Monday, April 13, 2015

Seifert v. Unified Government of Wyandotte County

Seifert v. Unified Government of Wyandotte County, 2015 WL 846208 (2/27/15) (Kan.) (Published) - Some helpful stuff about Giglio in the midst of a case about a police officer's lawsuit. Officer Seifert alleged that the law enforcement community retaliated against him for testifying on behalf of a defendant in a criminal case and then on behalf of that man in his suit against the police, where an officer had caused a traffic accident and then beat up the driver who was the victim. One reason the county and the sheriff's officers gave for forcing him to retire was a federal court order more than ten years old finding Officer Seifert had lied in court. They said this would be Giglio material that could be used to undermine his credibility if he had to testify in federal court. The 10th found a reasonable person could view this explanation as dubious since the order would not be admissible because it would be extrinsic evidence inadmissible under Rule 608(b), which would mean the cross-examiner asking about the order would be stuck with whatever answer Officer Seifert gave, even a denial. But see U.S. v. Williamson, 699 F.3d 1188 (10th Cir. 2012), which says kind of the opposite, but is not mentioned by the 10th here. Plus the order was so old a federal judge might not allow any cross-examination about it at all. For this and other reasons, the cause was remanded for trial.