• California District Judge John Walter scolded  Vanessa Bryant’s legal team for seeking to introduce too many exhibits at trial
  • Bryant is suing Los Angeles County over photos taken at Kobe and Gianna Bryant's 2020 helicopter crash
  • The judge said he would seek to hold a seven-day trial in August for her lawsuit

A judge slammed the amount of evidence Vanessa Bryant’s legal team sought to introduce in the trial for her lawsuit against Los Angeles County over photos taken at her late husband Kobe and daughter Gianna Bryant's 2020 helicopter crash.

During a pre-trial conference Friday, California District Judge John Walter criticized both sides for presenting too much evidence, Insider reported. He also urged the parties to reduce the excessive exhibits and moved the trial to a later date.

“This has been going on since February, and all I get is a document that is a couple hundred pages and is not very helpful,” Walter said. “You need to get together and start getting these trial exhibits in some semblance of order.”

The judge added that it would be a “never-ending battle” if Bryant’s legal team and the defense did not pare down the hundreds of exhibits submitted by the parties.

Following the pre-trial hearing, Skip Miller, outside counsel for Los Angeles County, said in a statement to the outlet that the county “is working with the parties as directed by the judge.”

On Jan. 26, 2020, a helicopter transporting Kobe, the couple's 13-year-old daughter Gianna, as well baseball coach John Altobelli and his family crashed near Malibu, California. All nine aboard died in the crash.

In the wake of reports that first responders took and shared photos of the crash site, the 40-year-old wife of the late NBA star filed a lawsuit in September 2020 against the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the county's fire department, the county as a whole and eight officers.

In her lawsuit, which deals with state claims and federal civil rights claims, Bryant asked for monetary damages for negligence, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Her federal claims relate to the constitutional right to the images of her deceased loved ones, which she said was violated when photos of the crash site allegedly were taken and disseminated without her permission.

During Friday's hearing, Walter said that he would continue in his decision to “bifurcate the trial,” which means the trial would be divided to prosecute the state claims, and then federal claims.

"Some of the claims involve holding the county publicly accountable, after years of denial, obfuscation," the judge said.

Walter said he has yet to decide whether or not he would try Byrant’s case directly, after a similar lawsuit filed against county workers by Chris Chester, whose wife Sarah and daughter Payton, 13, also died in the same crash.

The judge confirmed that he sought to have a seven-day trial in August.

Vanessa and Kobe Bryant
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 09: Vanessa Laine Bryant and Kobe Bryant attend the 2019 Baby2Baby Gala presented by Paul Mitchell on November 09, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Baby2Baby) (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Baby2Baby