There's going to be another status hearing Monday, November 29. The time of the hearing has been moved up to 1:00 P.M. Casey Anthony will be present because, aside from the status hearing, at least one motion will be heard.
Also, the following day, November 30, is an important day for the defense. They are due to turn over their witness list of expert witnesses as well as any reports they have generated. In advance of this date, Assistant State's Attorney Jeff Ashton has filed a Motion to Compel Discovery. Judge Belvin Perry will hear this motion at the hearing.
We are not strangers to Motions to Compel Discovery. Casey Anthony's former attorney, Linda Kenney-Baden filed one on August 20, 2009. After extensive searches, I can't find any active links to the document, but I'm sure you wouldn't want to peruse all 91 pages of it! She wanted everything and the kitchen sink. Jeff Ashton, who is the expert witness attorney for the case, spent a great deal of time working with Ms. Baden to provide her with every item that was discoverable, from bench notes to reports to the curricula vitae of the prosecution experts. One can even read some of their correspondence in the discovery documents. Indeed, many of us have spent hours pouring over the reports and documents released through the Sunshine Laws. Ashton's motion only takes up one page and a bit of a second page and is concise and to the point.
Pursuant to F.R.C. P. 3 220(d) and (f), Ashton asks for:
1. Any contracts or agreements, in any manner or form, setting for(sic) the scope of work or expected compensation.
I expect this section to be a stretch for the defense. Remember when the State asked for the contract between the defense and the Padilla crew? Baez turned over some papers which made very little sense and was asked by the judge to come back to court with the originals. I don't know whether Baez was ever able to do so. I also wonder if he even has agreements with some of his experts in writing. Consider Dr. Lee. I remember him announcing on Nancy Grace that he was doing the case pro bono. Was there a handshake on the deal? Did Lee insist on some sort of contract? If there is a contract, can Baez & Company even locate the original?
2. Any communications between the expert and any member of the defense team, either past or present, or any member of their staff, or any one working on behalf of the Defendant.
I can't wait to see these!
3. All records of bills submitted by or payments made to the expert.
Again, this will be a very touchy issue. Baez and Cheney Mason have been having a hard time keeping up with what time and money has been expended since Casey declared indingency. I am very sure Ashton wants to see every penny spent by and for these experts from the get-go. I would expect to see some strong arguments here from the defense.
4. All records pertaining to payments for travel, meals or entertainment paid to or for the benefit of the expert or anyone traveling with the expert, by and member of the defense team, either past or present, or any member of their staff, or any one working on behalf of the Defendant.
Again, this could prove difficult for the defense to produce. I keep imagining a pile of cardboard boxes piled in a dark corner of the Baez Law Firm office, filled to overflowing with receipts tossed in as they accrue. My advance apologies to the Baez Law Firm if this is not a fact. Perhaps I'm channeling my former life as a temporary office clerk during a summer vacation when I had to sort and organize bills and receipts for a lackadaisical paint company facing an audit...
5. Any notes taken by the expert or for the expert during, or referencing their examination of any evidence in this case.
The State has handed over many such documents and we have read them.
6. Any photograph or video taken by the expert in connection with this case.
This hearkens back to the hearing when Linda Drane Burdick was complaining about lack of discovery from the defense prior to depositions (such as Laura Buchanan's "mystery" document). She used the David Lohr situation as an example. Baez, in high dudgeon, rose to address the Court to state that he had indeed provided discovery. It turned out that he had attached the phone interview transcript with audio to his motion! Drane Burdick said that she had never received the audio.
When arguing for the Dutch DNA experts to be used Baez pointed out that he had attached the curriculum vitae to the motion. In his Order on the motion, Judge Perry noted that:
The defense states that his CV is attached to the Motion as Exhibit A, but there are no attachments to the Motion scanned by the Clerk of Court.
Ashton ends his motion by blocking any objections by the defense about privilege by asking that such items be submitted to the court for in camera inspection.
My friends all laugh at me because I am an eternal optimist. However, as these hearings have gone on, I've lost hope that just ONCE the defense team would come in with neat lists and straight answers. Even so, I do hope that the defense will come in, give their current status in a succinct manner, argue with reason their points on the motion and then fully comply with the judge's orders with all the information they have been required to turn over to the State... just call me a dreamer!
By the way, there are two other motions that have been filed by the defense since the State offered this one. At this point, we don't know if they will be heard on Monday. I'm in the process of doing my homework on them and will write more tomorrow!
In the meantime, I'll look forward to seeing you in court Monday!