Legal Questions for Our VERIFIED Lawyers #1

Discussion in 'Caylee Anthony 2 years old' started by The World According, Dec 30, 2009.

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  1. AZlawyer

    AZlawyer Verified Attorney

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    I think the State will not use any "motive" factors that tend to show Casey as a victim, so they will not introduce evidence that Casey was sexually or verbally abused or unloved. They will try to show that Casey was spoiled and given everything for free, including babysitting time, but it wasn't enough for her. Here's my suggested motive for the SA to present: Casey wanted to be free of her parenting responsibilities without having to look like a bad mother. Giving Caylee to her mom was no good--everyone thought she was a great mother, and what kind of great mother would let someone else raise her kid? Kidnapping was the perfect solution. But she didn't want to report the "kidnapping" right away, because then she would be expected to act sad and worried, which wasn't how she wanted to act when she was finally free--she wanted a little celebration time.
     


  2. Anais

    Anais New Member

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    AZLawyer and all others who help thanks so very much for your thoughtful responses and time!!! :)

    What exactly is a "case status hearing?" Does it mean just simple case briefing, or will the judge address this new motion(s) that have been filed?
     
  3. AZlawyer

    AZlawyer Verified Attorney

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    The SA hasn't even had a chance to respond to those motions yet. Most likely they will be going over the pre-trial schedule, figuring out what motions have not been decided yet and setting a timeline for resolving them, figuring out what rulings from JS the defense is going to ask for reconsideration on and setting a timeline to resolve those motions, etc.
     
  4. CarolinaMoon

    CarolinaMoon Well-Known Member

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    Heck, how can the prosecution reply to motions that haven't even been filed yet! Grrr... I keep checking the news thread to see some site other than CFNews13... not one of them has posted these motions or mentioned them with the exception of the Orlando Sentinel which briefly discussed them.

    I'm starting to wonder if they will EVER be filed!
     
  5. logicalgirl

    logicalgirl Peace Hawk

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    I see that Judge Perry has asked for a "get together" on April 30th to review the status of motions, trial dates, etc.

    After reading the Ninth Judicial Circuit Courtroom Decorum Policy after Judge Perry reminded both sides to adhere to it, I would like to know what is the correct address for a Judge during a hearing? I've always flinched when Baez called Judge Strickland "Judge", and have difficulty believing this is protocol.

    Also Judge Perry has asked both the Defense and SA to attend, but there is no mention of Casey. Do you think BP will rescind JS's order that Casey attend ALL hearings?
     
  6. AZlawyer

    AZlawyer Verified Attorney

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    Good point. When partially-signed copies were released, I assumed they would be filed that day or the next day.

    Did they release those motions to the media before Strickland recused himself? Maybe they expected Strickland to deny the motion for recusal, then they were going to file these new motions for Strickland to deny, then they were going to say, "SEE? He hates us because of this MD blog!" Appeal issue #1. But no good now because JS saw through their plan. :)
     
  7. AZlawyer

    AZlawyer Verified Attorney

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    I always go with "Your Honor." Seems to work best. ;)

    There is one judge I called "judge," but I was working for him at the time (clerkship after law school). And it still felt a little rude lol. Now I just call him "Tom." :)

    The order that Casey attend all hearings will stand, unless and until JP rescinds it, which I doubt he will do.
     
  8. AZlawyer

    AZlawyer Verified Attorney

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    Ninth Judicial Circuit Courtroom Decorum Policy:

    http://www.ninja9.org/publications/policies/courtroom%20decorum%20policy.pdf

    I think JP wanted to remind the defense team of a couple of rules:

    Rule 2 -- addressing remarks to the Court rather than opposing counsel

    Rule 3 -- avoiding disparaging remarks

    Rule 4 -- not calling opposing counsel by first name

    Rule 6 -- requesting permission before approaching the bench

    Rule 12 --admonishing your client that "gestures, facial expressions, audible comments or the like, as manifestations of approval or disapproval" are "absolutely prohibited"


    ETA: In the copy of the order in our news thread, the part of Rule 12 that I listed above is in BOLD. :eek:
     
  9. CarolinaMoon

    CarolinaMoon Well-Known Member

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    Thank you AZlawyer! I've been thinking the same thing and am glad you have thoughts similar to mine.

    My next question is: Do you think that they will eventually be refiled? If what we think is true, would they not want to introduce them to the court because they know that Perry won't even consider them or rule on them without a hearing?

    I also wonder how Andrea L. will work her "magic" when asked to just give the "pearls" and not a bushel of oysters?

    AZlawyer, I do so appreciate the time and wisdom you add to WS!
     
  10. logicalgirl

    logicalgirl Peace Hawk

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    Thanks for your last answer re decorum AZ. One more question: since JP is hearing discussion for which motions may be resubmitted, do you expect ALyons to be in court? Especially with this short notice, since she is always talking about her commitments?
     
  11. Macushla

    Macushla Our Royal Himalayan Gopher Hounds

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    I have a question about the, so far, non filed motions. IF these motions have still not been filed by the status hearing, do you think Judge Perry will call them on this or just ignore it because they aren't in play?
     
  12. Anais

    Anais New Member

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    I just read through the Policy Forum for the Ninth Judicial Court and all I can say is Wowswer! What will happen if JB,CM or Inmate Anthony should not respect these? I highly doubt the Casey will think any of this applies or should apply to her. And we all know full well about JB!
     
  13. nancy botwin

    nancy botwin Verified Expert

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    I think there could be several strategic and substantive reasons the defense does not want to show their proverbial hand regarding penalty phase witnesses-- and I agree with your theory re: family dysfunction and sexual abuse allegations. I don't know that disclosure of such witnesses could point to guilt so much as they could damage the defense's case.

    If, for example, the defense intends to call experts on the impact of childhood sexual abuse-- this begs the inference that Casey intends to accuse Lee or George of sexual abuse, formally and in open court. This could alienate her family from the defense and make them wild card witnesses at trial. Will they finally stop protecting Casey, etc.
     
  14. nancy botwin

    nancy botwin Verified Expert

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    IMO, offending parties will just be reminded of the rules and asked to conform their conduct appropriately.
     
  15. AZlawyer

    AZlawyer Verified Attorney

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    Good point! Maybe it's not the SA they want to hide their witnesses from--maybe it's the A family. ;)
     
  16. AZlawyer

    AZlawyer Verified Attorney

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    If I were the SA and the defense didn't mention them, I would say, "Your Honor, I note that defense counsel partially signed several motions and delivered them to the media, but, perhaps by oversight, did not actually file them. Can we get a deadline for those motions to be filed with the clerk?"
     
  17. ynotdivein

    ynotdivein Retired WS Staff

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    His Honor Judge Strickland set a timetable for discovery, etc. and eventual trial--can the Honorable Judge Perry revise that timetable now, or must he abide by it?
     
  18. AZlawyer

    AZlawyer Verified Attorney

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    He could change it...but it isn't unreasonable the way it is now, given the current status of discovery (i.e., no deadlines were set early on, so the defense didn't do much work).

    Eventually, there will be a hearing on the COV request.

    I don't think the pre-release of motions counts as much of a "leak" if they are actually filed at some point soon thereafter--they're public records anyway. That shouldn't affect the COV argument.

    The unfiled motions aren't really "leaks" either--no evidence involved--but do contribute to the public attention, like media interviews by defense counsel. BTW having seen all but one of those unfiled motions now, I don't think any of them are motions for reconsideration.

    I don't think the focus will be on "leaks" in this case, given that practically all information was available to the public legally. I think it will be on the extent and nature of the publicity. The SA will say that the defense fed the publicity, and the defense will say they were just trying to mitigate the horrible nasty publicity resulting from the Sunshine Law releases.
     
  19. ZsaZsa

    ZsaZsa Well-Known Member

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    Eleanor Odom, the Attorney that frequently appears on the NG show stated that if she were prosecuting this case, she would put up two large photos for the Jury to see while she made her opening statement.
    One would be of Caylee as her adorable little 2yr old self.
    Alongside would be a photo of her remains as found in a swamp.
    She would not mention the photos, but said they would speak with a greater eloquence than she ever could, as she outlined the case against Casey.

    Could this be done?
     
  20. AZlawyer

    AZlawyer Verified Attorney

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    After reviewing some Florida case law (but by no means doing a complete search), I do not think the SA will be permitted to do this. Here's an excerpt from a case (Buckner) in which the court found there was NOT a problem with photos of the victim, but you can tell from the reasoning that something more than this MIGHT very well be a problem:

    In his final guilt phase argument, Buckner asserts that extrajudicial evidence created undue sympathy which warranted a mistrial. During a break in the guilt phase, a juror told the bailiff that she saw spectators holding up photographs. An investigation revealed that one spectator held up a collage of photographs of the victim; several rows back, family members of the victim held up two eight-by-ten photographs of the victim. Apparently, none of the jurors saw the eight-by-ten photos, but two of the jurors saw the collage of small photos. Of the two jurors, one stated she thought it was inappropriate that the family held up photographs and that the incident would not influence her in any way; the other juror stated that she saw the photographs but refused to look at them and that the incident would not influence her decision.

    After this incident, Buckner moved for a mistrial, arguing that this incident exposed the jury to a blatant appeal for sympathy and consequently deprived Buckner of a fair trial. The trial judge denied the motion.

    Under certain circumstances, prejudicial exhibition of emotion may deprive a defendant of a fair trial. Woods v. Dugger , 923 F.2d 1454 (11th Cir. 1991) (where prejudicial exhibition "extreme," new trial warranted). Moreover, it is inappropriate for a judge to inquire into the emotions, mental processes, or mistaken beliefs of jurors. State v. Hamilton , 574 So. 2d 124 (Fla. 1991). However, a judge may objectively look to the extrinsic factual matters disclosed to the jury and then determine whether there was a reasonable possibility that the breach was prejudicial to the defendant. Id . at 129. In this case, a few of the jurors saw the photographs for a brief moment only and even then, saw them only from a distance; the photographs consisted of nothing more than the victim pictured with other individuals; and none of the jurors who saw the photographs could identify who was depicted in the photographs. On these facts, there is no reasonable possibility that the jury's brief exposure to the photographs may have changed the outcome of the proceeding. See , e.g. , Burns v. State , 609 So. 2d 600 (Fla. 1992) (widow crying three times in courtroom insufficient to prejudice jury). Consequently, we find this claim to be without merit.
     
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