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ATI produced emails of Mr. Mann’s it had obtained independently and asked the university to confirm whether they were among the emails in its collection.

The parties agreed the judge will now read the emails ATI obtained to determine whether they are relevant to the case.

Judge Sheridan on Monday deferred on several other of the parties’ motions. He asked pointed questions of both sides, admitting he was not prepared enough on the subject to issue a ruling from the bench about turning over the disputed emails.

“I’m a first-grader here,” he said with regard to Freedom of Information Act law. “Sorry I don’t have a more definitive ruling. … This case has clear potential for appeal, and I want everybody’s record.”