more defense woes?
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.