Thursday, May 6, 2010

Long Hearing, Lots Accomplished: The murder trial of Casey Anthony.

Judge Perry appeared on the bench promptly at 9:00 AM this morning. What followed was a long hearing with a lot of detail. What matters most here, is what the defense will be allowed to spend.

As in the previous hearing, the attorneys for both sides were asked to formally introduce themselves to the court. For the prosecution, the usual people were there, Linda Drane-Burdick, Jeff Ashton, and Frank George.

On the defense side were Jose Baez and Michelle Medina. Cheney Mason joined the defense team later in the hearing.

JAC attorney Brad Bischoff was also in attendance today.

Rachel Fugate was there to represent the Orlando Sentinel.

Judge Belvin Perry asked to start with the MOTION concerning expert witnesses first.

Jose Baez requested to deal with the MOTION to seal JAC documents first. Judge Perry agreed.

Baez began by passing out copies of page 43 of the JAC policy and procedure manual and noted that it stated that in limited circumstances, records can be kept under seal.
He pointed out that an indigent defendant has the same rights as solvent decedent.
Baez indicated that there was no alternative to sealing documents to provide Ms. Anthony with a fair trial.

He stated that he could imagine the “floodgates” that would open if public knew every time they filed a motion concerning finances. There was mention of "tabloids" and "leeches"!

He indicated that the Orlando Sentinel has ordered commissary records, the amount of money Casey has in her jail account. They had published "anniversary stories" and what she orders from the commissary. He went on to recite a list of goodies Casey has ordered, and went on to say that the records MUST be sealed and Orlando Sentinel must find another way to sell newspapers.

Judge Perry indicated that usually, the sort of records that are sealed tend to concern such issues as psychiatric examinations. He then cited a two cases in which the defendant was trying to secure funds for a PET scan. Evidence that the PET scan was necessary was heard in open court.

Perry asked why this case was different. He asked why the defense be allowed to do this in secrecy as compared to in open court.

Baez’ response to this was to say that all the information could be sealed, however, the judge could decide on a case-by cases basis if the documents should be unsealed. Baez wanted the Court to be the gatekeeper of the information and if the public’s right to know outweighed Ms. Anthony’s right to a fair trial.

Perry explained to Baez that the JAC is a state agency subject to Chapter 119 (Florida Sunshine Laws) He asked if Baez was relying on any exceptions in 119 or on his arguments. Baez replied that he was relying on his arguments. He also mentioned his previous position that the Court had the seal the records.

Perry then indicated that the Orlando Sentinel had filed a motion to intervene The judge granted the motion and Rachel Fugate for Orlando Sentinel spoke next.

Fugate cited case law which states that the Court can't seal public records for policy reasons. If there were an exception, then that material should be closed. She indicated that the defense request was too broad. She took the opposite position from Baez and stated that the defense could come to judge when they wanted something to be sealed.

She went on to say that the case had garnered a great deal of public interest and and that the Orlando Sentinel exercised their rights for the public to know.

JAC attorney Brad Bischoff was the next to speak to the motion. He reiterated what Judge Perry had said, the JAC was subject to Chapter 119 since it is a state agency.
He pointed out that it is a balancing act between the right to know and confidential information. He also told the judge that attorneys usually redact any confidential information when submitting documents to the JAC. In addition, sealing documents would constitute an administrative burden and would hinder it’s ability to pay bills promptly.

As with Ms. Fugate, Bischoff agreed that he would not have a problem if there were in camera reviews prior to sealing certain documents.

State’s Assistant Attorney Linda Drane Burdick stated that the prosecution had no position on the issue.

In rebuttal, Baez indicated he was not arguing that records be sealed in terms of public policy. He went on to give examples of ways in which have the motions not be sealed would hinder the defense.

Baez continued by saying that he did not want experts’ names “out there” and disagreed that the public should know this. “This is not the Orlando Sentinel’s life on the line, it’s Ms. Anthony’s.”

To end his argument, Baez said that the defense will file a motion to declare Chapter 119 unconstitutional in the case of Ms. Anthony!

As Perry was considering what to say next, the camera panned over and Cheney Mason was now sitting next to Casey.

Perry then spoke to the fact that the press guards against miscarriage of justice. For the public not to know the facts of the case there must be compelling reason before records are sealed. He acknowledged that the case had generated a lot of publicity and news. However, he felt the defense had not met it’s burden of proof to allow for a blanket order to seal the documents. He also cited examples where a confidential mental evaluation could be shielded while the amount of public money could be made public by redacting the name of the expert.

If Baez felt a document needed to be sealed, he would have to do so on a case-by-case basis.

JAC 1 - Defense 0 The defense motion was denied.

Perry then moved on to the budgetary issues. He cited the March 18 indigency hearing. He recited all the numbers which were discussed that day, beginning with the $275,000 and citing each and every number the defense provided.

He then said that after the expenses indicated and the cost of the forgery case, there was more than $163,000 left. He said it apparently went to pay for investigators, experts, travel , etc. He mentioned there were no detailed records.

Perry asked what were those experts paid for? Will they testify, how much work have they done? What do they have left to do?

He also said that they couldn’t be compensated for work they had done in the past, only going forward.

Setting a budget was next on the agenda. Perry began by indicated that there were two categories of witnesses. One group were to be disclosed in open court. Others would be reviewed in camera and that he would make a SWIFT decision in camera. When asked which witnesses could be disclosed in open court, Baez stated there was only one, Dr. Henry Lee. The judge asked him for an estimate of time Dr. Lee would need.

Baez said that he had a guestimate that Lee would need 8 hours for in-court testimony, 25 hours to examine evidence, and two trips to Orlando to study the physical evidence. Baez estimated the cost for the trips would be $2000 for airfare, hotel, etc.

Perry said that Lee would have to fly coach! He was not interested in time for testimony, but indicated that Lee would have to keep detailed time records. He also told Baez that the court doesn’t “Full Monte” for travel time!

Mr. Bischoff had some objections concerning Dr. Lee. He pointed out that he was an outut-of-state provider and the state of Florida has competent experts. The taxpayers should not bear the travel costs.

Perry asked if the JAC had spoken to Baez concerning the amount of time already expended. Had Lee done testing which consumed evidence that can't be replicated?

Baez said he tried to speak with the JAC but they didn't want any off-the-record discussions.

He also said that Lee has come down to inspect the vehicle and had pointed out 17 hairs he had discovered in the car. Baez said the inspection took 8 to 10 hours.

If I recall correctly, we found out that Lee and Baez had left to go to lunch and never returned!

Baez also mentioned Lee’s famous December 11, 2008 trip to Orlando prepared to inspect the crime scene. When denied access , he took Lee to Anthony home to inspect evidence there After the site was released, Lee also inspected it. He also said that he and Linda Kenney-Baden had traveled to Connecticut to meet with Lee. Lee had also inspected photographs in the case.

In a decision which followed a typical format, Perry stated that Baez had laid sufficient grounds for keeping Lee. He pointed out that his work could not be replicated or duplicated by someone else. Lee would need to follow the JAC fee schedule.

Baez then said that there were no more expert witnesses to be discussed in open court..

Judge Perry asked about the mitigation expert (Jeanene Barrett) and Baez said, “ Oh! I forgot!”.

The judge then asked how many hours she had already put in, how close to completion she was and how much she was compensated in past, He wants to know the number of times she met with Ms. Anthony.

Baez responded that she had traveled to Orlando twice a month for a year. She had traveled to Ohio and Ft. Myers to meet with relatives. She also met with Cindy, George, and Lee Anthony.

On each visit to Orlando, Barrett had spent “multiple hours” (3 as an average) with Casey and the two had grown extremely close.

He estimated that it would take about 384 hours to complete the work.

Judge Perry said, “Stop! How many hours has she put in?”.

Baez said he didn’t know, probably the same amount. He pointed out that it is an ongoing relationship. If the case were to end up in penalty phase, she'd have to have discussions with Casey that no one else can. He went on to say that Jeannene Barrett was th closest person to Ms. Anthony, that she knows Casey better than he does.. She is the most important person on the defense team. She has a relationship with the family members who have opened up to her and has gained their trust. She had even spoken to Casey’s elementary teachers. He said that it would be difficult to bring someone new in.

Judge Perry asked about the amount of compensation for mitigation experts and Baez responded $50 an hour.

Mr. Bischoff expressed some concern that she resides in Minnesota would involve extensive travel and there would not be such an issue with a local provider. He went on to stat that if the Court decides work cannot be duplicated, they will defer.

Baez indicated that most of the mitigation work left to be done would take place in Florida, but that there would be some out-of-state work. She also said her flights cost only $244 for the round trip and that she flew Southwestern. He stated that she is irreplaceable and it would be more costly to start from scratch.

Perry said that, “nobody is irreplaceable” and called the attorneys up to a side-bar.

When the attorneys return to their places, the judge asks Bischoff if he has any more to say about the mitigation specialist.

Bischoff replies that as of July 1, the rates will go from $50 to $40 an hour. Baez jokes that if she wants the extra ten dollars, she’ll have to come sooner!

Perry cites a retired judge who stated that “death is different”. If Casey is found guilty of murder in the first degree, there are only two punishments: life in prison, or death.

He granted the defense request to keep Ms. Barrett with a number of warnings to the defense team:

She must keep detailed records, and he wants records of people she has already spoken to.

He will go over her billing with a a fine tooth comb as will JAC.

It may get cut, but at this stage, she will continue

He is not going to change mitigation expert NOW! As of July 1, rates go down and she will be held to that..

He will scrutinize hotels (mentions types at cheapest possible rate)
She will have the same per diem rates as outlined in FL Statute. Car rentals (compact cars).

With this decision, Judge Perry had established his guidelines for experts. The format for the remainder is the same, although with different results.

The next issue was the cost of investigators. The JAC allows for out-of-state investigators without-of-state witnesses. In-state, the defense will have to use in-state investigators

Again, the defense was reminded that they are also bound by JAC rates. If out-of-state, the defense needs to get an investigator in that area. When possible, investigators are to secure records by phone

Baez told the judge that they will be as frugal as they can be. He also has one minor question for Court: JAC policy to file motion for transcripts for every deposition they do. Do they have to file a motion for each one or one motion to cover all of them?

Bischoff replied that every request had to to be asked for specifically. He then asked for a spending cap for out-of-state investigators. He also said that counsel could come back and ask for more if they ran out. When asked by the judge, he indicated 30-50 hours.

The judge said that cap wouldn't work with THIS case

Baez agreed with the judge and started to bring up TES records.

Judge Perry turned off that line of discussion FAST and asked how many hours Baez had asked for.

Baez responded that he estimated 100 hours and that the "large unknown" for out-of-state investigators was the issue of TES out-of-state searchers.

Methinks the TES issue is far from dead at this point! There are more motions in the works for sure! I’m hoping that Judge Perry settles the issue soon.

Given the complexity of the case, Bischoff agreed that 100 hours reasonable.

Perry set the cap at 100 hours for now.

When it came to the in-state investigators, Baez asked for 480 hours. He stated he wanted to use that time to deal with the 160 witnesses who the defense will not depose. He estimated three hours per witness as an average.

The judge exclaimed, “You've lost me!”

I’m going to simplify this part, if you don’t mind...

Baez indicated that they would have a deposition schedule with the prosecution in two weeks and that it was estimated only about 90 witnesses would be deposed. As for the others, he still wanted to have an investigator speak to them and, if necessary, check into their backgrounds.

My heart went thumpa-thump here. I’m recalling what happened to Jill, Kerley, Roy Kronk, and who-knows how many others when an investigator came to call.

In the end, the judge allowed him 300 hours. If the defense needs more, they can come back and justify the use of PUBLIC TAXPAYER DOLLARS.

The next phase of the hearing dealt with the number of expert witnesses the defense wanted to deal with in camera.

Baez pulled out a paper and, counting down his list (oh, to see it!) came up with approximately 19.

Judge Perry said, “19?”. He asked Baez how many experts he had listed on his witness list. Baez answered ONE.

Linda Drane-Burdick got to her feet and indicated the defense had Kobilinski and a computer expert. She also said that others had made themselves known publicly, had appeared at the crime scene and are not on witness list. She stated she didn’t know if their work was completed so they can do depositions.

Jeff Ashton then stated that others had been mentioned in open court on December 12, 2008. He mentioned Kathy Reichs, and an entomologist whose name he could not remember.

At this point in the hearing, which had been going on for 1 1/2 hours, Judge Perry called for a fifteen minute break.

When court resumed, it was evident the defense had been told they must disclose information about the expert witnesses, although no names needed to be mentioned.

What followed was a rapid-fire process. I was impressed with Judge Perry’s ability to cover a lot of ground in very little time. For the next part, I’ve put in my somewhat edited notes so you can feel the pace for yourself.

Perry: Mr. Baez, you may continue sir.

Baez: Forensic entomologist: on the case since 12/11/08 He has done substantial work.

Perry: State have one?

Baez: Yes, also out of state

Bischoff: Defense is not necessarily entitled to what state has, because they have spent money on experts in past. We object to out-of-state provider, there is a transportation cost issue.

Ashton: The defense has not examined any entomological evidence to date.

Baez: The State has Neil Haskell.

Perry: I'm ready to rule This is relevant and necessary, the defendant is charged with first degree murder. Finding a new expert would delay case, which is already 2 years old. He is bound by JAC rules.


Baez: Forensic anthropologist: The remains had full anthropological exam and is impossible to duplicate due to cremation

JAC: Requires a written motion and 5 days notice for experts, waives this due to the nature of the case

No objection

Perry: Granted!

Baez: Forensic botanist: Has been on the case since December 31, She is a lady from
from Colorado. There is only one forensic botanist in Florida and the State is using this person.

Ashton: We do have the only forensic botanist in Florida. The defense expert has not examined evidence

Baez: The expert has been to the remains location twice and reviewed crime scene photos, analyzing them in the same way the State expert has. He reminds the judge that the defense f was denied access

Bischoff: defers to court

Perry: granted


Baez: Two forensic pathologists, only one of which will testify. The second autopsy was completed which cannot be redone.

Perry: If one is to testify why two?

Baez: For consultation

Perry: One

Baez: It doesn't hurt to ask

Perry: For the record: all experts will accept JAC rates

Ashton: Is the expert who will testify in-state or out-of-state?

Baez: Out-of-state

Perry: Why?

Baez: We only consulted with the in-state expert. Dr. Werner Spitz did the second autopsy December 24, 2008.

JAC: Why can't in-state expert review the information and testify?

Baez: He has not been retained

Perry: Someone can testify to an autopsy they did not do, not the preferable way, LAST RESORT when someone is dead or unavailable

Werner Spitz is IN!

Perry: Next!

Baez: Digital forensics expert:

Perry: Does the state have an expert?

Drane: Our expert is a member of local LE.

Judge: In or out of state?

Baez: Out.

Perry: Where?

Baez: North Carolina.

Perry: Why no local expert?

Baez: He has worked w/other attys on case on "rates we couldn't refuse”.

Perry: Has has done examinations?

Baez: ; Yes.

Perry: How much money have you paid so far?

Baez: He falters here and states how much more time he would need.

Perry: How much to re-do vs. a new person, which is less expensive?

Baez: He’s completed over 50% . They can use SKYPE for his deposition.

Perry: We have the capability for video conferencing in court. Could offer possibly free of charge except for the other end. Fed-ex copies of docs to other party.

Bischoff: Travel probably not necessary. I defer to the court.

Perry: consult with these folks via video-conferencing


Perry: Next!

Baez: DNA expert: The State has the FBI and other resources.

Ashton: Asks about Kobilinski

Baez: No, it’s not him.

There is a little discussion about identifying the DNA expert prior to giving testimony.

Baez: Bioinformatics Consultants (group of people). We haven't determined who will testify. The defense has just received some new material in discovery.

Perry: Ashton? You look like you want to say something.

Ashton: The latest discovery is not DNA evidence.

Perry: You only get one DNA expert. The defense can consult with whoever they like, but only one will testify.

Baez: Over 60% of work is already done

Bischoff: In-state or out-of-state? I defer to court.

Perry: Sometimes samples in DNA testing is consumed. I give you one expert to testify. Free to have as many people as you want DONATE services


Baez: Trace Evidence expert for hair, fiber, textile samples. We will have Henry Lee do it if he can. Otherwise will use in-state expert.

Perry: If Dr. Lee does it, he wants to know why (since they are already paying transportation.

Perry denies without prejudice since Lee is to do the work.


Baez: Forensic chemistry: He has reviewed discovery from Oak Ridge (novel science) and ther is no one in Florida to assist the defense.

Perry: Body Farm?

Baez: Oak Ridge Lab (is different). The prosecution will have two or three scientists from there to testify, covering different aspects of forensic chemistry. The defense requires two as well as it is an impossible task to find one person to do both. I spoke with Dr Vass and asked if there was anyone else to do it. Vass said someone in Belgium. So, he needs two, one in Florida, one not in Florida.

Perry asks what this is in reference to.

Ashton: The chemical composition of the odor in car which was confirmed by people and dogs.

Judge: How important is this?

Ashton: It was huge before the body was found and is still important.

Bischoff: Defers to court

Perry: Again rules for the defense due to fact that this is a complex case, there will be a battle of experts, understands JAC concerns. No your run of the mill case. These experts are relevant and necessary.

Grants motion for two experts.


Baez: Taphonomist. Taphonomy is the study of human decomposition.

Ashton: It’s not a recognized area of forensic science.

Baez: Ashton needs to Google it!

Bischoff: We need more information about this. Don’t they already have a forensic anthropologist?

Baez: I’ve labored hard over many hours to find the best experts for defense. Taphonomy IS a science.

Perry: Let me cut you short! We meed to have a Rogers hearing on this file a motion and set a hearing pretty quickly. The expert can appear by video

Ashton: I need more information.

Perry: Provide (the State) with a CV of the particular witness. Have that witness appear by video conferencing, it can be done easily


Baez: Cell phone expert. The State has witness through MBI. The State doesn't have time of death or location and I think that State will use to calculate this. They even calculated Ms. Anthony’s sleeping habits!

Perry: (Looking quizzical) Speculation!

Ashton: We have witnesses who may testify, not necessarily to what Mr. Baez speculated about.

Perry: Testify as to where the phone was? She may not have had the phone. This isn’t expert testimony.

Baez: We have no one not retained yet and will attempt to find one in-state

Perry: Have you taken depos of State's folks?

Baez: No.

Perry: What value, if any, would these records have if they can't prove who had the phone?

Baez: We have someone willing to do pro-bono, might not want to come out of pocket for costs since he is out-of-state.

Perry: The defense has not established it is necessary pursuant to Lavender.

Denied without prejudice. The defense is to first take deposition of State witness.


Baez: The defense needs money to cover costs for some tests that need to be run vis-a-vis Oak Ridge tests where they bought 2 similar vehicles to test and the State has possession of Ms. Anthony’s car. We need two Pontiac Sunbirds and with materials it would cost $6000.

Perry: The defense has not met the burden of proof that his testing is relevant and necessary. The defense does not have the right to run every and any test. They can set of Rogers hearing


Baez: Jury consultant: I don’t know if the State is retaining one but they probably will.
With the media attention, community involvement (search/protestors), numerous outrage that the media has portrayed Ms. Anthony, in the light they portrayed her in....

Baez runs on and on with one of his famous run-on sentences.

Linda Drane Burdick: Mr. Ashton and Mr. George are my jury consultants

Perry: Cheney Mason has been practicing law for more years than he would probably be willing to admit at this stage... One of the most preeminent criminal defense attorneys... He's presided over at least one case with me... he even traveled with me to Leon county to pick a jury.

I must say, Judge Perry really sang the praises of Mr. Mason!

A jury consultant is not a fundamental right under due process, let Mr. Mason do it!



Baez: I want to double check and see if that is with or without prejudice.

Perry: WITH prejudice, I will not entertain it again.

Baez: Expert in canine issues. I think there may possibly be a Frye hearing and motion to suppress evidence concerning canine evidence.

Perry: Reply from the State of Florida. Are you utilizing an expert or dog handler.

Linda Drane Burdick: Two dog handlers from Osceola Co. LE at this point.

Perry: Cites numerous articles about canines' ability to scent out all types of things. He's "rastling" now with the extent he's asking for.What type of expert/what would he be doing? Another dog handler?

Baez: It's a matter of debate as to whether it's true or not... that dogs scented decomposition. This dog was trained on pseudo-scents and real scents. There is a significant issue as to whether the results are conclusive, presumptive. The area of Suburban Drive was cleared by the same two dogs. There was an alleged alert in back yard and they found nothing Dog evidence is SO unreliable, SO over-reaching...
My expert has doctorate in vetinary science, very well respected in dog community

Perry: I'm still trying to figure out what this expert will testify to

Baez: He willstudy training logs, dog records, procedures, what is customary as to their behavior, error rates.

Perry: Where is he?

Baez: Alabama

Perry: Has he testified before?

Baez: Yes, he has done substantial investigation into dog handlers.

Linda Drane Burdick: This work has been done since Bond Hearing. They should be asking for time and travel expenses.

Baez: This will be taken up in a pre-trial hearing. It will take him a limited number of hours to prepare, could ask for more if he testifies

Bischoff : Defers to the court. The judge should severely limit travel and time rates as the bulk of work has been done already

Perry: How many hours?

Baez: 20

Perry: Granted up to 20 hours


Baez: Charges for public records request, I don’t know how the court would deal with that, it's in the budget request.

Baez then gives and example: TIPS! (remember the $900+) because it wasn't part of discovery. I’m sure we all remember his outrage somebody thought it funny to give him psychic tips first. He wants $5000 doesn't know if it is high or low.

Bischoff: The Court require the records be indicated with specificity as to docsuments and be put in a motion. Services required, are provided at no cost to indigent clients.

Baez: It’s impossible to do pre-requests due to the sheer volume.

Here, I get the willies again. Baez is referring to getting documents related to witnesses. I hope none of them have ever had a speeding ticket!

Perry: $3500 You can come back to justify if you need more.

Perry: More?

Baez: Last one needs to be done in camera.

He’s referring to the last expert witness.

The last item for discussion today is the MOTION to have the State respond to motions that have been filed.

Cheney Mason got up and spoke for the first time today. He stated that he’d filed a motion for reconsideration of prior rulings. He indicated it would be easier if the State were required to respond in writing to all motions filed. He said that a great deal could be resolved between parties or by the judge without a hearing. He went on to say that the prior judge only required response it there was to be a hearing.

Perry asked if this would alleviate the need for hearings. Mason replied it might do that and indicated that then the judge could decide whether or not a hearing was necessary.

Linda Drane Burdick said that in the past, when they had replied to them, they often ended up having a hearing anyway. She felt these replies were a colossal waste of time. She said that the legal arguments in non-death penalty motions have not been that complex. She assumed that if the defense had thoroughly researched case law, they should be able to anticipate their reply. She said that she would be willing to brief an motion if the judge asks.

Jeff Ashton stated that the bulk of the death penalty motions should be handled without pleadings, but that Andrea Lyon doesn’t agree. He made the same offer to Andrea Lyons and she declined. He seemed to hope they could come to an agreement. He would like the defense to put the request in writing for a response when no hearing is needed.

Cheney Mason stated that they are close to agreement. Some death penalty motions need arguments others don't. He went on to speak about a motion dealing with the motions on photographs, stating that the vast majority of them were taken prior to any events.

Perry responded that he would not make an order on the motion, but seemed to indicate that responses could make hearings shorter or not needed at all.
He asked that when they file new motions, they could put in the motion that the State should respond.

I have the feeling the defense will continue to file all motions with a request for a response!

As I was writing this, I found a gap in the coverage where it went to Kathi Belich for a while. When coverage continued, the hearing had moved on. I reviewed the video of this section and found that just as Mason was discussing the photos, the video skipped to the judge asking the technician to kill the microphones and he and the defense attorneys went off into a corner to confer. All I can say here is that I hope what I have is in order!

When the defense team and Perry returned from their conference, Perry asked if there was anything else.

Cheney Mason stood and stated that Ms. Anthony had requested to waive her appearance at these types of proceedings. He said she was subjected to the hoards of media and all the comments about her appearance, what she was wearing and so on. She was being put in a fish bowl! She would rather not be there. He added that the defense would want her there for evidentiary hearings.

Frank George told the judge that they had argued this a year ago. He made it clear that her failure to be there could cause appellate motions should she be found guilty.

Mason responded that it was Ms. Anthony’s right. She doesn't want to be here! She was being put in a fish bowl!

Perry replied that in capital cases, defendants need to present. If found guilty of anything, it could lead to a post-conviction relief proceedings. Mimicking such a person, Perry said, "My lawyer didn't tell me this, if I had been there, I would have done A, B, C, and D...”.

He denied the request but said she wouldn’t have to attend status hearings where nothing substantive is heard unless she wanted to attend.

He did indicate the defense could bring the issue up again.

Linda Drane Burdick was concerned about who would notify security as to whether or not Casey needed to be transported.
Perry told her that his JA does that.

Drane Burdick asked if there could be a court order a list of some experts who are ready to be deposed.

Baez indicated they hadn’t concluded their work yet. They hadn’t viewed the majority of the evidence yet.

Perry told her to do the ones that she knows. When the Order comes out there will be discovery cut-offs. If not done, they will have to give him a pretty good reason!

The last issue was attorney travel expenses for jury selection. It was a fairly complicated issue but the end result was clear.

Apparently, attorney travel expenses are only paid when an indigent defendant had one pro-bono attorney. Casey has two attorneys, one (Mason) is pro-bono. Therefore, neither would qualify for travel expenses.

The judge also indicates that since Baez was privately retained, those expenses are “overhead”.

Baez then indicated that at his $5 an hour, could he re-apply if the jury selection process went long, the judge said “no”.

Perry stated that jury selection should only take a week. After some mathematics, the judge felt it could be done. Another interesting fact is that Perry said he is not fond of jury questionnaires!

Well, the hearing is over, and if you got this far, congratulations!

Here are some links if you want to view the video for yourself.

Part 1

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6


Anonymous said...

Great recap Ritanita.

I assumed the Michelle next to Casey was Michelle Medina from Baez's firm.

Who is Michelle Bodega?



ritanita said...

You're very welcome. Thanks for the correction! I'm on my way to fix it now. My hearing must have been off this morning!

BChand said...

Oh I just assumed I was wrong and you were right Ritantia. Don't take my word for it!! Many over at IS were wondering who this Michelle was and I finally found a Michelle Medina listed right under Jose's name on this Notice of Hearing.

So I assumed it might be the same woman. Remove both comments if you like.


ritanita said...

You were right! I also looked her up at the Florida Bar site.

I'm usually so careful of names, but I'm snowed under all the motions right now, my house looks like a paper-recycling plant with stacks of them all over.

I've added her to my "cast of characters" so I don't get her name wrong again.

donchais said...

You are amazing ritanita! Thanks for all your hard work!

Sprocket said...

ritanita, brilliant job, as usual.

FRG said...

Great article as usual!!!
JB forgot to mention their National media appearances where AL raised suspicions on poor Mr.Kronk without having any police reports to back up her allegations. Nasty lawyers.
Oh boy, JB said he wanted to keep his experts names a "secret"... what secret? We all know who they are, at least 80% of the names, these experts were on National media talking about the case... Is JB stupid or what??
Ritanita, what did JP mean when he was mentioning the $163,000 there were no detailed reports? Does he want it now? I couldn't figure that out.
Well, JB meant that Dr. Lee spent 8-10 hours at lunchtime. LOL. I also remember Dr. Lee had to go somewhere else and left.
Yep, TES issues will be an "issue" and I just hope the poor 4,000 searches won't scrutinized by the defense, searchers might be really scared. Can you imagine those poor searchers in the high temperatures were out there trying to help to find little Caylee's body and now defense wants to run heir backgrounds, is it fair???
So Caylee was indeed cremated.
Did JB mention to where Caylee's remains were found as a "crime scene". Geez!!!
Val said the ORL science is not novel.
I disagree with JP about the telephone pings towers, I saw a case where the person was convicted and his telephone put him in the area where the victim was killed, so I don't know. KC held dearly to her cell phone.
Muffin will have a fair trial and JP made sure this will happen, she kept almost all of her experts.
Sorry about my long comment.
Thank you very much to keep us informed.

ritanita said...


, Ritanita, what did JP mean when he was mentioning the $163,000 there were no detailed reports? ,

That was the money unaccounted for at the indigency hearing on March 18. Baez was supposed to come back the next day with the details, which Strickland reviewed.

After that, Strickland approved her indigency motion.

What is obvious from the get-go is that Baez hasn't kept very good records, or if he has, he isn't showing them off to the court.

He never kept track of his billable hours, and that's a big no-no. If he didn't do that, what's to say he spent money by flying by the seat of his pants.

I'm sure you listened to the hearing and read what I wrote! Did you ever see Baez pull out a paper and say, "Henry Lee came to Florida to examine the 'recovery' scene (his new euphamism). He spent x dollars on transportation, y dollars on food, and spent z amount of hours @a dollars. The total cost of that trib was B dollars?".

, Nope!,

Oh, and Lee had told Nancy Grace that he was working pro-bono... don't have a link handy, sorry.

The same was true with every other expert. He literally "winged" it there because he either doesn't know how much he spent or doesn't want anyone to know.

I think Perry is on to his financial shenanigans. That's why he mentioned it at the hearing.

He also went on about the "fine tooth comb" he will be using. He is very careful with the TAXPAYERS' money and won't let a dime slip out of Baez' hands.

I would love, when this case is over, to see a forensic accountant to come in and examine his books for this case!

FRG said...

I am sorry if sometimes it seems I didn't read your article entirely.
Here is the link to where Dr. Lee told NG he was working pro-bono:
"I would love, when this case is over, to see a forensic accountant to come in and examine his books for this case!"
Do scientists have accountant books? Really? I had no idea. Do books have to match to what JB is stating? JB stated that KC's experts had made 50% or over the work to be done right? How does he know that? This is getting to be shady to me. My head is going to explode. LOL
Thank you for answering to my questions even if they are stupid sometimes. Sorry!!!

ritanita said...

As a retired educator, I don't believe in stupid questions. Asking a question often brings up wonderful ideas for the recipient.

When I refer to "books", I am referring to Mr. Baez in terms of his record-keeping. They need to keep meticulous books and are accountable to their clients to explain how the money was spent.

Laywers must keep records of every single expense with verification. For example:

If Dr. Lee is working pro-bono, he would still have to provide receipts for his expenses to be reimbursed. Even if he is working pro-bono,he would have to maintain a record of his time spent on the case and what particular task he accomplished during each period of time.

Had Baez kept meticulous recors as he should have, he should have been able to present a full accounting to the court, down to the last penny spent.

Based on Judge Perry's comments in court, I'm thinking Mr. Baez may not have been unable to do so.
He would have his lab bookkeeper keep track of this information and bill Mr. Baez on a regular basis with copies of records as well. These copies should be in Baez' records.

Being an attorney or a scientist involves business dealings, so they are businessmen as well.

FRG said...

You are so nice!
Thanks for explaining that to me.
It seems like JB didn't bring his books, forgot to bring his books, or he didn't have a detailed information in his books to bring them to the hearing. LOL

shari said...

After the Spector trial....I am not so sure I would ever trust Henry Lee on anything....and I know I wouldn't trust Jose Baez. What abysmal records this man keeps. The number one rule for a lawyer is 'BILLABLE HOURS"...Baez must have slept thru that class. Ritanita, you are doing a bang up job of this. Thanx so much!

Dars said...

Thank you Ritanita, I love your articles!

I read here all the time and I believe this is one of the better blogs on the Anthony case among others of course.


FRG said...

"Happy Mother's Day"!!!!!!!! Have a day full of blessings!!!!
To all of the good mothers out there as well!!!!

Unknown said...

Awesome article, your doing a bang up job, I just love reading your articles !!!