Wed 07/03/2024 18:27 PM
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Chief Bankruptcy Judge Eduardo V. Rodriguez has issued an opinion and order vacating a joint stipulation between the Jackson Walker firm and former Judge David R. Jones regarding Jones' scheduled deposition in the professional fee dispute arising from the secret relationship between Jones and former Jackson Walker partner Elizabeth Freeman. The court ruled that the parties cannot simply agree to comply with judicial regulations without a formal review by a determining officer, and that the court would schedule a separate hearing on the matter.

Judge Rodriguez emphasized that the court must review and approve any questions intended for Jones during the deposition, in accordance with the “Guide to Judiciary Policy.” The judge stated: "To be clear, the Court places no limitation on the form or number of questions Jackson Walker, LLP may ask of former Judge Jones; however, any questions that Jackson Walker, LLP intends to ask former Judge Jones during the July 18, 2024 scheduled deposition are subject to this Court's review and approval."

The court found the joint stipulation “insufficient” to determine compliance with the judiciary regulations, which outline 16 factors to be considered when authorizing testimony from federal judicial personnel.

Consequently, Judge Rodriguez concludes it is “appropriate to vacate the Joint Stipulation and to conduct a hearing regarding the requested testimony of former Judge Jones,” and that the court “will separately issue an order setting a hearing” on the noticed deposition that was previously scheduled for July 18, 2024.
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