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Disbarred environmental lawyer sentenced to prison for criminal contempt Courthouse News Service
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Disbarred environmental lawyer sentenced to prison for criminal contempt Courthouse News Service
Diana may be just as intelligent as her son, but she lacks his compassion. This can be attributed to her schizophrenia, which progressively worsened as Spencer got older. As mentioned in “Criminal Minds,” he committed her to a sanitarium and wrote every day. Even with their relationship strained, it’s obvious Spencer continued loving his mother all of those years.
She makes a brief but memorable first appearance in Season 1’s “The Fisher King, Part One,” where we see her inside the sanitarium. Spencer visits the exterior of the building, but he can’t bring himself to go inside as he’s called to assist with the latest case. But don’t worry; they have plenty of time to see one another face to face throughout the series, including the most recent Season 15.
It should come as no surprise that Lynch kills it every time she goes on the show, which is why her co-workers love bringing her back. The show’s executive producer Erica Messer spoke highly of the actor in an interview with Matt & Jess. She discusses Lynch’s return to the show for Season 15: “It was one of those dangling storylines we wanted to be able to connect. Reid’s mom is obviously such a huge influence on him and a gift anytime that she can be on … We all really wanted to see Reid, who is in a moment of needing care-giving as opposed to being the caregiver, have a heart-to-heart with his mom.”
Few actors give as good of heart-to-hearts as the one and only Jane Lynch.
Legal experts said Mr. Kelly’s defense team focused on undermining the credibility of his many accusers — a strategy doomed to fail as attitudes about sexual abuse shift.
Midway through the singer R. Kelly’s trial in Brooklyn, during a sidebar conversation out of the jury’s earshot, one of Mr. Kelly’s lawyers brought up an accuser’s suggestive dancing.
The lawyer, Deveraux L. Cannick, had returned more than once to the topic of twerking, as he questioned a woman who first encountered Mr. Kelly at a music festival when she was 17 and said he abused her for years, and Judge Ann M. Donnelly had heard enough.
“You need to get yourself here into 2021 with the rest of us, OK?” Judge Donnelly said, criticizing the implication that dancing at a concert was somehow an invitation to sexual abuse.
Mr. Kelly’s case, which ended with his conviction this week on racketeering and sex-trafficking charges, was widely seen as a critical moment in the #MeToo movement, which seeks to hold powerful men accountable for sexual misconduct. But throughout his trial, Mr. Kelly’s legal team appeared to employ tactics that recalled an earlier era, attempting to paint the bevy of accusers who testified as jealous, fame-seeking, promiscuous liars.
Legal experts said the verdict, reached after brief deliberations despite weeks of complex testimony, underscored a profound and recent shift in the way juries approached cases involving accusations of sexual abuse. And while chipping away at an accuser’s credibility has long been a key part of defense strategy, they said, attacking women who testify against their accusers risks losing jurors entirely.
“The defense’s arguments may have had some impact decades ago, but in Brooklyn in 2021 you can’t just say ‘she was asking for it’ and get an acquittal,” said Moira Penza, a former prosecutor who led the team that secured the racketeering conviction of the Nxivm sex cult leader Keith Raniere.
Ms. Penza called many of the defense’s cross-examinations of accusers “offensive” and said the defense had failed on a fundamental level.
“Rule No. 1 of being a trial lawyer is to have a clear narrative and consistent themes that you elicit throughout your case,” said Ms. Penza, who is now a partner at the firm Wilkinson Stekloff. “Here, the defense does not seem to have had a clear strategy of how to respond to the prosecution’s evidence.”
To be sure, Mr. Kelly’s defense team was facing an uphill battle. The singer, once one of the best-known recording artists in the world, had been trailed by sexual abuse accusations for decades. At trial, nine women and two men shared hours of graphic testimony about the physical, sexual and emotional abuse he inflicted that could not easily be explained away.
Jurors saw hours of Mr. Kelly’s homemade pornography, much of it plainly abusive. In one video, a woman who testified was forced to stand naked and berate herself; in another, she was forced to record herself sloshing around in her own urine and defecating on herself while Frank Sinatra’s “Come Fly with Me” played in the background.
Deliberations lasted just nine hours.
“When jurors hear weeks of complicated evidence and they return a verdict of conviction with dispatch, they’re sending a message,” said Paul Butler, a former federal prosecutor who is now a professor at Georgetown University Law Center.
Given the mountain of evidence against the singer, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, the case would have been difficult to win. But legal experts said Mr. Kelly’s defense team — a group of four defense lawyers that was partially assembled in the months before the trial after Mr. Kelly parted ways with his longtime counsel — made clear missteps.
Nicole Blank Becker, a Michigan lawyer who had never argued in a federal courtroom before, fumbled repeatedly as she delivered a lengthy opening argument in Mr. Kelly’s case.
And while Mr. Cannick conducted aggressive cross-examinations of many of Mr. Kelly’s accusers, it was not clear how effective his questions were.
“I felt like his questions were a reach,” a woman who testified under the pseudonym Angela said of her cross-examination, in an interview the day after the verdict. “You can’t defend when you have no defense.”
Mr. Cannick also delivered a bombastic closing argument that seemed at one point to compare Mr. Kelly — whom jurors had just heard described as a violent sexual predator — to Martin Luther King Jr.
Mr. Cannick told reporters after the verdict that he discusses Dr. King in all of his summations. But doing so in Mr. Kelly’s case was met with ridicule on social media and from legal experts.
“The defense should be ashamed of even mentioning the name of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., in any discussion of R. Kelly, a dangerous sexual predator who has harmed so many women and underage girls,” the lawyer Gloria Allred, who represented five of Mr. Kelly’s accusers, four of whom testified, said at a news conference after the verdict.
Ms. Blank Becker declined to comment on the defense team’s strategy until after sentencing. Mr. Cannick did not reply to repeated requests for comment.
“In this trial there was not the historical baggage of false accusations by white women against Black men,” Mr. Butler said. “It might have been more effective in a case with different racial dynamics or at a time before #MeToo, but obviously it didn’t work this time.”
From start to finish, legal experts said, the defense focused on an ill-conceived plan to discredit Mr. Kelly’s accusers instead of attacking the underpinnings of the unusual racketeering charge he faced.
The charge is often associated with organized crime, but it can be applied to any ongoing coordinated illegal scheme or criminal enterprise to carry out a common purpose. In this case, prosecutors said Mr. Kelly and his inner circle worked for decades, in multiple states, to recruit girls and young women for sexual exploitation.
Michael Leonard, a Chicago trial lawyer who represented Mr. Kelly until this summer, said he had been preparing a different defense strategy before he and another lawyer, Steve Greenberg, left the case.
“The best way to attack the government’s case was to not treat it as a run-of-the-mill sex case, arguing whether or not something happened,” said Mr. Leonard. “The government’s Achilles’ heel was the concept that Mr. Kelly — as the leader of a band — constituted a criminal enterprise. That was completely novel, something that’s never been tried before, and we thought that could be exploited.”
Mr. Greenberg, who tweeted, “Sometimes you can’t save someone from themselves, no matter how hard you try,” shortly before leaving the legal team, said that one of the many disagreements he had with the lawyers who remained involved was over what he described as a problematic woman-blaming strategy.
“Their strategy was to slut-shame, which had nothing to do with anything,” he said. “And it gained you nothing. Saying bad things about people has nothing to do with having an enterprise.”
Mr. Butler, who specializes in the intersection of race and law, said Mr. Kelly’s team might have hoped its strategy would have worked in a case where the accusers were mostly Black women. He said the strategy might have been more likely to sway some jurors in the years before the #MeToo movement, which, he pointed out, was started by a Black woman.
He also noted that two of Mr. Kelly’s accusers were men, which may have helped convince jurors to convict.
“It’s unfortunate that we still have to think about men corroborating women’s claims of victimization,” he said. “But in this case men were also victims.”
With the burden of proof on the prosecution, the defense called only a handful of witnesses. But those who did take the stand for the defense may have done more harm than good, experts said.
One witness, a former Chicago police officer, admitted on the stand that he had pleaded guilty to forgery. Another, Mr. Kelly’s former accountant, acknowledged that he had created a diagram depicting Mr. Kelly’s organization as an octopus with the singer controlling its various tentacles — valuable evidence for the prosecution’s argument that Mr. Kelly ran an illegal enterprise.
Moe Fodeman, who prosecuted many racketeering cases as a federal prosecutor and is now a white-collar defense lawyer, said the defense’s decision to call any witnesses at all was a risky one.
“Having just a few defense witnesses that respond to some aspect of the prosecution’s case may risk highlighting the lack of response to the rest of it,” Mr. Fodeman said. He added that jurors are often struck by “the stark contrast to the sheer number of witnesses the government called.”
In Mr. Kelly’s case, five people testified for the defense. The prosecution called 45. Mr. Kelly, who also faces charges in Illinois and Minnesota, will be sentenced in May.
On the “Criminal Minds” subreddit, u/LordCoke-16 posted a poll asking users what the weakest seasons of the series were, with the choices including Season 7, Season 8, and Season 9. The latter season won the poll overwhelmingly with 121 of its 244 total votes. The race between Seasons 7 and 8 was a little more neck and neck, with the two seasons earning 58 votes and 65 votes, respectively. u/blackzapatos had one of the top-rated comments on the poll’s Reddit thread, writing, “I think season 4 is the best season, but the worst out of these, definitely 9.”
Interestingly enough, more than one user stated that Season 6 was actually the weakest of the show. For instance, u/mccabebabe admitted, “6 actually,” while u/MandaPandaLee voted for 9, but agreed with their fellow Redditor, writing, “I think 3 is probably my favourite, and 6 my least favourite. I chose 9 out of these three though.”
Indeed, while fans had plenty of love to give for the earlier seasons of “Criminal Minds,” the consensus seemed to be that — among the options presented — Season 9 was by far the weakest of the CBS procedural’s middle seasons.
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When asked which character they thought was the most serious, “Criminal Minds” fans on Reddit made their voices heard. User reyn-egade submitted a poll with Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin), Aaron Hotchner (Thomas Gibson), Will LaMontagne (Josh Stewart), and Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) from “NCIS” as options and the results weren’t even close. LaMontagne got 19, Gibbs received 28, and Gideon notched a respectable 139 votes, but the big winner was Hotch, who received 451 out of 637 votes — good enough for 70% of respondents.
In addition to voting, other users definitely had some thoughts on the matter. User GlitchingGecko called Gibbs” a complete hard-ass,” but pointed out that “as soon as he’s around a kid he turns into a marshmallow.” User Suitable_Emergency34 said they understood why Hotch came out on top, but wanted to point something out. “At least Hotch can joke around, or at least he did more often in season 1. Seeing that for the time the Gideon was there, I barely saw him smile or anything, I’d say he’s the most serious/stoic character.”
SAN JOSE, Calif.—A lawyer for Theranos Inc. founder Elizabeth Holmes tried to undercut a key prosecution witness’s testimony Tuesday, as new clues emerged about her defense strategy of shifting blame to her former top deputy and ex-boyfriend.
Former Theranos lab director Adam Rosendorff testified Tuesday in Ms. Holmes’s criminal-fraud trial that every time the company fielded a physician complaint, every time quality control failed and every time test results fell out of appropriate ranges, “it raised serious and grave concerns…
SAN JOSE, Calif.—A lawyer for Theranos Inc. founder
tried to undercut a key prosecution witness’s testimony Tuesday, as new clues emerged about her defense strategy of shifting blame to her former top deputy and ex-boyfriend.
Former Theranos lab director Adam Rosendorff testified Tuesday in Ms. Holmes’s criminal-fraud trial that every time the company fielded a physician complaint, every time quality control failed and every time test results fell out of appropriate ranges, “it raised serious and grave concerns for me about the accuracy of the testing process.” The concerns eventually led him to quit, he said.
an attorney for Ms. Holmes, took an aggressive stance during his cross-examination, pushing Dr. Rosendorff to say that he was coached by prosecutors on the answers he gave.
His voice rising, Mr. Wade asked whether during several preparation sessions with prosecutors and federal agents, Dr. Rosendorff went through the questions they intended to ask and the answers he planned to give.
“I was always instructed to be truthful and tell the truth,” Dr. Rosendorff responded.
Asked a second time, he responded, “I was merely instructed to tell the truth.”
Mr. Wade’s stance with Dr. Rosendorff differed substantially from his conciliatory tone during cross-examination of prosecution witnesses in previous weeks of Ms. Holmes’s trial. The 37-year-old Stanford University dropout is accused of 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud for representations she made to investors and patients about Theranos’s finger-prick blood-testing technology.
So far, Ms. Holmes’s defense against allegations that she overstated Theranos’s capabilities has been limited to cross-examination and Mr. Wade’s opening remarks to jurors. Court filings partially unsealed Monday night offered hints about what her defense might look like when it is her turn to call witnesses to the stand—and potentially take the stand herself.
As the long-awaited trial of Theranos founder and former CEO Elizabeth Holmes gets underway, WSJ looks back at the scandal’s biggest milestones and speaks with legal reporter Sara Randazzo about what we can expect to see in the fraud trial. Photo Illustration: Adele Morgan/WSJ
The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition
The filings, unsealed in response to a motion by The Wall Street Journal’s publisher, Dow Jones & Co., show how she might position herself against Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, her former boyfriend and No. 2 at the company, who is accused of the same crimes. Both have pleaded not guilty.
Ms. Holmes’s lawyers have said in filings that she could argue that she and Mr. Balwani had an emotionally and physically abusive relationship that left her under his control during the period in which the government alleges the two blood-testing executives committed a massive fraud. Mr. Balwani’s lawyer has said that Mr. Balwani “unequivocally denies that he engaged in any abuse at any time.”
Ms. Holmes’s lawyers explained in a newly unsealed filing that “she deferred to and relied on what she perceived to be Mr. Balwani’s business acumen. She relied on Mr. Balwani to provide her with accurate information about the state of the company’s operations.”
Without conceding that any statement she made was actually false, her lawyers said that she can still argue that, “If Ms. Holmes in good faith believed that what she was saying was true because she relied on and deferred to Mr. Balwani, she did not commit wire fraud.”
Ms. Holmes met Mr. Balwani during a language-immersion trip to China when she was 18-years-old and he was 37, Ms. Holmes’s lawyer told jurors earlier in the trial. In his early years with the company, the executive used his personal wealth, gained from his work at an earlier tech startup, to help prop up Theranos.
Weeks of prosecution witnesses remain before Ms. Holmes’s lawyers can present their defense in full.
Dr. Rosendorff is the eighth witness to take the stand so far.
The former lab director testified that his concerns culminated in late 2014, when he decided to quit, days after Mr. Balwani discussed firing him in an email to Ms. Holmes that was shown to jurors Tuesday.
In the weeks leading up to his resignation, Dr. Rosendorff exchanged a series of heated emails with Mr. Balwani and others, including Ms. Holmes’s brother, Christian Holmes, a senior Theranos manager who fielded customer complaints.
When told by Mr. Holmes how to respond to a doctor who complained about cholesterol results, Dr. Rosendorff responded that he wouldn’t do it. “If you’re asking me to defend these values then the answer is no,” he said in a Nov. 14, 2014, email.
On Dr. Rosendorff’s last day of work, he testified, he met with Mr. Balwani and when the Theranos executive offered his hand Dr. Rosendorff declined to shake it.
Dr. Rosendorff testified that after he left Theranos, he spoke to two lawyers and to then-Wall Street Journal reporter
about his experience at the company. “I felt obligated from a moral and ethical perspective to alert the public,” he said.
The Wall Street Journal first reported on questions about Theranos’s technology in 2015, including that the company ran few tests on its proprietary finger-stick machines and instead used commercial blood analyzers that it sometimes modified.
Dr. Rosendorff said he spoke off the record to Mr. Carreyrou, and his name never appeared as a source in the Journal’s reporting. Mr. Carreyrou and a spokesman for the Journal declined to comment.
During cross-examination, Mr. Wade questioned Dr. Rosendorff about his legal obligations as lab director and whether he ever offered lab tests for patient use that weren’t accurate.
Dr. Rosendorff responded that no, whenever he was alerted that a test was inaccurate or unreliable, he ordered the lab to cease doing those tests.
Write to Sara Randazzo at firstname.lastname@example.org
Over 1,500 people responded to the Reddit poll, and with an astounding 575 votes, the clear winner is Spencer Reid, played by Matthew Gray Gubler. It’s an intriguing choice, especially as anyone who watches “Criminal Minds” knows how intelligent Reid is. The pilot episode tells us that he has an I.Q. of 187, and he’s become known throughout the show’s run for picking up on details everyone else notices. To have him interrogate you is basically inviting to get caught red-handed. But it would appear that most people have an ulterior motive for wanting to be in the same room as Reid.
Based on comments throughout the thread, it appears most people will utilize any excuse to sit across from the dreamboat. Redditor u/Plz_dont_judge_me writes, “Yup, I’d let Reid slap some cuffs on me any day.” Meanwhile, M3lsM3lons gets even more graphic by stating, “Reid, with the hope that he’d manhandle me, Cat Adams style.”
It seems quite a few fans have the hots for Spencer Reid. Hopefully, the chance to look into those hazel eyes is worth any criminal charges that may come your way.
Sept 27 (Reuters) – The late addition of a lawyer with experience handling high-profile clients wasn’t enough to help singer R. Kelly beat charges that he sexually abused women for decades.
Attorney Deveraux Cannick, who joined Kelly’s legal team just a few months before the long-awaited trial, argued in court that his accusers were former fans who became disgruntled after falling out of his favor, and that his sexual relationships were consensual. He made headlines for comparing Kelly to the slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. read more
A federal jury in Brooklyn on Monday convicted Kelly of sex trafficking, after prosecutors spent nearly six weeks making the case that the singer used his fame to exploit women and have sex with underage girls.
Outside the courthouse Monday, Cannick told reporters that the defense team was “disappointed” by the outcome and would explore options for an appeal. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.
In June, Kelly fired two of his lawyers amid internal tension on his legal team. During a hearing, former Kelly defense attorney Steve Greenberg said he clashed with two other members of the defense team, who “can’t deal with stress.”
Cannick made his first appearance in the Kelly case on June 22, according to court filings.
He is part of five-attorney firm Aiello & Cannick, based in Queens. According to the firm’s website, his clients have included Saikou Diallo, the father of Amadou Diallo, who was shot 41 times by New York City police officers in 1999. He helped secure the state’s largest wrongful death settlement at the time.
Cannick, who early in his career worked in the Bronx County District Attorney’s office, specializes in criminal defense and civil rights cases. In 2019, he defended a man accused of kidnapping Chicago rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine, who Cannick claimed staged his own abduction in order to generate publicity. Cannick’s client was found guilty and sentenced to 24 years in prison.
Reporting by Karen Sloan;
Editing by David Bario, Noeleen Walder and Aurora Ellis
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
In April 2018, a former digital imaging technician for “Criminal Minds,” Tony Matulic, filed a complaint against ABC, which co-produced the series, and Entertainment Partners, the company that processed payroll for the show’s crew, with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, alleging that he was fired from the show after speaking out about the behavior of Greg St. Johns, the show’s director of photography, who, he says, repeatedly grabbed his rear end (via Variety).
Greg St. Johns would go on to be named over and over again in Variety’s interviews with 19 current or former “Criminal Minds” crew members, conducted following the filing of Matulic’s complaint. In October 2018, Variety released an exclusive report, detailing St. Johns’ repeated groping of male staffers’ bodies; a pattern of verbal abuse toward staffers; and backing from the Human Resources department and other executives who facilitated the firings of crew members who spoke out about the abuse St. Johns inflicted.
Following the Variety report, in July 2019, a former 2nd assistant cameraman, Todd Durboraw, filed a complaint of his own, suing St. Johns, as well as ABC, CBS, Entertainment Partners, and Warner Bros. (although this company is uninvolved in the production of “Criminal Minds”) for sexual harassment, assault, battery, and retaliation, citing offenses remarkably similar to those listed in the Matulic complaint (via The Hollywood Reporter).