I was planning in continuing the evaluation of the Defense Team in the George Zimmerman case but, some developments have come up, we will do that in a future post.
The Orlando Sentinel is reporting Attorneys for George Zimmerman Thursday asked an appeals court to reverse the decision of a Sanford judge and allow them to make Benjamin Crump, the attorney for Trayvon Martin‘s family, answer their questions under oath.
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The Defense Team has decided to go on the Offensive and have filed a 43 page long with a 271 page supporting Appendix, Petition for a Writ of Certiorari from the 5th Appeals Court. Was is does that mean, the Defense feels that Judge Nelson erred in her decision and are seeking relief from a higher Court. As Mark O’Mara and Don West said:
“A civil lawyer with a vested interest in the outcome of the case should not be allowed to keep evidence from law enforcement; potentially influence significant witnesses; speak on national television about evidence he claims to exist and witnesses he has spoken with; accuse several law enforcement agencies of dishonesty; otherwise play a central role in the media persecution … yet claim he is not subject to a deposition regarding non-privileged matters,”
Petition is here; http://www.gzdocs.com/documents/0413/petition.pdf
Certiorari is a Latin word meaning “to be informed of, or to be made certain in regard to, this is in regards to the Defense’s attempts to depose the attorney for the Martin family Benjamin Crump. Mr. Crump who was first made a witness by the Judge, and ordered to be deposed regarding the circumstances surrounding Witness 8, sought an attorney and on the day of his deposition filed for an order of protection, to keep him from having to submit to a deposition.
Mr. Crump through his attorney, Bruce Blackwell submitted a 15 page sworn Affidavit that he hoped would serve as a substitute to a deposition. The Judge accepted this and blocked the deposition, by telling the Defense to file a Motion if they wanted to depose Mr. Crump who she declared “opposing counsel of sorts”, due to the family having hired Mr. Crump to seek and pursue a lawsuit against Mr. Zimmerman.
The Defense then filed a Motion for Reconsideration as instructed by the Judge. The Motion was denied, without any oral arguments or written explanation. That brings us to the present and the Defense with this Petition are hoping that the 5th Circuit of Appeals will finally grant the opportunity to depose Mr. Crump about Witness 8 and other claims that he has made on several TV and personal appearances. As Jeralyn Merritt from the Talkleft Blog and renown attorney said:
Crump has been burning both ends of the candle for far too long. It’s time for the court to snuff out the flame on one end. If he wants to play investigator, share his results with the public, and make grand public announcements that state officers and officials have lied, and George Zimmerman is guilty of cold-blooded murder, he shouldn’t be allowed to play hide and go seek when asked to provide information as to the reliability of his claims. He made the decision to go public with his dubious claims, which were relied on by the state in filing charges against Zimmerman. He filed an affidavit, parts of which are either mistakenly or intentionally inaccurate. Whatever privilege he might have had as to Witness 8 by virtue of his representing the Martin family had he not gone public, should be deemed waived. He has made himself a witness, and neither the attorney-client nor work-product privilege should protect him.
Jeralyn and other legal experts have opined that Judge Nelson had erred in blocking the deposition of Crump, on the waiver issue alone. As Mr. Crump who was not representing Witness 8, so no privilege afforded there, could only claim “attorney work product” privilege from his representation of the Martin family, but he waived those privileges, by allowing a crew from ABC to be present and divulging the contents in the many TV appearances he made.
There are a couple of nuggets already gleamed from the Petition, one is that unlike prior testimony from the parents and Crump, the Petition claims it was Crump who was the first one with substantial talks with Witness 8.
On the Petition is also revelation that ABC News and Matt Gutman, had a 25 minute tape of the interview of Mr. Crump and Witness 8, but they have since destroyed all but the 5 minute segment that was posted on the ABC website on Feb. 28th, 2013. This 5 minute bit is also curiously missing from the recordings that Mr. Crump turned in the FBI in March of last year. No indication was made as to when this occurred, though it seems like something that was unlikely to happened, as that tape could have become evidence and are proof of an ongoing exclusive in the case.
BDLR also responded to the second Motion requesting sanctions against the State. This one stemmed from the interference of State in allowing the video deposition of Witness 8. Unlike his previous answer which was insulting, full of wrath and very unprofessional, this one was tame. The excuses given are lacking in law, for instance BDLR claims he never notice that the 2 notice sent by the Defense, both made it clear that they were going to videotape the proceedings, in accordance with Florida law. The claim that the Witness was scared or that the Defense had not done a prior video deposition should prove insufficient enough that MOM, West should prevail in this case.
Another day full of excitement in this case and we are still 2 months to go before trial start. We shall see what the response from both the State and Crump’s Attorney will be in the next few days, I will be here to recap. In the meantime got get the Popcorn.