Saturday, June 21, 2008

Scott Peterson Civil Trial & Cameron Brown Retrial

At the Cameron Brown pretrial hearing on June 13th, Nareg Gourjian an associate in Mark Geragos's law firm was in the gallery observing the proceedings. Patsy, of CMM sent me a mail to let me know that this is the attorney that is defending Scott Peterson in the civil suit filed by Laci Peterson's parents, Sharon and Dennis Rocha.

You had to have been living in a cave not to have heard of Scott Peterson, the death of 8 months pregnant Laci Peterson and the OJ Simpson level of media frenzy that surrounded it. Although I knew that Geragos missed the reading of the verdict and another Geragos associate, Pat Harris, sat next to Peterson when he was found guilty of first degree murder, I didn't know that Gourjian was also at the table. Patsy was kind enough to forward some links mentioning Gourjian and the civil case. What do you want to bet that Ma & Pa Peterson are shelling out some serious bucks for Scooter's defense in the civil case?

In a stunning move, Judge Roger Beauchesne ruled that the criminal conviction alone was insufficient evidence to prove guilt in the civil case. However, Judge Beauchesne also stayed his ruling and allowed lawyers until June 23 to appeal. The trial is officially set to start on July 8th, 2008.

From the Modesto Bee:
While the civil trial will be longer and more difficult as a result of the ruling, Professor Michael Vitiello of the University of Pacific's McGeorge School of Law said having a jury hear the emotional testimony could result in a larger monetary award.

"You want to hear as many details as possible to come before the jury ... all the evidence about all the things (Peterson) did and how (Laci's) body vanished, showing a calculating and uncaring person," Vitiello said. "You get the jury all worked up, and when it comes to finding damages, then the jury's mad."

A larger award? That sounds good to me. The trial is projected to last about five weeks and T&T will be keeping tabs on whatever news comes out of Judge Beauchesne's courtroom.

In the mean time, with the added responsibility of taking care of Mr. Sprocket for the next several months while he recovers from surgery on his right distal bicepital tendon, I've come to the realization that I will not be able to attend the Cameron Brown retrial in Judge Pastor's courtroom. There is a slim possibility that may change by the time the trial is projected to start on July 28th. However, at this point with all the therapy appointments I know I will have to take him to, it's doubtful.