Last week, I wrote about the extra steps taken by Judge Erik P. Christian to keep his private life private. He had his own domestic relations case sealed. Christian isn’t the most popular judge on the D.C. Superior Court, and he has a reputation among many of the attorneys I spoke with for making unreasonable demands. Here’s the PDF of his explanation for demanding a doctor’s note from a witness who wanted to tape her testimony before a trial began, since she was dying of cancer. The woman’s brother said the experience made the last days of her life “miserable.”
Here’s what he said when he first asked for the note:
“When you say any day, any day for colon cancer, certain cancers, can be tomorrow or next year.”
The prosecutor explained that doctors believe the witness would not survive another month. Christian replied:
“Well are you just saying she won’t make it another year, another month? When will she die?”
The witness died before the trial began, without taping her deposition. The defense agreed to allow the use of her grand jury testimony.
Side note: There’s an interesting comment on my first post quoting from an appellate judge who took the time to lay into Christian for handing down a 12-year sentence for a drug possession charge. The sentence was well in excess of the guidelines for violent crimes and armed drug dealing.