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D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams may have found a way to pull the city’s budget out of the red, but the Office of the D.C. Attorney General seems to have run into enough of a shortfall this year that attorneys have been forced to put some litigation on hold. That problem was the topic of a hearing Aug. 25 before Judge John Bates of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, who wanted an explanation for why Assistant Attorney General Steven Anderson requested that the court extend discovery an additional 90 days in a wrongful death suit involving the District. Anderson wrote in a July 17 filing that “the District has no funds to purchase transcripts, retain or depose experts, or to cover various other discovery expenses.” Anderson’s supervisor, Holly Johnson, told Bates that the District routinely has to shift funds for cases but found itself low on money in the Civil Division earlier than usual this year. Though Johnson acknowledged that the fiscal situation was less than ideal, she said the office tries to prioritize which cases can be held up. “It’s very frustrating for us as well,” she said. But D.C. Attorney General Robert Spagnoletti tells Legal Times there is no officewide budget crunch. “It is not different this year than any other year,” he says, pointing out that the office received about $380,000 more this year than last year.
Emma Schwartz can be contacted at [email protected].

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