The battle over the AG’s cease and desist order is in the appeal stage. Hearings are in day 6 out of 15 scheduled days.
The appeal is taking place in the state Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) is overseeing the appeal.
This is the second in a series of posts describing some of the filings in the public record regarding the enforcement action and the appeals by the charities.
I have one stray follow-up comment to my previous post and then will dive into the filings about obtaining depositions from people living outside the state. Those individuals are not subject to an order to appear in person before the OAH.
Might want to get a fresh cup of coffee. This will be a long read. If you are at all interested in this case, you will find lots of interesting background info here.
Oh, everything I mention here is based on public documents available from the OAH.
Follow-up on Pro Hac Vice – FftP filed with OAH to get one of their attorneys granted Pro Hac Vice permission to practice in the state. This attorney is the lead litigator for the law firm on non-profit issues. Of note is the motion says it is unopposed by the AG. The OAH ruled they do not have authority to grant Pro Hac Vice. I don’t fully understand the reasoning, but I think it is essentially that the state bar or a court grants such status and the OAH is neither the state bar nor a trial court that can grant the permission. So, another motion, running 60 pages in length, was filed with the Superior Court of the county of Los Angeles. That court agreed it had authority and granted the attorney Pro Hac Vice status.
The docket shows a notice filed by MAP regarding Pro Hac Vice. I didn’t read it and assume it was announcing the same results for their counsel. I didn’t see anything on the docket from CMMB.
Protocol for naming individuals mentioned in filings
As I started this series of posts, I pondered how to name the individuals that are mentioned.
Full name? Initials? First name and initial of last name? No name?
Here is my conclusion:
For only the expert witnesses, my posts will list the person’s full name. Those individuals want to be in the public eye and want to be known as an expert. It looks like they usually speak in public on a regular basis. Thus I am comfortable listing their full name.
For everyone else in the case, such as management and staff of the charities along with partners and staff of CPA firms, it is different. They did not sign up to be in the public spotlight, so I’ll skip their last names. My posts will list their first name and first initial of the last name. I’ll also list job title or job description along with their employer when pertinent. Those in the know already know who has been dragged into the case.
Obtaining permission to obtain depositions
The AG wanted to depose a number of people who reside outside California but cannot be compelled to attend a hearing by the OAH. Thus the process the AG had to follow is request the ALJ to approve taking depositions. The charities can file objections, which they did. (Charities unsuccessfully claimed these constitute discovery, which is not allowed under OAH regulations.). After addressing objections, the ALJ then issues orders allowing certain people to be deposed. The AG then goes to the Superior Court to request an enforceable order for those individuals to be deposed.