That number, which is hooked up to our Google Voice account, also accepts voice mails. We strongly prefer text-based tips, via email or text message, over voicemail tips (which require us to listen and transcribe). But you can leave us voicemails if you like.
The verdict in the Casey Anthony case reflected the lack of forensic evidence and heavy reliance on circumstantial inferences. There was no evidence of a cause of death, the time of death, or the circumstances surrounding the actual death of this young girl. There was sufficient circumstantial evidence from which the jury could have inferred homicide. But a reasonable jury could also have rejected that conclusion, as this jury apparently did.
First, I just want you all to know that I hate you guys for making me follow this story. Seriously, I even wrote wrote a song about it.
Anyway, Casey Anthony has been sentenced for lying to the cops. She’s getting four years. BUT, she’s getting credit for her time already served. That means she could be out by late July or August.
I’ll now pause for you to express your collective outrage….
- Cocaine / Crack, Crime, Drugs, Murder, New Jersey, Paul Bergrin, Prostitution, U.S. Attorneys Offices
I’ll always be grateful to Paul Bergrin, the New Jersey federal prosecutor turned notorious criminal defense attorney. Thanks to him, I’ll never have to worry about being the most scandalous alumnus of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.
While working as an assistant U.S. attorney, I wrote a mildly snarky blog about federal judges, pretending to be a woman, until I outed myself in the pages of the New Yorker. That pales in comparison to what Bergrin stands accused of doing, including (but not limited to) the following: operating a real-estate scam, which defrauded lenders of over $1 million; running a high-volume drug dealership, which was apparently big enough to move 120 pounds of uncut cocaine; running an illegal escort service; and, most seriously of all, having witnesses murdered to keep them from testifying against his clients.
It’s hard to believe that Paul Bergrin was once a federal prosecutor. It’s not hard to believe that he is, in the words of New York magazine, “The Baddest Lawyer in the History of Jersey.”
But let’s recall that the charges against Bergrin are just that — charges, which Bergrin disputes. Last week, represented by prominent defense lawyer Lawrence Lustberg, Bergrin appeared in federal court in Newark and pleaded not guilty to all 33 counts in the 139-page indictment. Bergrin’s trial is currently set for October 11 before Judge William J. Martini.
In light of the astounding charges leveled against him, Paul Bergrin has taken on a larger-than-life aura — the man, the myth, the legend. What is he really like?
Got this email in the ol’ inbox this morning — a missive from Jose Baez, the successful defense lawyer of Casey Anthony, who was just acquitted of charges that she killed her daughter (murder and manslaughter).
Thought I’d forward it on to you good folks. Read it if you want. Don’t cost nothing.
To: [email protected]
Subject: Hey A-hole!
Date: Wed, 06 Jul 2011 05:29:00 -0600
I’m sorry that it’s taken me this long to respond to the thoughtful criticisms levied against me in your post written almost a month ago, when you named me Above the Law’s Lawyer of the Day and suggested I was in over my head on the Casey Anthony case.
In the whirlwind that is my life, I occasionally misplace things, and your post was just one of those things. It’s probably better this way, as I’ve had the opportunity to collect my thoughts and give you the reasoned response your thoughtfulness begs for. Almost a month on, I think it’s fair to say….
Television news sources are reporting that Casey Anthony has been found not guilty of first degree murder, aggravated child abuse, or aggravated manslaughter of a child.
Casey Anthony was found guilty of four counts of providing false information to law enforcement officers.
HLN, the news channel that has been covering this trial since it started, all day, every day, is having a freakin’ field day. Mothers all over the country are ripping their hair out of their heads. Nancy Grace didn’t just have a cow — she gave birth to an entire herd.
Is Jose Baez, Casey Anthony’s lawyer, the Latino Johnnie Cochran? Either way, he’s looking forward to many, many incoming client calls.
As I noted in today’s Morning Docket, Casey would’ve gotten some first degree murder for breakfast from me. Instead, all she got was a few slaps on the wrist.
Will we ever find out what really happened to Caylee Anthony? Sadly, I don’t think the answer to that question is yes.
We will continue to provide relevant updates to this post throughout the day as they arise. Refresh this post for the latest.
UPDATE (2:55 PM): Do you think Casey Anthony was guilty? Take our poll, and see how your fellow ATL readers voted, after the jump….
The stories coming out of Mercer Law School yesterday evening and this morning are surreal. Yesterday in Non-Sequiturs we mentioned that a recent Mercer Law graduate, Lauren Giddings, was found dead. Decapitated.
UPDATE: We understand that the Macon police department is not confirming that the body is that of Lauren Giddings. As of now, she’s still listed as missing.
FURTHER UPDATE (7/12/11): It appears that the body found was that of Lauren Giddings. Read more here.
Understandably, this has put the Mercer Law campus on edge. Giddings had returned to school to study for the bar, and there are a lot of people there who are now worrying about their safety.
Even more disturbingly, Giddings’s neighbor, who is also a Mercer Law graduate, has been arrested on burglary charges.
And there are police dogs roving around campus looking for missing body parts…
I knew the moment would come when I’d have to watch a full hour of Nancy Grace and I was not looking forward to it. The daytime anchors and hosts had been mere fluffers for Nancy Grace’s performance at night and there were multiple teases to her show throughout the day. For Nancy Grace is the shrieking televangelist of something called victims’ rights. In her worldview, there are saintly victims and black-hatted criminals who roam the earth, preying on the canonized. Previously, I knew she had been criticized for picking the wrong saints. While the Duke Lacrosse case had made fools of many, very few had been as brazen and unapologetic as Ms. Grace.
This, of course, made something like Caylee Anthony’s tragic death a sort of no-lose proposition for Nancy Grace. Caylee is dead and she’ll always be dead and all the wild conjecture in the world won’t change that heartbreaking fact. I planned to watch three solid hours of Headline News last night, starting with the full-frontal assault of Nancy Grace and giving myself two solid hours of cool down with Dr. Drew and Joy Behar.
So I sat up straight on my couch, turned the channel back to Headline News, and steadied myself for the onslaught….
Lat: Hey Juggs, I’ve got an assignment for you. Wait, why aren’t you wearing a shirt?
Me: Why are you wearing a top hat?
L: Touché. Listen, I have an idea for a pretty delicious story. Did you read that article in the Times about Headline News’s coverage of the Casey Anthony trial?
M: I only read Mad Magazine.
L: Okay, well, listen. Is there any way you can put on a shirt?
M: *mumbles angrily and stomps off camera to find a respectable shirt*
L: Okay, cool. Listen, that post you did about Jose Baez got some deliciously high page views. This trial is apparently through-the-roof popular and I think I know what you can do to cover it.
M: Go on.
L: I want you to… wait for it… spend a day watching Headline News. You watch the coverage, scribble down some thoughts and… presto! We’ve got ourselves a delicious post.
M: Do I have to wear a shirt?
L: Jesus, what the f**k is it with you and shirts? No. God, I don’t care. Wear whatever you want. Just watch TV and write down your thoughts. You think you can do that?
M: Sure. I’ll be like Marlow, exploring the Heart of Darkness.
L: That’s another thing. Your random literary references. They barely make sense and I’m pretty sure you haven’t read any books.
M: Your top hat’s stupid.
L: Okay, just do this. Ciao.
M: Seacrest out.
And so it begins….
Anyone who is a lawyer knows that sinking feeling. The feeling that comes when someone else finds out you’re a lawyer and starts telling you about whatever garden-variety awfulness has visited their lives. They prattle on about who knows what, because you’ve tuned out. But they keep going and the inevitable finally arrives at the end of their embarrassing story. “So you’re a lawyer. What should I do?”
If you’re quick-witted enough to come up with a response and slow-footed enough not to run away, you tell them that there are lawyers with really big advertisements in the yellow pages who could probably help them out. You grab your pizza rolls, Funyuns, and Olde English, and you slowly back out of the store.
This is what you do when you’re wise enough to know that being a lawyer doesn’t mean you can tackle any legal quandary or situation. When you know that there are situations better served by better lawyers. This is what you do when you are not named Jose Baez.
Baez has made quite the name for himself as the attorney for Casey Anthony. She’s the chick accused of killing her daughter, and Baez is the freshly minted lawyer who thinks he has the right stuff to keep her from being executed by the state of Florida.
Spoiler alert: Jose Baez does not appear to have the right stuff, at least in my opinion. After the jump, learn a bit about Señor Baez, his kooky past, and his unwavering commitment to himself…