Posts Tagged ‘Debra Ferwerda’

The federal bankruptcy judge ruled today that both Zenaida Gonzalez’s and Roy Kronk’s lawsuits can move forward in federal court.  Casey Anthony most likely now faces a deposition in the Gonzalez case.  Both sides agree that the deposition will not be published and the time and location will not be revealed.  U.S. Bankruptcy Judge K. Rodney May declined to dismiss the two lawsuits though he ordered Kronk to amend his complaint before it moves forward.

Anthony’s lawyers argued that Gonzalez’s claim is based upon one out-of-context remark Anthony made to her mother.  May ruled there was “disputed issues of fact” sufficient for further proceedings.  In the Kronk complaint, Anthony’s lawyers argued that Anthony cannot be held liable for what her attorneys say.  Kronk’s lawyer, Howard Marks, countered saying attorneys act upon their client’s behalf and consent.

Marks said, “The fact that Ms. Anthony didn’t state it doesn’t get her anywhere.”

May ordered Anthony’s lawyers, David Schrader and Debra Ferwerda to pay Gonzalez’s lawyer Scott Shuker $500 for not consulting him on the motion to block the deposition.  Shuker claimed the motion was a waste of time because he would have willingly met with Anthony’s attorneys about security issues.

“…I’m not interested in publicity,” Shuker said.  Following the last hearing, Shuker became irate after the judge adjourned the hearing.  He used expletive language and personal insults to express thoughts about opposing counsel.  Shuker was asked to leave the courtroom following his outburst.  After getting outside, he told reporters, “You were there” when asked why he was so upset.  Ferwerda and Schrader shrugged off the encounter saying, “it was the heat of the moment”, but admitted it was “startling” because there had never been problems before.

Schrader countered Shuker’s publicity argument pointing out that they “learned about the deposition in the newspaper,” after Matt Morgan, another Gonzalez lawyer, talked with the media about it instead of talking with them about concerns and logistics.  It is unclear if Casey Anthony will assert her Fifth Amendment rights during the deposition.  The decisions on whether the cases meet the “willful and malicious” defamation legal requirement will come sometime next year.

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As Casey Anthony’s bankruptcy proceedings enter their 10th month (she filed in January), she asked a judge Thursday to dismiss Roy Kronk and Zenaida Gonzalez’s claims in her bankruptcy case, saying they are without merit.  Both Zenaida Gonzaelz and Roy Kronk claim Anthony defamed them and they should be considered creditors in the bankruptcy case.  Anthony asked in the dual motions for the “fresh start” she is promised by law.

“This travesty has gone on long enough,” Anthony’s lawyers argue in both new motions, “Ms. Anthony implores the Court to end this matter so she can begin the fresh start she is promised by the law.”

Casey Anthony told detectives during a 2008 investigation that a woman named Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez, her nanny for 2 years, kidnapped her 2-year-old daughter.  Gonzalez said she was defamed because of the similar name.  Investigators determined that there was no nanny and charged Anthony with murder.  Casey Anthony was eventually acquitted at trial of the most serious charges relating to her daughter’s disappearance and death.

Anthony’s lawyers write in their new motion that Gonzalez’s claim is based entirely on privileged conversations with law enforcement and out-of-context comments Anthony made to her mother.  Roy Kronk found Caylee Anthony’s remains near the Anthony home.  He claims he was defamed when Jose Baez made “false statements” about him.  Anthony’s attorneys argue that Kronk is suing based upon protected privileged comments made by Jose Baez.  Besides, under bankruptcy law, a person “cannot be liable for statements of someone else.”

“Over the years, many persons have pursued actions in which they sought to profit, one way or another, from Ms. Anthony’s ordeal,” her attorney, David Schrader, wrote in the motion, “All of the claimants have been rebuffed and turned away empty-handed, though most of them enjoyed their ‘fifteen minutes’ of fame while their claims were pending, which was the real objective.”

Charles Green, Anthony’s civil attorney and Debra Ferwerda, Anthony’s lead bankruptcy attorney, said their client never willfully or maliciously defamed Kronk, a meter reader, or Gonzalez, both are required for a defamation lawsuit.

“Casey Anthony specifically says when asked by the police ‘Is this the Zenaida Gonzalez you are referring to?’ she says, ‘No, that’s not the same person.’  She’s not talking about that Zenaida Gonzalez.  Never was.  Kronk is suing on what Jose Baez said in his closing arguments.  He’s suing Casey for something her attorney said, which just can’t be done.  Plus, what is said in court is protected,” said Ferwerda.

Casey Anthony is set to be deposed by Zenaida Gonzalez’s attorneys, her attorneys told FOX35 on Thursday that they will likely file a motion for protective order until after November 5th, the date the federal judge is expected to rule on the motions to dismiss.  Texas Equusearch, another group civilly suing Anthony, may be nearing a settlement with her, according to a recent court filing.