Judge Vaughn Walker, presiding over the federal lawsuit challenging Proposition 8, has sided with the Plaintiffs' request and has ruled that the first public trial on a same-sex marriage case will proceed on January 11, 2010.
Mercury News reports, "Walker ordered the parties to start taking depositions and sharing information in the discovery process immediately, with expert witnesses to be designated by Oct. 2 and discovery to conclude Nov. 30. A pretrial conference will be held Dec. 16, rebuttal expert witnesses must be designated by Dec. 31 and trial is set for Jan. 11; meanwhile, he'll hold an Oct. 14 hearing on Proposition 8 proponents' motion to dispose of certain issues by summary judgment before the rest of the case is tried."
For federal timelines, this is breakneck speed, giving very little time for both parties to prepare for a full blown trial, including witnesses and expert accounts. However, a trial will a establish a solid record for appeals courts, where everyone expects this case to be headed.
Unlike for the LGBT legal organizations, Judge Walker ruled that the City of San Francisco can join the case as City Intervenor Plaintiffs, but only to assess Proposition 8's impact on local government.
Law Dork reports that according to Lambda Legal’s Jason Howe, the judge “said they showed a government interest that wasn’t represented by any of the current parties.” However, no lead counsel was established.
Ted Olson and David Boies will be joined by San Francisco City Attorney David Herrera in this high-stakes case which will indubitably affect not only California, but all other states that currently have same-sex marriage bans.