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February 14, 2011


more defense woes?

by Andrea O'Connell

Though it seemed like today would be a relatively quiet day in the case against Casey Anthony, there is some breaking news about the Baez Law firm and a Court Reporting firm.

Mr. Gerald Stogsdill, owner of the Stogskill Court Reporting Services firm, based out of Knoxville, Tennessee, has written a letter to Judge Belvin Perry suggesting that Jose Baez and Cheney Mason “misstated facts to the court” with regards to the rate for court reporting services for the deposition of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The Defense team is claiming that they fully explained to Stogsdill that the rate the Defense could pay was based on a JAC indigent rate.  The Defense claimed that Stogsdill initially balked at the JAC rate but then agreed to  accept that rate.  However, Stogsdill is saying that is not true.

The Defense even went so far as to provide an affidavit attached to their motion stating the company understood the rate when they agreed to work for the Defense.  READ:  Defendant’s Motion to Authorize and Compel Preparation of Transcripts.

Anthony Colarossi of the Orlando Sentinel published the story this evening, and writes about a letter to Judge Perry by Stogsdill that says the following:

“It obviously has been represented to Your Honor that my office had initially agreed to provide court reporting services at rates significantly lower than normal rates and then refused to honor the discounted rate, and I believe the reason given the Court was my alleged claim that the job was difficult and took more time than expected,” Stogsdill wrote.

“These statements are not true,” he continued. “I cannot ignore the attack on my integrity and reputation without responding.”

“Although it has been represented to the Court that I tricked Mr. Baez and Mr. Cheney (Mason), I believe that our court reporting services were obtained under false pretenses,” Stogsdill wrote. “I would not have agreed to provide court reporting services under the substantially lower rates and terms established by the JAC guidelines.”

It is anyone’s guess how this will play out. However, something just doesn’t sound right.  Why would Baez and Mason go to such great lengths to have an affidavit prepared with regards to this issue?

There were discussions about this scenario in open court, as you may recall.  The Judge advised Baez and Mason that the rate charged by Stogsdill was too high.  The Judge told them they must use a transcript firm who agreed with the JAC rate.  I am not sure if this discussion occurred after the deposition or prior to.  However, Cheney Mason ended up paying the difference in the cost directly to Stogsdill.  Mr. Mason paid $860.70, and requested to be reimbursed by the Court.  The Court did agree to reimburse Mr. Mason.

Anthony Colarossi concludes his story with the following:

Stogsdill said his business has been operating for more than 20 years with a reputation “for being fair and ethical, a reputation that would have been impossible to establish and maintain with shenanigans like those I have been wrongly accused of by the attorney(s) for Ms. Anthony.”

Stogsdill provided a series of emails between his office and the offices of the two attorneys to support his complaint. At one point in his letter, Stogsdill writes, “we assume (sometimes incorrectly, unfortunately) that attorneys will pay their bills.”

Who can begin to know what the truth is.  I do remember, however, a lot of discussion about this issue.  It is unknown if this situation will escalate.

Hold on to your hats – it just may be a bumpy ride!

Reference: Orlando Sentinel article.

11 Comments Post a comment
  1. Feb 14 2011

    Only thing I can say here

    pay your bills, dufus

  2. Mike
    Feb 15 2011

    Let’s see, Judge Perry is in the forefront regarding the proposed cuts to the judicial department. The Court makes suggestions to the defense about staying within the JAC guide lines per costs.
    The defense ignores the Courts suggestions and goes out of State and over the JAC cost guide lines. Defense then snivels to the Court to pay the costs.
    The Court authorizes the JAC to pay, even tho’ the Court has been ignored by the defense. Incredible!
    This case has had more lawyers and experts representing the defense than any case in recent history. TMK. Will the lesser defendants that have been convicted or are awaiting trial have a legitimate claim to equal due process of law as received by CA? I would expect a flood of motions for rehearing by those who have been unequally convicted by law in Florida.
    When is this Court going to put a stop to these blatant and contemptuous actions by the defense? It’s no wonder the judicial department is hurting for funds. We continually hear the excuse that the Court doesn’t want appeals but any case is appealable and this case will have its share of appeals. The contempt that the defense shows for the Court has to stop. This has become a game to the defense lawyers and they are getting away with it at the expense of the Florida taxpayer. This is what Mason meant when he said this case would be “fun”. These guys are outright laughing at the Court.
    Until the Court puts a stop to it, the defense will continue to ignore the Court. They know they can get away with it as there is a lot of yak, no act, by the Court. This behaviour will continue into the trial, causing costly delays, if the Court lets it continue. I feel for the jurors who will be subjected to a gross imposition in their life just for doing their civic duty.
    And the jurors are the lowest paid members of the Court, why is that?
    The jurors should be the highest paid, IMO, as they have highest power and responsibility in their hands.
    Oh well, enough ranting. I wouldn’t want to step on Baez’ toes. lol.

    • Feb 15 2011

      Hey Mike, you are absolutely right! This case is going to set precedents that will be bad news for the Florida courts. As you point out, I imagine future defendants will want the same opportunities as this case is getting.
      And, I think you’re also correct about the defense bending and bending and bending the rules until the Judge pounds their thumbs with a hammer (ouch!)
      With regards to experts, I think the defense is going to be sadly represented unless they have a lawyer on their side who is an expert on scientific testimony. I have a feeling, though I could be completely wrong, but I think that they are going to be a laughing stock when they try to put on scientific witnesses.
      And, I agree that Jurors should get paid much more as they have the burden on their shoulders to render the critical verdict. I feel the same way about teachers and police…. they are both terribly underpaid. But, that’s another topic for another time! LOL
      Anyway, you made great points here… thank you! 🙂

  3. Swift Justice
    Feb 15 2011

    What other surprises will we be privy to …..before the Jury Selection begins in 82 days?
    I’m happy to hear that Mason paid the bill……probably because Baez’
    bank account is empty……his check would have bounced like a rubber
    ball. No wonder he’s so attached to Casey…both are cut from the same bolt of cloth. Liars …
    Oh, yeah, we’re in for a very bumpy ride.

  4. CptKD
    Feb 15 2011

    I totally recall the day in court when JP ask them if the had drawn up a contract. The two idiots stood there and both said NO! He was shocked at both of them and suggested that next time the do that. Baez smirked and said it’s too late now. I knew in my gut something wasn’t right. He asked them again when it came up in another hearing and again the both lied and said the CRS agreed to charge at JAC rates. They cried about Mason having to pay. Reimbursement GRANTED! Mason got his money. CptKD

    • Feb 15 2011

      Hey CptKD! Do you recall if Baez did much of the talking? I can’t remember… WFTV accuses Baez of lying, but I tend to think that Mason is easily as culpable. I guess I’ll have to find the time to go back and listen to the tapes of those hearings! Oh joy!

  5. CptKD
    Feb 16 2011

    Quite honestly Andrea, if I am not mistaken, on one occasion it was both of them, and then the other time, I believe it was Mason. I remember Baez speaking about it, cause when he said “they realized it was a bigger job and took longer than they thought”, something didnt sit right for me. It was almost like ‘obvious’ that he was lying. . . Of course, this is IF Memory serves me correctly, but then again it doesn t usually FAIL me! LOL – CptKD

  6. CptKD
    Feb 16 2011

    I stand corrected –
    I just reviewed the lastest video of Kathi Belich interviewing Mr. Shaeffer with reference to this matter, and they referred back to a hearing where Mason actually delivers my qoute from above –

    I swear, I heard somewhere before this, some sort of similar argument regarding this matter with Bozo. . .
    It must have been regarding the whole ‘Contract’ thing.

    Judge Perry told them, that as ATTORNEYS, educated Officers of the Court, they should have KNOWN, and had a contract drawn up with regards to the JAC and its rates.

    I apologize for not double-checking before posting my previous reply!

    • Feb 16 2011

      Ahh, thank you for clarifying and doing some homework! I tend to think that Baez was really letting Mason take the fall on this…. but, maybe there is tape with Baez telling untruths, too. Hmmmm!

  7. CptKD
    Feb 17 2011

    You know I am puzzled about something, and wonder if somehow, you, or one of the other readers/commenters can answer this for me – Is Innate Anthony permitted to have the daily newspapers of Florida? Does she actually KNOW what Bozo and Mason are doing out there? Does she only kno what they tell her, or is she abreast of the goings-on? I m sorry, but if I was hearing all this stuff about my attorney, I d be begging the courts for a new lawyer. Public defender or not! It d be better than them. KD


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