How can Casey Anthony, an unemployed single mom, whose parents are facing financial hardship, afford her defense attorney and high priced legal experts? That’s the question posed all over the media this morning. There’s speculation her defense attorney, Jose Baez, is double dipping by acting as her lawyer and agent. If this were true and Anthony’s convicted, she could appeal the verdict using conflict of interest as an out. She could claim her attorney was more interested in selling her story than defending her.
Both Casey Anthony and Jose Baez deny any conflict of interest. In a sworn affidavit, Anthony says she believes financial questions have come up because she refused to take a plea bargain for a “crime I did not commit”. She also claims her Retainer Agreement doesn’t give Baez any rights to sell her story or that of her daughter, Caylee Anthony.
When asked about the double dipping, Baez responded: “I have absolutely no book deals or no entertainment deals or any contingency fees of the kind with anyone.” Yet, he won’t disclose who’s paying him for his services on Anthony’s behalf.
There are two ways of looking at this picture. Either Baez is clever and using politician type wording to cover what’s actually going on, or he’s simply protecting his client’s right to privacy. Is he going to surprise us later by admitting to a book contract rather than a book deal? Or state he only signed the agreement for a movie after Anthony was convicted? Hummm… Is Casey Anthony allowing the conflict of interest knowing she’ll benefit with the possibility of appeal? Would she also gain monetarily from a book or movie deal?
Just for fun, what do you believe is really going on?