Wednesday, February 25, 2009
The hearing has just concluded. I managed find a feed. Unfortunately, there was a problem with both the sound and the video and I wasn't able to hear Bradley Conway's main arguments. I was also unable to get a continuing feed to hear all of the responses by Keith Mitnik, the attorney for Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez.
In fairness to both parties here, I'll just go over the content briefly and give the judge's decision.
The main thrust of the discussion concerning the Anthony's mental condition and their stress levels. Apparently, Conway did not provide medical information as to their fitness to testify at the depositions. Towards the end of the hearing, Mitnik agreed that George, having recently attempted suicide could wait. He stated that Cindy Anthony's deposition was more important and should go on.
In his decision, Judge Rodriguez addressed the admission of media for live broadcast and coverage first. He allowed the media (television, print, etc.) 20 days to go back to their legal departments to have them prepare amicus briefs for the court as to why they should be allowed. He also allowed Conway the same 20 days to prepare medical information concerning how the depositions should be done (allowing for the Anthony's health situations). In addition, the judge ruled out written interrogatories as inappropriate in this situation. So, eventually, the George and Cindy Anthony will have to appear in person.
At that point, Mitnik asked that, if he went out and though about it for an hour, and came back and stated that the Morgan&Morgan premises was private property and he could bar the press from entering, could the judge allow the depositions to go on tomorrow. The judge did not allow for this as he had already stated the media had 20 days to file amicus briefs.
Mitnik then asked if he could schedule new depositions now for a date after the hearings, just in case. The judge allowed for this. This was the one humorous moment in the hearing. Judge Rodriguez directly addressed WFTV reporter Kathi Belich to ask her when sweeps week was! The judge doesn't want there to be any possibility that these depositions could be broadcast live during this particular week!
Yesterday, Bradley Conway, the attorney for Bradley Conway filed a Motion For Protective Order with Judge Jose Rodriguez who is presiding over the civil suit filed by Zenaida-Fernandez Gonzales and counter suit filed by Casey Anthony.
The Anthony's are scheduled to appear at the Morgan law firm tomorrow to give a deposition in the case. According to Conway's motion, the Anthony's were being subject to a circus-like atmosphere since it had been stated that he would invite the media to "watch, video tape and televise the depositions..." In addition, he stated that the motion was "...Intended to annoy, embarrass, oppress and create undo burden on the aforementioned deponents."
To bolster his argument, Conway also cited the fragile emotional condition of George and Cindy. He cites George's recent suicide attempt and the fact that both are seeking professional help in dealing with Caylee's death and the pending charges against Casey.
One item in the motion directly references the effect the deposition could have in the case against Casey Anthony. Conway states, "Mr. Morgan's proclamations create a circus like atmosphere surrounding a legal proceeding that affects not only the lives of the deponents, but may affect the integrity of the criminal case filed by the State of Florida against the Defendant in this case."
Conway also mentions that the Morgan firm could use written interrogatories to spare the Anthony's appearance in person. He also suggests that depositions could be placed under protective order and subsequently be redacted and placed under seal.
Finally, Conway indicates that Casey's attorneys have filed a Motion to Dismiss and is set to be heard in a hearing in May. He recommends that the depositions should be postponed until after that hearing.
What will the judge decide? Stay tuned for an update. As of now, there is no indication as to whether or not the hearing will be live-streamed.
Motion For Protective Order