Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sheriff Jones Comments on Pending Litigation--Really?

After returning from a federal court hearing, Sheriff Jones shares his comments and prognostications with the local media

Sheriff Tommy Jones

Although Sheriff Jones has generally steered clear from major blunders, this time, he faces a tough quagmire--which he has made increasingly worse for himself and Brian "Wormy" Hodge... Update--Revision of Hodge's bond conditions DENIED, and the court ruling mentions two of the conditions back in February: there was to be "no contact" between Hodge directly or indirectly with any person who is or may be a witness or a victim in the investigation or prosecution. Which begs the question, was the request for the modification of the "firearm restriction" a plea to basically withdraw the entirety of the bond conditions, and, why did Jones want to hire a man who wasn't allowed to have any contact with him or anyone else in the sheriff's dept? read and discover that the plea was in essence "an exercise in futility"... more on the update in the Monroe Buzz HERE. 

In the recent Advocate&Democrat news article on April 23, 2017, Jones' comments on the 'vote buying' federal indictment against Hodge have "raised eyebrows" on his ability to perform under difficult situations.

The most shocking comment (in part) was that "if Hodge is guilty, he'll need to go to jail." Jones will soon realize it's not up to him to come up with a simplistic solution to make this 'go away.' Even if "Wormy" is found guilty, he may not automatically face prison time. Prosecutors and his attorney could come up with a 'plea deal' strategy in exchange for information that has not yet been revealed.

Sheriff Jones, obviously did not have the advice of a good attorney--turning into what seems to be, a "chatty kathy doll" may have violated several judicial guidelines--he is due to meet with FBI officials soon to answer questions.

Model Rule 3.6 and Extrajudicial Statements about Pending Matters
Substantial Likelihood of Materially Prejudicing a Proceeding”
Model Rule 3.6(a) states the fundamental principle that determines when public statements regarding pending matters are permitted and prohibited:
A lawyer who is participating or has participated in the investigation or litigation of a matter shall not make an extrajudicial statement that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know will be disseminated by means of public communication and will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter.
This standard also likely governs dissemination of court pleadings, transcripts, and the like to the media without further comment. See Pa. Informal Op. 96-45 (June 21, 1996).

Model Rule 3.6(a) “sets forth a basic general prohibition against a lawyer’s making statements that the lawyer knows or should know will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding.” Model Rules of Prof’l Conduct R. 3.6 cmt. [3]. In doing so, Model Rule 3.6 attempts to strike a balance between “protecting the right to a fair trial and safeguarding the right of free expression.” Model Rules of Prof’l Conduct R. 3.6 cmt. [1].