Federal judge finds Marriott “blatantly” violated court order in Michael Irvin case
Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin may not ultimately prevail in his case against Marriott, but he’s currently winning.
Via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News, a federal judge concluded that Marriott “blatantly” violated an order requiring the company to surrender surveillance video to Irvin.
Judge Amos Mazzant ordered the company to submit an unredacted video to Irvin’s lawyers by 5:00 p.m. CT on Friday. He also declined to prevent Irvin from making the video public.
“That’s the penalty you face,” Judge Mazzant said -- a more tactful version of “f--k around and find out.”
Judge Mazzant said he was “dumbfounded” by the strings Marriott attached to its disclosure of the video, allowing attorney Levi McCathern to see it without giving him a copy.
“I am not accustomed to, as a judge, people violating my orders,” Judge Mazzant said.
Attorney Celeste Creswell, who represents Marriott, insisted during the hearing that Marriott respects the court’s orders.
“I’ll be very candid,” Judge Mazzant replied. “You haven’t shown that. That’s the reason we’re here. . . . Am I happy about that? No, I’m not happy about that. . . . It seems like Marriott just looked at my order and didn’t want to produce the video.”
It’s a stunning display of corporate arrogance but, speaking as someone who has both represented major companies and sued them on behalf of their former employees, it’s not surprising. Lawyers often have to be willing to stand up to a corporate client that wants to do something stupid, because stupid will resonate throug the rest of the litigation.
That’s the bigger problem Marriott now has. Real damage has been done to the relationship between the court and the defendant. Judge Mazzant will be skeptical of everything Marriott says and does. Unless they get their shit together quickly, they’re going to end up wearing it.
And, as usually happens when a major company realizes a bad outcome in court, it will blame everyone but itself.