Saturday, June 16, 2007

Nifong Closing Statement

Dudley Witt is delivering the statement.

Brocker's closing was tightly worded and very well organized; Witt is more rambling.

Witt seems to be laying out an argument that Nifong's behavior was negligent and perhaps knowing but not intentional.

On the media: had never dealt with the media before this time, even though he was a career prosecutor.

"Made some serious mistakes" in how he handled the pretrial statements, but not intentional.

Wm'son: "You're not saying because he was unschooled in media relations, that's a defense?"
And how to avoid an inference that there was a relationship between statements and the political motivations. Nifong's statements were "inherently incredible."

"Defies believe that there's not a connection" between how Nifong handled the case and the election.

Nifong is "a very truthful guy."

Wm'son to Witt: his explanation might be one, it's not a "logical" one.

Witt is now [preposterously] concluding that Nifong admitted that he knew the items weren't included in the report.

Wm'son: Nifong's behavior "consistent with somebody who's feigning ignorance."

Wm'son: The issue is Nifong knew that there was exculpatory evidence and didn't do anything about it. The issue isn't whether there was a conspiracy with Dr. Meehan. The purpose of this hearing isn't to try Dr. Meehan.

"How can you possibly explain away" Nifong's failure to look at the report between 9-22 and 12-15?

Wm'son: Nifong's statement "is just damning."

Witt: says that this is just like Gell case--unintentional negligence.

Witt is now blaming the Bar--says there wasn't sufficient guidance from the Bar.

Wm'son is openly skeptical in his questions--strongly implying that Nifong was being willfully negligent.

[This is one of the least effective closing arguments that I have ever encountered.]

Wm'son: could just as easily say that Nifong's approach to Meehan was: I'm going to hang you out to try.

Witt: Since Bar can't establish that there was an agreement between Nifong and Meehan to limit test results, the rest of the Bar's argument falls apart.

Witt: Since Nifong never directly told Meehan to conceal evidence, Nifong should be considered innocent of not disclosing evidence.

Witt: Meehan's fault that he didn't supply a complete report; didn't think about what was not contained in the DNA report.

Wm'son: seems throughout that all Nifong was looking for was evidence connecting lacrosse players to a crime, while ignoring all evidence that there was no connection.

Witt: Not so. Did take additional samples (the boyfriend, etc.)

Wm'son: What evidence is there that Nifong's attitude (only looking for evidence associated with lacrosse players) that this approach ever changed?
Witt: Concedes that Nifong's attitude probably never changed.

Wm'son: What good is an open-file policy if the information doesn't get into the file?

108 comments:

Anonymous said...

HANG ON TO YOUR SEATBELTS AND TAKE YOUR PROZAC -- This is going to be painful to hear what Witt argues.

Anonymous said...

Is this man capable of speaking in a complete sentence?

Anonymous said...

here comes the 'blame the media' defense

Anonymous said...

Wow - KC is right that Witt is rambling. I thought Brocker was very good and very organized (but not superb). This guy is far more difficult to follow.

Anonymous said...

DNA "stuff"????

Come on, you're a lawyer!!

Anonymous said...

ditto ... this guy is no where near as professional in his approach, phrasing, and overall demeanor.

Anonymous said...

Big nistake going with Witt. Already disorganized.

Already conceding points on DNA

Anonymous said...

Whoa, he just admitted negligence! He's trying to salvage intent.

Anonymous said...

Here comes the "Mr. Nifong was an inexperienced lazy prosecutor" defense.

Almost as bad as Tysons' "Of course everyone should know I am an animal" defense.

Anonymous said...

Bull. He saw his rival garner national attention and become a known quantity. He parlayed this case onto the national spotlight, gave unquestionably damning statements that they were rapists, and used the case to get reelected.

That is his ulterior motive.

Anonymous said...

As an attorney, I am embarassed by Witt's poor presentation.

LOL. "Not a neophyte defense". Williamson is great.

Anonymous said...

Witt rambling. Not doing much good. Williamson going after him.

Anonymous said...

This guy is unprepared, and clearly blown away by the morning's closing arguments.

Anonymous said...

Now Williamson is pulling out his stops!

Anonymous said...

"It's an explanation; I'm not sure it's logical."

YAY!

Anonymous said...

Witt arguing that if politically motivated, then why dismiss charges later? WHat a silly thing to argue. THE PRIMARY WAS ALREADY WON. This is not a defense to the charges. This lawyer is not even addressing the charges.

In the immortal words of Jed Clampett, "Pitiful... PITIFULLLL..."

Anonymous said...

It is way too late for the "He is a very truthful guy" defense.

Anonymous said...

Hey dudley , you are supposed to be helping nifong, not hanging him.

"Very truthful guy".
how funny was that line.

Anonymous said...

...guess it's about trying to delete that argument because it would show malicious intent.

Anonymous said...

Is this the best lawyer Nifong could find? This is BEYOND BELIEF. LOL. Nifong may argue incompetent counsel on his appeal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

"very truthful guy"
Hahahaha

Anonymous said...

"feigning in ignorance" hee-hee

Anonymous said...

I loved Willismason's mouth twitch just then.

He can't believe this.

Anonymous said...

"Nifong knew and didn't do anything about it."

LOVE IT!!

Anonymous said...

Like a little league pitcher trying to get it past Derek Jeter.

BDay

Anonymous said...

Now I feel sorry for nifong. (not really)
Even his own lawyer is against him.

Anonymous said...

I can well believe that Nifong is a truthful guy, because he sucks at lying. He got caught with his drawers down and he's been scrambling ever since.

Walter Cronanty said...

If Williamson truly said that Nifong's statements were "inherently incredible" re: link between political aspirations and public statements on case, Nifong is in deep doo-doo. Can't have the head of the ethics panel finding your under-oath statements "inherently incredible", especially on that point.

Anonymous said...

I can’t really blame the defense attorneys that really don’t have much to work with. Witt is definitely rambling but even Brad Bannon would have a tough time with this stinker of a case.

You know you are in deep Sh** when you are arguing negligence as opposed to intentional wrongdoing.

Anonymous said...

dude... easy on the caffiene!

Anonymous said...

This is a bit like "Macbeth." I'm willing to believe (perhaps naively) that up to now Nifong was a good guy, but "vaulting ambition" had been his undoing.

Anonymous said...

He is a lawyer, Right?

Beck said...

Williamson is an absolute jewel! Last night he kept covering his face as if he just couldn't believe the crap he was hearing. And today the bulldog attack in Witt! I'm in love!

Witt looks worse than a 1st year in his first mock court.

Anonymous said...

Williamson sounds like he is still trying to give Nifong every consideration. He will not be punished as much as everyone is hoping on this blog.
In the end this is a local problem and they are all peers.
Nifongs shenanigans yesterday worked, at the expense of his son.
Narcisissitic sociopath to the end.

Anonymous said...

Wiliamson is having Witt for lunch.

Witt is making Brocker look like Clarence Darrow.

Anonymous said...

Williamson has had it, his face shows it.

Anonymous said...

"I don't have a magic way of explaining it." "He's from the old school." Grasping at straws is an understatement.

Beck said...

To the fact that nifong won't be punished as much as some here hope-true, true. But we outlawed tar and feathering long, long ago.

Anonymous said...

"If I remember correctly"

He should have chapter and verse in front of him if that's his defense.

Anonymous said...

The last exchange - Witt's reference to Gell and unintentional negligence - shows that the defense is hanging every hope on avoiding a finding that Nifong acted intentionally, because a finding of intention means Nifong is toast.

Anonymous said...

My 8th grade studetns are more articlate than this guy.

I don't let them get away with using "stuff" and "things" instead of specifics.

Anonymous said...

I've been a lawyer for 25 years. I do not recall using the word "stuff" to describe evidence in all that time -- much less to a tribunal.

Anonymous said...

Really, the only issue here is prolonged suspension vs disbarment. Mr. Witt if he has any wit, would realize this. Given that, the best approach for Mr. Nifong, would be to be contrite and admit rather extensive wrongdoing, apologize wholeheartedy (which means abandon the "something happend"), and ask for leneiency from the board. Why they are not doing that is beyond me.

BDay

Anonymous said...

Of course, the ultimate irony is that the best professional license defense firm in the estate is headed by J.C. the Vth.

Anonymous said...

Man's defending Nifong, what can he say? Most people's minds would go competely blank, or else they'd start laughing hysterically.

Anonymous said...

Williamson is getting ticked.

Anonymous said...

If I was Nifong, I'd be telling my "defence" to sit down. This is the most rambling, scrambling for words, stream of consciousness (with no punctuation) I've ever heard.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

So we have come to the Mike Nifong is retarded defense.

Anonymous said...

Extra point for Brad Bannon. Wow Williamson is having none of this.

Anonymous said...

beck said: tar and feathers was always an extrajudicial punishment, just the way folks took care of things when the the justice of the peace wasn't around. And, it was quite often fatal...

Anonymous said...

Witt is drowning. It's embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

This is soooo good.
Nifongs lawyer trying to explain nifongs actions, and doing a very bad job of it.

I say he calls his client a bold face liar before this is over.

Anonymous said...

This is killing me. Why don't they just say to Witt: "Every time exculatory DNA evidence came out, defense lawyers had a press conference. Mr. Nifong always had snide remarks about them. If Mr. Nifong thought that the defense had this evidence, why did Mr. Nifong think that they didn't call another one?"

Anonymous said...

Bet he wishes he could have hired Joe to defend him. Ha!!!

Bday

Anonymous said...

I have spent my entire career as a lawyer overpreparing and overpreparing. I have nothing but comtempt for Witt. It appears he was hoping to "wing it" today.

Anonymous said...

They're looking past disbarment to civil litigation. Sloppy lawyering is still protected by Nifong's immunity but intent opens him to liability. Can't have those book and movie royalties being seized in a civil settlement, since that's the only income he'll have from now on.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Witt is using the hypothetical-land defense: "it could be that..."

Anonymous said...

11:18--Fifty cents says Freeman saw the light and dumped closing on Witt at the last minute.

LaxHooligan88 said...

This is truly a sad spectacle...
Nifong is looking like he wishes he had that .38 with him right now. I think the high blink rate is him blinking back tears. This is tame compared to when he will be in a criminal court with closing statements that can't be interrupted, guided, or coached.
As to him being a prophet...
HE IS TRULY F****D!!!

Anonymous said...

11:19: that's disgusting and unworthy of this blog.

Anonymous said...

I have worked in the legal arena for years and have watched lots of trials. Witt has nothing to work with--don't know if he'd be any good if he had facts on his side or not.

This is like watching a cat toy with a mouse before dinner!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

So funny.
This guy is asking for the benefit of the doubt for his client.
But nifong refused to give the benefit of the doubt, in any way, to any of the lacrosse players.

Anonymous said...

That's absurd ... he had a burden to provide the excupulpatory materials. Instead, he willfully didn't disclose what he knew, because his desire was to "win".

Anonymous said...

"You could have tooken it that way if you wanted to?"

Anonymous said...

"I think you heard testimony..."

What an idiot.

Anonymous said...

"How could he not know?"
"How does not knowing put him in any better position" [while laboring under an affirmative duty to investigate and disclose].

- Wmson.

STOP THE FIGHT! STOP THE FIGHT!

Anonymous said...

It seems the defense thinks that
Meehan's testimony is the law or something. I found Meehan as credible as Nifong.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

... generally on my mind ... this should be good.

Anonymous said...

it's "Reasonable" to be incompetent... hee-hee

LaxHooligan88 said...

11:21...

That is exactly what this is like...Chef doing the Chewbaka defense

Anonymous said...

WOW!!!

"..blinders on to whether there was a crime."

"...Looking for links to LAX players...

Anonymous said...

KC says: [This is one of the least effective closing arguments that I have ever encountered.]

Partially because he is arguing a lousy case. Tough arguing when when your client is obviously guilty.

Anonymous said...

Wow.
I think williamson just won all the civil cases for the lacrosse players, by just specifically mentioning them.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, did he just refer to CM as "the victim?"

Anonymous said...

... so if anyone's wondering what's on Wm'son's mind ... I think he's rather perturbed by the absurd reasoning this hack is trying to present.

Anonymous said...

11:26 At least he (Witt) could be organized and articulate.

laxhooligan88 said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Nifong never kept his lies consistent or coherent, so it's unlikely Witt will be able to do so either.

Anonymous said...

Only interested in positive matches to LAX players. Not interested unless it incriminated the LAX players...

Anonymous said...

Witt is now contradicting the character witnesses from yesterday!

Anonymous said...

Bring back Meehan to tell the truth now and show Nifong for the liar he is. Meehan's testimony the other day was still deferential to Nifong, that was a big mistake.

Anonymous said...

This guy is killing his private law practice

Anonymous said...

"what good is an open file policy, if information does not get in the file?"

Anonymous said...

Trying to say that Nifong is "old school" and behaves accordingly. Williamson isn't buying it.

Anonymous said...

This "old school guy" defense is just saddening. It seems like Witt is using the attempt that "Yes, my client is a sucky lawyer, and I don't practice the way he practice, but we can't hold it against him because he's an "old school guy". Sickening.

Anonymous said...

Oh Christ, my 13 y/o daughter would know that male DNA from someone else would be exculpatory.

Anonymous said...

Please.......

Is there any doubt in anyone's mind why the public holds the legal profession and the Bar in such low regard? We are listening to hour after hour of justification why a career prosecutor and lawyer with over 28 years of experience isn't responsible for his obligations as a member of the legal profession. Laymen are convicted every day of the week with less evidence than has been presented in this trial. Why do we have to consider the possibility that Nifong may not have intended to deny the players due process? The extant information is simply unequivocal that Nifong was intent on screwing the Duke three over.

Anonymous said...

would it be ok for a doctor not to use recent technology, because he does it the old fashioned way?

Anonymous said...

Witt is completely glossing over the fact that the Brady case had required disclosure of exculpatory evidence since well before NC discovery rules changed. Nifong would've been bound by Brady even if he weren't bound by the new rules. Witt is dissembling or he doesn't know much about Criminal Procedure. Not sure which.

Anonymous said...

Old School Guy, his friends said yesterday, that he was new school,
practiced 'open file' before it was required, but now his defense is he is from the 'Old School"

laxhooligan88 said...

Williamson IS old school, so this guy is insulting him and all the old schoolers by his repeatedly trying to use that. Old School was loose with the rules, because there was honor and professionalism that went above and beyond the rules.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

The only merit to arguing the good old days is to argue that your client was just too stupid to know the new rules.

Anonymous said...

11:26, "a lousy case" is quite an understatement. Bet N's lawyers would love to trade this one for a lousy case.

Anonymous said...

WiTT just stated CGM had sex with two more people - what is that 13 partners in a few days? Nifong knew this, and staked his reputation on her?

Now it 100% Crystal Clear to me that Nifong only did this to win the election, and the only reason - as he has stated to win the election is to increase his pension. If he does not lose his pension over this he needs to lose his freedom to spend his pension.

Tom E.

Anonymous said...

New thread.

Anonymous said...

Williamson: "Clueless" love it. And I love that Witt just admitted that yes that does go beyond negligence.

Anonymous said...

How could they have indicted when the DNA was negative? He had to have known about the other DNA in the April 10th meeting.

Anonymous said...

Jesus, Wittless is getting burned.

Anonymous said...

"Clearly we have more than that [isolated incidents] here."
-Wmson

Cedarford said...

Unintentional negligence defense meets "intentionally false representations."

The problem is that in trying to do that, Nifong and his defense team appeared to introduce even more "intentionally false representations" to the Bar. On top of his lies in court, to legal counsel, to the media..

I don't see how the Bar can justify his ever being allowed to practice law again when they are confronted with an array of deliberate lies told at his Bar trial, as well to the Court on record and to defense counsel in a major felony case.

If anything, as Witts foundering in the quagmire of his client's testimony and deeds represents, Nifong damaged himself even more in his Trial.

(Even his "throwing himself on the mercy of the court with his apology and resignation appears duplicitous. It was followed by 2 hours later with Nifong back to asserting CGM was "a victim" and that "something happened". I don't know how the Bar will rule, but to many observors like me, that made his apology yet another duplicitous lie.)

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I wasn't at the hearing, so I can't judge Witt's performance, but in his defense he's got quite a dog of a case to work with. I don't know how anyone could defend a man with 13-14 different alibis and sound coherent.