Judge Rejects Zimmerman Request to Depose Ben Crump

George Zimmerman will not be allowed to depose Benjamin Crump, the judge ruled today.

The hearing is going on now, you can watch live here.

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    Of course not (none / 0) (#1)
    by Jack203 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 02:46:12 PM EST
    Let this travesty of justice continue...

    I'd be interested in hearing a lawyer/judge's (none / 0) (#2)
    by leftwig on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 02:54:20 PM EST
    opinion of Nelson's ruling that Crump was a part of opposing counsel.  Is that ruling sound?  Does that mean that any information Crump has obtained (inculpatory and exculpatory) must be turned over to the defense else he puts the case in jeopardy and risks being brought up on charges?

    Yeah, I'm wondering... (none / 0) (#3)
    by unitron on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 03:10:44 PM EST
    ...about that whole opposing counsel thing.

    (and how it relates to the whole "private prosecutor" thing)

    There was not yet a criminal case when Crump interviewed the young lady, so who was he opposing?

    Can just anybody insert themselves into the prosecution team?

    Could a future trial of someone else be delayed indefinitely while the state fights off a lawsuit by someone who wants to join the prosecution but the prosecution doesn't want them?


    Who said (none / 0) (#4)
    by DebFrmHell on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 03:58:52 PM EST
    the Prosecution in this case didn't want them/him (Crump)?  He has been acting as their spokesperson most certainly since the arrest warrant was issued.  

    Crump is the one who inserted himself into this case by interviewing W8 without LE made available.  He didn't hesitate to invite ABC news in, though.  He didn't produce her to the SAO until Wolfinger and his Grand Jury were out of the picture.

    How can an officer of the court do that?

    And now he is hiding behind the "opposing counsel" argument.


    Crump isn't a prosecution spokesperson (none / 0) (#7)
    by dontknowme on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:34:01 AM EST
    He still doesn't trust the police, and as Don West pointed out, still posits corruption/conspiracy on the the part of Wolfinger, Lee et al to let GZ off the hook. The prosecution doesn't want to touch any such questions with a ten foot pole. As far as Corey and company are concerned, the cops and Wolfinger all did their jobs correctly. I think Corey's agenda is to get GZ convicted while protecting the LE establishment. If that happens, whether Mr. Crump will be satisfied with that remains to be seen.

    My guess is that sooner or later (probably later, given the snail's pace at which this thing unfolds) Chris Serino will spill the beans on what really went on during the investigation. At least I hope so, if only to satisfy my own curiosity about what really happened inside the SPD.


    Chris Serino (none / 0) (#9)
    by LeaNder on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 09:01:43 AM EST
    I like your hope, but personally I will not hold my breath. He will mainly be a target for defense for having strayed from majority consent.

     His main problem may well have been that he arrived on the scene slightly over one hour too late and to a certain extend was influenced by officers arriving earlier, who already had made up their minds about what happened just as Jeralyn's most important witnesses. None of them considered the curious mutation of a "burglary suspect" into a killer (Tonight you gonna die!), with the witnesses quite possibly not even aware of the chronology of events.

    In other words it may well be a more complicated scenario of law, rights and power, Georgio Agamben comes to mind among others. Just as lately I ask myself  to what extend GZ is shaped by the post 911 discourse of the enemy both up-road and on home ground...

    That may well be the reason why we witness the curious convergence between right and left, with all ultimately siding with law, more precisely the not quite convincing definition of "justified fear for life", versus the right to live, which trails "bare life" of the unarmed as something maybe not too important to protect.

    There are a couple of questions I would love to get an answer to, one is why was Serino seemingly unaware of officer Wagner's photos, which Wagner  states he used to find out if the witnesses knew either GZ or TM. Remember he accompanied Serino to the teacher.

    The other question from the top of my head concerns Stacie McCoy, the on duty supervisor, or more precisely the discrepancy between her report and interview and the dispatch and arrival logs in the 7th discovery. What exactly did she modify in the reports of the officers Smith and Ayala? ...


    Please Correct Me (none / 0) (#5)
    by RickyJim on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 04:46:31 PM EST
    I didn't hear the judge say that Crump couldn't be deposed because he was "opposing council".  What I heard her say is that that Mr. West failed to show that Crump had any relevant information for the immunity hearing and Murder2 trial.  I agree with her.

    wait for the appeals judge (none / 0) (#6)
    by diogenes on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 07:41:27 PM EST
    One of many reasons for this case to go to an appeals court after trial (if there is a conviction) where judges who aren't so against Zimmerman will have to review matters.

    Yes, because judges ... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Yman on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 11:32:15 AM EST
    ... suddenly change from biased, unfair and capricious at the trial level (when they rule unfairly) to champions of fairness when they (presumably) rule the "correct" way at the appellate level.



    So how (none / 0) (#10)
    by DebFrmHell on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 11:51:47 AM EST
    can Crump be considered "opposing counsel" if there is no lawsuit filed on behalf of the Fulton-Martins against Zimmerman?  They now say they intend to.  Wouldn't that then make him simply an  "potential opposing counsel?"

    Anyway, that is all involving a civil case.  The charges against Zimmerman are criminal.  

    And the interview that he did with W8 in the presence of the media/ABC's Matt Gutman?  That was prior to any charges being filed so how is that now considered to be work product?  Is that why Crump originally chanted that they wanted or needed an arrest?  Seems to me what he should have been saying is that they need a conviction in order to file suit.

    Freely admit, I am confused as to her ruling.


    Now I'm confused (none / 0) (#12)
    by Yman on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 01:36:16 PM EST
    Was your response directed at me?  It doesn't appear to be related to my post.

    Anyway, I haven't seen anything indicating that Nelson based her decision on Crump's status as "opposing counsel".  The closest thing I've seen is where Nelson - referring to Crump's claim of privilege - says:  "He is an attorney and he is representing the family that is opposition" to the defense.  her decision, however, was based on the fact that the defense failed to show that Crump had any relevant information that would overcome his attorney-client privilege.


    Sorry for the confusion (none / 0) (#13)
    by DebFrmHell on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 01:48:52 PM EST
    But you have me asking you directly because you are experienced...How is it Attorney Client Privilege if it is broadcast on national TV three weeks before charges are even filed?

    IIRC, and I have to leave or I would double check, I think that was "Opposing Counsel" Blackwell's argument for why Crump could not be deposed.  Since that was denied, does that make the original affidavit and Order of Protection?

    What happens to 3.220?

    TIA, YMan I look forward to your answer later when I get home.


    Editing myself... (none / 0) (#14)
    by DebFrmHell on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 01:50:25 PM EST
    Since that was denied, does that make the original affidavit an actual Order of Protection?

    Sorry, in a hurry.  didn't proof


    Presumably, ... (none / 0) (#15)
    by Yman on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 02:25:48 PM EST
    But you have me asking you directly because you are experienced...How is it Attorney Client Privilege if it is broadcast on national TV three weeks before charges are even filed?

    ... Crump had the Martins' permission to publicly discuss the points he made at the news conference (i.e. they waived attorney-client privilege).  The fact that the conference took place prior to the filing of the criminal case does not vitiate an attorney-client relationship (at the time of the conference) between Crump and the Martins.

    Blackwell may have argued (or not) that Crump was "opposing counsel" - I have no idea.  I do know that he argued that the affidavit provided by Crump covered all relevant information.  The issue, however, is the basis for Nelson's ruling, as opposed to the arguments/claims of the attorneys.  I haven't seen a copy of her ruling, but the numerous media reports have indicated the basis of her ruling was the fact that the defense did not show that Crump had any relevant information such that would overcome attorney-client privilege.

    No idea what "What happens to 3.220?" means.  Same for the affidavit/"Order of Protection" question.

    BTW - Refusing to answer questions about privileged communications with a client is not, as you claimed, "hiding".  It's a fundamental ethical obligation of any attorney.


    But he does not (none / 0) (#16)
    by DebFrmHell on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 08:20:53 PM EST
    represent W8.  I am not sure she even has representation at this stage since no one was at the hearing to speak on her behalf.

    Anywhooo.  It will all come about in her deposition.

    Thanks for answering.


    witness #8 (none / 0) (#17)
    by LeaNder on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:16:40 AM EST
    That he is not the attorney of witness number#8 or DeeDee, does not in any way harm the basic argument it feels to me. I watched a really bad copy a day or two after the hearing with passages that were really hard to understand. But it feels that Nelson suggested in this context, that defense should ask her directly. Even more since he is not her attorney.

    A statement by O'Mara I caught a while back about how Crump should have done it professionally--he suggested it should have been televised--doesn't get us in any way beyond the not so outspoken reasons why defense is trying to get at her via Crump.

    Their basic claim is that DeeDee's statements have been edited. Well who else but her should be able to tell them? Their core problem is that they don't want to tell directly, she is or may be lying, while hinting at impeachment.

    There are many ways to address the issue. I agree judge Nelson, if they think Crump did not tell them the truth and nothing but the truth in his statements, they can study and investigate carefully what he wrote. Since the first contact with DeeDee was by Trayvon Martin it clearly concerns the client attorney privilege. They can ask Tracy, Sybrina and DeeDee about that. Can't they? And there are call logs and even it seems some kind of GPS data at least it seems lately. Maybe they should concentrate on that? But would that type of concentration help raise funds?

    DebFromHell, I am a bloody foreigner, and no native speaker but for whatever reason I did not have the slightest troubles with understanding her statements. Maybe you can explain to me, why they are still not satisfied with the acoustics?
    What exactly they are trying to find on the tape, besides what Crump has already addressed. You tell me.


    I believe there is (none / 0) (#20)
    by DebFrmHell on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 12:46:58 PM EST
    a better copy of the hearing in the Forum.  I know when I watched it live, I didn't have the audio problems that many others complained about.  Maybe it is a copy from whatever channel I was watching.

    DebFrmHell (none / 0) (#21)
    by LeaNder on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 05:10:48 PM EST
    DeeDee's interview was all over the web. Why do they still have troubles 9 month later to get a copy, if even a German like me could find one easily on the web month ago?

    Below a link to one of the most brilliant legal arguments I have read for a long time. besides recounting the history of the whole motion to compel brouhaha, thus a good basis to read the motions themselves, additionally it explained to me what you may have possibly alluded to with procedure 3.220. Blackwell was a very, very good choice Mr. Crump, congratulations.


    For the foregoing reasons, the Court should not countenance the efforts of this victim's admitted killer to prepare his defense on the borrowed wits of his parents' attorney.
    WHEREFORE, non-party Benjamin L. Crump, Esq. respectfully requests that the Court enter an order denying Defendant's February 12,2012 Motion to Compel and providing such further and appropriate relief as the Court may deem just and proper.

    Correction (none / 0) (#22)
    by LeaNder on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 05:14:18 PM EST
    thus a good basis to "re"read the motions themselves,

    In combination with Blackwell's response. Could it be that some motion by defense are effectively written to raise funds?


    I don't know if he represents W8 (none / 0) (#18)
    by Yman on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:25:20 AM EST
    Either way, however, the nature of the defense team's questions for Crump is such that she determined they would violate privilege with his client(s), and that the defense didn't show Crump had relevant information beyond what he already provided.

    It would be nice to see a copy of the actual order, but I presume it hasn't been released.


    no address? (none / 0) (#19)
    by LeaNder on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 09:03:10 AM EST
    I am not sure she even has representation at this stage since no one was at the hearing to speak on her behalf.

    Did I understand it correctly that she willingly gave defense her social media accounts, but when asked for her address she replied, she'd rather not give it to them? I am not sure I would want to, considering that GZ "has involved himself" in the case. And the expenses for special software combined with a preference for electronic files suggests to me that he has easy and constant access to to all documents.

    I do not quite understand how her age would matter, apart from legal minor protection. But I do not understand either what other legal means prosecution had to protect her identity.

    Just as I do not completely understand the core idea behind "evil media" I just noticed that US lockstep media did not get much attention on this blog before 2007 concerning the Iraq war either. Was that the "good" type of media?

    I have recently read the book by "expert" Michael Knox. What is striking from my fast perusal, even highly ironic if you ask me,  and no, I do not consider it a relevant publication, is that he picks out specific mistakes by "evil media" without ever calling it that, and then adds his own: "not quite accurate statements" in his process of correcting errors. Funny if you ask me. I always feared mistakes of my own, when addressing a mainstream line of thought and whatever I considered mistakes. Isn't there a relation between feeding the book market fast and the larger mistakes and error by media, or more precisely the same kind of traps?