Monday, August 17, 2009

Casey Anthony: Another Hearing Coming, Part 2

Leonard Padilla and his people got involved in the case against Casey Anthony back in August, 2008 when he arranged to bail Casey out with the intention of assisting her in locating her daughter, Caylee.

According to the Baez/Lyon Motion For Protective Order To Bar Privileged Testimony Of Mr. Leonard Padilla, Mr. Tony Padilla, Ms. Tracy McLaughlin, and Mr. Robert Dick, Padilla's involvement began August 19 when Tony Padilla provided the surety and posted the $50,000 for the bond. The money was provided by Leonard Padilla and Casey was not responsible for repaying the money. Casey was released on that bond on August 21.

In addition, there was a verbal agreement that Padilla, McLaughlin, and Dick as well as others would provide security for Casey with no charge to the defense. It was agreed that McLaughlin would stay with Casey in the house at all times.

Casey's freedom at that time lasted all of eight days. On August 29, Casey was arrested on the bank fraud charges and Padilla revoked the bond.

Working strictly from memory here, I can remember the circus the case became at this point. Casey was home, Padilla & Co. were parked out front of the Anthony house in a camper. Casey was seen being driven to day-long sessions with Jose Baez, driven and escorted by Rob Dick. Protesters lined the sidewalks and the media trucks sent out a constant stream of reportage from the Hopespring Drive home.

Leonard Padilla became a media figure, frequently commenting on Nancy Grace about the case. He regularly fed little tidbits from his tenure as head of security and the details kept us riveted to the screen. He broke the Blanchard Park scenario, told us about confrontations that took place inside the Anthony home, and even sponsored the infamous search of the Little Econ River.

Love him or hate him, Leonard knows a lot about the Anthony family. So does Rob Dick and Tracy.

Now, the defense is attempting to have them muted.

According to the motion,

... the Defendant, CASEY MARIE ANTHONY, respectfully requests that this Court grant her application and preclude the following:

1) Leonard Padilla, Tony Padilla, Tracy McLaughlin, and Robert Dick from making statements to the prosecution regarding any statements made by Miss Anthony regarding the disappearance of Caylee Marie Anthony, the investigation of the disappearance of Caylee Marie Anthony, or any litigation arising out of the disappearance of Caylee Marie Anthony.

Casey talked a great deal during those days she was free. Nobody questioned her about the case and they were just listening to her. I'm sure Jose Baez must have told her not to talk about the case with them. Now, Baez doesn't want them to give depositions in both the criminal and civil cases.

2) Leonard Padilla, Tony Padilla, Tracy McLaughlin, and Robert Dick from serving as witnesses for the prosecution if any testimony will pertain to statements made by Miss Anthony regarding the disappearance of Caylee Marie Anthony, the investigation of the disappearance of Caylee Marie Anthony, or any litigation arising out of the disappearance of Caylee Marie Anthony.

Notice, it doesn't say "conversations" with Ms. Anthony!

My favorite section of the motion is this one:

3) The release of any statements to the media that were made by Leonard Padilla, Tony Padilla, Tracy McLaughlin, and Robert Dick to the prosecution as it pertains to statements made by Miss Anthony...

This horse left the barn a year ago!

It is obvious why the defense wants to muzzle these folks. They have a rare view of Casey in her home. She babbled on and on when she should have kept her mouth shut. We all know about her demeanor. The defense certainly doesn't want the jury to know what they know.

The question is HOW the defense feels they can stop them from talking and testifying. They claim attorney-client privilege. They also claim that the privacy agreement they signed precludes their doing so and provided a brief in support of that fact and a copy of the privacy agreement.

From the brief:

The statements made by Miss Anthony to Leonard Padilla, Tony Padilla, Tracy McLaughlin and Robert Dick are covered by the attorney-client privilege because these individuals were acting as agents of Miss Anthony's defense counsel. (p. 2)

The brief goes on to give numerous legal decisions concerning attorney-client privilege. My favorite citation is this one:

...The privilege applies even if statements made by the client are made to the attorney's agent and not directly to the attorney.Delap v. State, 440 So.2d 1242, 1246-47 (Fla. 1983). For example, in Delap, statements made by the client to investigators and detectives utilized by defense counsel were covered by the privilege... (pp. 3-4)

Well, that citation would certainly pertain to Dominic Casey while in Baez's "employ," but I wonder if they can sell the idea that security agents are in the same situation.

Here is a quote from a WESH article from July 17 which pretty much sums up what we may hear from the State's Attorney at the hearing:

Defense lawyer Richard Hornsby said the agreements are worthless because Florida statutes do not allow attorneys and bail bondsmen to enter in to those types of confidentiality arrangements.

"Jose Baez should have never had a reasonable expectation that anything she said would be confidential or fall under the attorney client privilege and that's a big problem," Hornsby said. "He should have advised her right away -- don't say anything to anybody."

The article goes on to say:

While his employees were in close contact with Casey, Padilla has said she made some potentially damaging statements. While she was out of jail and Caylee was still missing, Anthony allegedly blurted out, "They haven't even found the clothes she was wearing." In November, Padilla confirmed the statement.

"Everything's been a game to lead us to believe the clothing was somewhere but not in the proximity of the body," Padilla said.

For more than a week, Padilla's employee Tracy McLaughlin essentially babysat Anthony in the Anthony home. Padilla's employees routinely drove her to and from Baez's office. Padilla said Anthony was plenty chatty.

"She would drop little statements when she was being driven back when she was with Tracy," Padilla said.

What else Anthony may have told McLaughlin and other employees remains a mystery. McLaughlin to this point has maintained a very low profile and turned multiple down interview requests.

The article went on to explain that this motion probably came about because the transcripts of Leonard Padilla and his group were due to be released in a document dump.

Will the motion succeed? Mr Hornsby doesn't, based on Florida Laws. Robin Sax, a prosecution attorney said on Nancy Grace on July 20 that:

I think that this is frivolous waste of time and I don`t think that the attorney/client privilege is going to hold where there`s no attorney/client relationship.

On the same program, Doug Burns, a defense attorney stated:

...But the minute Leonard Padilla got involved in this case, I said to myself, 20 red flags of attorney/client privilege went off of my head and I knew it wasn`t going to be privileged...Definitely going to lose that motion and he`s going to lose that motion and he`s going to testify.

Burns also pointed out that subpoenas tend to take precedence over privacy agreements.

I am so looking forward to the arguments about this issue in court Friday!

I am also looking forward to the release of those transcripts!

Coming Wednesday or Thursday: Fraud Trial Postponement and Tony Lazarro.


Anonymous said...

I find in odd that if Baez really believed he had a confidentiallity agreement with Leonard he didn't muzzle him the first day he appeared on Nancy's show.

ps. I was so touched that Nancy is giving $25,000 to that home for the mentally challenged.

Thanks for the wonderful summary Ritanita.

September MOO

Tezi said...

Thank you Miss Rita. I really enjoy reading your reports on the happenings in the Anthony case. I am also looking forward to the Padilla's transcipts. Can you just imagine the stuff that went on inside that home while she was out of jail? Oh, MY!!!!

Thanks again Rita!

Anonymous said...

Your post is very clear and easy to follow, Rita! I've gotten lost trying to follow all of this, but this part, I get! Thanks!


donchais said...

Another bang-up job ritanita, thanks!

Friday seems so far off, lol!