Editor’s note: We posted this Fannie Mae / Federal National Mortgage Assctn Fnni Me (OTCBB:FNMA), but are reposting as many readers likely missed it and also because ValuePlays provides some good analysis, as well, as highlights of the important parts.

The following is part of the transcript from the 7/16 hearing. The sides are Cooper for the Plaintiffs and Schwind for the defendants (gov’t). It is clear that in order to expedite discovery, all documents will initially be protected. The two sides will then go back and undesignate documents that do not qualify under the order. Should there be disagreement, the court will then decide. Fannie Mae / Federal National Mortgage Assctn Fnni Me (OTCBB:FNMA)

Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Glassman
Fannie mae

Fannie Mae discovery document

Both side were in agreement and Judge Sweeney was sure to make clear there would be a significant number of documents coming forth to the public.

THE COURT: Let me ask you something. As I understand Plaintiffs’ counsel’s argument, the Government has indicated it intends to designate all material it produces as
protected. Is that correct?
MR. SCHWIND: Initially, Your Honor, yes. And Plaintiffs have agreed with that –
THE COURT: Okay.
MR. SCHWIND: — process.
THE COURT: And then?
MR. SCHWIND: And then there would be a process where we would go back and look at the documents and
undesignate documents that do not meet the definition that the Court puts in the order.
THE COURT: Okay.

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Government still haven’t reviewed all of Fannie Mae’s discovery documents

THE COURT: Well, I can agree with that, my sentiments entirely. But Plaintiffs have to be able to have access to documents to establish this Court’s jurisdiction. I mean, otherwise, they don’t have their day in court if they don’t have that opportunity. And one thing that does concern me is that the Government is going to designate the entire universe of documents as protected. And as I understand it, the Government still haven’t reviewed all of those documents yet. So — but I also understand you to say that despite that initial blanket designation, you will go back then and look at each document and make a determination as to whether or not it should be protected.

MR. SCHWIND: Correct, Your Honor. And to the extent there’s a disagreement, as Plaintiffs said, there is a process in the order that the parties can address those disagreements.

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Fannie Mae’s documents public release

MR. COOPER: But we also have the Government’s catchall provision that says any information that has not been publicly released is, by definition, protected. We think that’s way too broad.

THE COURT: Right. I can tell you, I did not –that also jumped out at me immediately because it would seem cumbrous to have — let’s say a reporter files a Freedom of Information Act or by some other means obtains information during the pendency of this case, and because it hasn’t been produced to you today, you couldn’t have it. I mean, I just — no, that just — that’s just — this isn’t a legal term, so forgive me, but it just seems silly. So, I mean — and just terribly unfair. And I was very — well, the Government attorneys are very good advocates and, so, I — and I do respect that. But that one didn’t slide by me and that’s not going in the order.

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Fannie Mae: Warranted protection

MR. COOPER: The real question, though, is in the standard they apply and that this Court will ultimately apply if there’s any dispute over a particular document, whether genuinely legitimately warranted protection, whether or we should be entitled to receive, without restrictions, anything that any Tom, Dick or Harry in the United States made an FOIA request for and would be entitled under that law to receive. Surely, if any member of the public — if we ask for the same document as FOIA requesters, we’d be entitled under that law to receive it and, surely, we should be entitled to receive that in this process without the restraints of the protective order. That’s — I just wanted to make sure that –

THE COURT: No, we’re on the same page.

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7:16 Transcript

Via ValuePlays