February 18, 2010
Yesterday, Judge Belvin Perry issued an Order Seting Hearing on State's Motion To Strike Defendant's Supplemental Witness List. The motion will be heard on March 2, 2010 along with the motions in limine remaining.
Notice that the judge did not respond to Baez' second motion which was the topic of the original post below.
I suppose the judge considered it as off the rails as I did.
Instead, the judge cited the law and a previous ruling for "regular witnesses".
Once a witness becomes known to the Defendant, she shall decide within 5 working days whether the witness will be listed pursuant to F.R.C.P.3.220(d)(1)(A). In no event shall any witness be listed or deposed, by either party, outside the time limits provided in this order. In the absence of a stipulation, it will be the burden of the listing or deposing party to show good cause for any delay to this Court.
Baez & Co. will have a chance to give their "good cause". Good luck.
I've been following the latest drama of the WITNESS LIST WARS between Jose Baez and Linda Drane Burdick.
On February 14, the defense filed an Supplemental Witness List (1, 2) with the following names:
Robyn Adams, Kathleen Belich, Maya Derkovic, Kenneth Drupiewski. Kasper Jordan, Anne Pham, and Marvin Schecter.
If you go to the links with the motion, you will notice that the names are scattered over the page, for no apparent reason. That's all the document contains.
On February 15, Linda Drane Burdick filed a Motion to Strike The Defendant's Supplemental Witness List Filed February 14, 2011 with attachments which contain every late supplemental witness list she has filed as to demonstrate how such lists should be filed. She cited the orders of Judge Stan Strickland and Judge Perry. She then added the following:
3. Witness lists filed by the State of Florida subsequent to the August 31, 2010 deadline contain a Statement of Good Cause for the delay in disclosure of the witness(es). SEE ATTACHED COMPOSITE EXHIBIT "D"
4. The Defendant's Supplemental Witness List, dated February 11, 2011, but filed February 14, 2010 contains seven (7) names including fur (4) previously listed by the State of Florida, one (1) previously contained on the Defendant's Initial Penalty Phase Discovery Response, and two new witnesses: Kathleen Belich, a reporter for a local news station, and Marvin Schecter, a lawyer from New York City. The Supplemental Witness List makes no attempt to show good cause to this Court for the delay in disclosure of these witnesses to the State of Florida.
As a remedy, Drane Burdick asks the Court to either "strike the motion or order the Defendant to establish good cause for the delay in disclosure."
Today, Jose Baez filed HIS Motion To Strike The State's Motion To Strike Defense Supplemental Witness List. (Make you dizzy?)
This latest Baez motion is one of his more nasty ones. He starts by saying that since he and Drane Burdick are in daily contact, she should have just ASKED him about it. It seems Mr. Baez still doesn't understand that phone calls and e-mails cannot take the place of written communication. He tried this with Jeff Ashton and the expert reports and was slapped down by Judge Perry. If anyone needs to be kept in the loop as to what is going on behind the scenes, it is certainly the judge!
Nevertheless, Baez goes on in his second paragraph to tell Ms. Drane Burdick:
Had counsel taken the time to inquire she would have been advised of the following:
a. Marvin Schecter has been withdrawn from the Defense witness list.
Well, that's the shortest amount of time to be on a capital murder case witness list!
b. Kathleen Belich also known as Kathleen Gallagher (rude, rude, rude) was listed to rebut witnesses just listed by the State involving an investigation launched against Laura Buchanan. (Huh?) She is also a witness involving State witness Maya Derkovich. (While the State has recently informed the defense that they have not (sic) intention to call Maya Derkovich as a witness, the defense has not ruled out calling her)
Ms. Belich's inclusion on the list has raised a great deal of controversy as she is a journalist.
Richard Hornsby has already written about her inclusion in his latest blog entry, The Rule of Sequestration . According to Hornsby, the defense would have some high legal hurdles to jump to ever get her on the stand. If you haven't read it already, be sure to do so.
Hal Boedeker wrote an article about the situation as well. He wrote:
What does news director Bob Jordan have to say to that? "The station will resist any attempt to get Kathi Belich to testify for anyone, the prosecution or defense," Jordan told me this afternoon. "She is a reporter. She has worked independently as a journalist. I'm wondering if the real motive is to keep her out of the courtroom. It's pretty transparent."
Baez attempts to justify the inclusion of Kenneth Drupiewski because he is mentioned in the "hidden writing" in the infamous "03" or is it "04" diary. Even here, Baez spits out some more venom.
Despite the obvious date of 2003 on the diary the State has at tax payers (sic) expense, pared no expense in utilizing both the FBI and Secret Service to date this diary to fit their timeline. Despite their inability to do so, this does not appear to deter the State in presenting this evidence. (Gee, the diary wasn't even made until 2004, doesn't that count?)
I don't think this nastiness will impress Judge Perry, he is the consummate gentleman.
The final entry lumps the rest of the witnesses in the category of having been on the previous State witness list.
Baez then goes into whining mode.
3. This Court should be made aware that the State of Florida has filed multiple witness lists past the deadline, and it is not until the Defense files one that they seem to wish to have the deadline enforced albeit selectively.
No, I say, the rules are that they need to be witnesses added due to new reports, recent investigations, and as rebuttal to such situations as that of Laura Buchanan. These lists are allowed as long as there is GOOD CAUSE, as Ms. Drane Burdick so politely pointed out.
Perhaps my favorite part of the motion is the following.
4. Both the undersigned counsel and the other members of the defense have made it known to this honorable Court that the State of Florida continues to file discovery at will with no regard for ANY deadlines set by this Court. This includes multiple violations where the State of Florida had this in it's possession for over two years. One only has to look as far as the State's own motion to strike and find yet another supplemental witness list.
Fact is, there isn't another list. Ms. Drane Burdick was thoughtful enough to attach as exhibits all the rulings on deadlines and the manner in which Good Cause must be made known. She also included examples of her previous Amended Witness Lists to show Mr. Baez how it it properly done.
As for late discovery, I don't think this is a topic Mr. Baez has a right to touch as he seems to have problems getting any discovery out after multiple deadlines are set for him. As Ms. Drane Burdick pointed out at the last hearing, "if the question is, are we going to continue to do our job, the answer is yes." Judge Perry didn't seem to mind that at all!