Ontario International Airport

In Ontario’s lawsuit over control of L.A./Ontario International Airport, a judge ordered the city of Los Angeles to hand over 399 documents related to the lawsuit Ontario has filed against Los Angeles. (John Valenzuela – Staff Photographer)

By Liset Marquez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 01/16/15, 11:19 AM PST | Updated: 50 secs ago

RIVERSIDE >> Superior Court Judge Gloria Trask on Friday ordered Los Angeles to produce 399 documents for Ontario by noon Tuesday as part of an ongoing lawsuit over control of L.A./Ontario International Airport.

Both sides appeared in Riverside Superior Court for a hearing to discuss the additional documents in the case.

Ontario claimed Los Angeles failed to comply with a Dec. 16 court order by reclassifying the 399 documents under attorney-client privilege. The process was impeding the city’s efforts in the suit, said Andre Cronthall, attorney for Ontario.

Los Angeles produced redacted versions of the documents on Thursday night, after the motion was filed.

“We already found out we could have and should have been able to use many of these documents for the deposition that I took last week,” Cronthall said in court.

Cronthall said he was able to review the redacted documents quickly before court and found files were being withheld at the discretion of the Los Angeles city attorney. Some of the files were completely redacted but no explanation was given if it was for attorney-client privilege, medical or privacy reasons.

Redacted versions of the internal documents also revealed a self-evaluation of the executive director of Los Angeles World Airports, which operates the Ontario airport.

For the past four months, attorneys for Los Angeles have said the documents were not released because it was considered official information. It was only last month that the documents were reclassified under attorney-client privilege.

“It seems to be moving, constantly evolving. A series of arguments that are being made when the city has no choice but to confront what they did wrong,” Cronthall said.

Joshua Stambaugh, attorney for Los Angeles, said he believed Los Angeles was in compliance with the prior court order.

“The first time that Los Angeles recognized that some of these documents had attorney-client privilege information was the date we sent the email to Mr. Cronthall,” he said, referring to Dec. 29 email correspondence.

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