A scheduling order has been issued in the suit filed by Mayor Sharon Weston Broome against the incorporators of the prospective city of St. George, with a pre-trial conference set to take place next July.
Judge William Morvant has imposed the following deadlines:
- Feb. 26: deadline to respond to all written discovery; deadline for all parties to name expert witnesses.
- March 31: deadline to take all non-expert fact depositions.
- April 2: deadline to exchange expert reports.
- June 30: deadline to conduct expert deposition.
- July 9: exchange pre-trial inserts.
- July 23: file pre-trial order.
- July 28: pre-trial conference at 9 a.m.
In prepared statements, the organizers behind the St. George movement say they look forward to their day in court, painting Broome’s lawsuit as “frivolous.”
“These deadlines prevent the opposition from intentionally delaying the legal process,” says St. George spokesperson Andrew Murrell.
Meanwhile, attorney Mary Olive Pierson, a member of Broome’s legal team, counters that it’s not their team that’s delaying the legal process.
“How do you think we got this far? Because of their delays,” Pierson says, noting her team granted St. George organizers an extension to file responses to a discovery document by Oct. 9 and still have yet to receive their responses. “This scheduling order is certainly not the one they wanted.”
The order comes one year after Broome filed suit against two St. George organizers, Norman Browning and Chris Rials, challenging their ability to provide services to voters in the prospective new city and claiming incorporation will have a “substantial adverse impact” on Baton Rouge and the remaining unincorporated area of the parish.
St. George comprises an area in the southeastern portion of East Baton Rouge Parish, marking the fifth-largest city in Louisiana. In October 2019, voters approved its incorporation into a new city.