Positively 5th Street

Thursday’s Twelve Minute Status Hearing 

While changing gears from the criminal trial to a civil case, the contrasts are numerous and stark.

Judge Brook Hedge. Photo courtesy of Wash. Business Journal

The fifth floor of the Moultrie Courthouse where Judge Brook Hedge’s courtroom is located, seems miles away from the more desperate hallways of the lower levels where Judge Lynn Leibovitz and the criminal set rule. 

Downstairs, government attorneys ply their trade, MPD cops roam freely with sports jerseys covering their uniforms and the mothers of the District’s accused sit anxiously awaiting news, or verdicts.

Whereas the fifth floor is bathed in light by an expansive atrium, the third floor is always dark, dark in the daytime.  Leibovitz’ 310 always seemed a little shabby, the carpets threadbare, walls scuffed and the flourescent lights gave everyone sitting under them a somewhat sickly glow.  Hedge’s 517 seems larger, brighter and a little more cheerful.  The courtroom matches the Judge’s demeanor.

Thursday’s status hearing began about ten minutes late, at 1:40pm.  The courtroom felt even larger because the attendance was so sparse.  In the first row sat the Post’s Keith Alexander, Legal Time’s Mike Scarcella and Emily Babay from the Examiner.  WMRW readers Rich and Gloria joined two editors and another unidentified spectator grabbed a seat in the back row right behind Covington’s Anson Christian, a familiar face throughout the criminal proceedings, and his colleague, Brett Reynolds.

Running the show for the plaintiffs was Patrick Regan and Covington’s Stephen Roger.  For the defendants, Robert Spagnoletti was there on behalf of Dylan Ward, Frank Daly and Sean Edwards for Victor Zaborsky, and Craig Roswell for Joseph Price.

By our count, eight media and case watchers were in the room, along with eight attorneys.  A fair fight by anyone’s estimation.

Things got underway with the most important piece of business, setting (once again) the trial date.  A couple weeks ago when September 12, 2011 was fixed, Pat Regan overlooked a trial on his schedule, a Maryland case regarding a 1998 matter.  Yeah, 1998.  That trial begins September 12 and should keep him occupied for three to four weeks.

Judge Hedge brought back the original June 2011 date but said because of a lengthy jury selection process (due to publicity) and summer vacations, it would be “suicide” to go back to that, “Not going to happen,” she said.  Spagnoletti couldn’t say exactly how long the defense presentation would last but said, “…significantly longer than in the criminal case… two to three weeks longer.”

To the surprise of many, Regan said he expected the plaintiffs case in chief to run only six days.  Judicial economy indeed.

We may be seeing less of Spagnoletti as the case moves forward.  He announced that Ralph Spooner will be taking the lead from here on out.  Spagnoletti said he would remain “in the background.”  Those lower billing rates may come as a relief to those footing the bills; more cold comfort.

Saying it was “premature” to guess how long the trial would last, Hedge picked October 17 and said it could wrap by Thanksgiving.  With a wry smile, she said she expected a lot of motions hearings.  First and foremost may be rulings on 5th Amendment assertions by the defendants. 

In the first set of responses to the interrogatories (to be posted next week), most if not all of them were non-answers based on 5th Amendment grounds against self incrimination.  This will prove to be a particularly thorny issue moving forward.  Deposition dates are penciled in for early October and it’s expected Price, Ward and Zaborsky will lean on the 5th in those as well and also at trial.  Expect the plaintiffs to make a lot of noise over that collective silence.

Since the trial date was pushed back, Regan asked for the discovery deadline to be relaxed also.  The defense wasn’t so keen on that but Hedge agreed with Regan, “This is a complex case and I see no problem extending discovery.”  She set a June 2011 deadline as opposed to March, with motions hearings to follow. Also on the agenda is a September 7 pretrial hearing at 4:00pm.  Mark you calendars.

Judge Hedge gaveled out at 1:52pm, bidding the attorneys adieu saying. “Always a pleasure.”

In the hallway outside 517, Pat Regan entertained a few questions from the media:

Q: Do you expect Judge Hedge to stay on the case in light of her pending retirement announcement?

A: “She may very well go to senior status.  That’s the Chief Judge’s decision.  We’ll know in the next 60 days.  It will be announced in December and effective in January.  (The calendar swap) applies to every judge… It sounds like she’s going to do (this case).”

Q: What’s the biggest difficulty in this case?

A “I’ll decline to answer that.” (Amid chuckles).

Q: What are the challenges?

A: “This case doesn’t have that many challenges.  It’s pretty clear cut.  Defendants don’t assert their fifth amendment rights if they are not guilty of something.”

Q: Do you expect to see new information surface in this case?

A: “Good question.  Probably.  Probably.  But I can’t get into that.  Every lawyer has to have a few surprises.”

The Post’s Keith Alexander piece here, and BLT’s Mike Scarcella is here.

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91 comments for “Positively 5th Street

  1. denton
    09/17/2010 at 10:55 AM

    There will be a whole lot of the “fifth (5th Amendment)” to argue in the “fifth” floor and in “five seventeen” courtroom in the future here.
    Thanks, Craig for your “marching on” from the saddest day of WMRW yesterday. Many of us, me included, appreciate the “team spirit” that keeps us together.

    Despite the “5th,” can anyone explain if, or would it work if, and how can the “circumstancial evidences” be played out into this civil trial? What chance, or what risk, would the plaintiff has in order to win the jury’s decisions in October 2011.

    • denton
      09/17/2010 at 11:00 AM

      Correction, “on” the fifth floor.

    • Bill
      09/17/2010 at 6:52 PM

      It’s amazing. I stay away for weeks and come back to find that so many of you are hanging on sharing tired opinions about this tragic event. It’s just not healthy. Move on, move on. The legal system will deal with this in due course; the rest of you need to find or create a life! Now, of course, bring the hate on!

      • denton
        09/17/2010 at 7:14 PM

        ???

        • Bill
          09/17/2010 at 7:19 PM

          what’s so difficult about a recommendation to find a life? leave this tragedy behind. this website and those who “hang on” are just not helping themselves or the case. this has long gone beyond the point of being “news” to that of the macabre.

          • Bea
            09/17/2010 at 7:53 PM

            Hey Bill, I respect your decision to move on, so please respect the decisions of the rest of us who’ve decided (for the time being, anyway) to stay and follow the civil case and its many turns. It’s chock full of interesting legal questions (5th Amendment, “privileged” communications) on top of what you believe to be a macabre fascination. I’ll take that ‘macabre’ punch if need be, and still wish you well.

            • denton
              09/17/2010 at 8:00 PM

              …and HAVE A GOOD LIFE, Bill.

              • Bill
                09/17/2010 at 8:02 PM

                denton – get a life!

                • denton
                  09/17/2010 at 8:08 PM

                  Bill,

                  I turn you over to the Editors and the rest of posters to handle your hatred to WMRW and bloggers, I wish you well.

                  • Bill
                    09/17/2010 at 8:36 PM

                    Isn’t that cross heavy?

                    • Clio
                      09/17/2010 at 9:34 PM

                      Not at all, dear; Joe ain’t on it!
                      Now, come to Jesus,Bill, and all will be forgiven. A-men.

                • carolina
                  09/20/2010 at 12:39 AM

                  I have a pretty damned fine life, of which I chose to spend part following this case. I could collect Precious Moments or Marie Osmond dolls, but they’d look ridiculous among my other furnishings. As hobbies go, this one is the least likely to upset the delicate aesthetic balance in my home.

                  Is that okay? Do I pass the hobby test?

          • Rich
            09/18/2010 at 12:07 AM

            Dear Bill,

            I hope you’re just Bill and not Bill Orange or Bill 2.

            I had a lot of respect for the other Bills’ contributions, and I am a bit surprised by your posting.

            While I do not disagree with the context of your comments, as I have been advocating the same content for some time now, I do think you’re anger is way over the top.

            I too agree that we all need to get on with our lives, but I remain committed in keeping abreast with the case, as evidenced by my appearance in court yesterday.

            Be respectful of the opinions of others!

            After all, it would be a boring world if we all thought and felt the same way.

            • Bill Orange
              09/18/2010 at 11:59 AM

              It’s a different Bill. There are (at least) three of us. I’m the “colored” one. 🙂

              • Rich
                09/18/2010 at 12:59 PM

                Dear Bill Orange:

                Really pleased it’s not you or Bill 2.

                Just coudn’t figureout how all the meaningful posts of the past became so negative and angry.

                Maybe, this, “Bill,” just needs a bit more time.

      • AnnaZed
        09/17/2010 at 8:46 PM

        I am pretty sure that whatever opprobrium might attach when one is enjoined to “get a life” pretty much exhausted itself in 1987 when William Shatner uttered those words on Saturday Night Life (are you a very old person perhaps?). In this context, given that one of our most respected posters has just lost her actual life, enjoining the remaining posters here in that peculiar way is in startling poor taste, but from you Bill I expect nothing less.

      • Cat from Cleveland
        09/17/2010 at 10:00 PM

        Bill,
        I try very hard not to engage in unpleasant exchanges on this site but I do feel the need to respond. Like, I’m sure, everyone else on this site, I live a full and rewarding life. And over time, this site has found its way into my routine, between checking personal and work email and reading the various news sites, in the free minutes of my life. I’m not at all surprised that intelligent, engaging, socially active professional follow this blog – its a remarkable discussion about an intriguing mystery. I am surprised, however, by the people who seem to think there is something embarrassing or pathological about following this blog, yet continue to do it? What’s up with you?

        • Bruce
          09/17/2010 at 10:24 PM

          Wow!

          For some reason, I suddenly feel tired, tragic, morose, macabre, and on top of that, quite lifeless!

          Oops. No. Hold on..Ha… yes, It was just my avatar, not me. Sorry.

          I be just fine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Cat from Cleveland
            09/18/2010 at 9:25 PM

            Careful – my adorable offspring drew my avatar. Its sacred!

            • Bruce
              09/18/2010 at 9:31 PM

              You should be right proud!

            • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
              09/18/2010 at 9:35 PM

              It’s precious!

              • Bruce
                09/18/2010 at 9:49 PM

                Hmmmm. If one were inclined to drop a pin in here, one might be inclined to hear it.

                I wonder if posters have taken good ole Bill’s much heralded advice.

                • Clio
                  09/18/2010 at 10:18 PM

                  No, sugar, we’re just all waiting with baited breath for Doug’s delicious dish on the apparent recent sighting of Culuket.

                  Was this glimpse at his latest place of employment, or at his latest indiscretion? Inquiring minds want to know!!

                  • Rich
                    09/18/2010 at 10:44 PM

                    Oh, he was probably seen having coffee at Starbucks and not much more.

                    I bet these boyz are maintiaing very low profiles these days and for the next year.

                    Do not look for much, ubnless, they find themselves in trouble again for something minor, but, felt immune from getting caught in anyway.

                    • Bruce
                      09/18/2010 at 11:18 PM

                      I know.
                      Despite Doug’s
                      teasing of a Joe sighting, and good ole Bill’s
                      recommedations to us all, I have decided to go on with my life somehow and someway.

                  • Rich
                    09/18/2010 at 11:35 PM

                    Bruce:

                    You can’t go to until you see or hear about them.

                    • Bruce
                      09/18/2010 at 11:49 PM

                      Oh, heck no, I ain’t leaving the blog, child!

                      In fact, Rich, I have been thinking about this long
                      complicated legal post on the 5th Amendment.

                      Now that is something for us I think we can all agree gives us all something to live for!

                  • Cara
                    09/19/2010 at 2:33 AM

                    I have a place in Rehoboth. Don’t think I don’t keep the eyes in the back of my head open.

                  • carolina
                    09/20/2010 at 12:28 AM

                    Knowing Joe, it could be both!

          • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
            09/19/2010 at 10:24 AM

            Bruce, take it up with WordPress. They have very, very limited choices when it comes to avatars. And it’s automated.

            If you don’t like yours then add you own and stop complaining about the quilt-style avatar that was assigned to you.

            For pete sake.

            • AnnaZed
              09/19/2010 at 11:50 AM

              It’s not complicated. Go to this page:

              http://en.gravatar.com/

              and upload a photo or use something they already have. Looks like Jack Black as Nacho Libre is being featured on the homepage, that could work.

            • 09/19/2010 at 11:56 AM

              CDinDC: I’m surprised you didn’t get Bruce’s joke. Maybe you’re stressed, overworked? Take a deep breath and try reading his post again. Even I “got” it. It was funny.

              • AnnaZed
                09/19/2010 at 11:59 AM

                Oh, looking back and seeing Bruce being funny (I get all of these posts on email and sometimes can’t be bothered to look up context) and, yes, Bruce was being funny! My avatar/gravatar advice is still sound though.

                • denton
                  09/19/2010 at 12:16 PM

                  Did you just change your quilt? I like the other one better (you look like Margaret Thatcher in the kitchen), just teasin..

                  • denton
                    09/19/2010 at 5:28 PM

                    My mistake! I went far back to try to find a sort of green quilt with a lady with the hat on who looks like Margaret Thatcher in the kitchen but could not locate it.

                    No, you have not changed your quilt. Sorry about that. My apologies also to a poster with that quilt. I thought it was stunning to look at.

                    • AnnaZed
                      09/19/2010 at 5:37 PM

                      Did you mean this one?

                      That is Hello Kitty Darth Vader, but he looks a bit like Mrs. thatcher now that you mention it.

                    • denton
                      09/19/2010 at 7:35 PM

                      Precisely. It was you “Gorgious” (Thatcher look alike)!

                      Note: I don’t see reply button below your reply. Perhaps, the thread was at the end. Am I in 2010 or 2020?

              • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                09/19/2010 at 3:06 PM

                gloria,

                No I didn’t get the joke at first blush, because he replied to Cat’s comment and his comment seems to be related to another post.

                The format used to follow posts gets a bit difficult when the posts start adding up.

                Scrolling up and down following the little blue lines is a bit ineffective if a reply is not applied to the proper post.

            • Bruce
              09/19/2010 at 2:35 PM

              Dear CDinCD:

              I meant no disrespect to avatars singularly or in combination. I have absolutely no issue with mine, coming to love it.

              I was attempting to make some (lame) funniness.

              I do think that due to the immediacy of posting and that some may not have full context, a joke can be misinterpreted easily on here. I need to keep that in my head and make sure that posts are clarified to make sure people know its a joke if it is.

              I love everyone’s avatar, including mine. Sorry for the lame attempt at humor.

              • Clio
                09/19/2010 at 2:52 PM

                Bruce, I actually enjoyed your joke and, to me, there was/is no need to explain it. But that’s just me.

                In the beginning, I must admit that I was not so sure about the quilts in general, but, as Craig so graciously suggested, they do make for a nifty caftan pattern.

              • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                09/19/2010 at 3:08 PM

                Hi Bruce,

                sorry about that. I didn’t get your joke at first blush. Seems your reply directly under Cat’s threw me off.

                No worries.

                The format for following postings can be a bit tedious sometimes. Those little blue lines literally blur together sometimes.

              • Cat from Cleveland
                09/19/2010 at 8:43 PM

                Fwiw, I thought it was funny. . . and I’m the one with the silliest avatar of all.

                • Rich
                  09/19/2010 at 9:12 PM

                  Okay, it only took the entire day of reading these posts.

                  The, “Avatar,” is the, “Icon,” in the upper right hand corner of the post.

                  Are we all bored today?

                  Or, just thirsty for a new Editor Posting?

                  • denton
                    09/19/2010 at 9:18 PM

                    Both, I guess!

                • bigfatmike
                  09/20/2010 at 3:10 AM

                  ‘silliest avatar’

                  You may be proud of having the ‘silliest’ avatar. And if you are that is fine.

                  But I think ‘silly’ almost demeans your avatar.

                  It is certainly one of the very nicest I have seen any where.

                  I particularly like the off center placement of the eye which gives your avatar a character somewhere between knowing and wise.

                  I could say more, but will instead finish by saying again that ‘silly’ just doesn’t come close.

      • 09/17/2010 at 10:22 PM

        Re: “…The legal system will deal with this in due course…”
        Has every “crime” in the U.S. been “justifiablely” settled?

      • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
        09/17/2010 at 10:39 PM

        meh.

        • susan
          09/17/2010 at 11:00 PM

          Bill is funny. He keeps coming back and back and back and then wondering why there’s something to come back to.

          Then again, maybe Bill feels that since he left weeks ago, this site should’ve closed shop. After all, He wasn’t here!

          Maybe, too, he realizes that a community has formed here and he feels left out. In any case, we can be sure of one thing: He’ll be back!

          • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
            09/18/2010 at 8:50 AM

            Bill doth protest too much.

            • Clio
              09/18/2010 at 9:10 AM

              Another Shakespeare reference — ROFL! If this was not such a real and ongoing tragedy, it could be an English literature seminar for lifelong learners (like Lil Dyl).

            • denton
              09/18/2010 at 9:15 AM

              Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act III, scene II – very nice, CDDC

              Rich/the editors, and ALL WMRW troopers above,

              I feel from this experience that WMRW “village” is sacred. Now I know how Robert would have felt like the night of August 2nd.

              We can not stop this site.

      • Craig
        09/18/2010 at 12:14 PM

        Bill: What keeps bringing you back? I’m curious about reader habits, boosters and critics alike.

        • Clio
          09/19/2010 at 10:26 AM

          My guess for the recidivism and, most disturbing, addiction of certain readers and posters — whether on Team Wone or Team Price — is Mr. Regan’s last statement above: “Every lawyer has to have a few surprises.” The biggest and most horrible surprise befell Robert in that 1886 sardine can, of course, but the perps in turn must have been surprised by the incompetence of the late-night show of Norris & Wagner and, then, by the emergence and popularity of this weblog.

          Lil Dyl seemed to be surprised by his 2008 indictment and all-too-brief stay in the Florida brig. We were all taken aback by the defense’s choice of a bench trial that led to their Pyrrhic victory of Lynn’s “cold comfort.” And, I would guess that Di is still puzzled over the contents of her son’s erotica collection. Similarly, I would guess that Sarah is still wondering about the level of suspicion and scorn directed her way.

          So, the unfolding of the prosecution of this case continues to surprise everyone, even if the most ardent defenders of the trouple may agree with Lynn’s finding of a moral certainty that the three male residents of 1509 Swann had something to do with the murder. It’s a mystery that we are still treating this as a mystery: only in legalistic America! And, that’s not a surprise, unfortunately.

        • denton
          09/19/2010 at 11:04 AM

          Dear Captain Rich/Craig/the Editors, and “all” WMRW troopers,

          You gals/guys were “really” chasing the “ninja” away like the 911 troopers in John Walsh AMW. This episode was called “Dupont CSI Cyber Assault” (stab with a cross, not a kitchen knife at 1509 Swann).

          I admire “all of you” guts!

          By the way, my identity is fake if Bill comes back again. It could have been about my question relating to “circumstantial evidences” that provoked him.

          I now am 99.99% positive (still not proven) Robert did email Kathy for “SOS” just before he lost conscious. That email never got sent, and later was edited.

          Can’t help but thinking it was JP or his brother sighting who showed up at WMRW recently after doses of stuff at Friday night party. I cut/paste below from “Mind Games?” as dc”bill” wrote similar “context.”

          dcbill on 09/14/2010 at 3:53 PM

          dcbill on 09/14/2010 at 4:46 PM
          No. The people on this site should come to their senses and realize that endless speculation about this and that will not solve this horrendous murder. Shy abundant new evidence or a confession, it will remain a mystery. But I guess acceptance of that doesn’t fuel a popular website. : )

          Don’t anyone go away without a trace! Chilaw79 made us stick together.

        • carolina
          09/20/2010 at 12:37 AM

          I continue to read because I care– about Robert and Kathy Wone, the broad possibilities of who did what to whom, the faint possibility that none of the three wielded that knife, and about the legal maneuverings on both sides.

  2. AnnaZed
    09/17/2010 at 11:37 AM

    “…Defendants don’t assert their fifth amendment rights if they are not guilty of something.”

    If only it were all so simple.

    One day and I already find myself thinking, “I’ll just wait until ChiLaw posts so that I can get a handle on things,” but alas her wisdom will not be waiting for me when next I check the blog.

  3. Just Another Friend
    09/17/2010 at 11:55 AM

    Giggling at the subtle cross-blog reference in the post title. Sign Dunn!

  4. Michael
    09/17/2010 at 12:36 PM

    Like I said before (when you guys first announced Judge Hedge’s retirement), she’ll take senior status and finish this case. It’s going to be the spearhead to her career.

    • Rich
      09/17/2010 at 1:05 PM

      Dear Michael:

      Overseeing the WMRW case is a celebrated way of going out and wrapping up your career, unless, you make a Gawd Awful decision that is not politically correct or popular.

      You can bet that she will see this case through to the completion.

      And, frankly, having witnessed her comments and approach yesterday. I couldn’t see where she thought she was clocking out early?

      She kept staring at her calendar approaching Thanksgiving and Christmas, and, if you’re retiring with days thereafter, you’re not too concerned about how long things will take.

      She appeared as if she was planning on seeing this matter close under her watch.

      Gloria, do you agree?

      • 09/17/2010 at 1:35 PM

        More so. All parties agreed to set the October 17 date, acknowledging that doing so was a gamble. The judge has a medical malpractice case already set for that time. They gamble is that that case will be settled before going to trial. But if not …. this trial will be moved again. Don’t write the date in ink unless you’re using invisible ink.

        • Rich
          09/17/2010 at 2:02 PM

          Yep!

          As I’ve said repeatedly in the past, easily looking at New Year’s 2012 before it’s near over.

          Thanks.

        • 09/17/2010 at 2:30 PM

          Ooops, to be clear in what I meant. The gamble is that the judge’s medical malpractice case will be settled. If so, that would open a big block of time on her schedule (in 2011) which the Wone trial would fill. If the medical malpractice case is not settled … that’s when the disappearing ink comes in. (Or pencil.)

          You think scheduling a dinner date with a busy friend is difficult? Ha.

  5. Anon34
    09/17/2010 at 1:02 PM

    I sometimes wonder whether Kathy– in theory– would settle the case in exchange for (1) the verifiable truth and (2) a healthy scholarship in Robert’s name or something similar. The 5th Amendment assertions are a reminder such a deal wouldn’t be possible because the Trouple have not been tried criminally for any homicide offense (and therefore jeopardy has not attached).

    Although I agreed with (and anticipated) the judge’s criminal acquittal on the reasonable doubt standard, I cannot imagine the plaintiffs losing on the preponderance standard if the defense counters with only 5th Amendment assertions and spooky D.C. burglary stories. We’ll see.

    Also….

    Very nice Talking Heads reference Craig 😉

    As it happens, I recently printed several T-shirts co-opting the Citibank logo and simply reading “Cities”– I get a lot of perplexed stares and a very occasional appreciative nod. If you’re at all interested, I may have one in your size (gratis of course). Just beware that you may be approached by some of my fellow PHiSH phans who will assume you can fluently debate the 4.5.98 version versus the 6.14.00 version & etc.

    • Craig
      09/17/2010 at 2:50 PM

      That’s a debate I can’t win, but if the topic ever turns to the best Dead show during their legendary May ’77 run, I’m there. Barton Hall, hands down. Second set, transplendent. [Note: That is NOT a typo, Clio]

      PS: Thanks for the reminder. I guess this post really does need a T-Heads tag.

      PPS: I wear size large. Obviously.

      • Rich
        09/17/2010 at 2:54 PM

        Dear Craig:

        Always opt for XL. The T’s shrink and it provides you room to grow into it. 🙂

        Not, that you need it.

  6. 09/17/2010 at 1:18 PM

    If you have not been in the courtroom, you cannot fully appreciate the quality of the reporting b7 our blessed editors (who, by the way, guys and gals, are all CUTE — by now, I’ve seen ’em all). I was there again, taking notes and listening intently but, compared to Craig’s report, I must have been asleep. The the editors are giving you just about everything (and write like dreams). Amazing.

    Just 4 small points to add: First, whenever the defense (remember, 3 different defendants) brought up the Fifth Amendment strategy they planned, the judge would retort with the word “compel,” laying out HER strategy.

    Second, the judge asked why the attorneys were asking for more time, drawing a contrast to the length of the criminal trial. One of the attorneys (ALL male, hey!!) said: “we expect there will be issues.” The judge came back with: “there always ARE!”

    Third, estimating a long time for jury selection, the judge referred to the publicity surrounding the case as a “problem.” Not “issue” but “problem.” OK, I’m overreacting.

    Fourth, in reporting the hallway grilling of the lawyer by “the media” and Regan’s dig about the perception of guilt when invoking the Fifth, missing is the local color that the huddle included the defense attorneys also. They were leaning in to hear the plaintiff’s strategy and raised up on their tiptoes at Regan’s dig. Although they looked ready to bust, turning red in their collective faces, I presume they thought better of arguing the point in the hallway, because they were not so keen for the media reps to turn to them for grilling.

    Missing you, Chilaw79.

  7. susan
    09/17/2010 at 1:27 PM

    Right next to KA’s Post article on the recent developments in the Wone case is his article on Judge Lynn’s verdict in another gruesome case: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/16/AR2010091605879.html

    BTW, these headlines “compel” me to find resonance with the case in lyrics. This really is Positively 4th Street–just the other side of 5th:

    You got a lotta nerve
    To say you are my friend
    When I was down
    You just stood there grinning

    You got a lotta nerve
    To say you got a helping hand to lend
    You just want to be on
    The side that’s winning

    ********

    You say you lost your faith
    But that’s not where it’s at
    You had no faith to lose
    And you know it

    I know the reason
    That you talk behind my back
    I used to be among the crowd
    You’re in with

    ******

    When you know as well as me
    You’d rather see me paralyzed
    Why don’t you just come out once
    And scream it

    *******

    And now I know you’re dissatisfied
    With your position and your place
    Don’t you understand
    It’s not my problem

    I wish that for just one time
    You could stand inside my shoes
    And just for that one moment
    I could be you

    Yes, I wish that for just one time
    You could stand inside my shoes
    You’d know what a drag it is
    To see you

    Compliments of Mr. Dylan–BOB Dylan

  8. Clio
    09/17/2010 at 9:45 PM

    Craig, I found your comparison of the two floors both revealing and well-written. Your nicely-nuanced analysis raises all kinds of implicit questions about social class and the “justice” system. Bravo!

    • denton
      09/19/2010 at 7:56 PM

      That is Craig’s “vacation home.” He has rented it to the government.

  9. Clio
    09/18/2010 at 9:43 AM

    From that photo above, Brook does seem to have a certain inner serenity emanating from her face, which has more than a passing resemblance to George Washington. With just the right powdered wig and ribbon, they could be Virginia cousins!

    • Nelly
      09/19/2010 at 5:43 AM

      I thought the same thing!

  10. Rich
    09/19/2010 at 11:51 AM

    Based on the last 6 Posts, it’s getting complicated again?

    Maybe a new posting form the Editors or the return of, “Smut,” discussion will help.

    If, we’re going to get, “Legalistic,” again, it might help if we had Chi Law.

    • denton
      09/19/2010 at 12:18 PM

      I had no clue either! Too complicated!

      • Clio
        09/19/2010 at 1:37 PM

        Ladies and gentlemen (at the same time), what’s too complicated about avatar styling and/or the reasons for the blog’s continued longevity?

        BTW, for the advanced reading group, I recommend:

        (1) Pippa Holloway’s Sexuality, Politics, and Social Control in Virginia, 1920-1945 examines the roots of some of the entrenched laws and practices in the Old Dominion that Joe and Dyl, among others, were trying to eliminate.

        (2) Patti Smith’s memoir, Just Kids, provides the reader with an honest look at connections and (dis)connections between women of whatever sexuality and their gay male friends. It also underscores the truism that Sarah may not be telling us all that she knows about her (former?) boyz.

        (3) Mark Merlis’ novel, Man About Town, is a deliciously downbeat look at the mid-life crises of middle-class gay men in DC in 1994 and 1995. The trouple’s possible social context is thus exquisitely portrayed: no one should miss the line — “you are as good as I could do.”

        • denton
          09/19/2010 at 2:05 PM

          I love reading in the mind of people but I’d take (3) Man About Town. Sounds complicated enough about the mid-life crises of middle-class gay men. Thanks. Off I go, with the book that you suggested.

        • Rich
          09/19/2010 at 2:09 PM

          Way OVER my head.

          All of this, “Avatar,” discussion to date takes me back to James Cameron’s Movie called, “Avatar.”

          I think, we’re talkng about something else here.

          No need to explain.

          That would suggest, I’m interested in learning more. 🙂

  11. AnnaZed
    09/19/2010 at 5:38 PM

    Oh cripes, never mind denton. I can’t get it to change now.

    • denton
      09/19/2010 at 7:45 PM

      Well, then, AnnaZed, Hello Kitty Darth Vader is not a bad looking man. I won’t recognize your post if you change it!

    • denton
      09/19/2010 at 9:14 PM

      Alright, alright, so what’s the name of this guy who is puffing his pipe here? An outback dude, or National Georgraphic amazon explorer?

      • Clio
        09/19/2010 at 10:24 PM

        Denton, I thought it was Sherlock Holmes, after a particularly intense evening spent, as usual, with Dr. Watson!

        Luckily, both men escaped with their lives, if not their dignity.

        • AnnaZed
          09/19/2010 at 10:50 PM

          That is he, Holmes, the great detective.

        • denton
          09/19/2010 at 11:02 PM

          Clio – I’d tell ya.., I try that Gravatar thing alll day as Rich has just finally figured out from what you gals/guy have been fussing about (it’s such a long, boring day), it ain’t working! I can’t change my quilt. Although if I use my real email, I probably can get it to work. Nope. Not gonna do it.

          Agree, this Sherlock Holmes looks more than serious! What was he thinking about?

          • AnnaZed
            09/19/2010 at 11:21 PM

            You have to use the email that you used (if you did) to post here or at any other WordPress site. It then changes the gravatar universally everyplace that you post.

            • denton
              09/19/2010 at 11:32 PM

              Thank you detective Holmes! I will try again.

  12. susan
    09/19/2010 at 9:35 PM

    Great avatar, AnnaZed.

    Legal question: How broad a net can the prosecution cast with their interrogatories? For instance, can they contact anyone the trouple knows, or who they think might have info.? Or must they limit their contacts to people with whom they believe have specific information regarding that night and be able to back up why a specific person is contacted?

    Thanks.

    • AnnaZed
      09/19/2010 at 11:02 PM

      I wonder this too Susan. I sincerely hope that the civil procedures allow for more probing, not less.

      • Bea
        09/20/2010 at 12:39 AM

        Just a note on Bruce’s comment below. I think you’re asking if interrogatories can be sent to ANYONE and that answer is ‘no’ – just the parties. They can DEPOSE any non-party but can’t send them interrogatories. I agree with the rest of what Bruce said, which answers the wider question – the parties should answer any interrogatory which doesn’t fall into a privileged category so long as it is sufficiently relevant to the proceedings so as to be ‘reasonably’ calculated to lead to admissible evidence.

        Most judges will allow it to go pretty far afield – for example Joe (in my mind) SHOULD have to answer a question asking for all the names/addresses of any “third” found via the alt dot com trolling he did (to see if any were drugged, saw the men using needles, found themselves being ‘trounced’ upon by the duo). Whether Joe would honestly answered if compelled by the judge is another thing entirely – and whether the “thirds” would honestly answer should they be deposed yet another question entirely.

        • Bruce
          09/20/2010 at 1:34 AM

          Bea is, of course, correct.

          Interrogatories only go between the parties. You can’t serve a non-party with interrogatories.

          Same thing applies to requests to admit. Those are only between parties, not for non-parties.

          Same for requests for production of documents (unless you serve the non-party with a subpoena with a subpoena).

          Requests to admit are only between the parties, not non-parties.

          The primary way to obtain information from non-parties is through subpoenas for deposition and for documents.

          But, again, the above is all “formal” discovery.

          Through “informal” discovery, however, you can try to talk to anyone you want, except your opposing parties. There is no prohibition to this. It is just that you may not be successful, and then you are reduced to subpoening them for their deposition.

          I think the a good thing you can get from non-parties through informal discovery is to get them to write and sign a written statement. Better yet, get them to agree to a recorded statement under oath.

        • susan
          09/20/2010 at 11:37 PM

          Bea, Bruce, any other attys: is the JP and co. defense fund contributor list discoverable and do you think it’s worth being “discovered”? The fund is headed, as you know, by C. McGee, trustee, through Alston & Byrd (the place to which funds are mailed). Anyone caring enough to send $ might have info.

  13. Bruce
    09/19/2010 at 11:22 PM

    Hi Susan:

    If your question was directed to AnnaZed alone, I apologize for barging in, but was just about to go to bed, checked on the computer and saw your post, and…………

    Interrogatories do not generally get you much information. You are by no means limited in “discovery” to interrogs, requests for prod of documents, requests for admissions, or deps.

    Those items are what is called formal discovery that a judge will enforce through motions to compel or in other ways.

    But there is also “informal” discovery, which can get you sometimes more info than formal discovery. Each side is free to try to find out info in any legal way they can, including talking to anyone and hiring private investigators. I bet both sides have hired private investigators, especially the plaintiff’s attorneys, trying to get any information they can on the Swann 3 both before and after the murder.

    In terms of witnesses, you should in interrogatories ask the other side to give the names and addresses of everyone they have spoken to about any facts in the event, and to which they have communicated since the event, and designate their relationship with the answerer (school friend, family friend, close friend, etc.).

    But the real answer to your question, as best as I know, is that no one is limited in the discovery period to talking with anyone on the face of the earth (except the parties themselves, as discussed below), including obtaining signed or recorded statements from anyone on the earth.

    The only advantage of interrogatories in this regard is getting names from the other side to widen your net in contacting people. The opposing party, and their attorneys, may surprise you with some names you had not heard of before, in their answers to interrogatories.

    But there is nothing to stop the attorneys for either side to “walk the pavement,” use the phones, and hire private detectives (or anyone) to try to contact anyone.

    Of course, any persons you contact in this manner must agree to speak to you.

    Many won’t, particularly if they are considered to be on the other team, so to speak. But some will talk, so it is worth a trial. I have found in my practice that some people will just talk and talk and talk, even if they are somewhat connected to the other side.

    If they don’t agree to talk with you or your agent, you subpoena them for a deposition. A subpoena is an order by the court, that a person is ordered to appear at a certain time and place for their deposition (or to appear in court for testimony, or produce certain documents, etc.). Problem with that is that you have to invite the opposing counsel to attend a depositon.

    The only persons the parties and their attorneys can’t directly contact are the opposing parties themselves.

    There are rules of ethics and professionalism that attorneys have to follow. Ok, I know what many will say about that, but the plain truth is that a vast majority of attorneys follow those rules religiously. You don’t want your law license taken away from you if you are found to have violated an ethical rule. Makes it kinda hard to make the $$.

    If Joe wants to talk to Mrs. Wone (or visa versa), he needs to contact his attorney (because he should not put the opposing attorney in the awkward and smoky ethics position of talking directly with Joe), and have his (Joe’s) attorney call Mrs. Wone’s attorney to get her agreement.

    I think you can agree that will never happen, Mrs. Wone’s attorneys would never allow it, even if Mrs. Wone’s was friendly to the idea — which she would not be anyway.

    Hope that helps, and sorry for barging in, if I am.

    • susan
      09/20/2010 at 8:37 PM

      Thanks very much, Bruce and Bea, for enlightening me and others on the fifth.

Comments are closed.