McLean continues direct examination of Robert Locke
The essence of the morning testimony of former W.R. Grace employee Robert Locke was demonstrated by government exhibits of internal company letters and memorandums. Prosecution attorney Kris McLean proceeded slowly by displaying an exhibit long enough for the jury to read the entire text before resuming questioning of the witness. The exhibits, though word intensive, contained a broad implication as to where Mr.Locke’s testimony was headed, i.e., the conspiracy charges against the defendants. Though the testimony proceeded slowly, the care and time taken by the prosecution focused the jury’s attention to the documents, which in many ways spoke as loudly as Mr. Locke as to the events they covered.
The most interesting legal wrangling of the morning was over the admission of GE148A, which was a document created for a SOEH conference, and was covered with handwritten notes. The defense stated they would not object if the document was used for a limited purpose; otherwise they objected on the grounds of hearsay. Judge Molloy clarified that the document was not substantive evidence, and questioned what the prosecution meant to use the evidence for. Substantive evidence is that used to prove a factual issue. Judge Molloy allowed the evidence, so long as the testimony was for the limited purpose of showing that the conference occurred, and that the notes were what Mr.Locke felt were important concerns at the time. Mr. Locke noted that Grace was not named during Dr. Smith’s presentation.
Other evidence admitted included memorandums revolving around Mr. Locke’s request to have an independent epidemiology study performed by a Dr. McMahon, and reaction by Grace executives. The study ultimately did not occur because according to Mr. Locke, Dr. McMahon would not allow Grace to edit his findings. Exhibits GE 103 and GE 295 were admitted without objection and dealt with the levels of exposure in Libby, namely that the only employees who would be adequate for testing of a 2/cc level were those hired after the wet mill was established in 1975.
The morning session concluded with the introduction of a safety pamphlet, GE 158, which presumably would be handed out to Libby workers at the mine. The defense’s objection of relevance was overruled, and Judge Molloy announced the morning break.
–Hannah Stone (posted 10:20 p.m.)
Posted: March 24th, 2009 under Law.