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    « SHOCKING! | Main | Simon and Garfunkle? No, Simon and Jan »

    Fool's Mate

    In his court game of chess, Cheney Mason was the first to yell…


    That was nearly a year ago. Certainly, the recusal of the Honorable Stan Strickland is not so far in the distant past that we would forget what Casey Anthony’s defense team is forever up to. Would they have the audacity to do it again? For the past two-and-a-half years, we have watched them throw everything in their arsenal at the wall of justice in hopes that something sticks. Why not? They have a right to do that, but is Mason now trying to force Chief Judge Belvin Perry, Jr. against the same wall? Are they backing him into a corner with only one way out?

    Judge Perry is a smooth operator, so smooth, in fact, that he always comes prepared to hearings with his own powerful set of weapons - case law. He’s well educated in the courthouse games lawyers play and he seems to have some sort of mental telepathy, as if he knows beforehand what tack the defense will take on any given day. It’s almost mystical, because we are left to wonder how he did it. How could he possibly know all that? The man is shrewd. He easily wipes the excess dirt off the wall without missing a beat, and the defense is oftentimes left with mud on their faces. Does this mean he’s biased, as Mason recently charged?

    Much to the dismay of common folks like you and me, the court has had to put up with a wide range of oddball motions filed by this defense, so nothing is surprising. One such absurdity was a motion to disqualify the state attorney’s office. Huh? How could an assistant state attorney possibly represent the state if the entire office is disqualified? Case dismissed for lack of state attorneys! Of course, there are more like this one, but that’s not important.

    On April 16, 2010, Cheney Mason filed his shot heard ‘round the judicial world demanding that the trial judge step down. In DEFENDANT, CASEY MARIE ANTHONY’S MOTION TO DISQUALIFY TRIAL JUDGE, he wrote, “The Defendant, Casey Marie Anthony, reasonably fears that she will not receive a fair trial because of the conduct and apparent prejudice and bias of the judge…” The motion cited several reasons. Most were centered around me, my blog, and three articles I wrote a full year before. The exchange between the judge and myself was precisely six months later.

    In his ORDER ON DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO DISQUALIFY TRIAL JUDGE, Judge Strickland made several points, two of which were:

    • [The defense] seems to have only recently lost confidence in the Court’s ability to be fair and impartial; and
    • [The defense] has now been accused of bias and wrongdoing, potentially each denial of a defense motion will generate renewed allegations of bias.

    We all know the outcome of Mason’s first chess game at the Orange County Courthouse soon after joining Casey’s team. In any event, my point is not to rehash the past. It’s to look into recent defense moves and what the future may hold.

    COMES NOW, Cheney Mason, criminal defense attorney, recently filed a motion for a rehearing, aptly titled, MOTION FOR A REHEARING ON ORDERS DENYING MOTIONS TO SUPPRESS.  Judge Perry had earlier ruled on the defense MOTION TO SUPPRESS STATEMENTS MADE TO LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS. The defense argued that Casey should have been read her Miranda rights when law enforcement personnel were initially summoned to the Anthony home due to 911 calls made by Cindy Anthony. The judge decided Casey was not a suspect at the time and was, therefore, a witness to a possible kidnapping. You don’t Mirandize witnesses. The new motion also included the MOTION TO SUPPRESS STATEMENTS MADE TO GEORGE, CINDY, LEE ANTHONY, MAYA DERKOVIC, ROBYN ADAMS, AND SYLVIA HERNANDEZ, defining Casey’s 6th Amendment right to counsel and the improper use of agents of the state. In this case, the judge ruled that George, Cindy and Lee, by their own admission, were desperately seeking Caylee and wanted every bit of help they could muster, especially from law enforcement. Obviously, Casey was doing a lousy job of running her own investigation into the disappearance.

    Although I feel that the crux of this defense motion for a rehearing lays in possible ramifications later on, such as an impetus to file an appeal if the defendant is found guilty, it extends into other areas as well, and that’s where we come right back to the succinct possibility that the defense will file yet another motion to disqualify the trial judge. What? Deja vu all over again? Admit it. It’s a nervous feeling running down your back.

    In order to request that the judge step down, a couple of factors are problematic for the defense. In Judge Strickland’s case, he most certainly did not have to go, but he understood that the prevailing issue would remain if he denied the defense their request, as he so stated in his order. Every subsequent motion the defense lost could be grounds for an appeal. What caught us off guard now is the fear that Mason may be up to his old tricks. While certainly an option, it’s not easy. Here’s the statement Mason made in his motion that rattled nerves:

    c. The Court Did Not Look at the Evidence from the Hearing Objectively and Instead Displays a Clear Bias [emphasis mine] In Explaining Law Enforcement Conduct Rather than Evaluating Whether a Reasonable Person Would Have Felt Free to Leave.

    Shades of dismissal! Well, no, not really. Under FLORIDA RULES OF JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION, Rule 2.330, DISQUALIFICATION OF TRIAL JUDGES, “Any party, including the state, may move to disqualify the trial judge assigned to the case on grounds provided by rule, by statute, or by the Code of Judicial Conduct.” OK fine, but what it means is that the procedure for filing disqualification motions for civil and criminal cases is set out in Rule 2.160 of the Fla. R. Jud. Admin., amended by the Florida Supreme Court in 2004.

    If this is the route Mason is considering taking, he should be mindful of the fact that a statute related to judicial disqualification exists. He should surely remember F.S. §38.10 from last year:

    Whenever a party to any action or proceeding makes and files an affidavit stating fear that he or she will not receive a fair trial in the court where the suit is pending on account of the prejudice of the judge of that court against the applicant or in favor of the adverse party, the judge shall proceed no further, but another judge shall be designated in the manner prescribed by the laws of this state for the substitution of judges for the trial of causes in which the prescribing judge is disqualified. Every such affidavit shall state the facts and the reasons for the belief that any such bias or prejudice exists and shall be accompanied by a certificate of counsel of record that such affidavit and application are made in good faith. However, when any party to any action has suggested the disqualification of a trial judge and an order has been made admitting the disqualification of such judge and another judge has assigned and transferred to act in lieu of the judge so held to be disqualified, the judge so assigned and transferred is not disqualified on account of alleged prejudice against the party making the suggestion in the first instance, or in favor of the adverse party, unless such judge admits and holds that it is then a fact that he or she does not stand fair and impartial between the parties. If such judge holds, rules, and adjudges that he or she does stand fair and impartial as between the parties and their respective interests, he or she shall cause such ruling to be entered on the minutes of the court and shall proceed to preside as judge in the pending cause. The ruling of such judge may be assigned as error and may be reviewed as are other rulings of the trial court.

    In a nutshell, it explains something about a judge if he/she is prejudiced. Does Judge Perry fit the mold? Is he in favor of the adverse party as Mason claims in so many words? Well, it doesn’t really matter. After Judge Strickland willfully stepped down, and he could have easily remained on the bench, Judge Perry cannot be disqualified because of alleged prejudice solely based on what Mason claims. The only way it would work is if Perry admits he is biased in favor of the prosecution. Even then, his admission is just recorded in the court minutes and the trial proceeds on schedule. Of course, this would be reviewed after a conviction and it would, no doubt, lead to a retrial, but let me assure you, this judge will not fail. He will never admit to bias, and because he’s the second judge, the rules are different now.

    One of the misconceptions of trial court judges is that rulings are the basis for disqualifications. They are not, as Mason is claiming in his rebuttal motion. A judge may not be disqualified for judicial bias. He/she can be disqualified, however, for personal bias against a party. (See Barwick, 660 So. 2d at 692, and cases cited therein)

    What effectively worked in the Strickland recusal was his personal relationship with me. Although the defense clearly distorted the facts, it did proffer a basis for the motion. In Perry’s situation, it’s purely judicial in nature. And laughable.


    Lest you think I will leave you dangling with merely one slice of cake from the book of rules, allow me to add a thick, sweet, slab of icing to the entire cake. Rule 2.160 has something else to offer to save Mason from a mea culpa moment if he chooses to stay on top of his game. Section (g) deals with the filing of successive disqualification motions. This is to prevent the possibility of abuse, otherwise referred to as judge-shopping. Yes, you read it right… JUDGE-SHOPPING!

    When Judge Strickland disqualified himself due to alleged bias, and I use that term loosely, his successor, Judge Perry, cannot be disqualified on a successive motion by Casey’s defense “unless the successor judge rules that he or she is in fact not fair or impartial in the case.” And that ain’t gonna happen, folks. Judge Perry is allowed to toss out any new dismissal motion. By golly, he was even brazen enough to tell the defense that, “No other motions for rehearing shall be considered,”¹ after the defense filed its MOTION FOR A REHEARING ON ORDERS DENYING MOTIONS TO SUPPRESS.

    What nerve.  It looks like the Teflon judge has Mason backed into a corner. King takes pawn.


    See also: The Florida Bar Journal, Judicial Disqualification: What Every Practioner (and Judge) Should Know, Douglas J. Glaid, October, 2000 Volume LXXIV, No. 9

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    Reader Comments (71)

    Great post, Dave! I am glad to hear that JP won't have to step down if that is Mason's plan and that they also can not judge shop. That however does not mean that Mason still won't try it. I think this defense won't stop until they have tried every thing they can whether it is right or not. They don't have a defense for Casey yet. There is no way that JP would step down because he knows he hasn't done anything that would make him bias. JP is very well prepared when he comes into his court room and nothing gets by him. I loved your last two lines of this post where you say the teflon judge has Mason backed into a corner. King takes pawn. How very appropriate. I think this post will help to reassure some people that thought there was a possibility of JP stepping down or of Mason asking him to. Thanks for all your hard work with this post. It is appreciated!

    Thank you, Mary Jo. My main goal here is to reassure people that Mason can't hoodwink Perry because Perry will outfox him every time. He is a chess master. Now, I can't say I'm 100% positive, but from everything I've read, the judge has the upper hand. If this did go to the next level, it would go to the Fifth District Court of Appeals of Florida, where His Honor is quite respected. I felt the chess tie-in would be appropriate, and most certainly, the title of the post.

    March 29, 2011 | Registered CommenterMary Jo

    Wonderfully written, Dave. You made this entire mess so easy to understand. I thank you.

    Thank you, terri! I aim to please and I knew this item was sticking in people's crawl. I appreciate your words of support.

    March 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterterri

    Instead of Judge shopping maybe B&M should start Nanny shopping. What fools they look like. Read they may try to make George their reasonable doubt. I would be very shocked if George would let them point to him for the murder of Caylee. I love my girls like their is no tomorrow but I would never take the rap for a 2 year old's murder.

    Thanks for researching this, it has crossed my mind that their plan was to take down another Judge. I appreciate all your hard work. I have been very busy lately but I think about all of you daily. :)

    Yeah, Laurali, and instead of writing B&M, we should shorten it to BM. That George story? I didn't buy into one word of it. There's no way the defense can pull anything like that off. His attorney cried foul today and he shouldn't have had to do that. Although I wouldn't put anything past the defense, that one is from outer space.

    Thank you. I like doing the work. I know you have been very busy of late, but I had to read your last sentence over again. I thought you wrote "I think about you all day." Oh well.

    March 29, 2011 | Registered CommenterLaurali

    Nice article Dave. Like laurali I love my boys however i would not go to prison for anyone of them. Not happening. If they murdered a 2 yr. old I would hire good atty, keep my mouth shut, maybe/maybe not sit behind them in court, and move quietly away when all was done.

    What I don't understand, cali patti, is that it's not the May Sweeps yet. While a compelling news report, it didn't do anything for me. I mean, in those 30 days, when did George have access to the car, other than after it was towed. And that was with the tow yard manager, who smelled it. too.


    March 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercali patti

    Great Post Dave!
    You put a lot of time and Effort into it and it is appreciated.
    It didn't seem logical to me for the Defense to be able to replace Judge after Judge, just because they don't get their Way.
    You made it easy to understand that it really is a little bit more complicated to replace a Judge than what the Defense in this Case seemingly believes. There is no Doubt in my Mind, Mr.Mason and Baez would like nothing more to replace Judge Perry.
    Basically what comes to Mind is Judge Shopping, that is what the Defense Mr.Mason and Baez are
    up too, at least that is my Impression.
    I am relieved to know it isn't as simple as that, otherwise other Defense Lawyers would shop around till they find a Judge who does whatever they want them to do. JMO

    Hello, Hilde! Yes, I did put some time into this post. I know it was something that needed to be addressed because several people mentioned it to me as I was posing the idea. Snoopy said it would be a great topic, so that was what convinced me.

    You know, this will forever be remembered as the case where the defense switched judges in midstream at their expense. Be careful what you wish for and all. My main concern now is that people don't worry about everything. This is one less.

    Thank you for your nice words, Hilde. I sure am glad the judge store is now closed.

    March 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHilde

    Hey Dave, all the defense needs is one person on that jury who thinks ... Well maybe, ... George does have a temper and Casey said daddy molested her. One person is all the defense needs.

    Sure, cali patti, but the judge will remind the jury that George is not on trial and that he was cleared from the start. The defense may try something stupid like that, but it would backfire. Besides, Casey only suggested that Daddy may have molested her. As many times as I've seen him up close and personal, he ain't no perv. Not that way. No one would buy a story like that coming from a liar and convicted thief.

    March 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercali patti

    Cali Patti good point about one juror but when I read that I instantly thought why would a 22 year old still live at home with a daddy who molested her? Especially with her 2 year old daughter? I would be able to believe that "story" had she moved out as soon as she gave birth to a baby girl. What mother would take a chance of her daughter being molested just like her???

    Personally if my father molested me I would have moved out on my 18th birthday even if I had to move in with another family member, jmo.

    Excellent point, Laurali!

    March 29, 2011 | Registered CommenterLaurali

    Oh, Dave, you are "spot on" as they say across the pond...Thank you for relieving my old mind about Judge Perry having to recuse himself...I feel so much better now...After all his hard work it would be a shame if he had to leave this case..He certainly is more than fair with Team Casey and you hit the nail on the head when you said it like it was with shortening the B&M to BM...B&M are baked beans and BM is...I'm sure everyone fecal matter...Just a bunch of bs that doesn't hold water...

    Thank you, Estee. I knew this was a hot topic, although not on the surface, but it was a festering one just the same. Like a pot of baked beans. In Judge Perry's illustrious career, he's never been cornered, and he's seen the best of them. Getting him recused is about the same as finding the pit inside a lima bean.

    March 29, 2011 | Registered CommenterEstee

    Another home run, Dave..Thanks for relieving a lot of our doubts and putting it in words that even I can understand. I agree that The Honorable Judge Perry will not be shaken up by their antics and he sees right through what they are trying to do. I'm sure his bags of tricks is much larger than theirs. The way he has to explain things to Baez as if he was talking to a 4 year old shows how much patience he does have and he will not be outsmarted. IMO Mason will not ride this train wreck all the way to the end..If there is an end. I'm seriously beginning to wonder though.

    The radio program Sunday was enjoyable..However, Cobra was a bit nervewrecking at times..He doesn't play the Devil's Advocate very well..Jan and you made up for it though.. Thanks!

    Ahhhh, GLENDA, and just as baseball season is about to get underway.

    I chose to focus my attention on Mason because it has his name written all over it. I am convinced of it. I believe he will be around until the very end because if Casey is convicted, he will surely mount an appeal based on many of the motions he affixed his signature to. Also, his reputation is not one of a quitter, and as unsound as some of his motions may seem, there is a shrewdness to them.

    Thank you for enjoying this post. I am also a BIG baseball fan, you know. Go Yankees!

    March 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGLENDA

    Dave, it looks like Mason is a bit outmatched with Judge Perry on the bench. The first time seemed quite easy but not this time around, that is if Mason plans on taking down this judge too. It is a toss up tho, is Mason trying to recuse a judge or trying to gain momentum to get an appeal and a retrial? Nothing would surprise me about the old goat.

    Judge Perry is going to hang tough and is NOT going anywhere.

    We are about to see some lively action when an egotist attorney tries to take on a well-seasoned Chief Justice. Will Mason be in attendance at the Frye hearings this weekend? If so, let the games begin.

    Great post, Dave. It was a lot easier to understand than I had anticipated. Thank you kindly, sir.

    You know, when Mason pointed to Casey and called her a mere child, the judge saw right through it. It may have sounded good, but it was a bad thing to tell the judge. That woman was no child, and the last person I would have said something like that to is the judge.

    In my estimation, is Mason looking to recuse the judge or going after material for an appeal? My answer is YES.

    I am SOOOOOO looking forward to Thursday and Friday. Saturday!

    Thanks for enjoying this post. I tried to make it easier to understand and comprehend. I had a few directions I could have taken it, but I stuck to the nuts and bolts.

    March 29, 2011 | Registered CommenterSnoopySleuth

    Checkmate!! Love the article Dave, great job as always. I'm happy that Judge Perry won't have to step down, he is keeping this case moving and making sure that the defense and prosecution is doing exactly what they need to do so there aren't any surprises during the trial.

    Where did the speculation that reasonable doubt was going to be on George because of the new witness(es) that were added? According to the link below:
    Lippman said he met last Friday with defense attorney Jose Baez and Casey Anthony's mother, Cindy Anthony, but he cannot say what they discussed.
    Nothing is mentioned that George was there, I wonder where he was?

    I think everyone seeking justice for Caylee will be happy since Judge Perry isn't going anywhere soon. The George theory started at WFTV. Bill Sheaffer and Kathi Belich discussed the possibility on a 16 minute video and on a news story. What they didn't consider was, if George did this, how did he get that awful death smell in the car that Casey alone had for the final month? Well, her and the tow yard, where it was locked up.

    I don't know anything about a meeting between Baez, Cindy and the family attorney, but I'm sure it wasn't to discuss framing George. My guess is he wasn't up to it. He's quite fragile these days, I'm sure.

    Anyway, I'm glad you loved the article, Janet. It was an interesting subject to study.

    March 29, 2011 | Registered CommenterJanet

    I do think with the death penalty qualified jury that once this trial begins there will be a few blurbs from Baez/Mason but it will be rather smooth going for the State of Florida. Once the jury gets this case it will be a slam dunk. I expect the jury to take their time but with the excellent job the state has done and with Judge Perry, I don't really see a problem.

    I don't know cali patti, Mason can be very good, Finnell and Sims are excellent, and despite the problems of late, Baez has some very good moments and he has done well in lesser cases. With him, I think it's more of a lack of experience in multiple hearings. It seems to be overwhelming.

    The state is quite good, but if you ask any one of the prosecutors, this is not as simple as it seems. A DP case is quite complex. Both sides will score points and despite it being a qualified jury, anything can happen in the end. Not to burst any bubbles or anything, but I'm not ready to grant the state a win just yet

    March 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercali patti

    p.s. ~ Go Giants

    March 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercali patti

    Thanks for clearing this matter up for us Dave! Well written - clear and concise. I have a question: What does it take to get two bumbling attorneys who got themselves painted into a corner off the case? I actually think that they're the ones that have to go! Just sayin'........

    Well, a mighty fine how do you do, nymima! Thank you. I like being clear and concise. In answer to your question, it's gotta take a lot more than this, obviously. Besides, they can't quit. They are locked in until the end.

    March 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commenternymima

    Great writting Dave thanks ...J Perry is playing chess the defence is playing checkers an useing him like a banker in monopaly...Casey will not pass go an reseive 200 dollars .She will go directly to jail.

    I love it, ecossie possie! Since this story broke, I've felt that Casey is a Parcheesi girl.

    March 29, 2011 | Registered Commenterecossie possie

    ***WKMG-Channel 6 talked to George Anthony’s attorney about speculation that Casey Anthony’s defense might be trying to pin the murder on George. Casey is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her daughter, Caylee.

    WKMG’s Tony Pipitone explained that the defense wants to call a psychiatrist and a psychologist “to testify to blunt the state’s claims that her lies to police and family reveal what’s called a consciousness of guilt. They also want to call two women who had an altercation with George outside the family home in 2008.”

    March 29, 2011 | Registered CommenterJanet

    But Pipitone turned to Mark Lippman, attorney for George Anthony, to answer the speculation. And Lippman said he had information that the defense will not use those witnesses to point the finger at George, Pipitone reported.

    Thanks, Janet. That's good information. Don't worry about the links. You keep adding them and I'll keep making them work. It's tough to set up here.

    March 29, 2011 | Registered CommenterJanet

    Dave, there are many of us who are emotionally wrapped up in this case. I will readily admit that I am. When I learned that there was a possibility that Mason may be able to remove another judge, my heart sank along with several others. I am glad that you have shown us that it will not be an easy task to get Judge Perry removed. I cannot see Judge Perry bending to the wants of Mason by admitting he cannot, in good conscience , continue with this case. You have set our minds at ease and for that I say, "thank you."

    It's an honor and a pleasure, Snoopy. I had an underlying feeling that recusing another judge was not going to be a walk in the park. I'm glad it turned out the way it did. I learned a lot, too. Thank you for letting me know. I'm sure you're not alone.

    March 29, 2011 | Registered CommenterSnoopySleuth

    Ecossie~~Check? Matey? Baez want States Revenue and Park Place. LOL You are a nut!!

    March 29, 2011 | Registered CommenterSnoopySleuth

    GREAT read *Dave

    Thank you!

    What happens if ~ at the eleventh hour toward the end of trial, Casey is feeling the heat from all the evidence against her, and offers up a plea of involuntary manslaughter ( she says it was an accident) in exchange for a lighter sentence? Can she do that? I just keep thinking of her walking down that hallway at Universal waiting until she was totally busted before finally fessing up. I think that's been her her MO her whole life. TIA~Diana

    Too late, Diana! Too late. Besides, she can't plead to that, not with a charge of first-degree murder, and certainly not after the state has presented it's case. Remember, the state goes first, so the turning point, when the defense has its say, will come before the eleventh hour. Also, the state of Florida poured a million bucks into this case, and there's no way the state of Florida is going to see it go to waste. Nope, this one goes to the very end, when the judge has the final word.

    Hey, thank you! I'm glad you liked it. It was a timely piece, I think.

    March 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDiana

    Re~~all rumors about George being used as the fall guy. Channel 9 took a small brush fire in California and made it into a wild fire raging out of control. Sorry, Kathi, that's just my opinion.

    That's a good way to put it, Snoopy. Very apropos. And I know how much you admire them.

    March 29, 2011 | Registered CommenterSnoopySleuth

    I think it is sick to try and blame the grandfather. Do not get me wrong George gets under my skin with the lovey dovey bull chit when it comes to his innocent daughter but to try and cause reasonable doubt using him is sick! I think they would have better luck if they could find a Nanny willing to take the fall for Casey. jmo

    Snoopy~ I agree Kathi went way out there with this story. Jose can not be that stupid. Or could he?

    No way Jose! He's not going to accuse George of murder.

    March 29, 2011 | Registered CommenterLaurali

    Dave, I am very grateful to you for taking the time to explain Florida law on this matter and for writing yet another wonderful article! I very much enjoyed hearing everything you said on the radio show as well!
    It is good to know that Mason is not going to have an easy time of it if he tries to get Judge Perry
    to recuse himself!
    O/T: I am very glad you decided to drop E.H. from commenting here. I never did buy into the nonsensical hypotheticals, nor the claim of being a lawyer. There was simply no excuse at all for misunderstanding "Miss Me Yet?"!!! Good call on your part!
    Thank you for everything and hope you can rest up before the next hearings later this week!

    EH turned out to be a real creep. Well, we all run into them once in a while, but good riddance.

    No, Mason will not find it in his bag of tricks, to take down another judge. Twice in one life is enough. Besides, let him wallow in the bed he has made for his client.

    Thank you for enjoying this article and for complimenting my work on Simon's radio show. I really enjoy it.

    March 29, 2011 | Registered CommenterSuzanna

    Thank you Dave for making the links work. If I email you would you explain to me how to do it?

    Remind me again, Janet, and I'll show you, but you have to know something about HTML code. Just the basics, though.

    March 29, 2011 | Registered CommenterJanet

    Dave, My computer keeps timing out, both laptops are giving me problems. I will try again to thank you for a great post, on a complex topic. Deja vu is the feeling I get when I look at what the defense is doing with Judge Perry. Judge Perry is very fair, as was Judge Strickland. I do miss Judge Strickland, He has such a calm presence about him.

    Sorry about your both laptops giving you problems. This one I use has Windows 7, but I do have a back up with XP I keep on. That one has a spare battery, too.

    Boy, I agree wholeheartedly with you. Judge Strickland does have a calming presence, and I think Mason took advantage of his good nature. Big time. Oh well, Mason got the perfect judge for a man of his caliber. Be careful what you think of yourself.

    Thanks for the accolades. I thought this would be a great topic to write about and the more I looked into it, the more I found.

    March 29, 2011 | Registered CommenterRob

    Dave, very good article, as always. My mind is definitely much more at ease about Mason not being able to bully Judge Perry off the case. Thank you!

    And thank you, as well, LisaT. If your mind is more at ease, then I did my job, and that makes my mind more at ease, too. Nope, Judge Perry isn't going anywhere or my name is Mudd.

    March 29, 2011 | Registered CommenterLisaT

    Excellent article Dave! (especially for a yankees fan....go phillies!! haha just kidding)!!

    I feel so relieved to know that the defense cannot try to have another judge recuse himself and I appreciate that you took the time to back this up with research and present it in a way that makes perfect sense. No more judge shopping for the defense team.

    You are right, the more I think about it, the more it becomes clear to me that the state will not accept a plea deal from Casey this late in the game. If they did for some reason, it should require Casey to explain in open court exactly what she did to Caylee and I don't see that happening. This has come too far to plea now. Casey will be found guilty and will spend the rest of her life behind bars. The only unanswered question at this point for me is if she will die of old age in her jail cell or will she die from the most potent cocktail she has ever had in her life administered by the state.

    It will be very interesting to see the dynamic in court later this week, but I know Judge Perry will keep it strictly professional and unbiased, as he has done throughout these hearings.

    In regards to George, I think it's highly possible that the defense will try to throw him under the bus. They don't have to prove that he is the one responsible for Casey's death, they just have to raise enough reasonable doubt and plant this seed of possiblity in one jurors head. Do I think it will work? No! I doubt anyone is going to get past the 31 days no matter what, amongst other things. I'm confident that the state is going to prevail and Caylee will get justice, but it is still a nagging thought in my head that it only takes one juror...

    Hi, Meghan! I like the Phillies, but I'm really a fan of the Mets in the NL. AL will always be the Yankees. Forever. You can call me your "relief" pitcher for writing this article. One recusal was one too many.

    Casey will go to her grave never giving up the truth of what happened to Caylee. That's a bet I'd take. Even if she's one day strapped on a gurney, she will never open up.

    I, too am curious about the court dynamics on Thursday and Friday, but particularly Thursday. Do I know for a fact, or does the judge, that Mason was inferring anything when he wrote clear bias? No, not really, but I wouldn't put it past him. In reality, though, I did it because I knew that tons of people were fearful of that predicament arising again. Well, it won't, and that helps us breathe a little easier.

    As for George... I wouldn't put it past Casey's defense to try to shift some of the blame onto her parents, as in poor parenting skills, and that led to her lack of emotion. I can't say that they would be all that wrong if it comes down to one thing: saving their daughter's life. Of course, this doesn't mean it would happen during the guilt phase. All of this could be something about the penalty phase, in which case, they are free to take as much blame as they want. The defense has got to know that all of these losing motions are piling up and will have quite an impact on the DP qualified jury.

    Anyway, I'm quite happy you found this article to be excellent. Thank you for that!

    March 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMeghan

    Snoopy is an old die hard. I will believe it when the verdict comes back with, "guilty of murder in the first degree."

    And I hope to be there when the verdict comes.

    March 29, 2011 | Registered CommenterSnoopySleuth

    Another GREAT article, Dave!!

    WHen I heard about the motion filed alleging "bias" on Judge Perry's part it left me with a sinking feeling. The phrase "judge shopping" came immediately to mind. As Snoopy put it, so many of us are "emotionally wrapped up" in this case. But, your succinct explaination of just how the laws operate with regards to "judge shopping" has put my mind at a little more ease. Of course Mason will no doubt continue throwing things at the court trying to get his way with his silly motions. At least on the subject of getting another judge to recuse himself we can all rest a little easier.

    I have learned so much about the justice system since reading your blogs. I feel like I have been enrolled in the "Marinade Dave basic Law 101" classes. I am thankful that you research these subjects so well and report them in a way that makes it easy for most people to understand.

    I just cant wait to read your book!!! And, yes!! I am sure that if you were to write one after this fiasco is over that it would be a best seller!! And I am putting in my order for an autographed copy of it now!!

    Wow, Carole! What an endorsement. Thank you!

    I had a feeling a lot of people felt nervous when they read "clear bias" in that motion, and rightly so. We're gun shy. That's why I decided to tackle this subject; to allay all fears of it happening again.

    I sure do appreciate the "Marinade Dave Basic Law 101" description of my blog. That's quite a compliment! I mean, I'm not a lawyer, but I do study up on Florida law.

    As for the book... well, let's just say I've sent some feelers out. If I do write one, you will certainly get a signed copy. Again, Carole, thank you. You're my best seller.

    March 29, 2011 | Registered CommenterCarole

    After the third time of reading the long italicised paragraph in your article stating the Florida Rule on recusal it dawned on me that you would explain what it said in the next paragraph, lol! And you did, quite simply, too. Thanks for putting my mind at ease about the possibility of HHJP being recused, though I knew it would be a hard sell for Mason to do it successfully. I thought we discussed this before after HHJS recusal, that the DT would not be able to do it again.

    An even bigger thank you to you and the commentors where George being implicated by the DT to get the reasonable doubt they need is concerned. I know the DT must do what they can to raise reasonable doubt but to be so incredibly deceitful to this degree? A foolish move if they dare to entertain it before a jury. They may as well insert the death needle themselves if they use this horrible strategy. But! My mind is at ease on it thanks to everyone here who commented on it.

    Well, hello, Sherry! See? You should have known I would have explained that paragraph. I still put things like that in so everyone can read the real thing. We may have discussed this topic earlier, after JS stepped down, but I don't think I went into this much depth as it relates to actual law.

    To be fair and honest, I must say that the DT did not conjure this one up, it was WFTV. In reality, there is nothing that substantiates what the station reported. I will give credit where credit is due, but in this case, I credit the TV station for this gobbledygook.

    Thanks, Sherry. You know it's always a pleasure seeing you.

    March 29, 2011 | Registered CommenterSherry

    Aw, Dave, you make me blush! This is one of my favorite blogs on the Casey Anthony case. I hope you will do a few posts on Tracie Ocasio after this trial is over. Yes, I should have known you would simplify the gobbledy gook of law! I hope all is well for you and your family. And I, too, am looking forward to your book and want an autographed copy! Better get your signature stamp made, lol!

    I'm flattered, Sherry! After this case is over, I plan on writing about James Hataway. There's an attempted murder trial under way right now. Just started. I'd like to write about it now, but I'm already spreading myself thin. Do I think he's responsible for Tracy's disappearance? You betcha.

    If there's a book in the offing, you will get one, autographed by hand. Thank you.

    March 29, 2011 | Registered CommenterSherry

    Chiming in on the book that you simply MUST publish... As I've said in the past, you're a natural. But my request is that you publish an e-book. I Kindle and for those of you that don't own a kindle or know much about them, you can read kindle/amazon books on your pc, phone, laptop or Kindle.
    I have 3G, so not only do I read books on mine, I also read blogs, i.e. marinadedave!
    Consider me on the wait-list.

    Good morning cereusle - I've been told I need to write a book by an awful lot of people, so it's something worth exploring, which is something I've done - at least the preliminary stages. My guess would be that almost all of today's books would be published for multiple digital platforms, not just printed on paper.

    Thank you! If I write the book, you'll know about it, that's for sure.

    March 30, 2011 | Registered Commentercereusle

    Thanks for explaining why this move on Defense's part won't go anywhere. A lot of thoughtful people were hyper-ventilating, thinking there might be a "problem". A lot of this drama might just be for Caseys' benefit, as Jose has screwed this up so badly in it's early stages, they have to put on their superhero capes and DO SOMETHING.

    It seems they are really trying hard to get rid of the hair and root growth- pesky stuff, evidence....

    Hi Karen, thank you. I sensed this topic was on plenty of people's minds because it was on mine, too. Shades of dumb defense moves past! This puts an end to those feelings of of fear and apprehension.

    Fortunately, JP has already ruled on plant and root growth. The State's expert will only proffer his opinion, so because nothing will be based on methodology or tests of any kind, it doesn't pass Frye muster because it's not a Frye issue.

    It looks like some long days ahead in the courtroom.

    March 30, 2011 | Registered CommenterKaren C.

    Again, another great read!!! And yes, you must right a book! Because of the way you break all of the gobbledy Gook down, I am able to understand just what is happening and I thank you for that. In the beginning, when Cindy Anthony first placed the call and it appeared on the news, I was all discombobulated. I found myself reading on your blog and I have remained! A double thankyou for that.
    I am wondering, with Casey being declared indigent, when does the money get cut off? If there was a chance at another trial, who pays for the second trial? It just doesn't seem fair and just to me that she would be allowed another trial after all the antics and misspent money that has been spent on this one? It scares me to think the state of Florida will be paying for yet another trial. I can't help it. I have to see a "guilty of murder in the first degree" before I quit worrying!

    Thank you so very much, SageMom. I am tinkled pink that you are benefiting from all this. That's my intent; to make things easier to understand.

    Although I do not know for sure, my educated guess would be that, assuming she's convicted, the JAC funding would stop when the defense rests during the penalty phase. If she is awarded a new trial, which isn't all that easy, she would have to file for indigency all over again. Trust me, an automatic appeal doesn't mean an automatic retrial.

    By the way, I got your e-mail and you'll be receiving one from Squarespace with your login information. Thanks again, SageMom.

    March 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSageMom

    Speaking of Mason Cheney..............can an attorney be disbarred for stupidity??

    No, Judy. If that were allowed, the lawyer population would drop considerably.

    March 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJudy

    Great article Dave. I never thought Judge Perry would be pushed into stepping down, even after reading Mason's motion, but it's good to have the pertinent law showing why he wouldn't pointed out and explained in layman's terms.

    Mr Cheney Mason drives me nuts. I find his whole persona disingenuous. The repeated comments, "I'm an old man", "I'm deaf" (which he is, but he does wear hearing aides and intelligent hearing impaired people function in society quite well), "These old eyes don't work so good". So buy some new glasses. Suck it up and buy the progressive kind (formally known as bifocals) like I finally did a few months ago. What's the big deal? 67 is not that old.
    He's wily as a fox and I'm sure he knows every trick in the book. Fortunately, so does the honorable judge. And for that matter, so do the Assistant State Attorneys.

    Hello Terrytsk, and thank you very much! This was an important thing to write, as far as I'm concerned. It settled a lot of apprehension.

    The thing about Mason is exactly what you wrote. To whose benefit does he make those personal observations about himself? The judge? The prosecution? Himself? I hate to use such an apropos cliche, but it falls on deaf ears. Oh yes, justice is blind, too, so he's not alone there, either.

    By the way, tomorrow's hearing should be especially interesting, don't you think? Something for us to "munch" on.

    March 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTerrytsk

    Well, as usual, you cleared up a lot in my mind with your article. It stands to reason that the State of Fl would have on their books something that would keep defendants from "judge shopping". That's exactly what Mason was doing! When I first saw his motion I didn't take it as another potential success story that they could get rid of Perry but as just trying to get a "leg up" if they ever wanted to appeal. To me it was like Mason was saying "we didn't like this" to whichever judge got the appeal. I felt then the same as we all do now, that it would be nearly impossible to get JP off of this case. I keep remembering an innuendo kind of side mutter on Mason's part when he was in the courtroom and asked the judge to review Parks. He muttered something like "we can go at this again and again and you know what I mean"... like he was threatening revisiting this over and over. Which is what he's trying to do.

    I happened to notice someone saying above that it would only take one juror to believe Casey innocent in a dp case in Fl. I thought it was more... like the majority has to rule in favor. Not like other states where it has to be unanimous. Maybe you can clear that up for me?

    Poor George. He seems to be the only one in the family still noticeably grieving for his daughter and granddaughter and they pick on him. I don't believe he ever touched Casey - I think it's a worn out method of mitigating circumstances for the defense. I was abused as a child, thus I stayed and let my parents support me and abuse me AND my child. I don't buy it. I don't think the jury will either. Casey's father is the one who testified at the grand jury and this is just her way of getting back at him.

    One more thing, to make a long post longer.. sorry bout that. I noticed they had a hard time sitting a jury in the Hataway case but they DID. He's as famous around here because of Jennifer Kesse as Casey is because of Caylee. He's not even being tried for Jennifer's disappearance but it only goes to show that even with all the publicity a jury CAN be found.

    I aim to clear up minds, Connie, including my own. Absolutely, that's what Mason was (and is) up to, only this time, his spring cleaning antic won't work. He could try refiling the Miranda and agents of the state motions, but the judge told him that he wouldn't pay any attention to them. He put his foot down.

    Your question about the DP is a good one, and there are two answers, actually. In the guilt phase, the jury must return with a unanimous decision - 12 guilty votes - in order to convict. Anything less is problematic and the judge has several options, but I'm not going to go there right now. In the penalty phase, the jury only has to come back with a majority vote along with the recommendation of LWOP or death. This means the vote could be anywhere from 7-5 or 12-0. In the end, it's merely a recommendation because the judge can follow the jury or render his own decision. Generally, judges follow the jury, but not always. This judge is 8 for 8 in DP cases, sentencing each one to death.

    George never molested anyone in his family. Maybe a hooker or two, but he paid for it. Oh... wait... that was gambling, wasn't it?

    I keep a close watch on the Hataway case and I think I want to sit in on the trial one day, before Casey's trial revs up.

    Hey, Connie, thank you very much!

    March 30, 2011 | Registered Commenterconniefl

    Judy LOL at your comment. Cheney Mason is just faking stupidity. He thinks he's a charming old southern guy with his self-deprecating remarks. His talk about I don't now how to work this new-fangled technologistical stuff like a computer (!!??) but my colleagues do and while we were talking here they looked up the case you sited Judge Perry. Imagine that!!! Wonders will never cease!

    March 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTerrytsk

    Dave - As a nurse, I have always had an affection for ''the rules''. It governs our behavior and response thereof, not only to our surroundings but to the individuals we come in contact with daily. I have learned so much more about the criminal judicial system and it's processes these past three years than I have in all my adult life. Without a doubt, I find it to be very interesting, taxing and challenging, but very interesting. Dave - Thanks for bringing some life into the laws that govern the judicial process in seeking justice for a child whose life was taken too soon. This is but one case. A powerful case. A profoundly sad case. But only one in a sea of hundreds... sickening to know that so many children suffered abuse - from ''one'' instance of brutal rage to daily abuse - at the hands of those responsible for thier wellbeing.

    Hi Sara Jane - I must admit, we are all much more learned when it comes to law, Florida law in particular. This has been an eye opening process, and one of the benefits is that, because we understand more, we will have a better understanding in the courtroom when the trial gets underway. Yes, this is but one case out of many. Too bad we had to learn it at all. While knowledge is good, this wasn't the way I wanted to garner it. Thank you. When this is over, sadly, there will be plenty more.

    March 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSara Jane - IN Parent

    "Lippman said, facts aside, that the defense could still use the theory that his client killed Caylee at trial.

    "If there's a reasonable scenario that could cater to how the circumstances then turned out later, certainly you present it, it's absolutely necessary if you're going to represent your client zealously," Lippman said.

    Lippman said he met last Friday with defense attorney Jose Baez and Casey Anthony's mother, Cindy Anthony, but he cannot say what they discussed".

    So even George Anthony's lawyer is not saying the defense team is in no way planning on using his client (George) as the patsy. Why didn't Lippman meet with George Anthony and Jose Baez? Cindy? She'd throw George under the bus in a heart beat, if it meant getting her daughter off. Maybe George would too? If it meant admitting he is responsible for the death of his beloved granddaughter and then commited fraud by duping the public into donating funds to find the "missing" child? I'm not so sure about that. Actually, I'm not sure if Cindy would even do that.

    My guess is that George was unavailable at the time of the meeting. In my opinion, there's no way Cindy would allow George to fall prey to such a ridiculous scheme. For one thing, it wouldn't work because the state does not look at him as a suspect. A victim? Yes. There's still the issue o the car. If George killed Caylee, how did he plant evidence in the trunk? How is the defense going to answer that one? From 6/16 on, Casey and her car were gone. The car was found stenching at a tow yard. Casey drove it last and admitted abandoning it at Amscot.

    March 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTerrytsk

    Good Morning Dave. Great article! I am a Cubs fan so I am used to being on a losing team, however, this is one judge I am just not willing to lose!! Thanks so much for giving us all something to ponder and helping us relax a bit.

    Thank you, Lexi! If I could bet on this battle between Mason and Perry, I'd place all my money on the judge. Every penny.

    A Cubs fan, huh? Don't worry, your year will come. Could be this one.

    March 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLexi

    LOL Dave! Munching indeed. I still can't remember what word was actually used. I might get around to checking into it some day. It was a very pertinent detail in this case. It decribed the insects feasting on Caylee's decomp material.

    Speaking of munching, I'm ready for lunch. You know, it really "bugs" me, too, when I can't remember something, especially pertaining to insects.

    March 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTerrytsk

    Who knows? The defense could say George murdered Caylee and placed her in the defendants car. She didn't know what to do so she drove around town in a fugue state with her daughter's body decaying in the trunk. She told Amy her DAD had run over two, not just one, but two squirrels and that was causing the stench of death. That also tells me Casey Anthony recognized the stench of death, which I think we all would on the most rudimentary level that has allowed us to survive as the fittest on this planet Earth. It's an ingrained instinct IMO. But my opinion is non-acedemic and open to debate, so I'll shut up.

    Just my personal opinion but I think if George says he is responsible, the car evidence would be moot. I don't think George will say he did it, so my comments are also moot. Neither George, Cindy or Lee will admit to committing fraud by going on national TV begging for money to help to find this missing child.

    Sorry, I was gone most of the day.

    There's absolutely no way the defense could pin the murder on George. He was never a suspect and the prosecutors would have a field day with the defense. This was a ratings booster for WFTV,and personally, I don't believe, for one minute, that Ann Finnell or Dorothy Sims would go along with a silly plan like this. Just remember where this rumor started.

    March 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTerrytsk

    I still think Mason is doing his best to bring this case to a plea if he can...I don't think he's going to be happy if he has to spend 5 1/2 days a week in court for what will most likely take way more than 2 months for free while his paying clients wait. I know he's got plenty of money, but most pro bono cases do not rise to the level this one has. time will tell. As we have seen with Dorothy Sims and Anne bono has it's limits.

    Remember that Mason was going to walk out of the courtroom arm-in-arm with Casey. I'm holding him to that promise, Phyllis. Did you know that Mason's office is practically across the street from the courthouse? That makes it pretty convenient for him to saunter right over to the elevators. Heck, he doesn't even have to pay cab fare.

    March 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPhyllis

    Dave - it's so cute seeing all the praise and desire for you to write a book about this case. I've thought the same thing myself for quite some time. A few weeks ago I read in one thread here someone wanted you to take a job at 60 Minutes.

    Well instantly what flashed through in my mind was your whole future! from your meager beginnings in a tiny room with one black typewriter to walking the red carpet at the Emmy's because you were nominated for some feature story you did! I yelled at my pc screen - NO NO he can't! he won't have time to write the book or blog here!

    So Dave, if you do this....... promise me you won't forget us - the little people who knew and loved you first! :-))

    Cute, huh? A lot of people have been telling me to write a book and I have looked into the possibility. I have a few coals burning in the fire, one of which is definitely not 60 Minutes. Boy, I wish! Oh well, something is in the works and soon it will break.


    I'm right here. You were having a dream. How can I forget you? Any of you? If you consider yourself little people, then I am one, too. I'm a blogger. So it is written, so it shall be done. If I write a book, I will always return to my roots. Thank you for feeling this way, but I'm just a regular guy. Nothing will ever change.

    March 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMystical Pippin

    Yes, I bet Mr. Mason does have a lot of money. But if the young lad is successful in suing him for reneging on the million dollars that he announced he would pay to anyone who could fly to and from the stated locations (mind freeze to locations) it might significantly effect his disposable cash flow. And I know Mr. Marinade you are going to say his case was tossed out but I researched further and the said young (now) attorney appealed the judges decision. It ain't over yet.

    I know it's not over, and I'm curious about what the final outcome will be. Trust me, I'm not rooting for either one of them.

    March 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTerrytsk

    Dear, dear Dave,Do your ears burn all the time? Doyou feel the pressure of all of us waiting for Dave's point of view? I , too feel so relieved after reading after your enlightening article. You really do a fantastic job helping explain the " Law for Dummies "',, like me. Your translations are so simple and uncluttered. Thank You so much. I may just make it through this trial without going bonkers, thanks to you and Snoopy. BTW my name has been on your book list for months. God bless Dave, take care of your health.

    Hi Margaret... your comments are always so nice. That's why I enjoy writing so much. I'm glad my posts are easy to understand and comprehend. That's what I'm here for. And the friendship, of course.

    Thank you very much, and when the book comes, if ever, you'll know about it. I promise.

    March 30, 2011 | Registered Commentermargaret

    I saw this and thought maybe some people would like to see this.

    Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell
    TONIGHT: An "Issues" exclusive interview with George and Cindy Anthony’s attorney... He’ll deliver a message from Casey’s parents that you won’t want to miss!!!

    What a letdown, huh?

    March 30, 2011 | Registered CommenterMary Jo

    I have a feeling the jaw-dropping, earth-shattering news from George and Cindy's attorney that we don't want to miss will pretty much be that A) George is innocent; and of course B) Casey is also innocent.

    Yup, George is innocent and he doesn't represent Casey. That was about it.

    March 30, 2011 | Registered CommenterLisaT

    I am not sure what he will have to say, but since we haven't really heard much from him it will be interesting to see what he says. I have a feeling it will have to with what WFTV was saying about the defense blaming George for Caylee's death.

    March 30, 2011 | Registered CommenterMary Jo

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