Monday, March 7, 2011

Phil Spector Appeal: Date Set for Oral Arguments

Correction: Oral arguments will be heard in the Ronald Regan State Office building, 300 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles on April 12th, 2011. I got everything wrong except the time.

The oral arguments in Phil Spector's appeal will be heard April 14th, 2011 at 9:30 am in the Roybal Federal Building, 255 E Temple Street, Los Angeles. Two years earlier, Spector was convicted of second degree murder on April 13th, 2009.


Anonymous said...

Sprocket, will you be going?

Sprocket said...

I haven't decided yet.

It depends on if Lazarus has started by then.

Anonymous said...

I read elsewhere that the DA's response was produced by a new attorney, a real rookie, which is surprising considering that everyone knows Riordan is the best appeals lawyer on the west coast. I hope no rookies are present in the courtroom.
Also I just got the email that the suit against Shapiro was settled...damn. Would love to have heard about that one in court. Wonder what kind of refund PS got?
Wes J.

Sprocket said...

The LA Co. DA's office does NOT write the response to the appeal. All appellant appeals are responded to at the STATE level, not the county level. From my understanding, the County DA's office is not involved at all.

I have a feeling I know where you heard that "opinion" on the state's response to the appeal, lol. That's a very biased source; not a neutral view at all.

I was not surprised to hear that Shapiro and Spector settled their $$$ disagreement over a "true" retainer. I've heard whispers (unverified) that Shapiro settled two similar cases before, so it was my bet he would settle this one, too. I suspect the details of the settlement were sealed.

Anonymous said...

Ever since the O.J. Simpson trial, I've read that Robert Shapiro is a master at arranging deals and plea baargains to avoid a trial. It is logical that he would do so in this instance.

David In TN

Anonymous said...

Sprocket, do you think PS will get a new trial?

Sprocket said...

Reply part 1:
Will Spector be granted a new trial?

What your asking is, have I read all three briefs and are the arguments for a new trial on solid legal ground? In other words, were there ruling errors by the trial judge that were so egregious that Spector will be granted a new trial?

I was hoping to get an opinion from an attorney who is neutral to the case, but they are busy and I don't know when they will be able to read all three briefs and get back to me. Hopefully before there is a ruling.

I know what others have told me (their opinion), but I personally do not have an opinion that I will publish at this time. Mostly because I have not completely read even the opening brief, which is 150 printed pages.

The "respondent's brief" (State of California) is about 160 pages. I've not printed out the final brief by the defendant.

Supposedly, there was over 20,000 pages of trial transcript. (I don't know if that is for both trials or for the second trial.)

The Justices must go over it all.

I've been told that the three judges that will hear this case are very conservative. I will also remind everyone that in the vast majority of appeals put before the California appellate court, the trial courts decision is affirmed. So speaking just statistically, (and not on the merits of the appeal) the odds of a reversal are slim.

Understand if the appeal is denied, Spector can appeal to the next highest court....but I've been told at THAT court level, it gets even harder to get a trial court reversal.

Famous appellate attorney, Dennis Riordan was involved in writing the appeal. Remember during the first trial, when we just had the CourtTV cameras showing an image of the court's desk phone? It was Riordan on the other end. He was involved in crafting jury instructions for both trials and in writing the appeal.

In Depth Profile of Dennis Riordan

Famous Cases:

Appeal of the West Memphis Three.

Famous dog mauling case

Barry Bonds perjury appeal.

Sprocket said...

Part 2:

Going back to the first trial, remember that famous "Jury Instruction #3?"

It was that jury instruction (crafted by the defense) that the jurors struggled with and Judge Fidler later withdrew it and rewrote it.

After that the jurors still hung, 10/2 for conviction.

I forget specifically on what grounds Fidler withdrew the instruction, but I do remember what my friends in the MSM said. They said something to the effect that it was not a valid legal instruction, and that Riordan was initially able to get it by Fidler.

I'm not positive, but from my failing memory I believe it had something to do with the fact that it drew very specific conclusions that the jury would have to come to about the facts of the case.

If you search the old MSM reports online, I'm sure the details of that jury instruction reversal can be found.

In the second trial, the defense tried to get a special jury instruction of their own included again and Fidler denied that request each and every time it was presented.

You have to know that Riordan is a highly respected legal mind. He was on the panel of attorneys who rewrote California's jury instructions "CALCRIM." I've been told that when it comes to appellate case law, Riordan has an almost "eidetic like" memory.

Barry said...

Hi, Sprocket!

I so so so hope you will be attending. It is unlikely that the MSM will attend - and you have been the eyes and ears of us all - and , in a sense, a silent witness for Lana Clarkson, ensuring her memory is not forgotten.

One reminder to the posters: the MOST PS could hope for would be a new criminal trial. He would not be declared innocent; the court could merely rule that the judge made factual errors and order a new trial with certain evidence excluded.

California has specific regulations about when and under what circumstances evidence of past bad deeds can be introduced. Like so many parts of the law, they call for interpretation and discretion, in this case on the part of Judge Fidler. To order a new trial, the Appeals Court would have to find that (1) Judge Fidler incorrectly allowed the testimony and; (2) it hurt PS chance for an acquittal.

There are other issues raised in the appeal, that argument constitutes PS best chance...

Anonymous said...

I would look forward to your report if you are able to attend.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sprocket,
I don't know much about how an appeal works, maybe you can help. Now, let's say the appeal goes in PS's favor. Would he be released right away from Corcoran? How does this go? Does he have to still serve time for the gun? If he gets a new trial and loses, does he get "credit" for the time he served already? Maybe you can answer these questions. Hope you can attend the new trial if he gets one.

Sprocket said...

Anon @ 7:21am:

I've been told (by a legal scholar) that "IF" the appeal is granted, Spector would not be getting out of prison on this appeal. From my understanding, that would be a completely different issue.

I have had a few individuals look over all three briefs and give me their opinion on the merits of the appeal. Every single one feels the appeal will not be granted.

I've been very busy helping my husband with a big project, but as soon as I'm free, I will write up the analysis of these legal experts.