Monday, March 31, 2008

No Liberty City verdict yet

Uh-oh... Any bets on when (if) we'll get a verdict?

In the meantime, check out this WSJ Blog story about a South Florida lawyer in the hot seat because of a "joke" he made with a prosecutor:

Consider this scenario: In 1999, Florida lawyer David Lamos was representing J.B. “Pig” Parker, who faced capital charges for his alleged role in the 1982 murder of store clerk Frances Slater (no relation to the Law Blog). Lamos faxed a motion to the prosecutor in the case, Lawrence Mirman, entitled “Reply to Reubuttal to Defendant’s Objection to State’s Motion to Quash.” The letter, which starts with Parker’s name and includes the words “dig dis” in the first sentence, goes on to cite case law in broken English and includes a passage about another case. “His posishun wuz rejected by de Flo’ida Supreme Court. Man!” the letter said. “He awaits ‘esecushun. De state be dig itably distressed cuz de kicker be on da oda’ foot. Man!”
two-page motion was written in what experts later referred to as ebonics, and, according to testimony Lamos gave earlier this month, was intended as a “jest.” On the cover letter to the fax Lamos wrote, “As you can see, my writing improves with revision.” Lamos later asked Mirman, “Ask Bruce if I can have a job?” referring to Bruce Colton, a Florida state attorney.
As reported in this story from the
Palm Beach Post, JoAnn Barone, the public defender now representing Parker at the post-conviction stage, is using the “joke” motion to argue that Lamos wasn’t acting in Parker’s best interest when a judge sentenced Parker to death for the second time. Barone tried to get Lamos to read the letter aloud in the courtroom, above the objections of the prosecutor, but the judge instead read the letter to himself and asked Barone to move on in her questioning.
The Law Blog contacted Lamos to get his side of the story. “I have no idea what [the prosecutors] thought it meant,” said Lamos. “What they were alluding to was a legal motion that, as a joke, was put through a piece of Web-based software that changed the vernacular. But if you look below the surface, the content of the fax was favorable to Parker. I guess what they were trying to make of that was that it amounted to some kind of misconduct in the case. But it had no relevance. It was never made a part of the record, and was never put into evidence. I have no idea where they were going with that. If you look at the content of it, it is ridiculously funny.”

Seems to me that this is ridiculously NOT funny.


Anonymous said...

Why not just have a story about Rascal House closing? That's another total non sequitur.

Rumpole said...

The Rascal House is closing???? Where am I going to eat on special occassions????