Author Topic: CIVIL LAW SUITS  (Read 15664 times)

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Offline DebFrmHell

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #30 on: April 07, 2013, 01:02:10 AM »
Jeralyn, you are the one person I didn't think to ask about the 5 page decision.  Do you have access to the redacted copy?  I would very much like to read it.

Offline TalkLeft

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #31 on: April 07, 2013, 03:29:59 AM »
No, I don't. I'd like to see them too. I thought I did see them when they were first posted by the news, but I didn't save them. There's no record of the case I can find in Seminole County. I do have the Traveler's contract if anyone wants that.

Offline cboldt

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #32 on: April 07, 2013, 04:03:09 AM »
Jeralyn, you are the one person I didn't think to ask about the 5 page decision.  Do you have access to the redacted copy?  I would very much like to read it.

I don't think it's a "decision," or at least not a "decision" of a court.  I think the 5 page document is a private settlement agreement.  It's function is to avoid going to court ;-)  It's a private contract, where one party agrees to give up its right to sue, and the other party pays money to obtain that agreement.

I believe a copy of the the agreement was filed in Zimmerman's criminal case, and that is how the press obtained a view of it.

Offline DebFrmHell

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #33 on: April 07, 2013, 04:08:19 AM »
No, I don't. I'd like to see them too. I thought I did see them when they were first posted by the news, but I didn't save them. There's no record of the case I can find in Seminole County. I do have the Traveler's contract if anyone wants that.

I saw that one but I don't think I saved the link.  It didn't seem relevant at the time but it might be a good reference point for the thread.   If you wouldn't mind posting the link, it would be appreciated.

Can you get your mittens on the policy from Liberty Mutual?  The one that preceded it?  Too nosy for my own good...  8-)

Offline DebFrmHell

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #34 on: April 07, 2013, 04:10:35 AM »
I don't think it's a "decision," or at least not a "decision" of a court.  I think the 5 page document is a private settlement agreement.  It's function is to avoid going to court ;-)  It's a private contract, where one party agrees to give up its right to sue, and the other party pays money to obtain that agreement.

I believe a copy of the the agreement was filed in Zimmerman's criminal case, and that is how the press obtained a view of it.

I know it was a poor choice of words but I was struggling to remember what to call it.  LOL.  I blame old age and medications.  That is my Go-To excuse!

Offline Evil Chinchilla

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #35 on: April 07, 2013, 02:01:45 PM »
I don't think it's recent either. I suspect it was arrived at months ago. The mediation was scheduled on October 26.

I wonder if Nelson's ruling on 10/19-- allowing defense access to Trayvon's school records and social media (over his parents' objections) plus giving Crump ten days to produce a list of everyone who was on both ends of the conversation during his 3/19 recording session with DeeDee-- had any influence on Team Crump going for an out-of-court settlement.

I suspect they always knew that there was just enough material in the school records and social media to challenge Team Crump's portrayal of Trayvon as blameless victim "defending himself from George."

Plus, I suspect Team Crump also knew by this point that the prosecution had discovered DeeDee lied under oath about going to the hospital; this may have been the reason for bringing DeeDee in for that meeting in early August-- to question her about the absence of medical records-- or she may have admitted it for some other reason during that second session.

Also, at this meeting DeeDee may have told prosecution about the 3/19 note, and prosecution may have required Sybrina (or whoever else had it by that point) to relinquish it. Team Crump may have realized that the note containing DeeDee's "Trevon" would eventually be made available to defense and to the media, and that her credibilty-- and theirs-- would take a hit.

So, this may have resulted in a "get what you can, while you can" out-of-court settlement.

OTOH, since Team Crump is-- by their own admission-- using the Martin Lee Anderson "playbook" (with refinements) in the Trayvon Martin case:

http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/national/attorneys-use-bootcamp-playbook-to-press-trayvon-martin-case/1221545

they may be preparing to pressure the state of Florida again for the big payout.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2013, 02:13:23 PM by Evil Chinchilla »

Offline MJW

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #36 on: April 07, 2013, 03:10:18 PM »
Those who haven't seen them yet might be interested in reading the April 5th tweets from the Modaress Law Firm. The firm is closely associated with Crump, but I don't know the exact relationship. One of the tweets says in regard to the confidential filing, "We filed it." Other tweets complain about the information coming out, and accuse the defense of leaking it.

Offline Cylinder

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #37 on: April 08, 2013, 01:55:49 PM »
Letter of Seminole County Clerk of Court

Quote
Pursuant to the Judicial Rules of Administration 2.420(d)(2), we are notifying you that we do not agree that the information contained within this document is subject to confidentiality as contained within subdivision (d)(1)(A) or (d)(1)(B) of this rule. We will maintain this information as confidential for a period of ten days but it will become public information after that time unless you file the appropriate motion pursuant to subdivision (d)(3).

As usual, cboldt has provided some well-informed comments in another thread:

Quote
It's up at the Court's "Document" website.  April 5, 2013 Letter of Seminole County Clerk of Court

It advised Crump that the court does not agree that the document is subject to confidentiality, and gives him 10 days to file a motion pursuant to Judicial Rules of Administration 2.420(d)(3).


Quote
RULE 2.420.  PUBLIC ACCESS TO JUDICIAL BRANCH RECORDS

(d) Procedures for Determining Confidentiality of Court Records.
(3) Any person filing a document with the court shall ascertain whether any information contained within the document may be confidential under subdivision (c) of this rule notwithstanding that such information is not itemized at subdivision (d)(1) of this rule. A person filing information that he or she believes in good faith to be confidential but that is not described in subdivision (d)(1) of this rule shall request that the information be maintained as confidential by filing a "Motion to Determine Confidentiality of Court Records" under the procedures set forth in subdivision (e), (f), or (g), unless (A) the person filing the information is the only individual whose confidential information is included in the document to be filed or is the attorney representing all such individuals; and (B) a knowing waiver of the confidential status of that information is intended by the person filing the information. Any interested person may request that information within a court file be maintained as confidential by filing a motion as  provided in subdivision (e), (f), or (g).


2.420(e), (f) and (g) describe the handling of the motion, that is, the legal procedure for making argument and for the court to reach a finding.  Most everything is conducted in secret, but there will be docket entries that show activity while not disclosing the confidential information.  There are time limits for making decisions, but I don't think Florida courts adhere to any time limit rule that is not embodied in a court order; or that is useful for an appellate court to use to reach the desired outcome in a case at hand.

Offline Cylinder

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #38 on: April 08, 2013, 02:38:49 PM »
Quote from: cboldt
If I understand the process (and there's a chance I don't), the clerk's initial determination as to confidentiality is limited to looking at certain limited grounds, which are listed at (d)(1).  The list at (d)(1)(A) includes items listed at (c)(1) through (c)(6).  There are other areas of court-respected confidentiality, most listed at parts (c)(7) through (c)(9), but the clerk is not empowered to rule on assertions of confidentiality not listed at part (d)(1), that is for the judge.

Quick aside, (c)(9)(A)(ii) allows for protection of a trade secret.  A private settlement is in the nature of a business deal, where the parties agree to secrecy.  Trade secrets aren't only "how to," they can also be customer lists, and other business deals.  I'm not sure how Crump (and the HOA insurer) will pigeonhole the information within the rules framework, and that doesn't really matter.  What matters is that the clerk did not find the information to be protected under (d)(1).

Anyway, this information being outside of (d)(1), we get to the process to get the issue before the judge, which is the "Motion to Determine Confidentiality of Court Records" (this title must be used in the filing, if the rules are followed).  The parties that want to keep this confidential have 10 days within which to file this motion, and the motion must be substantive both legally, and as applied to the information alleged to be confidential.

An interesting question, to me, is who are the "interested parties" for purposes of this motion.  Is that just the HOA, Crump, and Sybrina?  Or do O'Mara and the state have a part in this sideshow?  I don't know.  The simpler situation is only the HOA, insurer, Crump, and Sybrina are involved in the sideshow, and all of them will agree that the information they promised to keep secret, should be kept secret.

I bet the HOA, insurer, and Judge Nelson are pissed.  This is a totally unnecessary sideshow in the criminal case.

I wonder how likely it would be for the HOA or its representative to intevene, since they kind of have dueling interests (i.e. protecting other negotiations by keeping the terms of this one secret vs. any disclosure penalty).

Offline cboldt

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #39 on: April 08, 2013, 02:55:07 PM »
I wonder how likely it would be for the HOA or its representative to intevene, since they kind of have dueling interests (i.e. protecting other negotiations by keeping the terms of this one secret vs. any disclosure penalty).

They'll file motions, and this will be one of the rare facets where Crump's interest and the HOA (and insurer) are in harmony.  None of them wants the material to be public, all of them deem the agreement to be proprietary, confidential, and otherwise not intended to be known - to ANYBODY.

I wondered aloud, at Diwataman's place, why the clerk hadn't sent letters to the other parties.  Is the court aware of the identity of the other parties?  If it is, does it not want them to have a voice?

Offline DebFrmHell

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #40 on: April 08, 2013, 03:22:05 PM »
They'll file motions, and this will be one of the rare facets where Crump's interest and the HOA (and insurer) are in harmony.  None of them wants the material to be public, all of them deem the agreement to be proprietary, confidential, and otherwise not intended to be known - to ANYBODY.

I wondered aloud, at Diwataman's place, why the clerk hadn't sent letters to the other parties.  Is the court aware of the identity of the other parties?  If it is, does it not want them to have a voice?

As I read in the article, the papers that Crump filed had the amount redacted.  I am willing to bet that the amount wasn't redacted for Judge Nelson.  I don't know that he would trust Corey or de la Riondo with unredacted copies.

So if he filed any part of the agreement, isn't that a violation of the confidentiality that was agreed to with the HOA?  Especially since there is no good reason not to keep it sealed?

Offline cboldt

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #41 on: April 08, 2013, 03:29:24 PM »
As I read in the article, the papers that Crump filed had the amount redacted.  I am willing to bet that the amount wasn't redacted for Judge Nelson.  I don't know that he would trust Corey or de la Riondo with unredacted copies.

So if he filed any part of the agreement, isn't that a violation of the confidentiality that was agreed to with the HOA?  Especially since there is no good reason not to keep it sealed?

Just guessing on this part, the amount was redacted, period.  Even from the judge.  This is a confidential filing, and my sense right now is that the clerk participated in a scheme to make the existence of a settlement a matter of public knowledge.

As for Crump violating an agreement, he can argue that it was not he who disclosed, it was an error of the clerk of the court.  And, in fact, the clerk of the court erred.  I am smelling more than one rat, at this juncture.

As for no good reason to keep it sealed, there is.  Don't overlook the rights of the HOA and insurer, who are also parties to the agreement.  This is in the nature of a legal but secret business deal, in the vernacular, a "trade secret."  The court will preserve (cough cough) confidentiality, even though the clerk already let the cat out of the bag.

Offline FromBelow

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #42 on: April 08, 2013, 03:51:14 PM »
Just guessing on this part, the amount was redacted, period.  Even from the judge.  This is a confidential filing, and my sense right now is that the clerk participated in a scheme to make the existence of a settlement a matter of public knowledge.

Accidents do happen, but a theory is a clerk briefly made it available so Rene could grab it and get a scoop. OS does seem to get scoops on the case. Maybe they have someone at the court helping them out.

I don't know anything about confidentiality agreements, or the specifics of what's in place for this settlement, but it seems to me filing the settlement with the criminal court puts the confidentiality of the agreement at risk even if filed as 'confidential'. As the clerk giving "10 days notice" shows. I wonder if that's a violation of some kind. Even if not it seems to me to violate the 'spirit' of such an agreement. Presumably they aren't supposed to reveal the agreement and here's Crump filing it with the criminal court with no evident need to do so.

EDIT: Heck, maybe even filing it with the court is a violation. There's absolutely no need for Nelson to know about it AFAIK. She might as well be someone off the street as far as the HOA settlement goes. Not to mention the clerk(s) that have read it. IANAL and have no idea what the confidentiality agreement says though.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 03:57:52 PM by FromBelow »

Offline cboldt

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #43 on: April 08, 2013, 04:09:03 PM »
I don't know anything about confidentiality agreements, or the specifics of what's in place for this settlement, but it seems to me filing the settlement with the criminal court puts the confidentiality of the agreement at risk even if filed as 'confidential'. As the clerk giving "10 days notice" shows. I wonder if that's a violation of some kind. Even if not it seems to me to violate the 'spirit' of such an agreement. Presumably they aren't supposed to reveal the agreement and here's Crump filing it with the criminal court with no evident need to do so.

EDIT: Heck, maybe even filing it with the court is a violation. There's absolutely no need for Nelson to know about it AFAIK. She might as well be someone off the street as far as the HOA settlement goes. Not to mention the clerk(s) that have read it. IANAL and have no idea what the confidentiality agreement says though.

I don't know specifically what the settlement agreement says, but I can make a darn good guess.  It says that the agreement itself is not to be disclosed, period.  Otherwise, the insurer is "made book" as willing to settle.  I doubt it specifically mentions "agrees to not file as a confidential paper in the Zimmerman criminal trial."

Neither the HOA or insurer would ever file a copy of the agreement with the criminal court, but that does not mean that Crump filing a (cough cough) confidential filing should work a waiver of the confidentiality that the HOA and insurer extracted during negotiations with Crump.  IOW, "putting the confidentiality at risk" is not a one-sided issue.  The HOA can't make Crump behave, all it can obtain is agreements.

The clerk violated the law, that's abundantly clear.  The first line of defense the clerk will raise is that it was an innocent mistake, error, etc.  I don't buy that for a second.  This was a deliberate, limited release.

The 10 days notice is what the law provides.  Material filed as confidential is kept so, but (if the material isn't protected by a subset of the rules) only for 10 days, or longer (maybe forever) upon filing a motion to keep confidential.

Offline DebFrmHell

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Re: CIVIL LAW SUITS
« Reply #44 on: April 08, 2013, 05:58:35 PM »
But then I have to wonder who benefits from the agreement being put online, if only for a short period of time?  It certainly doesn't benefit the Defense.  As I see it, the benefit lies with Crump.  He gets out that he is "opposing counsel" to the courts and he has something for the Martin supporters to cheer about at a time when he has been taking a bit of a beating PR wise.

If he has given copies to Judge Nelson, Angela Corey, Bernie de la Riondo, and Mark O'Mara that should violate the terms of the contract.

but what do I know...

 

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