Depo Man Quick to Knock on Ryan’s Door

Criminal defense lawyer Ian Loveseth scored an apparent victory in his fight to recoup costs for a client on Wednesday: Judge Charles Breyer said Loveseth could depose San Francisco U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan and five of Ryan’s assistants.

Loveseth wasted no time; word in the federal building is that the imposing attorney (six-foot-six, rugby-scarred and long-haired — think Conan in suspenders) went right to Ryan’s office after the hearing to talk about depositions. But it’s not clear what was said, and no depo dates have been set.

Also unclear is Loveseth’s chance of getting Nabil Ismael’s attorney’s fees back — or exactly what led to Breyer’s order. The announcement in open court of the deposition order followed a closed-door meeting between Breyer, Loveseth and prosecutors.

And while depositions would seem to help Loveseth, the standard for proving that prosecutors acted so badly that the government must pay a defendant’s legal bills is tough to prove. As Patrick McLaughlin, the assistant U.S. Attorney from L.A. representing the government, pointed out in a recent court filing, the law that allows for recompense (the Hyde Amendment) says “the government must have acted maliciously or with intent to harass the target.?

— Justin Scheck

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