Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Who is Jose Baez?


Jose Baes and his most famous client so far.
He is the lead attorney in the murder trial of the decade; he pushes the envelope and seems to be the “bad boy” of the courtroom, writes The Imperfect Parent.
So just who is Jose Baez?
His website reads like a modern day Clarence Darrow, “Aggressive, experienced, trusted criminal defense.”

His introduction on the website says, “The Florida criminal defense attorneys at Baez Law Firm, with offices in Kissimmee, are committed to defending the rights of people accused of felonies and misdemeanors across Florida. Our attorneys are confident and dedicated trial lawyers who will work to protect your rights with aggressive defense.”

Yet the link that touts the attorney profiles that work for the Baez Law Firm goes nowhere.

Even the links to his success stories, “Mother accused of kidnapping,” “Taking on the Mayor,” ” State Trooper Cleared,” are dead links. In fact, all the links on the Website are dead, only the intro-page is accessible.

It would seem that Mr. Baez prefers to be an enigma, at least until all is said and done in this, the most famous trial in his career thus far.

People are interested, however. Jose Baez, the once little known attorney is making a name for himself as Casey Anthony’s lead attorney for her defense. So how did he appear on the scene?

According to Anthony herself, as recorded in one of the infamous jailhouse tapes, it was pure coincidence that the two were thrown together. She told her brother, Lee Anthony, after she had been put in jail for lying to the police, she heard some of the other female inmates talking and they mentioned Baez as being a good lawyer. Anthony told one of the girls, if she talks to Baez anytime soon, tell him about her – she needed a good lawyer, she said.

The next day she had a visit from Baez – the rest, as they say, is history.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Baez is not without his own closet full of skeletons.

Jose Angel Baez was born in Puerto Rico in 1969. Baez told reporters he grew up in the Bronx and South Florida with his mother, a single parent. He dropped out of Homestead High School in ninth grade.

He married at 17, became a father, earned a GED diploma and joined the Navy in 1986.

According to his résumé, Baez spent three years assigned to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Norfolk, Va., trained as an intelligence analyst with what he described as a “Cosmic Top Secret” security clearance.

Upon his discharge from the military, he attended Miami-Dade Community College and graduated from Florida State University. A black belt in tae kwon do, Baez competed with the karate, pistol and crime-scene team from FSU’s chapter of Lambda Alpha Epsilon, a fraternity of criminology majors.

After graduating in 1997 from St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami, Baez applied to become a lawyer. In April 1998, he was called before the Florida Board of Bar Examiners, which screens prospective lawyers, and he was denied.

For eight years after he graduated from law school, the board that screens prospective attorneys in Florida would not let him practice law. The Florida Supreme Court agreed with the decision, issuing an order in 2000 that cited unpaid bills, extravagant spending and other “financial irresponsibility” up to that time. Justices reserved their strongest condemnation for his failure to stay current on support payments for his only child.

His overall behavior, they wrote, showed “a total lack of respect for the rights of others and a total lack of respect for the legal system, which is absolutely inconsistent with the character and fitness qualities required of those seeking to be afforded the highest position of trust and confidence recognized by our system of law.”

This rejection did not seem to deter him.

He began working as a paralegal for the Miami-Dade public defender and taught Internet research to lawyers. He started four business ventures, including two bikini companies, Bon Bon Bikinis and Brazilian-Bikinis.Com to sell bathing suits, corporate records show. He also applied for a real-estate license and created two companies selling computer know-how: Law Student Websites and Lawyer Concepts.

Baez declared bankruptcy in September 1990. The records on Baez are filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, where he lived during and after his service in the Navy.

The Virginia Education Loan Authority filed liens against Baez for $4,336 in unpaid loans in 1995.

Before Florida Bar officials admitted him in 2005, he had to demonstrate that he had rehabilitated himself.

Today he is a lawyer in good standing with the Bar Association, his office spokeswoman reminded the Orlando Sentinel in a prepared statement. She also questioned the motives behind the newspaper story.

“Based on your questions and actions,” she wrote, “this profile you are writing has nothing to do with Jose Baez’s representation of Casey Anthony and appears to be a sensationalist persecution of a Hispanic lawyer who has been targeted by a newspaper lucky to find itself at the center of a national story.”“lucky” seems to be an interesting choice of words.

5 comments:

  1. Jose Baez did a brilliant job of defending Casey Anthony. Driven by his unique mix of passion and intelligence, that can’t be learned, his focus became unmatched in the Orlando court room. Right up to his closing remarks, his particular brand of defense, remained strongly in play…….. .......and, of course, scored and won for his client. It was intuitive and smart to point out, the completely disrespectful facial glee of the prosecuting attorney, which the judge handled with alacrity.

    Justice was well served, since from the start, there was not enough evidence to convict.

    Closure was achieved by leaving the jury and the millions of viewers, with the strong possibility that a terrible tragedy occurred when a little girl accidentally drowned and those around her panicked.

    The most objectionable aspect of this case, is the group of Americans who decided from the outset, that the young mother was guilty of a first degree crime. It is deplorable that so many legally oriented media shows, also took up this cudgel…………..and for years, demanded blood………feeding the frenzy to convict, like chum to sharks, and these Americans ate it up.

    One of the great aspects of American democracy is its court system; ……….innocent until proven otherwise. Driven by personal vendettas, many Americans watched this particular trial with cruel lust that demanded a catharsis to appease whatever neurotic baggage they brought to this experience.

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  2. Hana - I do not agree with you one iota but I will defend with my life your right to free expression.

    After days of thinking about the trial and verdict, I came to a conclusion: I don't think this jury would have voted guilty no matter who her attorney was.

    Trained by stupid cop shows like CSI, juries expect exacting DNA evidence to tell them how to decide, to take the weight off them (and the guilt, too? This was a death penalty trial, remember). Jose's strategy can be likened to, confuse them by throwing everything up in the air and seeing how it falls. Vilify -- no DEMONIZE George, without a shred of evidence, presumably aside from what Casey told him -- and we all know how trustworthy she is.

    Their experts were too old or, ironically, too young. Or completely irrelevant.

    I believe the composition of the jury is what won the case -- the prosecutors wanted to bounce a few jurors, I believe, but the judge wouldn't let them.

    And of course Casey's strategy was a winner too. Drag things out as long as possible so the body decomposes to nothing. And it did, prompting the state to call this a "dry bones case." No DNA, blood, nothing.

    But in my mind: Why the lies? How could a mother not report her baby missing for a month -- and then only do so because her hand was literally forced...by her own mother.

    If only... I am cursed with having an "If only" mind.... If only the police paid more heed to Roy Kronck in July 2008, then I don't think all the Joses in the world could have put Casey's not-guilty verdict back together again.

    So I respectfully agree to disagree with you. The jury didn't think the state had the goods. They wanted to be able to connect literal dots, not circumstantial ones. They needed Caylee's blood in the trunk; Casey's fingerprints all over the rotting tape.

    And I have to add, Cheney Mason probably had the greater impact on Casey's fate, though I doubt Jose wants that well known. Cheney, shortly after getting involved in the defense, focused on getting the first judge to recuse himself... don't underestimate that act.

    Our system is tilted so that the chances are better that the guilty will go free rather than the innocent be arrested (though we all know innocent people are in prison, some for life, some innocents are on death row, some have already been executed. That is why I do not support the death penalty. I always remember, the Nazi's executed their people).

    As the writer of this blog, I have decided to work on a post in which I will make an argument, a full argument based on the EVIDENCE regarding why I think Casey is guilty.

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  3. I think that casey and Baez should not make any money off this case and Iam sure after this Baez law firm will go down.

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  4. The smile on his face is I am going to make a name for myself now and money signs all over his face that is all this is about . Not think about a baby as he said had just passed away now that is sick she did not pass casey killed her and they can say what the want but thats what happened we all know that. But here again its all about money and being known.

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  5. Anonymous - July 12 @9:15am
    In reply: R u kidding me? Who in the world wouldn't hire Baez as their attorney? He pulled off the "thought" impossible task of freeing Anthony!!! Although she is guilty and how in the heck he proved her as being innocent is unknown to many. I guess since she is free now and they have departed Orlando, she can really should him her appreciation. On My! He will have indeed earned it...... no doubt in my mind she is taking care of business as we speak.

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