Monday, February 05, 2007

Dispatch from the frozen capital

This morning I stopped by the courthouse on the way to work to see if I could get a peek at the Libby trial. Sure enough, the benches reserved for the public were half full and I sat 5 rows back from Libby and his team of about 12 attorneys. One young defense attorney looks like a combination of Moose and Jack Black. His greatest role was putting the partner's microphone on his lapel. Libby is probably an inch shorter than Moose. And Fitzgerald is a lot taller and heavier than he appears in photos. I could place other UCLaw grads as look alikes on both teams and in the audience. Media muckity mucks were in attendance, the only one recognizable to me being Nina Totenberg.

I stayed for a couple arguments without the jury and then some defense questioning of an FBI agent on the stand. Couple comments:

--Defense counsel seemed way too argumentative with judge Walton. He had ruled that the gov could enter into evidence some articles recovered from Libby's files on the presumption that Libby had probably read them, especially an article with underlined passages. Even though the judge had clearly made up his mind, defense counsel essentially said "you're wrong, no human or member of the jury could possibly heed your instructions to disregard prejudicial parts of the articles." Why didn't he just say, "we respectfully disagree" and take it up on appeal? Aren't you just pissing off the judge?

--Defense counsel is possibly alienating the 80% female jury by constantly referring to Ms. Plame as "the wife."

--Another defense partner constantly mispronounces "th"s as "f"s, and I'm not sure it's not intentional to appear more down to earth. If it is intentional, don't you risk losing some jurors as much as gaining others by grating on the former's appreciation of correct pronunciation?

--I have no jury experience but they seemed very interested in the case. And they were very social with one another during pauses. That usually bodes well for the prosecution I think.

Place your bets everyone, chances that:

--Libby will be acquitted. I'm thinking 1/1 so far.
--W will pardon Libby if not acquitted. I say 2/1.



At Tuesday, February 06, 2007 3:39:00 PM, Blogger Hammond Law Group LLC said...

This is probably the most interesting post that we've had, except for Monty's Max and Monty The Truck post. It's also the closest that we've had to actual "reporting." We're moving up in the world right around the same time that Google is making it tougher to have multiple posters.

I also suggest that Lopez completes the picture by giving us players-as-if-they-were-law-alums. I'm particularly curious if Nina Totenberg looks like Grace after a row on the Ohio or Calaway after two beers.

Finally I'll posit that he's convicted. My confidence interval is 65% or about 2:1.

At Thursday, February 08, 2007 4:42:00 PM, Blogger UCLaw98 said...

I tried to catch some Russert testimony yesterday but the grand jury tapes dragged on and I got bored. I can't deny feeling a little joy knowing that Libby can't just get up and leave when he feels like it.

Arianna Huffington was there, of course sitting on the left side of the bench next to Totenberg while the WSJ-looking men sat on the right. From reading a real-time blog on the trial, it sounds like the judge took offense to the defense counsel's suggestion that his rulings would undermine justice. Doesn't seem like a smart move, but I'm no trial lawyer.

--Totenberg does not look like Grace after a row on the Ohio. She's more like Lori Kraft.

--A girl for the prosecution does look like Grace after a row on the Ohio, but only if Grace looked like Goderre.

Here are the other actors for the play:

--Fitzgerald could be played by Huffman or Weber if he doesn't improvise.

--2 US Marshals: one is Hibby. The other is bald with a huge goatee and looks exactly like Hans except a foot shorter.

--Judge's Clerk: lanky DiNardo after the haircut.

--Huffington: Lasher?

--Pasty frat boy looking WSJ reporter: Calaway or Smith. He cracks his knuckles and flicks boogers on the bench behind him.

--Judge: Lassiter on a nice cocktail of Prozac and Vicadin.

--Russert: Marc Ross, both from Buffalo I think.

--Foreign correspondent dishevelled looking completely baked: Ewald.

--Libby: Bud in 20 years.

I swear Wessel's on the jury.

This play practically writes itself.

At Friday, February 09, 2007 12:58:00 PM, Blogger michael budelsky said...

I love this, even though I have only the most basic understanding of what James is talking about. Choosing roles for a theater drama about the Scooter Libby trial is the intellectual answer to the choosing roles for the shoot-em-up movie, Law School: The Heist. Have we matured?

At Friday, February 09, 2007 1:53:00 PM, Blogger Hammond Law Group LLC said...

Ross and Russert are both from Buffalo. It never dawned on me that they look alike too. Must be the wing sauce.

The other one that had me rolling was Ariana Huffington as Kathy L. That's spot on. I mean it's a really great call. Except for the accent, of course.



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