Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Kevin Trudeau criminal trial winds up with Katie's lawyers pissing off the judge...but all is not lost for Katie fans

All righty, then! I'm finally back with a brief update on serial scammer Kevin Trudeau's criminal trial. After providing some background information about the case on this post, and then some info and commentary about the first real day of the trial on this one, I took a brief break from all of it for a few days.

Friday, November 8 wrapped up the first week of the trial. Court let out early-ish, adjourned to Tuesday, November 12 (Monday the 11th is the Veterans Day holiday). Despite what I saw as a snarkworthy beginning to the trial when Trudeau's attorney brought up that
cheesy-moon free-speech analogy in his opening arguments, it apparently hasn't all been going bad for Trudeau, at least according to some courtroom observers and a couple of court documents. The presiding judge, Ronald Guzman, seems to be making a considerable effort to ensure that the government meets its burden of proof. I can't be entirely certain at this point, but right now it doesn't seem as if this case is going to be a slam-dunk for the prosecution. On the other hand, it's probably not yet time for the Katie supporters to succumb to irrational exuberance.

On Thursday, November 7,
registered dietician Melissa Dobbins testified on behalf of the prosecution, although she did not offer an opinion about the safety or efficacy of the weight-loss plan Katie described in the book whose infomercials are at the heart of this trial. Also on November 6 and 7, more documents were filed as the defense continued to try to modify the prosecution's proposed supplemental jury instructions. Here you go.

I don't know if the defense was a tad unorganized, or if it is normal for instructions to continue to be modified as a trial progresses and new issues come up.

At any rate, Friday, November 8 was an interesting day, according to courtroom observers and various media reports. The prosecution rested its case after only an hour of testimony; I'll have more about that when I get the info. And then the show was pretty much over for the day, much to the surprise of the court, apparently (and to the relief of the jurors, according to one observer). But Katie's lawyers made a little goof, and reportedly things got a bit exciting as a result. Law360 reports that Katie's lead counsel, Thomas Kirsch (the same one who made the cheesy-moon statement in his opening argument) was angrily rebuked by Judge Guzman for not notifying the court far enough in advance that they were not going to call Trudeau -- or any other defense witnesses, for that matter -- to the stand. In fact they said that Kevin will not be testifying at all. The judge said the defense was wasting the jury's time, according to that report.
Kirsch explained that he didn’t know Thursday whether Trudeau would testify — which he told the court at the time — but discussed it with his client and made the decision an hour after court let out.

“You said you didn’t know, and then an hour later you knew? That’s just not right,” Judge Guzman told Kirsch. "I understand your primary responsibility is to your client, but you owe something to the system and you have not lived up to that responsibility with your conduct here, I'll tell you that."
I am no legal expert by any means, but I am pretty sure that it is not a good thing to piss off a judge.

And I wonder why the defense has apparently chosen not to call any witnesses. I can see why they'd want to keep Katie off of the stand, since lately he's had little to say in court except,
"Fifth Amendment!" But what about that whole long list of other potential witnesses that I shared the other day? (See "Criminal Case Document number 133, filed 11/04/13".) Did the defense decide that witnesses are unnecessary because they are convinced they've already won the jury over... or because they can't find a witness who would actually be able to turn the tide in Katie's favor without fibbing a little bit, which I understand is a very serious offense in court? Or are the only available witnesses New-Age ninnies and starry-eyed fans whose credibility is questionable at best? Heck if I know. You may discuss among yourselves and get back to me.

Despite the apparent glitches in the defense, they seem to be holding their own, and Judge Guzman appears to be making an effort to clarify that the government has a rather large burden of proof to meet. He signed an order on Friday the 8th that could be construed as favorable to the defense, in that His Honor acknowledges seemingly contradictory case precedents, and notes that certain points that were ruled as unambiguous in a civil context are not so unambiguous in a criminal context. In other words, the government's case might not be as strong as some have thought. His order is related to and in response to another doc filed by Katie's attorneys on the 8th, a proposed jury instruction regarding theory of the defense.
Both are here.

At this point the Trudeau fans, at least the ones whose comments I've seen, are feeling quite optimistic. On the other side, I haven't heard anything from the most entertaining detractors yet; I think they're preoccupied with other Matters of Consequence, such as Major Motion Pictures, or
ranting about jealous AIDS-infected prostitutes. As for me, I'm on the fence. I want justice but I cannot fully define it. I firmly believe that Kevin Trudeau is a lifelong con artist, but I still don't think he belongs in a cage, and if he is found guilty in this criminal contempt trial he could end up imprisoned for the rest of his life.

There's also the fact that if he is acquitted, there will almost certainly be lunatic rants from the "GIN Destroyer" contingent, which at the very least will make for some more entertaining blog posts and Photoshop efforts. So on the pro-acquittal side, there's that to consider.

But on a serious note: It could still go either way. I heard that closing arguments are expected on Tuesday the 12th, and a verdict could be rendered soon after. Or not. You never know what might happen during these crazy courtroom hijinks. At any rate, right now it appears that the trial may not last as long as the two to three weeks originally projected.

More soon, so stay with me.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Witnesses were in route on Thursday, November 8. Court did not adjourn for council and the judge until after 6pm.

Judge Guzman ruled on a motion from the Government that witnesses could not testify.

For the public record, note two things, Kevin's legal council did inform the judge, on court record, that there was a possibility it would be best to have the jury recess on Friday. Second, that in the late day ruling KT's attorneys were attending to getting word to the witnesses who were voluntarily arriving to testify. (appropriately)

These witnesses were only there to state that "they did the HCG diet" and facts about their reading of the book and doing the PROTOCOL.

2. In my personal opinion, a person present in the court room Friday, November, 9, Judge Guzman was out protocol for addressing Tom in such an inappropriate line of statements on the record. Generally, a judge would handle said communications in his private chambers with the only witnesses being the council for both sides of a matter.

3. In my personal opinion, the jury was present for important testimony from a Federal Government witness who provided some substantial statements in her final comments.

4. Kevin Trudeau is a citizen of the Unites States of America. He is due a FAIR TRIAL. Whatever your position or bias is in this matter set that aside. A man who wrote a fine book and sold a book to willing customers is on TRIAL in our US Federal Judicial system with an impending threat of significant time in a very very horrible place, Federal Prison.

If you had spent one day, if the judge or these attorneys had spend one week, if someone you love had spent any time in one of these hell holes, you would change your tune of treating this circumstance as a COMMEDY FOR YOUR "WHIRLED MUSINGS". This is not a comic matter. A fine man is facing a very difficult time. Maybe you don't align with his opinion and the information he provides or you have animosity toward Kevin, set that aside and look at what is really on trial, FREEDOM and FREE SPEACH.

Think from another perspective for a little while each of you who are throwing stones at Kevin. Are you without spot. Have you no actions or deeds you would like to undo in your life? What would you do if you were on trial and in addition to that being held in contempt of court in a second court for failure to pay an amount that exceeds all of the sales of the book???? In fact money you don't have to pay out and the court appointed receivers are using coercively actions to collect.

Come on, WAKE UP AMERICA, we are under attack by our own government. And by dividing us in such "Whirled Musings" they gain an advantage against the citizens. Set your bias aside and look at the bigger picture here reader!!!!!!!!

Signed, A loyal American whose heart and blood go back to the founding of this fabulous nation after breaking away from this same tyranny in the late 1600's.


Monday, November 11, 2013 9:22:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thank you, Anon, your perspective is exactly what is needed on this blog. We -- ALL of us, pro- or anti-KT or neutral -- have been getting bits and pieces of information from various sources, and from those we may be able to piece together WHAT happened, but not exactly why.

I do not agree with you that Kevin Trudeau is a "fine man." And yes, I have had laughs at his expense on my blog. I've never claimed to be "without spot" and neither has anyone else who calls out what we perceive as scams and scammers. So that "he who is without sin" argument is really a straw man.

But this case is about much more than "free speech." It is not a simple battle against government tyranny. It is about what many see as DELIBERATELY deceptive speech. But that doesn't mean I think the government always takes the moral (or even legal) high road. We all know that is not the case.

I have also made it very clear that I do NOT think Trudeau belongs in prison, which you accurately describe as a hell hole. If you read my writing at all, here and/or on Facebook, you know that I am not the one who is crowing about him going to prison, or making jokes about a burly cell mate named Bubba. Don't get me confused with the evil Leonard Coldwell or with some of those misguided souls who participate on Abe Husein's Facebook forums.

I do agree with you that it would have been more mannerly of Judge Guzman to rebuke the attorneys in his chamber. But judges are human too. It does sound as if he is trying to be fair anyway, based on the recent order he signed.

And I can't say I agree that the jury's time was wasted either, because according to some of my pro-KT friends who were in the court room, there are parts of the government's case that are ambiguous, and that apparently really came out in the hearing on Friday.

Monday, November 11, 2013 1:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting my comment.

Lets unite in one thought, that the greatest good be the outcome.

To the viewpoint of an individual citizen, may our freedoms and free speech be maintained. To the citizens of the great United States of America, may we affirm our constitutional rights. To the government and courts of the United States, may the outcome of this trial spell out affirmative justice for future circumstances and situations. And may we as citizens of planet earth send a message to future generations that we care about their freedom and rights to BE.

Whether you are for KT, Against or Neutral, the outcome of this trial is not solely about the individual.

Make a difference by simply putting out in the collective consciousness a thought for an outcome that is the greatest good for all now and in the future.

Monday, November 11, 2013 2:17:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

I'm not much into the collective-consciousness stuff and group intentions and so forth, but I think you put that very well, Anon. :-)

Monday, November 11, 2013 4:12:00 PM  

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