Monday, February 15, 2010

Casey Anthony: Macaluso Off The Dream Team

Todd Macaluso is now officially off the Casey Anthony "Dream Team" of high powered attorneys brought in by Jose Baez over the past year or so to help defend his client, Casey Anthony, who is accused of capital murder in the death of her daughter, Caylee.

When Macaluso first came on Team Anthony in March, 2009, he was already facing charges with the California Bar Association. The Notice of Disciplinary Charges against him were filed on January 13, 2009. At that time, Macaluso was charged with eight counts. They consisted of one count of Moral Turpitude-Issuing NSF Checks, two counts of Failure to Maintain Client Funds in Trust Account, three counts of Moral Turpitude-Misappropriation, on count of Failure to Maintain Client Funds in Trust Account, and one count of Misuse of Client Trust Account.

Apparently, Macaluso had used about $170,00 from clients trust accounts for expenses in his business, including the leasing of a jet. While he is not accused of stealing any money and states the money was returned to the accounts, this definitely fits into the category of misappropriation of funds.

He filed a response on February 13, 2009. This document is interesting to read because it is chock full of various defenses in the case. I copied some of them from the document, but have not included the affirmative defenses at the end. Please go read them!

Firstly, Macaluso indicates that none of his clients ever complained about the situation. The banks involved, however, were required to report the problem to the Bar.

His major defense concerned his brother, who died in early December, 2005. In his reply, Macaluso stated the following, over and over:

3. Any errors that were committed by Respondent were a direct result of mistakes by his office staff in administering and supervising the trust account, because of his inability to attend to those duties at that time.

My friend who is an attorney pointed out to me that it is not allowed for anyone but the attorney himself to be responsible for the accounts. He said a lawyer may not delegate this crucial responsibility to anyone. He also told me that this is a very serious allegation. It also bugs me that he blames his staff. There's nothing worse than passing the buck and refusing to take responsibility for his actions as Casey stated (whether she meant it or not) at her check fraud trial.

5. Respondent specifically denies any wilful (sic)violation of Business and Professions Code, section 6106. Respondent’s actions in failing to know that his trust account contained insufficient funds at those particular times were not a result of gross negligence, moral turpitude, dishonesty or corruption, but the result of insufficient training and supervision of his office staff, due to a personal tragedy in Respondent’s family, the sudden and unexpected death of his only brother, which caused him severe emotional and psychological trauma.

Out of respect to Mr. Macaluso and his family, I won't post everything he wrote in his defense here, but you can read it in the original document.

As I was watching Jane Velez-Mitchell tonight, Judge David Young made an interesting comment about Macaluso's reasoning. He said that the excuse that he was grieving the loss of his brother in the mismanagement of the funds was , "a bunch of malarkey".

On March 2, 2009, Macaluso was brought in to the case. At the time, he told reporters that he was joining the team because he excels at cross-examining technical experts.

March 12, 2009, Macaluso submitted an AMENDED VERIFIED MOTION FOR ADMISSION TO APPEAR PRO HAC VICE. I've never located his original motion, but I would assume that he had to present and amended motion to include his situation with the California Bar. He included a list of informational items which I've copied here:


COMES NOW the undersigned foreign attorney, TODD E. MACALUSO, In support of the Verified Motion for Admission to Appear Pro Hac Vice, and states the following:

1. That it has come to the attention of the undersigned counsel that there is a pending disciplinary action
that was filed January 23, 2009.

2. The pending investigation case number is 6-0-14552.
3. That a response was filed February 13, 2009. See attached Response to Disciplinary Action.
4. In December of 2005, Attorney's brother, Glenn Macaluso passed away unexpected (sic) of an
undiagnosed heart condition.

5. As a result thereof, the Attorney was away from the office for approximately one year and three months
consoling his family due to the tragic loss.

6. During that time, two checks were drafted that were returned by the bank due to an accounting error by
the office staff.

7. The accounting error was immediately and swiftly corrected.
8. No client complaint was ever filed to the State Bar.
9. The only reason the matter was reported to the Bar was because the bank reports automatically by
State Law.

10. The Attorney is a member of the California State Bar and is in good standing. A certificate of good
standing will be provided forthwith.

In his motion, Macaluso included a copy of his response to the charges.

On March 17, Judge Stan Strickland admitted Macaluso to practice law for the Casey Anthony case. By August 21, Macaluso had taken the lead in the fight for TES records with his now-famous statement to the Court:

As Your Honor knows, the body of Caylee Marie Anthony was found very close to the Anthony home, and the body was found in a wooded area that if one were to search for a missing child, this is the first place you would go search. There is substantial evidence that we’ve discovered, and that’s been set forth in our brief, Your Honor, that the body or the remains of Caylee Anthony were placed there after Casey Anthony was locked up in the Orange County Correctional Facility. There is substantial evidence, and that proves, Your Honor, her innocence. That’s exculpatory evidence, it proves that somebody else placed the remains in the area where it was ultimately found.

Apparently, Macaluso's case didn't turn out to be "a simple mistake that is still being worked out". Instead, he is facing an Alternative Discipline Program and will be ineligible to practice law since he will be placed on the inactive list during this time. Darren Kavinoky, another attorney on JVM indicated that the reasons Macaluso gave were probably what got him the alternative program rather than a stronger discipline.

Whatever the future may hold for Todd Macaluso, his role in the case is over.


Casey Anthony: August 21 Hearing Report

Video: March 13, 2009
Casey's New Attorney In Trouble With California Bar
Attorney Steps Away From Casey Anthony Defense


donchais said...

I'm sorry, Macaluso's response IS, "a bunch of malarkey"!

FRG said...

Doesn't TM fit right in with KC??? What a bunch of slimy balls these attorneys are. Does TM want us to believe he passed bad checks because of the loss of his brother? Oh boy!!!
Thanks for the article!!
So, now what? Do you know what's going to happen about TM's statements? What will Judge Strickland do, do you have any idea?

ritanita said...

FRG, Don't you know? High-powered attorneys don't "pass bad checks"? They "mismanage funds"!

I don't think we will see any major change in the path the defense is taking at this time, but then, with this case... anything can happen.

FRG said...

So you mean that KC mismanaged Amy's funds??? Just kidding!!!! Lawyers certainly can use different words for doing bad stuff right? Oh well.
Did you read on OS article today that spokesperson Marti Mackenzie has also resigned and Lyon brought, of course Liz Brown from the DePaul University College of Law Legal Clinic.
Careful JB, you may be next to be replaced. LOL

ritanita said...

I just found that out, FRG. Andrea Lyon, Angel of Death Row is taking control of the case.

In my opinion, this is just the latest step.

I don't think she liked the fact that Baez ignored the judge's instruction to confer with her at the last hearing.

The only problem is, if Baez goes, they still need a FL attorney on the case. None of the other remaining "big-time" attorneys are in-state.

FRG said...

Thanks, I didn't know about the FL attorney.
I believe JB is smarter than we think and he is making the deals (people speculate Todd Black/Gil Cabot makes the deals). Don't you believe that lot of high profile lawyers is a recipe for a disaster, lots of big egos and they might clash, I may be wrong, of course.

Sprocket said...


A lot of clashing egos was a big problem for the defense in Spector 1. Cutler, Rosen, Brunon... each one had an ego.

Bruce Cutler was basically "shut out" of any cross examination of prosecution witnesses and eventually left the defense team when it was shown that he could not present closing arguments due to his long absence on the case to film a TV show.

Casey would be better served by a single, death qualified defense attorney (from Florida) callng the shots.

FRG said...

I heard or read, I believe from JB's mouth he will declare KC as an "indigent"... well, if he does what is going to happen? Will we (tax-payers) have to pay for her high profile lawyers? Just thinking about it, makes me mad. Geez!!!

ritanita said...

The only mentioned about declaring Casey indigent was at the hearing last week in which Andrea Lyon threw out the idea that Casey could be declared indigent for the purpose of the deposition of Jill Kerley, Roy Kronk's ex-wife.

Nobody acknowledged the comment, but it reminded people that Casey has no money and there have been questions about how her defense is being funded.

I'm not a lawyer, but, from what I have learned while following trials, if Casey is declared indigent, Baez would have to open up the books as to how her expenses have been paid.

Her lawyers could accept payment from the State of Florida... their pay schedule, not the defense's normal rate of pay.

FRG said...

Thank you!!!
Wow!!! That will never happen, in my opinion. JB can't open his books we would find out who has the deals for KC's movies/books, or whatever, right? Judge Strickland knows his deals, from my understanding JB has one deal with KC and one deal with LKB, correct me if I am wrong, I think I heard in the hearing about the "conflict of interests". Well, the rest of the hearing was in closed doors and we may never know what the deals are. In your opinion, do you believe after the trial, we will come to know JB's deals?
Thanks for the great work.

FRG said...

Take a look at this, you can delete it if you chose to, okay?

Casey Prosecutors Allowed To Keep Evidence Secret
Posted: 4:41 pm EST February 24, 2010

ritanita said...

FRG, thanks for the heads up! That's what I get for going to the grocery store!

FRG said...

Good morning!!!
I have a question, JB stated at the hearing that he would add DC in his witness list because he wanted to be present when deposed by the Prosecution right? So, hypothetically defense didn't supply their witness list (as we know of), would be possible (legal) that DC was questioned under an investigative subpoena?
Thanks a lot.

ritanita said...


I really need to go back to the videotape to be 100%, but I did watch the hearing and re-watched it at the time.

To the best of my recollection, Baez indicated he would add Casey to his witness list. Whether or not that happened is up in the air since we have yet to see an updated witness list, even after the February 2 deadline.

As for the investigative deposition that was supposed to take place in December, we've not heard a peep from the State as to whether or not it occurred or if Baez was present.

That leads to all the speculation that Casey is the subject of the mysterious in camera review of newly obtained materials and information.

I sure wish I knew the answer to all the questions that arise at this point! I have at least 3 theories and I don't know which way to go. So, I'm reading all over and waiting for the discovery to come out.

FRG said...

Thanks a lot.Maybe this helps you, this is the Notice of Cancellation of DC's depo:
I took a look at KC's docket and so far defense has not filed any witness list.

ritanita said...

FRG, the main issue is that they may have cancelled the original deposition and gone on to do an investigative deposition.

If they did one, it COULD be some of the information being investigated now.

This is really, really trying my patience and I am a very patient person!

FRG said...

Not only your patience for sure. I am not a curious person at all but in this case I am. It is intriguing, isn't it?
I bet Prosecutors might be laughing at us as we are trying so hard to guess what they have and we are going in a different direction than what that is. LOL
To tell you the truth I don't think this has anything to do with DC because it is too obvious. Of course, I might be wrong. I wish I knew the relationship between DC and the Anthony's as of now. What if DC is still working for the Anthony's? I have more questions than answers.
We have 30 days to go, can you believe it?

ritanita said...


As far as the State, I'm almost sure they aren't laughing at us for speculating... it's a natural thing to do.

I do think, however, that there must be a snicker or two from Mr. Ashton in regards to the defense team. I can see Lyon's students monitoring the websites and checking out all the speculation and stewing about what the State has!

For that alone I can be patient, knowing that the defense must be frantic to know what is going on. Notice how quiet they've been lately?

Oh, and we're down to 28 days!

FRG said...

You are so right about Lyon's students!!! They have been busy lately!!! I believe they have trolls everywhere. LOL
JB might be pulling his hair out!!!! Hope there is none left after this trial is over. One year ago JB took a trip to the hospital with "stomach ache", do you remember?
So true!!! Defense has been really really quiet!!! Are they up to something or is it because there are no more photos/videos to be sold? Hmmmm.
OMG, 28 days are much better than 30!!! Thanks!!! LOL

FRG said...

That's from KC's docket:
02/26/2010 Notice of Provision of Supplemental Discovery
OMG, who filed this? It seems to me it is Prosecution. We are going to have to wait for some new article on the news.

ritanita said...,0,2448621.story

This article says that there is more discovery to come.

FRG said...

Yes, I did realize that the defense has not turned over their discoveries. From my understanding they have to turn over to Prosecution 15 days prior to the trial, is it correct?
Yesterday I was hopeful that this would be defense's discoveries. I remember JB stating they found out KC's innocence in the discoveries turned over by the Prosecution, correct me if I am wrong. In this case, does defense have to point out "where they have found it"... or defense could turn over 1000 pages of science reports (just an example) and just state it was in some of those 1,000 pages? What does FL law say?

FRG said...

Hi there!!! Mr. Sheaffer has posted a new article, if oyu owuld like to read it: