Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Reverse Perry Mason Moment

David Freedman: Have you ever prepared an interim report before?

Meehan: No.

Freedman: How many reports have you prepared?

Meehan: Over 2000.

So, in response to a question from Nifong's own lawyer, Meehan has admitted that he's done something, at Nifong's request, that he never previously did in over 2000 reports.


Anonymous said...

What a PLONKER Freedman is?

Anonymous said...

This sounds like Attorney Lionel Hutz from The Simpsons.

Anonymous said...

Freedman hangs his client from high tree...DUH !!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Apparently Freedman doesn't do much research. Leslie Stahl got this information from Meehan during her 60 Minutes interview.

Anonymous said...

I don't get the significance. Meehan is pretty dull and doesn't seem to be saying anything.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

who's paying foe mr sleazy's defense?

hope it's not the taxpayers

Dan Weber said...

WRAL reporter Julia Lewis was apparently sitting next to KC.

She talked about being next to the "professor who is blogging" and said that his impression matched hers: that Nifong was trying just to try the rape case again.

Anonymous said...

For Freedman, this is opportunism, and this is his golden moment to cash in. Sound familiar? Actual lawyering is not relevant. This is worth a million in free advertising. Sound familiar too? Everybody (almost) is in this for themselves.

Anonymous said...

Trying the rape case instead of defending his own actions is actually about as good a defense as Nifong can make. If he can get people focused on the 'possible reasons to believe' etc. then it deflects attention from his procedural actions.

Michael said...

It could also be called a Hamilton Burger moment.

Cedarford said...

Reverse Perry Mason moment! Yep, good descriptor of being screwed by your own side in a trial.

Will you try that glove on in front of the Jury, Mr. Simpson?

Anonymous said...

I'm still in the minority here, I don't think the bar has done a good job with Meehan, his statements that this was an interim report and not directed by Nifong are not believably. This WAS the report until the defense figured out they were hiding evidence. This was to be the only report ever generated.

Dan Weber said...

Dave Evans was in the 2% of the population that matches the found DNA.

However, given a population of 45 people, there is a 60% chance that one of them will be in a 2% sample.

It's not quite like the "no-wrong-answers" line-up, but it sounds kind of like it.

Anonymous said...

so 2% of 350 million is several million people...not really a match then, is it.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

Meehan is such a weasle.

Dan Weber said...

Sorry, I think Meehan said there were 46 people. That means that, if those 46 samples were indepedent and totally unrelated to the case, there would be a 61% chance of at least one matching just at random. Or a 39% chance of the match being made because Evans's DNA was specifically there.

Anonymous said...

Meehan is a mumbling stuttering knucklehead. He cannot answer a direct questions about what the existence of DNA means in this case.

The guy just cannot give a direct astute answer.

Anonymous said...

He is scum, too funny that there were a ton of posts yesterday criticizing Ben Himan who gave straightforward, no bs answer to all questions.

Today, we've got this mealy mouthed liar on the stand playing games with 'interim' reports and discovery and now having a bad memory.

THIS guy deserves to be derided for failing to be honest on the stand under oath and falling back on legal tricks to get out of telling the truth.

mac said...

Dan Weber,
His DNA might have been there,
even if Dave Evans wasn't.
Didn't he have the clearest alibi,
even more than Seligman?

Anonymous said...

Meehan is confusing. I don't think he is a weasle, I just think he is so used to his "tech talk" that he can't relate to the real world.

Anonymous said...


"This is the only non-final report we have ever issued. This is the only report of its kind we have ever issued."

So in all this waste fo time why can't they just determine that Nifong asked him to do this and be done with it?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Okay, Meehan has convinced me that all the people who have been exonerated because of a lack of DNA, were probably guilty as found at trial.

GaryB said...

I'm loosing it a bit perhaps because I don't have the charges clear. It doesn't mater who is mealy or slimy if the rules that the charges define were not broken.

As far as I know, one such test was whether he withheld evidence. Can Nifong make the claim (and Meehan too, since his company is at economic and legal risk) that "Oh, this was just an interrum report, sort of a "sketch" that wasn't covered by the rules and that the real report, never given, was going to cover everything clearly. So that Nifong withheld nothing except on the non-official sketch which itself was covered by no rules?

I strongly doubt it, but I'd like to hear analysis covering the actual legal questions.

Similarly, can a case be made that he technically didn't violate the no-prejudicing the case in the media rule? Or that it was just an "honest mistake" done in order to help bring out witnesses?

How's Nifong doing in the court of the bar rather than in the court of public opinion.

Anonymous said...

It's clear that Nifong only wanted a report that had matches to the lacrosse players--It's also clear that Meehan told him that there was non-lacrosse DNA at the very beginning, even if it's not in the report explicitly. What is the big deal about whether it was in the report. And, the defendants' attorneys kept asking if there was other DNA and, until forced by motion, Nifong did not want to produce it.

Anonymous said...

"his statements that this was an (A) interim report and (B) not directed by Nifong are not believably."

For (B), see this morning's testimony:
"April 21: Nifong said he would need a report that showed all the matches they had for a "court proceeding."

Meehan: "Clear that for whatever the proceeding was, it was important that he receive a report that identified whatever match we had."

"Clear to me that there would be other suspects coming in."

"This was the first time we had been asked while a case was going that we were asked for such a written report."

Sounds to me like Meehan's saying "Nifong asked for a "just the matches" interim report. I thought it was pretty wierd, but if that's what the cutomer orders, that's what the customer gets."

Which pretty much amounts to "It was Nifong's idea." Anyway, who's idea it was to have an incomplete report is less important than the fact that Nifong new it was incomplete.

As for (A) - the whole "interim" thing plays right into the bar's hands! In a written filing to the court Nifong called it a "final report."

If it was indeed agreed to be an "interim" report then Nifong told a bald-faced lie to the judge, in writing. His license is toast, and much worse will follow. I think that sort of misconduct will puncture the immunity public officials usally have against civil suits.

Of course it's possible that this whole "interim" thing is something DNA Security came up with to try to save their own skins, and avoid admitting they knowingly turned in an incomplete report.

My reading: this whole "interim" thing is Meehan trying to pin all the blame on Nifong.

And since the Bar is trying Nifong, not Meehan, they're inclined to let him do so.

Anonymous said...

re: 4:24 Couldn't it also be true that the real world actually is rather complicated.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...


Ben Himan may sit up strait, talk in a clear voice, and use straitforward language. But does that mean he's telling "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?" Or is he just a much more accomplished liar? (After all, he *is* a Durham cop.)

Jello said...
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Anonymous said...

"Meehan is confusing. I don't think he is a weasle, I just think he is so used to his "tech talk" that he can't relate to the real world."

Meehan happily traded the wrongful prosecution of 3 factually innocent people for the promise of more business. He knew what was going on. Now he's covering his a** and playing stupid and confused.

Anonymous said...

A question, perhaps a bit OT but the N&O article yesterday said that the Bar could disbar Nifong but it could not remove him from office.

Is this a distinction without a difference? Can a person serve as District Attorney in North Carolina WITHOUT a law license?

I appreciate a legal type clarifying this for me...

says David Jay

Anonymous said...

Meehan rubs me the wrong way, he has no excuse to cover for Nifong.

Ben Himan's career may be over because he's told at least most of the truth and I have to see this joker blabbing about how DNA found on the victim's underpants, in her vagina and in her anus is like the kindergarten kids DNA found on his teacher? And I have to listen to his legalistic crapola about the 'interim' report and that...oh no, it never dawned on him this first time in 2000 reports was a problem, and no, goodness no, Mike Nifong never asked him to omit anything relevant, goodness no...he always, always planned on a full report, but, poor little dude, nobody asked him.

What rot.

Gary Packwood said...

KC Said...

...Meehan: has never done an "interim report" before. Probably has prepared more than 2000 reports. Has never prepared an "interim report" in any other case.
I see this a little differently.

Interim report is a report about what you brought to us while we wait for the rest of the evidence that you are going to bring to us ...sometime in the future.

This sounds like the grassy knoll evidence that everyone was waiting for so they could then ...write the final report on the assassination of JFK.

Was Meehan expecting more DNA samples from Duke University students?

Anonymous said...

From the "Meehan Cross Examination" posting:

"--Objective of the report was set out by Nifong."

"Nifong never explicitly said that May 12 report wasn't a final report."

Yup, this whole "interim" thing is something the lab made up to cover its @$$ and claim that they didn't knowingly go along with a frame.

He's only getting away with it because he isn't on trial.


Anonymous said...

I'm a little hazy on the labs legal requirement regarding the report, I believe he conconcted the 'interim' report to white wash his own behavior, though probably not criminal but mostly to give Nifong some cover.

And what about the letter he wrote opining the terrible burden of producing the full report? Why wasn't he hammered on that?

Brian Meehan has no dog in this race, he isn't from Durham, he will probably never deal with another Durham case again, and he STILL is protecting Nifong.

Meehan makes me sick, I turned off WRAL I couldn't even stand to watch his weasle testimony any longer.

Anonymous said...

If any expert of mine was going to submit an "interim" report that was going to be turned over to the other side, he or she had damn well better title the document as an "Interim Report" -- or we'd both be getting ourselves into a world of trouble.

Out-of-state (N.C.) lawyer

Anonymous said...

See, that's a good point.

Meehan say it was an interim report, but where is the documentation that it was, at the time, designated an interim report.

Was the defense told this was an interim report?

I must be stupid and I am wishing some lawyers would post and explain to me why letting Meehan get away with his ridiculous contention that the report he generated was an 'interim' report that just also happened to omit the test results that were unfavorble to the prosecution isn't a terrible strategy?!

Anonymous said...

This whole "interim" report excuse is a load of BS. If Meehan was planning on submitting another, "final" report, then why did Nifong never disclose that fact to the defense? Also, when the defense made a motion to the court to order the state to turn over all the underlying DNA data, why did Nifong instruct Meehan to object to producing the material, on the privacy/too burdensome grounds? If Meehan had been planning to submit a "final" report anyway, why didn't he just submit it at that time, rather than objecting?

Meehan's a liar, and not a very good one.

Anonymous said...

5:08 Terrible strategy for whom?

Let's assume that
(1) The bar is trying to get Nifong
(2) The bar doesn't care one way or the other what happens to Meehan.
(3) Nifong's trying to get off.
(4) Nifong doesn't care one way or the other what happens to Meehan.
(5) Meehan's trying to save his livelihood and prepare to defend against any civil suits coming up.
(6) Meehan doesn't care one way or the other what happens to Nifong.

So far everything that's gone down makes sense - he tires to pin it on Nifong with the "interim" thing, in cross Nifong's lawyers get him to admit that Nifong never actually said "interim". They could have done a better job of it, but then Nifong's guys aren't exactly the "dream team".

And the bar just sits back and lets the weasels tear each other up - saves work for them.

Anonymous said...

Well, the SBI expert's testimony seems to say you are on the right track.

Everything she said basically discredited Meehan...his report didn't fit SBI format, she would never expect a lawyer to understand the test results w/just underlying data.

So, I am thinking and hoping that as you say...getting Meehan isn't their purpose...and they let him hang himself and by following his weasle testimony with the SBI woman's it shows clearly that he's a conniving liar.

I STILL think he should have been more strongly challenged on how and why he came to create an 'interim' report, how and why this report came to exclude all results unfavorable to the prosecution, how and why he wrote his letter about the terrible burden of producing a 'full report' and whether or not this burdon he discusssed wasn't in direction contradition to his statements under oath about his belief he would eventually be producing JUST SUCH A FINAL REPORT...

I hate to see someone get away with lying on the witness stand, I believe Meehan not only lied by omission but that the lied outright.

mac said...

Meehan must sense some danger to
his own freedom: he was trying
to avoid having made a final report,
for which he might be more responsible
(than an interim report.)
This wasn't likely to have been
a recent arrangement.

An interim report, he appears to
be saying, is just a rough-draft.
He figures that since he hasn't
provided Nifong with the final
report, he wasn't a full-fledged
participant, and had only an open-
ended responsibility.

You can count on this being worked
out with Mikey long ago. Like
when it was submitted, perhaps:

"I'll provide you with an interim
report, but not a final report."

In the end, he only looks more irresponsible.

Anonymous said...

He looks like a liar, trying desperately to tap-dance his way out of any liability for his lies. It ain't gonna work.

Anonymous said...

I am not a lawyer. I have no idea if Freedman is doing a good job or not. He certainly has little to work with. Why was Meeham the Bar's witness" He,clearly, favors Nifong and himself.