Christmas presents.
A Burleson High School official, who has since retired, provided the SLRC with his own copy of the principal’s e-mail and a sworn affidavit testifying that the e-mail is authentic. The school’s attorneys, on learning that the SLRC was in possession of a copy of the e-mail, shrilly objected that it was privileged information and not admissible. However, the SLRC immediately filed a motion to reopen discovery, a second motion to compel the school’s attorney to turn over all responses to the e-mail, and a third motion that the court impose sanctions (financial and other penalties) on the attorneys for not having provided during discovery, which is the pre-trial period during which opposing sides in a lawsuit make documents and testimony supporting their positions available to each other.
SLRC Executive Director Roger McCredie said, “That strange high-pitched noise you hear coming from the direction of Burleson is weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth.”