Whole Foods Trial Prep Heats Up
Updated: Dec 27, 2019
Judge Royce Lamberth admonished both Whole Foods (plaintiff) and Wical LP (defendant) in their two-year-old lawsuit regarding the attempt to evict Whole Foods from their 2323 Wisconsin Ave location in Glover Park and terminate their lease. Since October, much of the case reporting has been hidden at the request of both parties to secure proprietary information about their businesses. On February 7th the judge issued an unprotected order to both parties: "The [Judge] refuses to to reward either side for squandering the Court's time and their clients money."
The parties are in the midst of the discovery period prior to trial (see prior article for background). The discovery period ends February 29th. The judge, in his order, said that now "the parties have a discovery problem," accusing Wical of violating Federal and local rules by filing a unilateral supplement to the joint discovery statement which had nothing to do with the discovery mechanics. Wical apparently tried an end-around the discovery process by accusing Whole Foods of withholding evidence AFTER their joint statement was submitted, and the judge stated the Wical supplement had nothing to do with their joint statement. Whole Foods followed with a motion to strike the unilateral statement, which angered the judge even more: "Whole Foods motion is as pointless as Wical's supplement." The judge went further: "Wical rehashed rejected arguments....and quibbled about what the Court already said....." And further chiding to the other side: "[Whole Foods] fails to recognize the bootlessness of its own motion to strike. So the parties have spent twenty six pages fully briefing a motion that does not move the ball an inch."
What does Judge Lamberth's order indicate about the case? He's not happy with the way the attorneys on either side have been proceeding, he will not stand for ignorance of the law or sneaky attempts to undermine the process, Whole Foods and Wical still cannot seem to find common ground to settle, and the case goes on while the trial looms..... Oh dear.