Pay to Depose me says Voice Guy Owen


48 thoughts on “Pay to Depose me says Voice Guy Owen

      • My first thought exactly. Does anyone else, any “normal” witness, get paid when they’re required to sit at a depo? Just a guess, but I’d think the answer is… NO! This really seems wrong (and not just this case). $1,650 an hour! I’d be opposed to it if it was $16.50 an hour…

        • A “normal” witness would be someone like W6, who was actually there and saw and heard something as the incident was occuring.

          This guy, who probably never even heard of Sanford, FL previously, was called in to do on this case what he does for a living, so he doesn’t owe them a “freebie”.

          • The legal distinction is “fact witness” and “expert witness.” A fact witness can testify as to what they saw or heard or otherwise perceived, but may not render any opinion. An expert witness takes facts in evidence (sometime competing or conflicting evidence), runs it through some analytical process, and is allowed to express an opinion – even as to the ultimate issue in the case. Here, the ultimate issue is what person made which sounds that were recorded on the SPD 911 recording system.

  1. I agree with West. If the state intends to use Owen they should pay for him. Then again, the same argument could be used for any of the defense expert witnesses. Tough call. Maybe the reasonable fee thing is the best option. But couldn’t the expert just refuse if he isn’t paid enough?

    • The state should be obliged to either commit to using him, or not. The original listing of Owen is as a “B” witness, which implies no intention to call him.

      If the state intends to call him, it does become defense burden to pay for deposing the expert, and Owen is smart to require payment up front. O’Mara has a reasonable argument about paying for a whole day of deposition when he only uses two hours, but he’s going to end up paying for travel time and travel expenses too.

      O’Mara may be using this device to get the state to confirm it has no intention to call Owen. Also, this looks a chit in an argument for continuance.

    • I think Owen should be paying George for injecting himself into the media narrative. The spirit of criminal discovery is to “find out a great deal about the situation” George finds himself in and question the assholes who helped put him there like this guy.

  2. I’m confident Bernardo recommended to Owen that he stick it to the defense in every way possible. It’s how the scheme team rolls, with assists as needed from “Judge” Nelson.

  3. Since the defense wants to have a Frye hearing to challenge all the state’s “expert” audio witnesses I am wondering why it wants to depose Owen. Is this deposition supposed to be before the Frye hearing? Owen hasn’t even handed in a report. Has the defense deposed Reich, Hollien and Harnsberger already? If not, why aren’t they mentioned in this motion?

    • It isn’t possible to “pre-disqualify” an expert. The court has to have something to review, in order to reach a decision about a proposed expert in any given case. That something could be a report, or notes, or deposition testimony.

      I too wonder why the request to depose Owen. Espcially seeing as Bernardo claimed that the defense hadn’t deposed any other state expert, and Reich and H&H are listed as “A” witnesses (with names known to defense).

      Maybe the defense figures it can exclude Reich and H&H on “unscientific method” grounds, so no need for a deposition (they have the reports); and the point of this motion is to get the state to confirm that it has no intention to call Owen.

      Another missing name (from the defense action) is Pimeau. Pimeau and Own are both listed in the initial discovery dump from a year ago, both as “B” witnesses.

        • Of course that’s a possibility, and it dovetails with O’Mara’s remark that the state’s experts don’t agree, so their methods are unreliable seeing as how the same evidence put though the same analysis results in different results. That’s not helpful to a fact finder, and it could add confusion.

          But my remark was more to the point that the state previously indicated it had no intention of calling Owen, so the normal hook for deposition (opponent’s expert) is absent.

      • Given that he has just made a promotional video on the subject, I think Primeau is quite primed to do so.

  4. I say advertise to find an Audio Expert that is willing to rebuke Reich with empirical facts…pay him 50% more than Reich is getting paid and put this Reich out of commission/business…I would break my piggy bank open to contribute to that…

  5. Dang…just make somebody up like DD was….like the renowned Audio Specialist from Germany…Dr E.A.R. Waxenstein to match his techniques against all audio rookies…

  6. Would it be possible for George to sue this so called “audio expert”?

    Let me explain we have a so called audio expert, self educated, trying to sell an none proven software program. He wants paid handsomely to testify against GZ. If it is proven that his science and reason for wanting to testify is not only prejudicial but damaging and of no redeeming value could he be sued?
    Is it possible to call anyone to be an expert witness what is the criteria?

  7. I did not know that a defendant had to pay his accusers.. or any witness against him.

    This is a state witness not a defense witness/ What am I missing?

    • Experts are paid for their time and expenses. One side or the other hires an expert in the first place, and may or may not pay for a report. Usually, but not always, there is a report of some sort, and that is handed over to opposition as part of discovery. If the opponent wants some time to put the expert on the hot seat of deposition, it’s up to them to pay the expert for that.

      In principle, experts are detached third parties, whose function is to review evidence, apply analytical methods and principles that are not well understood by the general public, reach an objective conclusion based on the evidence, and explain the connection between evidence, science/engineering, and conclusion to the lay-people who make up the jury.

      • Juries pay attention to experts allowed to give opinion. If allowed by the court they think they are truthful. Plus the CSI effect is here to stay. TV has had a big influence. But the conclusions by these two birds are 50% and 70%. Ridiculous to even have them. The FBI will also testify. They say no conclusion can be reached. So the best case for the state is a maybe. The parents have conflicted. Clearly it is Zimmerman so on balance to put it in question is their advantage. The prosecution might be Unethical, Immoral, and Unprofessional, but that is the way it is. It is going to be up to the jury to decide. With what they are given.

        • Experts are like other witnesses. Juries are moved by many intangible factors, but likeability, confidence, ease of manner, clarity of explanation, showing or admitting potentially contrary pieces of the evidence (openly, not on cross examination), qualifying the ultimate opinion on things like “if we accept so-and-so as being accurate, then …”, not prejudging the facts; all of those factor into the expert’s credibility and integrity.

          If I’m Nelson, I exclude the experts because they aren’t able to reach a conclusion with the necessary degree of confidence. If she lets them in, the jury will hear that the experts can’t reach their conclusions with a level of confidence commensurate with “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which ultimately helps the defense.

          It’s been pointed out many time before, but I’ll say it again. The common sense evidence (W6, Zimmerman’s report to first responder, Zimmerman beat up) tells the jury who was screaming for help. There is no need for an expert.

          • I think there is for the state. They must throw water on the issue and open the matter to speculation in the jury. Cause confusion. Obfuscate the facts of the case. Throw up smokescreens to hide the truth.

      • In France and probably other countries, if two experts disagree, the court pays for a third expert to come in with their opinion. Would the defense have to pay an FBI expert, like Dr. Nakasone, if they called him?

        • I don’t know if FBI experts are permitted to testify in non-federal cases; or, assuming they are, if they are just assigned the duty and are simply paid their usual salaries, or if the feds demand payment from whichever party hires them. The defense does have the FBI report, and is certainly free to use that in it’s argument to Nelson as to why expert voice ID analysis of the 911 call should be excluded.

      • This means the state could easily make it impossible for a defendant to face his accusers. especially one that is indigent. IMO the state should pay if they are going to use him but here I go again thinking about what is fair and also being logical.

      • Then the whole setup is pretty messed up. What’s to keep a prosecutor from hiring, oh I don’t know, say a Nobel Prize-winning physicist to write up a report for them? Doing so not only because of the person’s “expertise”, but also with the INTENT of putting that person out-of-reach for the defense. The defendant — maybe being represented by a public defender or a startup sole practitioner — wants to question the physicist, just to be sure he’s not biased in some way. Sure thing! The going rate for a Nobel Prize-winning physicist is a very fair and equitable $10,000 an hour.

        Very nice…

        • I have always said a criminal defendant should be given the same amount to defend himself as the state spends to prosecute. Looks like they do that in Arizona. Check out the cost of Arias’s defense.. over 1.4 million last I heard, 3 or weeks ago and it still is not over.

  8. Defense doesn’t have to pay to cross examine them at trial, so there is no “confrontation” issue. The only thing defense has to pay for, if it wants it, is the expert’s time and expenses for answering defense questions, outside of the trial setting.

    The state pays to get the expert, to get an expert report, and for the expert to appear at trial. So, the state does pay, if the state is going to use the expert.

    The same arrangement works in the other direction. The state has to pay to depose defense experts.

    • Can Owen testify without having filed first a report, given to the defense as part of discovery, or a deposition? A Google search has not revealed any scientific papers on how his program can compare a scream with a normal speaking voice. Reich didn’t complete a report including data that can be checked by another expert. I am wondering if he would be allowed to testify without putting out more.

      • The requirement for a report is set by local court rules. There is no general rule or rule of evidence that precludes giving trial testimony without first preparing a report.

        Admissibility of an expert’s testimony and opinion can be determined without resort to a report, but a report tends to make it easier for the judge.

        I find that Reich’s proposed testimony does not passes the Frye test, but I’m not the judge.

        • IIRC, and if what I read is correct, he’s been excluded more times than he’s been allowed to testify, like 100:1 ratio of exclusion to admittance. I don’t know how useful his testimony was in cases where he was allowed to testify.

          And, as suggested by that remark, admissibility and success ratio are different inquiries. Most cases (in civil law, probably around 80%) settle without a trial, but if an expert is found inadmissible (e.g., for using “junk science”), then his opponent almost certainly wins – either at trial, or a mutually agreeable settlement.

            • The unfairness of it all, once wrongly accused, makes the expert routine an insult on top of injury. But if the state plans to call Owen (and so far, as far as we know, the state has expressly said it is NOT planning to call Owen), then the defense should make an effort to exclude him, and failing that, to rebut his testimony. In other words, it’s going to cost the defense something no matter what. The calculus with deposition is that the expert will say something(s) in deposition that can be used to exclude him or weaken his testimony. If the expert is an obvious bonehead without taking his deposition (the report is riddled with falsehood, speculation or whatever), and the judge knows and applies the rules properly, there would be no need for a deposition.

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