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June 18, 2011

52

Yet again, Judge Perry says willful violation by Baez

by Andrea O'Connell

I originally wrote the below post on Jan. 3, 2011 after Jose Baez was caught red-handed, trying to hide information, just as he did today with Dr. William Rodriguez. He’s a forensic anthropologist with the U.S. Department of Defense.

Today, the witness, Dr. Rodriquez, began to testify about the effect of duct tape on skeletal remains – a topic that was not included in the witnesses report, and which violates the rules of discovery in Florida criminal cases.

The court stopped abruptly as attorney Jeff Ashton advised Judge Perry of the violation.

Judge Perry asked Dr. Rodriquez was he told that he had to included ALL is opinions in his report?  “No,” said Dr. Rodriquez.

Judge Perry asked the witness, “When did you tell Mr. Baez about this opinion?”  “In February,” Dr. Rodriquez replied.

Baez was required to share this with the State of Florida – he did not, he kept it secret.

Therefore, with rising disdain an frustration, Judge Perry told Baez that his actions were willful and clearly a violation – just as he said in January of this year, when I wrote the below article.

It is just another reminder that Jose Baez thinks nothing of acting in “Bad Faith” in his practice as a lawyer.

Judge Perry could have held Baez in contempt of court today, but in the interest of seeing this case to its completion, he did not do it. But he could have, and some will argue he should have.

Judge Perry said, “This is not my first rodeo, Mr. Baez.”  Perry then told Baez he will withhold his ruling / revisit this at the conclusion of the case.

If I had to bet, I would say Judge Perry will do it – he will find Baez in contempt.  There is no way a contempt hearing could happen now, in the middle of the trial, of course, and the Judge is committed to see the trial through to its final bow.

But, I think he may do it.

Judge Perry previously warned, and warned Baez again and again, in pre-trial hearings, about the rules of discovery.  Baez kept breaking the rules until he was formally sanctioned and was required to pay costs to the State of Florida.

Back in January, Judge Perry, in no uncertain terms, told the lawyers,   if an expert should FAIL to disclose what he or she will testify to, that expert will be precluded from testifying at trial.

Today, Perry was not so strict and will allow the State to take the witnesses deposition today, allowing him to testify next week.

Judge Perry was not about to let Jose Baez’ actions hurt Casey Anthony’s opportunity to put on this witness.

Here is a link to an article I wrote about the fallout of the sanction and the violation.   https://andreadreamin.com/2011/01/20/oh-that-contemptuous-defense/

Here is the January 6th article that is related to what happened today:

Judge Perry: Willful violation by Baez

Every single day across the state of Florida, both criminal defense and prosecution attorneys abide by a very strict rule of reciprocal discovery.  The rules of discovery in criminal proceedings are very well known to most attorneys who practice in the state.  In short, the discovery rules require each side to inform the other in writing of any and all discovery that exists prior to trial.  This rule is to avoid what Judge Perry referred to as the common principle of “trial by ambush”.

Now, the Casey Anthony defense team won’t be the first to disobey this requirement; I would venture to say that in cities across the state of Florida, prosecutors have also inadvertently or willfully disobeyed this rule on occasion, as no case is perfect.  The troubling aspect of failure to abide by this rule is to run the risk of a verdict being overturned, which would require a retrial.

As you may recall, Judge Perry ordered the defense to produce expert witness discovery by a certain deadline date.  When the defense failed to comply and turn over sufficient detail to the prosecution, Judge Perry clarified the order for Jose Baez at a second hearing.  When Jose Baez failed to comply to the second court order, the court today concluded that the defense willfully violated its court order.

The prosecutor, Jeff Ashton, advised the court that the defense has a history of deliberately skirting deadlines, and not complying with discovery rules. To which Cheney Mason answered: The defense is doing its best against the State – with all its resources.  Mr. Mason opined that he and Mr. Baez are paying out of their own pockets for airfare and other incidentals.  Mr. Baez later sarcastically let the court know that his salary is about $3.00 per hour.

The fact of the matter is, this is the burden that ALL defense attorneys have to contend with!     If Mr. Mason and Mr. Baez cannot keep up with the costs and the demands this trial asks of them, it’s too bad and oh so sad, but that is life in the criminal justice system in Florida.

Jeffery Ashton was quite convincing and eloquent today.  He asked that the court sanction the defense to the extent that is personally hurtful.  He said, if the Judge does not do so, the defense will continue to obfuscate and delay, causing harm to Casey Anthony’s ability for adequate defense, and causing delay to the May trial date.  Mr. Ashton suggested that Jose Baez be charged $500 per day until such time as he produces the discovery of its expert witnesses.

Judge Perry wasted no time in issuing his ruling, and was clearly very prepared, having read the motions and the supporting documents from the State.

In short, the Judge found that the defense willfully violated a court order.  He also pointed out that it is highly unlikely that the defense team does not know what their experts’ opinions or findings are.

As to sanctions, the court decided that Jose Baez would pay the costs associated with the State having to file the motion for sanctions, including lawyer fees.  Jeff Ashton will determine an amount; submit it to the court who will announce the amount of the fine. Jose Baez will then have five days to appeal the amount he will have to pay the court.

Furthermore, the court ruled that the defense may not use or argue any expert opinion that is not included in written discovery or in a deposition at trial.  This means, if the defense chooses to “hide” a fact or an opinion from the prosecution, and then tries to bring the opinion before the jury at trial, it will be disallowed.

That alone is a very serious sanction for Jose Baez as his strategy is to conceal and hide information in the hopes of knocking the State off their game with the element of surprise. As you know, the rules of criminal procedure for the state of Florida do not allow for trial by surprise or ambush.

Mr. Baez had better resort to trying his case on its merit, of which we know there is little, and steer clear of trickery or contempt charges will be the next tool used by Judge Perry.

Judge Perry ordered the defense to submit its expert witness discovery within seven days.  Jose Baez asked for 30 days, the Judge said no, but allowed Jose Baez to submit by Wednesday an estimation of how long it will take to fulfill the discovery request.  The Judge appeared willing to concede a day or so, which was generous of him.

As for the additional motions – all 22 of them.  Most will not be heard until the State can provide an argument in answer to each motion.  The Judge is allowing the state 15 days to file their responses to the motions.

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52 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jun 18 2011

    A must see video posted of the Judge’s comments to Baez:
    http://www.wftv.com/video/28281093/index.html
    (Thanks to WFTV)

    Reply
  2. Jun 18 2011

    Today was priceless!!! Ashton is one damn good Prosecutor!! God, how I hope Casey takes the stand.

    Reply
  3. offthecuff
    Jun 18 2011

    Ashton was a good match for Spitz. He angered Spitz into revealing his underlying opinions of Dr. G’s “shoddy” work. Ashton also walked Spitz through his opinions about when and how the tape was applied. This revealed a list of possibilities of corpse abuse, but in the end, sounded unreasonable. Ashton also got Spitz to acknowledge that he thought the skull was tampered with for photos leading to ME conspiracy. Spitz jumps to all these conclusions and possibilities without investigating and talking to ME. He needs to make sure he has mud before he slings it. Otherwise, it ends up in his face.

    Reply
    • Jun 18 2011

      I picture JA watching videos of the expert witnesses much like coaches to for sports teams – sizing them up, finding out how they tick and what sets them off

      Reply
    • Jun 19 2011

      Absolutely, Off the cuff, and well said, too. The poor man (Spitz) ended up with a great deal of mud, didn’t he? I find it really sad that the defense has to resort to an old man – who once had an international reputation – who they must have realized would be destroyed, just because he once had a distinguished career. Jurors know when someone is long past beyond retirement and should rest on past laurels. I felt embarrassed for Spitz…. He clearly lost his reason. Terrible that Spitz put himself in this position… what a way to end your career…..

      Reply
  4. Jun 18 2011

    Hi Andrea and Venice, yes indeed Venice a priceless moment. Baez just thinks he can do whatever he pleases, railroad innocent people, make up whatever he wants with his lieing client to fit a ridiculous scenario they want to float. Baez when this trial is over should never be allowed to practice anywhere again. He has no respect just like his worthless client. I love Jeff Ashton, he is fair and has been fair through this whole three year process and he is one sharp cookie.

    Reply
    • dee
      Jun 18 2011

      You are so right. His cross examinations are unnecessarily crude-unprofessional.

      Reply
  5. Jun 18 2011

    Venice, i hope Casey takes the stand too. She thinks she is good and she is just cocky enough to think she can outsmart Ashton. He will tear her a new one within one minute . I would pay to see this.

    Reply
    • Jun 18 2011

      Oh man, me too!!!

      Make it a pay per view and repay the state of FL!!

      Reply
      • Kitt
        Jun 18 2011

        That is a good idea. I’d pay.

  6. katydid
    Jun 18 2011

    That ole fart needed to retire 20 years ago….I doubt if he even knows what he is talking about…..Experts today claimed he botched Kennedy…..Heck you can look at the pictures of Kennedy and tell that.

    Reply
  7. Jun 18 2011

    i get so tired of it being reported Casey’s friends all say she was a good Mother. Look at who her friends are? college partying kids that have no kids themselves and the guys thought Casey was a good party girl. Yes, that makes a good mother alright.

    Reply
  8. Jun 18 2011

    katydid, i thought the same as you. Spitz should be retired long ago. Spitz to me has always been a bought person and will tell whatever the team he is on side of the story even if it is pure BS and he to me gravitates to the unethical teams side. He has as much credibility with me as Dr. Lee does. which is Zero.

    Reply
  9. Jun 18 2011

    Off the cufff. you summed up spitz beautifully. i so agree.

    Reply
  10. Jun 18 2011

    Jan. 3 is my Birthday!!!! 😀

    Today was an amazing day in Justice for Caylee! Every single day my respect for Jeff Ashton and Judge Perry grows

    Reply
    • Jun 18 2011

      ITA!

      Reply
      • Jun 19 2011

        me too! Ashton (thank goodness) is so clever how he leads the witnesses towards contradicting themselves!! I love it!

  11. Jun 18 2011

    I’m thinking since HHJP is waiting until after the trial that its not looking good for Baez. I wonder if Baez will be all that wanted as a lawyer or TV law analyzer or whatever, even for Telemundo, when all is said and done. I’m also hoping JAC investigates him along with the Florida Bar.

    Reply
    • Jun 18 2011

      LMAO @ Telemundo!!

      Think they will want whats left?

      Reply
      • Jun 18 2011

        It depends on how shameful of a Latino they consider him to be.

      • Addie
        Jun 18 2011

        Sherry, remember he still has something to deal with after this trial, with the Florida Bar ( unrelated to this case ). Hope they fry his goofy self ! Oh, I loved seeing HHJP putting him in his place today ( and rightfully so ! ). This Judge has taken more from Baez than any other ever would. Teaching LAw while in middle of trial ! Who ever heard of such ? LOL
        JA was dead on with Spitz ! Love Jeff Ashton’s professionalism and intelligence !

      • dee
        Jun 18 2011

        Addie you are so right. I can not tell you how many times I have laughed out loud at this man-Baez. It is so entertaining when the state objects to Baez’s questions and he can not re-phrase the question in a correct format. On one occassion , Ashton objected and Baez stood there for what seemed like a good two minutes, as if he did not know what to do…finally HHJP told him why the question was incorrectly phrased, Needless to say, that information did not help…Baez opted to sit down. But at the end of the day, he is an embarassment to the profession.

      • Jun 19 2011

        Waving hi to Dee and saying welcome, too. 🙂 Thanks for your insight and reminding us of that moment! I remember that happening, too, but darn, I can’t remember who the witness was….
        Oh and Addie! It is completely amazing how Judge Perry “schools” Baez on the law…. Judge knows that Baez is waaaaaay out of his league, has NO experience in death or Murder One cases, and, if that was not bad enough, Judge P knows that Baez ALSO works in bad faith constantly, as we saw Saturday with the defense witness, Rodriquez . I was waiting for Rodriquez to cover for Baez, he didn’t, thank God! Of course, Rodriquez has a reputation to protect, I guess. (I’d think it would HARM one’s reputation to work for the defense.)

      • Addie
        Jun 19 2011

        Andrea, I agree about Rodriguez.. A person would hope he wouldn’t allow Baez to ruin his reputation. I’ve never known anything about Rodriquez, but he won my vote by not playing into that mess !

  12. whistlersmother
    Jun 18 2011

    This had to be the funniest day ever in a court. This defense team is so inadequate, it is sad. Casey deserves better than this, oh ooops she thinks she is so smart that she can pick her own defense lawyer! yes she deserves them. This is just as entertaining as I thought it would be. I am no longer cringing, just enjoying the ride all the way to the end!

    Reply
    • Jun 19 2011

      Hi Whistlersmother! I agree wholeheartedly that it is sad. Casey deserves an adequate defense, absolutely. I think this is why JP is being so careful to school Baez as he goes – as I think he’s very sensitive to the issue of appeal on grounds of ineffective counsel.

      Reply
  13. Jun 18 2011

    I love that Judge Perry is running such a tight ship. He quotes case law off of the top of his head (mostly), and seems to be equitable in his derision of mistakes made by both the state and the defense. We’ve been tracking his best quotes here: http://twitter.com/JudgePerrySaid

    Reply
    • Jun 19 2011

      Hi Judge Perry Said! Thank you for visiting! 🙂 I follow you on Twitter, and completely enjoy the quotes you share! I am amazed, too, at the law lexicon JP has in his brain! He’s quite remarkable, especially since he also has to school Baez on the law, as well as insure he upholds the constitution… He’s a fine judge.

      Reply
  14. Very well written! I enjoy reading your blog. I relished watching Chief Judge Perry read Bozo the riot act as well as watching Ashton get Dr. Spitz all twisted. I couldn’t help but laugh while watching the defense team squirm as Dr. Spitz seemed to get Alzheimers when the prosecution cross-examined him. If all the witnesses for the defense are like the last two????? ROFL I will be the one snorting like a pig with laughter!!

    Reply
    • Jun 19 2011

      Hey “Hellfire” It’s really clever how you write your name here! 🙂 Yeah, the poor guy needed to rest on his laurels a few years ago. I never liked him from his past cases, anyway, but the fact that the defense would think for one minute that ANYONE would find him credible, is beyond the pale!!!!!!!

      Reply
  15. beckster
    Jun 18 2011

    great day in court! soooo impressed with JA and have thought BP has been fair and held tight reins from the beginning.

    spitz only helped show how ridiculous the defense “theory” is. the meter-reader picked up the skull AND jaw to put the tape on??? stoooopid!

    would love to see the whole azz-chewing…when they went to commercials. grrrrrr

    Reply
    • Jun 19 2011

      LOL Beckster! Can you watch on your computer? There are no commercials there…. InSession has so many commercials! More than usual, it seems. They know a gift horse when they see one – they are raking in the dough, no doubt, with this case.
      I watch on WESH since they don’t interrupt and have a very clear stream. I used to like to watch from WFTV, but they have commercials on their video stream (I understand they are trying to profit, too, but it’s too much!) and when I’m watching, I want to hear every word! So, I can appreciate your frustration with all those InSession commercials.. 😦

      Reply
  16. dee
    Jun 18 2011

    I hope the just holds Baez in contempt…he has earned it!!

    Reply
    • dee
      Jun 18 2011

      I meant…I hope HHJP holds Baez in contempt..Baez has earned it!!! And, I have had enough!

      Reply
  17. dee
    Jun 18 2011

    Could someone explain to me how Baez obtained a job teaching trial prep at FAMU? Amazing!

    Reply
  18. Kitt
    Jun 18 2011

    Thanks for the concise write-up, Andrea. As always, great post! I had actually forgotton about the trial for 2 days (life’s ups and downs over-rode all else). I came here to catch up on what I missed. You filled me in rather well! Thnx!!

    Reply
    • Jun 19 2011

      Hey my dear Kitt! Life does have a way of getting in the way of this trial, doesn’t it! Darn, I’d love to watch this trial all day! What the heck are we all going to do when this is all over? LOL! I’ll have to find a new case – sadly, there are plenty out there….

      Reply
      • Kitt
        Jun 19 2011

        When this trial is over, I vow to not leap right into a “rebound” relationship with another trial! I will resume my 3:30 a.m. runs, my after-dinner walks with my doggie, and I aim to force myself to work on breaking down the wall I’ve come to with my guitar-playing.
        But, you’re right, Andrea….sadly, there are other cases out there.

      • Jun 19 2011

        “When this trial is over, I vow to not leap right into a “rebound” relationship with another trial!”

        DITTO! :mrgreen: lol

  19. Jun 19 2011

    Hello all, great blog, Andrea. I just have two comments: 1. I noticed on a previous day in April, a sneak peak, i think you refered to, testimony from a Dr. Pits? Dr. Pip? Dr. Pepper? Dr. Spits? LOL! (thought you were kidding, but after watching it?!) I remembered your blog, Andrea. It’s closer to the reality of Dr. Spitz’ testimony today. 2. I read somewhere that if the defense lawyer has the knowlege of their client’s guilt then that client is NOT allowed under Florida Law to take the stand. I think Baez is attempting a mistrial on purpose!!

    Reply
    • Addie
      Jun 19 2011

      LOL ! Yeah the good Dr. had a few “Spit” moments there ! Cracked me up watching JA “on” him and the old coot so confused, agitated and humiliated ! OMG, I loved it !

      One thing that stuck out to me is I listened to every word of yesterday and still don’t know how Spitz and Dr. G’s findings are any different or amount to any difference. Dr. G saw all she needed to see with that skull intact and I really believe she kept it that way out of respect for a child ( where no need was there to examine any farther b/c she “could” see in there ).

      I can just see Spitz mumbling around all night last night over that cross examination by Jeff Ashton ! LOL “How dare that young whippersnapple question my intelligence ! ” Toooooooooo funny

      Reply
    • Jun 19 2011

      Hi Rah Rah! LMAO! Yes, I did write that and sure enough, he did act like the dolt called Dr. Pits? Dr. Pip? Dr. Pepper? Dr. Spits? didn’t he? !!!

      I think I need to write another one about his possible new career as Hamlet, Prince of Denmark…”to be or not to be?” Well, he was not to be, methinks. Poor guy!

      Reply
  20. colleen
    Jun 19 2011

    Andrea, I just started reading your blog. Thank you for your insightful commentary.

    I do have a question, not sure if you know, where was Caylee when Casey was out partying for the last 2 years? Sure she may have been drugged some of the time, but where would she put her??

    Reply
    • Jun 19 2011

      Hi Colleen! Thank you and welcome! Well, Casey would often take Caylee with her when she’d be out at someone’s house – she often stayed with Ricardo’s with Caylee. Her parents would watch her – she’d tell her folks she was working and she’d be out on the town. I wonder, too, what she’d use to “knock” her out. The final time (chloroform) though, I believe was deliberate.

      Reply
  21. waltdia
    Jun 20 2011

    Jose Baez comes across so inexperienced. He stands in the court room, never knows what to do, he stumbles on his words. He can learn a few things from the prosecution. You can see where the experience is. Today when the judge was speaking to both of them Baez wasn’t even listening. He was talking to Casey and to the other atourneys. Very disrespectful. I wouldn’t hire him to help me out with a ticket.
    He thinks he will become famous after this case, but I think it will be worse for his business. His incompetence is shinning through on a daily basis!

    Reply
  22. julie ohalloran
    Jun 21 2011

    I wish Judge Perry would learn proper English. He did not major in English while in college.
    J.L.O.

    Reply
  23. Romvlvs
    Jun 21 2011

    Judge Perry is an arrogant and biased prosecution judge who must be removed from this trial and from the bench. He violated and keeps violating the constitutional and legal rights of defendant to have a fair trial. If I was in in Jose Baez shoes, I would file a motion with the Florida Superior Court with the request to remove this judge from this case. I further would go on nationally televised TV program and tell the whole world about judge Perry judicial misconduct.

    Reply
    • Jun 21 2011

      Romvivs, The Judge would be called out if he were making ANY errors. The Supreme Court would not intervene unless an appeals court upheld an issue on appeal. This judge, by the way, has never been overturned to date. I know not everyone is familiar with the law, but to make such assertions, you should first know from where you speak. There have been no constitutional errors; and I can assure you, there won’t be.

      Reply
  24. Jun 23 2011

    Romvivs, Why, I do believe you ARE “in his shoes”!

    Reply
  25. Addie
    Jun 23 2011

    Romvivs, apparently you have not been seeing the same Judge ( HONORABLE ) Belvin Perry that the entire country and beyond has seen. I would be real curious to hear your intake on Baez honor. Never mind I would not ! Sounds like a bias to me.

    Reply
  26. Dianne
    Jun 26 2011

    Has anyone seen the clickorlando video done buy Tony Pipitone ? Check this out..all the things we DIDN’T see…http://www.clickorlando.com/video/28358075/index.html/ it’s worth checking out.

    Reply
  27. Dianne
    Jun 26 2011

    Sorry but that link only shows the weather…don’t know what I missed. Bummer.

    Reply

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