Legal Questions for our Verified Lawyers #4

Discussion in 'Caylee Anthony 2 years old' started by Kimster, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. AZlawyer

    AZlawyer Verified Attorney

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    Well, if he's just quoting Casey, I wouldn't say "getting away with" defamation so much as "not" defaming. But then I'm a lawyer. ;)

    Yes, she can. But hopefully she had separate counsel to represent her regarding the waiver (Cheney?), and hopefully that separate counsel advised her about the potential pitfalls (like being called a mentally ill liar in JB's book), and hopefully she was paid for the waiver (because JB should never have accepted it if she wasn't getting anything in return).

    Otherwise there could be some lawyers in ethical trouble. Well, obviously not in Florida, but in some hypothetical other state.

    Musikman! You're alive!! :rocker:
     
  2. Tugela

    Tugela Well-Known Member

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    I think the prosecution would have run into the same issue of proving possession. The fundamental flaw in the murder case as far as I could tell was that they couldn't show that Casey had control of Caylee after she left the Anthony home. All the evidence suggested that Caylee never left the house, while Casey did, and she appeared unaware that anything had happened or what had happened for quite a period of time.

    A more likely explanation of all that is that Casey left Caylee at the house when she went away, and that something happened to Caylee afterwards. And whoever was responsible for that (take your pick) did the disposal. Casey no knowing about it at the time wouldn't make her responsible. A poor mother for sure, but the connection to homicide or corpse disposal can't be made.
     
  3. SallyLu

    SallyLu Active Member

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    Hmmm, playing with words.

    AZ, are you saying that FCA could have been paid for the waiver?

    So it could be true if JB says she's not profiting from the book then as she could have been paid $$$$$ for the waiver.



    Thank you for all the work you do round these parts. Much appreciated!
     
  4. KarmaGet'em

    KarmaGet'em New Member

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    Tugela - So as to not hijack this thread (this thread is for Verified Lawyers to answer questions), I have linked a response in the Sidebar thread:
    [ame="http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8110840&postcount=1024"]http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8110840&postcount=1024[/ame]
     
  5. AZlawyer

    AZlawyer Verified Attorney

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    Maybe. All I'm saying is that if she truly didn't get any compensation for giving up her attorney-client privilege so JB could write his book, then she was either poorly advised or disregarded the advice of counsel.

    One other possibility is that she owed JB a bunch of money for all the hours he put into her defense, and the waiver was used to "pay" him for the remainder that was owed. However, I would question the ethics of requesting that your client pay your bill by waiving the A/C privilege. I haven't researched the issue, but I imagine most lawyers would get stomach cramps just thinking about making such a proposal. My assumption, therefore, unless we hear otherwise, is that this is NOT what happened.
     
  6. Katprint

    Katprint Verified Expert

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    I agree COMPLETELY! Except to the extent that Baez previously claimed they entered into a fee agreement for a certain specified amount ($225,000+ - or whatever it was he claimed back in his indigency documents - and he swore he didn't make any agreements concerning media rights or movie/TV/book rights etc. Geez, it's been years now and it's so hard to remember.)

    IIRC, the agreements that Baez made folks like Tony Padilla's people sign prevented them from assisting Casey in obtain access to outside, independent counsel by attorneys on the grounds that it would interfere with Casey's attorney-client relationship with Baez.

    The ethical conflicts arising from this type of situation are identified in the recent law review article http://www.law.nyu.edu/ecm_dlv/grou...review/documents/documents/ecm_pro_058042.pdf . I agree with the general principle that a client CANNOT give informed consent concerning future literary/media rights while that client is under the indirect duress of a criminal prosecution, ESPECIALLY in a capital case.

    Way back in first year law school, in Contracts classes we learn about how duress is a defense to "consent." The example of having a gun pointed at your head is usually given as an example of duress. The possibility of spending life in prison would also qualify as "duress" in my humble opinion.

    On the one hand, people would not pay big piles of money to criminal defense attorneys unless they were more afraid of what would happen to them than they were afraid of what the judge will do to them if they don't have an attorney. [Disclosure: Most of my clients lately have been DUIs who are willing to pay a big pile of money for me to wrangle a "deal" where they get treatment instead of spending a lot of time behind bars.] On the other hand, society is not served by clients being taken advantage of by their lawyers.

    Bottom line: I think Casey Anthony is the freakish rare occurrence where yes, she may be unduly exploited by her immoral lawyer, but she cannot seek redress in court because her disclosures will cost her more than her exploitation by her immoral lawyer. Basically the legal equivalent of the medical marijuana dispensaries who stiff their [illegal] suppliers of marijuana, who cannot sue for the enforcement of their illegal contracts to supply illegal marijuana. I keep hoping fruitlessly that the Florida State Bar will deal with Baez, but so far, nothing.

    Katprint
    Always only my own opinions
     
  7. hand

    hand New Member

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    I just finiished reading Baez's book.
    He wrote that in preparing for the trial, the
    first thing he did was write his closing argument.
    Does that sound normal to you?
     
  8. AZlawyer

    AZlawyer Verified Attorney

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    Yes. Once you figure out what you want to be able to tell the jury at the end, you can backtrack to make sure you get in all the witnesses and exhibits that will allow you to tell that story.
     
  9. ZsaZsa

    ZsaZsa Well-Known Member

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    Matt Morgan, for Zenaida, tweeted that he asked Mark Lippman - We will seek donations for the now dissolved Caylee's fund. Lippmans response was "Good Luck", which sounds dismissive to say the least.
    My question is, how difficult is it to obtain records from a fund such as this ....can Lippman hide these funds and can a citizen ask for an accounting and who would one ask?
    thanks
     
  10. LEFT-COASTER

    LEFT-COASTER Not to worry, I got the squirrels cornered

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    oK.....here is my legal question.. please help..

    If a lawyer.. (jose for example) calls a witness. and asks that person a question on the stand.. that He knows the person is gonna lie about.. Isnt that.. subornation of perjury,

    He called cindy to the stand.. asked about the puter searchs knowing she was gonna lie and say she did them.. even tho he knew casey did them...

    to me .. I would think that would be illegal.
     
  11. AZlawyer

    AZlawyer Verified Attorney

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    Are you asking about records of who donated what? I don't think those are publicly available. I don't think Morgan will get them through the court, either, because it is none of his business. :) He might be able to find out if the charity is paying anything to Casey, though.

    Yes, that would be subornation of perjury.

    In the case of Cindy's testimony, I'm sure he would say either that he didn't "know" that Casey had done the searches or that he didn't "know" Cindy was going to pretend she had done them.

    Did he say anything about it in his "book"?
     
  12. LEFT-COASTER

    LEFT-COASTER Not to worry, I got the squirrels cornered

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    I am copy and pasting this from my post in the side bar.. as You didnt see it there....
    Ok Ill try lol..
    I have a kindle so no actual page numbers..

    at Location 4153 (53%thru the book) chapter 16 named *the Prosecution's evidence was garbage"

    Jose says.. "Casey who was twenty_two at the tie, told me she had no idea in the world what chloroform was, but after seeing her boyfriends post about chloroform, she searched onine for chloroform to find out what Morales was talking about"


    In chaper 30 "destroying the fantasy"
    He starts at location 6864
    He talks about calling cindy to the stand.
    he stated
    *this is a perfect opportunity for me to do two things: one continue to cast reasonable doubt on these searchs: and two get linda Burdick to attack her best witness cindy.

    *** we got cindy up on the stand and cindy testified she had made the searches**

    He did this knowing that cindy would lie .. he talked about knowing in her depo she had claimed to be the one that made the searches...


    I just cant see how this is legal.
     
  13. AZlawyer

    AZlawyer Verified Attorney

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    I just responded on that thread. We seem to be cross-posting. ;)

    Here's what I said:

    I think if you know the person is going to lie, but your purpose is to then decimate the lie to show what a liar she is and that she cannot be believed, it is not subornation of perjury. I can't say I've ever researched the issue, but I know I do this all the time and my ethics "spider senses" do not go off.

    But it sounds like JB is admitting that one purpose for eliciting this testimony was in hopes that the jury would believe Cindy ("to cast reasonable doubt on these searches") and that sounds pretty subornation-of-perjury-ish to me.
     
  14. ZsaZsa

    ZsaZsa Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I was under the impression that a charity that accepted public dollars
    would need to show an accounting of some kind, showing how they used that money. I don't expect to find every dollar with someone's name on it, but if one donation is for $600K that will answer one question - the other is where did it go, if only $100K was left when they closed that fund down ?
    Are you saying that this fund can keep this information from the public?
    I don't think that members of the public who donated expected their donations to end up in Casey's pocket ..
     
  15. ZsaZsa

    ZsaZsa Well-Known Member

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  16. AZlawyer

    AZlawyer Verified Attorney

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    If they were really a 501(c)(3) organization, there should be some basic financial info available, including "where did the money go" info (probably with sanitized descriptions, rather than "we gave it to Casey" lol), but not individual donations or donors.
     
  17. AZlawyer

    AZlawyer Verified Attorney

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    When I searched for "Caylee" on that site, both of the charities popped up. But there isn't much info available.

    ETA: I searched GuideStar and only found the old charity (and the IRS Form 990 wasn't available for that one anyway).
     
  18. legalmania

    legalmania Verified Paralegal

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    He also claimed he watched the best attorneys in high profile cases. He watched Roy Black who defended William Kennedy Smith and copied him when he put the gas can in front of George and left it there as a psychological tactic. Even though the judge threw out Baez's sex offender defense he still thinks that impacted the jury into an acquittal.
     
  19. Dcstew

    Dcstew New Member

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    I have just started researching subornation of perjury. So this isn't just an ethical issue it can be criminal charges, correct? Also, wouldn't Casey be a conspirator also, not just Baez?


    "When there is a criminal conspiracy to suborn perjury, the conspirators may be prosecuted whether or not perjury has been committed. It is also quite common to join both subornation of perjury and Obstruction of Justice counts in a single indictment when they arise from the same activity."
     
  20. AZlawyer

    AZlawyer Verified Attorney

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    Are you referring to JB putting Cindy on the stand to lie about the chloroform searches?

    First of all, let me reiterate that I haven't read the book (except for the free preview, which did not make me feel inclined to pay for the full version). So I don't know what exactly he said and how exactly he explained himself, or whether what he said he did would constitute witness tampering under Florida criminal law. Not to mention I'm not even a Florida lawyer. :)

    But even if he did do something wrong with respect to Cindy's testimony, I don't think we have any evidence that Casey was involved in that decision.
     

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