Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

No laughing gas needed

Lawyers for Jacksonville residents and ExxonMobil Corp. are back in Baltimore County Circuit Court on Thursday and Friday for pretrial hearings on the experts the plaintiffs are seeking to use in the upcoming gas station leak trial.

(The most recent start date for the trial was Monday, but that has been postponed until the end of November.)

Thursday’s hearing began with some discovery motions filed by The Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos PC, which represents approximately 450 individuals and 150 households in Jacksonville. Lawyers for the plaintiffs wanted documents about the remediation effort from Kleinfelder, which worked on the spill site.

A lawyer for Kleinfelder said the documents would be available by next week. When pressed by the plaintiffs as to the amount of information, Judge Robert N. Dugan jumped in.

“You’ll know when the truck backs up at your office,” Dugan said, to laughter on both sides.

The hearing’s start was delayed while Dugan was at his dentist’s office. As the lawyers began reviewing what other documents were at issue in the discovery motion, Dugan sat forward in his chair.

“I don’t know what’s been most painful in the last 24 hours: the Yankees coming back to win, undergoing a root canal or ruling on this discovery motion,” Dugan said to more laughs.

Here’s to hoping he can keep his sense of humor: The trial is expected to last five months.