Jodi Arias Legal Question and Answer Thread *no discussion*

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Katharine

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I wondered also that Juror #11 had not disclosed being ill prior to testimony beginning that day (with a physician's excuse) but after a 10 minute break. If I took your response correctly that the DT can ask for a juror to be excused based on being obviously ill, it is so scary since the DT is looking for ANY excuses to remove jurors one by one. The fact that in both cases (Juror #5 and Juror #11) the Alexander family came out of the chambers crying leads me to believe in one of many ploys being used by the DT.

My legal question is what all is involved in a witness subpoena besides the obvious one of not watching testimony in the trial. Does this include newspaper/television coverage, internet, discussion among their friends, etc.?
If the definition includes those other listed areas, then the newspaper article(s) on the fact that ALV was in the emergency room with the reported reasons was due to the public "harassment", would ALV be cited for not following the guidelines of her subpoena?

Thank you for this thread and for having verified attorneys. I have appreciated and had some chuckles over the responses by verified attorneys.
Kuddos to the verified attorneys!! Thanks in Advance.
 

irishnate

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Is it possible that the State can file Direct contempt charges against ALV in regard to her disrespectful answer to the prosecutor?

What i am referencing: Direct contempt. The type of contempt which involves disobedience or disrespect occurring in the court’s presence. Because the judge directly witnessed the offensive action, he may immediately punish the violator. Direct contempt stems from the court’s inherent power to punish violations in its presence.
 

Islander1

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who would be in charge of Judge Stephens? Does she have a “superior” or mentor to acquaint her with death penalty proceeding decorum (since this is her first DP case)? Does she hold an elected position or appointed? If her management of this trial results in an unpopular verdict will she face consequences? Are there repercussions for her in the event of a mistrial?

Also,the former cell mate that tweets and makes proxy statements for Arias, is she out on parole? Does anyone know if socializing criminals is a violation of parole in Nevada?
 

TartLemon

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Hypothetical legal question....

Do you (the attorneys) believe this DT is really believing an acquittal is possible or just trying to keep her from the DP with LWOP?

Personally, I'd like to see Ms Smarty-Britches Jodi get LWOP having to deal with hardened lifer criminals. Her star power won't last more than an inkling of an iota of a second there. Those hard corers will let Jodi know very quickly who's the boss.
 

SCSam

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Does the state of AZ have any requirements for being seated as an "expert" witness in a criminal case? If so, what are they? Briefly will do. And thank you in advance!
 

katiecoolady

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Apologies if this has been "asked and answered" but it caught my attention when ALV said it would "illegal" to interview family members for her opinions in this case. Now I do think she'd be allowed to approach them for an interview by following proper channels. And they'd have the right of refusal.

I did notice this was objected to and Willmott moved on and didn't pursue this answer.

It's my opinion that she could have interviewed the family if she'd asked and they agreed.

Am I right?

Gracias!
 

Paintr

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This is sort of a 'behind the scenes' lawyer question, rather than a point of law.

I have watched Juan M during interviews and he is very quietly spoken and has very little movement, seldom even moving his hands while speaking. During cross examination, he gestures, paces and is in almost constant motion. Is there a 'lawyer' reason for this change? Is he doing this to distract the witness from the answer? to keep the attention of the jury? ect or is it just a matter of personal 'style'?

Do lawyers employ certain 'tricks' (for want of a better word) while questioning witness rather than just relying on the content of the question? Are these taught in law school or just picked up by trial and error while conducting cases or passed along from other more experienced lawyers?
 

AZlawyer

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This is sort of a 'behind the scenes' lawyer question, rather than a point of law.

I have watched Juan M during interviews and he is very quietly spoken and has very little movement, seldom even moving his hands while speaking. During cross examination, he gestures, paces and is in almost constant motion. Is there a 'lawyer' reason for this change? Is he doing this to distract the witness from the answer? to keep the attention of the jury? ect or is it just a matter of personal 'style'?

Do lawyers employ certain 'tricks' (for want of a better word) while questioning witness rather than just relying on the content of the question? Are these taught in law school or just picked up by trial and error while conducting cases or passed along from other more experienced lawyers?

What an interesting question. I think it's a matter of personal style, but certainly his style catches the attention of the jury. No one taught me anything useful about courtroom style in law school--besides stand up straight, be respectful, etc. I think you have to pick it up as you go along--and you have to adapt your style to your own personality, or it comes across very clearly fake. Imagine if JW tried to imitate JM's style. I don't think the jury would react the same way. :)
 

AZlawyer

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Apologies if this has been "asked and answered" but it caught my attention when ALV said it would "illegal" to interview family members for her opinions in this case. Now I do think she'd be allowed to approach them for an interview by following proper channels. And they'd have the right of refusal.

I did notice this was objected to and Willmott moved on and didn't pursue this answer.

It's my opinion that she could have interviewed the family if she'd asked and they agreed.

Am I right?

Gracias!

Yes, the DT could have asked the prosecutor for family interviews, which they could have refused. The DT could also have made a motion to take the depositions of family members (involuntarily), if the family members were believed to have information critical to the defense.
 

gitana1

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So, was the DT expecting ALV to give this "point of view"? How is the jury expected to know what another person in a similar DV relationship would act?

Is this why ALV kept going to real-life examples and commenting on other victims in her care?

This is interesting. I've never considered that under these conditions, it is not what an 'average' person would do; rather it is what a person under the same circumstances would do.

Is this considered case law? Will the DT need to find similar cases to give precedence? I'm so confused.:waitasec:

I think that's exactly why they hired both experts. It may be based on statute or case law interpreting statute but the standard is well known and the attorneys do not need to cite any law. They just have to apply it.

Some Questions here:
  1. Could JA be charged yet with -- Obstruction of Justice???
  2. Could JA be charged yet with -- Undignified Remains of a numan Body???
  3. Could JA be charged by the family -- A wrongful Death suit???
  4. Does AZ have a Victims Fund also for Travis family?
  5. Could anyone in her family be charged with "Knowing Assistance/Breach of Fiduciary Duty" by at all??? Because Parents do have a responsibility to kids, what about Adult children -- IF they suspect mental problems and do not try to intervene or get help for them. Is this possible, as in the Police tape they (parents) admit she has problems -- but did they try to do anything. Maybe if they did, TA could be alive. Just a thought....


Just wondering with all her lies to the Police and also the fact that she left his body to decompose after killing him ( AND ) due to the fact that she IS claiming Self-defense @ Trial, so she could have called right away to the Police and his remains handled in a timely matter.

Even if she has NO money, a wrongful death suit to make sure SHE NEVER profits at all -- and if she does -- that goes to TA family?? After all she could have some insurance somewhere and she should never have a penny in any matter at all.

Thanks in Advance (TIA)

I don't think so.
I don't know what that means.
His family can sue (only crimes are charged) for wrongful death. ETA: see below for Azlawyers info on this.
I hope so.
No.

And since at the least, she's probably going to prison for life, these types of things are the least of her worries.

I am troubled by ALV's testimony for only one reason:

If Alyce LaViolette were to be charged with (and found guilty of) purgery on the stand, can all her testimony be tossed out? If that were to happen, could Jodi file for ineffective assistance of counsel?

Thanks in advance!

If she's found guilty of perjury that would likely be long after the trial. (PS, it's not going to happen). If her testimony is proven to be false, she may be impeached, which I feel she was on various occasions, and the effect is that the jury has the ability to disregard her testimony.
The only time a jury has no choice as to whether or not they can consider testimony, that i have seen, is when the court issues a ruling based on evidentiary issues. False statements have to do with the weight evidence is given, not whether or not it is admissible.

Howdy legal minds

I am curious. Since ALV was less than honest on her CV as her evidence toward her expertise, could JM argue (vigorously) to disqualify her as an expert and argue to have all or part of her testimony thrown out? (wishful thinking)?

He will argue in closing that the jury should not find her credible and there will likely be jury instructions that allow jurors to disregard all or parts of testimony of a witness shown to be lying, or impeached.

Thank you all attorneys for your answers to legal questions.
What qualifies as a "justification defense"? On one timeline, I read that JA filed her intention to "assert justification defenses" in June 1010. Could that include a "heat of passion" type defense (IIRC, AZ doesn't actually call it "heat of passion") or would it only refer to "self-defense"? Are there other "justification defenses"? Insanity?

It has nothing to do with insanity or heat of passion:

http://blog.novakazlaw.com/2012/04/arizona-stand-your-ground-laws-justification-defenses/


sorry 1 more question, it looks like the DT kept a lot of relevant info from alyce that may have effected her assessment and diagnosis, could this cause an appeal for jodi, and can alyce actually sue over this for damages?

I highly doubt it for either question. Giving Laviolette more info would likely only have steered her away from a finding of dv and self defense.

I wondered also that Juror #11 had not disclosed being ill prior to testimony beginning that day (with a physician's excuse) but after a 10 minute break. If I took your response correctly that the DT can ask for a juror to be excused based on being obviously ill, it is so scary since the DT is looking for ANY excuses to remove jurors one by one. The fact that in both cases (Juror #5 and Juror #11) the Alexander family came out of the chambers crying leads me to believe in one of many ploys being used by the DT.

My legal question is what all is involved in a witness subpoena besides the obvious one of not watching testimony in the trial. Does this include newspaper/television coverage, internet, discussion among their friends, etc.?
If the definition includes those other listed areas, then the newspaper article(s) on the fact that ALV was in the emergency room with the reported reasons was due to the public "harassment", would ALV be cited for not following the guidelines of her subpoena?

Thank you for this thread and for having verified attorneys. I have appreciated and had some chuckles over the responses by verified attorneys.
Kuddos to the verified attorneys!! Thanks in Advance.

A subpoena does not act to censor the witness. The court's orders can, however.

Is it possible that the State can file Direct contempt charges against ALV in regard to her disrespectful answer to the prosecutor?

What i am referencing: Direct contempt. The type of contempt which involves disobedience or disrespect occurring in the court’s presence. Because the judge directly witnessed the offensive action, he may immediately punish the violator. Direct contempt stems from the court’s inherent power to punish violations in its presence.

I suppose but I highly doubt it would happen now. I'm pretty certain. If that was goińg to happen, the judge would have excused the jury right on the spot and seriously admonished the witness first.

who would be in charge of Judge Stephens? Does she have a “superior” or mentor to acquaint her with death penalty proceeding decorum (since this is her first DP case)? Does she hold an elected position or appointed? If her management of this trial results in an unpopular verdict will she face consequences? Are there repercussions for her in the event of a mistrial?

Also,the former cell mate that tweets and makes proxy statements for Arias, is she out on parole? Does anyone know if socializing criminals is a violation of parole in Nevada?

Judges are elected. Her superior is the governor. I don't believe there is any mentoring program. She will face no repercussions for an unpopular decision. Mismanagement can result in Reassignment or perhaps admonishment from a judicIal panel. But I have seen nothing that would warrant that, believe it or not.

Admonishment is reserved for things like misuse of their judicial office for personal things or highly offensive, sexist or racist comments.

I have frustrations with the pace here, her refusal to reign in witnesses and the sealed hearings, etc., but I have similar frustrations with many judges. None of that comes close to conduct that could cause repercussiOns for a judge.
 

AZlawyer

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Does the state of AZ have any requirements for being seated as an "expert" witness in a criminal case? If so, what are they? Briefly will do. And thank you in advance!

Yes. The witness has to have knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education that will help the jury understand evidence that can't easily be understood by the average person. There is a little more detail to it than that, but this is the basic idea.
 

AZlawyer

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Hypothetical legal question....

Do you (the attorneys) believe this DT is really believing an acquittal is possible or just trying to keep her from the DP with LWOP?

Personally, I'd like to see Ms Smarty-Britches Jodi get LWOP having to deal with hardened lifer criminals. Her star power won't last more than an inkling of an iota of a second there. Those hard corers will let Jodi know very quickly who's the boss.

I think the DT used to believe an acquittal was possible. If they still believe it I would be surprised.
 

AZlawyer

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who would be in charge of Judge Stephens? Does she have a “superior” or mentor to acquaint her with death penalty proceeding decorum (since this is her first DP case)? Does she hold an elected position or appointed? If her management of this trial results in an unpopular verdict will she face consequences? Are there repercussions for her in the event of a mistrial?

Also,the former cell mate that tweets and makes proxy statements for Arias, is she out on parole? Does anyone know if socializing criminals is a violation of parole in Nevada?

There is a presiding criminal judge (Welty) and a presiding judge over the entire court (Davis). There is also a manual, I think, specifically for death penalty cases.

Judges in Maricopa County Superior Court are appointed, but face retention elections every few years (every 3 years I think?). Possibly there might have been one guy voted out one time...I don't remember. It is not a big threat really.

If Jodi is acquitted, only a bunch of nincompoops on the Internet will think this was caused by the judge's mismanagement of the trial. Judge S's superiors will not think that. The only thing that Judge S needs help with that I can see is having the confidence to rule on the attorneys' objections without allowing extended bench conferences all the time.

Mistrials also are not likely to be the judge's fault. In fact, it takes a wise judge to realize that he/she needs to grant a mistrial instead of pushing forward after the trial process has clearly broken down. (Don't worry, nothing remotely like that has happened here.)

Do you mean Arizona rather than Nevada? I don't know the terms of Donovan's probation/parole or even if she is on probation/parole. But Arias hasn't been convicted of anything anyway.
 

AZlawyer

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Is it possible that the State can file Direct contempt charges against ALV in regard to her disrespectful answer to the prosecutor?

What i am referencing: Direct contempt. The type of contempt which involves disobedience or disrespect occurring in the court’s presence. Because the judge directly witnessed the offensive action, he may immediately punish the violator. Direct contempt stems from the court’s inherent power to punish violations in its presence.

Yes, although I don't know which "disrespectful answer" exactly you mean. There were a few.... Actually, this would be something initiated by the judge rather than the prosecutor. And in the case of Judge S, I would be surprised if she were going down that road unless (1) ALV really did say "jerk" in front of the jury as it appears on the tape, and/or (2) ALV was strictly warned in chambers that one more instant of non-cooperation would result in her being held in contempt. I can see Judge S feeling like she had to follow through on her word in that case, even if she didn't want the distraction.
 

AZlawyer

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I wondered also that Juror #11 had not disclosed being ill prior to testimony beginning that day (with a physician's excuse) but after a 10 minute break. If I took your response correctly that the DT can ask for a juror to be excused based on being obviously ill, it is so scary since the DT is looking for ANY excuses to remove jurors one by one. The fact that in both cases (Juror #5 and Juror #11) the Alexander family came out of the chambers crying leads me to believe in one of many ploys being used by the DT.

My legal question is what all is involved in a witness subpoena besides the obvious one of not watching testimony in the trial. Does this include newspaper/television coverage, internet, discussion among their friends, etc.?
If the definition includes those other listed areas, then the newspaper article(s) on the fact that ALV was in the emergency room with the reported reasons was due to the public "harassment", would ALV be cited for not following the guidelines of her subpoena?

Thank you for this thread and for having verified attorneys. I have appreciated and had some chuckles over the responses by verified attorneys.
Kuddos to the verified attorneys!! Thanks in Advance.

A witness subpoena doesn't necessarily include instructions not to watch coverage of the case, although in this case they seem to have instructed the witnesses that way.

I very much doubt that ALV was under subpoena for her expert testimony. Paid witnesses generally show up without being forced to do so. Also, experts are generally allowed to watch other parts of the trial if they are relevant to their opinions.

I think she's under subpoena NOW, for something that she needs to testify about that has been discussed in chambers previously. I doubt her subpoena for that issue includes any requirement not to watch trial coverage.
 

deb2e

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thank you az lawyer for all the time you take to answer questions...couldnt the defense be in trouble because alv notes has what jodi told her about the actual crime (knife on the night stand and shot in the closet) and alv said these things in jm deposition and in testamony in a closed door hearing. the pros. had to fight according to minutes for these notes defense fought to keep them out. if jm didnt have alv notes stating another version of the crime ,and jm wasnt able to cross jodi on them isnt that wrong .the defense tried to pull a fast one

can this be what the hearing is about
 

AZlawyer

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sorry 1 more question, it looks like the DT kept a lot of relevant info from alyce that may have effected her assessment and diagnosis, could this cause an appeal for jodi, and can alyce actually sue over this for damages?

I suppose it could be part of an "ineffective assistance of counsel" argument, but let me ask you this question--do you think ALV would have done a better job with more info? I don't. I think she would either have (1) refused to take the case or (2) looked like even more of a fool.

Thank you all attorneys for your answers to legal questions.
What qualifies as a "justification defense"? On one timeline, I read that JA filed her intention to "assert justification defenses" in June 1010. Could that include a "heat of passion" type defense (IIRC, AZ doesn't actually call it "heat of passion") or would it only refer to "self-defense"? Are there other "justification defenses"? Insanity?

Self-defense is the only one that could apply here. There's defense of a third person, justified use of deadly force by a police officer...nothing else comes to mind.

"Heat of passion" is not a "defense" really at all. It just means you committed manslaughter instead of murder.

TH's on hln are saying in the penalty phase the jury has to find 100% for the death penalty, and if the the jury is hung during the penalty phase the prosecution can empanel a new jury for just the penalty phase, is this true? and if it is how does that work if every one is watching the media coverage and know all the things that were not allowed into evidence?

eta: btw az lawyer, that whole story about alyce coming back for an "impeachement and perjury trial" on tuesday is taking off all over the internet now and every one thinks its true - its crazy

Obviously the new jury would have to be made up of people who haven't seen whatever other evidence you're talking about. Frankly, I have no idea what the other evidence is because I'm not watching the media coverage--see how easy it is? :floorlaugh:

Re your second paragraph: :banghead:

thank you az lawyer for all the time you take to answer questions...couldnt the defense be in trouble because alv notes has what jodi told her about the actual crime (knife on the night stand and shot in the closet) and alv said these things in jm deposition and in testamony in a closed door hearing. the pros. had to fight according to minutes for these notes defense fought to keep them out. if jm didnt have alv notes stating another version of the crime ,and jm wasnt able to cross jodi on them isnt that wrong .the defense tried to pull a fast one

I don't think anyone can be in trouble for that one. If the defense moved to exclude the notes from the state and lost, then the state got the notes, so no harm, no foul IMO.

Howdy legal minds

I am curious. Since ALV was less than honest on her CV as her evidence toward her expertise, could JM argue (vigorously) to disqualify her as an expert and argue to have all or part of her testimony thrown out? (wishful thinking)?

No. Frankly, her exaggerations were no big deal and pretty much par for the course for an expert CV. And for sure they were not significant enough to change her from a qualified DV expert into a non-qualified DV expert.

az lawyer..can the hearing be about alv notes where she wrote jodi told her knive on night stand and shot in the closet ,because didnt the pros. have to fight for her notes..so wouldnt it be like a confession and should have been turned over...jm couldnt cross exam ja on another version because he didnt have her notes

Wait. I thought he did have the notes, based on another question (above). I'm confused now. :waitasec: But the defense definitely does not have to turn over any confession or inconsistent statement made by the defendant! Where do you think we are, France? ;)

I am troubled by ALV's testimony for only one reason:

If Alyce LaViolette were to be charged with (and found guilty of) purgery on the stand, can all her testimony be tossed out? If that were to happen, could Jodi file for ineffective assistance of counsel?

Thanks in advance!

No. I don't think she's even committed perjury. And if she did, she certainly won't be charged with it. No one has time to charge every witness who lies on the stand. This is a daily occurrence during trial. And if she were charged, any charges would not be handled within the Arias case. And it would not cause her testimony to be thrown out anyway.

What happens when a witness lies is that you prove it on cross-examination, and then the jury thinks, "Oh. This person is a liar. We'll keep that in mind." End of story.

Some Questions here:
  1. Could JA be charged yet with -- Obstruction of Justice???
  2. Could JA be charged yet with -- Undignified Remains of a numan Body???
  3. Could JA be charged by the family -- A wrongful Death suit???
  4. Does AZ have a Victims Fund also for Travis family?
  5. Could anyone in her family be charged with "Knowing Assistance/Breach of Fiduciary Duty" by at all??? Because Parents do have a responsibility to kids, what about Adult children -- IF they suspect mental problems and do not try to intervene or get help for them. Is this possible, as in the Police tape they (parents) admit she has problems -- but did they try to do anything. Maybe if they did, TA could be alive. Just a thought....

Just wondering with all her lies to the Police and also the fact that she left his body to decompose after killing him ( AND ) due to the fact that she IS claiming Self-defense @ Trial, so she could have called right away to the Police and his remains handled in a timely matter.

Even if she has NO money, a wrongful death suit to make sure SHE NEVER profits at all -- and if she does -- that goes to TA family?? After all she could have some insurance somewhere and she should never have a penny in any matter at all.

Thanks in Advance (TIA)

Obstruction of justice for lying to the police? No. That would be a 5th Amendment violation.

I don't think there is any Arizona crime for leaving a body in an undignified state. Maybe for not reporting a death? But if so, again it would be a 5th Amendment violation to charge the murder defendant with that crime.

It is way way too late for the family to sue for wrongful death. The statute of limitations is 2 years.

I think there is a victim's fund, but I doubt they hand out damages for murder. I think it's more for victims of financial scams? But not sure.

The only way her parents could be sued would be by TA's family for wrongful death. The family would certainly lose that suit, as JA's parents didn't have any duty to do anything about her mental issues and didn't have any clue she could possibly murder anyone. Besides, as I said, it is way too late for that lawsuit.

So, was the DT expecting ALV to give this "point of view"? How is the jury expected to know what another person in a similar DV relationship would act?

Is this why ALV kept going to real-life examples and commenting on other victims in her care?

This is interesting. I've never considered that under these conditions, it is not what an 'average' person would do; rather it is what a person under the same circumstances would do.

Is this considered case law? Will the DT need to find similar cases to give precedence? I'm so confused.:waitasec:

Yes, ALV was qualified as an expert based on her experience dealing with victims of DV, so that's what she gets to talk about.

In AZ (and many other states), the reasonableness of force used in self-defense is judged by the standard of a "reasonable person"--UNLESS the person on trial is a victim of DV by the deceased, in which case the reasonableness of force used is judged by the standard of a reasonable person who has suffered that type of DV.
 

gitana1

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There is a presiding criminal judge (Welty) and a presiding judge over the entire court (Davis). There is also a manual, I think, specifically for death penalty cases.

Judges in Maricopa County Superior Court are appointed, but face retention elections every few years (every 3 years I think?). Possibly there might have been one guy voted out one time...I don't remember. It is not a big threat really.

If Jodi is acquitted, only a bunch of nincompoops on the Internet will think this was caused by the judge's mismanagement of the trial. Judge S's superiors will not think that. The only thing that Judge S needs help with that I can see is having the confidence to rule on the attorneys' objections without allowing extended bench conferences all the time.

Mistrials also are not likely to be the judge's fault. In fact, it takes a wise judge to realize that he/she needs to grant a mistrial instead of pushing forward after the trial process has clearly broken down. (Don't worry, nothing remotely like that has happened here.)

Do you mean Arizona rather than Nevada? I don't know the terms of Donovan's probation/parole or even if she is on probation/parole. But Arias hasn't been convicted of anything anyway.

Oops! I see I gave contradictory info here. In California, judges are elected and commissioners are appointed. Presiding judges here handle assignments and overall management of the court but are not the bosses, so to speak, of the judges. They manage the court.
So thank goodness we have an Arizona lawyer to give us the correct info. Disregard my answer on that guys!!
 

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Do you think the defense experts had any idea that Jodi would testify when they agreed to work on the case? Because if she hadn't testified, wouldn't it have been somewhat easier for them to raise doubts about pre-planning without needing to bring out and corroborate every single part of her story? But then after Jodi testified weren't they trapped into claiming that in their opinion it was all true? Or would the experts have been in the same bad situation either way?
 

minor4th

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Oops! I see I gave contradictory info here. In California, judges are elected and commissioners are appointed. Presiding judges here handle assignments and overall management of the court but are not the bosses, so to speak, of the judges. They manage the court.
So thank goodness we have an Arizona lawyer to give us why correct info. Disregard my answer on that guys!!

Our district (state court) judges are all elected too. Associate judges, which are kind of like assistant judges to the district judges, are appointed by their district judges. There is no presiding district judge or chief justice - they are all on equal standing and independent and manage their own courts. There is one administrative judge for each region ( a region is comprised of several districts) and the administrative judge might hear motions to recuse or disqualify a judge and appoint visiting judges if there's a need.

Not that anyone asked ..just thought the other lawyers might find it interesting how it works in other jurisdictions.
 
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