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Appeals court hearing Cobell disqualification dispute
Monday, March 15, 2004

A federal appeals court will hear oral arguments today on a motion to disqualify U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth and special master Alan Balaran from a contempt-related proceeding in the Indian trust fund case.

Lamberth assigned Balaran to look into allegations that 29 current and former government officials and lawyers destroyed e-mail records in violation of court orders. The plaintiffs in the case say the group should be held in contempt.

Some of the contemnors at the Department of Interior and Department of Justice filed a motion to recuse Lamberth and Balaran. Lamberth, last January, rejected the request.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the dispute at 2 p.m. Chief Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg and Judges A. Raymond Randolph and Karen Lecraft Henderson have been assigned to the matter. They were the judges who threw out contempt charges against Secretary Gale Norton and former Indian affairs aide Neal McCaleb.

Get the Order:
Cobell v. Norton (February 27, 2004)

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust, Department of Interior -
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton -
Cobell v. Norton, Department of Justice -

Related Stories:
Court report blasts McCaleb for destroying records (01/27)
Court: McCaleb 'fabricated' e-mail story (1/24)
Lamberth tempted by disqualification campaign (01/21)
Martin read about deposition online (12/23)
BIA aides circumventing court (12/16)
Martin's role in incident surfaces (12/16)
McCaleb to go before investigator again (12/16)
McCaleb won't undergo more questioning (12/17)
BIA aides e-mail use prompts inquiry (12/17)
McCaleb aides circumventing court (12/16)
Martin's role in incident surfaces (12/16)
McCaleb to go before investigator again (12/16)
Deposition and hearing on trust fund (12/13)
McCaleb e-mail probe widens (12/11)
McCaleb aide ordered to testify (12/9)
McCaleb being deposed on e-mails (12/6)
Interior's casualties of war (11/25)
McCaleb resigning from BIA (11/22)
17 months at arm's length (11/22)
Court cites 'troubling record' at Interior (11/14)
McCaleb admits to e-mail 'misunderstanding' (10/23)
Interior admits to more destruction of e-mails (10/22)
Probe raises more questions than answers (08/07)
DOI investigation released (8/7)
No one to punish for destroyed e-mails (4/10)
Request for trust fund probe rejected (11/7)
Internal trust fund investigation sought (8/22)

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