Suspension of Hillbroom’s deadline to disclose expert witnesses OK’d

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Posted on May 21 2019

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U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona has granted the request of Junior Larry Hillbroom to suspend the deadline for him to disclose his expert witnesses in his lawsuit against his former lawyers, David J. Lujan and Barry J. Israel. 

In her order last Thursday, Manglona said there is good cause to suspend the deadline until after the depositions of Lujan and Israel are completed.

Deposition refers to the taking of testimony of a witness outside of court.

Manglona said she will reset the deadline once Lujan completes his deposition.

Hillbroom’s expert disclosure notice was due yesterday.

In his motion to suspend deadline, Hillbroom, through his lawyer, Rachel A. Dimitruk, said the deadline was set to accommodate the end of Lujan and Israel’s depositions in Guam that was set from May 7 to 15, 2019.

Dimitruk said that Lujan walked out of his deposition last Tuesday, May 14.

Dimitruk said that extending the deadline on Hillbroom’s motion would allow the conclusion of Lujan’s deposition and require Lujan to refrain from “inappropriate, unprofessional and bad faith conduct” in the continuation of his deposition.

She said there is also a motion pending for sanctions against Lujan for the time and expense his conduct has caused Hillbroom to incur.

A hearing is scheduled on that motion for Friday, May 24.

Dimitruk said that Lujan and Israel’s depositions are crucial to the consideration of matters by Hillbroom’s experts in legal ethics and forensic accounting.

The lawyer said without the information from the depositions of both Lujan and Israel, Hillbroom’s expert reports will be incomplete.

In his motion to compel, Hillbroom, through counsel, asked the court to order Lujan to resume his deposition on Saipan as Lujan allegedly displayed obstructive conduct and improperly left during the first deposition.

Hillbroom sued Lujan and Israel for allegedly conspiring with former trustee Keith Waibel to inflate their contingency fee when the fortune of the late DHL co-founder Larry Hillblom was still undergoing probate proceedings in the Superior Court. 

Lujan and Israel denied the allegations. 

Hillbroom is one of the four DNA-proven children of Hillblom. His name is spelled differently from that of Hillblom. 

Hillblom died in a seaplane crash off Anatahan waters on May 21, 1995. His body was never recovered. 

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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