Thursday, September 27, 2007

Rumor Control: Those Greedy Lawyers

Frank and Joseph Nocito, Bill Ruzzo

Update (09/29/07): The Times Leader has picked up the story of the sale of NME.

The latest round of rumors coming out of the Kocis-case blogosphere pits the stout-hearted duo Harlow Cuadra and Joe Kerekes against none other than their own attorneys— characterizing the latter as base, money-hungry, deadline-setting Bad Men.

The story purportedly goes like this: Suddenly, lawyers Bill Ruzzo and the Nocito team are demanding $150,000... pay up in six days or the altogether heartless crowd of them will withdraw from the case en masse.

Further, because of this, Joe and Harlow are reportedly being forced to sell off Norfolk Male Escorts (NME) lock, stock, and client list.

Okay, let’s forget for a moment that hitherto we were told that there was no “little black book.”

Harlow's Blog

Sure, let’s seriously entertain the latest prospect for a spell. What assets would a buyer, you know, be buying? A name that googles to a murder? A big barrel of condoms? How about the immediate attention of the Virginia Commonwealth Attorney’s office? Pray, what is the going rate for guaranteeing oneself a state prosecution?

Nay, what we are meant to take from this twaddle is that the bidding shall be between someone who wishes to publicize the client list and some former client who doesn’t want to be known. Okay. So... the hoped-for sale is blackmail?

Goodness, are we now to believe that Harlow and Joe are masterminding yet more crimes from behind bars? They’re impulsive scamps, the pair of them, but are we ready to call them quite that stupid? What a rude suggestion.

But, just a second. What about this abrupt lawyerly call for cash that’s supposedly at the base of the whole thing?

Defense attorneys are not imbeciles. Before accepting a retainer, they make it their business to find out what resources their clients have to put toward the case. Bill Ruzzo and the Nocitos almost certainly knew at the outset about how much they’d get out of this case. Are we to believe that they’ve suddenly (and simultaneously, no less) become greedy beyond all realistic measure? Bad attorney, bad!

And if the lawyers have actually made these demands in such an unexpected way, why would Harlow and Joe want to keep them? What’s to stop the mean, old lawyers from demanding yet more money at some crucial juncture during the trial? These are the guys you want on your side?

None of it makes any sense. And so it makes us wonder after it.

It’s almost as if those running Harlow and Joe’s blogs are absolutely intent on letting us know that Harlow Cuadra and Joe Kerekes don’t have much input about what gets posted. Worse, it makes one skeptical about whether any of it is true.

-Both PC and KM contributed to this story.