Two Birds, One Response
In the just filed Defense Response to Motion to Intervene, Victor Zaborsky’s counsel Sean Edwards takes the opportunity to respond to both the media’s motion from November 2, and Covington’s Opposition that was entered on October 27.
On page four of the defense motion, the defense distills their basic argument: “Here, Defendants merely seek to enjoin counsel from speaking to the press. They do not seek to enjoin the press itself from reporting on this lawsuit.”
They maintain the DC Bar rules on professional conduct do not go far enough and they want all attorneys muzzled when it comes to talking with the media.
Still stinging from Wone attorney Patrick Regan’s courthouse trash talking after the September 16 status hearing, the defense maintains that long after the ink has been splashed, the stains remain.
While referring to plaintiff’s previous extrajudicial statements as, “patently untrue… inflammatory and fallacious… not only misleading, but salacious and slanderous,” they zero in on Regan’s statement that, “Defendants don’t assert their fifth amendment rights if they are not guilty of something,” remains poisonous to the jury pool even though the trial date is remote (exactly eleven months from today).
To butress that claim, Edwards attaches as an exhibit, Keith Alexander’s September 17 Washington Post write-up of the status which featured the Regan quote and was headlined, “Wone roommates won’t testify in trial.”
The story ran on B-4 of the Metro section, but the attachment is the online version which includes a number of reader comments; comments which the defense says,”provides an example of the negative effect that such ill conceived and prejudicial comments by Counsel has on the potential jury pool.”
“This is like the “OJ” trial all over-They know what happened, and may even be the murderers, but it looks as if they get away with it simply by refusing to cooperate.”
“Ward, Price and Zaborsky have played the system and “won.” These three know (much about) what happened that night and are not telling. Their secrets and conspiracies bind them. I doubt it will be soon, but at some point their unholy pact will unravel.”
Singling out the hometown paper’s coverage, the motion says, “The publicity given in the Washington Post is just one example of many already provided of the media obsession with this case.”
The fix, the defense says is this:
“The only workable remedy to prevent an unfair trial through pollution of the jury pool is to enjoin counsel from further filtering prejudicial information into the press for public consumption. The injunction would not prohibit the press from reporting about this lawsuit, or from gathering facts from other sources. It just limits one of the sources that the media may otherwise utilize.”
Keith’s piece garnered 15 comments. Whether the anonymous authors of those remarks are a representative sample of the jury pool that awaits the three defendants remains to be seen and is now in Judge Brook Hedge’s hands.