Monday, March 15, 2010

Casey Anthony's Battle With Texas Equusearch


After publishing the original version of the article, I unearthed one more document, dated March 10, 2010. It is a response by Mr. Nejame. For sake of clarity, I am adding it at the bottom of the current article.

Things are popping like crazy in the Casey Anthony case. Friday, WFTV's Kathi Belich broke news about an affair between George Anthony and one of the women who originally volunteered with KidFinders. Personally, I have very little interest in the affair, but it will be interesting to see if the woman has any information that will add to the prosecution of the case. We are all waiting for the other shoe Ms. Belich reported will be dropped.

Last night there was a fascinating blog cast featuring Richard Hornsby and Rozzi Franco hosted by Steff Watts. While I don't necessarily agree with everything that was said, it is worth a listen because they have quite a bit to say about possible reasons for the "bombshell" delivered by WFTV and the indigency situation.

Last Friday, I reported on the indigency status hearing to be heard this coming Thursday at 11 AM. The previous day, there were posts discussing the new motions filed by the defense concerning heresay and photographs.

In the meantime, I've been printing out all the motions, reading them, writing about them, and filing them. Somewhere along the line, I ended up with a pile of motions concerning TexasEquusearch and the desire of the defense team to obtain every record for the 4,000 plus searchers who looked for Caylee in 2008.

From the moment Caylee Marie Anthony's sad remains were identified in December, 2008, the defense has been trying to gather as much "proof" that somebody else placed the remains in the swampy area. The first two motions, filed January 7, 2009 and January 21, 2009 were tossed by Judge Strickland due to lack of jurisdiction and overly broad request for information about searchers.

The defense waited until July 16, 2009 to file the next motion. By this time, the motion was written in a way that could be considered by the court. The same day, I posted an article about the history of the defense vs. TES. Read it here for a mind-refresher.

The motion was considered at the July 21 hearing. Judge Strickland made no ruling at the time, and entertained a compromise made by Mark NeJame, Miller's attorney. In the judge's ORDER, published on August 27, he allowed for the following:

1. Tim Miller would not be declared a material witness as he was willing to come to Florida and be deposed.

2. Casey Anthony would be responsible for the costs of the deposition.

3. The records of the 32 searchers mentioned at the July 21 hearing would be made available to both the State and the defense.

4. The remainder of the 4000 documents could be reviewed in NeJame's offices and other possible searchers withing 200 yard of the remains site could be flagged and brought to the judge for consideration.

5. No notes, photographs or copies would be taken and there would be no disclosure of newly-discovered searchers would be released until approved by the Court.

6. The defense would be liable for costs of monitoring the proceedings.


November 23 was also the day that the defense filed a veritable blizzard of motions and this one ended up on the bottom of the stack!

This is the motion in which the defense stated that "through their own independent investigation" had found and interviewed "several searchers who not only searched the area where the remains were found, but who were not among the thirty-two (32) identified by TES." The motion indicated that this vital information had been withheld from the defense! The Memorandum of Law went on to name Joseph Jordan and Laura Buchanan as two of the searchers and included affidavits from both.

Since then, it has been wide reported that Joseph Jordan had some bad feelings about the telephone interview he was giving to the defense PI and surreptitiously and illegally recorded it and immediately reported this to the State's Attorney's Office. At the hearing on December 11,
Judge Strickland sealed the tape, for the time being.

As for Laura Buchanan, her affidavit indicated that she did not search the area with TES, rather, she and some others went there on their own.

In February of 2010, the defense filed a motion based on Mark NeJame's appearance on Orlando News 13. In part, the motion says that

...In that interview, Mr. NeJame made several statements regarding Miss Anthony's pending Motion seeking records from TES... Also it is reported that, "NeJame allowed News 13 to examine reports and notes taken by EquuSearch volunteers...

The disclosure by Mr. Ne Jame of those records, including volunteer names and phone numbers, seriously undercuts the argument made by TES against giving them to Miss Anthony...

Being that TES is no longer concerned about the "chilling effect on volunteerism" and has taken to actively allow (sic) media access to its records, there is no reason to prevent disclosure to Miss Anthony as well.

NeJame fired back with a response the next day.

The motion begins with NeJame stating that

The Defendant's motion is inaccurate and lacking in demonstrating any proper investigation or due diligence prior to its filing...

Nejame indicated that had Baez done a proper inquiry, he would have been aware that Adam Longo, the reporter had been allowed limited perusal of the 32 records given to the prosecution and the defense. He also said that the 4000 other records were stored in a facility 15 miles from his office.

Longo was not allowed to take notes and only viewed the documents to see what types of information they contained. NeJame also pointed out that no specific information had been disclosed to the public. Longo also assured NeJame that he had been in contact with Baez and had explained the same information to him.

The motion goes into some detail, but at the heart of the motion, NeJame says that

At the time of the filing this response, counsel for the Defendant, Jose Baez has failed to withdraw his inappropriate and inaccurate motion which misrepresents the facts and is wholly and completely erroneous and misleading.

NeJame closes the motion by asking for the the judge to

...assess attorney's fees against the counsel for the Defendnt, especially since he has been advised of the inaccuracy of his motion and has failed to take any remedial action. He has caused unnecessary attorney time and Court time to be wasted,, especially since he has been fully advised of its misrepresentations and inaccuracies and nevertheless continues to proceed.

There is another document concerning TES that was not made available by the media. It was filed by NeJame on February 2, 2010. It is a NOTICE OF ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS IN THE POSSESSION OF TEXAS EQUUSEARCH. Thanks to Muzikman, who got this document directly from the court!

The notice is to inform the court that during an interview between Tim Miller and members of the OCSO in Texas. At that time, Miller did a thorough search of his office and found "a few" records that had been overlooked in the first search. NeJame also indicated that the TES office is staffed by one volunteer and that there had been no attempt to hide any documents. The documents involved did not seem to include anyone who had searched within the area near Hidden Oaks Elementary School and were placed with the rest of the searcher records.

The "bombshell" with this document is the manner in which NeJame indicates that there was no harm made to Casey Anthony's case. And I quote!

9. That pursuant to this Honorable Court's Order, Jose Baez, counsel for defendant, Casey Anthony, was similarly afforded the opportunity to come to the offices of undersigned and review and inspect all 4,000 files. He was to be held to the same conditions as the State and Mr. Conway. He could not record or copy any of the files but if any files were identified as being in the proximity of where Caylee Marie Anthony was found, then he could similarly tab and identify them. We would then bring them before this Honorable Court where their relevancy and materiality could be ruled on by the court.

10. That a meeting was scheduled with a representative from Mr. Baez' office approximately 6 months ago to review and inspect all the 4,000 searcher records. This meeting was cancelled by counsel for Casey Anthony and no attempts were ever made by the defense to reschedule, although the documents have remained available throughout....

Do take the opportunity to read this entire document!



The seven page document essentially outlines the judge's order from August 27, 2009. At the same time, it points out exact details about a number of the issues, including that of the Laura Buchanan situation. The document makes very clear Mr. Nejame's frustration with Mr. Baez. I strongly recommend reading the entire document for yourself. I am just going to excerpt a few pieces for you here because they clearly outline what will probably be one dynamite hearing.

2. ... it was not until approximately three weeks later on September 18, 2009, a member of the Baez Law Firm... finally contacted the undersigned's office to make an appointment to come by and review the aforementioned documents. .... the undersigned's office was informed by the Baez Firm that they were not sending a member of its firm over to review the documents but were in fact going to send "The Presentation Group" instead. "The Presentation Group" was determined to be a document copying company, which was to come and copy all the documents from all of the files. Upon learning this, Mr. Baez' representative was informed that their request was contrary to the directives, instructions an dictate as was set forth in this honorable Court's Order of August 27th, 2009 and would not be acceptable...

3. Thereafter, for the next approximately 4 months, Mr. Baez' office has never contacted undersigned counsel...

Paragraph 4 indicates that 18 days after the canceled meeting, nobody from Baez' office had come to pick up the documents concerning the 32 searchers. When NeJame called Baez' office, he was told to fax them over. Instead, NeJame had the documents delivered to his office so that there could be no claim that they had not received the documents. NeJame also points out that the information was sensitive and should not be faxed anyway.

5. The Defendant, through her counsel, has alleged that "Joe Jordan's name was not among the thirty-two (32) searchers identified by TES and none of his reports were disclosed to the defense." This is a misrepresentation of the facts as Mr. Jordan's name and signature are on the Field Activity Form 08-895 dated September 1, 2008, which was hand delivered to counsel for defendant.

8. ... They haphazardly filed the Motion to Modify the Court's Order ...

9. ...A simple visit to the undersigned's office and a perusal of the documents would have illuminated the correct information...

Finally, here is probably my favorite snips from the motion. They appear in the final paragraph.

10... The Defendant, through her counsel, is unnecessarily wasting this Honorable Court's time, the taxpayer's money and the undersigned's resources by filling these frivolous motions.

...However, it is counsel for Defendant who has frustrated and circumvented these efforts, while attempting to shirk his responsibilities and blame others for his inaction...

...TES respectfully asks this Honorable Court to assess attorney's fees against the counsel for the Defendant, especially since he has been advised of the inaccuracy of the defendant's motion and has failed to take any remedial actions.

There we have it! NeJame has had it "up to here" with Baez and his letting him know that he won't take it anymore.


shari said...

Baez likes to rattle his sword, but when it comes down to brass tacks.....he doesn't seem to know where or how to follow thru on anything. I sure hope that inept counsel isn't used to file for a mistrial or whatever is legally applicable to this fiasco. It also looks like George may have hung Casey out twisting in the wind if his utterances to his gal pal prove to be court worthy. Kinda hard to say "someone else" did it when daddy is saying "accident".

ritanita said...

I'm getting less and less worried about ineffective counsel because she has Andrea Lyon on board and Linda Kenney-Baden.

I am waiting on Thursday's hearing to see what happens with the indigency hearing. If Baez has to reveal the source of his financing to date, there could be a major problem with his representation of Casey.

Likewise, I'm waiting for offical documentation on any information from the alleged affair. I don't know how that information could come in at trial...

No matter what, all heck has certainly broken loose!

ritanita said...

Shari, I'm pushing all the wrong buttons today and lost your "understated" comment! Yes, I do like to understate things. It's part of my natural taste for sarcasm.

As to the other part of the "lost" comment, it's going to be very difficult to find an imparial jury. This story has taken so many bizarre twists and turns, it begs the limelight.

I do know that there are a lot of people out there who don't follow the case, but even they know more about it than most cases.

My apologies for losing your wonderful comment!

FRG said...

Thanks for the article!
You gotta love Mark NeJame!!! Well, JB has to regret the day the "gag order" was denied, and it was his own fault, he never fought for it, not him, not the Anthony's. As you have already stated JB is in for the glory (IIRC). I am not sure I agree about Lyon, she seems just to know how to twist the truth and I don't like the way she works, she is a narcissistic person and she in this for her own purpose, she could not care less about KC.
It will be very interesting to learn if JB has the source of his financing for sure!!!
Thank you so much for your articles, just love them!!!

ritanita said...

FRG, I think NeJame is one fine attorney. If you missed it, I just added one more motion to the end of the article. I print out all the motions and file them. I just found it. I had wanted to be sure to point out his eloquent language concerning Mr. Baez.

As for Lyon, she is thoroughly devoted to her cause and nobody is ever going to change her mind. She is on a mission to get the death penalty abolished. I do admire that she fights for what she believes in.

I think she didn't realize what she was getting into when she took on this case. I'm not talking about Casey, I'm talking about having to work with neophyte attorney Baez.

I certainly want to know the source of his money!

Anonymous said...

thank you for all your time/effort on this article . . . it certainly straightens out a lot of confusing issues. just wanted to let you know that it is greatly appreciated . . . thank you!

FRG said...

Thanks for the read. Yep, Mark NeJame is one fine attorney and I will certainly go back and read the entire Motion. I love the parts you posted though... Mr. NeJame makes JB looks like a lousy and irresponsible lawyer, I wish I could comment here the way I think of JB, but it's too graphic. LOL
is it Thursday yet??? LOL

FRG said...

I am done reading the Motion.
Wow, double wow!!!! My favorite is paragraph 10!!!! You were right, this Motion is "the best" so far!!! Quite entertaining!!!!
You go Mr. NeJame!!!

shari said...

Jose Baez should really know better than to play games with Mark Nejame. I also think Nejame had a good taste of the Anthony dynamics when he briefly represented them in the beginning. I think he ducked out of that as fast as he could. Ritanita, you have the patience of Job.....reading all that and my eyes go crossed!!!!!!! You also make it all understandable....thx!

shari said...

wow, I too just read the whole doc. One really has to wonder where Baez obtained his law degree. He seems woefully clueless and flippantly arrogant. I sure hope Judge Strickland continues to be as patient as he has been, cause Baez is going to need it.

ritanita said...


Jose doesn't seem to be embarassed by his work. That amazes me! The fact that he had Joseph Jordan's name among the "vast" list of 32 leads me to wonder if he is personally doing the work or relying on his "staff" to tell him what is going on.

I was floored when I read that!

katfish said...

Thanks again for a fine summary. Do you think there is any chance these frivolous motions will ebb if Casey is shown to be indigent? Looking forward to tThursday's hearing, but just as curious what kind of sh!t can hit the fan before then.(Shaking my head)

FRG said...

Morning!! So, according to River Cruz's sister on NG yesterday the investigators came to Benhaida's door on February 18, 2010. Hmmmm, could this be the reason that Prosecution has requested JS for those 30 days to withhold some discovery (or whatever it is). I didn't watch NG, just read the transcripts. Well, it doesn't say it's 2010 but I assume it is. BTW, LP was on the NG show and he said this affair didn't exist. Mr. Sheaffer which I respect a lot was on NG and he said River Cruz's statements were believable. Go figure.
What a mess!!!!

ritanita said...

Shari, I have no idea about the frivolous motions being filed in the future. It wouldn't surprise me if there were some more, but the defense, IF BEING LED BY LYON, will start to focus on IN LIMINE motions such as the one recently filed. The defense has to get as much information banned from the courtroom as possible.

FRG, I'm thinking that the new information just coming out is part of what the prosecution is shielding from disclosure for the present.

I fervently hope this is just the tip of the iceberg of information they are pursuing.

As for tomorrow's hearing, I think the end result will probably be that Strickland orders the defense to cough up some specific documents on the defense's money source and exactly how it was used.

As for courtroom drama, I think it will be somewhat over the top. We will all be watching for George and Cindy's body language.

I'm going to count the ummm...ahhh..s that Baez uses when he speaks.

He uses more of these verbal "space keepers" than most people do when he is in court.

These "space keepers" don't appear near as much when he is giving a presser or speaking on TV.

We all use those sort of utterances when we don't know what to say next and our mind is trying to catch up with the mouth.

As a teacher, I watched out for them like the plague. I'd find myself constantly saying "and uh..." to the point I would ask my students to count them over a 5 minute period. The results were very helpful to me. Baez should have Casey sit and keep count for him!

FRG said...

OMG, I guess you found out what KC has been doing when she has the pen and the notepad!!!! Counting JB's "space keepers". You are funny!!!LOL
Indeed, he uses the "space keepers" to give it a thought of what "nonsense" he is going to say next. You are so gracious, I would rather say he is "annoying". And I am not joking.
I can't wait until tomorrow, I hope JS will ask for JB provides documents where his "money trail" is coming from. Although JS might know. We will see.
Is it Thursday yet??? LOL

ritanita said...

The Orlando Sentinel has an excellent article concerning what shoud happen at the hearing tomorrow.,0,4979229,full.story

shari said...

Baez "space keepers" are his mind trying to remember his law classes that he must have slept thru.....I too hope that the defense coughs up some info on where the money came from and where it has gone.. I can't see that Baez has done $90,000 worth of (worthy) work so far. By the way, if you want to follow George's (alleged) mistress on Twitter..

FRG said...

Thanks for the article. Snip of OS:
"No. Defendants have the right to an attorney of their choice."
One attorney right? KC has two, how about this? I know JB is not DP qualified attorney but then what? DP was brought back on April 13, 2009 IIRC. There is a lot of unanswered questions, one is how is LKB being paid? Is she an expert witness? How many experts will KC have the right to retain?
BTW, JB told Wesh's Bob Kealing how KC got the money is confidential (I am not sure what words JB used, video was not available as of yet).
I will be darn mad if JB won't have to reveal the money trail.
I am so sorry for JS, I really am. Who will be discussing JB and Lyon or just JB??? I suppose Lyon won't be even there, will she?
Thank you so much for all the effort you put to read all the Motions and write an article so we can understand it!!!

ritanita said...

FRG, I don't know quite what to say!

It is normal for a DP case to have two attorney, even if they are both public defenders. One has to be DP qualified.

Judge Strickland will have his work cut out for him.

In this case, the money issue is unusual due to the amount of money Casey supposedly paid out. If the defense wants the State to pay costs, they have every right to know where the money went, as was stated in the article.

The source of the money is a "whole 'nother issue" here. I have no idea if that can be made public.

We'll have to wait another 17 1/2 hours to find out!

To those who want to watch the hearing, InSession is covering it as are the local stations.

FRG said...

I am sorry about my stupid question, I have read so many articles that I got confused, all the law issues at times get messed up in my mind, I do apologize.
It's frustrating if we won't know the source of the money... I will have a fit!!! LOL

ritanita said...

FRG, The only "stupid" question is the one not asked!

This case is so twisted and I know sometimes I have to stop reading everything and take a "brain brake" so I don't lose it completely.

katfish said...

Marinade Dave just posted this:
By the way, around 1,000 pages of documents will be released by the end of the week or early next week. Get ready, folks.
Ugh! Are You ready?

Sentinel reports the State doesn't need to keep info secret anymore as investigation is done...hmmm....suppose skye let out their secret?

shari said...

ritanita, do you think if the state has to pay the atty. fees, that Lyon may not make a show in court until penalty phase and Baez may have to find a Florida DP qualified atty.??? It would make more sense and be a better fit for Lyon. It also would make more sense for the state who would be footing the bills. I don't know the legalities behind all this, but the state is going to want to make sure this isn't a runaway money train. I'm also going to guess LKB will have a very limited role in this if the money is state money. Everyone (by now) must know the the "big bucks" are not going to materialize and the interest in the case will have waned by trial date (except for us diehards and Floridians)

ritanita said...

The death penalty lawyer has to represent Casey all the way through the trial. Technically, Baez is the second seat attorney and Lyon is lead.

Casey has private attorneys and can not ask for attorney fees. She will only get certain expenses.

One interesting fact is that the State of Florida will not pay for transportation expenses of out-of-state attorneys.

I wonder where all that money will be coming from!

FRG said...


ritanita said...

FRG, thanks for the link.

I watched the hearing and I'll be watching a time or two more to be sure I didn't miss anything!

I plan on having an article up no later than Monday!