Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Jeff Weiner of the Orlando Sentinel reported today that Mark O’Mara has filed his Answer to the Associated Investigative Services’s lawsuit filed against him and George and Shellie Zimmerman for breach of contract.
He says O’Mara has denied most of the factual allegations in the complaint, but:
He does, however, admit several allegations:
• That he told AIS in August that “both George and the trustee [overseeing his defense fund] are clamping down” because “we have some very large expenses for the case coming up.”
O’Mara also said “George does not have any funds presently available to him to attend to any such debt, realizing the enormity of upcoming expenses of the defense and the diminished nature of the defense fund.”
• That AIS was “unable to obtain either a signed written retainer” with O’Mara, or the “outstanding balance on the services rendered.”
• That no payments have been made to AIS by O’Mara since August.
Weiner does not indicate if O’Mara’s answer was filed on behalf of the three defendants or just himself.
It’s difficult for me to tell what is going on or to make any predictions without reading the complaint and answer.
Apparently, he is admitting that there was an oral contract and he seems to be claiming that he warned the plaintiffs that his client was out of money, but it does not appear that the services were terminated or adjusted.
That does not seem like much of a defense to me and if George and Shellie cannot pay the bill, which they cannot, then O’Mara may be stuck with the bill.
That should be extremely depressing news to a man who claims to be working pro bono.
Equally if not more depressing should be the realization that no investigators or experts are going to agree to do any work for him unless he pays them up front. Since he cannot afford to do that, he will not be able to adequately prepare for trial. Therefore, he is setting himself up for a malpractice claim in addition to this lawsuit.
Mark O’Mara has 27,000 and counting reasons to ditch the defendant as a client and the longer he waits to pull the trigger, or file for an order of indigency to proceed at public expense, the deeper the doodoo.
He needs to act and he needs to act NOW.