Friday, November 23, 2007

Crossing Your T's and Dotting Your I's

Harlow and Joe

With previous motions being filed by the prosecution and defense requesting that Harlow Caudra and Joseph Kerekes be assigned conflict attorneys and not public defenders (Joe already won his motion)... some folks may be wondering what the heck is going on. In my hopes of making this a little more clear, I'll try to explain:

Attorneys Al Flora and Jonathan Blum previously represented Bryan Kocis, and might be called to testify at the Cuadra/Kerekes trial. The main concern here is that Flora and Blum had involvement in a previous Kocis case, and since Flora's the the second-in-command at the PD's office... there's no telling what influence his inside information may have on those under him. (Blum has since been removed from the case).

We also need to keep in mind that if there is a conviction for either defendant, it can certainly be overturned on appeal if an appellate court believes that Harlow Cuadra and/or Joseph Kerekes was not defended properly or legally. So it's understandable why both sides would want to address this issue now. There was also a situation very similar to this one that came up in a past death penalty case. It ended up being appealed before trial, and caused a long delay before the trial could even start.

The argument here isn't about the specific public defenders assigned to the case, but the fact that they are involved at all... especially since their boss (Flora) could potentially be called as a witness.

This is one of those rare events that both the prosecution and defense agree on the same outcome desired... so it'll be interesting to see what happens. I'm guessing this motion will likely go to Judge Olszewski to decide.