Thursday, March 6, 2013
George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn are back in the news.
George Zimmerman has a hearing scheduled for tomorrow in his civil case against NBC.
To get that case back on track (it was stayed pending the entry of a final order terminating the criminal case), he is abandoning his effort to obtain an order requiring the State of Florida to pay his costs and fees in the murder case and he is asking Judge Nelson to dismiss pending claims filed on his behalf by his attorneys against Bernie de la Rionda and the State Attorney’s Office for sanctions and to reimburse them for costs incurred because of discovery violations.
Mark O’Mara and Don West have joined in his request.
State Attorney Angela Corey is opposing his request for an order dismissing those pending motions.
She wants to litigate those matters because she is confident that she will win on the merits and she wants that result so that there will be no doubt that her office did nothing wrong.
I can understand where she is coming from, but litigating those matters would be a waste of time. Nothing remains to litigate when a moving party withdraws its own motion.
Dismissal of the motions should clear the way to enter a final order in the murder case.
I do not believe the defamation lawsuit against NBC has any chance to succeed.
Meanwhile, Zimmerman’s motion to set aside the order of default in the divorce case that Shellie filed has been granted. That effectively rewinds the case to zero. I do not believe either of them have any assets to divide up, except guns, ammo and a worthless defamation suit against NBC.
I did not handle divorce cases when I practiced law, so I am just guessing when I say that the $1.5 million debt to O’Mara will be his obligation alone. Nevertheless, I believe he may be able to challenge the legitimacy of that debt by suing O’Mara for breach of contract. O’Mara agreed to represent him pro bono and I do not think he could unilaterally change that agreement without Zimmerman’s consent.
For all I know, O’Mara may have obtained Zimmerman’s written consent to change the fee agreement.
Now, let’s turn to the Michael Dunn case.
Michael Dunn’s attorney filed a motion seeking to continue the sentencing hearing until after the retrial of the murder charge. Cory Strolla pointed out that Dunn still has a right to remain silent pending the retrial and he does not want to give a statement about the offense to the probation officer assigned to write the presentence report.
That is a valid point, so I am expecting Strolla’s motion will be granted.
The sentencing is scheduled for the week of March 24th.
I do not believe a date has been set for the retrial. Corey has 90 days from the date when the mistrial was granted to commence the retrial. Look for the court to schedule the retrial sometime in early May.
That date will have to be continued for several months if Strolla withdraws because Dunn is out of money. New counsel will require several months to get ready.
This is our 922nd post and its time again to request donations. We work hard to keep you informed by filling in the blanks between the lines. After 30 years in the trenches, I am familiar with all of the rules and strategies prosecutors and defense counsel utilize. Experience counts and most of my predictions have been accurate.
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