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April 27, 2012

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Caspar Weinburger

Is there a strategic reason O'Mara might not want the public to see those documents? Does it help or hurt Zimmerman's case? Since we all know that GZ is innocent, my thinking is that the more evidence that comes out, the better GZ's case looks.

cboldt

I agree with you Caspar, public release of he state's evidence helps Zimmerman. His primary concern is public attention putting a chill on eyewitness testimony. And by "public attention," I mean the press hounding John and others, making their identity a matter of public knowledge so the mob would be able to intimidate or harm the witness.

cboldt
It's not clear whether the case's new judge, Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr., will listen to arguments today about those prosecution records.

He will of course listen to arguments, but he decided long ago that the public has a right to access the material. From last Friday's bail hearing, this is Judge Lester:

I'm going to have to work and I'm going to rely upon the state and the defense to assist me as far as what to do with the court file because the media absolutely has a right to the court file. The state understands that. The defense understands that.

I think at a preliminary we need to work toward getting that information to the media with the redacted version as far as addresses and names. Can the state and defense advice me if you have any objection with me working toward that right now?

I'll give you the final product, so you can OK it before anything's released. We can get that to the media as quickly as possible and then we'll tentatively set a hearing for next Friday at 9:00 to allow the media to go ahead and, if they any further concerns at this time, to go ahead and voice them. But I think if we can get that product to them immediately, I think that will alleviate a lot of the concerns they have with not being kept up to speed and being able to (INAUDIBLE). Is that OK with you?

Tom Maguire

Good point about the judge, thanks.

I think O'Mara's Plan A is to move the case off the front page by starving it of oxygen - no court appearances by Zimmerman, no documents, nothing. The mob moves on and real judges can apply real law.

Plan B will be to make sure he isn't Nifong'ed, with Corey selectively leaking any incriminating material she has (I assume, despite last week's bond hearing, she has something!).

So full disclosure may be his Plan B. It certainly seems as if it will help Zimmerman.

cboldt is like a kid waiting for Christmas here. Like I should talk; I just want good positioning near the stairs so there is something left by the tree when I finally get there...

Speaking of which, are these documents being posted at the courts website? I am not finding them there and am resigning myself to waiting for the OS or other media to post them, Unsatisfying!

iqvoice

Geez, why would the New York Times go to court for the records? They haven't written a story about this case in weeks.... not since the Narrative Fail.

DebinNC

Reading that "indigent" GZ's bail may be upped after news he's gotten +$200,000 in donations. Might Lester call GZ in for questioning and rescind his bail until a later hearing? So far, I see no indication his original "legal advisors" did anything but hurt him and diminish their own reputations, if that's possible.

cboldt

-- Speaking of which, are these documents being posted at the courts website? --


I assume they'll appear there in short order, after the hearing.


18th Circuit Court Media Advisories

12345

@cboldt,

How did O'Mara answer the questions Lester put to him? O'Mara was asked by the judge if "defense" had any objection to working quickly with the court to release redacted versions of files. He also asked if it was "OK" with O'Mara if they worked to produce the redacted versions first, and held off discussing any further concerns until today's 9am hearing.

"It's not clear whether the case's new judge, Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr., will listen to arguments today about those prosecution records."

Perhaps it would have been more accurate if the word was "hear" rather than "listen." If the defense shows up this morning saying it is comfortable with the work done this week, and Corey's office views the situation likewise, then the judge won't be listening to any arguments about it today because nobody will be making any .

cboldt

-- I think O'Mara's Plan A is to move the case off the front page by starving it of oxygen - no court appearances by Zimmerman, no documents, nothing. The mob moves on and real judges can apply real law. --


He can't avoid having his motions appear, or the state's rebuttals and his surrebuttals. But keeping Zimmerman out of the courtroom does starve the media of a visual hook. Meanwhile, the motions will be substantive, at least sufficiently so to support his arguments and requests for dismissal.


I don't know what Corey could leak that would help her case. Her star witness has serious credibility issues just based on delay in giving a statement; and her star witness's testimony is useless against the self defense argument, because it stops before the fight gets underway and can't assign Zimmerman the role of physical provocateur.

Sara

Might Lester call GZ in for questioning and rescind his bail until a later hearing?

DebinNC: I posted this last in another thread during the night:

CNN is spouting off that the judge in the Zimmerman case may be upset to learn that GZ has received approx. $200,000 in donations to his legal fund and therefore is not indigent and hence should not have gotten such "low bail." This seems pretty petty to me. The reports take on an edge, as if GZ has done something wrong to accept donations, but aren't legal defense funds rather common, especially in high profile cases? And since when is bail set based on how much or how little a defendant is able to raise to pay for legal fees?

First they make him the center of so much publicity, he is considered a public figure and now they think he should be penalized for being able to raise money for his defense because he is a public figure.

I wish I understood the reasoning here.

PaulV

O'Mara has the funds now. I expect bulk of money was raise since the bail hearing and even more since he was arrested, unlikely he had internet access in jail.

DebinNC

Corey must be infuriated by the attention Dershowitz's call for her to be investigated got this week. I can't imagine she won't release something today she thinks will vindicate her.

cboldt

-- How did O'Mara answer the questions Lester put to him? O'Mara was asked by the judge if "defense" had any objection to working quickly with the court to release redacted versions of files. --


De la Rionda seemed to have more of an issue with the material being made public, than O'Mara did. De la Rionda was forward looking to discovery materials.

There's some issues that I think both sides - I know I will concur with Mr. O'Mara - should not be subject to the public knowing about, including statements, et cetera, and I think we can address those with the court at a later date.

Judge Lester reiterated that he was referring to materials already filed by the state, which satisfied de la Rinonda's concern for the moment.

fdcol63

If witness security is a concern, can't they (and won't they) just release redacted transcripts of witness statements with names and other identifying info (addresses, phone numbers, etc.) blacked out?

cboldt

-- Perhaps it would have been more accurate if the word was "hear" rather than "listen." If the defense shows up this morning saying it is comfortable with the work done this week, and Corey's office views the situation likewise, then the judge won't be listening to any arguments about it today because nobody will be making any . --


I take the remark as Judge Lester anticipating that the press may have issues going forward, or timing, etc. The press may also object to witness identity being redacted, and make argument on that point. If the press pushes for witness ID, then the state and O'Mara will articulate the basis for their objection, and the judge will issue a ruling.

Sara

From the little I heard, and it wasn't much, he set up a PayPal account sometime before he had a real attorney. I don't know where those original bozos came from. I got the impression, but can't say for sure this is the case, that GZ/OMara were surprised to "find" that the amount had grown to about $204,000, so you may be right about a majority coming in after the bail hearing or at the time the prosecutor decided to grossly overcharge the case.

It isn't as if GZ or his non-working wife had any money to start and it isn't as if they used it to live high on the hog.

One of the reasons I wanted to settle my own case, even though in my heart I wanted a trial, was because so much of my case revolved around injuries. My doctors were more than willing to provide me with the records I needed if I paid to have everything duplicated and certified, but that wasn't going to be enough if we went to trial, they would have to be called to testify. I nearly fainted when I was told what I would have to pay out of pocket for them to appear. OMara may have taken the case pro bono, but any other "expert" witnesses will expect to be compensated for their time and travel. If OMara has his own investigators working on the case, they will expect to be paid as well.

fdcol63

cbolt, I think you addressed my question. Thanks!

cboldt

-- If witness security is a concern, can't they (and won't they) just release redacted transcripts of witness statements with names and other identifying info (addresses, phone numbers, etc.) blacked out? --


Exactly. The only concern is for protection of the witnesses, not hiding the gravamen of the state's case and content of the evidence from the public. Well, the state wants to hide its evidence from the public, I think, because (other than parts of DeeDee's testimony, misapplied to the law) the evidence does not support the murder charge, and the evidence supports Zimmerman's self defense claim.

cboldt

-- Corey must be infuriated by the attention Dershowitz's call for her to be investigated got this week. I can't imagine she won't release something today she thinks will vindicate her. --


That's good. What we know of that "vindicates" Corey is DeeDee's statement. We might also get a hint of what de la Rionda asserts are inconsistencies in Zimmerman's statements. If we don't see that in the evidence, it should be made clear in the Statement of Particulars, which the state has to file. I'll have to look up the deadline for filing that. It was requested on April 12th.

cboldt

-- I wish I understood the reasoning here. --


Bail is set at an amount commensurate with defendant's resources. Defendant is obliged to disclose his resources to the court. Hiding resources is a no-no.


But the court can't prevent a defendant from asking for gifts for a defense fund, and as you point out, we don't know the timing of cash inflow to the defense account.


I think the "have Zimmerman declared indigent" is a smokescreen. Court costs are a small fraction of the total cost of defense. I don't see that issue being a significant factor - even if there was no defense fund.

Sara

I wonder how much the State or County is charging GZ for his GPS monitoring. I wonder how they are living with no income? Hopefully friends or relatives have provided them with a living arrangement, but there are still expenses to live away from their home. Where is the rent money to come from?

cboldt

-- Might Lester call GZ in for questioning and rescind his bail until a later hearing? --


I won;t say it's impossible, the judge has all the power here. But as a practical matter, I think he'll accept O'Mara's statement that he (O'Mara) was unaware of the resource. He may require funds to date to be sequestered as a form of bond, and even further funds, save for an amount for living expenses, to be similarly sequestered. The court's primary concern is assuring defendant appear as the law requires, for proceedings. The judge has a good sense by now of Zimmerman's chances at obtaining immunity, and if Judge Lester anticipates the charge being dismissed, he has no concern about Zimmerman.

fdcol63

I tell you, after reading the Reuters story on Zimmerman, I totally lost any remaining opinion that he was some sort of "loose cannon" or "over-zealous cop wannabe".

He just sounded like what ALL of us should be .... a concerned citizen who acted, rather than simply called someone else or the police. Not just vis-a-vis the neighborhood watch thing, but in most other areas of life, too, indicated by his mentoring and other community activities.

If it weren't for the race-baiters and Corey, he wouldn't be faced with all these legal bills or the loss of other income due to being in jail or having to live in hiding because of the death threats.

Everything that has come out seems to support that the original determination of self-defense was appropriate. I personally don't think Corey or the prosecution have anything else. If they did, it would probably have already been leaked, and the MSM would not have had to stoop to making shit up to perpetuate their meme.

I hope he's able to raise enough money via his website to completely fight this thing in court, and then I hope he's able to sue those in the MFM who've lied and helped to distort this whole farce.

narciso

Seeing as Corey, pushed to 'sanitize' the Sanford PD files, I agree on that point,

cboldt

The timing or due date for a statement of particulars is at the court's discretion.


Statement of Particulars. The court, on motion, shall order the prosecuting attorney to furnish a statement of particulars when the indictment or information on which the defendant is to be tried fails to inform the defendant of the particulars of the offense sufficiently to enable the defendant to prepare a defense.

Since Florida rules requires the filing of motion to dismiss on or before the date of arraignment (May 8), I think a statement of particulars would have to be provided at least a few days in advance of May 8.


The statement of particulars probably requires redaction, as it should tie witness testimony to specific allegations, and then tie the allegations to elements of the charged crime.

Bob

"Prosecutor Bernardo de la Rionda filed a motion late Thursday asking the judge to issue a gag order on the case. Saying it hurts Zimmerman’s chance at a fair trial, de la Rionda wants attorneys and law enforcement prohibited from speaking to the media.

“Recently an attorney for defendant commented about potential evidence that was published in the case,” de la Rionda wrote in his motion. “If there is no limit to attorney commenting about facts in the case, attorneys for the State could rebut by commenting about other potential evidence in this case … and the commentary would never end. The case would be tried in the media and not in the courtroom. An impartial jury could never be seated.”

It was unclear whether the gag order motion will be taken up at Friday’s hearing." LUN

Now the the prosecution wants a gag order so Z can have a fair trial? This was filed LATE yesterday. How convenient.

NK

TomM@745-- there is a 'C' possibility involving the prosecutor-- she wants to publicly release documents to show the public that there is a serious case, that there is a credible witness and there were material inconsistencies in GZ's story. At the bond hearing 2 of the interesting developments were that Judge Lester expressed the strong public interest in free access to the court file and that he would liberally grant the media's motions-- subject to witness security (BTW-- the State's response to the discovery notice is NOT in the court file, that is information shared between the parties, it is not being introduced into evidence- UNLESS there is a dispute about discovery and there is a motion made to preclude or for protective order) the second development was de la Rionda tap dancing around public disclosure. If Corey is in favor of publicly releasing documents--IF-- TomM may be reading tea leaves here-- then in one week since the Bond Hearing the State has changed its mind about the PR of this case. Could be an interesting GZ Friday.

NK

Bob's LUN yanks the tea leaves away. APPARENTLY-- the State wants to show nothing publicly and wants the Court to shut-up O'Mara. Hmmm-- a prior restraint to speaking? If that report of de la Rionda's motion is accurate, the State' is STILL tap dancing about the public's need to know. If I were a cynic, I would think that keeping the case 'secret' is evidence that the State has NO CASE. It is ALREADY an interesting GZ friday.

cboldt

-- Prosecutor Bernardo de la Rionda filed a motion late Thursday asking the judge to issue a gag order on the case. --


Just goes to show how weak the state's case is. Corey already "tried the case to the public" in her presser, and in the Affidavit in support of the Information. She should have no issue with showing the evidence that supports her charge.


I don't know what O'Mara's sentiment is toward public gag. I don't think he is concerned about public sentiment as it affects getting a fair jury - in fact, I think he prefers the evidence be made public. Setting the public mind straight helps his client. But if he wants less media attention per se, then he'll either support or be agnostic on a gag order.


Judge lester also has (or will have) an opinion on the publicity, and he may prefer public disclosure, again as a matter of fundamental fairness to the defendant.


The cure for dueling commentary about "potential evidence" is to lay all the evidence out before the public. Then there is no such thing as hidden "potential evidence."


Dela Rionda's motion is not at the court's website yet. It will be taken up at today's hearing, as it affects public disclosure and is exactly the point of the hearing.

DebinNC

Well said, fdcol63. I completely agree.

Sara

What would you do if you were suddenly faced with the situation GZ found himself in? He leaves the custody of the police in the middle of the night, sees his doctor for treatment, and then I expect he panicked as it all sank in. He was completely vulnerable.

I think I would have, at that stage, used my online resources to ask for help? In fact, I am sure I would have availed myself of my own blog, I would have been getting the word out here and on other blogs where I know many of the people and I would have used my Twitter and FB accounts to get the word out that I needed help with a defense fund as well. GZ had a web page and he set up his own fund. Celebrities and politicians do it, only they usually have deep pocket supporters who will set the fund up for them. GZ didn't have anyone in the beginning except a rabid mob and a bounty on his head, and dead or alive posters being distributed everywhere.

I can't think of anything more unfair than to have his bail revoked for trying to raise funds for his own defense needs. He has been entirely cooperative from Hour One, he voluntarily turned himself in, he certainly isn't a flight risk, so the only reason to revoke bail would be retaliation and I think this judge is not inclined to do anything that mean or unfair. At least I sure hope so. Corey, OTOH, would probably want to retaliate and punish. She really is getting under my skin as a truly despicable person.

Jack is Back!

Awaiting BuBu and DubDa to note that 99% of the 200K is from the Koch Brothers...1..2...3..

cboldt

-- Corey, OTOH, would probably want to retaliate and punish. She really is getting under my skin as a truly despicable person. --


I share your sentiment. At least Nifong was seeking publicity for his side of the story. What Corey and de la Rionda are trying to do is preserve the false narrative that they amplified; and stifle any chance for the defendant to rebut them with their own paucity of evidence.

Clarice

Unless Corey has an evidence production lab in the basement of her office, I don't expect we'll see much we haven't already seen

Bob

Live hearing. LUN

narciso

No, I don't buy that distinction, I consider Corey part of the defense team, now, seeing as she seems to relying so much on Dee Dee,
as the core of her argument.

Sara

I guess I'm beating the potential for a bail revocation to death. It just seems so fundamentally unfair to me, it just pisses me off.

Well we should know shortly. It is after 9 AM in Florida.

NK

I doubt that Judge Lester will amend his bond order. Yes GZ's Bond application had the family testify there is no income, but his father said he's do a second mortgage as bond. Lester's oral order made pretty clear the amount of the bond was primarily based on GZ not being a flight OR violence risk, and implicitly that he didn't think this was a strong Murder 2 case. THAT SAID-- O'Mara looks bad not having disclosed the website fund raising at the Bond Hearing.He goes down a few notches in Lester's credibility book IMO.

Bob

Well the link I provided WAS a live shot of the hearing with O'Mara and some guy standing and talking in the front of the courtroom. Then the commercials begin.

cboldt

-- O'Mara looks bad not having disclosed the website fund raising at the Bond Hearing. He goes down a few notches in Lester's credibility book IMO. --


Yes, if he doesn't believe O'Mara's account that he was unaware of the website. OTOH, O'Mara can recover by being forthright with the information now, and, assuming he has done so, having sequestered the funds from Zimmerman and shutting down the website.

cboldt

-- Well the link I provided WAS a live shot of the hearing with O'Mara --


When I tuned in, they were talking about armpit fudge, which I just assumed was a reference to de la Rionda and Corey.

narciso

Why, they probably raised the bulk of the money, after Friday's hearing, I don't know why you give these blood thirsty strigoi any credit, as they have either ignored the evidence or mischaracterized it.

Not surprisingly I find precedent, in how one
public servant, established a legal defense fund, to deal with the legal costs from spurious charges, and then with a straight face, was hit with a charge of ethical violations,.

Lea

From Sharpton:
"If the police had arrested Zimmerman that night there would not be a Trayvon Martin case or movement...Does it mean he's guilty? No. But it does mean that he should have to go in front of a court of law and not be acquitted in the back of a police station."

So it's a good idea to arrest not guilty people, just so you can have your show trial? That sounds awesome.

12345

@cboldt,

Thanks for your reply about the rest of the discussion.

I am puzzled by the constant assertions that Corey has "no evidence" to support the charges. I think it is a misreading of the charges. The charge is that George Zimmerman had a depraved mindset that set in motion a sequence of events that resulted in his shooting Trayvon Martin to death. The 911 call is evidence of Zimmerman's mindset.

I am not saying that I agree this charge should have been brought. I don't believe that it should, and I am assuming that at some point, O'Mara will move to have the charges dismissed. But the issue of who started the violent struggle after the phone call ended isn't the issue for the prosecution. It charges Zimmerman is responsible for everything that happened that night, from A to Z, because of a mindset which falsely accused another of criminality, and then acted on that false assumption.

I'm open to being shown where the prosecution's charges differ from how I've characterized them, but no much open to being called names because i'm discussing the charges, not simply fist pumping for Team Z.

El Bango

"O'Mara looks bad not having disclosed the website fund raising at the Bond Hearing"

The fundraising website was discussed at the bond hearing. DeLiRhonda questioned Z's father about it.

NK's credibility just went down a few notches in my book...and I didn't think any lower was possible.

cboldt

O'Mara saying he wants to limit the redactions to witness ID. He argues against gag.

Lester says he thinks O'Mara and de la Rionda have done a good job at tamping down the media running wild. News cuts away, it's only interested in the "hidden money" aspect.

Jack is Back!

Watching it live on Central Florida Channel 13. No gag order.

Strawman Cometh

At least Nifong was seeking publicity for his side of the story

Well, Nifong saw the case as "millions of dollars in free advertising" for his campaign, while he was hiding the exonerating DNA evidence.

Sara

Would a gag order shut Crump up? Seems any gag order wouldn't reach to him as a non party to the case? Ordinarily I am not in favor of gag orders, but if it shuts up Crump, I may feel differently.

Sara

THAT SAID-- O'Mara looks bad not having disclosed the website fund raising at the Bond Hearing.

Did he know about it then? If he did, did he have any idea how much had been raised, if any, at that point?

Strawman Cometh

Still showing GZ hearing on Court TV

Jack is Back!

de la Rionda wants to talk about the "bond thing".

Lester is now up to speed on "Media Law". Has read the applicable codes and procedures. Miami Herald gets a special shout out from Judge Lester.

Only alternative is change of venue, if information prejudices fair trial. blah, blah, blah.

Now asking both defense and prosecution if there is anything else he needs to know in order to release.

cboldt

-- I'm open to being shown where the prosecution's charges differ from how I've characterized them ... --


You've characterized them fine, but as you were told a couple days ago, you misapprehend the law, and you jump to a conclusion. "Profiling" and "following" are not inherently bad, and in fact, usually aren't bad. The allegations don;t establish anything about Zimmerman's state of mind. They rely on YOU, the reader, to impute evil intention. There is zero evidence of evil intention, except what you manufacture for yourself.


In the law of battery and self defense, following is not provocation. A good synonym for "to provoke" is "to be the (physical) aggressor." Following, being annoying, throwing insults, etc. is not legal provocation that justifies the use of force.

Captain Hate

So it's a good idea to arrest not guilty people, just so you can have your show trial? That sounds awesome.

Exactly, Resist Profit We Much doesn't seem to realize that he's calling for a police state that could negatively impact the people whom he claims to be representing.

narciso

Inferences are not evidence, I'm sure the 9/11 call can be put in context, in cross examination,

narciso

Miami Herald, has been among the worst of the offenders, crikey!

Strawman Cometh

Court TV is showing a more recent image of a scowling Trayvon.

Jack is Back!

One area in which he is not following media law and that is GZ security. Good for him.

Now what is the best way to handle the media requirement.

Herald lawyer bringing up discovery and that today it comes to the defendant and must be made public. He wants to understand the game plan for releasing discovery. Lester is not going to impose himself on the actions between defense and prosecution. Suggests they all get together and discuss how to handle the release of discovery. But its common between attorneys to ask for a few more days, etc.

cboldt

-- It charges Zimmerman is responsible for everything that happened that night, from A to Z, because of a mindset which falsely accused another of criminality, and then acted on that false assumption. --


Right, and that makes the charge bogus. Having an incorrect suspicion is common, but there is nothing wrong with having a suspicion based on objective observation. Zimmerman sees a stranger and suspects it may be a burglar. So he stops to watch. He acted on his suspicion by endeavoring to keep the suspect in visual range; an endeavor he abandoned at dispatch suggestion.


So, you have to reset your "who started it" clock. You don't get to go back to the initial suspicion (which was probably well founded in any event) in order to assign blame.

Jack is Back!

O'Mara is now up. One area he is inquiring is witnesses who have provided statements or want to provide statements. They have cause for concern regarding their participation in the this process. O'Mara wants to be able to analyze statement and the witness prior to releasing. He can't protect GZ or the witness or vet them if he has to release discovery. Interesting concern that de la Rionda is backing up O'Mara regarding the media scrutiny and security.

cboldt

-- Would a gag order shut Crump up? --


No. he and his sidekick, Jackson, could continue to lie to the press, which has shown itself eager to spread a false narrative.

NK

El bango -- the GZ application application (through witnesses) did not say it was raising money which would be available for a Bond-- In response to O'Mara's questions the witnesses said they had no income but could put a second mortgage on. The State's 'gotcha' question didn't move Lester because he obviously didn't consider the cost of the bond very relevant to his decision. The point remains that it 'looks' bad that the fundraising was not part of the affirmative motion for the Bond in the first place-- that (plus a boatload of money has come in) affects credibility. O'Mara's damage control pledging more openness about fund raising kind of proves my point. As for your opinion-- apparently you've never been inside a fucking court room or have any experience persuading someone to do something you want, so you don't understand the need to treat credibilty seriously. I don't think you'd recognize credibility if it bit you in the ass. Cheers.

cboldt

-- But the issue of who started the violent struggle after the phone call ended isn't the issue for the prosecution. --


That means the prosecution isn't interested in the truth, nor is it interested in justice.

Danube of Thought

Minus 13 at Raz today.

Leads Romney by 1.

Strawman Cometh

What is the point of releasing discovery to the media pre-trial? Seems both incredibly naive with regard to witness security and poisonous to the jury pool. Is this the norm in other states?

Sara

OT: Just watched GWB leading off the Wounded Warriors on the 2nd day of their 100K bike ride. 100 degree heat. It is so heartwarming to see how much he cares about the wounded warriors and how much the wounded warriors care about him.

Jack is Back!

Herald lawyer is now trying to educate judge on media access to the information and witness information. 119.011 Fla. STatue on media discovery re: witness statements. Herald is saying legislature has already set the standard for protecting witness. Judge is concerned about the witness who is out there everyday talking on TV. File motion on case by case basis. State argued what the judge did in Casey Anthony case.

Case by case basis.

State is saying the 911 tape of witness of murder should not have been released. Judge is not being lead to one side or the other.

jwest

O’Mara continues to act as if his primary responsibility is to acquit Zimmerman of the criminal charges, instead of using this as a prelude to an 8-figure settlement with NBC.

In Louisiana, that would be considered malpractice.

How does one even get licensed to practice law if they don’t have a Stetson and cowboy boots?

El Bango

"apparently you've never been inside a fucking court room or have any experience persuading someone to do something you want"

Listen, Crump Jr., your times in court as a defendant don't count as legal experience. And is the profanity necessary? Cheers!

NK

jwest-- if counsel O'Mara gets an acquital for GZ-- O'Mara will do very well financially-- very well.

narciso

I don't trust the Herald as far as I can throw them, Robles has become like Rosenberg
did for the Gitmo bar, their mouthpiece.

Jack is Back!

O'Mara is bringing up the financial standing of family and the websites raising money. Money then was about $2,700 in both website accounts. Website of The Real GZ. Also false websites and false twitter accounts. He told GZ no more twitter or website. That is when GZ mentioned the paypal account and what to do. Goes into O'Mara office trust account.

GZ has used some of the money for living expense. Point is that at the time GZ was at bond hearing there was $100 to 150 thousand in the paypal account. He was unaware and now the money is in O'Mara control. Not available to GZ. Needs to figure out way to administer. Wanted to make Judge aware of the fact that as of Friday that money was out there. Bernie says he is now aware of the matter from last night. Thinks the court should consider raising bond.

Judge: Wants to see who had control over the accont prior to O"Mara taking control. O'Mara has to give Judge more information. Judge may have authority or maynot have authority. O'Mara noted that the family used $5K from account to raise the $15K for the bond. Wants to do the expication of how the funds were raised and who had authority in-camera to protect the security of the family.

cboldt

-- What is the point of releasing discovery to the media pre-trial? Seems both incredibly naive with regard to witness security and poisonous to the jury pool. Is this the norm in other states? --


Florida has exceptionally broad public access statutes.


Witness security is always a potential concern, usually for witnesses who will testify for the prosecution who may be intimidated or rubbed out by defendant or defendant's gang/mob.


Jury pool poisoning is unavoidable in a high profile case. The typical cures are change of venue and voi dire.


O'Mara now disclosing the funds to Judge Lester, and says the money is not available to Zimmerman. O'Mara says administering those funds is an area that he needs.


De la Rionda appreciates O'Mara's candor, and submits that the court might raise the bond. Judge Lester says he needs to know who had authority over the PayPal account, cash flow, etc. before he can rule on the state's request to increase bail. O'Mara notes that the family didn't use the money for for bail. O'Mara also says that review of the file should be in judge's chambers, because donors would be subject to ridicule and danger for supporting Zimmerman. The Judge says O'Mara should get the information to the state, then the state can move. O'Mara's concern is giving the donor list to the state makes the donor list a matter of public record. No ruling on state's motion to increase bond.

Jack is Back!

Information is on its way to O'Mara. Concerned with public disclosure of donor list and security of the donors.

O'Mara is waiving appearence of GZ today.

Bernie is asking he and O'Mara approach the bench. Confidential discussion with Lester. Bernie has a paper or two with him to discuss.

NK

I shouldn't cuss or be vulgar yes, apologies for that. and yes I was in Wash DC traffic court once. there are also thousands of motions and hundreds of judicial and regulatory appearances as counsel I use to form my opinions. So cussin' and swearing aside, I stand by my statement.

Sara

NK: You haven't believed GZ from day one and now you are jumping on the chance that they can stick it to him now and in the process smearing his attorney, O'Mara. What is with you?

Clarice

12345: "The charge is that George Zimmerman had a depraved mindset that set in motion a sequence of events that resulted in his shooting Trayvon Martin to death. The 911 call is evidence of Zimmerman's mindset."

That may be the (faulty) charge but there's no such crime at law. Florida law requires that they prove he killed Trayvon with a depraved mind-- why he was suspicious of him or followed him is irrelevant. If Trayvon smacked him first, as seems to fit the evidence, and put him in fear of his life, there is no 2d degree murder offense.

You can keep ignoring that, but it's the truth.

Jack is Back!

just notice cboldt is live blogging also. At least he understands what the hell is going on. I cede my place to the honorable gentleman from Maine.

Sara

I find your bloodlust for Zimmerman quite disturbing, BTW.

fdcol63

So far, I think Lester has been very fair and reasoned.

Jack is Back!

Did Lester just let the cat out of the bag: This is going to trial. No Immunity.

cboldt

-- just notice cboldt is live blogging also. At least he understands what the hell is going on. I cede my place to the honorable gentleman from Maine. --


I'm on that FoxOrlando site, and its coverage is sparse, so you please carry on. Plus, your account is better than mine, IMO. You put in the family's use of $5k of the paypal to obtain a bond, for example.

jwest

Is Court TV available on Direct TV?

cboldt

-- Did Lester just let the cat out of the bag: This is going to trial. No Immunity. --


I doubt it. He may talk in terms of trial, but in his mind, the pre-trial motions and hearings are part of the trial process. He won't prejudge the outcome of a motion to dismiss.

NK

JiB/Cboldt-- thanks for these updates. Unfortunately Lester seems more interested in the fund raising than I thought he would be. I'm hopeful he doesn't increase Bond, and instead focuses on a transparent handling of the money through O'Hara as 'pro bono' counsel going forward-- that's what he should do. This may have hurt GZ's/O'Hara's credibility more than a little bit.

El Bango

"This may have hurt GZ's/O'Hara's credibility more than a little bit."

Clueless.

Sara

NK: It is hard to keep up with your 180s.

Jack is Back!

Well its over. But the judge seems to be more fair and balanced than probably either the State or Defense wants him to be:)

Biggest concern for this Judge is security - of GZ, of witnesses, etc. We'll see if he is as concerned about the security of donors to the GZ fund.

But he did talk about "preparing for trial".

Sara

I don't think we get Court TV on Time Warner, but I think we used to get it when we had Direct TV. So, please, keep up the live blogging, since that Fox stream seems to be everything but what is going on in the courtroom.

cboldt

-- Unfortunately Lester seems more interested in the fund raising than I thought he would be. --


I'd have been shocked if he hadn't taken an interest. There is a credible allegation that GZ and/or his family hid substantial resources from the court, and resources is what drives the bail amount.


Lester is also requiring that O'Mara inform the state, so the state has a basis for a motion to increase bail. Concerns about donor privacy will be handled between O'Mara and the state, for now. I think concerns about Zimmerman access to the funds is handled by having O'Mara in control of the bank account; and by having O'Mara gagging Zimmerman from fundraising.

NK

sara@9:47 and 9:48 is just so wrong. For the nth time to you GZ supporters, I am a skeptic until I see competent testimony and evidence introduced subject to cross-examination by the other side. When I see that, I decide what I think. So I'm not convinced of the story GZ told publicly himself and through his family, I don't believe the State can prove Murder 2, and I don't believe word one the race hustlers and the Martin family have said. Believe what you want about me, but for the record, your 947 and 948 are totally wrong.

narciso

Neither the State nor the media, has behaved with an ounce of inpartiality in the case,

cboldt

-- Believe what you want about me, but for the record, your 947 and 948 are totally wrong. --


IIRC, your contention is not that justice will be done, but a justified injustice, on account of the risk of riots and so forth.

Sara

I am really quite upset about the idea that bail is set on ability to pay and not on factors such as flight risk or danger to the community. And I am also upset that for some reason a defendant can be penalized for trying to raise defense funds. That is just BS in my book.

So GZ is prohibited from having a defense fund? That is really really really unfair.

Can someone else set a fund up in his name?

narciso

They haven't presented any evidence, I consider they might in the future,

Blythe Masters

Full disclosure: I am an attorney, although I do not practice in criminal law.

This is a purely political prosecution. Full stop. The state's evidence is wholly inadequate to support a charge of second degree murder, and would likely fail to support a charge of manslaughter.

By all accounts a full and thorough investigation was performed by the Sanford PD. The evidence was presented to the DA, who declined to prosecute. This case should have stopped right there.

The appointment of a special prosecutor to review the case was an outrageous act and an abuse of prosecutorial discretion. Governor Rick Scott and AG Pam Bondi, both Republicans, need to be held accountable for their decision to override the DA's decision not to prosecute.

Will someone in the blogosphere PLEASE start covering this angle of the case???

As an aside, this trial is going to be the Martin family's worst nightmare. Zimmerman's attorney has no choice but to defend his client on the theory that Martin instigated the altercation. Martin's petty criminal past is going to come screaming out of the closet. By the end of the trial he will look like a criminal monster.

NK

cboldt--thanks for the summary. Is Lester putting over the State's motion on Bond until O'Mara fully discloses? from your description, it's a fair ruling by Lester--he's making clear to everybody that he doesn't tolerate partial truth, and he expects counsel to be fully candid with the court, also, the case will not become a circus. All good.

El Bango-- you're a joke -- that's not profane is it?

Sara

IIRC, your contention is not that justice will be done, but a justified injustice, on account of the risk of riots and so forth.

That is my impression as well. NK seems to be all about what outsiders will do and that Z should be punished severely in order to keep the mob at bay. Creeps me out.

cboldt

-- I am really quite upset about the idea that bail is set on ability to pay and not on factors such as flight risk or danger to the community. --


All of those are factors. If he's a flight risk or danger, then no bail. But, if there is bail, it is set high enough to induce defendant to appear. "High enough" is variable, depending on the wealth of the defendant.
-- I am also upset that for some reason a defendant can be penalized for trying to raise defense funds. --


Bond isn't a penalty. It's a device to induce defendant to cooperate with the legal process. The issue here is a matter of disclosing resources to the court; not that he has them. IOW, having the resources is fine, but hiding the resource is not find.


-- So GZ is prohibited from having a defense fund? --


No. But at this point I think he is voluntarily relinquishing control over funds so raised. As long as his living expenses are covered, he's fine.


-- Can someone else set a fund up in his name? --


Not that I know of. Banks require some sort of signature authority - could be a trustee (which is what O'Mara has done with the existing funds) - so while you can say you are raising money for Zimmerman, when the cash comes to you, the cash is under your control.

cboldt

-- Is Lester putting over the State's motion on Bond until O'Mara fully discloses? --


Yes.

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