Transcript - Darnay Hoffman on Catherine Crier Live – December 20, 2001

Discussion in 'Transcripts: Ramsey murder case' started by LurkerXIV, Dec 20, 2001.

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  1. LurkerXIV

    LurkerXIV Moderator

    Please Note: Credit for this transcript goes to candy of Cybersleuths, who has given permission to copy it. Thank you, candy.

    Catherine Crier Live – December 20, 2001

    Catherine Crier:
    Darnay Hoffman
    Larry Posner

    Catherine Crier: Woo, where does the time go? It’s been five years since JonBenet Ramsey
    was beaten and strangled to death in her Colorado home, and still no leads. Her parents,
    John and Patsy Ramsey remain under that quote “umbrella of suspicionâ€, but soon could face
    a judge in a related civil suit. A former reporter is suing them for fifty million dollars claiming
    the Ramseys falsely called him a suspect in their daughter’s death. The couple was
    questioned under oath last week by Darnay Hoffman, who’s representing the reporter, and he
    joins us now in a Court TV exclusive. Also with us, Larry Posner, criminal defense attorney
    and past President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Welcome
    gentlemen. Darnay, let me start with you. You finally got these two under oath in front of
    you. Do you think you made any headway?

    Darnay Hoffman: Yes I do. In fact, uh, one of the stories that was circulating as soon as I
    had finished my deposition of Patsy Ramsey was that fact that I quote “cut my deposition
    short†because I have seven hours in theory, if I don’t go seven hours, I don’t have anything
    and doing three, or three and a half hours means that there’s nothing there. What people
    don’t realize is that I had about 40 – 50 hours of police tapes that I was allowed to look at.
    The Ramseys produced all that material subject to a discovery request on my part, so I had a
    great deal of information going in there and I didn’t need to reinvent the wheel.

    Catherine Crier: Can you, can you, give me one bullet point if you will that you said, boy,
    this was damning to Patsy.

    Darnay Hoffman: It’s not so much damning. One individual, well, I think there were several
    things that were telling. To begin with, they refused to allow me to take exemplars of my
    own at the deposition.

    Catherine Crier: Get handwriting exemplars.

    Darnay Hoffman: Yeah.

    Catherine Crier: But that’s an act of omission. Give me something that she said in the course
    of the deposition.

    Darnay Hoffman: Well, I thought it was strange that she couldn’t recognize what we believe
    is her own handwriting um, from things that had been written underneath photos albums of
    her children, where the person writing them said “Here’s mommy and Burke coming home
    from the hospital. She claims she couldn’t recognize it or whatever. I thought that simply
    defied common sense for one thing. But I thought John did worse than Patsy with respect to,
    a lot of things that John claims he doesn’t know boggled my mind as far as, what you know,
    what you would expect somebody…he’s never looked at any of the handwriting reports by his
    experts which allegedly, clear Patsy. Apparently, their attorney, Hal Haddon, according to Lin
    Wood, will not turn over these handwriting reports, which do clear their clients, they claim,
    because of grand jury secrecy, so he keeps it locked in his office, he won’t even give it to his
    clients, I thought that was a remarkable admission, so there were a lot of things that I just
    didn’t expect to come out of this which did. Another example is that John apparently doesn’t
    know the names of any nautical knots, even though he was in the Navy, was a civil

    Catherine Crier: Ok, that doesn’t really take us any closer to JonBenet’s killer. But, but in fact
    is there anything, because I think you’ve been on a hunt to find the killer in addition to
    pursuing these two lawsuits with the housekeeper and this reporter. Anything that got you
    closer to doing the “ah ha?â€

    Darnay Hoffman: Well, let’s put it this way. I think the “ah ha†has already occurred, and
    that’s been in the handwriting. I think the “ah ha†in this case is that we’re now moving one
    step closer, you have to get out of depositions in order to get to trial. So to the degree that
    you get past discovery, we’re getting to the “ah haâ€. There’s been an “ah ha†in this case, and
    it was when my experts were able to identify Patsy as the author of the ransom note.

    Catherine Crier: Ok Larry, what about that because certainly grand jury has gone through
    various handwriting analysis, the FBI, the cops…

    Larry Posner: Catherine, let’s see where we are. Five experienced career prosecutors couldn’t
    make a case. A Boulder grand jury couldn’t make the case. The Boulder police couldn’t make
    the case. The Secret Service and all of the hired guns the prosecution could gather couldn’t
    make a case, but Darnay Hoffman suddenly made a case? Unbelievable. The handwriting isn’t
    Patsy’s, if it were Patsy’s we’d have known it five years ago. There’s nothing new here, and
    we’re moving in the wrong direction.

    Darnay Hoffman: A judge disagrees with you Larry. In fact, the judge had an opportunity to
    look at all of this evidence and could have thrown this case out on a motion to dismiss if she
    had thought there was really no merit to it but…

    Larry Posner: You know what the standard is to throw a case out. The fact is, you’re using
    this case to pretend like you’re the police and you’re going to gonna solve it, and you’re not
    solving it because you’re making the same mistake the Boulder police did, you’re wearing
    blinders. If this case tied to a Ramsey, it would have been tied up five years ago, as long as
    we keep going in the same direction, we’re going gonna get the same result, which is no
    arrest, and no conviction.

    Catherine Crier: All right, so what I’m hearing is what you wanna see is them broaden it so
    that we’re looking outside the Ramsey household.

    Larry Posner: Until that happens, we’re getting nowhere. And how is this case going to be
    solved? By luck. Some pedophile is gonna get caught somewhere in America, and his DNA is
    gonna match the DNA in JonBenet’s underwear and under her fingernails and then we’re
    gonna have the murderer.

    Catherine Crier: All right. Even though there’s a different standard, a preponderance of the
    evidence standard.

    Darnay Hoffman: No, it’s even higher. In this case, because this is a libel case, there is a clear
    and convincing evidence standard, which is much higher.

    Catherine Crier: It’s gonna be really tough for you to meet.

    Darnay Hoffman: Well, let’s put it this way, if we in fact show it, it’s going to be such a high
    standard, people aren’t going to think that gee, they came in at a much lower standard, this
    is a standard that is somewhere between preponderance of the evidence, which is like a 51
    percent standard and a reasonable doubt, which is like a 90 percent, we’re somewhere in the
    70 – 80 percentile there.

    Catherine Crier: What is the information that the housekeeper, this is different than the
    reporter suit because a he’s just saying, you’ve put me in the list of suspects. The
    housekeeper has all along indicated she knew an awful lot.

    Darnay Hoffman: Yes, she does.

    Catherine Crier: What, what is the smoking gun that she’s got?

    Darnay Hoffman: Well, it’s not a matter of the smoking gun, it’s a matter of she thinks Patsy
    lied about a lot of the things that she believes Patsy should know the truth about. Simple
    things, like, for instance, the housekeeper knows certain things about Patsy’s habits in the
    mornings or whatever that Patsy absolutely denies to be true. There are all sorts of little
    things besides…

    Catherine Crier: Basically not just little things, because little things that don’t ultimately point
    at an answer to the death, are just little things.

    Darnay Hoffman: Yes, but when they’re added on top of the handwriting, which is absolutely
    overwhelming. Remember, two of my experts right now, one is Gideon Epstein, who is one
    of the world’s authorities on handwriting. Another one is Larry Ziegler, who is a retired FBI
    senior document examiner, they both say that there’s no question, in fact, one of them
    Gideon Epstein says “without a doubt it, the handwriting is Patsy Ramsey, that is as strong as
    it can get, these men are giants compared to the CBI people.

    Catherine Crier: Larry, is this going to get past a motion for summary judgement?

    Larry Posner: It may because this is not a wrongful death case against the Ramseys. This is a
    libel case and he keeps talking about his murder case, that’s not what he’s trying. If this case
    were what Darnay Hoffman says it, it would have been prosecuted. Let’s look at it, nobody in
    law enforcement has ever said they have a case against the Ramseys. Why should we believe
    that suddenly a civil lawyer five years later has the key that we’ve all missed?

    Darnay Hoffman: Daniel Petrocelli had the key in the OJ Simpson case and the jury in the
    criminal case had basically said that there wasn’t enough evidence.

    Larry Posner: There are no similarities. That was a wrongful death case against OJ. This isn’t
    a wrongful death case, this is a libel action.

    Darnay Hoffman: Yes, but in order to prove libel, we have to show actual malice, which
    means we have to show subjective intent to lie.

    Larry Posner: The prosecutors in OJ looked up and believed they had a good case. America
    thought they had a good case. Nobody thinks there’s a case against the Ramseys but you.

    Catherine Crier: Oh well now, I think if we took a poll Larry, you’re gonna have, you’re
    gonna have a lot of division on that. But in fact, law enforcement hasn’t acted on it.

    Larry Posner: Exactly.

    Catherine Crier: So on that note, Darnay Hoffman, keep us posted. Larry Posner, much

  2. Show Me

    Show Me FFJ Senior Member

    Pozner's a turd and a jerk

    I agree with what everyone said in the above posts.

    Petro had the 'key' in the OJ civil trial.... I believe Darnay has the 'key' in the Rams trial.

    Of course Pozzie can't bear another lawyer knowing more than himself.... and I think he is quite jealous of NYL and the Civil law suit.... he fancies himself a LW, raking in all the publicity.

    Remember when people said Darnay couldn't even begin to bring this case to trial.... and he has.

    Go Darnay!
  3. LurkerXIV

    LurkerXIV Moderator

    No court date set yet for Wolf VS Ramsey

    Pybird, after the depositions are in, the judge has to decide whether the case will go forward. This is called "summary judgement", where she decides whether the case is frivolous (as Lin Wood claims), or if it has merit. If it is meritorious, she puts it on the docket--probably a six month wait in Atlanta.

    I hope that Chris Wolf gets his day in court. He may not be the most wonderful person in the world, but he deserves to have a jury hear this case. He has been unemployable since the Ramseys made their slanderous public accusations against him. That's three years worth of salary and benefits, not to mention recompense for emotional harm and loss of reputation. That should be worth a couple of hundred thou.

    Plus Wood would have to actually try a case in a courtroom. He actually has very little experience taking a case to trial. The Ramsey suits to date, and the Richard Jewell suits, have been settled outside of court.

    I feel that his bombastic style would turn a jury off. OTOH, a jury of Atlantans may not cotton to the Yankee lawyer, Darnay. OTOOH, many Atlantans today are transplanted Northerners.

    At any rate, it will be interesting to watch.
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