Monday, November 12, 2012

Michael Gargiulo Case: Pretrial Hearing 4

 Michael Thomas Gargiulo tattoos, 
arrest photo, date unknown


Previous pretrial hearing 9/26/12
UPDATE: Added next pretrial date.
October 29th, 2012
I finally get on the 9th floor at 8:27 AM after missing two elevators.  Out on Broadway, just as I'm about to enter the the rear entrance to the Criminal Justice Center, I see Lois Goodman's defense attorney Alison Triessl.  She doesn't know who I am, but maybe remembered my face from her clients hearings, so I smiled and said hello.

Out in the hallway, DDA Akemon arrives on the 9th floor and greets another attorney-like looking man seated on a bench across the hall from me.  Akemon is wearing a gray suit, white shirt and a mustard looking tie with a pattern.

When I get inside Dept 108, there are several counsel already here.  There are people in the gallery, most likely from another case.  The defense investigator Christian Filipiak is not here.  There are defense counsel set up at the defense table and it's a good bet there is a trial in progress.  I see an attorney rolling in a cart with several boxes of case files.

Akemon has a very dark, black looking briefcase that opens like a clam shell or purse at the top.  The unknown counsel in the well introduces themselves and someone asks if there's any settlement.  It's possibly a multiple defendant case.  Akemon is now over at the court clerks desk with counsel from another case.  He's handing papers to the court clerk.  I see the clerk Gloria, stamp the single page of the prosecution's paper.

The well is full of counsel. Some turn and wave to new people who have entered and are sitting in the gallery.  A female prosecutor arrives and sets up her things at the prosecution table.

Judge Ohta comes out from the back-chamber area. He's not in his robes.  He's wearing a solid blue shirt with a tan tie.  More counsel in the well exchange handshakes.

8:43 AM  Several Asian clients from the gallery step up into the well beside their counsel.  We go on the record. The case is 355055, Yang & Kim.  The DA's daily calender lists the case as Chan Hee Yang and Andrew Kim, a worker's comp insurance fraud scheme and the DDA is Terrance Terauchi. (Chan Hee I think is the woman at the defense table who also has an interpreter.)  The case is set at zero of 60 today.

One of the defense counsel (possibly for Mr. Kim) tells Judge Ohta that his law partner of 22 years died two weeks ago, and he is asking to push the case back.  Judge Ohta asks the name of his law partner. (I looked up the name I thought the defense counsel said but I must have it wrong. I couldn't find anything.)

Judge Ohta puts it on the record that Ms. Yang is on her fourth attorney.  A Mr. Kawata (sp?) (investigator?) has been on the case since the beginning.  Ms. Yang's attorney is now asking for more records.  They are now saying two and a half years later, they don't have all the insurance documents from the department of insurance.  They are asking for copies of ledgers.  The defense believes these ledges will be instrumental to the defense.

Akemon is in the well, sitting off to the side in front of the jury box.  He appears to be reviewing files as he waits.  This is one thing I've noticed about many prosecutors. They appear to continue to work while they are waiting for their case to be heard.

Judge Ohta mentions the case was filed in April 2009.  Ms. Yang has an interpreter.  Judge Ohta tells the parties to return in one month and to make sure all discovery issues have been resolved.  A date of December 6th is chose for the return date.  Judge Ohta states the Korean interpreter is ordered back on that date.  That's it for this case and the counsel and defendants file out.

There's another attorney here with Akemon.  I have a feeling he will be added to the case.

I have in my notes that Filipiak was not ordered to be here.  More counsel arrive.  It's 9:00 AM and there's still quite a bit of bustle in the well.

9:02 AM Judge Ohta speaks to his bailiff. "John, do you think we can get Gargiulo out?"  "Yes," he replies as he takes clothing to the back for the current defendant in trial.

Judge Ohta is speaking to (I think) the current case prosecutor in the well.  "Do you think it's that simple Mr. Kim? ... You need to research some legal issues. ... Due diligence is separate than the issue of whether the testimony is admissible."  Judge Ohta is speaking off the record. I believe the current case prosecutor says something about "common sense. and Judge Ohta replies, "We don't do 'common sense,' because sometimes the law isn't common-sensical."  The defense attorney says something to the effect of, they are "...relying on Justic Scalia for right of confrontation."  Otha addresses that and says, "This isn't Crawford."

Akemon goes over to the defense table and places a single sheet or paper where the defendant will likely sit.

9:08 AM the defendant is brought out.  His hair has gotten a bit longer but still very short and close to his scalp.  The other prosecutor is introduced on the record, Garrett Dameron.  Dameron appears to be a bit younger than Akemon. He spells his name for the defendant.  He will be co-counsel with Akermon.  The case is at zero of 90 today.

Judge Ohta addresses the defendant about the motion the prosecution filed today.  "Have you received the document the prosecution prepared?" "No I haven't your honor."  Akemon speaks up and tells the defendant, "I placed a copy on the table in front of you."  "Oh, thank you. I didn't see that.  I didn't know it was for me," he replies.  "This is to memorialize what the people have given to you and will be a part of the case file."

Judge Ohta asks the defendant, Mr. Gargiulo, what do you want to do?

The defendant asks the court to receive a copy of the entire court file minute orders and more time to meet with his investigator.  Judge Ohta states right off, that he's not going to agree to give the defendant copies of all the minute orders from from the beginning of the case file.

The defendant states he doesn't know what other motions his prior attorney(s) have filed in the past.  Judge Ohta tells him it doesn't matter what motions have been filed in the past.  "You have a right to file any motion. ... I know (the prior defense attorney) was going to file a 997 ... but I don't think any motions have been filed. ... The only motions filed are ones related to discovery. ... If you want a specific minute order, (from a specific court date) that I will grant.  ... But I will not (authorize) a blanket order. (for the court minutes)"

The defendant states that at the last court date, minute order (he would like).  It wasn't clear about what discovery papers he was allowed to have.  Judge Ohta will grant giving the defendant a copy of the last minute orders.

A new pretrial hearing date is selected and the defendant is asked if that date is agreeable.  Gargiulo asks if that date is a Monday.  Judge Ohta answers him, "It's not a Monday."  The defendant agrees to the next pretrial date, and that's it.

At this point it is a waiting game for the defendant to be ready for trial.  It's my understanding that the case cannot move forward until the defendant states he is ready.  I think the biggest challenge the prosecution faces at this point is just getting the case to trial.

Next pretrial hearing is November 28th, 2012