More Court Documents Released in George Zimmerman Case
As was debated endlessly in the comments to this post, I think any order limiting extra-judicial comments by lawyers has to include all lawyers involved in the case, including those working for the Martin family.
If the judge didn't consider the motion (as per his minutes) rather than rejecting it, it may come up again.
There's one additional factor not mentioned in comments to the earlier post that I think should make them subject to any future order limiting comments: The Martins' lawyers have been actively involved in the investigation of the case. They were the ones who obtained an affidavit from Trayvon Martin's phone friend and provided it to the state's attorney and Justice Department. (Added: The "affidavit" may be her sworn oral statement, not a written document. CNN anchors and analysts say they used the word "affidavit.") The state's attorney included the phone friend's statements in determining there was probable cause to charge Zimmerman in its affiavit. By investigating and providing evidence to the state, they have made themselves agents of the prosecution or at the least, lawyers involved in the prosecution.
As to the discovery, the Court's minutes say that requests for access will be made on a "case by case" basis. The minutes state:
The State's Motion for Gag Order Was Filed in Open Court. Attorney O’Mara Waived Defendant's Appearance For the Purposes of this Hearing
Attorney O’Mara Addressed the Court Regarding the State's Motion. The Court Did Not Entertain the State's Motion for Gag Order at this Time.
Attorney O’Mara Made an Ore Tenus Motion to Have Discovery Remain Sealed as it pertains to the Witnesses Names and Addresses. State Attorney Addressed the Court on the Ore Tenus Motion.
Attorney Ponce for the Media Submitted Case Law and Argument on the Defense Ore Tenus Motion.
The Court Orders the Matter Will Be Addressed on a Case-by-case Basis.
The April 23rd unsealing order pertained only to the Court's file, not discovery in the prosecutor's file, which is made available under Florida's public records law. (Discussion here.) It ordered names and addresses be redacted from the Court file.
The Court did not set a deadline for O'Mara to file specific requests as to the documents he wants redacted before they are made public. But since he said he will address such requests on a case by case basis, I don't think the media will get access before O'Mara's requests are filed and considered.
For handy reference:
Please keep your comments in this thread on topic to the legal issues. A Zimmerman open thread where you can post about factual theories is here.
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