P V CM July 20th 2011

(These are notes from the transcripts not the actual transcripts)

 

WEDNESDAY, JULY 20th, 2011

DEFENDANT CONRAD ROBERT MURRAY, NOT PRESENT PURSUANT TO 977,,

REPRESENTED BY J. MICHAEL FLANAGAN, ESQ., AND

NAREG GOURJIAN, ESQ.;

 

PEOPLE REPRESENTED BY DAVID WALGREN AND DEBORAH BRAZIL, DEPUTIES ATTORNEYS

 

SONY PICTURES REPRESENTED BY GARY L.  BOSTWICK, ESQ. AND KEVIN L. VICK, ESQ.,

 

 

THE COURT: DID RECEIVE YESTERDAY A STATUS REPORT OF SONY PICTURES REGARDING THE LATEST. THE STATUS REPORT IS VERY SIGNIFICANT. REALLY WASN’T EXPECTING THAT DEGREE OF DETAIL

 

MR. BOSTWICK: I KNOW THAT THE COURT IS EXTREMELY BUSY BUT I THINK THAT OUR SUGGESTION ABOUT HOW ONE MIGHT GO ABOUT MAKING THE DECISIONS I KNOW A COURT IS FACED WITH ARE THE BEST THAT WE COULD COME UP WITH IN TERMS OF EFFICIENCY, EASE TO THE COURT, AND ADHERENCE TO THE REQUIREMENT FOR LIMITED EVIDENTIARY FOUNDATION.

 

THE COURT: AND SO THE RECORD REMAINS CLEAR, MOTION TO QUASH STILL REMAINS PENDING.   THE COURT NEVER ACTUALLY RULED ON THE MOTION BECAUSE OF THE PARTIES’ REQUEST THAT THE MATTER BE DEFERRED SO THAT COUNSEL COULD REVIEW THE MATERIALS.   THERE WERE SOME FIGURES MENTIONED HERE ABOUT THE NUMBER OF HOURS OF POTENTIAL FOOTAGE THAT THE PEOPLE FELT APPROPRIATE AND THAT THE DEFENSE FELT APPROPRIATE, AND THOSE FIGURES WERE —

 

MR. BOSTWICK: 12 HOURS FOR PROSECUTION MORE OR LESS, AND FOUR HOURS MORE OR LESS FOR THE DEFENSE.

 

 THE COURT: SOME OF WHICH OVERLAPPED?

 

MR. BOSTWICK:   THAT’S CORRECT.

 

THE COURT:   AND IT IS SONY’S POSITION THAT BEFORE THE COURT EVEN SHOULD GET INVOLVED WITH RULING ON ANY MOTIONS TO QUASH OR REVIEW AND CONSIDER ANY FURTHER BRIEFS ON THE MATTER THAT THE COURT REALISTICALLY SHOULD REVIEW THE MATERIALS ITSELF.

 

MR. BOSTWICK:   THAT IS CORRECT, YOUR HONOR. WE COULD PUT IN AN OBJECTION TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THOSE.   IT WOULD BE EXTREMELY DETAILED BECAUSE THERE MAY BE A DIFFERENT TYPE OF OBJECTION TO THE USE OF THAT PARTICULAR REHEARSAL FOOTAGE. AND IF THE COURT HAS ALREADY DETERMINED THAT, FROM THE COURT’S POINT OF VIEW, CERTAIN THINGS TENTATIVELY COULD BE REQUIRED FROM SONY, THEN WE COULD FOCUS ON THOSE. THE PROSECUTION AND THE DEFENSE COULD FOCUS ON WHY THEY HAD THE ARGUMENT THAT THEY HAD ABOUT THOSE PARTICULAR POINTS. GIVEN THAT THERE IS 16 HOURS, IF WE TRY TO PUT TOGETHER OUR OBJECTIONS TO ALL OF IT, IT WOULD ACTUALLY BE A MASSIVE BRIEF AND PROBABLY WASTE YOUR TIME AND THEIRS.

 

THE COURT:   IS THE 16 HOURS READILY IDENTIFIABLE AND AVAILABLE FOR VIEWING?

 

MR. BOSTWICK:   IT WOULD BE AT THE SONY LOT.   THAT IS CORRECT.

 

THE COURT:   YOU HAD MENTIONED THAT IN YOUR PAPERWORK.   CAN SOMEBODY GIVE ME A DVD AND I PLUG IT IN?

 

MR. BOSTWICK:   SOME OF THESE FORMATS MAY NOT BE TRANSFERABLE IN A WAY THAT COULD BE PLACED UPON A DVD.

 

THE COURT:   WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS , MR. WALGREN, MS. BRAZIL?

 

MR. WALGREN:   AS TO THE PROPOSAL BY SONY, WE CERTAINLY HAVE NO OBJECTION, YOUR HONOR, BUT I THINK THE LABOR AND TIME CERTAINLY FALLS ON THE COURT ON THIS MATTER.  

 

THE COURT:   WHAT ARE MY ALTERNATIVES?

 

MR. WALGREN:   THE ONLY ISSUE I SEE IS WHETHER THE COURT IS GOING TO INSIST THAT THE MATERIALS BE PROVIDED TO THE COURT TO VIEW HERE OR IF, AS COUNSEL SUGGESTED, IT NEEDS TO BE VIEWED AT SONY.BUT OBVIOUSLY, IF THE COURT IS ANTICIPATING MAKING A RELEVANCY OR ADMISSIBILITY RULING, THE COURT OBVIOUSLY NEEDS TO SEE THE FOOTAGE WE ARE DISCUSSING.

 

THE COURT:   MR. GOURJIAN?

 

MR. GOURJIAN: YOUR HONOR, WE HAVE NO OBJECTION TO THE PROPOSAL EITHER. IT WILL BE VERY HELPFUL FOR THE COURT TO VIEW THE MATERIALS PRIOR TO HEARING ARGUMENT BY EITHER PARTY. I THINK THE EASIEST AND MOST EFFICIENT WAY WOULD BE IF YOUR HONOR DID HAVE THE TIME TO GO TO SONY

 

THE COURT:   THIS TRIAL IS GOING TO START ON THE 8TH OF SEPTEMBER OF THIS YEAR.   I WANT ALL OF YOU TO UNDERSTAND THAT.   THERE ARE THESE INTERVENING ISSUES AND THEY WILL BE DEALT WITH, BUT THE TRIAL SCHEDULE IS GOING TO REMAIN.   I HAVE NOT RULED ON ANY MOTION TO QUASH.THERE MAY BE ALTERNATIVES AVAILABLE IN TERMS OF ULTIMATELY WHETHER THE COURT DECIDES THAT ANYTHING HAVING TO DO WITH “THIS IS IT,” WHETHER IT BE THE ACTUAL FILM OR ACTUAL FOOTAGE, IS RECEIVED BASED UPON THE OVERALL STATE OF THE EVIDENCE IN THIS CASE.I HAVE MENTIONED BEFORE, AND I WILL REITERATE, THIS CASE WILL FOCUS ON THE ISSUE OF THE CHARGE, NOT ON PERSONAL LIFESTYLE AND NOT ON EXTRANEOUS, IRRELEVANT MATERIALS.   EVEN IF THEY ARE  RELEVANT MATERIALS, WHETHER UNDER EVIDENCE CODE SECTION 352, THE INFLAMMATORY NATURE OF THE ISSUES, WHETHER THE COLLATERAL NATURE OF THE ISSUES AND WHETHER THE POTENTIAL FOR MISLEADING AND MISDIRECTING A JURY SUBSTANTIALLY OUTWEIGHS THE PROBATIVE VALUE.   SO THESE ARE ALL FACTORS THE COURT HAS TO DISCERN.

I AM HAPPY TO ACCEPT THE INVITATION.   NO, I’M NOT REALLY HAPPY.   I AM PREPARED TO ACCEPT THE INVITATION, AND I’M PREPARED TO ACCEPT THE INVITATION TODAY.   TO DEVOTE ALL OF MY RESOURCES,.   I AM AVAILABLE THIS AFTERNOON.   I’M AVAILABLE THIS EVENING.I AM STARTING A ONE-MONTH TRIAL TOMORROW WITH JURY SELECTION, AND I’M AVAILABLE THIS WEEKEND.   SO I BELIEVE I CAN REVIEW ALL THE MATERIALS BY THIS WEEKEND.DO I WANT TO?   NO.   I WILL BECAUSE YOU ARE ENTITLED TO HAVE ME REVIEW IT, BUT YOU HAVE TO MAKE ARRANGEMENTS TO HAVE ME REVIEW IT.I ALSO UNDERSTAND LOGISTICAL ISSUES OF THE COURT AND SONY.   I DON’T WANT TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THESE MATERIALS FLOATING AROUND IN MY HOME, OR MY CAR, THIS COURT BUILDING, SO I GUESS I’LL HAVE TO GO TO SONY.  

 

MR. BOSTWICK:   YOUR HONOR,.   IS ONE O’CLOCK TOO EARLY?

 

THE COURT:   NO.   I HAD A MATTER THAT HAD BEEN ADVANCED.

 

                       (COURT AND CLERK CONFER.)


THE COURT:   WE HAD A MATTER THAT HAD BEEN SET ON AN EARLIER DATE THIS MONTH I’M OPEN THIS AFTERNOON..   YES, THERE IS SOME TIME THIS AFTERNOON.   I CAN PUT IN AFEW HOURS.   I’LL DO IT THIS AFTERNOON.   I’D DO IT ON EVENINGS, AND I’D DO IT THIS WEEKEND.

MR. BOSTWICK:   I HEARD THE WEEKEND UNDERLINED AND EMPHASIZED, YOUR HONOR.   HERE IS WHAT WE WILL DO.   SHOULD WE COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR CLERK AND, OF COURSE, WE WILL LET BOTH SIDES KNOW PRECISELY WHAT IS GOING ON. ONCE WE FIND OUT WHETHER OR NOT WE CAN GEAR UP BY THAT TIME,

 

THE COURT:   I THINK THAT IS THE BEST THING.   ARE THE PEOPLE COMFORTABLE THAT THE PARTICULAR ITEMS HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED AND THAT SONY WILL BE IN A POSITION TO PROVIDE THOSE ITEMS FOR THE REVIEW OF THE COURT, MR. WALGREN AND MS. BRAZIL?

 

MR. WALGREN:   YES, YOUR HONOR.

 

THE COURT:   THE DEFENSE, MR. GOURJIAN AND MR. FLANAGAN?

 

MR. GOURJIAN:   YES, YOUR HONOR.

 

 THE COURT:   I DON’T THINK YOU FOLKS HAVE TO BE HERE FOR THIS.   SO I’LL REVIEW IT ON MY OWN.

 

MR. BOSTWICK:   SO WE WILL SEE WHETHER OR NOT WE CAN HAVE IT GEARED UP AND GIVE YOU ALL THE DIRECTIONS.   IT IS IN CULVER CITY.

 

THE COURT:   JUST MAKE SURE I CAN GET INTO THE LOT,

 

MR. BOSTWICK:   THAT WILL BE NO PROBLEM IF YOU HAVE A GOVERNMENT PICTURE I.D., YOUR HONOR.

 

THE COURT:   IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE ME.   IT WAS IN YOUNGER DAYS,

 I’D LIKE TO SET THIS FOR STATUS UPDATE THE VERY BEGINNING OF NEXT WEEK.   WE ARE DOING THIS ON SEPTEMBER 8.   JUST BE PREPARED.   I HAVE CLEARED MY SCHEDULE.   THE CLERK’S OFFICE, THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE HAS MADE MONUMENTAL AND HERCULEAN EFFORTS, AS HAS JUROR SERVICES.   SO WE ARE MOVING, LET US LOOK AT NEXT WEEK’S CALENDAR, THE BEGINNING OF THE WEEK, BECAUSE I REALLY DO EXPECT I WILL HAVE REVIEWED ALL THIS BY THE WEEKEND.

 

MR. WALGREN:   MONDAY IS GOOD FOR THE PEOPLE, YOUR HONOR.

 

MR. BOSTWICK:   THE PROBLEM WITH MONDAY, IS ALTHOUGH I’M AVAILABLE, ONCE YOU HAVE SEEN IT I DON’T KNOW WHETHER YOU ARE PLANNING ON TELLING THE PARTIES WHAT CLIPS YOU HAVE DECIDED MIGHT BE, OR IF NO CLIPS ARE GOING TO BE ALLOWED BY MONDAY MORNING, OR IF IT WOULD JUST BE A STATUS CONFERENCE ON MONDAY MORNING FOR YOU TO ANNOUNCE THAT SO WE COULD THEN PUT IN OUR OPPOSITION.

 

THE COURT:   I’M NOT EXPECTING YOU TO ANTICIPATE WHAT I’M GOING TO FIND.   I’M JUST GOING TO DETAIL WHAT I HAVE REVIEWED AND WHAT I BELIEVE IS GERMANETO THIS CASE, AND THAT WOULD BE A PRELIMINARY DETERMINATION.   AND THE PARTIES, THE PEOPLE, SONY, AND DR. MURRAY’S CAMP WOULD HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO ADDRESS IT ANY FURTHER.BUT SINCE I’VE BEEN INVITED TO REVIEW THE MATERIALS, IT SEEMS TO ME AS THOUGH THAT IS THE FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS.

 

MR. BOSTWICK:   THEN MONDAY WOULD BE FINE, YOUR HONOR.

 

MR. GOURJIAN:   FINE WITH US.

 

THE COURT:   PEOPLE?

 

MR. WALGREN:   YES.

 

THE COURT:   FURTHER PROCEEDINGS IN THIS CASE MONDAY, 25 JULY 2011, 8:30 A.M. WOULD I EXPECT THAT DR. MURRAY WILL NOT BE PRESENT?

 

MR. FLANAGAN:   NO.YOUR HONOR, COULD I ADDRESS ONE OTHER ISSUE?

 

THE COURT:   PLEASE.

 

MR. FLANAGAN:   HAS THE COURT GIVEN ANY CONSIDERATION IN THIS MATTER TO SEQUESTERING THE JURY?

 

THE COURT:   I DON’T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS.   THERE ARE DIFFERENT KINDS OF SEQUESTRATION? I HAVE PROPOSED, THAT OUR PROPOSAL WAS TO SEQUESTER THE JURORS DURING COURT  HOURS.   THE JURORS WOULD BE RECEIVING THEIR SUSTENANCE IN THE JURY ROOM DURING THE COURT DAY FROM 8:30 TO 4:30.   THEY WOULD NOT BE IN THE GENERAL POPULATION.WHEN YOU SAY SEQUESTRATION, DO YOU MEAN LITERALLY SEQUESTRATION?

 

MR. FLANAGAN:   YES.   DURING THE PERIOD OF TIME THAT NANCY GRACE IS ON TV AND VARIOUS OTHER COMMENTATORS, I MEAN I JUST WITNESSED A RATHER BIZARRE TRIAL WHICH WAS COVERED BY THE PRESS.   AND, YOU KNOW, THE COURT IS GOING TO BE MAKING EVIDENTIARY RULINGS ON WHAT IT WANTS TO DO HERE.I KNOW YOU CAN INSTRUCT THE JURY NOT TO WATCH TV AND NOT TO TUNE IN ON THEIR SMART PHONE, THINGS OF THAT NATURE. BUT I THINK NOT ONLY FROM IN SESSION BUT THE AMOUNT OF COVERAGE THIS CASE IS GOING TO GET ON VARIOUS OTHER NEWS, THAT I JUST THINK THAT THERE IS AN OVERWHELMING LIKELIHOOD OF CONTAMINATION OF THE COURT’S CONTROL OF THE EVIDENCE.FROM THE DEFENSE STAND POINT, WE WOULD REALLY LIKE THE DECISION TO BE MADE BASED UPON NOT ONLY THE EVIDENCE THAT IS GIVEN IN THIS COURTROOM BUT THE COMMENTARY AND THE ARGUMENTS THAT ARE MADE INSIDE THIS COURTROOM, AS OPPOSED TO WHAT HAPPENS ON THE NANCY GRACE SHOW OR OTHER COMMENTARY THAT IS GOING TO UNDOUBTEDLY OCCUR IN THE EVENINGS.AND WE HAVEN’T OFFICIALLY MADE A MOTION INTHIS REGARD, BUT I WANTED TO ASK THE COURT IF THAT HAS CROSSED THE COURT’S MIND, WHETHER YOU HAVE GIVEN SOME CONSIDERATION TO THAT AND WHAT YOUR INCLINATION WAS.

 

THE COURT:   WELL, THE PARTIES CAN FEEL FREE TO FILE WHATEVER MOTION THEY WANT IN THAT REGARD.   I CAN LET YOU KNOW AT THIS JUNCTURE I DO NOT FEEL IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM TOTAL SEQUESTRATION OF A JURY IS NECESSARY IN THIS CASE. NOW, YOU LET ME KNOW WHAT YOUR THOUGHTS ARE AND PUT THEM IN WRITING.   I BELIEVE THE LAST TIME THE LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT MAY HAVE SEQUESTERED A JURY, AND I MAY BE WRONG, WOULD HAVE BEEN THE SIMPSON CASE.   THE L.A.SUPERIOR COURT AND THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA SIMPLY DO NOT HAVE THE FUNDS IN ANY WAY TO ENGAGE IN THIS KIND OF PROCEDURE AND I DON’T FEEL LIKE BEING TORQUEMADA BECAUSE TO HAVE JURORS UNDERGO THAT KIND OF EXTRAORDINARY DEPRIVATION, QUITE FRANKLY, I THINK IS UNHEALTHY TO THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE.

 I REMAIN CONFIDENT THAT JURORS FOLLOW THE LAW.   THEY FOLLOW THEIR ORDERS.   THIS CASE IS GOING TO BE TELEVISED, AND I MADE THAT DECISION IN LARGE MEASURE BECAUSE I WANTED THE JURORS TO UNDERSTAND THAT THEY ARE NOT MISSING ANYTHING IN TERMS OF WHAT IS TRANSPIRING IN THE ACTUAL COURTROOM IN TERMS OF EVIDENTIARY RULINGS.   WE HAVE THEM EVERY DAY IN OUR COURTS, AND I FEEL CONFIDENT THAT JURORS UNDERSTAND THEIR RESPONSIBILITY IS TO FOLLOW THE EVIDENCE AND TO DECIDE THE CASE ON THE EVIDENCE AND TO FOLLOW THE ADMONITIONS AND NOT BE INFLUENCED BY EXTRANEOUS MATERIALS.

SO IF THE DEFENSE IS FILING A MOTION THAT THE JURORS BE SEQUESTERED 24/7 IN THIS CASE, FILE IT AND I’LL REVIEW IT AND I’LL CONSIDER IT.   I DON’T KNOW IF THE PEOPLE HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT THIS OR IF THEY HAVE ANY POSITION ON THIS ISSUE.

 

MR. WALGREN:   WELL, YOUR HONOR, CLEARLY THE COURT HAD ADDRESSED THIS ISSUE PREVIOUSLY AND ADVISED ALL PARTIES THAT THE COURT WAS NOT INCLINED TO DO A SEQUESTERING OF THE JURY 24/7, AND THE PEOPLE WERE COMFORTABLE WITH THE COURT’S DECISION.   THAT IS STILL OUR POSITION.

 

THE COURT:   MR. FLANAGAN, MR. GOURJIAN, FILE WHATEVER MOTION AND REQUEST YOU HAVE IN THAT REGARD, AND I WILL CONSIDER IT IN. ARE THERE ANY OTHER SPECIFIC EVIDENTIARY MATTERS WITH WHICH I SHOULD BE CONCERNED TODAY?   FOR THE PEOPLE?

 

MR. WALGREN:   NOT TODAY, YOUR HONOR.

 

THE COURT:   WHERE ARE WE IN TERMS OF DISCOVERY? THE PEOPLE CONTINUE TO MEET THEIR DISCOVERY OBLIGATIONS?

 

MR. WALGREN:   YES, AND WE WILL LIKELY BE SUBMITTING A REQUEST FOR DISCOVERY TO THE DEFENSE IN THE COMING DAYS.

 

THE COURT:   WHERE ARE WE WITH REQUESTS FOR DEFENSE DISCOVERY IN THE CASE, MR. GOURJIAN, MR. FLANAGAN?

 

MR. FLANAGAN:   WE ARE ASSUMING AT THE PRESENT TIME THAT THE PEOPLE HAVE GIVEN US EVERYTHING THAT THERE IS TO BE GIVEN US.

 

THE COURT:   HOW ABOUT THE DEFENSE GIVING THE PEOPLE EVERYTHING THAT YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO GIVE BACK?

 

MR. FLANAGAN:   WE HAVE DONE THAT.

 

THE COURT:   COUNSEL ALSO MENTIONED TO ME THAT THEY WANTED TO WORK ON THE JURY QUESTIONNAIRE.   THERE WERE SOME POTENTIAL MODIFICATIONS, REVISIONS, DELETIONS, ETC.   SO FEEL FREE TO DO THAT AS WELL. WHEN NEXT WE MEET, WE WILL UPDATE MATTERS 8:30 A.M. THIS COMING MONDAY, 25 JULY 2011.  

I WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR BEING HERE ON TIME, AND YOU ALWAYS HAVE BEEN ON TIME.  

 

(THE PROCEEDINGS WERE CONTINUED

TO 8:30 A.M., JULY 25, 2011.)