Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Latest on the January 30 hearing in the Case against Casey Anthony

It's been a busy day today in the case against Casey Anthony. I posted yesterday with all the information available at the time and updated it this morning. Since then, there is more!

The court has announced that a trial date will be set.

Judge Strickland ruled that Casey must attend all motions hearings.

Mark NeJame, representing Tim Miller and Texas Equusearch filed a motion to strike the defense motion for subpoena duces tecum. In a series of well-reasoned arguments with abundant case law referenced, NeJame explains that TES is not a Florida entity. He did indicate there was the Uniform Act which could be used to subpoena a material witness. However,

...the Uniform Act does not apply where there is a mere request for documents without an accompanying subpoena witness. (2)

Other nuggets from the motion include (my boldface):

...The Amended Application for Subpoena Duces Tecum is critically flawed in that it has failed to state or make a requisite showing that TES is a material witness in the case... (3)

A Subpoena Duces Tecum of the items requested by the Defendant, through her counsel, would be immaterial and irrelevant. None of thousands of searchers, who volunteered with TES, were ever at the exact spot where Caylee Anthony's remains were found. (5)

"... All that is required is that the subpoenaed materials be relevant to the investigation being conducted and that the subpoena not be overly broad or burdensome. A proper subpoena is one that is properly limited in scope, relevant in purpose, and specific in directive so that compliance will not be unduly burdensome. (6)

TES is a non-profit organization... It does not have the time, money or resources to pay for and provide the Defendant with all of the items requested. (8)

If this Honorable Court is inclined to grant this deficient application, TES respectfully requests that Defendant provide TES with adequate and sufficient advanced funds... and that the funds have come from a permissable source. (9)

Later in the motion, NeJame indicates that Jose Baez never collected the rest of the "tips" he had asked for and never paid for them.

In arguing against the disclosure of the names, addresses, and other information about the volunteers, NeJame cites the case of South Florida Blood Service vs. Rasmussen,

... the court held that such disclosure was not discoverable, as to do so would not protect the donors' constitutional privacy interests. (13)

In summarizing the motion, NeJame asserts that

The Defendant, through her counsel, claims that it has been reported that the searchers have been at this site. This claim lacks foundation and merit. The volunteers with TES never searched the exact location where Caylee Anthony's body was found. Furthermore, the Defendant, through her counsel, has failed to provide any source that supports their claim that the volunteers were at the site. The Defendant's request, through her counsel, is nothing more than an impermissible fishing expedition.

I'm looking forward to the debate about this in the courtroom tomorrow. Baez had better have done his homework if he expects anything from TES!

The second new motion was filed by the prosecution. Again, I'll give you the nuggets I thought were very good (again, boldface is mine):

The appropriate vehicle by which a defendant may have the issue reviewed by the trial court is a Motion to Disqualify. (2)

... the Florida Supreme Court has stated that disqualification is proper only if specific or actual prejudice can be demonstrated. (3)

It is difficult to ascertain from the pleading whether the factual basis for the defendant's motion is the filing of a bar complaint against Jose Baez, the manner in which any such complaint was made, the subject matter of the complaint, or the disclosure of such complaint by a third party. (4)

Linda Drane Burdick, who filed the motion on her own behalf and on that of her co-counsel, Jeffrey Ashton and Frank George. She further states that

...if any Assistant State Attorney affiliated with the case was to receive reliable information that any other lawyer has committed a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct, such misconduct would immediately be reported to the appropriate authority... Reporting any such violation, regardless of the status of pending litigation does not either legally or factually constitute "egregious behavior." (5)

Drane Burdick ends her motion with mention of the sources of the information upon which the motion was made.

The defendant's motion is wholly based upon the news media reports. The State of Florida would urge the court to deny without hearing any motion that cites as factual support the report of any news outlet. The media coverage to date has ranged from sensational to speculative to irresponsible to just plain wrong and should never for the basis for a motion in a court of law. (8)

Again, Baez had better do his homework! These two motions and the motions that they answer are going to create some fireworks.

There has been a lot of discussion going on about exactly why Casey doesn't want to go to court. This session should surely prove to her why she needs to be there. She needs to see her lawyer in action and judge how well he's representing her in her case.

Read Judge Strickland's ruling HERE.

NeJame's motion for TES

Prosecution motion HERE

See you all in court tomorrow! The major Orlando TV stations will be streaming it live tomorrow, January 30 at 8:30 AM.

For information about the other motions that have been filed recently, check HERE.


katfish said...

Thanks for a thorough report! I will set my alarm! I seldom support any ideas from Leonard Padilla, but I kind of liked his suggestion based on a case he had dealt with before....if Baez wants the info from Equasearch he should pack his arse over to Texas and copy them himself. The only problem with that suggestion is the privacy issue for the searchers.....we'll see what they come up with tommorrrow. geesh! Any word if LKB will be there?

ritanita said...


I haven't heard if she will be there, but she should since she signed the motion to recuse. If Jose has to speak to it, it will be ridiculous! Well, that's not saying anything new.

Just after I posted the article I heard that jailers will bring Casey to court, even if they have to use force.

That hearing is WAY too early!

shari said...

Linda Kinney Baden IS in town and Florida is not the place for a repeat of Spector type lawyering, although Baez can use all the help he can get.
I too wonder why Casey doesn't wish to be in court. Perhaps the "princess" is just too busy to be bothered.

Liz said...

Many thanks for the update - there is so much news about this case, your summaries are great for keeping me in touch with the latest events.

Shari - it looks at the moment that Florida might become such a place for at least a short while!

donchais said...

This ought to be a three-ring circus!

As of last night, Cindy hadn't decided whether she would attend the hearing - throw that into the mix and you betcha there will be fireworks!

Another fine recap ritanita!