Posts Tagged ‘casey anthony defamation’

Tampa bankruptcy judge K. Rodney May ruled Tuesday that Casey Anthony must answer some of the questions she did not answer during a recent deposition.  The deposition was taken in January as part of the Zenaida Gonzalez defamation lawsuit still pending.

Casey Anthony accused a woman of kidnapping her daughter in 2008, that woman had a similar name to Zenaida Gonzalez.  Gonzalez’s attorneys wanted the judge to order Anthony to answer questions ranging from the alleged defamation to Caylee’s disappearance and death, as well as where Caylee was when Anthony lied to investigators and during a July 25th videotaped jail visit that backbones the Gonzalez lawsuit.  In that visitation video, Casey Anthony tells her parents that she never saw a picture of “that girl down in Kissimmee”, who deputies questioned.

The judge said no questions regarding Caylee can be asked.

Shuker told the media afterwards, “What I’m hoping is that the judge is saying, you can get there without asking her directly…”

The judge ruled that Anthony’s state of mind is important and she must answer questions about that.

Cheney Mason told Fox35, that overall they were pleased, “it’s clear that the judge has an intelligent view of what this case is and what this case is not.”

Casey Anthony’s lawyers argued to the judge that she should be allowed to plead the Fifth and not answer questions about Caylee because of possible federal perjury charges.  They argued to the judge that it was possible that Gonzalez’s lawyers were attempting to trap Anthony on purpose.  Judge May said he will not let Gonzalez’s lawyers retry the state’s failed case against Anthony.

During the deposition, Anthony admitted to lying about Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez kidnapping her daughter, but denied ever implicating Zenaida Gonzalez, and in fact pointed out that she cleared her to the police.

The judge’s ruling means that Gonzalez’s lawyers can ask Casey Anthony why she never publicly cleared Gonzalez, after telling her parents that she never saw a picture of that “girl down in Kissimmee.”  The attorneys will also apparently be allowed to ask why Casey Anthony invented the kidnapping story about Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez.

“We’re not thrilled with the ruling…we’re looking forward to asking questions we’re allowed to ask,” Gonzalez’s attorney Scott Shuker told WESH 2, “But disappointed we can’t ask about Caylee’s whereabouts.”

Gonzalez’s attorneys need to establish that Anthony maliciously and intentionally defamed Gonzalez in July of 2008.  If they do not established this, the lawsuit will not survive.  The new deposition was not scheduled.  The judge said that he would like to be available by phone at the next deposition to make decisions about what must be answered.

Anthony was found not guilty of murdering her daughter, but convicted of two counts of lying to law enforcement officers in a 2011 capital trial.  

Advertisements

Zenaida Gonzalez’s attorneys Scott Shuker and Keith Mitnik have released Casey Anthony’s deposition taken in late-January despite an agreement not to do so.  It is my understanding that they accomplished this by attaching it to a Motion to Compel, in which they want the bankruptcy judge to force Casey Anthony to answer certain questions either her or her attorneys, Cheney Mason or David Schrader, objected to or asserted the Fifth Amendment for.  Most of the objectionable questions were asked about Caylee by Mr. Mitnik, despite the fact that Mr. Shuker made an agreement with Casey Anthony’s attorneys as a representative of Zenaida Gonzalez’s team of attorneys, that no questions pertaining to Caylee Anthony would be asked.

Zenaida Gonzalez’s attorneys have been criticized for what appears to be showboating due to the massive number of interviews some of Gonzalez’s attorneys and herself have made since 2008 and the language they used in these appearances including on HLN talking about “making” Casey Anthony tell everyone what “really” happened to her daughter, so that she couldn’t make any money.  Recently, Zenaida Gonzalez’s attorneys claimed that this is not about a show for the public, but instead about her being allegedly defamed and injured.  To prove this, they agreed to the aforementioned two agreements.

However, it seems as though Mr. Mitnik decided he suddenly didn’t agree with the agreement and released the deposition anyway.  To some people this could seem like a purposeful act to get this out into the public.  The document is even labeled “CONFIDENTIAL – FOR ATTORNEYS’ EYES ONLY”.

There is a hearing scheduled for March 4th on the Motion to Compel and on a yet to be filed Motion to Strike by Casey Anthony’s attorneys.

You can read the full deposition here —> Casey Anthony Deposition.

A bankruptcy judge has ruled that Casey Anthony won’t have to pay most of her debts.  It is not clear exactly how much of the debt has been wiped clean, but Chuck Kilcoyne, a representative of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Middle District of Florida, told HLN that the only debt not discharged includes the pending defamation proceedings.  Bankruptcy Judge May signed the order Tuesday.  Anthony’s bankruptcy has taken almost double the length of a normal bankruptcy case.

A date has not been set for the two defamation lawsuits, but the federal judge could hear them early next year.

In recent years bankruptcies have skyrocketed due to economic downturns.  Currently, the bankruptcy filings in the U.S. are more than double that of those in the Great Depression.  An average person carries about $59,000 in debt.  Most bankruptcy filers have recently suffered catastrophic financial issues.  19% of Americans between the ages of 18-24 declared bankruptcy in 2001, according to USA Today.  The fastest growing group of bankruptcy filers are those people who are 25 years of age or younger, according to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.  Bankruptcies are often difficult despite their intended purpose of giving a “fresh start”, three-quarters of filers experience depression.

Casey Anthony owed nearly $800,000 in debts mostly as the result of her acquittal of capital charges in 2011.  Jose Baez, her lead defense attorney, was the largest creditor in the case with more than 60% of her debt.  According to a court document signed by May, the discharge does not dismiss the case yet.

“It does not determine how much money, if any, the trustee will pay to creditors,” the order said, “Most, but not all, types of debts are discharged if the debt existed on the date the bankruptcy case was filed.”