***PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT THESE NOTES ARE NOT PERFECT, THEY ARE NOT ALWAYS WORD-FOR-WORD, AND THEY ARE NOT THE TRANSCRIPTS OF THE PROCEEDINGS. THEY ARE NOT TAKEN FROM THE TRANSCRIPTS. I TOOK THESE NOTES BY HAND. I HAVE DONE MY BEST TO INCLUDE AS MANY OF THE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS AS POSSIBLE BUT THERE ARE THINGS THAT JUST DIDN’T MAKE IT INTO THESE NOTES, BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS I BELIEVE HAVE..*** I HAVE PROVIDED THESE NOTES TO TAAJ MALIK FOR POSTING. I wish to remain completely anonymous.
STATUS CONFERENCE HEARING February 7, 2011
· The Status Conference Hearing commenced at approximately 01:30p.m.,
· Parties Present: The Defendant (Conrad Murray) is not present, as he had previously waived his personal appearance pursuant to Penal Code Section 977 (back at the Arraignment Hearing on 01/25/11). All three Defense attorneys are present: Chernoff, Flannagan, and Lowe. Both Prosecutors are present: Deputy District Attorney Walgren and Brazil.
· No Jackson Family Members are present. Randy was there in the 8 am, but had an appointment in the afternoon had to leave
· The Court (Judge) states that it made an error in setting the Jury Trial to start on the last day (60th day)- on 03/28/11- (NOTE- explanation of 60th day: for speedy trial rights, defendant is entitled to have the trial commence within 60 days of the Felony Arraignment Hearing date (01/25/11) and technically the 60th day is Saturday 03/26/11, but by operation of law, the NEXT business day is counted, not weekends, so that made Monday 03/28/11 day 60 of 60.) The Court says that it simply cannot allow the Jury Trial to start on the last (60th) day. The Court suggests the week before for commencing the Jury Trial, starting with jury selection
· The Court (Judge) inquires of all Counsel regarding their position on the above-mentioned suggestion and regarding the Memo he previously sent to them (Memo pertains to Jury Trial issues)
· The Court indicates that he will NOT use pre-screened jurors for the selection process but that the initial inquiries of the prospective jurors will pertain to hardship questions such as can they be on this jury (if selected) for such an extended period of time- this is called time qualifying; and are there financial burdens that could occur if serving as a juror and the juror’s job does not pay during jury service. The Judge’s idea is to start with screening in this manner with about 50 prospective jurors in the morning and 50 in the p.m. (on the day jury selection starts.); also giving out the jury questionnaire would be part of this process. The Court provides his general summary of how he would like to see the jury selection process take place.
· The Court feels that, at the end of said hardship/time-qualifying process, about 60 prospective jurors should be selected and sufficient to move to the NEXT phase of final jury selection. The D.A. feels about 60 to 75. (initially one of the defense attorneys asked a question about selecting over one hundred, maybe between 150 to 200 prospective jurors versus the 60 the Court suggested, but the Court said that was just too many, not necessary for this case.)
· Court suggests starting this process on March 24th, with doing such screening of about 100 jurors on Thursday the 24th and another 100 on Friday the 25th, with this screening and FINAL selection process continuing THROUGH the following week of the 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st, 1st.
· **The Court VACATES the current Jury Trial date of 03/28/11 and sets it on Thursday 03/24/11, at 09:30a.m. as day 58 of 60.
· Once again, the Court strongly suggests the use of jury questionnaires for the selection process and asks all Counsel when they can have their proposed jury questionnaire questions ready for the Court’s review. Counsel for both sides state that they are currently working on them. Court states that the next hearing date would be to review the proposed jury questionnaire questions in greater detail with all Counsel.
· Court states that various Media outlets have been making many inquiries (including written) regarding status of Discovery, Motions in Limine, Evidentiary Motions/matters, which format of jury instructions (CalCrim or CalJic), etc.,
· The D.A. (Walgren) advises the Court that the DEFENSE HAS STILL NOT PROVIDED THEM WITH ANY DISCOVERY up to this point and that, per the Court’s questioning of D.A.Walgren, YES, the D.A. themselves HAVE CONTINUED to comply with Discovery requirements- they are continuously providing Discovery to the Defense, including what will be provided after today’s hearing.
· Defense Counsel Chernoff speaks up to address the D.A . comments above- states that they are WORKING ON compiling and providing Discovery and that they will comply with any time statutes/requirements set by the Court, reminding the Court that it said they needed to provide Discovery 30 days before the Jury Trial date. **Court states that Discovery CAN BE provided earlier than this time-frame and he STRONGLY encourages it as soon as possible, not limiting any side to this 30 days before Jury Trial date time-frame.
· Defense Counsel mentions compiling of their witness list, lists of experts, expert reports- as being in progress for Discovery..
· D.A. requests the date of 02/15/11 for the return date for Discovery Compliance Review hearing and Defense Counsel requests the D.A.’s witness list for BEFORE that date- D.A. said that Defense ALREADY has information regarding their witnesses but that he is willing to type it up on one piece of paper for Defense (D.A. seemed annoyed by this because Defense knows about tentative D.A. witnesses already..)
· Court orders D.A. to provide a witness list (plus any other available Discovery) to the Defense by this Friday, 02/11/11 by 04:00p.m., (but Court later mentions by 04:30p.m., so I am not sure which time. but this is NOT A HEARING DATE) ** and the Defense must have and provide their Discovery to the D.A. on the NEXT HEARING DATE OF 02/15/11 at 01:30p.m.
· The Court asks Counsel for both sides to provide a tighter time-estimate for the Jury Trial, how long do they estimate it will last.
· D.A. says that it’s side (how long it will take them to put on THEIR case) should take about 3 to 4 weeks and then Defense says to ADD an additional 10 days to that time-frame. SO BOTH SIDES agree on a time-estimate of 6 weeks for the whole jury trial.
· Court asks if/when the attorneys (Counsel) will be making any evidentiary motions (NOTE: these include motions to limit, preclude, or eliminate certain evidence that the sides don’t want to come in before the jury-this is a basic explanation- evidentiary motions include other issues.)
· **In response to the above-mentioned question about evidentiary motions, the Defense says that, since they don’t know what the D.A. is putting on (as evidence.., their case) then THEY don’t really know the content of their own evidentiary motions yet AND TO THIS COMMENT BY DEFENSE THE COURT SAYS Oh sure you do.. [know what the D.A. is going to put on]. And to this comment made by the Court, Defense Counsel Chernoff tries to further explain their position, including saying that the D.A.’s [more definite] witness list will help them
· To THAT comment above by Defense, the D.A. (Walgren) states to the Court that THEY HAVE ALREADY PROVIDED approximately 8000 (eight thousand) pages of Discovery to the Defense and that they will also be providing about 72 C.D.s (additional Discovery) TODAY..
· Court reiterates the return date and Defense Discovery Compliance date of 02/15/11, BUT ENCOURAGES provision of Discovery earlier
· Court inquires regarding usage of CalCrim or CalJic jury instructions and both sides say they are not sure yet.they all want to think about it.
· Court returns to the issue of all the Media inquiries/requests/motions- Some Media reps were allowed to speak in open court today: Jeff Glaser for In Session and Mr. Oaks (for another media outlet that I didn’t hear.) All Counsel indicate that they have been served regarding these requests/motions and that neither side has any objections
· Court will allow certain television media coverage of certain aspects of the jury trial, but Court indicates that it will prohibit television coverage of portions as he deems necessary (including certain witnesses if he deems it appropriate for NO television coverage.)
· Court says that television camera placement must not be obtrusive (in the way…)
· Per Court’s inquiry regarding when media-coverage proposals can be submitted for his review, Mr. Glaser and Mr. Oaks indicate that they can have them ready by the next hearing date of 02/15/11-
· Per the D.A.’s question, the Court states that the SOONEST possible date for witness testimony to commence is 04/05/11
· The defendant’s Bail Bond is to stand (defendant remains out of custody on the posted bail bond)
· Court states that another status hearing date will be set at the 02/15/11 hearing.
· Court makes a statement to Counsel about this case NOT BEING TRIED by interviews outside this court and not by blogs.. He admonishes Counsel regarding their responsibilities on this case, including their freedom of speech (I guess in reference to them giving interviews to media outside the court.), and Court references a Business And Professions Code in terms of their responsibilities..
· The Court was about to recess the hearing but Defense Counsel Lowe asks for a side-bar at approximately 02:15p.m., on the record per Court, and it ends at 02:20p.m., Court recesses at 02:20p.m.
*****NEXT COURT DATE: TUESDAY 02/15/11 at 01:30p.m.*****