Does Jose Baez Understand How to Legally Establish a Witness is Hostile?

26 Mar

During a court hearing on March 24, 2011, while questioning a police officer who worked with a cadaver locating canine in the search for Caylee Anthony in 2008, Mr. Baez attempted to declare the witness as adverse.  Ms. Burdick, the prosecutor, kindly interpreted Mr. Baez’s incorrect terminology to assume he was trying to establish the officer as a hostile witness, an declaration to which she objected.

A verbal exchange between Mr. Baez and the court, who requested Mr. Baez to explain the legal reasoning behind his request, may be heard and seen at the following link.

Jose Baez: “I think the requirement would be that this witness may be called by the opposing party and is a witness of the opposing party, he’s on the opposing party’s witness list and should be considered an adverse slash hostile witness.”

The word “witness” appears four times in this short statement.  Mr. Baez is sensitive about this officer being a “witness”.  Although Mr. Baez is in the middle of a hearing in which the defense is trying to suppress the findings of the canine, a ruling which would result in this “witness” most likely not being called at trial, Mr. Baez states, “this witness may be called by the opposing party”.  Mr. Baez is stating he believes this “witness” will testify at trial, indicating Mr. Baez does not believe his bid to suppress will be successful.  Mr. Baez is contemplating a future, even as he continues to question the “witness”, in which this officer will deliver testimony devastating to the defense in trial.

The phrase “adverse slash hostile witness” indicates Mr. Baez is unwilling to accept the kindness of the prosecutor who attempted to assist him in his use of flawed legal terminology, much as Mr. Baez refuses the kindness of Bullstopper in regards to advice concerning the proper use of the English language.  According to Wikipedia, “A hostile witness is sometimes known as an adverse witness or an unfavorable witness.”  So, while it seems it may be acceptable to “sometimes” refer to a hostile witness as an “adverse witness”, it seems clear from Ms. Burdick’s attempt to preclude any confusion, the term “hostile” is more appropriate.  An attorney should understand the use and importance of specific words, especially those involved in his profession, as an attorney’s job revolves around the meaning behind each word.

Judge Perry: “Well, you haven’t established anything that shows he’s hostile.”

Again referencing Wikipedia, “A witness called by the opposing party is presumed hostile. A witness called by the direct examiner can be declared hostile by a judge, at the request of the examiner, when the witness’ testimony is openly antagonistic or clearly prejudiced to the opposing party.”

In this instance, Mr. Baez is the direct examiner.  Mr. Baez called the witness.  Therefore, the witness is not “presumed hostile.”  Mr. Baez must show the officer’s testimony is “openly antagonistic or clearly prejudiced”.  Instead, Mr. Baez attempted to declare the witness hostile because he appears on the prosecution’s witness list.  Mr. Baez may not understand the legal ramifications of the defense calling a witness, no matter whose trial witness list on which they may appear, during a hearing.

Why would Mr. Baez wish to declare the witness hostile?

Again from Wikipedia, “A party examining a hostile witness may question the witness as if in cross-examination, thus permitting the use of leading questions.”

Mr. Baez does not possess the skill as a direct examiner to obtain the answers he wishes to be stated for the court record through the phrasing of his questions.  Mr. Baez feels he must lead the witness in order to accomplish his goals.

Jose Baez: “Oooookaaaaay… uhhh… now…”

Mr. Baez’s long, slow “Oooookaaaaay”, as well as his smirk and nervous laugh, indicates he does not understand why the judge is stating Mr. Baez did not establish “anything that shows he’s hostile”.  This points to a fundamental lack of knowledge on the part of Mr. Baez concerning the difference between direct and cross-examination.

Judge Perry: “So, objection will be sustained.”

Another loss for the defense due to the inexperience of lead counsel.

Jose Baez: “Can you read the last question back for me, please?”

Mr. Baez is so flustered by his loss, he has lost track of line of questioning, another sign of inexperience and poor planning.

We have learned Mr. Baez may not understand the legal subtleties involved when acting as the direct examiner as opposed to cross-examination, a lack of understanding which may cost Ms. Anthony her life.

We have learned Mr. Baez is terrified of the alerts of the canine to various evidence and locations throughout this investigation and believes they will be extremely damaging to his bid to win the freedom of Ms. Anthony, but does not believe he will be able to suppress the officer’s reports from trial.

We have learned anyone can learn what Mr. Baez doesn’t know from a one-minute trip to Wikipedia.


52 Responses to “Does Jose Baez Understand How to Legally Establish a Witness is Hostile?”

  1. Kim March 26, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    Wikipedia – do you believe it?!!!!

    • Venice March 26, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

      I can’t believe he is quoting Wikipedia!!! Good Lord. Anyone with common sense knows that Wikipedia is not a substantial or acceptable source for research. LOL!!!!!

      • Kim March 26, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

        Mainly because it can be manipulated easily and is completely unreliable – did Baez make the changes he wanted?

  2. Venice March 26, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    Jose Baez doesn’t know how to establish anything, especially a Capital Case defense. Great picture of the shiester. The look of defeat looks well on him.

  3. bullstopper March 26, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    Hey, I want to clear up any confusion here.

    Jose Baez is not quoting Wikipedia. I am.

    Although Wikipedia may not be an acceptable source for research, it is an excellent reference for the thoughts of the average person in regards to any particular issue.

    I often use Wikipedia as a jumping off point for further research. Many times, the articles are well-documented with original source material. Although others complain about the inaccuracy of Wikipedia information, I have found most of the articles to be extremely accurate.

    In addition, since the articles are written by people with an intense interest in a particular subject, but not usually with a scholarly or formal education in the subject matter, they tend to be easy to understand by readers at all levels of comprehension. In this respect, Wikipedia is much like my site. I am not a professional writer, I am not a legal expert, I do not possess any specialized knowledge about this case beyond what is publicly available.

    My point about Wikipedia in the article is even a buffoon like Jose can quickly look up “hostile witness” and find a decent beginning point for further research. However, as an attorney, he should have some law books or something to reference which would be far more substantial than the admittedly questionable data in Wikipedia.

    However, I do highly recommend Wikipedia as an excellent place to begin research on almost any subject. And if you find an error, you are free to correct it on their site. Unlike a standard encyclopedia or other reference source which tend to be the work of a single individual or group, Wiki evolves on a daily basis and is the collaboration of many minds interested in the same subjects.

    • Kim March 26, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

      I use wikipedia as well, Bull but I also refer to other sources as well. However – there was a point in the hearing where Baez DID state he use wikipedia – I don’t have time right now to go back and find it though!

      • Venice March 26, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

        Wikipedia is banned from Universities for research, at least mine it is. That is the ONE site where we violate our Code of Ethics if we utilize it. It’s OK for other things, but Baez did mention it in court.

      • bullstopper March 26, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

        I haven’t had a chance to watch everything yet.

        Yeah, I don’t mind quoting Wiki in a blog, but in court, never.

      • bullstopper March 26, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

        Ahhh, i must have missed that. I have only watched the dog handler so far.

    • sandra April 12, 2011 at 2:34 am #

      my daughters teachers wont accept things found from this sight, which indicates they find mistakes at this sight. so hopefully boso is not using this sight for positive,and correct info as to his clients needs. as you stated bull there are alot of useful things,yet thee intellegent people will catch(and intellegent being opprotive word)mistakes and correct it on this sight. i dont think of you as one of those people,so rock on with your articles. and thanks for all your hard work!

  4. Katprint March 26, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    A few important points:

    1) Certain words like “hearsay” or “contempt” or “hostile witness” have a very specific legal definitions which can be different from their meaning in casual use. Appellate courts have written lengthy opinions which extensively define those legal terms. There are big fat books (“learned treatises”) about those words.

    Thus, one word is not a perfect substitute for another. “Gossip” does not reflect the same precise legal history as “hearsay,” “sanctions” is not the same as “contempt,” and “adverse” is not the same as “hostile.”

    2) Baez appears to assume that a law enforcement officer is necessarily a hostile witness. However, this is not always true. Sometimes they are witnesses to facts that are helpful to the defense.

    3) The fact that an attorney has not yet shown a witness to be hostile does not mean that it is impossible for the witness to be shown to be hostile. It may just mean that the attorney has not yet asked the right questions to establish the witness’ status as a “hostile witness” per the legal definition of that term.

    • Venice March 26, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

      Excellent. Thank you! It was quite comical watching Baez treat that Deputy as a hostile witness. I think Baez needs to sit down and reflect on everything he’s done thus far.

    • bullstopper March 26, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

      This is exactly what I was trying to say.

      I believe your point 3 illustrates the incompetence of Baez. If he asked the right questions, he could have prevailed. If he knew the legal requirements, he could have succeeded. If he put forth any effort to plan these events, he could win significant gains pre-trial.

      • Venice March 26, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

        Exactly Bull. Professionalism combined with education = success. I can’t believe he is treating a Capital Case just like one of his domestic violence cases. L O L…..

  5. Paula March 26, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

    What a horrible, small, petty man. He’s a disgrace to lawyers everywhere.

    • Venice March 26, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

      Yes, Paula. Horrible, petty, juvenille, sarcastic little b**** in a tight suit.

  6. Venice March 26, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    I want Georgie to give us another virtual class on how to scientifically make the smell of death with Arm & Hammer detergent and fabric softners. Take notes people.

    • Kim March 26, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

      Where is George anyway? Is his teeny tiny ego still smarting from Casey calling him a pervert? He can’t actually have a job – can he?

      • Venice March 26, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

        George is preparing in front of the mirror as to how to be the “most hostile witness” in America. Watch out Kim, the facial gymnastics are going to be Olympics worthy.

    • zoe March 26, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

      LMAO Venice….I remember George telling the reporter the experiment had to be done PRECISELY..LOL! And let us not forget that George’s sweat (and Cindy’s fridge) also smells JUST like decomp. 😉

      • Venice March 26, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

        LOL Zoe. You just can’t make this stuff up. Precisely? The Arm & Hammer guy should beat the crap out of Georgie with his mallet.

  7. kas March 26, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    I think it’s safe to say that between Baez, Cindy, and Casey, it’s a tight race as to who was more disturbed (albeit momentarily in Casey’s case, and then she went right back to her Secretarial duties) by the Canine “hits” testimony.

    I think Cindy even swallowed her gum.

  8. Kim March 26, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    No one can compare to George when it comes to expressions. Why is this allowed in court? I have heard Judge Perry admonish several people in regards to expressions and gestures. Why not the Anthony’s

    • Venice March 26, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

      Give it time Kim….give it time.

  9. zoe March 26, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    I finally finished watching all the Weds/Thurs hearings. Good GAWD…..I had to pop in my dental nightguard to prevent grinding my teeth down to nubs. Baez needs a comedy road show. Similar to the upcoming Sheen money-grab, but called, “DUH….Losing!”. 🙂
    I don’t know if this has mentioned to linked to yet, but here’s a brilliant snippet of a Val article (linked below):

    Jose Baez spent about 8 hours yesterday painting by numbers to reveal the portrait he keeps hidden in his attic. It was no surprise to find out it is a portrait of a red-assed baboon. If anyone wants to take issue with me not having a single “break” to hand Baez, take it up with the management. The man works harder than anybody I’ve ever seen to prove, in public, he is an ignorant, ignorant man who is so saturated in his own hubris he can’t see how ignorant he is…and apparently has not a single friend who wants to clue him in on it.

    Thanks for the articles, Bull!

    • sandra April 12, 2011 at 3:13 am #

      omg! your comment rates right up there with bull. love thee painting by numbers. this was both entertaining to read,and the truth. keep the commentaries coming. oh and really love the sheen comment. your so on point!

  10. Venice March 26, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    A MUST LISTEN. Judge Perry and his Black Widow case from the 1980’s.

    • zoe March 26, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

      AWESOME, thx!

      Judge Perry is taking this case all the way to its LOGICAL conclusion. Amen!

      • Venice March 26, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

        That’s the KEY word…LOGICAL. Casey is sooooo cold and not remorseful. I’d be losing sleep at night.

  11. zoe March 26, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    Overheard at defense team ‘strategy breakfast’:
    “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

    (think Jaws……) 🙂

    • Kim March 26, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

      Well, they already have a few dingys

    • Venice March 26, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

      Geraldo’s Yacht?

  12. Karen March 26, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

    It’s hard to pick up much knowledge in law school while playing tetras on your cell phone. So, did Hoser get his only education from wiki? I maintain he is sitting on the edge of his barcalounger in the evenings with his yellow pad watching law shows on TV and scribbling snazzy catch phrases which he is itching to use in court.

    Crazy coot’s only hope at this juncture is to change her plea to guilty, totally fess up the details, show some remorse and throw herself at the mercy of the court. Fortunately, she is too f’d in the head to save herself.

  13. Diana March 26, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

    Thanks for the black widow link *Venice

    Judge Perry seems to have no problem sentencing death to a guilty woman who shows NO REMORSE. Hmmmm….sounds like a carbon copy of Casey Anthony!

  14. Venice March 26, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

    I just read at themission that Baez is the guy you go to when you want to fight and not accept a plea deal. ??????? In a Capital Case you plea if you can. GOOD GOD! WTH?????

    • LindaNewYork March 26, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

      TheJBFishin’ Comedy Troupe is at it again, huh? “Go To guy”! LOL!

      It’s a pro-baby killer, anti-law enforcement, anti-court-of-law site run by an egotistal nincompoop and followed by a bunch of nincompoops.

      • Kim March 26, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

        bunch = 4

  15. Venice March 26, 2011 at 7:05 pm #

    This Judge PICKED Judge Belvin Perry to HANDLE this circus.

  16. 1520 Sedgwick March 26, 2011 at 9:06 pm #

    Lawyer Ann Finnell tried to slow Biaz down when he was out of control and talk to him at the podium before he got crazy again. He was too excited to listen to her – he was jumping up and down ready to attack- springing back to the front,like a dog wanting the soft treat from the store whose been looking through the door glass.

  17. bullstopper March 27, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    Whoever this is, I am loving their work:

    They have again posted the most recent hearings in their entirety which is a wonderful service to those of us following the case and unable to watch during the day.

    Thank you, S0meRand0mName!

  18. cecelia March 27, 2011 at 10:43 am #

    cheney’s last (death penalty convict) client’s DP conviction has been upheld by the FSC…
    I have faith in CJHJP he is being extrememly careful that this case will not have appeal issues. when she is convicted for the heartless, soulless murder of Caylee Marie it WILL stick. jmo

    • Venice March 27, 2011 at 11:45 am #

      I was glued to the TV during the Serrano trial, as I was so curious to see if Serrano had time to murder 6 people and then fly back to Atlanta. He sure did. The jury saw straight through him and Mason. Serrano NEVER throught he’d be found guilty (just like Casey). Too much faith in Mason.

  19. cecelia March 27, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    LMAO at the wikipedia pgs…Does Lieaez relize his cuntyclient has more info on HER wiki page than he does HIS?? LOL did HO-Say write them?

  20. Victoria March 27, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    ~Venice~ If what you are looking for in an attorney who resembles a red a$$ed baboon giving a circus performance, then Jose Baez is definitely your Bobo.

  21. cecelia March 27, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    Venice, The suit against mumbles is still pending it was re-filed after a judge rejected it. i’d personally like to see the old foghorn leghorn have to pay it!

    The case was dismissed W/O prejudice, the young man refiled in Ga.

  22. cecelia March 27, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    Why did last comment go to moderation? i’m bein’ Haave!

    • bullstopper March 27, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

      Posts with more than one link automatically go into moderation because WordPress thinks you are a spammer.

  23. TPM March 28, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

    According to Wikipedia, America is celebrating her 500th birthday this year…

    • bullstopper March 28, 2011 at 7:27 pm #

      Depends on when you start counting the bdays.

      Native americans would most likely disagree.

      But from a western european point of view, this is pretty close.

      • Venice March 29, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

        My Fiancee is Sioux Tribe Native American. He does disagree~~

  24. ilmcvm March 30, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    I want to thank you for covering the Anthony case. I frequently check here to read articles. They are always informative. The issues that you chose to write about are questions I find myself wondering about. Thanks to your site I can understand exactly what is going on in this case. To be honest Bozo baez is very confusing and although I think he doesn’t know what he is doing, here it gets clarified,ty. The information you provide as to the understanding of what is said is amazing in itself. I am learning alot,thanks again.

  25. JJ cool July 7, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

    Look like it doesn’t much matter if Mr. Baez quotes Wikipedia or not, a win is a win. Now he is the most.famous.criminal defense attorney in America.

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