7/09/2011

Casey Anthony Book Deal: With Her Deposition in the Zenaida Gonzalez Case, How Much Is Left to Sell to a Publisher?

The real Zeniada Gonzalez filed her civil lawsuit against Casey Anthony back in September 2008. Last week, Ms. Gonzalez's lawyer, John Morgan, lost no time after the infamous Not Guilty verdict in the murder trial -- he promptly served Casey Anthony with a subpoena to have her deposition taken in Zeniada's civil suit.

Unless there is an agreed-upon delay, the deposition is scheduled to take place in Mr. Morgan's Orlando law offices on July 19, 2011.

Zenaida is suing for defamation, seeking damages for the harm she has experienced after her name was used as "Zanny the Nanny" - something that Casey Anthony admitted in her criminal case was a total fabrication.

That deposition will be transcribed by a court reporter. Maybe it will be videotaped. Casey Anthony will be sworn in - just as if she was taking the witness stand in a courtroom - and everything she says will be part of this civil defamation suit.

So, here's my question: with that big fat deposition coming down, how much will be left for any book deal? The deposition will be public record, it's the taking of testimony in a court case, and unless there's a gag order it will only be a matter of time till the depo will be online for anyone interested to read.

Add that to the fact that double jeopardy has attached, and Casey Anthony cannot take the Fifth on any question that might tend to incriminate her in Caylee's death (she cannot be tried twice for that crime), and that deposition testimony should be pretty interesting.

Suggestion:
if it's acceptable under Florida law and Florida ethical rules, as well as the court reporter (in Texas, court reporters are paid for extra copies), maybe Zenaida would consider placing that deposition transcript for a small price on Amazon - and let the proceeds go to an appropriate charity that would honor Caylee. If that's okay to the Court, the Bar, etc. and I don't know that it is (maybe it could be if there was a Court Order in place that gave the okey-dokey).

I'm not sure that this flies, but I like the idea of sales of Casey's words going to honoring Caylee Marie.

3 comments:

A Voice of Sanity said...

A good lawyer could set up a Swiss corporation which could purchase her rights for a sum like $1 -- plus a pension.

I gather that under US tax law the taxes would be small and the pension unattachable.

Peter Clyne, where are you now you are needed?

A Voice of Sanity said...

Suggestion: "if it's acceptable under Florida law and Florida ethical rules, as well as the court reporter (in Texas, court reporters are paid for extra copies), maybe Zenaida would consider placing that deposition transcript for a small price on Amazon - and let the proceeds go to an appropriate charity that would honor Caylee. If that's okay to the Court, the Bar, etc. and I don't know that it is (maybe it could be if there was a Court Order in place that gave the okey-dokey)."

http://lawyerist.com/court-reporter-transcripts-not-copyrigh/

http://senlawoffice.com/exclusiverights/2009/08/10th-cir-court-reporters-do-not-own-a-copyright-in-the-transcripts-that-they-prepare/

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi VofS,

It's not a question of copyright; copyright is not applicable here for the rights that might be asserted/protected in my scenario by either the State of Florida; John Morgan and/or his client; or the court reporter.

For the court reporter, it's a question of proprietary interest. Court reporters are responsible for protecting the integrity of their transcriptions, and it's my understanding from a lawyer who tweeted me that yes, just like Texas, the Florida court reporters do receive payment for each copy of the deposition ordered.

Longer depositions cost more per copy. Depositions with exhibits cost more. Video depos cost more.

So, for example, the attorney who takes the deposition schedules it with the court reporter and after it's taken, then he pays per copy and the opposing counsel pays per copy and if the deponent is a third party, they pay for their own copy, etc.

So, if my idea were to be viable, then all the copies that would be ordered say thru Kindle would be copies not ordered from the court reporter.

Money lost by the court reporter not from copyright but from the lost revenue.

Therefore, I'm thinking that the court reporter would have to waive his/her proprietary interest here.

A Florida lawyer might have more input here - we'll see.

Thanks for writing,
Reba