Zimmerman Files Motion to Recuse Judge
As anticipated, Mark O'Mara has filed a formal request to recuse Judge Jessica Recksiedler because of the potential for a conflict of interest due to her husband being a law partner of Mark Nejame, who has been hired by CNN to provide analysis on the case.
O'Mara told the judge on Friday (video of status hearing here) he had discussed NeJame with his client, and that NeJame had contact with the Zimmerman family and maybe even Zimmerman himself, and that while he wasn't sure of all the facts involved in the relationship between Zimmerman and NeJame, and Zimmerman's family and NeJame, he believed NeJame had "agreements" or "waivers" in place based upon their contact. His concern was that the Zimmerman's might continue to give NeJame information as "exclusives" or just as additional insight.
Curiously, NeJame today says he never met with or talked to Zimmerman and implies he never met with Zimmerman's family. [More...]
NeJame told CNN that Zimmerman "contacted my office, attempting to reach me, and wanted to hire me to represent him" on March 13. One of his law partners relayed that request to NeJame, who declined. He explained later that he knew how taking on "big national cases (can) take a lot out of you" and wanted to have more time to spend with his children. "I decided simply not to," the Orlando lawyer said.
A friend of Zimmerman's later repeated the request in a direct conversation with NeJame early last week, just as lawyers Hal Uhrig and Craig Sonner said they'd no longer represent Zimmerman. By then, NeJame noted he'd been hired by CNN to serve as an analyst.
NeJame again said he could not represent Zimmerman and offered the names of five lawyers -- topped by O'Mara -- who might be considered instead.
If NeJame declined to speak with Zimmerman and only relayed a "no thank you" message through his law partner, and told a friend of Zimmerman's he couldn't represent Zimmerman because he'd already agreed to be a CNN analyst, why did he need a waiver or agreement with the Zimmermans? It doesn't even sound from NeJame's version that privileged communications were had between him and Zimmerman or the Zimmerman family.
It was NeJame who gave O'Mara's name to Zimmerman and/or his family. How is it that their versions of NeJame's involvement are so different, with O'Mara fearing a continuing relationship with NeJame being provided "exclusives" and "insight" for his TV analysis and beleiving there are some sort of agreements or waivers in place, while NeJame maintains he never talked to Zimmerman, only to his own law partner and to a friend of Zimmerman's?
What if any continuing relationship does NeJame have with the Zimmerman family? Since O'Mara had the weekend to get more facts and today filed a motion alleging a potential conflict existed due to NeJame's dual role as an analyst for CNN and as a law partner of the judge's husband, it doesn't seem like whatever new information he learned allayed his concerns.
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