By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY— The State Prosecution has rejected Speaker Mike Hubbard’s request for 26,000 hardcopies of electronic documents related to his criminal trial, which are already in his procession.
“There is no justifiable reason, however, for the State to print and produce 26,000 hardcopy pages of documents (or 13 banker’s boxes) of materials Hubbard already has in his possession,” reads the State’s response to Hubbard’s demand.
Hubbard’s criminal defense attorney, J. Mark White has used a blizzard of motions, in an attempt to avoid going to trial in October, and the State says, this is just another scheme in the defense’s delay strategy.
Hubbard, who is charged with 23 felony counts of public corruption, has stated that he wants his day in court, so he can clear his name. But, at every turn, he has back-pedaled on his public position through elaborate and, some say, endless legal maneuvers.
In one of their latest motions, Team Hubbard has asserted that the State may be hiding something in the electronic documents the prosecution provided. The State dismisses the claim saying, “Even though the State showed that Hubbard already has these documents in electronic native file format (i.e., the exact same format that the State has), Hubbard now wants the State to provide hardcopies of these materials, based on speculation that the native files might not look the same when the State opens the files as they do when he opens them.”
Hubbard’s defense team originally asked that the files be provided in electronic format, but now has “flip -flopped” on that position, according to the prosecution. The State contended that this is, “nothing more than a transparent attempt to obtain materials to which he is not entitled and to manufacture a false premise upon which to postpone his criminal trial on October 19.”
The State further questioned Hubbard’s request saying, “For all the State knows, Hubbard’s team of attorneys, and eDiscovery experts, have reviewed all of the substantively useful information — and did so months ago.”
Electronic discovery (sometimes known as e-discovery, ediscovery, eDiscovery, or e-Discovery) is the electronic aspect of identifying, collecting, and producing electronically stored information (ESI) in response to a request for production in a lawsuit or investigation. ESI includes, but is not limited to, emails, documents, presentations, databases, voicemail, audio and video files, social media, and web sites,” according to CDSlegal.com.
The State further argues, “the production of over a dozen boxes of hardcopy paper documents (to the extent such would even be possible) that Hubbard already has in electronic native file format is wholly unnecessary, a waste of time and limited State resources, and pointless.”
In what has become an ongoing maze of litigation, Hubbard’s criminal defense once again tries to roll yet another stone in the path to the trial in Lee County.