The Orlando Sentinel has just reported that there will be a hearing tomorrow morning before Judge Stan Strickland concerning a motion filed by the State's Attorney, Jeffrey Ashton. The hearing will take place at 10:30 AM according to MyFoxOrlando.
The Motion to Determine Potential Conflict of Interest and Waiver asks the judge to make an inquiry to determine the existence of any potential conflict of interest and establish the Defendants knowledge of and waiver of any such potential conflict of interest.
Among the reasons he felt this was necessary were:
At the bond hearing on July 22, 2008, the court heard extensive testimony as to financial status of the Defendant and her parents George and Cindy Anthony, which established little, if any, net worth on the part of George and Cindy Anthony and none on the part of the Defendant. (Para 3)
...approximately eight different lawyers have been retained to represent the Defendant in different aspects of this case and numerous experts have been announced as having been retained in this matter. (Para 4)
Ashton went on to explain that... logic dictates that certain conclusions must be drawn. First and foremost among these conclusions is that the Defendant's seeming conversion from pauper to princess did not come from the sale of some tangible asset... The only asset that appears available to the Defendant is her story or otherwise valueless items, such as photographs or video tapes...
He also stated that...Such precarious financial relationships are fraught with potential for claims of conflict of interest... Since the value of her "story" may change based upon the outcome of this case, such an arrangement could easily be argued by the Defendant, in the inevitable post conviction motion, as giving the attorney an incentive to advise his client in a manner that increased the value of the property as held, as opposed to advising her as to the course that was in her best interest.
This motion strikes to the heart of the mystery surrounding Casey Anthony's finances. Who is in control of her business deals? Who is signing the contracts for licensing fees for pictures and videos? What deals have been made for the future?
Shortly after Ashton submitted his motion to the court, defense attorney Jose Baez fired back with an Objection And Motion To Strike The State's Motion To Determine Potential Conflict Of Interest.
Baez wrote in his motion that the State had filed the objection among its own speculation, possibility based on rumors of tabloid news broadcasts. (Para 2)
Actually, when you go back and read the State's motion, there is no mention of such things as, "We heard rumors that... We read in the National Enquirer....." or anything of the sort. Mr. Ashton simply pointed out that there was a lot of money all of a sudden and there could be some logical conclusions drawn based on what they know of the situation.
Baez continues by mentioning that the State is out to retaliate for his previous motion for Sanctions against them (which he lost). He states in his 6th paragraph that the State is trying to interfere with his client's Constitutional Right to counsel.
If you read the State's motion, it clearly states that, The State is not requesting that, based upon the findings of this inquiry, the court block counsel's representation of the Defendant. We have no interest in interfering with the Defendant's right to counsel of her choice.
Finally, and as usual, Baez takes it to the usual level of his legal arguments:
... this motion has been filed solely to harass and embarrass the Defendant's counsel, and to possibly deflect attention away from the pending Motion for Sanctions as well as the future motions of misconduct stemming from the release of discovery which involves the unauthorized videotaping of the Defendant's counsel, while meeting with the Defendant. (Para 7)
That's quite a bit to take in within one sentence! First, Baez feels that the State's attorney is out to "get" him and make him look bad. Then, he says that it's obvious that the State is trying to deflect from other motions filed by him and to be also filed in the future!
I will say this right out. I am NOT a legal eagle. I've followed my share of trials and I can't recall so many motions filed stating that the prosecution is out to "harass and embarrass the defense. My problem with all of this is that this case is all about the law. While Mr. Baez might have some legal basis for his arguments, it would be nice to see that particular case law cited! Without proper foundation, these arguments resemble a schoolyard fight, not a case in the courts of law.
Finally, attached to this motion is a Sworn Affidavit by Ms. Anthony herself, stating that Mr. Baez doesn't have the ability to market her or Caylee's story. That still doesn't answer the question as to what was asked in the State's motion. It also doesn't explain how she obtained the money to pay Mr. Baez's retainer. If I recall correctly, Casey had told him at their first jail meeting that she had money in the bank and would pay him. I suppose Mr. Baez bought that story from Ms. Liar Liar.
The most interesting part of these documents filed by Baez was Casey's own personal contribution. Ms. Casey added, in her own handwriting:
I believe that Mr. Ashton is angry because I have refused to take a plea agreement for a crime that I DID NOT COMMIT.
Let's see, the only "deal" offered so far has been the one that expired in September. It offered immunity to Casey for information leading to the location of Caylee. That wasn't a "plea agreement" and she turned it down anyway. The State took the death penalty off the table; I can't imagine what plea agreement she could think of at this point. Oh, YES! Casey lives in her own fantasy world and she probably thinks there is a deal on the table!
It does appear that this should be quite a hearing. There has been no mention made as of yet if it will be held in public or in camera. Let's all keep an eye out for news of live coverage. I hope to see you all in court tomorrow!
Note: WESH has announced it will be streaming the video live tomorrow. That means that there should be more than one feed.
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