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Friday, July 11, 2014

The IRS meets Judge John Facciola

When you care enough to send the very best. Most of the mainstream media dutifully reported that US District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered the IRS to explain in writing and under oath how Lois Lerner's emails happened to get lost. Most outlets reported in passing that Sullivan had named US Magistrate John Facciola to oversee discussions between the IRS and Judicial Watch regarding the search and possible retrieval of the emails. Judge Sullivan's appointment of Facciola maybe be indicative of how seriously he takes the case. It would be an exaggeration to say that Facciola wrote the book on E-discovery but he did write the first chapter. In the legal text, Managing e-discovery and ESI Facciola authored Chapter 1 A History of Electronic Discovery.

It is a common complaint that judges lacking technical sophistication are steam rolled by aggressive prosecutors into signing overly broad warrants simply because the don't know how cyber systems function. Another complaint is judges are government yes men. Judge Facciola is not technically challenged nor is he afraid of the government or even the White House.
In Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Washington v. Executive Office of the President,[2][3] Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) filed suit under the Freedom of Information Act against the Office of Administration suggesting that e-mails were improperly deleted from White House computer servers from late 2003 through late 2005, during the time period of the Iraq War and the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson. Facciola wrote the reports and recommendations adopted by Judge Henry H. Kennedy, Jr. who presided. Facciola ordered the White House to preserve backups which could contain the missing information. Subsequent objections and requests for dismissal continued until the end of the Bush administration at which time Facciola ordered the Executive Office of the President to search workstations and issue a notice to employees to preserve media that may contain e-mail created or received during that period.
Facciola has pushed back so hard against government intrusion into personal privacy that Tech Dirt devotes an entire post of Judge Facciola stories. Judge Sullivan gave Judicial Watch the pick of the litter!

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