SALT LAKE CITY-U.S. District Court Judge Dale Kimball heard the credit union and banker arguments last Tuesday on NCUA and the credit union intervenors' objection to the magistrate judge's decision to allow for discovery in the Utah field of membership case. According to attorney Paul Lambert of Bingham McCutchen LLP, representing the intervenors in the case including CUNA, NAFCU, the Utah league and the three credit unions involved, there are two main possible outcomes. Either the judge can dismiss the objection and allow for discovery or he can override the magistrate's decision. "He asked good questions of both sides. I'm reasonably optimistic," Lambert said. Judge Kimball said he would make his decision within a few days. "You never can predict the outcome based on the hearing," CUNA Associate General Counsel Mary Dunn agreed, "but it does look like the appropriate questions were asked." In the end, NAFCU General Counsel Bill Donovan pointed out, "If the judge agrees with our argument.the case will move along at a more accelerated pace." If not, the case will follow the magistrate's schedule with oral arguments coming at the end of this year and a decision either late in 2004 or early 2005, he said. The hearing lasted about 40 minutes with each side having two opportunities to get their points across. The basic argument of the hearing is whether or not the judge should follow the Administrative Procedures Act standard in the case, which calls for the case to be decided based upon the administrative record. The bankers are arguing that they had no opportunity for input in the decision-making process. [email protected]

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