We Remember Caylee Marie Anthony

We Remember Caylee Marie Anthony
Last Photo of Caylee: 6.15.08

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Jose Baez, the lead attorney for Casey Anthony, is reportedly being investigated -- again -- by the Florida Bar association after a complaint was filed against him.
Florida's bar association will investigate a complaint filed against Jose Baez, incurred while he was defending Casey Anthony, a spokeswoman for the legal group said.

Zannah Lyle, a spokeswoman for the Florida Bar, said the complaint against Baez concerns his handling of when his client Casey Anthony would serve probation for her 2010 conviction on check-fraud charges
It's unclear whether the Bar initiated the inquiry on its own, or if someone filed a complaint against Baez.

As with all such complaints, a panel of attorneys in the area where the complaint originated -- in this case, in Orlando -- will investigate, said Lyle. That legal panel, after hearing from the accused, could turn over the case to a grievance committee consisting of other lawyers and citizens if it decides that rules regarding professional conduct had been violated.

The grievance committee would then decide if there is probable cause for a violation. Ultimately, the complaint may be heard by Florida's Supreme Court -- with possible penalties for the lawyer including probation, suspension or revocation of his law license, according to Lyle.

This newest complaint pertains to whether or not Anthony's defense team had an obligation to inform the court that Anthony was "serving" her probation while already in jail - an unusual circumstance that reportedly went against the intentions of the judge in the check fraud case and was brought on by what Judge Belvin Perry called a "scrivener's error." 

So, basically the issue is this-- if an attorney is aware of a clerical error that goes against a judge's ruling, is it his or her duty to report it?

While Baez's confidence and cockiness may appeal only to himself, Casey Anthony, and a handful of others, this recent investigation with the Florida Bar may just be the blow to knock Baez down a notch from his proverbial podium. Baez's recent comment that this new complaint will "go away just as all the others." - have many believing Baez is 'untouchable'.

Baez told tabloid TMZ that he's "looking forward to the bar completing its investigation, so that it can be dismissed just like the 20 previous complaints. It is part of the job whenever you fight an unpopular case." 

In summary, the complaint issued to the Florida Bar surrounds these events pertaining to Baez's handling of the terms of Casey Anthony's probation ordered in 2010:

Anthony was convicted of felony check fraud for stealing a checkbook from a friend and writing five checks for $644.25. Orange County Superior Court Judge Stan Strickland ordered her to serve the year of probation following her release in the charges involving her daughter, but a clerk misunderstood the judge and prepared an order that the judge later signed instructing that Anthony would serve the probation while in custody awaiting trial.

The order was updated August 1 to add the words "upon release." But Anthony's lawyers -- including Baez -- contend she cannot be made to serve probation if she served it while in custody under a signed order from Strickland, saying it would violate constitutional protections against having to serve a sentence twice for the same offense.

Orange County Chief Judge Belvin Perry Jr. ruled  that Strickland's verbal order was binding, and that "to bar the court from correcting a clerical mistake and to permit the defendant to serve probation in jail while awaiting trial on a totally unrelated charge without any possibility of complying with the terms of the probation order would clearly thwart society's interest in extracting a full, fair and just punishment for a crime."
Anthony's attorneys filed an emergency petition with Florida's 5th District Court of Appeal on Wednesday, asking that court to overturn Perry's order before the required date. They also asked the appellate court to strip Perry of further jurisdiction in the case.

In his ruling, Perry wrote that Baez "was well aware that the probation was to begin upon the defendant's release from jail." To use a mistake to seek a result that wasn't the court's intent, according to the judge, "strikes at the very foundation of our justice system."

"While ignorance of the contents of a court order is one thing, the failure to abide by that order and the failure to notify the court of a known scrivener's error in the order may be a violation of an attorney's duty of candor," Perry wrote.

Baez has been the target of several other Bar inquiries since taking on Anthony's case in the summer of 2008.   The following is  a sampling of the many complaints filed:

*In September 2009, the Bar cleared Baez of an ethical complaint accusing him of getting paid inappropriately in the case.

*That same month, the Bar cleared Baez of ethics allegations made by private investigator Dominic Casey, who claimed Baez never paid him. He also said the attorney told him to walk away from Caylee's remains if he ever found them and contact Baez. Both complaints were dismissed based on insufficient evidence.

*Strickland wrote the Bar about the Dominic Casey incident, also resulting in no formal action against Baez.

*The Bar initiated its own investigation into Jose Baez after the state Attorney's office faxed news releases that seemed to be generated on his behalf by his former spokesman that were critical of State Attorney Lawson Lamar. The Bar found no disciplinary proceedings against Baez were appropriate.

*The Bar confirmed a separate complaint against Baez in early February. Specific details about that complaint have not been released.

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Remember Caylee

Song: "Mad World" Gary Jules "I find it kinda funny, I find it kinda sad. The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had.. It's a mad, mad world.." Video courtesy Sean Krause '08 Sleep Well Friend, Justice for Caylee has finally begun ~SM 6.23.11

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