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Is Casey Anthony's Lawyer Incompetent?

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Casey Anthony's defense attorney has been making some curious choices while defending his client.

From the beginning, the Casey Anthony case has been a roller coaster ride of emotions, contradictions and shocking revelations. At the helm -- and some say driving -- much of the chaos has been defense attorney Jose Baez. Baez, who has only been practicing law for three years, is having his limited experience tested by one of the most high profile criminal trials since O.J. Simpson.  

And for Baez, like the last trial of the century, the legal drama started even before he entered the courtroom. What's being particularly scrutinized are the novice attorney's tactics. After all, his experience is spotty at best. There's not much information to found on Baez -- his company website looks professional at first glance ... until you realize none of the links work.

First there were the "inappropriate" touches back in November. On at least two occasions, jail staff warned Baez about repeatedly hugging Anthony during their visits. A jail report at the time said: "The inmate's attorney was observed hugging an inmate and was advised that physical contact was prohibited." Even though a spokesman for the jail said that the lawyer and client did not have to be separated by staff, speculation continues about the presumed relationship between Anthony and Baez.

Then there are the accusations that Baez has media deals in the works and is allegedly steering the case in a direction that would make for the best entertainment value. Now, based on that accusation, Baez is calling for prosecutors to be pulled off the case for trying to smear his good name.

Perhaps most bizarre, Baez, at the 11th hour, has filed a motion seeking more information about an ex-boyfriend of Casey's who posted  a picture on the social networking site MySpace with the caption "Win her over with chloroform." He's also now suddenly asked for forensic evidence that's been available to him for months.

Is this all proof of Baez's lack of experience? Judge Jeanine Pirro says no. "Jose Baez has done a great job of professing Casey's innocence and, at the end of the day, the evidence appears to be overwhelming. He has little choice other than to seek reasonable doubt under every corner and ever stone."

They are called "floating trial balloons" says Pirro, or when an attorney tries to figure out what's catching on with the media. "He's going to make stuff up, trying to create a scenario that might sell," explains Pirro, "Looking for something that might stick."

That would explain why he's all over the place, placing blame on prosecutors and filing motions on previously investigated territory. Pirro believes, under the circumstances, Baez is doing a good job. Although she doesn't agree with his approach, she doesn't believe his tactics are unethical.  

What do you think?

Recently released documents in the Casey Anthony case:

casey anthony forensic report casey anthony witness report casey anthony search warrant casey anthony document
Forensic Report
Witness Report
Search Warrant
Search Warrant

Casey Anthony

Click to see Casey Anthony in Court

See Also:

next: Rod Blagojevich Impeached, Gov. Pat Quinn Sworn In
28 comments so far | Post a comment now
Lord Denning January 30, 2009, 9:35 AM

In 1995 Baez went to a bottom-tier law school (St. Thomas, ranked 182nd in a field of 185 US law schools).

Then Baez took 8 YEARS to pass the bar exam (in 2005).

Worse still, he thinks “disjustice” is a word.

He’s not a lawyer! He’s a disgrace to the profession.

His poor performance in court today is proof of that - did anyone else notice the lawyers & journalists seated behind Baez as they smirked/ shook their heads at his incompetent/ incoherent babbling?

Ruth4Equality January 30, 2009, 11:11 AM

He is extremely competent imo. Just think of the “retrial” due to inadequate legal reprenstation- requested as that last appeal is over. Then she gets to start all over, and live that many more years.

DIR January 30, 2009, 11:35 AM

I think he’s an incompetent boob. He’s latched onto this case to make a name for himself. And I also think Casey is playing him like she does her family, only with him, he’s a guy and she’s using her seductive ploys. I see how she flirts and smiles at him. His clutching her and escorting her out of jail. The hugging he’s been scolded for in jail. His referring to her as “my girl.” It’s NOT appropriate and makes him look all the more incompetent. Her staying at his lawfirm all day everyday while she was out on bail is VERY suspect. That’s unheard of. What lawyer has a client hang out at his office all day, EVERY DAY? What was she doing with him behind his closed doors??? I can only imagine it’s far more than the clutching and hugging that he’s been caught doing in public. Based on her history with men and the fact she doesn’t know who the father of Caylee is, I think I know what she was doing. This girl doesn’t have a moral or ethical bone in her body.

I think his motivation to get her off scott free is so he can have her to himself. Plus this case puts him in the limelight. It’s his goldmine for noteriety—win or lose—he’s in the news and he’ll get clients because of name recognition. A good murder defense will cost a million+ dollars. That’s why most murderers can’t afford a lawyer and get one appointed and paid for by the State. I wonder how he can fund all the forensic testing and investigation and extras he’s doing to get her off. Obviously he’s striking deals with others who also want to be in the spotlight and increase their name recognition. I do believe everyone deserves a fair trial and a good defense, but I don’t think anyone deserves to get a dreamteam handed to them on a silver platter as Casey’s getting. I truly hope the jury is smart enough to see through the smoke and mirrors he’s trying to use to get her off. I hope they remember the OJ trial and how these sleazy lawyers got him off scott free with their smoke and mirrors.

Everytime I see Jose Baez on TV talking about the case, I shake my head in disgust. Not only because he sounds incompetent, but because he whines about the publicity of the case and he’s right there publicizing.

mike January 30, 2009, 12:49 PM

The judge Pirro does not go far enough in telling that Baez is not doing anything wrong. A good defense lawyer does not make anything up and Baez has not made anything up, but strings together the facts to show a way that would at least leave reasonable doubt. The media and police/prosecutors have done everything they can to trash Baez and all the Anthony’s unfairly. Police/prosecutors have released all evidence they have to date and every piece was released to media before the defense team……that is unreal and for that alone the prosecutors should have been replaced…..I hope Beaz appeals that decision. As for the claim that Beaz is setting things up for a media deal……we know that is pure trash talk from prosecutors and media because the false claim never has a source attached to it. I am disappointed in Momlogic for repeating the false claim once again.

kathy January 30, 2009, 3:57 PM

I think he is doing the best he can to represent her on such a high profile case!

I think if I had an ex-boyfriend who had a picture of a woman and man on his myspace that said “win her over with cloroform” I would be searching on my computor for all the effects it would have if someone tryed.

It depends on how you look at what people search on their computors……there are alot of holes in this case and unanswered questions!

what if someone used this chemical to drug her and her daughter and do damage? this case is yet to be tried

Anonymous January 30, 2009, 4:00 PM

well, casey must think he is pretty competent. this whole thing is a huge three ring circus and it is sad b/c poor little caylee deserves justice.

Gail January 31, 2009, 4:42 AM

I think Baez is a total joke !!The last few news interviews of him were all about him, everyone is picking on him and it’s a racial thing, and oh whoa is me.. Get off your pedistal, Baez, and start acting in a professional manner, and start defending your loser client. We all know that you are only in this for the fame and glory !!

granny 65 February 1, 2009, 1:47 AM

Baez should not be on this case, he needs to be checked out

sophie February 2, 2009, 7:23 AM

He is totally incompetent! Why would an attorney sneak contraband to his client? He knew it was wrong because he stuffed the bracelet in her socks. If he thought it was okay to give it to her, he would have put it on top of the clothes. He needs to be called in front of the judge to explain himself.

Sally February 2, 2009, 9:45 AM

I think Baez is a con man and an opportunist who is loving it that he is the first Hispanic attorney who have a high profile case. The way he stays on the case is to coddle his client with secret smiles, hugs, pats on the back, stuffing her favorite bracelet in a sock to assure her he doesn’t care if he gets in trouble breaking the rule he is going to do whatever he can to get her off. Because Casey sees Hispanic men who take risks for what she believes is her love as knights in shining armor, she believes him. Jesse Grund was still in love with Casey and at her beck and call two years after she dumped him until she murdered Caylee. Then he chose Caylee over her as she knew he would. Baez is choosing Casey over Caylee. She likes that. Even if Casey were to fire Baez, Linda Baden or another attorney would step in and continue the same tactics: blame the prosecution for leaks and say their client can’t get a fair trial. The defense, no matter who the lead counsel, will try to dispute all the forensic evidence with their forensic experts and throw reasonable doubt that the body was dumped by Casey Anthony in June. When she’s found guilty, they’ll appeal on the grounds that she couldn’t get a fair trial because of the prosecution leaks.

Tme February 2, 2009, 11:21 AM

Agreed. Casey and Jose are and have been totally inappropriate and unacceptable in their conduct towards each what is seen and unseen in all that time together in his office. CASEY LOOKS PREGNANT!..Did Casey know Jose BEFORE this case??? Add hime to the Possible FATHERS list for Caylee…she looks like him!!!

Sally February 2, 2009, 11:39 AM

TME, Casey is not pregnant. She is gaining weight from all those snacks she’s eating and no exercise. Baez is not Caylee’s father. Casey told Lee in one of the jailhouse visits that she found out about Baez when she was in jail. Some inmate told Casey Baez was a good attorney. I think what appealed to her was that Baez is young, handsome and Hispanic and her mother hates Hispanics. Also, Hispanic men seem to be attracted to her and she is used to wrapping men around her little finger. In her fantasies, her Hispanic attorney falls in love with her and saves her and they ride off in the sunset together. Casey just lives her life one man at a time. She forgot about Caylee as soon as she attached that smiley sticker on the duct tape. Her next step was to celebrate her freedom with her hot boyfriend, watch videos and get ready for the hot body contest. And somewhere along the way she stopped to get “Beautiful Life” tatooed on her arm. Without Caylee, she could have all the sex and booze she wanted.

Tme February 2, 2009, 11:43 AM

Sally…on the money about Casey…sadly. Just think of the life Caylee would have lived in that Nut House of child rearing and values…whew

Sally February 2, 2009, 12:04 PM

TME, Baez is not having sex with Casey. While Casey’s fantasies are of sex and love, Baez’s fantasies are of fame and fortune. This is only the beginning. His little flirtations with her in the courtroom are to keep his job. Being the lead counsel on the Casey Anthony case took him from a nobody to a celebrity whose name is in newspapers, People Magazine, the tabloids and is face is on local and national TV. Before the trial is over, Jose Baez will be a household word. He may end up writing a book, appearing in books and movies and who knows he may get his own TV Show. Judge Jose.

SanSmith February 2, 2009, 12:19 PM

Is Baez competent? Yes and No. I’ll give him credit for taking all the evidence against Casey and trying to create reasonable doubt. On the other, it looks so bad for Casey that he should just be honest with her and tell her she has a good chance of L without P if they continue the strategy. She should be encouraged to plea bargain and get a minimum sentence.

Sally February 2, 2009, 12:55 PM

SanSmith, I don’t see a plea unless the state puts the death penalty back on the table. Casey’s smirking and smiling when she saw the famous Linda Baden in the court room leads me to believe that she believes her “dream team” is her ticket to freedom. Casey would never admit she killed Caylee unless she thought she might lose her life. I think she is a risk taker and would rather risk getting life in prison if she thought keeping her mouth shut may mean she may walk. She is so used to lying, I doubt if she knows how to tell the truth. Casey lives in a fantasy world where she is a victim of a nanny who stole Caylee and the media, cops and prosecutors who are framing her. Casey also enjoys the cameras and drama and will hang on to her 15 minutes of fame until the verdict is read.

Linda from New York February 2, 2009, 1:42 PM

I remember hearing Casey got Baez on the “recommendation” of other inmates. Seems to me he was nothing more than a two-bit attorney trying to get clients off on a DWI. She deserves an incompetent lawyer. And if there is a retrial, she won’t be able to afford another attorney anyway. Baez will walk away with the money he is apparently going to make off of this (from “wherever”), and not look back. Surely HE even knows ther is NO NANNY!!!

Sally February 2, 2009, 2:04 PM

When Casey hired Baez he was representing another baby killer who by the way was being sentenced the day he escorted Casey home after Padilla bailed her out the first time. Baez was late for the sentencing. I don’t believe Baez realized when he took Casey’s case it was going to be a high profile case. Of course, he knows there is no nanny. A defense attorney doesn’t care if his client is innocent. He knows police and prosecutors usually don’t charge clients with murder unless they have evidence. His job is to represent his client vigorously and see she gets a fair trial. Baez is doing this by assembling the world’s best attorneys and experts in their field. Linda Kenney-Badein specializes in forensics and is experienced with high profile cases. She recently got a hung jury for Phil Spector, accused of murdering an actress. He’s also asking for a change of venue and looking for any evidence where he can raise reasonable doubt.

FT February 3, 2009, 10:07 AM

SALLY: you think Baez is HANDSOME?!

He’s short (wears shoe-lifts), fat, has an oblong face with a double chin, and you consider him “handsome”?!

Next you’ll be telling us he’s ‘smart’!

Sally February 3, 2009, 2:50 PM

I think Baez is probably handsome to a 22 year old girl like Casey who likes Hispanic men. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I think Baez is very smart. He managed to become the lead counsel on a high profile case and make himself a household name. He convinced Leonard Padilla and an unnamed source to bail Casey out of jail twice. He has put together a team of renowned experts from around the world to fight the forensics. He has appeared in national magazines, newspapers and on national TV. He has a career most defense attorneys envy. I am being objective and looking at Baez like I would any defense attorney. I am not going to make fun of his looks and hate him just because he is representing a woman who killed her toddler. Someone has to represent Casey Anthony. I don’t like Baez arrogance and his smirking and the fact that he probably is getting paid from the $200,000 the networks paid the Anthonys for the pictures of Caylee. But I don’t care what he looks like or whether he wears shoe lifts or not. My concern is that he defend Casey Anthony vigorously so when she is found guilty there is no grounds for an appeal on ineffective counsel. I am only concerned that we get justice for Caylee. That’s what this is about. Not what her accused murderer’s attorney looks like.

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