Detention officer tries to explain why he swiped attorney's file

By Nick R. Martin | October 31st, 2009 | 12:08 am | 93 Comments »


Video shows Maricopa County sheriff’s employees sneaking a document from the file of a defense attorney.

A Maricopa County detention officer tried to explain Friday why he and a fellow sheriff’s office employee swiped a document from a defense attorney’s file in a bizarre scene that was caught on courtroom videotape.

Detention officer Adam Stoddard sputtered nervously through his testimony at a hearing in Maricopa County Superior Court, where he was ordered to give reasons for taking the document. For every reason he gave, however, he retreated just as quickly, contradicting himself throughout the two-hour hearing.

The whole thing surrounded a scene that took place in a Maricopa County courtroom on Oct. 19, all caught on a courthouse security tape.

The tape shows Stoddard walking to the defense table during a sentencing that day. He leans over the table and begins reading from a document in the file of defense attorney Joanne Cuccia, who was speaking before the judge and had her back turned to the table.

Stoddard can then be seen motioning to a fellow sheriff’s employee, deputy Francisco Campillo, and the two men pull the document from the file. Campillo leaves the courtroom with the document, then comes back moments later and places the original back in the attorney’s file. Cuccia quickly figures out what is going on and brings up the issue with the judge.

On Friday, Judge Gary Donahoe, the highest-ranking criminal court judge in Maricopa County, held the hearing to determine whether Stoddard and Campillo had the authority to take the document from the file.

Under state law, an officer can seize evidence or make an arrest if he sees a crime taking place. Essentially, that’s what Stoddard said he saw — or at least what he thought he saw — at the sentencing of Antonio Lozano on that day.

The detention officer, however, had a hard time sticking to his story.

Heat City was the only media outlet in the courtroom to watch Stoddard get picked apart by veteran Phoenix defense attorney Craig Mehrens and Maricopa County legal defender Maria Schaffer. The two were representing, respectively, the Cuccia and her client, Lozano, whose rights may have been violated by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s employees.

At first, Stoddard testified that the document he yanked from the file — a handwritten letter — contained “keywords” that led him to believe Lozano was some sort of security risk. Later, however, the detention officer admitted the document had been reviewed by court or sheriff’s officials beforehand and was quite literally given a stamp of approval.

“I guess, yeah, he would be legally entitled to have whatever he had on him,” Stoddard said, adding that the letter had been “date stamped by a notoriety [sic notary] or the sheriff’s office.”

Stoddard also said he thought the document might have been somehow illegally passed between Lozano and his defense attorney. But later in the hearing, he admitted that there was really nothing unusual or illegal about a handwritten letter being passed between attorney and client.

The officer then invoked Lozano’s gang affiliation as a reason for thinking something sinister might be afoot.

“Lozano is a known associate of the Mexican Mafia,” he said. “The organization is known to operate in and out of the jails.”

He’s right. In fact, a member of the Mexican Mafia was recently accused of convincing two separate defense attorneys to smuggle drugs into the court and jails on his behalf.

But Stoddard later said this wasn’t an issue in the case because the paperwork that Lozano brought to court that day had been searched beforehand for drugs or other contraband. Sheriff’s officials had found nothing.

And so it went. Stoddard would say one thing to defend himself and then backtrack soon after. On several occasions, he told the court that pulling the document was “standard procedure.” Then later, he said it was the first time he had done it during his five years on the job.

By the end of it, it was unclear why Stoddard had really pulled the document.

One of the complication’s of the hearing was Donahoe’s decision that the handwritten letter falls under attorney-client privilege. Because of that, no one was allowed to talk about the contents of the letter, including the supposed “keywords” that possibly provoked the seizure.

This, Donahoe said, made it impossible for Stoddard or Campillo to mount a defense against a possible contempt of court charge. Donahoe said he would not even consider holding the sheriff’s employees in contempt for the seizure unless Lozano waived his attorney-client privilege.

“Unless you’re going to let these gentlemen fully defend against it, I’m not going to hold them in contempt,” Donahoe said.

Mehrens and Schaffer discussed it, but did not come to a decision. The waiver appeared unlikely.

Donahoe stopped the hearing after two hours, saying it would pick back up again next week. At that time, Stoddard will be questioned by Thomas Liddy, a deputy county attorney representing him and the sheriff’s office in court. Campillo, the sheriff’s deputy, is also expected to testify then.

Outside of a contempt charge, it’s unclear what kind of consequences Stoddard and Campillo are facing if the judge decides they were wrong in pulling the document.

Because of the uproar, Lozano’s sentencing for assaulting a fellow inmate was delayed. It’s possible Donahoe’s decision could affect that case.

Update (Nov. 7, 12:32a): This hearing continued on Nov. 7, 2009. To see what happened, click here.


  • Anonymous

    Thanks for investigating this Nick. Keep up the good work. This smells really bad in my opinion. It will be another strike against Democracy in Maricopa County if Arpaio’s Thugs get away with this.

  • dennisgilman

    Thanks for investigating this Nick. Keep up the good work. This smells really bad in my opinion. It will be another strike against Democracy in Maricopa County if Arpaio's Thugs get away with this.

  • Anonymous

    Nice work, Nick. Is the deputy county atty you reference, Thomas Liddy, the radio talking head Tom Liddy?

  • rolomonkey

    Nice work, Nick. Is the deputy county atty you reference, Thomas Liddy, the radio talking head Tom Liddy?

  • http://www.heatcity.org Nick R. Martin

    We'll see on this one, Dennis. It's looking less likely that the judge will hand out any kind of punishment against these sheriff's officials unless the defendant waives his attorney-client rights. And it doesn't look like that will happen.

  • http://www.heatcity.org Nick R. Martin

    We’ll see on this one, Dennis. It’s looking less likely that the judge will hand out any kind of punishment against these sheriff’s officials unless the defendant waives his attorney-client rights. And it doesn’t look like that will happen.

  • http://www.heatcity.org Nick R. Martin

    @rolomonkey Thank you. You know, I didn’t even make the connection that the attorney was THAT Tom Liddy until I read your comment. Yes, it was him. He’s a deputy county attorney in the civil division these days. Small world.

  • http://www.heatcity.org Nick R. Martin

    @rolomonkey Thank you. You know, I didn't even make the connection that the attorney was THAT Tom Liddy until I read your comment. Yes, it was him. He's a deputy county attorney in the civil division these days. Small world.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, Nick. Yes, indeed, it is a small world — especially out
    their on the political edge.

  • rolomonkey

    Thanks, Nick. Yes, indeed, it is a small world — especially out
    their on the political edge.

  • Matt

    i think police officers should be required to provide evidence to a crime taking place before an arrest such as them having to wear some kind of recording device at all times that cannot be turned off. There is to much “wiggle” room for law enforcement to lie and extort people and the occurrences seem to be on the rise as law enforcement seem to be taking it upon themselves to “create their own laws” and follow their own opinions of the law or their own opinions and beliefs instead of following the law which they take an oath to uphold. I also feel that police officers need to be treated to the same or better standards than ordinary citizens as “we the people” pay for them to be doing what they are doing and it seems that our tax payer dollars are being used to terrorize citizens, and cause harm to citizens and support a private fraternity of hooligans who feel they are above the law. That is just my opinion though…. I know that some of this is not relevant to the situation described here but everytime i see a police officer break the law and then go unpunished or get a slap on the hand and then look at the small things that citizens do and how the police “make up” or blow things out of proportion it just makes me upset. But anyways thank you for making the public aware of this maybe someday 200 years from now something will actually be done about stuff like this (def. not in my life time)

  • Matt

    i think police officers should be required to provide evidence to a crime taking place before an arrest such as them having to wear some kind of recording device at all times that cannot be turned off. There is to much “wiggle” room for law enforcement to lie and extort people and the occurrences seem to be on the rise as law enforcement seem to be taking it upon themselves to “create their own laws” and follow their own opinions of the law or their own opinions and beliefs instead of following the law which they take an oath to uphold. I also feel that police officers need to be treated to the same or better standards than ordinary citizens as “we the people” pay for them to be doing what they are doing and it seems that our tax payer dollars are being used to terrorize citizens, and cause harm to citizens and support a private fraternity of hooligans who feel they are above the law. That is just my opinion though…. I know that some of this is not relevant to the situation described here but everytime i see a police officer break the law and then go unpunished or get a slap on the hand and then look at the small things that citizens do and how the police “make up” or blow things out of proportion it just makes me upset. But anyways thank you for making the public aware of this maybe someday 200 years from now something will actually be done about stuff like this (def. not in my life time)

  • Anonymous

    What is this half-assed law you people practice down in Juarez?

    What joke.

    If this was a corporate case or the defendant had any money, Maricopa County would be making $20,000 a month payments to the defendant the rest of their natural life.

  • blownaway1234

    What is this half-assed law you people practice down in Juarez?

    What joke.

    If this was a corporate case or the defendant had any money, Maricopa County would be making $20,000 a month payments to the defendant the rest of their natural life.

  • mliving

    Funny how the defendant must waiver one set of rights in order to have other rights enforced.

    Sound to me like Mr. Stoddard’s actions should result in a miss trial and the charges against the defendant should be thrown out. PERIOD!

  • mliving

    Funny how the defendant must waiver one set of rights in order to have other rights enforced.

    Sound to me like Mr. Stoddard's actions should result in a miss trial and the charges against the defendant should be thrown out. PERIOD!

  • New Reader

    As noted above, “an officer can seize evidence or make an arrest if he sees a crime taking place.” In order to maintain security, the officer may be in the habit of keeping a close eye on surroundings, looking for suspicious behavior of others. Knowing that the defendant allegedly was a member of an organization that snuck contraband into court, the deputy may have felt the need to look at the papers on the table. Once he saw them, he realized they weren’t relevant to any security issue. Any type of officer will routinely make these quick judgment calls, and in most cases, they don’t involve significant controversy. For example, here, if the materials were not privileged, there would not have been much controversy.

    Only in retrospect did it become clear to him that doing so was unnecessary, as the paperwork had already been inspected by another security officer upon the defendant’s entry into the building. Sometimes decisions that can appear rational at the time, based on what a person knew or perceived then, can appear irrational in hindsight. This situation often occurs when individuals have the opportunity to spend large amounts of time scrutinizing what were quick decisions.

    While the officer should not have read the papers, I think it is unfair to hold him in criminal contempt, or to wonder why his after-the-fact explanations don’t seem to make much sense.

  • New Reader

    As noted above, “an officer can seize evidence or make an arrest if he sees a crime taking place.” In order to maintain security, the officer may be in the habit of keeping a close eye on surroundings, looking for suspicious behavior of others. Knowing that the defendant allegedly was a member of an organization that snuck contraband into court, the deputy may have felt the need to look at the papers on the table. Once he saw them, he realized they weren't relevant to any security issue. Any type of officer will routinely make these quick judgment calls, and in most cases, they don't involve significant controversy. For example, here, if the materials were not privileged, there would not have been much controversy.

    Only in retrospect did it become clear to him that doing so was unnecessary, as the paperwork had already been inspected by another security officer upon the defendant's entry into the building. Sometimes decisions that can appear rational at the time, based on what a person knew or perceived then, can appear irrational in hindsight. This situation often occurs when individuals have the opportunity to spend large amounts of time scrutinizing what were quick decisions.

    While the officer should not have read the papers, I think it is unfair to hold him in criminal contempt, or to wonder why his after-the-fact explanations don't seem to make much sense.

  • Don Keefhardt

    Ah…you all are overlooking the insidious danger of “paper cuts”.

  • Don Keefhardt

    Ah…you all are overlooking the insidious danger of “paper cuts”.

  • http://NHFREE.com/ Roger Grant

    Federal Civil Rights violation seems to be the way to punish the thugs and the judge who is obviously covering for them.

  • http://NHFREE.com/ Roger Grant

    Federal Civil Rights violation seems to be the way to punish the thugs and the judge who is obviously covering for them.

  • Perplexed

    Why this man is in jail is irrelevant, so as far as Lady Justice is concerned, he still has inalienable rights in this case; that his rights are *repeatedly* being violated by law enforcement *and* the court/judge is unconscionable and frankly quite revolting. From where I sit (and thats 3000 miles away in another jurisdiction), the story and the video of what happened as well as the judge’s non-reaction and nonchalance frighten me and make me wonder if anyone can ever truly be trusted in this country, regardless of what oaths they have sworn. Now, I felt conflicted at first because, come on, the guy is an INMATE who is being punished for breaking the law while still incarcerated (which is moronic beyond all reason), but the more I think about this, the more angry I get. Why is it that the only person in the whole room crying foul was the defendant (and soon after, his lawyer)? Is the judge a victim of serious vision impairment that reduces her visual field to a two foot radius? The guy walked halfway across the courtroom, stood unreasonably close behind the defendant and his lawyer at the podium, stood there for quite some time reading and rifling through documents which had already CLEARLY been approved by one of his colleagues, and the judge didnt notice this? No one in the COURT noticed this? Even though I knew what the tape was before I watched it, even *I* was yelling “Hey, what the hell is that guy doing?!” No one in the entire room cared what he was doing; that much was obvious. I refuse to believe that no one SAW. Whats upsetting is the judge’s reaction, waffling on the bench, and refusal to stop proceedings until pressed multiple times to intervene in the situation. Add to this a SECOND judge who now wants the defendant to waive his rights or the issue will stall, and you have yourself one honkin’ big case of a miscarriage of justice. I am no law student but cant they just go argue the stolen document issue in chambers? Why does the defendant need to waive his rights? It would seem to me that barring some legality I’m unaware of, there would be no problem going into chambers and arguing this single particular issue in private with the judge. I see no reason why any of this issue needs to be debated in open court, and until I read otherwise, it seems obvious as the nose on my face that these judges need to be benched…literally…before they corrupt an already imperfect system.

    It should scare EVERYONE that in a court of law, in full knowledge of the presence of surveillamce and the media, there were only two people in either room who gave a tiny damn about ensuring actual JUSTICE was taking place, and one of THEM was the BAD GUY.

    I hang my head in shame when these things come to light. I can’t decide which is more sad: That this is not the America I was born and raised in or that it so totally is. What do we have left if not the basic tenets of our “free” society, the foundation upon all we do – the *reason our nation even exists*, the respect for truth and justice and our will to ensure them? I am VERY afraid for our country.

    And myself.

  • Perplexed

    Why this man is in jail is irrelevant, so as far as Lady Justice is concerned, he still has inalienable rights in this case; that his rights are *repeatedly* being violated by law enforcement *and* the court/judge is unconscionable and frankly quite revolting. From where I sit (and thats 3000 miles away in another jurisdiction), the story and the video of what happened as well as the judge’s non-reaction and nonchalance frighten me and make me wonder if anyone can ever truly be trusted in this country, regardless of what oaths they have sworn. Now, I felt conflicted at first because, come on, the guy is an INMATE who is being punished for breaking the law while still incarcerated (which is moronic beyond all reason), but the more I think about this, the more angry I get. Why is it that the only person in the whole room crying foul was the defendant (and soon after, his lawyer)? Is the judge a victim of serious vision impairment that reduces her visual field to a two foot radius? The guy walked halfway across the courtroom, stood unreasonably close behind the defendant and his lawyer at the podium, stood there for quite some time reading and rifling through documents which had already CLEARLY been approved by one of his colleagues, and the judge didnt notice this? No one in the COURT noticed this? Even though I knew what the tape was before I watched it, even *I* was yelling “Hey, what the hell is that guy doing?!” No one in the entire room cared what he was doing; that much was obvious. I refuse to believe that no one SAW. Whats upsetting is the judge’s reaction, waffling on the bench, and refusal to stop proceedings until pressed multiple times to intervene in the situation. Add to this a SECOND judge who now wants the defendant to waive his rights or the issue will stall, and you have yourself one honkin’ big case of a miscarriage of justice. I am no law student but cant they just go argue the stolen document issue in chambers? Why does the defendant need to waive his rights? It would seem to me that barring some legality I’m unaware of, there would be no problem going into chambers and arguing this single particular issue in private with the judge. I see no reason why any of this issue needs to be debated in open court, and until I read otherwise, it seems obvious as the nose on my face that these judges need to be benched…literally…before they corrupt an already imperfect system.

    It should scare EVERYONE that in a court of law, in full knowledge of the presence of surveillamce and the media, there were only two people in either room who gave a tiny damn about ensuring actual JUSTICE was taking place, and one of THEM was the BAD GUY.

    I hang my head in shame when these things come to light. I can’t decide which is more sad: That this is not the America I was born and raised in or that it so totally is. What do we have left if not the basic tenets of our “free” society, the foundation upon all we do – the *reason our nation even exists*, the respect for truth and justice and our will to ensure them? I am VERY afraid for our country.

    And myself.

  • Anonymous

    I have to disagree with you significantly, New Reader. If I were the criminal defense attorney, and I am here in California, not only would I be seeking contempt of court proceedings, I would be pursuing theft charges against him. If this deputy had illegally gone through your wallet, your purse, your car, or other, and stolen a personal letter of yours, copied it, and returned it, you would feel completely violated and demand justice. The fact that he returned it, only after copying it, does not alter the fact that he stole it in the first place.

    What this bailiff did was even worse. It was just peeking out from under other papers in this attorney’s file. That file is sacrosanct, and our nation was founded, in part, on the sanctity of the attorney-client privilege. That this judge requires a waiver of this most sacred of trusts, in order to “prove” the case against this bailiff is a complete judicial travesty. The contents of the letter are completely irrelevant to the bailiff’s conduct. He searched an attorney’s file, behind her back, without her permission, and read it. He saw the file behind her, purposefully intended to go through it to see what he could see, and when he saw the corner of the hand-written document peeking out, he pulled it out the rest of the way, read it, signaled another deputy, and arranged for a copy to be made. She had every right to expect her file would remain private.

    This bailiff deserves to be prosecuted and fired.

  • Anonymous

    I have to disagree with you significantly, New Reader. If I were the criminal defense attorney, and I am here in California, not only would I be seeking contempt of court proceedings, I would be pursuing theft charges against him. If this deputy had illegally gone through your wallet, your purse, your car, or other, and stolen a personal letter of yours, copied it, and returned it, you would feel completely violated and demand justice. The fact that he returned it, only after copying it, does not alter the fact that he stole it in the first place.

    What this bailiff did was even worse. It was just peeking out from under other papers in this attorney’s file. That file is sacrosanct, and our nation was founded, in part, on the sanctity of the attorney-client privilege. That this judge requires a waiver of this most sacred of trusts, in order to “prove” the case against this bailiff is a complete judicial travesty. The contents of the letter are completely irrelevant to the bailiff’s conduct. He searched an attorney’s file, behind her back, without her permission, and read it. He saw the file behind her, purposefully intended to go through it to see what he could see, and when he saw the corner of the hand-written document peeking out, he pulled it out the rest of the way, read it, signaled another deputy, and arranged for a copy to be made. She had every right to expect her file would remain private.

    This bailiff deserves to be prosecuted and fired.

  • Anonymous

    Typical maricopa county behavior. Why does this not surprise me? Keep a close eye on the court system there and try and count all of the oddities.

  • Anonymous

    Typical maricopa county behavior. Why does this not surprise me? Keep a close eye on the court system there and try and count all of the oddities.

  • Tony

    ahhhh…one more reason never to spend my tourist dollars in Arizona, thanks.

  • Tony

    ahhhh…one more reason never to spend my tourist dollars in Arizona, thanks.

  • rob

    I was railroaded by superior court in az also in 2005, this is not surprising. now i’m gonna contact the lawyer involved and ask her to rep for me and sue, I gave all the doc’s from that day in court, thx guys

  • rob

    I was railroaded by superior court in az also in 2005, this is not surprising. now i’m gonna contact the lawyer involved and ask her to rep for me and sue, I gave all the doc’s from that day in court, thx guys

  • Anonymous

    Behind the back of a defense attorney! Stoddard should have been arrested for violating the constitutional rights of the defense attorney. Further, the judge saw this going on and did nothing. It is her courtroom WTF is going on . I will never be caught in Arizona again..

  • Anonymous

    Behind the back of a defense attorney! Stoddard should have been arrested for violating the constitutional rights of the defense attorney. Further, the judge saw this going on and did nothing. It is her courtroom WTF is going on . I will never be caught in Arizona again..

  • Anonymous

    Judge Donahoe is completely wrong. The content of the document is irrelevant. What is relevant is the act of invading the attorney’s documents without any probable cause/warrant indicating a crime was a foot. The biggest wrong here was committed by the sitting judge who should have stopped the proceedings upon seeing the deputy standing behind the defense attorney picking up the document. She had to see it or she was asleep!

  • Anonymous

    Judge Donahoe is completely wrong. The content of the document is irrelevant. What is relevant is the act of invading the attorney’s documents without any probable cause/warrant indicating a crime was a foot. The biggest wrong here was committed by the sitting judge who should have stopped the proceedings upon seeing the deputy standing behind the defense attorney picking up the document. She had to see it or she was asleep!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for reporting this. Other than a quick mention on CNN this morning, there is little to no information on this, save for this site.

    What is going on in Maricopa County? The Sheriff is under investigation by the FBI, deputies can just rifle through attorney files, cause you know, terrorism, security, blah, blah, whatever that half-wit judge tried to say on the video.

    I seriously hope that deputy gets to spend some quality time with some fellow inmates, sans precious badge.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for reporting this. Other than a quick mention on CNN this morning, there is little to no information on this, save for this site.

    What is going on in Maricopa County? The Sheriff is under investigation by the FBI, deputies can just rifle through attorney files, cause you know, terrorism, security, blah, blah, whatever that half-wit judge tried to say on the video.

    I seriously hope that deputy gets to spend some quality time with some fellow inmates, sans precious badge.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know much about Maricopa County – but it seems like they are always in the news for something racist, weird, or just plain stupid.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know much about Maricopa County – but it seems like they are always in the news for something racist, weird, or just plain stupid.

  • Joe Esq

    Let me just say this. The judge’s ruling was accurate. Ultimately, the defendant must waive the attorney-client privilege so that they can see the content. For anyone who knows the law, the attorney-client privilege protects confidential communications between a client and his/her attorney. For those who think it is ridiculous for the judge to punish the deputy without having the defendant first give up this privilege, think again. The judge is in a bind. The a/c privilege is fundamental to a client’s trust and confidence in his/her attorney, thus ensuring that a fair trial is observed and a proper defense given. Only the client can waive this right. (A communication would not be protected if it was not confidential, i.e. the client and attorney talking outloud for everyone to hear or displaying the notes in plain view.) The question ultimately would turn on whether the deputy was reasonable to believe those keywords would lead a reasonable police officer in his shoes to further investigate, i.e. copy the entire paper and read it to see if it discusses a criminal threat to the court or whatnot. Thus, if the defendant and attorney are claiming the deputy did wrong, then naturally the deputy will defend himself by saying the content of the matter led him to take reasonable measures to ensure that it was not indicative of a crime. This may be bogus, but he will undoubtedly make this defense, thereby making the very content of the document a material dispute. You basically have two rights that are coming into conflict with each other and it is up to defendant to decide what right is more important to have. By the way, assuming the document stated, “I will blow up this courtroom after you are done.” The deputy of course would take that to the prosecutor and they would file charges. Then the defendant would claim a/c privilege, but unfortunately a criminal threat such as that, would not be privileged. See more details about it @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attorney-client_privilege.

    In short, the judge is doing the defendant a favor, protecting both of his rights, and giving him the option. Remember, since we do not know what the content stated, it may be in the defendant’s best interest not to make that information public.

  • Joe Esq

    Let me just say this. The judge’s ruling was accurate. Ultimately, the defendant must waive the attorney-client privilege so that they can see the content. For anyone who knows the law, the attorney-client privilege protects confidential communications between a client and his/her attorney. For those who think it is ridiculous for the judge to punish the deputy without having the defendant first give up this privilege, think again. The judge is in a bind. The a/c privilege is fundamental to a client’s trust and confidence in his/her attorney, thus ensuring that a fair trial is observed and a proper defense given. Only the client can waive this right. (A communication would not be protected if it was not confidential, i.e. the client and attorney talking outloud for everyone to hear or displaying the notes in plain view.) The question ultimately would turn on whether the deputy was reasonable to believe those keywords would lead a reasonable police officer in his shoes to further investigate, i.e. copy the entire paper and read it to see if it discusses a criminal threat to the court or whatnot. Thus, if the defendant and attorney are claiming the deputy did wrong, then naturally the deputy will defend himself by saying the content of the matter led him to take reasonable measures to ensure that it was not indicative of a crime. This may be bogus, but he will undoubtedly make this defense, thereby making the very content of the document a material dispute. You basically have two rights that are coming into conflict with each other and it is up to defendant to decide what right is more important to have. By the way, assuming the document stated, “I will blow up this courtroom after you are done.” The deputy of course would take that to the prosecutor and they would file charges. Then the defendant would claim a/c privilege, but unfortunately a criminal threat such as that, would not be privileged. See more details about it @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attorney-client_privilege.

    In short, the judge is doing the defendant a favor, protecting both of his rights, and giving him the option. Remember, since we do not know what the content stated, it may be in the defendant’s best interest not to make that information public.

  • Out of state attorney

    In general, officers are allowed to keep an eye out for evidence of wrongdoing. However, this most emphatically does *not* apply to privileged attorney-client documents, and any deputy who spends time in a courtroom should know this. Absent extraordinary reason to believe counsel is complicit in a conspiracy with her client, the officers are way, way, way off base for even looking at what is in the defense counsel’s file. (Even assuming there was some reason, unless there was an emergency, the officers should have to get a warrant from a judge before they can just go fishing into privileged documents.) These guys should be in jail on contempt, regardless of the contents of the document.

  • Out of state attorney

    In general, officers are allowed to keep an eye out for evidence of wrongdoing. However, this most emphatically does *not* apply to privileged attorney-client documents, and any deputy who spends time in a courtroom should know this. Absent extraordinary reason to believe counsel is complicit in a conspiracy with her client, the officers are way, way, way off base for even looking at what is in the defense counsel’s file. (Even assuming there was some reason, unless there was an emergency, the officers should have to get a warrant from a judge before they can just go fishing into privileged documents.) These guys should be in jail on contempt, regardless of the contents of the document.

  • http://phelps.donotremove.net/ Phelps

    “For example, here, if the materials were not privileged, there would not have been much controversy. ”

    They are privileged. That has been decided in the first hearing. In fact, anything in an attorney’s file is ASSUMED to be privileged. It’s time for the people here to drop that pretense that the looking is in some way excused. It’s not.

  • http://phelps.donotremove.net Phelps

    “For example, here, if the materials were not privileged, there would not have been much controversy. ”

    They are privileged. That has been decided in the first hearing. In fact, anything in an attorney’s file is ASSUMED to be privileged. It’s time for the people here to drop that pretense that the looking is in some way excused. It’s not.

  • Anonymous

    Someone needs to file an ethics complaint against the prosecutors in the courtroom who observed this, and did nothing, and against the judge who observed this, and did nothing. Make them explain THEIR actions to a grievance panel.

    Yes, the grievance panel will probably white-wash it and give them a pat on the back. However, at least make the file their answers.

    As for the deputy, an honest sheriff would fire his slimy posterior in a heartbeat. That he hasn’t been fired pretty much tells you all you need to know about the sheriff involved. When the attorney-client privilege isn’t respected, then you are living in a police state.

  • Anonymous

    Someone needs to file an ethics complaint against the prosecutors in the courtroom who observed this, and did nothing, and against the judge who observed this, and did nothing. Make them explain THEIR actions to a grievance panel.

    Yes, the grievance panel will probably white-wash it and give them a pat on the back. However, at least make the file their answers.

    As for the deputy, an honest sheriff would fire his slimy posterior in a heartbeat. That he hasn’t been fired pretty much tells you all you need to know about the sheriff involved. When the attorney-client privilege isn’t respected, then you are living in a police state.

  • Anonymous

    Wrong. The bailiff knew that he was looking through the attorney’s confidential file when he walked over to the defense table, for no other apparent reason. He had no business looking into what he knew was a confidential file. READING THE FILE is the reason for the punishment.

    Just like a cop who searches someone without any justification, and finds something illegal, cannot excuse the search due to what he found, neither can this deputy.

    BTW, I’m a lawyer too. So don’t think putting ESQ after your name makes you some sort of authority.

  • Anonymous

    Wrong. The bailiff knew that he was looking through the attorney’s confidential file when he walked over to the defense table, for no other apparent reason. He had no business looking into what he knew was a confidential file. READING THE FILE is the reason for the punishment.

    Just like a cop who searches someone without any justification, and finds something illegal, cannot excuse the search due to what he found, neither can this deputy.

    BTW, I’m a lawyer too. So don’t think putting ESQ after your name makes you some sort of authority.

  • Jack Dunlop

    Exactly right, Clay.

    There’s no right for a courtroom deputy to read the documents. He can search through them (upon entering the courthouse) but there is no basis for him to actually read them. I have no idea why the judge believes that he has some sort of defense based on what the documents say…when the deputy had no right, in the first place, to be reading them. (Even if they aren’t privileged material, it’s not anyone’s right to know which documents, including public records, an attorney chooses to bring with her to aid in her defense of her client.)

    The concept that a criminal defendant has to waive his right to the attorney-client privilege in order to prevent courtroom deputies from violating that privilege as they please would be comical if it wasn’t seriously being posited by a judge in an actual contempt proceeding.

    How can anyone think that the judge makes any sense when you lose your right either way?

  • Jack Dunlop

    Exactly right, Clay.

    There’s no right for a courtroom deputy to read the documents. He can search through them (upon entering the courthouse) but there is no basis for him to actually read them. I have no idea why the judge believes that he has some sort of defense based on what the documents say…when the deputy had no right, in the first place, to be reading them. (Even if they aren’t privileged material, it’s not anyone’s right to know which documents, including public records, an attorney chooses to bring with her to aid in her defense of her client.)

    The concept that a criminal defendant has to waive his right to the attorney-client privilege in order to prevent courtroom deputies from violating that privilege as they please would be comical if it wasn’t seriously being posited by a judge in an actual contempt proceeding.

    How can anyone think that the judge makes any sense when you lose your right either way?

  • http://www.heatcity.org Nick R. Martin

    The hearing that began Oct. 30 continued on Thursday, and Heat City has an update at http://www.heatcity.org/2009/11/officer-tells-which-keywords.html Thanks, all, for reading and the comments. Keep ‘em coming.

  • http://www.heatcity.org Nick R. Martin

    The hearing that began Oct. 30 continued on Thursday, and Heat City has an update at http://www.heatcity.org/2009/11/officer-tells-which-keywords.html Thanks, all, for reading and the comments. Keep ‘em coming.

  • Anonymous

    There was no security risk at any time.

    “the deputy may have felt the need to look at the papers on the table” is laughable. Watch the video.

    HE OPENED A FOLDER ON THE DEFENSE ATTORNEY’S TABLE, behind her back. In what universe is that legal??? Any pretense at legality or necessity went out the window when he opened that folder. SEARCHING is one thing; READING files is quite another.

    This deputy should be FIRED, ARRESTED, and then SUED. That whole “color of authority” thing should be a slam dunk case. He is a disgrace to law enforcement, and the corrections profession. Criminal contempt is the minimum charge he should be hit with. I hope the defense attorney gets a pile of money, and I hope the deputy goes to jail.

    How could PAPERS IN A CLOSED ATTORNEY’S FILE be, remotely, considered “contraband”? Candy, drugs, needles, GUNS, porn, cash… THOSE are “contraband” and can be spotted without reading CONFIDENTIAL ATTORNEY-CLIENT FILES. Even if, in some lunatic worldview, the deputy claimed he was merely searching for “contraband”, under no circumstances could he have the right to read files.

    One of the cornerstones of our legal system is that of attorney-client privilege. If we allow an armed deputy to violate that privilege whenever he feels like it, our legal system is doomed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tom.stedham Tom Stedham

    There was no security risk at any time.

    “the deputy may have felt the need to look at the papers on the table” is laughable. Watch the video.

    HE OPENED A FOLDER ON THE DEFENSE ATTORNEY’S TABLE, behind her back. In what universe is that legal??? Any pretense at legality or necessity went out the window when he opened that folder. SEARCHING is one thing; READING files is quite another.

    This deputy should be FIRED, ARRESTED, and then SUED. That whole “color of authority” thing should be a slam dunk case. He is a disgrace to law enforcement, and the corrections profession. Criminal contempt is the minimum charge he should be hit with. I hope the defense attorney gets a pile of money, and I hope the deputy goes to jail.

    How could PAPERS IN A CLOSED ATTORNEY’S FILE be, remotely, considered “contraband”? Candy, drugs, needles, GUNS, porn, cash… THOSE are “contraband” and can be spotted without reading CONFIDENTIAL ATTORNEY-CLIENT FILES. Even if, in some lunatic worldview, the deputy claimed he was merely searching for “contraband”, under no circumstances could he have the right to read files.

    One of the cornerstones of our legal system is that of attorney-client privilege. If we allow an armed deputy to violate that privilege whenever he feels like it, our legal system is doomed.

  • Anonymous

    Joe Esq:
    The content is IRRELEVANT. Yes, the deputy is there to protect the security of the courtroom, e.g., to safeguard against guns, knives, and other shiny objects which pose an IMMEDIATE TANGIBLE THREAT to the safety of the court. The deputy has absolutely NO BUSINESS WHATSOEVER READING through CONFIDENTIAL, ATTORNEY-CLIENT DOCUMENTS, where, as you well know, the client and the attorney have a HIGH EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY. Saying the judge is doing the defendant a favor by giving him this so-called “option” is like saying you’re doing a wrongly convicted innocent man a “favor” by giving him the “option” of being put to death by lethal injection or by electrocution. The fact that the judge actually made an issue of the content of the documents would be laughable, if it weren’t so EMBARRASSING and SHAMEFUL to our system of justice.

  • Anonymous

    Joe Esq:
    The content is IRRELEVANT. Yes, the deputy is there to protect the security of the courtroom, e.g., to safeguard against guns, knives, and other shiny objects which pose an IMMEDIATE TANGIBLE THREAT to the safety of the court. The deputy has absolutely NO BUSINESS WHATSOEVER READING through CONFIDENTIAL, ATTORNEY-CLIENT DOCUMENTS, where, as you well know, the client and the attorney have a HIGH EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY. Saying the judge is doing the defendant a favor by giving him this so-called “option” is like saying you’re doing a wrongly convicted innocent man a “favor” by giving him the “option” of being put to death by lethal injection or by electrocution. The fact that the judge actually made an issue of the content of the documents would be laughable, if it weren’t so EMBARRASSING and SHAMEFUL to our system of justice.

  • Joe Esq

    rights:

    do you even know what the standard for relevancy is? From your response it appears you are a little unfamiliar with the law, It appears you are not a lawyer. Let me give you a quick info on the standard of relevancy in a court of law from two sources, which convey the same idea:

    “Relevant evidence” means evidence having any tendency in reason to prove or disprove any disputed fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action. (California Evidence Code section 210)

    Relevant evidence means evidence having any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence. (Rule 401 of the Arizona Rules of Evidence)

    It is a very low standard, if it has any tendency [i.e. not a material tendency, not tendency that fits your view, but ANY TENDENCY], then it is relevant. You are confusing relevancy with advocacy. You may not agree with what happened, but that doesn’t make the content irrelevant. I would say you make good argument as to the merits of what happened, but procedurally the content is relevant. The judge made the right determination because the content would be used in some way by the deputy as his defense for a disputed fact that is of consquence to the outcome. The only way it is not relevant if the deputy does not say anything about the content, i.e. Q: Did you read anything on top of the documents that was in plain view that gave you reason to look inside the folder? A: No. [then content not relevant]; or A: Yes [then has to be relevant].

    It appears from the hearing that he gave as part of his reason the content made him do what he did. Of course, he also said other factors, but whether his reasons were good or bad goes to the strength and weakness of his credibility, not whether the content is relevant or not.

  • Joe Esq

    rights:

    do you even know what the standard for relevancy is? From your response it appears you are a little unfamiliar with the law, It appears you are not a lawyer. Let me give you a quick info on the standard of relevancy in a court of law from two sources, which convey the same idea:

    “Relevant evidence” means evidence having any tendency in reason to prove or disprove any disputed fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action. (California Evidence Code section 210)

    Relevant evidence means evidence having any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence. (Rule 401 of the Arizona Rules of Evidence)

    It is a very low standard, if it has any tendency [i.e. not a material tendency, not tendency that fits your view, but ANY TENDENCY], then it is relevant. You are confusing relevancy with advocacy. You may not agree with what happened, but that doesn’t make the content irrelevant. I would say you make good argument as to the merits of what happened, but procedurally the content is relevant. The judge made the right determination because the content would be used in some way by the deputy as his defense for a disputed fact that is of consquence to the outcome. The only way it is not relevant if the deputy does not say anything about the content, i.e. Q: Did you read anything on top of the documents that was in plain view that gave you reason to look inside the folder? A: No. [then content not relevant]; or A: Yes [then has to be relevant].

    It appears from the hearing that he gave as part of his reason the content made him do what he did. Of course, he also said other factors, but whether his reasons were good or bad goes to the strength and weakness of his credibility, not whether the content is relevant or not.

  • http://phelps.donotremove.net Phelps

    Relevancy doesn’t matter, and the privilege waiver sure as hell doesn’t matter. You wrote this:

    The a/c privilege is fundamental to a client’s trust and confidence in his/her attorney, thus ensuring that a fair trial is observed and a proper defense given. Only the client can waive this right.

    and you are fundamentally wrong. Every state recognizes the Crime-Fraud exception. If the document really detailed a crime that the defendant intended to commit, then there is no privilege. At that point, the state could argue that any counsel she was providing was in the furtherence of a crime (rather than defending) and therefore there was no waiver.

    That’s the problem the officer is in. If it really was a detail of a crime that was relevant — i.e., one about to be committed in the court — then there was no privilege. If it was about a crime that had already occurred, then it was absolutely privileged as something that he needed defense counsel for.

    There is no way that a waiver could be relevant. If he is going to assert an affirmative defense, then he has to do it without the luxury of a waiver from the other side.

  • http://phelps.donotremove.net/ Phelps

    Relevancy doesn't matter, and the privilege waiver sure as hell doesn't matter. You wrote this:

    The a/c privilege is fundamental to a client's trust and confidence in his/her attorney, thus ensuring that a fair trial is observed and a proper defense given. Only the client can waive this right.

    and you are fundamentally wrong. Every state recognizes the Crime-Fraud exception. If the document really detailed a crime that the defendant intended to commit, then there is no privilege. At that point, the state could argue that any counsel she was providing was in the furtherence of a crime (rather than defending) and therefore there was no waiver.

    That's the problem the officer is in. If it really was a detail of a crime that was relevant — i.e., one about to be committed in the court — then there was no privilege. If it was about a crime that had already occurred, then it was absolutely privileged as something that he needed defense counsel for.

    There is no way that a waiver could be relevant. If he is going to assert an affirmative defense, then he has to do it without the luxury of a waiver from the other side.

  • Anonymous

    Then contents of the letter are irrelevant. The courtroom offficer should be held in contempt for even reading the letter in the first place.

    Anthony Murawski
    Attorney at Law
    Seattle, WA 98126

  • anthonymurawski

    Then contents of the letter are irrelevant. The courtroom offficer should be held in contempt for even reading the letter in the first place.

    Anthony Murawski
    Attorney at Law
    Seattle, WA 98126

  • Anonymous

    Cop looked like a sneak thief to me.

    Having heard his explanation(s), I also question his integrity.

    Would you believe sworn testimony from that deputy?

    I sure hope that law enforcement in Mariposa County is both smarter and more honest than that bozo.

  • chiguy31

    Cop looked like a sneak thief to me.

    Having heard his explanation(s), I also question his integrity.

    Would you believe sworn testimony from that deputy?

    I sure hope that law enforcement in Mariposa County is both smarter and more honest than that bozo.

  • Anonymous

    JUDGE DONAHOE, you ARE A DISGRACE to what a real judge should be. You can bet he didn’t convict Stoddard because cops like stoddard would have to go to Sheriff Arpiao’s mini-Bergen-Belson forced labor camp, and fascists never rat out fascists.

  • antifascist

    JUDGE DONAHOE, you ARE A DISGRACE to what a real judge should be. You can bet he didn't convict Stoddard because cops like stoddard would have to go to Sheriff Arpiao's mini-Bergen-Belson forced labor camp, and fascists never rat out fascists.

  • Anonymous

    See below

  • antifascist

    See below

  • Anonymous

    Joe Esq., YOU are beyond WRONG. Citing Wikipedia? What Law School did you go to? The Google School of Law? What a phenomenal cop-out for the judge Donahoe to rule that the defendant has to waive his entire attorney-client privilege in order to find the deputy in contempt. HORSECRAP to you, Joe Esq. and horsecrap to your so-called “honor” Judge Donahoe. Judge Donahoe has READ the documents – and determined they were attorney-client privilege, thus, the judge already knows the contents of the attorney/client privilege and can allow the cop’s testimony in a closed hearing. THERE WAS NO JURY IN THIS MATTER, it is a CONTEMPT hearing, before the judge ONLY. The JUDGE is the only finder of fact here, as to whether contempt occurred in a court of law. Judges find people in contempt every day, and jail people, and those people are NOT entitled to a jury trial or any rights. Who can possibly be offended by Stoddard saying what he saw? EVERYBODY IN THE COURTROOM KNOWS WHAT HE SAW, he made a photocopy of the file, THE JUDGE READ IT. If the honorable jurist is so worried, the judge can take the cop’s defensive testimony as to the four words the cop SAW in a closed hearing or go back into your chambers and let him testify in CAMERA and make a ruling. So the cop can easily defend himself, and the judge’s point, and Joe Esq’s so-called point, is completely FALSE. Besides, the “four words” are already all over the press, the cop has waived any right to be harmed by blabbing to the press. The cop isn’t harmed in the least by the failure of the defendant to waive his attorney/client privilege, because that is ONLY relevant if it is being used to CONVICT the criminal defendant. If it is inadmissible as to the criminal defendant, then Stoddard can talk all day about what he saw and what he thought it meant, because it is COMPLETELY ADMISSIBLE as to Stoddard. What a bunch of hogwash to let Stoddard use illegally gained information, and the defendant’s refusal to waive his attorney/client privilege, as a shield to his conviction for contempt. As I will point out below, this means the cop can ALWAYS violate the 4th amendment and illegally seize information, since it forces the defendant to give up his rights to his attorney/client privilege regardless.

    Besides, by the cop testifying to what he claims he saw, “in plain view” (if in fact it were “in plain view” in no way violates the confidentiality of the attorney / client privilege, since the attorney didn’t keep it confidential! The judge could make a limited RULING therefore, if he believes the cop actually saw something “in plain view”, and therefore state that the defendant waived his right to object to the cop stating the four words he saw “in plain view”. These kinds of rulings are made every day. There is no need for the defendant to waive his entire right of attorney/client confidentiality or his right to counsel to make this ruling.

    To rule the way the judge ruled in this case means that a cop can violate the defendant’s attorney/client privilege, and the VERY VIOLATION creates immunity for his misfeasance because the illegally seized information must be admitted against the defendant unless the defendant refuses to waive his attorney/client privilege. It’s insane. It means that cops everywhere SHOULD always violate the attorney/client privilege, because if they do, they get the evidence that they could not have seen otherwise, and if they caught, and the defendant waives his attorney client privilege, THEY AGAIN GET THE EVIDENCE THAT THEY WOULD NOT HAVE SEEN OTHERWISE. Judge Donahoe creates a catch-22 that only harms the defendant. The worst thing that happens to the state, for violating the rights of the citizen? A minor fine for the cop. The worst thing that happens for the defendant? The illegally seized evidence (given in complete reliance on the attorney/client privilege) will now be used against him and the defendant gets jail time. The 4th amendment is DEAD to Judge Donahoe. SHAME ON JUDGE DONAHOE, you ARE A DISGRACE to what a real judge should be.

    WHAT A CHICKEN-SHITE COP OUT. This bailiff should be CONVICTED OF CONTEMPT OF COURT AND SENTENCED TO ONE MONTH OF SWEAT TENT time in Sheriff Joe the Fascist’s Forced Labor camp, and he should be JOINED by JUDGE DONAHOE, and JOE ESQ. whose contempt for the US and ARIZONA constitution is sickening.

    “…the judge is doing the defendant a favor”! and “giving him the option.” What a twisted view, Joe Esq. The defendant HAS ONE OPTION ONLY – to let the cop get away with it or to surrender his ENTIRE attorney/client privilege. Yep, the defendant here is given the option, the option of having THE *UCK the defendant up the *ss, and protecting the bailiff.

    If there really was a need, the bailiff could have gotten a warrant easily: THE JUDGE WAS NO MORE THAN 20 feet away from him, the Prosecutor should have been no more than 10 feet away! All he had to do was OPEN HIS MOUTH. All this shows is that these cops don’t feel the slightest need for judicial supervision. The HUBRIS is stunning, just stunning. “Warrant? WE don’t need no stinkin’ warrant!”

  • antifascist

    Joe Esq., YOU are beyond WRONG. Citing Wikipedia? What Law School did you go to? The Google School of Law? What a phenomenal cop-out for the judge Donahoe to rule that the defendant has to waive his entire attorney-client privilege in order to find the deputy in contempt. HORSECRAP to you, Joe Esq. and horsecrap to your so-called “honor” Judge Donahoe. Judge Donahoe has READ the documents – and determined they were attorney-client privilege, thus, the judge already knows the contents of the attorney/client privilege and can allow the cop's testimony in a closed hearing. THERE WAS NO JURY IN THIS MATTER, it is a CONTEMPT hearing, before the judge ONLY. The JUDGE is the only finder of fact here, as to whether contempt occurred in a court of law. Judges find people in contempt every day, and jail people, and those people are NOT entitled to a jury trial or any rights. Who can possibly be offended by Stoddard saying what he saw? EVERYBODY IN THE COURTROOM KNOWS WHAT HE SAW, he made a photocopy of the file, THE JUDGE READ IT. If the honorable jurist is so worried, the judge can take the cop's defensive testimony as to the four words the cop SAW in a closed hearing or go back into your chambers and let him testify in CAMERA and make a ruling. So the cop can easily defend himself, and the judge's point, and Joe Esq's so-called point, is completely FALSE. Besides, the “four words” are already all over the press, the cop has waived any right to be harmed by blabbing to the press. The cop isn't harmed in the least by the failure of the defendant to waive his attorney/client privilege, because that is ONLY relevant if it is being used to CONVICT the criminal defendant. If it is inadmissible as to the criminal defendant, then Stoddard can talk all day about what he saw and what he thought it meant, because it is COMPLETELY ADMISSIBLE as to Stoddard. What a bunch of hogwash to let Stoddard use illegally gained information, and the defendant's refusal to waive his attorney/client privilege, as a shield to his conviction for contempt. As I will point out below, this means the cop can ALWAYS violate the 4th amendment and illegally seize information, since it forces the defendant to give up his rights to his attorney/client privilege regardless.

    Besides, by the cop testifying to what he claims he saw, “in plain view” (if in fact it were “in plain view” in no way violates the confidentiality of the attorney / client privilege, since the attorney didn't keep it confidential! The judge could make a limited RULING therefore, if he believes the cop actually saw something “in plain view”, and therefore state that the defendant waived his right to object to the cop stating the four words he saw “in plain view”. These kinds of rulings are made every day. There is no need for the defendant to waive his entire right of attorney/client confidentiality or his right to counsel to make this ruling.

    To rule the way the judge ruled in this case means that a cop can violate the defendant's attorney/client privilege, and the VERY VIOLATION creates immunity for his misfeasance because the illegally seized information must be admitted against the defendant unless the defendant refuses to waive his attorney/client privilege. It's insane. It means that cops everywhere SHOULD always violate the attorney/client privilege, because if they do, they get the evidence that they could not have seen otherwise, and if they caught, and the defendant waives his attorney client privilege, THEY AGAIN GET THE EVIDENCE THAT THEY WOULD NOT HAVE SEEN OTHERWISE. Judge Donahoe creates a catch-22 that only harms the defendant. The worst thing that happens to the state, for violating the rights of the citizen? A minor fine for the cop. The worst thing that happens for the defendant? The illegally seized evidence (given in complete reliance on the attorney/client privilege) will now be used against him and the defendant gets jail time. The 4th amendment is DEAD to Judge Donahoe. SHAME ON JUDGE DONAHOE, you ARE A DISGRACE to what a real judge should be.

    WHAT A CHICKEN-SHITE COP OUT. This bailiff should be CONVICTED OF CONTEMPT OF COURT AND SENTENCED TO ONE MONTH OF SWEAT TENT time in Sheriff Joe the Fascist's Forced Labor camp, and he should be JOINED by JUDGE DONAHOE, and JOE ESQ. whose contempt for the US and ARIZONA constitution is sickening.

    “…the judge is doing the defendant a favor”! and “giving him the option.” What a twisted view, Joe Esq. The defendant HAS ONE OPTION ONLY – to let the cop get away with it or to surrender his ENTIRE attorney/client privilege. Yep, the defendant here is given the option, the option of having THE *UCK the defendant up the *ss, and protecting the bailiff.

    If there really was a need, the bailiff could have gotten a warrant easily: THE JUDGE WAS NO MORE THAN 20 feet away from him, the Prosecutor should have been no more than 10 feet away! All he had to do was OPEN HIS MOUTH. All this shows is that these cops don't feel the slightest need for judicial supervision. The HUBRIS is stunning, just stunning. “Warrant? WE don't need no stinkin' warrant!”

  • Anonymous

    Welcome to Arizona.

  • StormAZ

    Welcome to Arizona.

  • http://blog.arkayne.com/2009/11/heatcity-migrating-from-movabletype-to-wordpress/ HeatCity: Migrating From MovableType To WordPress | the arkayne blog

    [...] outlets. Recently he has been quoted on NPR several times regarding his breaking report on the “Detention Officer Tries To Explain Why He Swiped Attorney’s File”. Nick and I met a few times to talk about the fate of the East Valley Tribune and how journalism [...]

  • http://www.heatcity.org/2009/11/officer-tells-which-keywords.html Officer tells which ‘keywords’ made him take attorney’s document | Heat City

    [...] On Oct. 30, Judge Gary Donahoe determined the document was subject to the privilege, meaning its contents could not be revealed to the public unless the defendant waived his right to keep it private. Donahoe said at the time the document appeared to contain no coded messages or anything illegal. [...]

  • http://www.heatcity.org/2009/11/judge-orders-officer-to-apologize-or-face-jail-for-taking-attorneys-file.html Judge orders officer to apologize or face jail for taking attorney’s file | Heat City

    [...] ruling held Stoddard in contempt for the Oct. 19 incident in which he could be seen on a courtroom security video sneaking up behind attorney Joanne Cuccia [...]

  • http://www.heatcity.org Nick R. Martin

    Update: The judge in this case has ordered the detention officer to hold a news conference, apologizing for taking the file, or else face jail on a contempt charge. The story is here: http://www.heatcity.org/2009/11/judge-orders-officer-to-apologize-or-face-jail-for-taking-attorneys-file.html

  • http://www.heatcity.org Nick R. Martin

    Update: The judge in this case has ordered the detention officer to hold a news conference, apologizing for taking the file, or else face jail on a contempt charge. The story is here: http://www.heatcity.org/2009/11/judge-orders-of…

  • http://www.heatcity.org/2009/11/arpaio-to-judge-fat-chance-of-apology.html Arpaio to judge: Fat chance of apology | Heat City

    [...] whole uproar goes back to Oct. 19, when Stoddard was caught on a courtroom videotape taking a document from the file of public defender Joanne [...]

  • Name

    Detention Officer- shorthand for too G*d-d*mn*d DUMB to be a cop–
    working for der Fuhrer Arpaio, who thinks the Constitution is just a piece of paper, I’m sure, an inconvenient obstacle.

  • Name

    Detention Officer- shorthand for too G*d-d*mn*d DUMB to be a cop–
    working for der Fuhrer Arpaio, who thinks the Constitution is just a piece of paper, I'm sure, an inconvenient obstacle.

  • http://blogs.masslawyersweekly.com/publisher/2009/11/20/the-purloined-pleading/ The purloined pleading

    [...] you can see from this report, Stoddard doesn’t seem to have one good reason as to why he grabbed the papers. He says he feared [...]

  • http://rilawyersweekly.com/sidebar/2009/11/20/the-purloined-pleading/ Sidebar » The purloined pleading

    [...] you can see from this report, Stoddard doesn’t seem to have one good reason as to why he grabbed the papers. He says he feared [...]

  • http://www.heatcity.org/2009/12/4-words-are-not-enough-attorney-says-liddy-wants-private-letter-made-public.html 4 words are not enough, attorney says; Liddy wants private letter made public | Heat City

    [...] at the hearing last month to figure out whether Stoddard’s actions were legal, it was tough to tell what the young officer believed. He contradicted himself numerous times in testimony and was [...]

  • john

    Does anyone even think that maybe this officer of the court was working for the mexican mafia? and his actions was a distraction of an even greater scheme. Now how stupid is our justice and police systems…D’OH!!!

  • john

    Does anyone even think that maybe this officer of the court was working for the mexican mafia? and his actions was a distraction of an even greater scheme. Now how stupid is our justice and police systems…D’OH!!!

  • john

    Does anyone even think that maybe this officer of the court was working for the mexican mafia? and his actions was a distraction of an even greater scheme. Now how stupid is our justice and police systems…D'OH!!!

  • http://www.heatcity.org/2010/04/jail-was-no-place-for-detention-officer-stoddard-appeals-court-says.html Jail was no place for detention officer Stoddard, appeals court says | Heat City

    [...] case rose to national attention last year after he was caught on a courtroom security video taking a handwritten letter from the files of a defense attorney while her back was [...]

  • DN178

    The deputies and cops protects the judge; they are like the judge’s children. Wouldn’t you want to protect your children? By the way, the defendant has to waive his rights for all this to go away. I’m sure there will be some kind of negotiation and a deal will take place. Now, imagine you having sex with a 17 year old and you get caught. Can you use consensual as a defense? My point is, breaking the law is breaking the law! And you must be charged regardless!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MYCGJRGTCJTWKLMI6ED4KHJUFI Mercury

    HAHA MSNBC is running the video of the NZAI SUCM Adam Stoddard. I HOPE THEY SHOW IT FOREVER 

  • Sands Pippen

    Isn’t this the same county where they try and lock up the ppl of color too, and make em wear the pink stripes ..CRAZY

  • Laura Stuart

    Amen..could not have said it better myself!!