Hiring Of Ex-Jurors Draws Fire
by Marty Graham
“As he prepared to defend a 19-year-old client facing retrial on charges of gang rape, Orange County attorney Joseph Cavallo took a step that some legal experts are calling unusual at best…”
But legal experts have never heard of jurors in a criminal trial being used in such a fashion.”
California Bar Journal
Paying jurors: Savvy trial strategy — or attack on the jury system?
By Diane Curtis
Cavallo’s response to District Attorney’s dismay on hiring the prior jurors as consultants……
Prosecutors are just frustrated because “they were too lazy” to think of corralling the jurors themselves. Cavallo said he talked to a State Bar attorney who said that paying jurors, however unusual, did not violate any legal code. Tell me the best focus group,” the defense attorney challenged, “ — the jury that sits through the trial.”
Three 19-year-old Orange County men were and will be again on trial for the alleged gang rape and assault of a 16-year-old young woman. The boys videotaped the encounter, and it was shown to the jury. Cavallo’s main client is Gregory Haidl, the son of an Orange County assistant sheriff who is also a wealthy businessman. Cavallo has argued that the young woman went into the playroom garage of Haidl’s Corona del Mar home for the purpose of having just the kind of sexual encounter that occurred on a pool table. The prosecution says the woman was unconscious; the defense says she pretended to pass out. After a two-month trail that ended in June, the jury announced it was deadlocked on the 26 counts of rape and assault, leaning heavily for acquittal.
Diane Karpman, a Los Angeles attorney who writes an ethics column fro the California Bar Journal, called the strategy “brilliant lawyering that is consistent with defense lawyer duties” to do everything possible to defend their clients. If defense lawyers can take advantage of some point of law, they should take it,” Karpaman said. “You have to remember that when you’re being prosecuted by the state, the state has so much power, and you’re just a mere human being. You have to make the scales a bit more equal.”
Plus, by paying the jurors as consultants, Cavallo not only gained the insight of the “best people” to tell him what kind of job he did, Karpman said, but he prevented the prosecution from using the jurors’ expertise on behalf of the state because paid consultants may only confer with the other side.
The Idea of preventing the jurors from talking to the prosecution was “a very big part” of his decision, Cavallo acknowledged. “I wouldn’t do it solely fro that reason. It’s just an added benefit.”
Shortly after Calallo announced he was going to hire jurors, the-assemblyman Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana, and Sen. Dick Ackerman, R-Tusin, introduced legislation that would prevent jurors from being paid. The bill died in committee, but Paul Dress, Ackeraman’s legislative director, said the senator is “seriously considering” reintroducing the measure.
Cavallo said the legislation is “just politics” and he’s pretty sure other lawyers would follow suit of they “had the guts” to withstand the ridicule he’s been subjected to that has included “slimy” and “unethical.” “Only a handful of lawyers really take the time to cover every single aspect of defending their clients,” he said.
• Mr. Cavallo has made a reputation for himself throughout Orange County, Los Angeles, San Bernadino and Riverside as an attorneey that will go to any length to defend his clients in the best possible way. Please see the excerpts below on the media coverage regarding this matter.:
The Daily Journal
Defense Attorney for Haidl Likes Good Brawl,
by Tim Willert
Joe Cavallo learned early on that nothing came easy. “you had to scratch, pinch and bite just to get up the street everyday,” he recalled of life in Jersey City, NJ.
The hardscrabble upbringing helped shape the Irvine-based defense attorney, whose aggressive, often forceful style has alienated prosecutors and defense attorneys alike while winning rave reviews from clients.
“There’s no negotiation with him,” That’s been his hallmark. He gives no quarter”
Cavallo, who represents several high-profile clients, include rape suspect Gregory Haidl takes the criticism in stride.
“I’ve been an underground since I was born,: he said. “There isn’t anything that can do or say that is going to change the way I conduct myself in defense of my clients.”
“I have yet tot come across a prosecutor in any country who has taken my approach in handling a case as personally and as negatively as the prosecutors did in the first Haidl case,” he said. “The jury in the last trial no problem with my tactics or the way I handled the witness. They admired my zealousness in representing my client.”
With regards to the hatred the Orange County district attorney’s office has shown of Mr. Cavallo’s demeanor:
“I’m not interested in whether they like me or don’t like me. I refuse to go along with the program at my client’s expense.
Susan Schroeder, Orange County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman, “…..Cavallo is willing to do and say anything to get a victory and cross lines or boundaries to do it.”
“I’m looking forward to a victorious and aggressive prosecution, hopefully a fair one.” He said. “I like a brawl.”
Nobody is ignoring Cavallo right now.
HAIDL case “Gang rape trial"