In an adversarial setting, lawyers ask witnesses a wide range of questions for a wide range of purposes. And it’s for the witness to listen to the question and to answer it truthfully.
If the inquiry amounts to, as the great Mona Lisa Vito once said, a “bullsh-t question,” the witness should say so.
And if the question is objectionable, it’s for the opposing lawyers to strenuously object.
In the increasingly contentious prosecution of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, the authorities have opted to take a much different approach.
Per the Associated Press, the Palm Beach County district attorney has filed a motion asking the presiding judge to hold attorneys William Burck (pictured, left) and Alex Spiro in contempt of court, and to throw out their questioning of police officer Scott Kimbark from a recent hearing a motion to suppress “sneak and peek” surveillance video on which the case is based.
On January 19, Kimbark pulled over the car in which Kraft left the Orchids of Asia day spa under allegedly false pretenses, in order identify Kraft. Spiro, while questioning Kimbark last week, accused him of saying as to other men pulled over after leaving the spa that he would “make some sh-t up” to justify a given stop.
The prosecutors could have objected to any such questions by arguing that the assertion that the questions presume facts not in evidence. Burck tells PFT that they did not.
“It’s an act of desperation by the State Attorney Dave Aronberg,” Burck added in a statement to PFT. “They know what they filed is false and misleading to the court but they did it anyway because they are desperate. That’s because they want to deflect attention away from their illegal and unconstitutional methods in investigating and prosecuting this case. They first falsely accused Robert Kraft of being involved with human trafficking and then had to back off. Now they are falsely accusing the defense lawyers of lying to the court. It’s pathetic. But it takes a lot more than State Attorney Dave Aronberg and the lawyers he’s got in court to intimidate Quinn Emanuel lawyers from doing their jobs in a vigorous and ethical manner.”
Burck and Spiro also have filed a preliminary written response to the contempt motion, which explains that any imprecision in the questioning of Kimbark resulted from the fact that the prosecution had withheld body camera footage of the exact language used by Kimbark, and that Burck and Shapiro had a “good-faith basis” for the questions posed to Kimbark. A lengthier response will be filed tomorrow, if the prosecution does not abandon its motion for contempt of court.