After reading today at Examiner.Com that Jose Baez's past experience involves winning 32 out of 34 trials while working as an intern at a Public Defender's Office as well as doing internet training at Lexis-Nexis, I was shocked.
How did this guy get to be the lead counsel on the biggest case of the year? And however snooty this may sound, Casey Anthony BETTER have a dream team if this is the type of experience we're talking about here.
Most defense attorneys work years before they take on felony cases of this magnitude, where the death penalty is involved. And that's before you add in all the media hoopla. What gives?
Here's what I found out about Jose Baez.
1. First of all, his website doesn't allow you to read his bio page - it just clicks back to the home page when you attempt to go there. Nice, expensive website.
2. WESH-TV in Orlando reports that it has checked out his recent past experience in their records; however when you compare this to the Baez site with its four "success stories," it's duplicative.
Plus, there's only FOUR and they are the kind of wins you'd expect an aggressive, Young-Turk type of defense attorney to have on his site at this point. NOTHING near to the complexity of the Anthony matter.
3. You can't pull up his information at Martindale, when is a site owned by Lexis - purportedly, his former employer. He's not in Martindale???? What??????
4. The Florida Bar Association shows Jose Angel Baez to be in good standing with them, with offices in Kissamee, Florida. He was admitted to practice in September 2005.
5. I found a site, avvo.com, that reports Jose Baez got his law degree from St. Thomas School of Law - while Investigation Discovery quotes Baez's web site as Baez having a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Criminology from Florida State University. Same source also quotes the Baez site as Baez working for the Public Defender's Office since 1995.
We know that he's been licensed to practice for around 3 years when he takes the Casey Anthony case.
We know that he's got an office in Kissimmee, and he's paid for a very nice website.
We know he's not listed in Martindale (a real red flag to lawyers out there).
Today, I can't get anything off the website. However, it appears that those seeking information about Baez have had access to it, and it's been from his own website that they've reported his "success stories" as well as his background and experience.
Personally, I'll give Jose Baez this: as a trial lawyer, you go into a courtroom and take responsibility for another human being.
It takes a whole lot of chutzpah to do that job. Courage, huevos, whatever you want to call it.
And it's clear that Jose Baez has that in spades.
What's not clear is what the heck Jose Baez thinks he's doing, representing Casey Anthony. Her defense is something that even the most seasoned of advocates would find challenging.
He's gone out and got himself some co-counsel. Good. Great.
Because there's a thing called "ineffective assistance of counsel" that every jailhouse lawyer can chant like a mantra upon appeal and if my search of the web is all we've got to put in an appellate brief here, well - Katie Bar the Door.
Point of Error comin'.
Unless, of course, on the first day of trial we get a Surprise Change in Lead Counsel -- a Mystery Lawyer who reveals himself or herself as things tee up (wouldn't that make a great Nancy Grace Bombshell?)....
Update: After a self-imposed gag order on posting regarding the Casey Anthony Case, I have begun posting again beginning June 3, 2011. For reasons on the gag, and why I decided to lift it, you can read my June 3d post.
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