When your best isn’t good enough, it’s a sad, bad place to be, especially when someone’s very life is on the line.
Today we saw the response to the State’s Motion to Show Cause (the contempt motion) from Jose Baez. I have always worried that Casey Anthony’s right to a fair trial could be seriously endangered. Now I am sure that it is.
Today’s response by Jose Baez to the contempt charges are embarrassing on so many levels. It’s difficult to know just what his motivation is; and it’s even more difficult to understand why in the world Co-Counsel, Cheney Mason, is not assisting and steering Mr. Baez in the right direction as to the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure. Also, why is Mr. Mason not advising Mr. Baez about the proper decorum with respect to the Court, and especially with regards to the Chief Judge?
It is difficult to fathom why Mr. Baez is so incredibly foolish and fancy-free with court orders and the law. I have said this before, and I will say it again, I believe it all comes down to a severe case of stubborn hubris.
Hubris is defined as having an exaggerated pride and arrogance – so much so that the ability to see the truth and reality are completely inhibited by a defiant will to prove to themselves, and to others, that they are better than you or I.
In Shakespeare, hubris is known as a characters “tragic flaw”. Characters like Hamlet, Macbeth, and Othello all had this tragic flaw – this exaggerated and false bravado that ultimately destroys their life, as well as the lives of those they love. Hamlet’s hubris was chiefly the cause of Ophelia’s death….
Oh! Sorry, we’re talking about Jose Baez, not Shakespeare!
So, with Mr. Baez, it was his hubris that allowed him to think he was ready to accept this case in the first place. Had he been capable of being honest with himself, he would have admitted that this case is far more than he could possibly handle, given his limited courtroom experience.
What Mr. Baez does to hide his inferiority is to look for excuses to skirt proper courtroom procedures. Because he is not ready to try cases of this magnitude, he resorts to insults and name calling, as you’ll see in his motion. He has no respect for the law, or for the court. Wearing expensive suits does not a good lawyer make. A lawyer needs respect and adoration for the law, not respect for self above all laws. A lawyer needs to listen and respect the Court, not try to fashion Court rulings to suit his case.
What is truly unfortunate is that Mr. Baez seems incapable of admitting a mistake. He is also incapable of accepting the law unless he believes it is fair to his cause. Why else would he defy the totally non complex rules of discovery?
Here are the excuses raised by Jose Baez in his “Motion to Strike the State’s Motion for Rule to Show Cause”
- Mr. Baez says that Mr. Ashton should not have his help in arguing the Frye issues. Yes, instead of following the rules (of discovery), Mr. Baez believes that by obliging with this court order, he would be doing Mr. Ashton’s work for him. Mr Baez asserts that, “There is no case law, statute, or rule of criminal procedure that requires a party to give what amounts to outlines or arguments or cross examination for a Frye hearing.” In truth, all that is required is what the Defense plans to object to. Period. End of story. But, you see, if Mr. Baez were to submit this, he’d loose his ability to surprise and hopefully throw his opponent off their game. I don’t know how Judge Perry will deal with this one – this is a serious problem with Mr. Baez, and it goes right to the heart of how he wants to try his case.
- Mr. Baez did not understand the Judge’s ruling in which he specifically asked the defense to provide, in writing, what the Defense will argue “including, but not limited to” that which was already submitted (by the Defense). Mr. Baez took this to mean that if he had “additional challenges” he should submit them by the February 17th deadline. Since Mr. Baez had no further challenges, “the Defense stood silent.”
- Mr. Baez sent Judge Perry an email on February 18th, stating he was confused and would like clarification from the Judge. So, Mr. Baez blames the Judge for not responding with clarification. Yes, he wants to put blame on the Court for not responding to him.
- Mr. Ashton is not a man of his word, so says Mr. Baez. Mr. Baez was waiting on a motion from Mr. Ashton – but that is not how this game is played, and it has been explained to Mr. Baez already: the State has the evidence and the expert witness, it is incumbent on Mr. Baez to provide to the State what it will object to and challenge!
- Mr. Baez accuses Mr. Ashton of using “gamesmanship” that is “clever, the tactic being make opposing counsel defend himself instead of his client.”
- Mr. Baez has the audacity to suggest that he “should” ask for a continuance, but he won’t because he’s not sure “he has good cause at this time.”
Like I said earlier, I find this very sad, and maddening and completely opposite of what we should expect from Defense lawyers. Do you think it’s possible that Mr. Baez is purposely doing things his own way – avoiding correct procedure – regardless of the law? Or, do you think that Mr. Baez is so wet behind the ears he is unaware of what is required of him?
I tend to think this behavior is purposeful. But, why is Mr. Cheney not advising him? Can it be that Mr. Baez has no respect for Mr. Cheney and won’t listen? Is Mr. Cheney under Mr. Baez’s thumb here?
All in all, the conclusion that I am left with is Mr. Baez has within him a hubris the size of Houston, peppered with a devil-may-care attitude for the law and the court.
I think that Judge Perry is between a rock and a hard place and it is anyone’s guess what he will do.
Here’s the Baez motion – it’s a classic.
Reminder! The hearing begins at 9:00 EST on Wednesday March 2, and Thursday, March 3rd.