Other Cases In the News

While the media goes 24/7 on Virginia Tech, I have my office tv tuned to Court TV.

Closing arguments are finishing up and being televised live in the Melanie Maguire murder case. The prosecution is up now giving its rebuttal closing, and TalkLeft pal Joe Tacopina gave his closing yesterday.

Also today, Robert Kennedy, Jr. is on the stand in Greenwich, CT testifying for Michael Skakel in Skakel's bid for a new trial. When closings are over in Maguire, Court TV will provide televised coverage. TalkLeft pal Mickey Sherman, Skakel's original defense lawyer, is also expected to be a witness for Skakel.

Jury selection is underway in the Jose Padilla trial. Another TalkLeft pal, Bill Swor, is representing his co-defendant Kifah Wael Jayyousi.

Law Prof Randy Barnett has an op-ed in the Wall St. Journal today praising criminal defense lawyers,Three Cheers for Lawyers, using the lawyers for the Duke lacrosse players as an example.


Our criminal justice system does not rely solely on the fairness of the police and prosecutors to get things right. In every criminal case, there is a professional whose only obligation is to scrutinize what the police and prosecutor have done. This "professional" is a lawyer. The next time you hear a lawyer joke, maybe you'll think of the lawyers who represented these three boys and it won't seem so funny. You probably can't picture their faces and don't know their names. (They include Joe Cheshire, Jim Cooney, Michael Cornacchia, Bill Cotter, Wade Smith and the late Kirk Osborn.) That's because they put their zealous representation of their clients ahead of their own egos and fame. Without their lawyering skills, we would not today be speaking so confidently of their clients' innocence.

These lawyers held the prosecutor's feet to the fire. Their skillful questioning at pre-trial hearings revealed the prosecutor's misconduct that eventually forced him to give up control of the case and now threatens his law license. They uncovered compelling exculpatory evidence and made it available to the press; they let their clients and their families air their story in the national media.

Yes, three cheers for defense lawyers.

< What and When Gonzo Remembers | The Beltway Media Still Irrelevant On Iraq >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Skakel (4.00 / 1) (#7)
    by LarryE on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 03:12:44 PM EST
    I know next to nothing about the case; I generally don't follow murder trial news. But was it really necessary for the author of the linked Court TV item, presumably intended as a straightforward news piece, to refer to Kennedy's article as a "rant?"

    court tv, anti-kennedy HQ (none / 0) (#8)
    by TheJusticeClub on Sat Apr 21, 2007 at 03:45:06 AM EST
    It's important to showcase that Kennedy's AM piece was a "rant" for it colors Mickey in black and blue; which can not be disguised even through rose colored glasses.

    Uh... (none / 0) (#9)
    by LarryE on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 12:14:59 AM EST
    I'm... not... sure... exactly what you mean.

    I questioned if it was proper for a straight news story to use the adjective "rant" to describe Kennedy's article.

    I'm not sure if your reply means that CourtTV is "anti-Kennedy" and the description was meant to "color" Skakel by attacking Kennedy or if your title was weak sarcasm and the word "rant" was a proper antidote to Kennedy's "rose-colored glasses."

    A real lack of clarity.

    In either event, I was, as I took pains to note, not making a judgment about the case because I don't know enough to do so. But I still question the propriety of a straight news article using a pejorative description such as "rant."


    all along the watchtower (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by TheJusticeClub on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 05:44:01 PM EST
    I think it is important for TalkLeft to find articles that describe Kennedy's AM article as a "rant" because Kennedy's article gives her pal Mickey Sherman a pretty good verbal whipping making Mick's ego a bit black and blue.  Refusing Kennedy's truth while behind rose colored glasses only creates a purple haze.

    Court TV is an ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAM not a straight news organization, so you will not find unbiased, true news at that site.

    That's just the politics of crime...



    As Mickey told the Stamford Advocate (1.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 05:49:14 PM EST
    "Bobby Kennedy is full of [it]."

    I agree. If you've watched Mickey's testimony at the hearings (I did, both days, on Court TV Extra) you will see that.

    Skakel's current lawyers went out of their way to show how thoroughly Mickey investigated every tip -- even the "nut cases" one for which he kept a special file.

    It will be interesting to see them switch horses and try to argue he was ineffective in a habeas proceeding once Skakel loses this motion.


    the house judiciary committee will vote. . . (none / 0) (#1)
    by the rainnn on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 11:43:07 AM EST
    tomorrow morning at 10:15 am
    on immunity for monica goodling. . .

    sounds like her akin gump
    white collar defense lawyers
    must have been burning the
    midnight oil over the weekend. . .

    and this fits with kyle sampson
    having no defense lawyer, and re-
    appearing before the committee on
    sunday. . .  wow.

    alberto gonzales must be pleased. . .  

    or, not so much.

    I'd just loooove to see (none / 0) (#2)
    by scribe on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 11:49:36 AM EST
    all of what it was that she proffered to get immunity.  And, not just what the committee will release.

    Surely she has tales to tell.


    Kyle Sampson has a lawyer (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 11:53:26 AM EST
    Brad Berenson.   Before going into private practice he was an Associate White House Counsel.  He's a defense lawyer much the same way as DiGenova and Toensing now say they are defense lawyers.

    Right (none / 0) (#5)
    by Carolyn in Baltimore on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 11:57:06 AM EST
    He worked under Gonzales in the WH.
    He is also Susan Ralston's atty. (see Abramoff and Rove)

    Nuff said.


    Can you post your Monica/Gonzales comments (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 11:54:23 AM EST
    on a thread pertaining to them, please? This thread is about Maguire, Skakel and defense lawyering.

    OK (none / 0) (#6)
    by Carolyn in Baltimore on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 11:59:56 AM EST
    Sorry for taking the bait.

    The Skakel matter is very interesting. I wasn't sure on guilt but pretty obviously a rush to justice which was very flawed.
    The new evidence points to innocence. I would like that.


    RFK. JR/Mickey Sherman (none / 0) (#12)
    by Paralegal on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 06:32:11 PM EST
    "I too watched Mickey's testimony & I have to say based on the testimony I am not convinced that RFK Jr is "full of it".

    I find it interesting that Mickey admitted under oath that he did know of things but didn't follow up on them, He admitted that he was approached by Crawford Mills but didn't bother to follow up on it, it didnt even make his "nut case" file yet he followed up on a claim by a doctor from CA  ? It makes no sense that he wouldn't look into a classmate's story, someone who knew the client rather than going to CA. Also, I found it interesting that Mickey admitted that he had not turned everything over to the new attys--including his "nut case" file...why didn't the Crawford Mills story make the nut case file?

    I also do not understand how the Garr stuff would have changed Mickey's strategy if the book deal didnt exist until 2003? How would Mickey have changed his strategy? Not going to Court TV or Fox so many nights?

    As far as the ineffective counsel bid goes, I doubt that the current defense attys have played their cards. Mickey in under investigation by the CT Grievance Panel as well as the IRS for alleged tax fraud --I know Mickey is an FOTL ( friend of TalkLeft) but, where there is smoke...."