Busy Beavers

Home Life, Education, Business & Legal Matters

A lot of the focus on this case has been on the events leading up to the murder of Robert Wone, the subsequent investigation, and the indictment of Joseph Price, Victor Zaborsky, and Dylan Ward on conspiracy charges, tampering with evidence, and obstruction of justice.  The details mostly do not add up, with conflicting logic, time lines, and testimony.

We are often told we cannot see the forest for the trees.  Or sometimes we’re so close to the trees that all we see is wood.  What was going on in the bigger picture of the life of Joe Price’s “family”?  Stepping back to get the bigger picture reveals a very busy Joe Price and family.  The following time line illustrates major events in Joe Price’s family life from 2006 through 2008.  A lot was going on, and the time line does not even take into account the more mundane aspects of the day-to-day activities of work, meals, shopping and errands, and presumed sexual encounters of this family.

Joe Price Family Life 2006-2008

Joe Price Family Life 2006-2008

Click here to view in full screen.

This was a family with a lot of stressful and major life events as a back drop to everyday activities:

1. From April 2006 through December 2006 was the domestic violence legal matter between Louis Hinton and Michael Price, with Victor posting bail, Joe serving up legal defense for Louis, and a separation of Louis and Michael with Louis’ domicile as 1509 Swann Street and Michael’s as 8335 Grubb Road, owned by brother Joe and Victor (for 1509 Swann). After many motions and trial postponements, the case was dismissed.

2. In May 2006, the grant funding for Dylan Ward’s development position at Equality Virginia ended. Dylan left EV and continued copy writing fund raising materials on a part time basis.

3. In June 2006, Joe Price made partner at Arent Fox, a major accomplishment in the legal profession.

4. On August 2, 2006, Robert Wone was tragically murdered at 1509 Swann with Joe, Victor, and Dylan all present at the time of the murder. The three are displaced from their home during the crime scene investigation for several months.

5. In October 2006, while 1509 was still controlled by the MPD investigators, Michael Price and his friend Phelps Collins III entered 1509 Swann and stole over $7,000 in electronic equipment belonging to the family. The charges in this legal matter were dropped and the case dismissed in August 2007.

6. In March 2007, Joe sold the condo at 8335 Grubb Road shared by Michael and Louis, and in June 2008 Joe and Victor sold 1509 Swann and purchased 550 NE 94 Street in Miami Shores, FL.

7. In May 2007, The “trouple” celebrated Dylan’s birthday at Halo, a private party in a very public venue.

8. In June 2007, Joe registered the Internet domain, EyeCandyDVDs.com, an adult video and novelty business, listing a Michael on the web site as the contact person.

9. In July 2007, Dylan Ward departed for Thailand to learn Thai massage, and in October 2007, relocated to Ft. Lauderdale, FL. After Joe and Victor purchased the Miami Shores property, Dylan relocates again to that address.

10. In late October 2008, Dylan was arrested for obstruction of justice in the case of the murder of Robert Wone, followed by the November indictments of Joe Price and Victor Zaborsky.

It appears that prior to the murder of Robert Wone and through the subsequent two years, Joe Price’s family was living a highly stressful life, buying and selling real estate, moving, under going separations, and starting a new business, all with the back drop of Robert Wone’s murder. Were all these actions just diversions, moving on with their lives, and business as usual?  Did this family unit thrive on drama and upheaval?  Was any of this connected to Robert’s murder?

– posted by Michael

29 comments for “Busy Beavers

  1. Nelly
    05/13/2009 at 11:51 AM

    And don’t forget during this timeline, Joe and Victor attended a William & Mary Gay and Lesbian alumni banquet (10/06?) where Joe delivered a speech, Joe was in a publicized case representing a lesbian mom who wanted visitation rights, doing CLE presentations, representing the homeless shelter, etc. etc. Perhaps doing drugs helped him stay awake and focused with such a crazy chaotic life.

    • CDinDC
      05/13/2009 at 12:03 PM

      Focused? LOL I think the kind of drugs Joe took wouldn’t help with that.

      • 05/14/2009 at 1:49 AM

        That would be an interesting line of enquiry. “What drugs were members of the household likely on that evening?” I’m not convinced that Culuket was actually only on K himself that evening.

        • Lance
          05/14/2009 at 5:28 AM

          I’ve been asking that, obliquely, for a while. A lot of the theories put forward here seem to rely on very particular effects of drugs for very particular lengths of time–e.g., something that would make them paranoid and panicky, but that would wear off by the time the EMTs and police got there. (And that last part seems key to me; for all the reports from the EMTs and interrogators on the roommates’ states of mind, states of cleanliness, and so forth, there’s not a single statement from any of them saying “as if under the effects of drug X”.)

  2. SheKnowsSomething
    05/13/2009 at 1:11 PM

    The Swann Street house was not still under the control of crime scene investigators in October 2006, was it? If is was still under control of the authorities, why was it not under 24-hour guard to keep the defendents or the alleged “intruder” from 2 August 2006 from returning to obscure the investigation. I don’t know about the rest of you, but if my home were broken into while the police controlled access to the property, I’d be suing Hawaii 5-0!

    • N.M.
      05/13/2009 at 1:19 PM

      “…why was it not under 24-hour guard…”

      Ha! We’re talking about D.C. here, where the path of least resistance has been upgraded to a twelve lane superhighway.

  3. Fascinating
    05/13/2009 at 1:39 PM

    Thanks for this interesting time line, Michael.

    The only thing that really stood out to me was Price making partner in June 2006. Lawyer-folks, what happens when you’re made partner? Does your work load increase? Do you get a new office? Is there any way to generally outline what would have changed in Price’s daily work life?

    Of course, I’m trying to figure out if a spike in stress at work may have made Price more likely to act out sexually and take more risks.

    • CDinDC
      05/13/2009 at 3:42 PM

      Ha! If stress at work was a factor in acting out sexually, I’d should be a porn star by now.

      Joe was more likely a sex addict.

    • Frankie
      05/13/2009 at 4:05 PM

      In the past ten years or so, when one makes partner at a firm like Joe’s, the pressures increase. Long gone are the days when making partner meant time on the golf course and martini lunches, while the associates did all the work. Now the partners actually bill more.

    • chilaw79
      09/06/2010 at 12:14 AM

      Something seems off in the time line. I am not sure when Arent Fox typically announces new partners, but Dylan Ward writes a congratulatory card to Joe in November, 2005. Many firms announce new partners when setting their draws for the calendar year for partners, so many firms bring new partners in effective January 1. The November date on Dylan’s card coincides more closely with this scenario. I can check announcements or ask someone at Arent Fox.

      • chilaw79
        09/06/2010 at 12:19 AM

        Checked the Arent Fox announcement of new partners on January 1, 2006 and it does include Joe Price among the new partners.

  4. Nick
    05/13/2009 at 6:06 PM

    FWIW I used to date a big firm lawyer in London, and he acquired all sorts of vices both chemical and sexual after he made partner.

    • CDinDC
      05/13/2009 at 8:20 PM

      In my 25 years of experience w/law firms, I have only ever personally known ONE chemically dependent partner. The personality disorders tend to run higher than physical addictions. I’ve met more control freaks and deviants than addicts….oh yeah. Way more.

  5. Bea
    05/13/2009 at 7:30 PM

    When you make partner, the billing requirement stays the same (at least as a junior partner), client billings increase, and often you are asked for a “capital contribution” to join the partnership – it wouldn’t surprise me if Arent required a six figure amount, but I don’t know for certain. You get some “perks” but the responsibility and pressure increases. Too, it’s possible that Arent has a two-tier partnership track. Sometimes attorneys “up” for partner are made non-equity (called “income” partner by some) partner, another form of purgatory where one must prove himself/herself.

    • Bea
      05/13/2009 at 7:31 PM

      Oh, and the chemical and sexual vices are optional, at least at my firm. 🙂

  6. 05/13/2009 at 7:59 PM

    all that stress = all that booty. it looks like joe stopped working out when the you know what was hitting the fan.

    i’ll give her credit for planning her escape — the (judgment proof) house in florida — the start-up business plan — the defense fund financed by friends and colleagues. and still pulling in 500k, at least until this past January when she may have been 86’ed by arent. whatever demons may bring her down, noone can dispute that she is talented, ambitious, conniving?

    any udpate on the relationship between ms. price and her biological child since the arrest? does he have any custody or visitation? any financial obligations? i imagine the mother is ready to pull the plug on his parenting post his s/m interests were published.

    love to all.

  7. Anon VA
    05/13/2009 at 11:37 PM

    This is a small detail and might seem irrelevant but since lots of people are reading this, I thought I should point out that Dylan resigned from EV by choice and not because of a grant. He was actually the Development Director.

    Good work!

    • Craig
      05/14/2009 at 11:09 AM

      AnonVA – No detail to small. Thanks for the clarification. We may have been operating with incomplete information.

  8. 05/14/2009 at 2:16 AM

    I suspect for Joe the Lawyer, most this all (save for Robert’s murder) was familiar legal, real estate and financial territory. What would be more unnerving would be any unexpected catastrophic threat to the health of their household.

  9. Nick
    05/14/2009 at 9:58 AM

    So I’m not a lawyer, but is it unusual for one to represent his brother’s assailant?

    • CDinDC
      05/14/2009 at 11:16 AM

      I think the question would be whether it’s ethical or not…..Joe Price is/was an Intellectual Property attorney. Representing Louis for domestic assault was far outside the scope of his expertise, which could minimize the effect Joe Price has on the case. Louis may not have gotten adequate representation from an IP attorney for his felony charge.

      Would YOU go to an IP attorney if you were arrested for, say, drunk driving? Or would you have a personal injury attorney defend your patent?

      I think the outcome for Louis was fine, but if it had not been a positive outcome, you have to ask yourself, was it because Joe was an IP attorney?

      • Nick
        05/14/2009 at 12:30 PM

        Oh I hadn’t even thought about expertise. I suppose Price also had experience in civil rights law from his pro bono work. But it still looks like conflict of interest. Was Price better than a public defender, from Hinton’s point of view?

      • Lance
        05/14/2009 at 12:46 PM

        Note from the court documents that Price wasn’t the sole attorney; there was a motion by his attorney, Emily Thorne, to admit Price pro hac vice (i.e., even though Price wasn’t a member of the Maryland bar). Not, mind you, that assault seems to be Thorne’s usual bailiwick either.

        It’s probably also worth noting that the official result was “nolle prosequi”, i.e. a decision not to prosecute. If I were to hypothesize, I’d guess the following scenario: There was a domestic assault for which Michael called the police. Afterward, Michael didn’t want to press charges but the officer brought charges anyway; Michael went to his brother and asked for Joe’s help defending Hinton. Joe got his coworker Thorne to represent Hinton (because she’s a member of the Maryland bar) and had her move to allow him to join her.

        In that scenario, it’s not the case that Joe Price was in court against his brother, but rather on his brother’s side. Even if that’s accurate, though, I feel like it leaves a lot of questions–was Hinton’s assault on Michael Price a misunderstanding that shouldn’t have been prosecuted, or a case of domestic abuse that Michael shouldn’t have forgiven him for? On that count, I can’t begin to guess.

        • CDinDC
          05/14/2009 at 12:53 PM

          Nice post, Lance…..and good point about Emily. I just looked her up….she’s got White Collor Criminal under her belt….not too far of a reach. At least it’s criminal. She may have served a double purpose….MD bar, as you pointed out, and the added expertise in criminal law.

          • CDinDC
            05/14/2009 at 12:53 PM

            collar, no collor.

      • Michael
        05/14/2009 at 11:05 PM

        Actually, Joe includes criminal law in his bio in the Martindale Hubbard directory along with IP law. That makes it even more perplexing that he was interrogated after the murder without legal counsel, unless he felt he was competent enough to represent himself. One would think that the three defendants would have engaged the services of attorneys for the interogations.

        Of course since they created the image that they had nothing to hide, legal counsel would be unecessary. All this is contrary to advice given to me by criminal lawyers that I have known or worked with.

        As for Price representing Hinton, I see it as a matter of economics and keeping it in the family.

        – Michael, co-editor

        • CDinDC
          05/15/2009 at 10:02 AM

          On that note, here’s an interesting tidbit……I looked up Joe and some of his criminal work…….couldn’t find much relating to criminal work, but here’s an interesting case I DID find…..a conspiracy case involving a corporation selling telecommunications devices to…..Iran. Strange, but true. I have to scratch me head on this one…..how on earth did Joe Price get retained for this?

          “Allied Telesis Labs Inc. pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy in a case in which employees attempted to sell millions of dollars in telecommunications equipment to the Iranian Information Technology Co., in violation of the U.S. economic ban against conducting business with nations deemed a threat to national security.”


          • 05/15/2009 at 11:52 AM

            Ultimately, this whole wrong-doing will lead back to . . . Dick Cheney.

  10. 05/14/2009 at 11:58 PM

    Probably right, although what Joe seems to have meant by “keeping it in the family” likely significantly differed from what most other people would have meant.

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