Judge holds hearing on BU suit, says he will decide issues next week

(Baylor University photo/file)
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AUSTIN, Texas (KWTX) A federal judge in Austin who ordered lawyers for Baylor University and for school’s law firm, Pepper Hamilton, conducted a hearing on contempt issues Monday but didn’t make a final decision.

U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman could have sanctioned the Philadelphia law firm for failing to honor his earlier court order to provide discovery to the Jane Doe plaintiffs who are suing Baylor over what they say was mishandling of their reported sexual assaults.

Jim Dunnam, of Waco, who represents 13 Jane Does in the lawsuit, has asked the court to force Baylor and the law firm to hand over any and all documents that relate to Pepper Hamilton’s initial investigation.

However, a former attorney with Pepper Hamilton testified in court there was no final report outside of the investigation and no written document ever was prepared or presented to the university.

The hearing centered on questions or concerns from Pitman about documents requested through discovery from both Baylor and Pepper Hamilton on whether the firm prepared a report on its Baylor investigation, and if the law firm could show why it shouldn't face sanctions after failing to comply with a discovery order.

Dunnam said he expects Pitman to announce a decision next week.