In an Order last week, Magistrate Judge Wang chided the parties in a terrorism funding case for having filed a joint, 73-page discovery letter, consistent with a pattern of “protracted letter-writing campaigns” that have embroiled the Judge in “day-to-day supervision” of discovery.

She ordered the offending letter stricken, but an an earlier one (at 54 pages) appears to be the type of correspondence sparking the forceful order, in which she cited Charles Dickens’ fictional case Jarndyce v Jarndyce, as illustrating the problem:

Discovery in this litigation is at risk of devolving into a modern-day Jarndyce v Jarndyce, as it has “become so complicated, that no man alive knows what it means,” and “no two . . . lawyers can talk about it for five minutes without coming to a total disagreement as to all the premises.” Charles Dickens, Bleak House (1852).

As the parties are aware, at the last status conference held in this matter, I told the parties “not to have the protracted letter-writing campaigns where you go back and forth arguing with each other.” (ECF 265 at 57). Nonetheless, the most recent monthly status letter comes out to a whopping 73 pages . . .

It has become apparent that no amount of nudging or admonishing from the bench will curb these “letter-writing campaigns.”

Magistrate Judge Wang directed the parties to confer one more time, and reduce their disputes to a letter of five pages.